Month: April 2014


The PrivateBank Provides $8MM to Energes Services, LLC

April 30, 2014

Personal Financial Services

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The PrivateBank announced it has extended $8.0 million in credit facilities to Energes Services, LLC. Energes Services, LLC provides a variety of oilfield construction and maintenance services to exploration and production firms.

Energes Services, LLC, is a portfolio company of Arcade Capital, LLC and Vintage Capital Partners.

Founded in 2007, Arcade Partners, LLC is a West Hartford, Connecticut based private equity firm that considers seed investments as well as restructurings, special situations, buyouts and acquisitions.

Vintage Capital Partners, is an Orlando, Florida based operations-focused, private- and public-equity investor specializing in the aerospace and defense, manufacturing and consumer sectors.

The PrivateBank is a part of PrivateBancorp, Inc., and delivers customized business and personal financial services to middle-market companies, as well as business owners, executives, entrepreneurs and families in all of the markets and communities it serves. As of March 31, 2014, the company had 33 offices in 10 states and $14.3 billion in assets.


Hillsboro residents, business owners debate merits of proposed two-way grid …

April 30, 2014

Business

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The dozen or so people who attended a Hillsboro community meeting Monday night concerning the citys intention to convert downtown streets from one-way to two-way traffic brought plenty of opinions about the proposed change.

The long-discussed $2.5-million project would convert Main and Lincoln streets from First to Sixth avenues, and Second through Fifth avenues from Lincoln to Walnut streets to two-way streets. City officials and business owners think the change would slow down drivers who now speed past downtown establishments, bringing visibility and customers to the area.

The Hillsboro City Council will vote on the first reading of an ordinance approving the project on Tuesday, May 6. The second reading would be May 20.

It wouldnt be the first time Hillsboro has changed its downtown grid. In 1968, the city council voted to convert what was then a two-way grid to a one-way grid.

The reason that we went from two-way to one-way is because there was too much traffic, said Mark Clemons, the citys economic development director. Now, he said, Hillsboro has the opposite problem. Back then, the downtown area was the epicenter of the city, but as Hillsboro has grown, business centers have sprouted up elsewhere and downtown merchants have lost customers.

Now, downtown business owners feel that more congestion would be a good thing.

When theres one-way traffic, people feel a little bit more comfortable going a little bit faster, said Doug Johnson, the owner of the Hillsboro Pharmacy and Fountain on East Main Street.

Proponents of the project also say a two-way grid would be less confusing and would do a better job of attracting newcomers to businesses on side streets. They pointed to successes in Oregon City and Vancouver, Wash., where one-way grids were converted to two-way grids.

But others at the meeting such as 53-year Hillsboro resident Vernon Mock, a frequent patron of Johnsons business opposed the idea and said the money should be spent on other projects.

As far as downtown Hillsboro is concerned, its gone, Mock said, noting that the businesses have spread to areas like Tanasbourne and Orenco.

Others at the meeting said they wouldnt mind if the numbered streets were converted to support two-way traffic but objected to changing Main and Lincoln streets.

I think Main Street and Lincoln Street as a couplet [of one-way streets] works well, one woman said.

Lesley Wise, who runs the Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace at East Main Street and Second Avenue, said she has been trying to expand the event, held Tuesday evenings during the summer, but the one-way grid wont allow it.

Its only the people who have a problem who come to these meetings, and you see how many are here, Wise said, referring to the Monday night events relatively sparse attendance.

City manager Michael Brown said the city believed the project, in conjunction with a number of other downtown initiatives, would pay off in the long run for the businesses in the area. But he acknowledged that nobody can guarantee what will happen.

I understand that theres that risk that it wouldnt do what we hope it will do, Brown said.

— Luke Hammill


Mountain states again lead nation for small-business job gains

April 30, 2014

Business

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For a second straight month, the Rocky Mountain states in April topped the nation for small-business job growth over the last year, according to a monthly report from Colorados IHS Inc. and Paychex Inc.

Small-business jobs in the mountain states grew by 1.75 percent in April from a year earlier, following Marchs 1.62 percent year-over-year increase, according to the latest Paychex-IHS Small Business Jobs Index, issued Tuesday.

