Money Management – River And Sound Review Thu, 30 Sep 2021 23:50:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Money Management – River And Sound Review 32 32 Boustead in race against time to reduce debt by RM7 billion Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:38 +0000

BOUSTEAD Holdings Bhd, a 59.43% subsidiary of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), is in a race against time to sell assets, consolidate its balance sheet and reduce growing debt as losses mount. The diverse conglomerate is in talks with its lenders to supplement existing loans, as well as refinance existing debt and give it more time to make payments, sources say.

Its heavy reliance on revolving credit facilities, which constitute the bulk of its total borrowing, is cause for concern.

Essentially, a revolving credit facility allows a borrower to draw on a line of credit and pay it off without having to apply for a new loan. But the borrower also runs the risk that lenders will withdraw the credit facilities at any time due to large losses or default.

Boustead’s financial statements for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020 (3QFY2020), show the group had revolving credit amounting to RM 3.6 billion, which represented 47% of the group’s total borrowings. from RM 7.7 billion at the end of September. Last year. Of the 3.6 billion ringgit of revolving credit, 3.19 billion ringgit (or about 89%) was short-term and 410 million ringgit long-term. He also had short-term loans totaling RM 273.1 million.

Sources highlight the urgency for Boustead to restructure its debts in order to have a sustainable debt structure in the future. This includes weaning off its reliance on short-term general-purpose debt, such as revolving credit. Contacted by The Edge, Boustead said he is currently “developing a major global strategy that will revamp the entire group’s business plan, which will be unveiled soon.”

LTAT’s recent decision to abandon its plan to privatize Boustead is also seen as a major setback for the latter, as it would have treated the group’s debt levels as a private entity and focused more on what it does. he can do better, sources say. However, the plan was aborted last month due to lingering uncertainty amid the Covid-19 pandemic, “which could further delay the privatization journey and create more uncertainty for the Boustead Group’s key businesses. “, indicates the pension fund of the armed forces.

Boustead shares have fallen 25% from their 52-week high of 82 sen since LTAT canceled its plan to privatize the conglomerate on February 2. The counter closed at 61.5 sen last Thursday, giving the company a market cap of RM 1.25. billion.

According to Boustead’s 2019 annual report, its main bankers are Affin Bank Bhd, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, Ambank (M) Bhd, CIMB Bank Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd and United Overseas Bank Bhd.

Boustead has incurred losses since the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 (fiscal year 2018). In 9MFY2020, its net loss widened 29.7% year on year to RM 198.6 million and according to Kenanga Research the group is expected to continue to show volatile quarterly results based on its historical profit trend. It has postponed the release of its 4QFY2020 results for one month, following the one-month extension granted to all issuers listed by Securities Commission Malaysia and Bursa Malaysia, and is due to report the results this week.

In his latest report on Boustead dated December 1, 2020, Kenanga Research senior analyst Raymond Choo Ping Khoon predicted that Boustead would continue to post losses in fiscal 2020 and 2021. It has stopped hedging stocks. due to a lack of investor interest and losses in recent quarters.

Boustead continues to be weighed down by its trading and heavy industry divisions, but amortized by the pharmaceutical division and the recovery of the plantation.

On March 17, Pharmaniaga Bhd marked a return to black in fiscal year 2020, with a net profit of RM 27.49 million, due to the lack of a one-time accounting of the unamortized costs of the system. Pharmaceutical Information (PhIS) amounting to RM247 million in FY2019. Boustead Plantations Bhd also went black, posting net profit of RM 42.95 million in fiscal 2020 after two consecutive years of losses. This is explained by the improvement in the prices of palm products and the absence of any loss in value.

An industry observer, however, says the recovery in its pharmaceutical and plantation divisions is not enough to make up for Boustead’s woes.

The group’s low cash levels don’t help matters. At the end of September 2020, Boustead had 531.2 million ringgit in cash, which leads to a net debt of 7.17 billion ringgit compared to its shareholders’ equity of 3.53 billion ringgit (excluding perpetual sukuk and participations not not giving control). Net debt stands at 2.03 times.

