PSB approves CVPS alternative regulation planProvides for automatically adjusting rates on a quarterly basis to reflect fluctuating power purchase pricesRUTLAND – The Vermont Public Service Board has approved a Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV) alternative regulation plan designed to better link customer and investor interests, improve efficiency and help control costs.”This construct will help CVPS better serve our customers, improve our credit worthiness, and encourage energy efficiency,” CVPS President Bob Young said. “This is an important improvement in Vermont regulation.”The board order concludes nearly a year of review, and sets the stage for a new system of rate review starting in 2009. It provides for automatically adjusting rates on a quarterly basis to reflect fluctuating power purchase prices, and includes mechanisms to cap cost increases and to share earnings and losses between shareholders and customers.”The decision by the board is a good compromise,” said Steve Wark, director of consumer affairs for the Department of Public Service, the state’s consumer advocate. “It gives the utility the structure it needs, and gives regulators comfort in the oversight process that we need. Overall, consumers will greatly benefit.”Alternative regulation is intended to send customers more accurate and timely price signals, whether costs rise or fall, and create incentives for CVPS to operate efficiently. The PSB and DPS will maintain oversight over the company and its rates through annual reviews and regular quarterly updates of CVPS’s costs and rates.”We find that alternative regulation is in the best interests of CVPS and its ratepayers – a conclusion that both CVPS and the Vermont Department of Public Service have strongly supported in these proceedings,” the board said in its decision. The 56-page order details significant benefits for customers and the company.”The Modified Plan we adopt today provides a number of benefits. For instance, the power cost adjustment mechanism will result in more timely recovery of CVPS’s reasonable power costs, which can vary significantly due to changes in the wholesale market and which comprise nearly 60% of CVPS’s total cost-of-service,” the board wrote. “This should help CVPS achieve an investment-grade corporate credit rating, which, in turn, will enable the Company to attract capital on more favorable terms than it presently does. This enhanced financial posture and lower capital costs will help CVPS as it begins to negotiate for resources to replace the two major long-term contracts for power from the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and Hydro-Quebec that expire in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Ultimately, these positive effects of CVPS’s strengthened financial profile should redound to the benefit of ratepayers in the form of lower rates and more favorable contractual terms in securing Vermont’s long-term power supply beyond 2012.”The Modified Plan provides direct benefits to ratepayers as well. First, the Modified Plan affords the Company a lower return on equity, which in this case will directly lower the costs that CVPS seeks to collect from ratepayers. Second, the Modified Plan institutes an earnings sharing mechanism that offers ratepayers the prospect of additional rate relief as CVPS improves its earnings by operating more efficiently and cost-effectively.”Under the order, CVPS’s return on equity will drop from 10.71 percent to a previously agreed-upon rate of 10.21 percent. The board plans to investigate and set base rates for CVPS in the coming months, which will be implemented sometime in 2009. The alternative regulation plan will be in place through 2011.