The region includes Colorado as well as Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The mountain regions growth far exceeded that of the East North Central states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio), which came in at No. 2 with 1.03 percent small-business job growth, followed closely by the West North Central states (the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri), up 1.02 percent, the IHS-Paychex report said.

On the other hand, the East South Central states (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee) saw small-business jobs drop 1.12 percent over the one-year period.

The report comes from Douglas County-based IHS (NYSE: IHS), a global market information and insight provider, and Paychex (Nasdaq: PAYX), a provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing services for small- to medium-sized businesses.

The Paychex-IHS Small Business Jobs Index was introduced in March.

The index compares same-store worker count changes at some 350,000 business with fewer than 50 workers that are clients of Paychex.

The report assigned a small-business index reading of 101.73 to the mountain states, meaning employment in the region is 101.73 percent higher than the pre-recession base year of 2004.


UOB named best retail bank in Asia Pacific, Singapore

April 30, 2014

Personal Financial Services

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SINGAPORE – United Overseas Bank (UOB) has been named the best retail bank in Asia Pacific and Singapore, according to trade publication The Asian Banker.

United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) has won the top honour of Best Retail Bank in Asia Pac ific at The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2014 . According to The Asian Banker , UOB is the first local Singapore bank to have won the regional award.

UOB was also named the Best Retail Bank in Singapore. In making its decision, The Asian Banker engaged a panel of international judges to review the financial performance, long-term growth and risk management of banks across the region.

They also looked at each banks approach to providing financial solutions to meet the needs of customers.

In its citation of UOBs performance, The Asian Banker said the Bank had distinguished itself through the outstanding performance of its retail business and its customer-focused approach. Mr Eddie Khoo, Head of Personal Financial Services and Private Banking at UOB , said that at the heart of UOBs business approach was doing what is right for customers across the region. We have focused on creating a sustainable business that is built on a foundation of trust and designed around the lifestyle needs of our customers. This has been fundamental to developing long-term and strong customer relationships.

Our experience across the region also means we are well-placed to offer financial products and wealth management solutions best suited to the needs of Asian consumers, Mr Khoo said.

Comprehensive suite of financial products matched to customers lifestyle needs UOB customers can choose from a suite of retail deposits, loans, insurance, cards and investment products to help them manage their money and finance important milestones.

These include flexible h ome loans packages to purchase their home and investment properties , investment plans to create an education fund for their children, and credit cards offering special lifestyle privileges a s well as cost-saving rebates.

Last year UOB introduced a number of new products and services to meet the changing needs of its customers. For example, the Bank offered international financing options in five new locations around the world as more customers expressed interest in purchasing properties over seas.

In the area of credit cards, UOB helped grocery shoppers in Singapore manage costs with the UOB Delight Card which offers discounts at 270 supermarkets and pharmacies. In Malaysia, the by invitation- only UOB Ladys Solitaire Card catered to the lifestyle needs of financially successful women with shopping privileges and access to luxurious experiences.

Helping wealthy Asian consumers achieve their financial goals

The Bank also continues to expand its wealth management business to meet the needs of wealthy individuals in Asia.

In 2013 UOB registered a year-on- year increase in assets under management from $66 billion to $75 billion.

It has also increased its regional wealth management footprint from 29 wealth management centres in 2010 to 48 centres in 2013 . This includes the opening of UOBs 11th Privilege Banking Centre in China and its fourth Wealth Banking Centre in Singapore. At each of these centres , customers are served by a team of dedicated investment specialists who help customers manage their finances and investments.

Mr Dennis Khoo, H ead of Personal Financial Services in Singapore , said that in a competitive banking landscape, UOB has carved out a reputation for providing quality financial advisory .

Our advisors are not only knowledgeable about Asian markets , they also have the skills and experience needed to help our customers money work harder .

Above all , our advisors have the right mind – set and values , he said. -Asiaone


Boston Business Journal announces 2014 Best Places to Work winners

April 30, 2014

Business

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The Boston Business Journal today announced the 2014 Best Places to Work, a list of companies whose employees had the best things to say about their employers in confidential surveys.