Payments to perpetual sukuk holders

Boustead also faces annual payments to holders of its perpetual junior Islamic medium-term note program of up to RM 1.2 billion, which was established in 2013 when Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin was managing director of the Boustead Group.

Perpetual bonds are recorded on the books as equity rather than debt, thus reducing the debt-to-equity ratio. However, perpetual bonds generally carry higher coupon rates because there is no predetermined term.

Boustead’s 2019 annual report shows that the perpetual sukuk has a progressive payout rate ranging from 6.1% to 6.25% per annum if it does not exercise its redemption option at the end of the fifth year, and increases by 1.5% per year for the sixth year. From the seventh year, the periodic distribution rate will be further increased by 1% per year for each following year, within the limit of 15% per year.

At the end of September 2020, Boustead had 622.1 million RM in perpetual sukuk, which would translate into an annual coupon payment of 53.5 million RM, assuming a coupon rate of 8.6%.

How will Boustead improve its debt problems? Boustead Group’s new chief executive, Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly, said in February that the group is aiming for a strategic asset sale as part of its plan to rationalize assets, creating value within the group’s core businesses. , the modification of business models for new sources of income, the rationalization of a few non-strategic assets, as well as venturing into the digital services and technologies sector as part of its “Reinventing Boustead” strategy.

It has already started the process of asset monetization, with the sale of an 82.84 ha plot of land in Penang in 2019 and Royale Chulan Bukit Bintang last year. On March 19, he sold his loss-making Boustead Cruise Center in Pulau Indah, Selangor, for RM 230 million, of which RM 120 million was used to partially repay the group’s loans, which is expected to generate interest savings of 6.2 million RM. per year.

According to its 2019 annual report, properties currently owned by the group include the Royale Chulan Damansara and Royale Chulan Hyde Park hotel assets in London, The Curve and eCurve business assets, and office assets such as Menara Affin, Wisma Boustead and Menara. Boustead in Kuala Lumpur. as well as Menara Boustead in Penang.

It also owns stakes in unlisted entities such as Irat Properties Sdn Bhd (50%), The University of Nottingham Malaysia Sdn Bhd (66%), MHS Aviation Bhd (51%), Cadbury Confectionary Malaysia Sdn Bhd (25%) , Kao (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (45%) and Rakan Riang Sdn Bhd (20%), which holds the license of KidZania in Malaysia and Singapore.

Industry watchers say Boustead could also reduce its stakes in its subsidiaries through an investment or sale to raise new capital to ease tight cash flow. Boustead has stakes in four companies listed on Bursa Malaysia – Affin Bank Bhd (20.73%), Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (65%), Pharmaniaga (55.93%) and Boustead Plantations (57.42%) – as well than in a pharmaceutical company listed in Indonesia. company PT Millennium Pharmacon International Tbk (41%).

It is clear that significant challenges remain for Boustead and that much remains to be done to reduce its net debt and rebuild its balance sheet. Still, the uncertainty induced by the pandemic could slow its efforts to reap the rewards at hand.

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live concert halls find innovative ways to reach audiences during pandemic | Chicago News Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:26 +0000

As all 50 states begin the delicate work of reopening their economies, the music industry is taking its own steps to get people back to bars – virtually, in many cases.

On Monday, The Temple Live in Fort Smith, Arkansas, sold 239 tickets for its 1,100-seat venue, where bathrooms were fitted with string sinks fitted with touchless soap dispensers, and members of the public were subjected to quick temperature checks before entering. American roots musician Travis McCready performed on a gear-packed stage devoid of his band members, Bishop Gunn, 14 feet from the audience, who watched in small groups 6 feet apart, wearing masks.

On Armitage Avenue in Chicago, blues bar Rosa’s Lounge opened on Saturday and hosted John Primer and the Real Deal Blues Band. The trio donned masks, settled down 6 feet apart, and began performing in front of remote-controlled cameras that club owner Tony Manguillo used to broadcast the show live.

While Illinois won’t be playing The Temple Live concert anytime soon, streaming it live from inside a concert hall is an innovation. And it has only been legal for a few days.

