Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Today's business news: What you need to know - Radio New Zealand

The Auditor-General is concerned local councils will stretch their debt facilities as they look to spend more in their communities.

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Local Councils, including Queenstown-Lakes, plan on spending $54b over the next 10 years fixing ageing assets. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

In a letter to the Productivity Commission, John Ryan said local governments planned to spend a total of $54.5 billion over the next 10 years, mostly to fix ageing assets.

That's 31 percent more than the $41.5b decade-long spend that was forecast in 2015.

About half of the cost would need to be financed by bank debt, Mr Ryan said, which would leave councils strapped for cash in the case of an emergency - especially if interest rates rose.

Some high-growth councils, including Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch and Queenstown-Lakes, were already coming up against their debt limits, he said.

Mr Ryan said councils needed to reconsider how they set and collected rates to avoid a cash crunch.

The letter was in response to the commission's issues paper on local government funding and financing, released in November.

Submissions closed on Friday last week.

Heartland Bank first-half profit rises to $33.1m

Financial services company Heartland Bank has reported a modest lift in its first-half profit driven by increased lending.

The company, which specialises in reverse mortgages, finance for businesses, cars and livestock, and the Harmoney loan platform - had a net profit of $33.1 million compared with $31.1m last year.

Strongest growth was in its Australian reverse mortgage business, business lending, car finance, and the Harmoney personal lending platform

The company's lending book grew more than 11 percent to $4.2 billion.

The company's forecasting a full year profit of between $73m-$75m.

NZ banks rating high in customer satisfaction

New Zealand banks continue to out-rank the big Australian owned operations in consumer satisfaction.

A Roy Morgan survey of nine banks shows TSB the top rated bank this year, rising more than six percentage points to an 88.5 percent rating.

It's dislodged Kiwibank from the top spot, which had a marginal rise to 84.6 percent.

Sign for TSB Bank

TSB is New Zealand's top-ranked bank for customer satisfaction. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The Co-operative Bank came in third with its rating rising 3.9 percentage points to 81.7 percent.

The survey average was 79.1 percent.

Of the big four Australian owned banks, BNZ was the most highly rated of the big four, up fractionally to just over 80 percent.

The worst of the big four was Westpac - its satisfaction score still rose 2.1 percentage points to 76.5 percent.

ANZ was the only major bank to see its customer satisfaction rating fall - down 1.9 percent to 77.1 percent.

The least trusted bank in the survey was SBS - its approval rating rise five percentage points to 75.1 percent.

Job adverts up in final quarter of 2018

The number of jobs advertised online rose two percent in the the final three months of 2018.

The Jobs Online figures released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show the number of job advertisements was slightly higher than the 1.7 percent average increase in the September quarter, with health and primary industries leading the demand.

Construction and engineering, business services and the health sector showed the strongest increase across most of the regions.

Demand was highest in Gisborne/Hawkes Bay, Northland, and the Manawatu-Whanganui/Taranaki regions.

Only Canterbury had a fall in vacancies in the December quarter.

Brabbler: Secure Business Messaging and Full Data Sovereignty – “ginlo @work” comes from Germany to the UK - Associated Press

MUNICH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 19, 2019--The highly secure business messenger “ginlo @work” of the German provider Brabbler AG is now available in English. The communication solution offers all the features of modern messaging and gives companies unlimited data sovereignty.

To provide an alternative to insecure and untrustworthy US-based services such as Slack, Stride, or Workplace, Brabbler launched the business messenger ginlo @work in Germany just under a year ago. The project was initiated by the founders of Germany’s most popular e-mail provider GMX. Now, ginlo @work is also available in an English version for companies in the UK.

The solution comes with all the features of modern messaging and allows for efficient and productive communication in teams and on projects. Employees can chat with their colleagues, send voice messages, or share images, videos, and files. In teams and on projects, group chats allow for structured and goal-oriented collaboration.

Full encryption and a unique, hierarchical encryption method ensure that companies keep full sovereignty over their data. The communication platform not only protects data in transit using end-to-end encryption; data at rest, stored on user devices and Brabbler servers, is encrypted as well. Thanks to the hierarchical encryption method, neither Brabbler as the provider nor third parties have a technical possibility to access shared content.

For companies using ginlo @work, however, this method ensures that all the employees’ content can be accessed from a centralized archive and decrypted at any time. This allows companies to meet legal requirements and remain in full possession of the exchanged knowledge. Brabbler is the only provider that offers a fully encrypted messenger with such a centralized archive.

As a real multi-device solution, ginlo @work can be run on several devices in parallel. All messages and contact lists are kept synchronized. At the moment, the solution is available both as a mobile app for iOS and Android, and as a desktop version for Windows. A desktop version for macOS is currently in beta.

