Private equity investment in Southeast Asia declined to US$12 billion last year after reaching a record high of $14 billion in 2017, with COVID-19 posing a risk to investment this year, a global consulting firm says.According to “Southeast Asia Private Equity Report” published by Bain & Company, last year’s private equity investment in Southeast Asia was driven by the internet and technology sector, which represented over 60 percent of all deals, especially in Indonesia.However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the global recession in 2020 will challenge private equity investment this year as investors look for ways to protect their investments and reemerge stronger after the crisis, the report said. “In preparation for this period, general partners are looking at the global financial crisis as an indicator of what to expect moving forward,” said Bain & Company partner Usman Akhtar.“During the global financial crisis, the number of funds raised in Asia Pacific countries flat-lined and were significantly smaller,” Akhtar said. “While investors are likely to remain committed to private equity during this crisis, fundraising will slow.”The report said that before COVID-19, investors regarded Southeast Asia as a challenging environment for private equity with high multiples and a lack of deal opportunities in Thailand and the Philippines.“With the current pandemic, we expect a sustained impact on the PE industry throughout the year with more companies looking for financing given the cash flow situation.”Investment recovery will depend on how long it takes to “reopen the economy” as well as what social-distancing measures are still in force, Bain said.Bain expects deal making to slow in the near term. However, the record amount of dry powder in the market will continue to serve as the driving force for ongoing investment.“Returns for private equity will likely decline sharply in short term, but new deals could have potentially good returns,” the report said. “With public markets volatile and corporates holding onto cash, private equity is well positioned to be the buyer of any asset that comes up for sale.”Topics :
He did explore some of the deeper causes of racial disparities in the world’s richest country, saying that more would be put into healthcare and the ability to raise business capital in minority communities.Later, in an interview with the generally friendly Fox News network, he described the “horror” of watching Floyd’s death on cellphone footage shot by a witness.But critics say he is incapable of embracing broader public fears, pointing to the contrast between shows of empathy from previous presidents during crises and Trump’s instinct for fighting and insulting foes, even in the midst of calamity.”For weeks we’ve seen President Trump run away from a meaningful conversation on systemic racism and police brutality. Instead, he’s further divided our country,” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday.”Today’s trip to Texas won’t change any of that. President Trump is more interested in photo ops than offering a healing voice as our nation mourns.”Despite his poll numbers being underwater five months ahead of election day, Trump is betting that he needn’t change tack.His base has remained loyal throughout the extraordinary turmoil, and he has made clear his priority is getting back on the campaign trail.Immediately after his remarks in Dallas, the president heads to his first campaign fundraiser since the COVID-19 lockdown began — a $580,600 per couple event. Then he flies to his golf course resort in New Jersey for the weekend, another post-COVID first.On June 19 he will restart his mothballed series of rallies — raucous, often two-hour love fests between Trump the entertainer-in-chief and thousands of his most loyal supporters — with an event in Oklahoma. “We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear, but we will make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labeling tens of millions of decent Americans as racist or bigots,” Trump said.The Republican has struggled to find the right tone to address the explosion of protests over the last two weeks in the wake of the death of an unarmed African-American man, George Floyd, as he was arrested in Minneapolis.That crisis, coupled with the economic devastation of the COVID-19 shutdown — and the fact that the pandemic continues to kill up to 1,000 people a day — has left the country crying out for healing.Trump, whose political style is built largely on fierce division and exciting his right-wing base, faced pressure to encourage unity in Dallas. Magnet