Last Friday, Governor JB Pritzker issued a revised executive order regarding essential businesses. In a document summarize the order and answer frequently asked questions In this regard, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities (DCEO) states that although “concert halls are to remain closed to the public,” they can open their doors to musicians and employees for the purposes of music. recording or live broadcasting, provided everyone present is more than 6 feet away, wearing masks and groups do not exceed 10 people.

Attorney Marni Willenson, of Willenson Law LLC, a workplace class action lawyer and wife of Manguillo, was responsible for this allowance.

She and Manguillo wanted to broadcast live from Rosa’s Lounge as they did the week between the governor issued his original stay-at-home order, which saw concert halls as non-essential businesses. She reached out to a board member of the Chicago Independent Venue League, known as CIVL, and in one afternoon the group, which represents 34 locations across the city, approved the idea. Willenson then moved to the governor’s office.

“I worked with the office of Deputy Governor Dan Hynes,” said Willenson. “I don’t usually live in this industry. I specialize in workplace and gender discrimination cases. But I am a lawyer, I can write. I helped polish the language that ended up in the DCEO FAQ document.

CIVL recently joined forces with a new organization of more than 1,000 sites across the country, the National Independent Venue Association, or NIVA. Together, they hope to share with policymakers the specific needs and concerns of their community during the pandemic.

“The initial commands were blunt instruments,” Willenson said. “No one disputes the need for us to close for reasons of public safety. But we should not be dealing with a blunt instrument when it comes to reopening. We want it to be a participatory process rather than transmission from above. Independent concert halls are different from theaters or the Symphony Center. There are so many details to think about that will not be taken into account if we are not at the table.

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Sale of goods at record speed Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:16 +0000
Homes are selling at record speed as Australia’s supercharged real estate boom continues. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gérard

Australian residential properties are selling at record speeds when they are scarce, with the average number of days homes listed on a popular website hit record highs in every state in March.

According to the latest monthly housing metrics report from owner REA Group, homes were listed for 48 days on average last month, up from around 60 days in January and 71 days in June of the year. last.

The fastest selling properties in ACT – where demand has been supported by growth in public sector employment – just 25 days.

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Closely followed was NSW (27 days) and Victoria (30 days).

The REA Group says the average number of views per ad has also increased, with each state setting records in March.

Nationally, ad views increased 6.1% on the month and 106.8% year-on-year.

With borrowing costs at record highs, buyers are looking for larger, more expensive properties like this in Alderley, Brisbane.  Photo: Lyndon Mechielsen / The Australian
With borrowing costs at record highs, buyers are looking for larger, more expensive properties like this in Alderley, Brisbane. Photo: Lyndon Mechielsen / The Australian

Report author, economist Anne Flaherty, says the skyrocketing growth could be attributed to factors such as record borrowing costs, government support programs for first-time homebuyers, and stock on hand. limit.

“Driven by low rates, buyers are looking for more expensive properties than a year ago,” Ms. Flaherty said.

“They are also looking for more space, with demands for housing and an increase in land, while the demand for units has softened.”

The report suggests that trends are changing, with more listings expected to hit the market in the spring and fall, which are traditionally the most popular times of the year to sell, while investor activity steadily increases.

Investors accounted for nearly 17% of website email inquiries last month, up from 11% in a low in June, when first-time homebuyers’ inquiries peaked.

Ms Flaherty said first-time homebuyers’ demands tended to decline and are expected to continue to decline for the remainder of the year due to rising prices and reduced government support programs such as HomeBuilder and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.

Homes are selling at record speeds due to the shortage.  Photo: Lukas Coch / AAP
Homes are selling at record speeds due to the shortage. Photo: Lukas Coch / AAP

The latest CoreLogic home value data released last week confirmed that Australia was in the midst of a housing boom, showing that domestic residential property prices jumped 2.8% last month – the highest rate in 32 years – to reach new records.

At the same time, data released by the Real Estate Institute of Australia showed that house prices had climbed more than 500% over the past 25 years, with the median price dropping from $ 160,000 in 1996 to $ 825,000. in 2020.

Chairman Adrian Kelly also said investors were reappearing in response to a rising market, with new growth expectations and low borrowing costs.

But for tenants, the bad news continues to arrive, with the moratoriums on rental evictions caused by the pandemic ending last week and many landlords immediately raising rents.