The messenger is hosted by Brabbler in Germany and is thus subject to German data protection regulations, which are among the strictest in the world.

The English version of ginlo @work can now be tested for 30 days free of charge. For the test version and more information, please visit www.ginlo.net/en/business/.

“Companies need a real alternative to the communication solutions of the big US-based players that don’t take confidentiality very seriously. This is no different in Great Britain than in Germany,” says Eric Dolatre, CEO at Brabbler. “ginlo @work offers them an unbeatable combination of intuitive use, full control, and uncompromising data security.”


Brabbler AG in Munich develops a communication platform named “ginlo” that ensures privacy for private users and confidentiality for companies.

Organizations can rely on an end-to-end encrypted and manageable IT solution for the communication among their employees. It’s exclusively hosted in Germany. Access to all content is limited to the organization and its users. This allows employees to communicate and exchange data efficiently and with 100 percent confidentiality.

Brabbler was started up in 2015 by GMX founders Karsten Schramm, Peter Köhnkow, and Eric Dolatre, as well as Jörg Sellmann. More information: www.brabbler.ag/ and www.ginlo.net/.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190219005411/en/

CONTACT: Press contact

Fabio Marti

Director Marketing B2B

Brabbler Secure Message and

Data Exchange Aktiengesellschaft

Phone: +49-89-95 45 94 7-0



Louisa Hackmann

Account Management


Phone: +49 (0)89 59997 712





SOURCE: Brabbler

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 02/19/2019 05:00 AM/DISC: 02/19/2019 05:01 AM


World markets hit 2019 high amid trade war optimism - as it happened - The Guardian

Liz Weston: Are You Picking the Wrong Money Goals? - U.S. News & World Report

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Liz Weston: Are You Picking the Wrong Money Goals?  U.S. News & World Report

Setting smart, achievable goals is important if you want to take charge of your financial life. But many of us are surprisingly bad at choosing the goals that ...

Hey UK! It's not just Venezuela, what happened to Australia's gold? - RT

Geopolitical and trade tensions along with US sanctions have shaken trust in the US dollar over recent years. As a result, a number of global central banks have been boosting their national reserves of gold bullion.

In 2018, world central banks added 651.5 tons to official gold reserves, as a greater pool of regulators turned to the precious metal as a diversifier, according to data released by the World Gold Council. Some countries, like Russia and Turkey increased their gold reserves while dumping US dollar holdings at the same time. India, China, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Poland and Hungary were among the other big purchasers of the yellow metal.

Also on rt.com Where does Russia keep its huge gold reserves?

Net sales of gold from central banks reportedly remained insignificant, totaling less than 15 tons with Australia, Germany, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Ukraine accounting for almost the entire figure.

While some countries opt to hold their bullion reserves domestically, others still trust their precious reserves to the central banks of other nations. Vaults in Paris, New York and London have become popular gold storages for many developing countries.

The Bank of England has kept a reported 80 tons of Australian gold for years. However, the UK regulator has not allowed Australia to carry out a proper audit of its bullion holdings. In an attempt to find out what happened to Australia's gold RT talked to Ronan Manly, a precious metals analyst with BullionStar in Singapore.

Also on rt.com Bank of England refuses to hand over Venezuela's gold – report

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) claims to have 80 tons of the precious metal. Nearly all of the country's gold bars are reportedly stored in a bailment arrangement, in an allocated gold account, at the Bank of England vaults in London, with a very small amount of gold stored at the RBA headquarters in Sydney. However, there are questions whether the gold is still there, according to Manly.

“There have never been any independent physical audits of this gold, which means that there is no way to verify the RBA's claim that it has all the gold it claims to have,” Manly told RT.

The latest, partial, audit of Australia's gold holdings was reportedly conducted in 2013, but the results of the checking have never been released neither by the Bank of England nor by the RBA, with a freedom of information request for the findings and the final report denied by both.

“Throughout the last 20 years, the RBA also admits that a lot of its claimed gold holdings have been lent out in the secretive London Gold Lending Market, but there is no information whatsoever available on any of these lending transactions or the bar numbers involved,” Manly said.

Also on rt.com East trusts in physical gold while West prefers 'mindless optimism' – Claudio Grass to RT

“That the RBA and Bank of England refuse to do any of these things is highly suspicious. Therefore, there is no way to say that the RBA has the 80 tons of gold it claims to have.”

The RBA participated in the gold lending market at times lending almost all of its gold holdings for over 30 years, according to the regulator. The lending activity has reportedly deteriorated over the past decade. Earnings from gold loans amounted to just $0.71 million during the last financial year.

According to Manly, providing the documents on the latest audit of the holding “would, or could reasonably be expected to, cause damage to” good relations between the Bank of England and the RBA.