“Our Best Places to Work event will again recognize the importance of cultivating a great workplace culture as a competitive advantage, said Chris McIntosh, publisher of the Boston Business Journal. Companies on our list can be justifiably proud of creating a high level of workplace satisfaction during an economy where traditional rewards like big raises and bonuses arent as easy to give. In good times and in bad, our results validate how the creation of the right corporate culture can create powerful business advantages. Employees are proud to work for companies that are about more than just business.”

The Best Places to Work winners ranked highest among the nearly 300 companies whose employees filled out an anonymous survey. The results were tabulated independently by Quantum Workplace of Omaha, Neb. At a  June 12 event there will be a countdown culminating in the announcement of the top winner in each category — small (20-100 employees), midsize (101-500 employees) and large, (501-plus).

SEE THIS YEARS WINNERS, LISTED ALPHABETICALLY, IN THE ACCOMPANYING SLIDESHOW.


Vietnam Construction Loans to Spur Property Sales: SBV

April 30, 2014

Property Loans

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Vietnam’s central bank and five
state-run lenders are drawing up a loan package to bolster the
struggling property market and help spur economic growth. Real
estate stocks rose.

The program, worth about 70 trillion dong ($3.3 billion),
will “connect investors, contractors and suppliers in
construction projects and create conditions for them to cut
costs and lower prices, in order to spur sales,” Nguyen Viet
Manh, head of the lending department at the central bank, said
in a phone interview yesterday. The package will be put in place
“soon,” he said.

The government is trying to bolster an economy which grew
4.96 percent in the first three months of the year, slowing from
6.04 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The central bank
last month cut its policy rates and said it is stepping up
efforts to help businesses and resolve bad debt, of which a
third were tied to soured property loans at the end of 2012.

“This will support the market since it can help developers
and their contractors to get sufficient funds to finish their
construction projects at lower costs,” said Nguyen Tri Hieu, an
economist at Ocean Commercial Joint-Stock Bank in Hanoi.
“Banks’ lending to properties was not so efficient before,
which caused losses for lenders, so this loan package could be
better,” and liquidity in the market will increase, he said.

Beton 6 Corp. led real-estate stock gainers today, surging
6.9 percent, while Pacific Property amp; Infrastructure Development
JSC rose 6.8 percent and Sonadezi Long Thanh Shareholding Co.
climbed 5.1 percent compared to a 0.6 percent gain for the
benchmark VN Index (VNINDEX) at close. The dong was little changed at
21,093 against the US dollar.

Bank Lending

The loan program will allow companies that already have
non-performing loans to get new funding in order to finish their
projects and eventually pay back lenders, the central bank said
in a statement e-mailed today. The program also aims to reduce
unsold stockpiles of construction materials and the numbers of
unfinished projects, it said. The loans could be expanded to
include infrastructure projects, it said.

Bank lending rose 1.35 percent in March from a month
earlier, after falling in the two previous months, according to
a statement from the central bank on April 2. The regulator said
it had requested lenders to boost loans to help meet its credit-growth target of 12 percent to 14 percent this year.

The program will help investors and contractors to speed up
construction projects, and can help spur credit growth while
making sure the money will be appropriately used, Manh said.

“The money will come from banks, not the state budget, and
be given to more than 80 projects” and won’t offer special
rates, Manh said. The central bank’s role will be to monitor the
process and ensure banks disperse loans properly, he said.

The central bank last month cut its policy rates. Prime
Minister Nguyen Tan Dung earlier this week repeated a request to
the monetary authority to increase measures to lower lending
rates and help businesses, according to a government posting.

This package is separate from a 50-trillion dong loan for
real estate being discussed by a group of other commercial
lenders, initiated by Vietnam Construction Bank, a private bank
and Thien Thanh Group, a property developer, said Manh.

The central bank also last May approved 30 trillion dong of
low-interest home loans at five banks. Few takers have emerged,
and the property market’s rebound from a three-year slump may be
delayed until 2015 as families struggle to access affordable
loans and confidence lags, according to CBRE Group Inc.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story:
Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen in Hanoi at
uyen1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Stephanie Phang at
sphang@bloomberg.net
K. Oanh Ha


Frugal Family: Get money smart at the library

April 30, 2014

Understanding Your Credit Report

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April 5-12 is Money Smart Week at the Springfield-Greene County Library branches. This is a series of free seminars on being money smart. I attended several last year and found each to be very informative and interesting. There are programs for all ages (kids, too!).

