Strengthening CALC’s Aircraft Full Life-Cycle Solutions
CALC (the “Group”, SEHK stock code: 01848), a full value-chain aircraft solutions provider for global airlines, is pleased to announce that Asia’s first large-scale aircraft recycling facility, China Aircraft Recycling Remanufacturing Base (the “Base”), owned by Aircraft Recycling International Limited (“ARI”), a member company of the Group, has formally commenced operation today.
The Base is equipped with modern facilities and devices that utilize advanced technology. These consist of various systems for aircraft maintenance, conversion, dissembling, installation of aircraft parts, as well as aircraft materials management and sales. The Base covers seven areas of business operation, including aircraft purchasing, selling, leasing, dissembling, replacing, conversion and maintenance, providing dynamic aircraft recycling solutions to airlines, MROs, lessors, as well as manufacturers and distributors of aircraft materials.
Around 200 people joined the launch ceremony, including municipal and provincial officials from Heilongjiang, together with senior representatives from ARI’s shareholders CALC, China Everbright Limited, Friedmann Pacific Asset Management Limited and Sky Cheer International. They were also joined by other leaders from various sectors in the aviation industry. During the event, participants shared their views on the prospects of and development opportunities within the aircraft recycling and remanufacturing industry.
Mr. Hao Huilong, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Provincial Committee, said, “Heilongjiang’s solid industrial foundation, cutting-edge technology, professional experts, and favorable policies play a significant strategic role in the strategic development of the aircraft recycling industry. The Base’s commencement of operations not only capitalizes on the rapid growth of the civil aviation market and the opportunities arising from industrial consolidation, but also promotes international collaborations within the industry. Furthermore, it facilitates the development of a wide range of related sectors, such as new materials, electronics, telecommunications, energy and high-end equipment manufacturing. All in all, it helps create a new pillar for Heilongjiang’s industrial development and provide strong support to the traditional heavy industry in Northeastern China.”
China Aircraft Recycling Remanufacturing Base is located on the south side of China’s Harbin Taiping International Airport. It has a gross floor area of 300,000 sqm. With the construction of Phase I completed, the Base has had an effective handling capacity of 20 aircraft per year. It has China’s largest bonded warehouse for aircraft parts. Its hangar can hold three narrow-body aircraft simultaneously or one wide-body aircraft and one narrow-body aircraft together. When an aircraft enters the Base, it is placed under visualized management throughout all procedures, including dissembling, maintenance and recycling, free from hazards. The Base adopts optimized techniques to minimize energy consumption and execute the recycle and reuse of aircraft materials and parts to participate in the green recycling economy with added value. The Base will also improve the development of various industries in China, including aviation materials’ recycling and reuse, and aircraft parts maintenance.
Mr. LI Yuze, General Manager of China Aircraft Disassembly Centre, said, “Upon commencement of operation, the Base will complete the final link in China’s aerospace manufacturing value chain. As there are yet no comprehensive aircraft recycling and remanufacturing systems in China, aging aircraft are usually dissembled and disposed of by companies in Europe and the Americas, involving high costs and long waiting times. More and more civil aircraft in China are set to retire soon, offering extended market opportunities to the emerging aircraft recycling and remanufacturing industry. With our high standards and stringent technology requirements, the Base is set to become China’s leading platform of aging aircraft solutions with business presence in Greater China and Asia as a whole. We strive to maximize the value of used aircraft for our clients and set up a new growth pillar for the aviation industry chain.”
When the Base commences operation, the strategic portfolio of Aircraft Recycling International’s (ARI) business will also be further optimized. Its subsidiary in the US, Universal Asset Management Inc. (“UAM”), is a well-established operator with extensive experience in aviation asset management, high-tech aircraft disassembly, commercial aviation aftermarket solutions and extensive customer networks and relationships. The two companies synchronize and complement each other. By integrating the aircraft and engine leasing platform and aviation investment and financing platforms established by ARI, the two companies will work together to build the world’s most advanced aging aircraft solution platform.
With its comprehensive aging aircraft solutions, ARI will also further improve CALC’s aircraft full value-chain. CALC’s unique business model offers services covering an aircraft’s full life cycle to meet airlines’ fleet management requirements, including services for new aircraft, aging aircraft and aircraft coming to the end of their lives. By leveraging the comparative strength of their respective expertise, the synergy between CALC and ARI will optimize aircraft asset allocation effectively, as well as maximize their overall economic benefits.
Mr. CHEN Shuang, JP, Chairman of CALC, said, “Aircraft recycling is the natural extension of the aviation value chain. The Base is part of CALC’s major initiative to develop into a full value-chain aircraft solutions provider for the global aviation industry. Over the years, CALC has built an efficient capability for aircraft asset management, close partnerships with its aviation partners, and flexible and diversified financing resources. ARI’s swift and steady development in aging aircraft value chain will further enhance CALC’s diversified asset management capability, maximizing value for our aviation partners.”