In Perth, where the rental vacancy rate was just 1% in February, evicted tenants called affordable housing advocacy group ShelterWA for help in the thousands.

* The largest shareholder of REA Group is the owner of this stock, News Corp


Rebecca Le May has been a journalist for over 20 years, including 13 years as a reporter and bureau chief for AAP in Perth. She started her career as a financial journalist, then turned to general information, c …

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Epic Games’ new recruit has investors asking questions Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:03 +0000

Fortnite prints money for Epic Games, and we’re not talking about V-bucks. According to NielsenSuperData, the video game research company of, Fortnite topped $ 1.8 billion in revenue in 2019 and was the highest grossing game that year. Final numbers are likely to be even higher in 2020, as has been reported Fortnite grossed $ 400 million in April alone due to the pandemic.

The success of Fortnite catapulted founder and CEO Tim Sweeney onto the Forbes List of world’s billionaires with an estimated net worth of over $ 5 billion. It’s understandable that many of them are hoping the stock will debut on the public market soon, and pay close attention to any corporate action that could signify an upcoming IPO or PSPC.

That’s why a recent hiring for the company raises eyebrows.

Image source: Getty Images.

An epic hire for investor relations

The new recruit has sparked a media feeding frenzy. Bloomberg Technology columnist Tae Kim first noticed that the private company had hired an investor relations specialist. This was surprising because, to date, Epic Games has used its discretion in its rounds and has chosen to take money from strategic investors rather than purely financial backers.

Conversely, an investment relations specialist tends to be a hire for SOEs, as the role frequently communicates with purely financial backers such as hedge and mutual fund managers and others. large buyers of public stocks. The unsurprising assumption regarding this hire was that Epic Games planned to follow its video game counterpart Roblox by going public.

As a private company, Epic Games has no obligation to disclose funding information, but press releases and other publicly available data confirm that the company has only taken three rounds of funding since 2012. In total, Epic has raised $ 3.4 billion in funding, with the August 2020 increase of $ 1.75 billion being the largest.

In the last round of funding, Epic Games had a post-money valuation of $ 17.3 billion. Millennial Money has a deeper dive on Stock Epic Gamesincluding which public company owns 40% of Epic Games which you can buy right now!

Epic Games are changing their tone … slightly

An Epic Games spokesperson responded to a request from video game fan site Shacknews regarding the rental of IR:

It’s quite common for companies our size to hire people to help broaden and deepen relationships with existing investors and build new relationships. Epic always monitors the market and is ready to consider opportunities as they arise, but for now, our focus is on investing in our business, executing our opportunities, and creating value for our investors.

Epic Games might consider this a fairly common rental, but the rest of the communication represents a light change in tone from Sweeney’s long-term catch-all response that the company has no plans to go public.

If Epic Games decides to go public, chances are the company will be one of the hottest IPOs in 2021. Fortnite has become a cultural rite of passage and is quickly becoming a lifestyle brand for its massive base of 350 million users. Last year rapper Travis Scott made $ 20 million for a 9-minute digital concert to Fortnite.

For a breakdown of fundraising rounds, backers, and an in-depth look at the risks and potential opportunities of this high interest video game stock, check out the Stock Epic Games deep dive into Millennial Money.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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SBA Extends Tropical Storm Isaias Disaster Loan Application Deadline Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:46 +0000

The US Small Business Administration has announced a second extension of the April 19 application deadline for businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits, landlords and tenants to apply for a physical disaster loan to pay. damage from Tropical Storm Isaias on August 4, 2020.

Anyone in the counties declared in Pennsylvania with storm damage must apply for the Disaster Loan Program.

The extension is in response to a letter from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on March 15. The statement covers the counties of Berks and Philadelphia, and the adjacent counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery and Schuylkill in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden and Gloucester in New Jersey.

Businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $ 2 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets damaged or destroyed by a disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations, the SBA offers economic disaster loans to help meet the working capital needs caused. by disaster.

Economic disaster loan assistance is available whether or not the business has suffered property damage.

