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Titanic manufacturer Harland & Wolff rescue deal moves ahead

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Rescuer deal: Harland & Wolff buyer Infrastrata is set to tap investors for £6m

Rescuer deal: Harland & Wolff buyer Infrastrata is set to tap investors for £6m

Rescuer deal: Harland & Wolff buyer Infrastrata is set to tap investors for £6m

It’s full steam ahead for the rescue of Titanic manufacturer Harland & Wolff as its buyer prepares to tap investors for £6million.

Energy firm Infrastrata will announce a placing of new shares to the market this morning for 0.3p each. 

It will use the cash to pay £5.25million for Harland & Wolff’s engineering assets, securing the future of the shipyard’s 70 employees.

 

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Coronavirus: China rushes to contain ‘strengthening’ virus as toll hits 56

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The ability of the new to spread is strengthening and infections could continue to rise, China’s National Health Commission said on Sunday, with more than 2,000 people in China infected and 56 killed by the disease.

Health authorities around the world are racing to prevent a pandemic after a handful of cases of infection were reported outside China, including in Thailand, Australia, the United States and France.

The mayor of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, said he expected another 1,000 new patients in the city, which was stepping up construction of special hospitals.

The newly identified has created alarm because much about it is still unknown, such as how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases.

China’s National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei said the incubation period for the virus can range from one to 14 days, during which infection can occur, which was not the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

SARS was a that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002 and 2003.

“According to recent clinical information, the virus’ ability to spread seems to be getting somewhat stronger,” Ma told reporters.

The Lunar New Year holiday, traditionally celebrated by hundreds of millions of Chinese travelling around the country and abroad to see family, began on Friday but has been severely disrupted by the outbreak.

Ma said China would intensify its containment efforts, which have so far included transportation and travel curbs and the cancellation of big events.

The country may extend the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing a meeting hosted by Chinese premier Li Keqiang.

The virus, believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife, has spread to cities including Beijing and Shanghai. Hong Kong has six confirmed cases.

The World Health Organisation this week stopped short of calling the outbreak a global health emergency, but some health experts question whether China can contain the epidemic.

Chinese President Xi Jinping described the situation as “grave” on Saturday.

China confirmed 2,051 cases of infection as of 7 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Jan. 26, while the death toll from the virus remained at 56, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Health officials in Orange County, California, reported that a third case had been registered in the United States in a traveller from Wuhan, who was in isolation and in good condition.

On Saturday, Canada declared a first “presumptive” confirmed case in a resident who had returned from Wuhan. Australia confirmed its first four cases.

No fatalities have been reported outside China.

WILDLIFE SALES BAN

On Sunday, China temporarily banned nationwide the sale of wildlife in markets, restaurants, and e-commerce platforms. Wild and often poached animals packed together in Chinese markets are blamed as incubators for viruses to evolve and jump the species barrier to humans.

Snakes, peacocks, crocodiles and other species can also be found for sale via Taobao, an e-commerce website run by Alibaba.

The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society called on China to make the ban permanent.

The U.S. State Department said it will relocate personnel at its Wuhan consulate to the United States, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government was working with China to arrange a charter flight for Japanese nationals to return from Wuhan.

The outbreak has prompted widening curbs on movements within China, with Wuhan, a city of 11 million, on virtual lockdown and transport links all-but severed except for emergency vehicles.

CANCELLATIONS AND MISTRUST

Health authorities in Beijing urged people not to shake hands but instead salute using a traditional cupped-hand gesture. The advice was sent in a text message that went out to mobile phone users in the city on Sunday morning.

Beijing also postponed the reopening of the city’s schools and universities after the Lunar New Year holiday, state radio reported. Hong Kong had already delayed the reopening of schools to Feb. 17.

China has called for transparency in managing the crisis, after a cover-up of the spread of the SARS virus eroded public trust, but officials in Wuhan have been criticised for their handling of the current outbreak.

“People in my hometown all suspect the real infected patients number given by authorities,” said Violet Li, who lives in the Wuhan district where the seafood market is located.

Illustrating the extend of disruption to life in China, overall passenger travel declined by nearly 29% on Saturday, the first day of the Lunar New Year, from a year earlier, with air passengers down nearly 42%, a transportation ministry official said.

Many cinemas across China were closed with major film premieres postponed.

Cruise operators including Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Costa Cruises said they had cancelled a combined 12 cruises that had been scheduled to embark from Chinese ports before Feb. 2.

Hong Kong Disneyland and the city’s Ocean Park were closed on Sunday. Shanghai Disneyland, which expected 100,000 visitors daily through the holiday period, has already closed.

Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers from China, although some health officials and experts have questioned the effectiveness of these efforts.

First Published: Sun, January 26 2020. 21:00 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Mayor of China’s Wuhan expects another 1,000 virus cases in the city

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The mayor of China’s Wuhan, epicentre of an outbreak of a that has killed 56 and infected more than 2,000 in China, said on Sunday he expects another 1,000 new patients in the city, highlighting the immense pressure on Wuhan’s infrastructure.

Wuhan’s city government will step up construction of specialised hospitals to deal with infected patients, Zhou Xianwang told reporters.

The pressure on supplies of medical goods such as protective suits, masks and glasses had largely eased, he said, thanks in part to increased private donations.

Wuhan, a city of about 11 million and capital of Hubei province, has been under virtual lockdown amid intensifying efforts to contain the outbreak.

Images of hospital corridors packed with people seeking treatment have circulated widely on Chinese social media, and residents have complained of soaring prices on essentials such as vegetables.

Zhou insisted on Sunday that the city’s food prices are stable and food supplies are ample.

Hubei Province Governor Wang Xiaodong also told reporters during the briefing he feels “agonised” and responsible for the outbreak.

First Published: Sun, January 26 2020. 20:46 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Banking sector under stress, govt can’t bail it out, says Abhijit Banerjee

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Banerjee also said that demand slowdown in the automobile sector also shows that people are lacking confidence in the economy.

Nobel laureate and economist here on Sunday said the banking sector in the country is “stressed” and the government is in no position to bail it out.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 13th Jaipur Literature Festival, Banerjee said the demand slowdown in the automobile sector also shows that people are lacking confidence in the economy.

“Financial sector is the biggest stress point currently. There is no question that the is something we should worry about, the banking sector is stressed. The government really is not in a position to bail it out, so we are talking about a long process of attrition, that’s going to be costly.

“We also know that due to a demand deficit in the economy, cars and two-wheelers are not selling, and those things are signs of a general fact that people lack confidence that the economy is going to grow fast so they are holding back, they are not spending, he said.

The author of Good Economics for Hard Times added that the slowdown in the economy will also adversely impact alleviation in the country as urban and rural sectors are interdependent.
 

alleviation has been happening mostly on the strength of the fact that urban sector creates low skill jobs, and a lot of rural sector works in the urban sector and sends money back.

That’s the peak source of transmission of growth from urban sector to rural sector. And as soon as the urban sector slows down the rural sector, the people in construction work don’t have as many jobs. All of that will feed back on the rural sector, the 58-year-old Indian-American economist said.

Answering to a question – how will economic policies work if people have a lack of trust in the data, he said the government should worry about this issue as foreign investors are getting nervous.

They don’t know where they are going, what they are getting into, I mean those are real issues the government should look into. If it wants to have more investment and more involvement in the global economy, then I think it needs to provide the true data to people, he said.

First Published: Sun, January 26 2020. 19:30 IST

Source: Business Standard

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