for controversy Some Americans may want calm after months of rancor, but that’s one thing the former reality TV star is not giving.Even the choice of Tulsa, Oklahoma, for his resumption of rallies generated controversy.June 19 is known as “Juneteenth,” the day marking the end of slavery in the United States. Tulsa, however, is notorious as the site of a 1921 massacre of African-Americans.As he left for Dallas, Trump lambasted Democratic leaders of Washington state, where he said “domestic terrorists” had taken over Seattle, referring to protesters.He also doubled down on his latest culture wars battle, insisting again he will refuse demands to change the names of US military bases honoring leaders of the slave-owning, rebel South during the Civil War.Back in Washington, there were new tensions between the White House and the military when the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley, apologized for appearing alongside Trump during a controversial walk to a church on June 1, minutes after police violently dispersed protesters.”I should not have been there,” Milley said in his unexpected comments. Hitting the trail The choice of Texas for Thursday’s trip was notable because the state — Republican for decades — is turning in to a battleground. Trump won narrowly in 2016 and a Quinnipiac poll last week put him only one percentage point ahead of Biden.In 2016, polls and politics watchers in general got it wrong about Trump, who ran a chaotic campaign against the ultra-professional Hillary Clinton yet still scored a famous electoral college win.This has left many election watchers gun-shy. Even so, current polls make grim reading for the Republican.The FiveThirtyEight average shows Trump’s approval rating at just 41 percent, having taken a big hit from his handling of the COVID-19 and racism crises.The RealClearPolitics average for a presidential election match-up puts Biden at 49.8 to Trump’s 41.7.Worse for Trump — given his hope of repeating his electoral college win, even if losing the overall popular vote — Biden leads in almost every swing state. Topics : US President Donald Trump on Thursday rebooted his flagging reelection campaign with a speech starkly rejecting nationwide protesters’ claims of police racism, saying only a “few bad apples” are to blame.Far from reaching out to demonstrators’ searing anger, he offered only a vague proposal to “encourage” officers to meet “the most current professional standards for the use of force.””You always have a bad apple, no matter where you go,” said Trump, who is making law and order a new keystone of his bid to win a second term on November 3. “There aren’t too many of them in the police department.”
Lynna Irby is a sophomore at Pike High School in Indianapolis. Last year this young lady was a triple state track champion. She won the 100 meters in 11.1 seconds, the 200 meters in 24.07 seconds, and the 400 meter in 54.38 seconds. She is also a 2-time indoor 60-meter champion. Lynna is only the second girl in Indiana to achieve this pinnacle. The other athlete was Maicel Malone in 1984. She was a runner for North Central High School. Maicel was also an Olympian runner.Lynna’s 100-meter time last year was the third fastest for a high school freshmen. She led her team to the state runner-up title, and the Red Devils this year are an early contender to be the state champion. They have two 12 ft. vaulters and an 18 ft. long jumper to go with Lynna.
Ryan Evans (5) holds a team high average of 6.6 rebounds per game, good for fourth in the Big Ten. Evans fielded questions from reporters this week pertaining to his offensive output, but constantly referenced his need to play better defense after Saturday’s loss to OSU 58-52.[/media-credit]The frontcourt of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team certainly got the message after Saturday’s 58-52 loss to Ohio State.The Buckeyes’ execution inside proved to be one of the biggest differences in the game, with 30 points coming in the paint and 13 off free throws as preseason All-American forward Jared Sullinger scored 24 points himself.Wisconsin had a game plan for Sullinger, but the Badgers strayed from it. With the objective incomplete, it led to an overall failure of the mission Saturday.A rare mental lapse, indeed, for a team that routinely finishes in the nation’s top 10 in points allowed under head coach Bo Ryan and is currently allowing fewer points than anyone else.