Disaster loans up to $ 200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace real estate damaged or destroyed by a disaster. Homeowners and tenants are eligible for loans of up to $ 40,000 to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed by a disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3% for businesses, 2.75% for nonprofits, and 1.188% for landlords and tenants, with terms of up to 30 years. The amounts and terms of the loan are set by the SBA and are based on the financial status of each applicant.

Applicants may be eligible for a loan increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damage, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Qualifying mitigation upgrades may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain, or retaining wall to help protect the property and occupants from future damage from a similar disaster.

Applicants can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) through the SBA’s secure website at

Businesses and individuals can also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing), or by sending an email to DisasterCustomerService @ sba .gov.

Loan applications can also be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to: US Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The new deadline for submitting property damage claims is April 19, 2021. The deadline for returning economic damage claims is September 20, 2021.

Article also available in:
Spanish (Spanish)

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Malaysian banks’ recovery pace will be faster than regional counterparts, Moody’s says Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:24 +0000

KUALA LUMPUR (April 8): Moody’s Investors Service said in a report today that the asset quality of Malaysia’s largest banks has been more resilient to coronavirus-induced economic disruptions than their peers in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

This resilience, coupled with strong capital and liquidity buffers, will allow Malaysian banks to restore profitability faster than their regional counterparts, she said in a statement.

Moody’s analyst Li Tengfu said that despite the economic shock triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the asset quality of Malaysia’s largest banks remains strong, thanks to their greater focus on retail loans which are broadly secured, well regulated and backed by numerous financial assets. .

According to Moody’s, Malaysia’s largest banks have the smallest share of lending under regulatory relief programs compared to their regional peers (see the table). Loans under regulatory relief programs for Malaysia’s largest banks are mainly mortgages and secured auto loans, he added.

In contrast, loans covered by regulatory support measures in other countries are those primarily exposed to companies that have experienced a direct impact on cash flow and do not provide such liquid collateral, Moody’s said.

“This better asset quality will help Malaysian banks restore profitability faster than their peers, as the relatively lower risk of their assets will prevent them from having to maintain provisions as high as their peers.

“In addition, banks’ capital and liquidity buffers – although not as high as those of their peers – are still strong and sufficient to cover any potential financial stress,” he said.

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150-year-old, long-vacant Sleeping Bear Inn to restore as a B&B Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:01 +0000

GLEN HAVEN, MICH. – A long-shuttered border inn that once carried loggers and dockworkers could come back to life as a bed and breakfast at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Park officials today announced the National Park Service’s intention to lease the historic Sleeping Bear Inn and Garage in Glen Haven to the nonprofit Balancing Environment and Rehabilitation, known as BEAR, for catering to a first-rate B&B.

Built around 1865, the inn first offered accommodation to business travelers and local workers before evolving into a tourist hotel. An apartment on the second floor of the two-story inn even briefly housed DH Day, namesake of one of Sleeping Bear’s campgrounds and original owner of the iconic White Barn visible from the park’s Dune Climb. The hostel has been closed since the mid-1970s; meanwhile, his two-story garage built in the 1920s served as storage for the park.

“We were looking for someone willing to invest in the hostel, and we think we’re having a great game with BEAR,” Superintendent Scott Tucker said in a statement. “The lease will preserve both buildings and allow for a better visitor experience in the historic village of Glen Haven. “

According to the press release, BEAR will have to make substantial investments to rehabilitate the buildings and bring them up to standard. The organization will also work closely with the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Lakeshore for the operations of the inn.

Chief Ranger Phil Akers, who has been working to find a tenant for the historic site for nearly a decade, said the hostel plans to have seven rooms on the second floor and one on the first floor accessible by l ‘ADA. The second floor of the garage will be converted into two guest suites, he said.

A property appraisal will be done this year to determine the fair market value of the rent before finalizing the lease. Renovations will begin after the lease is finalized, Akers said, with the goal of opening the hostel to the public sometime in 2022.

To learn more about Sleeping Bear Inn and its history, visit

A photo of the hostel taken as part of the Library of Congress’s investigation of historic American buildings. Photo via Library of Congress

Sleeping Bear Inn Garage

A photo of the historic garage, via the Library of Congress.