Plan to attend a couple. If you see me there, come sit by me!

â?¢ NXT Financial Chapter: Advice for 20/30 somethings is 6:30 pm April 3 at the Library Center. Get tips on budgeting, credit and general money management. Presented by Bancorp South.

â?¢ Understanding Your Credit Report is 6:30 pm April 7 at the Library Station. Learn the importance of credit, how to improve it and take home a copy of your free credit report. Presented by Empire Bank and Edge Community Technology Center.

â?¢ Simple and Delicious Cooking on a Budget is 7 pm April 7 at the Library Center. Space is limited; register by calling 882-0714. Presented by Chef Chadwick from Hy-Vee.

â?¢ Protecting Your Piggy Bank is 9:45 am April 8 at the South Side Senior Center, 2215 S. Fremont Ave. Senior adults can learn how to recognize and avoid common financial scams. Presented by Better Business Bureau.

â?¢ Estate Planning Basics is 7 pm April 8 at the Library Center. Learn the basics about wills, trusts, probate, nursing home planning and more. Presenter is Ozarks Elder Law.

â?¢ Money Management 101 is 10:30 am April 9 at Midtown Carnegie Branch. Learn about basic budgeting skills, credit reports and scores. Presented by Consumer Credit Counseling Services.

â?¢ Money-Saving Ideas from Pinterest is 7 pm April 9 at the Library Center. Find money-saving tips on Pinterest. Presented by library staff.

â?¢ Gardening on a Dime is 6 pm April 10 at the Republic Branch Library. Learn how to stretch your gardening and landscaping dollar using inexpensive methods and seasonal time savers. Presented by Erin Gray.

â?¢ Here is schedule of events for teens on how to get a job, and for â??Making Sense of Numbersâ? story times for kids:

Especially for Teens: Get a Job

3:15 pm for grades 6-12 at the Midtown Carnegie Branch. Learn the ins and outs of job hunting:

â?¢ Monday April 7: Get the basics, from how to find out whoâ??s hiring to resumà building. Take a quiz and find out what youâ??re good at.

â?¢ Tuesday April 8: The Missouri Career Center will provide information on the services they offer to help you get a job.

â?¢ Wednesday April 9: Staff from the Edge will give you tips for searching job websites, filling out application and using Job amp; Career Accelerator.

â?¢ Thursday April 10: Learn how to answer tough questions in mock interviews and get tips for dressing on a budget.

Especially for Kids: Making Sense of Numbers Storytime

Even young children need to understand the concept of money. But first they need to understand how numbers and counting work. Read fun stories, sing songs and do activities that build early math skills.

â?¢ 10:30 am Monday April 7 at Brentwood Branch. Ages 3-6

â?¢ 5 pm Monday April 7 at Republic Branch. Preschool-Grade 2.

â?¢ 11 am Tuesday April 8 at Strafford Branch. Infants-age 6.

â?¢ 11 and 11:15 am Tuesday Wednesday and Friday April 8, 9, and 11 at the Library Center.

â?¢ 11 and 11:15 am Tuesday and Friday April 8 and 11 at the Library Station.

â?¢ 7 pm Tuesday April 8 at the Library Station.

â?¢ 11 am Wednesday April 9 at the Fair Grove Branch.

â?¢ 10 am Friday April 11 at the Midtown Carnegie Branch.


Tips for understanding your credit report

April 29, 2014

Understanding Your Credit Report

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Q: I sometimes shop online but security concerns with different stores and now possible troubles with secure websites have me worried. I ordered a copy of my credit report to see where I stand, and that part makes sense. But how does credit scoring work?

A: Recent news about security concerns has a lot of people wondering what they can do to safeguard their financial information. Here are 4 things you can do to protect yourself against fraud:

Never let your credit cards leave your sight.

Never give your security codes /pins to another person.

If you don’t trust the security of an online retailer, use an alternative payment method like PayPal.

Check your own credit report at least once a year.

Canada’s two main credit reporting agencies, Equifax and TransUnion, will provide consumers with a copy of their own credit report for free. When you receive your credit report, check the information that is being reported about you carefully. If there are mistakes or if there are any accounts or inquiries that you don’t recognize, contact the credit bureau right away for guidance. With your credit report, they will have enclosed a special phone number and reference number for you to use for this purpose.

