first_img“The drop in CPO [crude palm oil] price throughout 2019 has affected the company’s performance,” said Astra Agro president director Santosa in a statement on Wednesday after holding an annual shareholders meeting.The company, which manages 286,877 hectares of palm oil plantation in three provinces, reported it had faced difficulties last year as the CPO price had fallen to a record low of $497 per ton at the start of the second half of the year.Last year’s prolonged dry season and the El Nino climate phenomenon had also affected the company’s output.However, the recent spike in the CPO price and the government’s mandatory B30 blended biodiesel program has restored the company’s optimism. Read also: Coronavirus drags down commodity prices as demand from China dropsAstra Agro booked Rp 371.06 billion in revenue in the January to March period, a dramatic 892 percent increase year-on-year.“The positive performance in the first quarter of 2020 is evidence of our operational excellence and cost efficiency,” Santosa said.In the first quarter of the year, the company’s production of fresh fruit brunches dropped 8.5 percent to 1.1 million tons, while its CPO production decreased 14.6 percent to 354 tons due to unfavorable weather conditions. It, however, managed to raise its olein output by around 21 percent to 101,100 tons.“The weather affected the production of fresh fruit brunches in the first quarter of the year,” said Santosa.While many non-essential businesses were temporarily shut down, Astra Agro Lestari continued its plantation and factory operations according to COVID-19 protocols. Only its office employees have worked from home since March in compliance with stay-at-home orders.“We have developed a digitization program over the past three years so it is not difficult to  operate the plantation amid this pandemic,” said Santosa.Read also: Indonesia’s palm oil exports drop 19% in first two monthsDuring the shareholders meeting, the company also made a change in leadership. Johannes Loman, who currently serves as a director at conglomerate PT Astra International, replaced Djony Bunarto Tjondro as a commissioner at Astra Agro. Ari Dono Sukmanto, a former acting National Police chief between late October and early November, joined the board as an independent commissioner.Shares of Astra Agro, traded on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) with the code AALI, dropped 3.37 percent on Wednesday while the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) fell 2.27 percent. The stocks have lost more than 17 percent of their value in the last year, Bloomberg data show.Topics : Publicly listed palm oil company PT Astra Agro Lestari announced Wednesday that it would spend 45 percent of last year’s profit, around Rp 94.95 billion (US$6.76 million) in dividends, rewarding its shareholders despite declining productivity.The company, which is a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate PT Astra International, will pay a lower dividend per share of Rp 49 compared to Rp 336 in 2019 as its revenue fell 8.5 percent to Rp 17.45 trillion last year.Read also: Astra steps on the brakes as car demand crasheslast_img

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first_imgThey referred to concerns raised in 2017 by Jane Hutton, a professor of statistics at Warwick University and member of USS’ trustee board. According to a report earlier this month in the Financial Times, Hutton claimed she was frustrated in her attempts to analyse and address concerns over the 2017 valuation, and has raised a whistle-blower complaint with the Pensions Regulator (TPR).“The trustees have a fiduciary duty to act in the interests of scheme members,” the letter stated. “A board member, with expertise in statistics, raised serious concerns about the quality of the evidence and analysis being presented to the board.“How were these concerns addressed and investigated by the board of trustees? Did the rest of the trustees investigate these claims adequately and act in the interests of scheme members?“If the trustees or the USS executive are unable to act in the interests of scheme members, then they should resign. If the employer- and union-appointed trustees are failing to act in the interests of scheme members, then it is the responsibility of UUK and of the UCU to replace the trustees.”The academics said an inquiry was “urgently needed” in order to assess the pension fund’s statements and conduct regarding the valuation, as well as that of the trustees and TPR. “It would be appropriate for a select committee of parliament to investigate,” the letter stated.The Work and Pensions Committee, a cross-party group of MPs from the UK parliament’s lower house, have previously taken an interest in USS. Frank Field, the committee’s chair, wrote to USS chief executive Bill Galvin in 2017 demanding answers regarding the scheme’s reported £12.6bn deficit. More than 1,000 UK-based academics have demanded that the government launch an inquiry into governance arrangements at the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).In an open letter published in the Financial Times today, signed by 1,012 academic staff from 68 universities, the signatories claimed the behaviour of USS’ trustee board and executive regarding its 2017 valuation had “brought the scheme into disrepute”.The valuation led to a decision to close the defined benefit (DB) section, prompting nationwide strikes and resulting in an as yet unresolved stand off between the University and College Union (UCU) and the employers’ representative body, Universities UK (UUK).In the letter, the academics raised “issues of concern over the governance” of USS, which at more than £64bn (€72bn) is the UK’s largest funded DB scheme.last_img

first_imgZamil Offshore Services and UTEC, an Acteon company, have formed a strategic partnership to execute offshore survey projects in Saudi Arabia.UTEC said on Tuesday that the partnership brings together its offshore survey experience and Zamil Offshore’s marine and offshore operations experience as well as local knowledge.UTEC established its presence in the region 18 months ago and now employs 20 onshore and offshore personnel in its office in Abu Dhabi. As for work in Saudi Arabia, the company worked on providing positioning equipment and construction support for pipelay and jacket installation operations since March 2017.On the other hand, Zamil Offshore owns and operates one of the largest support vessel fleets in the Middle East and is active in the offshore construction industry.Stuart Cameron, UTEC CEO, said: “We’ve experienced rapid growth since moving into the region last year and with our new office in Abu Dhabi we are set up to increase support to our clients’ survey requirements.“We have seen an increase in potential work opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we expect this to continue going forward. The partnership is the first step in our strategy to increase our presence and contribution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”Sufyan Al Zamil, Zamil Offshore president, said: “The partnership is strategic to Zamil Offshore as we continue to diversify our service offerings to our clients. Surveying services add a competitive edge to Zamil Offshore and is a sensible continuation of our current services in the marine and offshore construction segments, where synergies will be apparent. We foresee a great opportunity in this growing market, and we plan on investing in its localization.”last_img

first_imgThe killers then boarded a motorcycle and sped away. Cuadra was supposed to visit his wife at the hospital; she had a stroke. Police recovered a total of seven empty shells of a .45-caliber pistol from the crime scene. Cuadra had just exited his pick-up truck and was heading to the Riverside Medical Center Saturday afternoon when two gunmen shot him seven times, said Police Station 2 chief Major Sherlock Gabana. The younger Cuadra was arrested on May 2016 after police discovered P1.5 million worth of illegal drugs and firearms at his house in Barangay 1. However, he was released in September of the same year after posting bail./PN BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA According to the police, 43-year-old Gerald Cuadra of 24th Street Calamba, Barangay 1 was also a suspected drug personality. The younger Cuadra was the son of convicted drug lord Jose Kim “Boy” Cuadra who is currently serving a life sentence for drug trafficking at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila. BACOLOD City – The son of a convicted drug lord was shot to death by unidentified motorcycle-riding gunmen in Purok Sibuyas, Barangay 5 here.last_img

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