Sleeping Bear Inn Garage

The Inn’s garage in 2016. Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive News

Sleeping Bear Inn

The historic Glen Haven Cannery, viewed from the Inn. Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive News


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1 dead, 2 seriously injured after 3 vehicle crash in St. Clair County Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:36:23 +0000

TOWNSHIP OF BURTCHVILLE, MI – The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a three-vehicle crash that left one dead and two people hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The accident happened around 6:40 p.m. on Sunday, February 21 at the 6500 block of Lakeshore Road in Burtchville Township, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department. Burtchville Township is located approximately 12 miles north of Port Huron in St. Clair County.

A 1997 Ford F150 pickup truck was heading north on Lakeshore Road when the driver attempted to overtake a pickup truck pulling a trailer into a no-way zone, the sheriff’s department’s preliminary investigation said, the press release said. . While attempting to overtake the truck with a trailer, the F150 collided head-on with a 2014 Lincoln in a southerly direction.

The collision then resulted in a second collision with the northbound pickup pulling the trailer, the statement said.

The driver of the Ford F150, a 19-year-old man from Croswell and his passenger, an 18-year-old woman from Croswell, were transported to McLaren Port Huron and transferred to McLaren Macomb with life-threatening injuries. The 19-year-old driver died of his injuries in hospital.

The driver of the Lincoln, a 39-year-old woman from Port Huron, was also transported to McLaren Port Huron and later to McLaren Macomb where she is being treated for serious injuries, the statement said. Her 11-year-old child sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene of the accident.

The driver and passenger of the van pulling a trailer sustained minor injuries and were also treated on the spot, according to the sheriff’s department.

Lakeshore Road was closed for several hours during the investigation and was reopened at 11 p.m. The St. Clair County Accident Investigation Team is continuing the investigation. The names of those involved are currently being kept pending notification from the family.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s Officers Investigation Division were assisted at the scene by Tri Hospital EMS, the Burtchville Township Fire Department and the County Road Commission of St. Clair.

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Are you stressing out about politics and COVID-19? A psychologist offers advice on how to stay calm Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:43 +0000

Stress can come from a myriad of different sources in our lives. But right now, not only is the coronavirus pandemic dragging on, but the division ahead of the next election is putting many of us on edge.

Lindsay Volpe-Bertram, Section Head of Psychology at Spectrum health, described 2020 as a roller coaster of stress and anxiety – and no one knows when that feeling might end.

She pointed out the American Psychological Association October 2020 Stress Survey, which showed that 68% of participants indicated that the presidential election is a major source of stress.

But COVID-19 has beaten that number. Volpe-Bertram said recent data shows that 78% of Americans have indicated that the pandemic is a major source of stress in their lives.

“Politics is a tenuous topic of discussion with families and friends, but it’s even more evident now amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Volpe-Bertram said. “Social distancing guidelines, mask warrants and scientific facts are politicized and challenged. Families and friends are divided.

“In our Spectrum Health community, we are seeing the increase in the number of COVID cases and the constant filling of our inpatient beds, with predictions that things will only get worse. “

Volpe-Bertram said that a key thing we need to remember to get through this time is that we should focus less on what we can’t control and prioritize what we can do to have an impact on our own environment.

All of this involves making the right choices. “We can do this by finding ways to safely connect with our support systems (follow distancing guidelines), using our voice (VOTE !!), being vigilant enough (wash your hands and wear your mask) and finding ways to show gratitude for the good that has been and is present in our lives. We need to take care of ourselves and our community. “

Below, Volpe-Bertram shares some tips for controlling your stress level:

  • Watch yourself. How much time do you spend online? How do others respond to you in political / COVID conversations? Does Media Consumption Make You Feel Better or Worse? Are there healthier ways to spend your time? If you find that your mood is worse, that you are not bouncing the way you want, consider seeing a therapist. Teletherapy services are readily available locally and throughout the state of Michigan. Once you’ve selected an office, just ask if they offer virtual tours or phone tours.
  • Monitor media exposure by staying educated, but setting limits. Have downtime where you log out completely: turn off your phone and go. Take social media breaks.
  • Consider the usefulness of anxiety. This is helpful to a point with planning, but after that continued worry is a waste of time and energy. It doesn’t stop things from happening, but it takes away the ability to stay in the moment. Know how you are going to handle the situations and the guidelines you will follow, then redirect your attention to other things. Stay aware of what you can and cannot control.
  • Practice mindfulness by refocusing on the present. Pay attention to the sensory information (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste) that surrounds you. We are often so caught up in what has happened in the past or what will happen in the present that we lose sight of what is in front of us. There are many apps, such as Headspace or Calm, that offer guided mindfulness techniques to get you started.
  • Use your voice and take action — be sure to vote. Consider volunteering, donating, and / or advocating for the cause that matters to you. Chat with family and friends about how to stay safe and share facts rather than speculation.
  • Connect with the people who are important to you and set boundaries with your conversations. Take a break from policy / COVID discussions, or agree to only do so for a short time. Follow the recommended precautions for social distancing and work on your virtual resources! If that’s not an option, consider other means of connection (phone, letters).
  • Self-care: Turn off your devices an hour or two before bedtime. Instead, choose a calm and calming activity. Read a non-stressful book, watch something funny on TV. Stay consistent while eating, exercising, and engaging in enjoyable activities.
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Greystone and HAND Housing Partner to Bring Financing Solutions to BIPOC Developers in the Mid Atlantic Region Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:41 +0000

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NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, April 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Gray stone, a leading national commercial real estate finance company, and the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND), the capital region’s premier member association advocating for the production and preservation of affordable housing, they’ve thrown Equity in action, a partnership to increase access to working capital for real estate developers and investors in the Black, Indigenous and Colored (BIPOC) community. As part of an exclusive benefit to HAND, BIPOC developers will have direct access to consulting and financing solutions for the construction, refinancing, recapitalization and acquisition of affordable housing, including access to Greystone’s # 1 ranked FHA lending platform.

Through education, engagement and regional advocacy, HAND strengthens the capacity of its collective of cross-sector members to support the development of equitable communities for individuals and families at all income levels. As HAND’s premier financial partner, Greystone will deliver tailored solutions for the creation and preservation of collective housing and community development projects, accelerating both opportunities and access for HAND’s membership base. Additional benefits for members include strategic reviews of CRE’s portfolio, restructuring advisory services and expertise on Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and affordable housing bond financing solutions.

Mid-Atlantic Focus tackles immediate regional affordability crisis

According to recently launched HAND Housing indicator tool, the DC region created only 12% of the new affordable units that the Urban Institute said are needed by 2030 to meet demand.

“In Washington and surrounding Maryland and Virginia, the affordability crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic and economic setbacks. Add to this that black and brown real estate developers still face the barrier of basic access to the capital needed to execute their community revitalization plans, ”said Heather Raspberry, Executive Director of HAND. “We are happy to partner with Gray stone to provide a membership benefit designed to increase opportunities for the BIPOC community as well as to increase awareness and education of the options available in the institutional market.

“Greystone is delivering on its commitment to help reduce barriers to access to capital for communities of color and beyond, and we are focused on bringing the benefits of our debt and equity solutions to the groups who do.” need them most, ”said Steve Rosenberg, Founder and CEO of Greystone. “HAND’s membership is aligned with our own mission of preserving and creating affordable housing they desperately need, and we are delighted to create a direct access point for them to benefit from financing and advisory services for help them achieve their goals. We hope that this partnership with HAND will serve as a model to create access to finance for other BIPOC commercial borrowing communities nationwide. “

About GreystoneGreystone is a national private commercial real estate finance company with an established reputation as a leader in multi-family and healthcare finance, having been ranked among the top lenders by FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in these sectors. Loans are offered by Greystone Servicing Company LLC, Greystone Funding Company LLC and / or other companies affiliated with Greystone. For more information visit

About MAIN Founded in 1991, HAND is a nonprofit of more than 450 organizations working in the private, public and nonprofit sectors to collaborate in the production and preservation of affordable housing in the Baltimore Capital Region. , Washington and Richmond. Through education, engagement and regional advocacy, HAND strengthens the capacity of its diverse members to support the development of sustainable communities for individuals and families at all income levels. Visit to learn more about HAND’s efforts to build vibrant communities across the metro area.


Source: Gray stone

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