Mr. Mike POON, Chief Executive Officer of ARI, said, “ARI is committed to customizing asset management solutions for aging aircraft. The operation of ARI’s aircraft recycling facility is bound to enhance our unique advantages in full-value chain by connecting the local and international aviation industries. Given the surging demand for aging aircraft management in the global aviation market, ARI will efficiently increase the residual value of aging aircraft by providing holistic solutions and completing a full value chain in each stage for aircraft, contributing to the global aviation industry’s sustainable development.”
Currently, ARI’s aircraft recycling base has been granted the Maintenance Certificate in compliance with CCAR-145-R3 required by the Civil Aviation Administration of China. The Base has been certified by the Civil Aviation Maintenance Association of China as a qualified Civil Aircraft Parts Distributor and obtained the Approval Certificate of Foreign-Funded Enterprises of the People’s Republic of China issued by the PRC Ministry of Commerce.
Teed off: As COVID fuels S. Africa’s housing crisis, golf courses feel the heat
By Kim Harrisberg
JOHANNESBURG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It sounds like a developer’s dream: A greenfield site in the heart of Cape Town, close to the best schools, hospitals and transport links and big enough to build more than 1,400 affordable new homes. The only hitch – it’s a golf course.
The 46-hectare (114-acre) Rondebosch Golf Club is one of hundreds of golf courses in South Africa facing scrutiny by land rights campaigners as a surge in evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic exposes an acute shortage of low-cost housing.
Rondebosch had its lease renewed by the city government late last year despite the presentation of some 1,830 objections by local housing rights group Ndifuna Ukwazi, which says turning golf courses over for homes is a way to tackle deep inequality.
“Using this land for the benefit of a few wealthy individuals at the expense of those in dire need of affordable housing is inefficient, unequal and unjust,” said Michael Clark, head of research and advocacy at Ndifuna Ukwazi.
Warnings by city officials that eviction is on the cards for occupiers of abandoned buildings, just months after Rondebosch’s lease was extended, have roused activists and sparked calls for cities to prioritise land use according to need.
“Golf courses occupy expansive tracts of land in well-located areas across cities,” said Edward Molopi, a researcher with the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), which uses litigation and advocacy to support human rights.
“South African cities face an acute need for affordable housing and this land can be used to address the problem,” Molopi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding that he knows of hundreds of housing evictions since lockdown began.
Nearly three decades after the end of white minority rule, South Africa remains one of the most unequal countries in the world, according to the World Bank, with urban areas still starkly divided along racial and class lines.
In other countries too, from South Korea to the United States, the swathes of green space needed for a round of golf have stirred debate around alternative uses for the land, whether apartment blocks, public parks or even vineyards.
‘NOT THE ONLY LAND’
But in South Africa, where tracts of land, including golf courses, were used as physical barriers to separate different racial groups during the apartheid regime, campaigners say repurposing such areas is key to achieving a fairer society.
Golf lovers have a choice of about 450 courses in South Africa, according to independent golf course ranking platform Top 100 Golf Courses.
They are easy to spot on a Google Maps view of the nation’s cities, many in close proximity to other golf courses, and also poorer neighbourhoods or townships.
But officials say finding space for affordable homes is more complex than repurposing golf courses.
Not all of the courses are publicly owned or suitable for residential use, said officials from the cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The sport also draws tourists and creates jobs, they added.
“Densification, diversification and inclusionary housing requirements in well-located parts of our cities is a more realistic approach,” said Nthatisi Modingoane, a spokesman for the city of Johannesburg.
Johannesburg’s Observatory golf course lies less than five kilometres (three miles) from Hillbrow, an inner-city suburb notorious for derelict, overcrowded buildings and crime.
People unable to afford rent end up there in “dark buildings” – properties seized by rogue landlords that offer crowded but cheap rooms, often without electricity.
“Since COVID, people need cheap rent, but if you don’t pay the landlords you get kicked out or … they kill you,” said Ethel Musonza, a housing activist who used to live in a dark building.
“There is a big need for people to be resettled in a safe place they can afford,” she added.
But the Observatory course sits on the site of an old ash dump, making it a poor site for residential construction, said club captain Simon Leventhorp.
“There is need for affordable houses but golf courses aren’t the only land available,” he said, adding that the club had a lower membership fee that other courses, making it a more inclusive space.
Some courses – like Rondebosch in Cape Town – do fit the bill for affordable housing, said Clark.
Golfers at the course can still enjoy views of the city’s famous Table Mountain from the greens, but authorities did add a two-year cancellation clause to the club’s lease if an alternative use of the land is identified.
Land used for community and recreational use, including golf courses, is currently being reviewed for possible residential sites, the city added.
In the meantime, land campaigners will continue to put pressure on state and city governments to “proactively intervene in housing markets”, said Molopi from SERI.
“This will be central to dismantling the ‘apartheid city’ and moving towards urban spatial justice,” Molopi said.
(Reporting by Kim Harrisberg @KimHarrisberg; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe
By David Milliken and William Schomberg
LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below zero later this year or in 2022 if a recovery in the economy disappoints, especially if there is persistent unemployment, policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said on Friday.