As far as your credit score is concerned, it is not included with the free copy of your credit report. A credit score is used by lenders to predict the likelihood that someone will repay future debt, and it is based on five key factors on your credit report:

Payment history (35 per cent of your score): Always pay your bills on time every month to maintain a high score.

How much is owed (30 per cent): The more credit you use, the harder it becomes to pay it all back.

Length of credit history (15 per cent): Good or bad, everything will drop off your report in six to seven years, so a longer history and still using some older revolving accounts provides more information about your payment history.

New credit applications (10 per cent): Borrowing tends to happen in cycles at certain times in life. Repeatedly applying for more credit signals a budgeting or money problem.

Types of credit used (10 per cent): Different types of credit shed light on how you handle your money overall.

For a more detailed explanation of how credit scoring works and how to get your own credit report for free, visit mymoneycoach.ca.

Scott Hannah is president of the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit organization. For more information about managing your money or debt, check www.nomoredebts.org or call 1-888-527-8999.


IoD lunch to highlight future prospects for Jersey’s finance industry

April 29, 2014

Personal Financial Services

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The head of the body responsible for representing and promoting Jersey’s biggest industry is to take to the podium at this month’s IoD Jersey lunch.

Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, will be the guest speaker at this month’s IoD lunch to give a talk entitled ‘First for Finance: current performance and future prospects for Jersey’s Finance Industry’.

At the lunch, to be held at the Grand Jersey on Tuesday 8th April, Geoff will outline how the Island’s finance industry is performing and what initiatives are currently being undertaken to promote the industry in key overseas markets. He will also highlight some of the opportunities the industry could seek to embrace in the months ahead, and discuss the importance of maintaining a successful finance industry as Jersey returns to growth.

Having joined Jersey Finance as Chief Executive in January 2007, Geoff visits many of the worlds leading finance centres on a regular basis in order to promote Jersey’s finance industry and update Government officials, regulators, finance professionals and international investors on legal and regulatory developments and service innovations offered by Jersey. He is a regular speaker and contributor to conferences and seminars around the world and writes frequently in leading magazines.

Previous to his role at Jersey Finance, he was Head of Wealth Management for HSBC Bank Plc, based in London, responsible for the delivery of Financial Planning Services to the 10 million HSBC customers in the UK. His earlier career was spent at a senior management level with HSBC Bank plc in the UK and as Head of Personal Financial Services and Deputy to the Chief Executive at HSBC Bank International Limited in Jersey. Geoff is a Fellow of the ifs School of Finance, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities Investment, a Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers.

Steven Hunt, Chairman of the Jersey IoD Events committee, said:

“During the global financial crisis, Jersey’s finance industry has performed well. As the world returns to growth, however, competition from other centres is certainly going to increase and Jersey needs to be prepared for that. With the industry representing over 40% of Jersey’s entire economy, this is important not just for the 12,000 people who work in financial services, but also for the island as a whole – the finance industry spends over £1m a day on local goods and services. How we embrace the opportunities that are open to us is absolutely vital and Jersey Finance are at the forefront of those efforts. I am therefore delighted that Geoff Cook can join us for our lunch this month.”

The IoD lunch is on Tuesday 8th April at the Grand Jersey and is open to both members and non-members of the IoD. The lunch starts with networking drinks from 12:00pm and finishes at 14:00. Tickets are £25, inclusive of drinks and a two-course lunch, wine and coffee, and can be purchased from the IoD Branch Officer, Kirsten Higgins on 610799 or at jedirector@localdial.com.


DFCC Vardhana Bank Awards Personal Finance Service Champs

April 29, 2014

Personal Financial Services

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DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB), the fastest growing commercial bank in Sri Lanka recognized its employees at the Personal Financial Services (PFS) Awards conducted at the DVB Head Office in Colombo. PFS awards were for DVB employees who had contributed to the bank’s growth by championing its Personal Financial Services products which was promoted through an integrated mass media campaign titled ‘Personal Plus’. The PFS Champs competition was conducted under three categories. The awards were presented to the respective winners by Lakshman Silva, CEO, DFCC Vardhana Bank, in the presence of the senior management.