“In that game, we had really worked hard on trying not to allow the ball in the post and then had a scheme based upon that, about what we would do when it did get there and where we would allow it to come,” assistant coach Lamont Paris said. “I think we just got off of our game plan, as far as trying to do that. That made our jobs a little harder because we didn’t make it as hard as we needed to for him to catch.“Typically, we’ve done a great job [with] the scouting reports, a really really exceptional job.”The defensive slip is just another little bump in this season for Wisconsin’s frontcourt, which has played admirable defense all season and improved offense.In the post-game press conference Saturday, Ryan made it quite clear he wasn’t pleased with the defense’s attack on OSU’s post-play. Minutes afterward, forward Jared Berggren – who went one-on-one with Sullinger for much of the first half – accepted some of the blame.And talking to the media Tuesday, forward Ryan Evans appeared to have his defensive shortcomings occupying his mind more than anything else. He fielded two questions about his offensive performance from Saturday, but concluded both answers with a reminder that he also should have performed better defensively.Moreso in the second half, Evans, along with forward Mike Bruesewitz, took turns on Sullinger and held him to eight points after he had scored 16 in the first.Evans listed his weak points from Saturday: “Following the scouting report and also boxing out on the defensive end. I got to do a better job boxing out and getting more of those rebounds. If I was doing that I think I would probably be third in the Big Ten by now in rebounding.”Evans is currently fourth in the conference with 6.6 rebounds per game.“But I wasn’t doing that in the last game and I haven’t done that in a couple other games so I need to work on that,” he added.On the other hand, Wisconsin’s frontcourt appears to have ripened offensively over the past several games. Bruesewitz started slow offensively during the non-conference season, which preceded a shooting slump from Berggren and Evans as the Badgers entered Big Ten play.But things have reversed course for the most part. Of all players who receive 20-plus minutes of playing time per game, Evans and Bruesewitz have the two most cost-effective hands on the team in conference play at the moment.Bruesewitz leads the team with a 45.2 percent shooting clip with Evans close by at 42.3. Evans is second with 10.1 points per game while Bruesewitz puts up 7.4.Although Ryan has not typically dipped too far into his bench this season, the Badger frontcourt has also been able to count on freshman forward Frank Kaminsky for the occasional spell.Despite averaging just eight minutes a game this season, Kaminsky has been able to provide Wisconsin with a spark in the second half of the last two games. Kaminsky hit a three that gave Wisconsin a four-point lead against Penn State and then four days later splashed one that pulled UW to within four points against OSU.The shot against PSU also marked the beginning of an impressive 58-second period in which the freshman blocked a shot, grabbed a rebound and assisted on another three-pointer.Kaminsky’s assertiveness from the arc is a welcome change for the rookie, who at one point in the season fell into a slump where he deferred open looks that laid within his range.“Frank’s done a great job,” Paris said. “Off the bench he’s had limited minutes and so when a guy plays limited minutes and he does something that you remember positively – that’s hard to do.”Berggren’s offensive game in conference play, however, hasn’t been as streamlined lately as the rest of the frontcourt. The Badgers’ center is currently shooting 37.4 percent (46.5 on the entire year) from the field and 29.7 from three.That may be due, in part, to an increased emphasis on his defensive game. Despite the mishap against Sullinger, Berggren has been able to keep the likes of Indiana’s Cody Zeller in check while gaining a reputation as an emerging quality defender.“Confidence-wise, he’s getting better, getting used to playing that many minutes,” Bruesewitz said. “It’s kind of an adjustment at first. You just got to get used to playing that many minutes and being used to more responsibility on the offensive end and everything like that. It just took us a little bit of time to adjust to that, I think.”
…HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM TO 8 PM CDT SATURDAY…* WHAT…Heat index values up to 110 expected.* WHERE…All of North Iowa and Southern Minnesota.* WHEN…From 1 PM to 8 PM CDT Saturday.* IMPACTS…Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur, particularly those working or participating outdoor activities.PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency! Call 9 1 1.
