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Middle Eastern Financier Buys Danish Ship Finance

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Middle Eastern Financier Buys Danish Ship Finance

UAE-based investment firm Magellan Group has purchased a majority stake in Danish Ship Finance, a landmark financial institution based in Copenhagen. The price paid was about $750 million, Magellan told Bloomberg. 

Danish Ship Finance was founded in 1961 to provide mortgage financing for the shipping industry, with backing from Denmark’s national bank and a consortium of shipping interests. It originally focused on financing Danish-built and Danish-owned vessels, but as the work of shipbuilding moved overseas, it broadened its portfolio to include a range of international ships. It is known for its focus on blue-chip shipowning clients, and it takes a conservative “low-risk” approach to lending. Its current loan book covers more than 600 ships, and is valued at $5 billion. It was purchased in 2016 by a consortium of Scandinavian interests, including a private equity company and two pension funds; these owners have been looking to sell the firm since 2022, and that effort has now concluded with the sale of a 90 percent stake to Magellan (subject to regulatory approval). 

Magellan has its roots in Zakher Marine International (ZMI), an offshore oil and gas service company that provides OSVs, jackup barges, anchor handlers and other vessels to the energy industry in the Mideast. It has a fleet of about two dozen jackups and three dozen offshore vessels. ZMI’s founder sold this business to UAE oil and gas company Adnoc two years ago, and is now buying Danish Ship Finance with the proceeds. 

“What we want to do is see how we can help grow the business, whether it’s adding advisory, adding syndications, helping build up on the client roster,” Magellan CIO Ahmed Omar told Bloomberg. 

The core lending business has been slowing, at least temporarily, according to Danish Ship Finance. The company posted its third-highest net profit ever in 2023, bringing in $118 million. It raised $540 million in new A-rated bond financing, improved its climate alignment performance, and brought in ten new clients. However, in an environment of strong shipowner earnings, its customers have been paying down their mortgages ahead of schedule. Danish Ship Finance has offset the decline in interest income and secured additional profits through its investment activities, which brought in $50 million in pre-tax income last year. 

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In addition to its robust balance sheet, Danish Ship Finance is known for its ambitious climate goals. Its aim is to have the majority of its lending linked to sustainable shipping by the end of 2024, and after 2025, it will only lend to customers who are “actively engaged in the sustainable transition.”

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Inside the bill that oculd change the future of campaign finance, NC politics

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Inside the bill that oculd change the future of campaign finance, NC politics

A bill on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk limits mask use during protests and would loosen state campaign finance laws.

Web Editor : Mark Bergin
Reporter : Laura Leslie
Photographer : Jendaya Fleming

Posted 2024-06-12T19:35:13-0400 – Updated 2024-06-12T19:35:13-0400

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Senate Finance Committee Releases Excoriating Investigation of Abuse in At-Risk Youth Industry

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Senate Finance Committee Releases Excoriating Investigation of Abuse in At-Risk Youth Industry

After years of facing criticism for wrongdoing and mistreatment of patients, the at-risk youth industry was blasted in a report released on Wednesday by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

The report and communications from the committee chairman, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), conclude that systemic harm and abuse are “routine” parts of the at-risk youth industry. It delves into specific incidents at facilities owned and/or operated by some of the industry’s most prominent players: Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS), Acadia Healthcare Co. Inc. (Nasdaq: ACHC), Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health and Vivant Behavioral Healthcare.

“The harms, abuses, and indignities children in [residential treatment facilities] have experienced and continue to experience today occur inevitably and by design: they are the direct causal result of a business model that has incentive to treat children as payouts and provide less than adequate safety and behavioral health treatment in order to maximize operating and profit margin,” the report states.

The presentation of the report also enlisted the support of socialite and media personality Paris Hilton, a staunch critic and self-described survivor of the at-risk youth industry. The Senate Finance Committee also hosted a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the report’s findings.

Hilton, Wyden, the report itself and several others call on Congress to act.

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“Providers will continue to operate this model because it’s good business, unless there is some bold intervention,” the report states.