Vlieghe said he thought the likeliest scenario was that the economy would recover strongly as forecast by the central bank earlier this month, meaning a further loosening of monetary policy would not be needed.
Data published on Friday suggested the economy had stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown hit retailers last month, while businesses and consumers are hopeful a fast vaccination campaign will spur a recovery.
Vlieghe said in a speech published by the BoE that there was a risk of lasting job market weakness hurting wages and prices.
“In such a scenario, I judge more monetary stimulus would be appropriate, and I would favour a negative Bank Rate as the tool to implement the stimulus,” he said.
“The time to implement it would be whenever the data, or the balance of risks around it, suggest that the recovery is falling short of fully eliminating economic slack, which might be later this year or into next year,” he added.
Vlieghe’s comments are similar to those of fellow policymaker Michael Saunders, who said on Thursday negative rates could be the BoE’s best tool in future.
Earlier this month the BoE gave British financial institutions six months to get ready for the possible introduction of negative interest rates, though it stressed that no decision had been taken on whether to implement them.
Investors saw the move as reducing the likelihood of the BoE following other central banks and adopting negative rates.
Some senior BoE policymakers, such as Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden, believe that adding to the central bank’s 875 billion pounds ($1.22 trillion) of government bond purchases remains the best way of boosting the economy if needed.
Vlieghe underscored the scale of the hit to Britain’s economy and said it was clear the country was not experiencing a V-shaped recovery, adding it was more like “something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery.”
“I want to emphasise how far we still have to travel in this recovery,” he said, adding that it was “highly uncertain” how much of the pent-up savings amassed by households during the lockdowns would be spent.
By contrast, last week the BoE’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, likened the economy to a “coiled spring.”
Vlieghe also warned against raising interest rates if the economy appeared to be outperforming expectations.
“It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.
Higher interest rates were unlikely to be appropriate until 2023 or 2024, he said.
($1 = 0.7146 pounds)
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)
UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit
By William Schomberg and David Milliken
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month hit retailers, and business and consumers are hopeful the vaccination campaign will spur a recovery, data showed on Friday.
The IHS Markit/CIPS flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a survey of businesses, suggested the economy was barely shrinking in the first half of February as companies adjusted to the latest restrictions.
A separate survey of households showed consumers at their most confident since the pandemic began.
Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.
The central bank expects a strong subsequent recovery because of the COVID-19 vaccination programme – though policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said in a speech on Friday that the BoE could need to cut interest rates below zero later this year if unemployment stayed high.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due on Monday to announce the next steps in England’s lockdown but has said any easing of restrictions will be gradual.
Official data for January underscored the impact of the latest lockdown on retailers.
Retail sales volumes slumped by 8.2% from December, a much bigger fall than the 2.5% decrease forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and the second largest on record.
“The only good thing about the current lockdown is that it’s no way near as bad for the economy as the first one,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
The smaller fall in retail sales than last April’s 18% plunge reflected growth in online shopping.
BORROWING SURGE SLOWED IN JANUARY
There was some better news for finance minister Rishi Sunak as he prepares to announce Britain’s next annual budget on March 3.
Though public sector borrowing of 8.8 billion pounds ($12.3 billion) was the first January deficit in a decade, it was much less than the 24.5 billion pounds forecast in a Reuters poll.
That took borrowing since the start of the financial year in April to 270.6 billion pounds, reflecting a surge in spending and tax cuts ordered by Sunak.
The figure does not count losses on government-backed loans which could add 30 billion pounds to the shortfall this year, but the deficit is likely to be smaller than official forecasts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said.
Sunak is expected to extend a costly wage subsidy programme, at least for the hardest-hit sectors, but he said the time for a reckoning would come.
“It’s right that once our economy begins to recover, we should look to return the public finances to a more sustainable footing and I’ll always be honest with the British people about how we will do this,” he said.
Some economists expect higher taxes sooner rather than later.
“Big tax rises eventually will have to be announced, with 2022 likely to be the worst year, so that they will be far from voters’ minds by the time of the next general election in May 2024,” Samuel Tombs, at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.
Public debt rose to 2.115 trillion pounds, or 97.9% of gross domestic product – a percentage not seen since the early 1960s.
The PMI survey and a separate measure of manufacturing from the Confederation of British Industry, showing factory orders suffering the smallest hit in a year, gave Sunak some cause for optimism.
IHS Markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson, said the improvement in business expectations suggested the economy was “poised for recovery.”
However the PMI survey showed factory output in February grew at its slowest rate in nine months. Many firms reported extra costs and disruption to supply chains from new post-Brexit barriers to trade with the European Union since Jan. 1.
Vlieghe warned against over-interpreting any early signs of growth. “It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.
“We are experiencing something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery. We are clearly not experiencing a V-shaped recovery.”
($1 = 0.7160 pounds)
(Editing by Angus MacSwan and Timothy Heritage)
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