“The real reasons that the Bank of England does not allow proper gold bar audits and the real reason it will never provide central bank customers with proper weight lists of refiner serial numbers is that the Bank of England wants total secrecy about gold lending and where the lent gold goes to,” the expert told RT.

Also on rt.com If you want to preserve your wealth, buy physical gold – precious metals expert to RT

According to Manly, the Australian government should reconsider its approach to the national gold holdings, as the country's gold industry and infrastructure is perfectly good for storing and handling its precious metal on its own territory. The RBA could easily store the gold in Canberra, Sydney or Perth like the Bank of Russia's gold is held in Moscow and St Petersburg.

“The rationale claimed by the RBA that it stores its gold in London so as to be in proximity to the London Gold Trading market is also wearing thin given that the Bank of England has now confiscated the gold of Venezuela's central bank, the Banco Central do Venezuela,” the analyst pointed out.

“This is sovereign gold of another nation which was placed into custody storage by a foreign central bank. It is also absolutely extraordinary that the Bank of England has succumbed to US Government and State Department bullying to use,” said Manly, referring to the refusal by the Bank of England to return Venezuela's gold.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Mid-Hudson business people 'On the Move': Feb. 17, 2019 - The Daily Freeman

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. —  The Boys & Girls Club Saugerties Unit has appointed three new members to the Board of Directors.

Sakinah Irizarry joined the board in the fall of 2018. Irizarry is the owner and operator of Sakinah Irizarry LMT, a massage therapy business in Saugerties. She has worked as a licensed massage therapist for many years in and around Ulster County in well known studios such as, Haven Spa in Rhinebeck and River Rock in Woodstock. Irizarry lives in Saugerties with her husband and two sons.

Karen Prince is CIC Personal Lines Assistant Manager & Producer. She began her career in insurance with The Reis Group in 1984. Prince specializes in Personal Insurance sales. In 2008, she obtained her Certified Insurance Counselor designation. She became a Defensive Driver instructor in 2018. She lives in Saugerties with her husband.

Sara Gorman Maliha has spent most of her life in Upstate New York. She has been selling real estate since 2007. In 2016, Sara moved to the village of Saugerties with her daughter.


Allen E. Austin IV has been promoted to lead a new department as the Director of Cash Management & Administrative Officer at the Bank of Greene County.

Allen joined the bank in 2014 as part of the Bank’s Management Training Program. After completing the program, he was placed in the Municipal Banking Department, where he held several positions of increased responsibility.

Allen is a graduate of Babson College in Boston, with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He earned his master’s degree and an Executive Certificate in Leadership from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017. Allen is a graduate of Catskill High School, and was honored by the New York State Assembly as the 2009 Greene County Citizen of the Year.

He lives in Earlton in Greene County.


HUDSON, N.Y —  Joe Baker was elected to serve a three-year term at The Olana Partnership’s Board of Trustees Annual Meeting on Jan. 19.

Baker has owned a home in the town of Claverack for several decades and, with his late husband Stuart Thompson, has been a committed supporter of Frederic Church’s Olana and the surrounding region, according to an announcement.

Baker has served as President of the Medicare Rights Center since June 2009. He is an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Law, where he taught a class on implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Previously, he was the deputy secretary for health and human services in New York State under Governor David A. Paterson. Baker served as assistant deputy secretary for health and human services under Governor Eliot Spitzer. Baker was Executive Vice President of Medicare Rights from 1994 to 2001, and prior to that was associate director of legal services for Gay Men’s Health Crisis.


POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Michelle Moyer has joined Orthopedic Associates of Dutchess County as a hand, wrist and elbow specialist.

Moyer is board-certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and has a sub-specialty certification in surgery of the hand. She has authored and co-authored several abstract publications focusing on various aspects of orthopedic surgery. Moyer is the recipient of two Army Achievement Medals and two Army Commendation medals from her service as an orthopedic surgeon for the 47th Combat Support Hospital station in Al Asad, Iraq.


HOW TO SUBMIT “ON THE MOVE” NEWS: “On the Move” recognizes the professional achievements of local people. Submissions may be emailed with attached JPEG photos to news@freemanonline.com or mailed with quality photo prints to On the Move, Daily Freeman, 79 Hurley Ave., Kingston, N.Y. 12401. Please be brief, include where the subject will be based, his or her place of residence (city, town or village) and a contact person’s name and telephone number.

Business listings, Feb. 17, 2019 - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

These applications for assumed business names were filed with the Champaign County clerk's office:

— i Candy Mink Lash Boutique, 105 N. Mattis Ave., Suite 22, C, Sheron Davis, 1701 E. Michigan Ave., U.

— No Duck'N Clothing Line, 1026 E. Kerr Ave., U, Quinn Kirkwood, same address.

— P.F.F. General Contractor, 1701 Bonnie Blair Drive, C, Paula Foote-Bell, same address.