Wyden’s Republican counterpart, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo, also called for reforms. In a statement, Crapo said that the report’s findings were “deeply disturbing” and that “chronic patterns of failure must not go unnoticed or unaddressed.” 

The report finds that understaffing, restraints (both physical and chemical), poor care and a general lack of oversight within and of residential treatment facilities were typical for the industry.

The action contemplated by the report and the Senate Finance Committee centers on elevated scrutiny of the industry and the role of government payers supporting these operations. The report and proceedings focus on what they call residential treatment facilities, which focus on providing care to children on a long-term basis.

The Senate Finance Committee report’s recommendations are summarized into three points: ensuring safe and dignified treatment in home-like settings, government prioritization of community-based services and more effective oversight of standards of and funding for facilities. These three specific recommendations should be taken up by Congress, the report states.

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It calls on state governments to use existing authority to favor community-based services, calling many states’ historic reliance on residential treatment facilities inappropriate, and to “ramp up their oversight capabilities for youth in both in-state and out-of-state facilities.”

The report also calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure that violations of so-called “Olmstead” standards are addressed within the at-risk youth industry. These provisions require that people be treated for severe conditions in the least restrictive setting possible.

“After reading it (the report), I honestly have never felt so seen and heard: it validates everything that I’ve been fighting for over the past four years,” Hilton said in a video statement released Wednesday morning. “As a survivor, please do something. I am begging you to protect your constituents before it’s too late.”

The committee meeting featured subject matter experts who testified before the Senate Finance Committee. Wyden said during his prepared remarks that Marc Miller, the CEO of UHS, was invited to participate in the meeting and that UHS was invited to engage with the committee’s investigators. UHS and Miller declined to do so; Miller was listed as a witness in notices for the meeting but did not attend.

On top of the recent public pillorying, Acadia Healthcare and UHS have seen substantial financial ramifications for abuses recognized by the courts at their facilities.

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In July 2023, a jury ruled against Acadia Healthcare in a civil lawsuit involving sexual abuse of a minor at a now-defunct facility that totaled $405 million. In October 2023, Acadia agreed to pay $400 million to settle three cases related to abuse at the facility.

In April, a court ruled against UHS to the tune of $535 million over an incident involving a child sexually abusing another child at a facility in Champaign, Illinois.

The report adds what some call “headline risk” to a modality of care that is replacing wilderness therapy. For example, Chandler, Arizona-based Embark Behavioral Health, a sizable care provider in the at-risk youth segment, is abandoning wilderness therapy altogether in hopes of transitioning these businesses into residential treatment facilities and investing more in outpatient offerings.

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EGP 60bn disbursed to exporters since October 2019: Egypt's Finance Minister – Dailynewsegypt

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EGP 60bn disbursed to exporters since October 2019: Egypt's Finance Minister – Dailynewsegypt

Egypt has disbursed EGP 60bn in export support to companies since October 2019, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Tuesday.

In the latest round of disbursements, 360 companies received EGP 5bn under the seventh phase of the immediate cash payment initiative. This phase is expected to be completed by August, with payments made in instalments.

“The government is committed to securing the necessary funding for programmes that stimulate economic activity, particularly those supporting the industrial sector and export activities,” Maait said. He added that EGP 40.5bn has been allocated in the next fiscal year’s budget for these purposes, including EGP 23bn specifically for export support.

Nevine Mansour, advisor to the Deputy Minister for Financial Policies and Institutional Development, explained that financial settlements would be made between exporters’ support dues and the dues of state agencies, such as taxes, customs, electricity, and natural gas.

Mansour highlighted the successful collaboration with the banking sector, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Export Development Fund in implementing the immediate cash payment initiative.

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The seventh phase of the initiative will follow the same controls as previous phases, with a 15% discount on the accelerated payment rate for shipments before June 30, 2021, and an 8% discount for shipments between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. No discount will be applied for shipments after July 1, 2022.

The export support is being disbursed through the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, and the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBank).

 

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