Parking meter fiasco… “It’s very, very fishy” – Ramon GaskinBy Edward LaynePressure is mounting on the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to scrap the highly-secretive and controversial parking meter contract it has inked with National Parking Systems/Smart City Solutions, to hold consultations and then go to public tender in the interest of accountability and transparency.Economist Ramon GaskinMayor Mayor Patricia Chase Green inspects a parking meter in Mexico CityFormer First Vice President of Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) and Chartered Accountant Christopher Ram said “it’s very troubling indeed,” that for a project of such magnitude, information is hardly available.Ram, in an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday said that transparency must be the hallmark of the project.He lambasted the M&CC for failing to following proper public procurement procedures for the multimillion-dollar parking meter project, noting that it is not a project which the Council can just walk in and walk out of it”.“Clearly this should have been an open tender process. In fact, even before you go to that, maybe you invite interested parties having expression of interest you, then see detailed proposal and between the two, you do some due diligence,” Ram stated, adding that “if Local Government Elections is to mean anything and if local democracy is to mean anything, then its clear that the people’s representatives must have a say in the decision of how their rates and taxes are being expended.”He recommended that the process be abandoned and a fresh process be undertaken in keeping with the principles of transparency and accountability.Meanwhile, independent commentator and transparency advocate Ramon Gaskin described the entire controversy as “very very fishy”.Gaskin, a trained economist, told this publication on Wednesday that there is hardly anything that was made public on the project, save and except for a few persons on the City Council.“The only information that is available is what’s in the press… nobody has seen any contract of anything. The whole thing as my friends said has the smell of unrefrigerated fish. The whole think sounds very funny, not transparent, it didn’t go to tender, it’s a big problem. It’s very, very fishy,” he remarked.Gaskin also criticised the highly secretive Mexican trip which Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase Green, Councillors Junior Garrett and Oscar Clarke, along with Town Clerk Royston are current on as a “gallivant”.“Chase Green and all of them gone to Mexico for something, to gallivant, nobody knows. I don’t think the Councillors were even told about this trip to Mexico, Oscar Clarke and all of them,” he remarked.The economist, like Ram, is recommending that the Council abandon the current project and start a new process that is open and transparent. “Scrap all of that and cancel all of that and start over. They have to scrap it and start over,” Gaskin recommended.On Sunday last, former Speaker of the National Assembly and commentator Ralph Ramkarran said the undertaking seems to be nothing but a “get-rich-quick scheme”, given the capricious and tenuous strategies and justifications provided for some aspects of the project.In his weekly blog “The Conversation Tree”, Ramkarran outlined a number of issues in relation to the project and even suggested alternatives that the M&CC could explore before moving ahead with the contentious parking meter plan.Among the issues he outlined are lack of consultation with stakeholders including those who will be affected the proposed location of the meters which is deemed unfair and exploitativeRamkarran also contended that the fact the contractor would be taking 80 per cent of the revenue earned from these meters while the City Council would cash in on 20 per cent was extremely worrying.“This smells very much like a get-rich-quick scheme to exploit owners of motor vehicles, many of whom are regular working people, for the substantial benefit of the 80 per cent private contractor(s) and not the City Council,” he stated.Reports indicate that some 300 parking meters will be installed across the City, charging $125 every 15 minutes for an expected yearly income of approximately $100 million to $200 million.He also expressed concerns over the lack of any tendering process.Cultural Policy Advisor to the Education Minister Ruel Johnson also criticised the manner in which the project was being executed. In his Facebook post, Johnson posited, “Why on earth would any sane person interested in good governance want this deal to go through? And while I applaud Sherod Duncan, who has been completely reticent on many issues, for speaking out coherently on this one, where are the voices of the other Councillors on this? Even if there were a majority in favour, there has to be a reasonable minority against this.”Johnson also called on the public to use this opportunity to hold the Government accountable and demand better governance. The short-lived excitement of the parking meter project was eclipsed by controversy and accusations of corruption after City Councillors, including Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan refused to endorse the project on the grounds that the Council was not provided with enough information on the project and its contractor, including the contract with the Council inked with National Parking Systems/Smart City Solutions to install and operate the meters. There are also questions about the companies’ track record in parking meter installation.Cush has been arguing that his companies have worked in Panama, Argentina, Peru and Mexico City among others; however, checks by this publication in these locations turned up empty as there is no mention of either company.Further, the company’s website, http://npsgreatcities.com was registered on April 8, 2016, about the same time fresh discussions about the installation of parking meters in Georgetown surfaced. There are also concerns that the company provided a false address for its headquarters.Key stakeholders are raising concerns over the possibility of the undertaking being a shady deal aimed at exploiting the local populace.