The European Central Bank’s (ECB) policy of buying corporate debt is “destroying” the debt market, with funded pension systems being considered “collateral damage”, according to Peter Eichler, a member of the board at Austrian insurer Uniqa.Speaking at an institutional investor summit in Vienna, Eichler said the “wipe-out of funded systems [seemed] to be an accepted risk” of the central bank’s amended quantitative-easing programme.Eichler’s company Uniqa owns a stake in the Austrian Pensionskasse Valida.Also speaking at the summit, Olaf Keese, managing director at the S-Pensionskasse, the German pension fund for savings banks (Sparkassen), said the ECB was “distorting that market” for European corporate debt. The S-Pensionskasse has in recent years set up a Masterfonds, with the vehicle investing in international government bonds through a credit overlay.The Masterfonds covers 8% of the Pensionskassen’s €4bn in assets.Keese said his fund could invest in longer-duration bonds of 15 years of maturity or more, thereby increasing duration, but he acknowledged that the approach would increase risk without improving risk-adjusted return.He said the overlay strategy had been chosen “especially due to a higher degree of liquidity and granularity”.“At the moment,” he added, “this approach is especially favourable since corporates are getting less liquid and more expensive.”Incentivising infrastructureCriticism for European policies also came from Martin Bruckner, managing director at Allianz Austria, who pointed to “inconsistencies” in institutional plans to increase investment in infrastructure.“Politicians say we should invest billions into infrastructure, but the supervisors seem to have different ideas – they should find a consensus on this important topic,” he said.Bruckner also argued that regulations were making it increasingly difficult for banks to grant long-term loans.“We as institutional investors therefore have to step into this private-debt segment,” he said. For Christian Böhm, chief executive at Austria’s €4.2bn APK Pensionskasse, one of the problems stemming from European regulation and supervisory framework is its view of certain asset classes.“All the stress tests are based on [value-at-risk] models and are always backward-looking, which means, for example, government bonds are extremely overvalued.”He argued that the backward-looking view emphasising government bonds was “not helping us in the least at the moment”, adding that he hoped for “a change in valuation views through a European dialogue”.But Böhm also stressed the responsibility borne by pension funds in the current environment.“Pensions are not risk-free, and we have to manage the assets so that we have enough risks on the books to generate sufficient returns,” he said. “If we do not achieve this over a rolling multiple-year period, we are obsolete as institutions for retirement provision.”
The new arrivals were brought in after the club sold Bale to Real Madrid and Sherwood believes the Welshman’s departure ended the team’s top-four bid before it even began. “We’re taking out one of the best players in the world and replacing him with seven players who have never played in this competition before,” Sherwood said. “How on earth did people think we would be title challengers or even make the top four? “If you don’t know the game you could possibly think that they would all hit the floor running but it doesn’t happen, they need time. “This club will be better with those seven players next season – they’ll have experience of the competition and they will improve from that.” Tottenham finished the season with 69 points, three fewer than last season’s club-record total of 72 – but 10 behind fourth-placed Arsenal. Spurs have come fourth only twice in the last 10 Premier League campaigns and Sherwood believes expectations last summer were far too high. “It was hyped – the hype was ridiculous,” Sherwood said. “We’ve qualified for the Champions League once – why have we got a divine right to qualify for the Champions League? “Where we’ve finished in sixth is where we should be, it’s where we are as a club. “We all want to aspire to the top four and the title but we aren’t getting there with what we’ve got. “To remove a match winner like Gareth Bale out of that squad – we shouldn’t have expected it after that.” Spurs scored all three goals against Aston Villa before half-time as Paulinho finished from close range, Nathan Baker turned the ball into his own net and Emmanuel Adebayor converted a penalty after Gabriel Agbonlahor had blocked Sandro’s shot with his hand. Paulinho’s 14th-minute strike was the only goal Spurs have scored in the first 15 minutes of a league match this season and Sherwood was pleased with his side’s fast start. “We’ve taken a lot of criticism this season about how we start games but it could have been over before we actually scored the first one,” Sherwood said. “Once Paulinho tucks that away we were comfortable. “We all want to go on after half-time and score six or seven goals but it’s not always going to be the case. “You can’t flog a dead horse – these guys have played a long season.” Tim Sherwood believes Tottenham’s chances of securing a top-four finish this season were wiped out the moment the club sold Gareth Bale last summer. Despite their 3-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, Spurs finished sixth in the Barclays Premier League and missed out on Champions League football for a fourth consecutive campaign. Tottenham’s disappointing season hinged on the club’s seven new signings last summer, who came with big reputations but failed to make the desired impact. Press Association
Greek Olympic committee president Spyros Kapralos handed over the flame to a Japanese Unicef official in Athens and former Olympic swimmer Naoko Imoto. It was then headed for the airport to board the flight for Japan.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 March 19, 2020 10:30 a.m.The Olympic flame has been handed over, by proxy, to Tokyo organizers in Athens.The coronavirus outbreak forced a bare-bones version of the usual elaborate ceremony in the stadium where the first modern Olympics were staged in 1896.The 80,000-seat marble stadium was empty apart from a handful of officials and participants. The Japanese delegation was absent because of travel restrictions and Tokyo organizing committee head Yoshiro Mori delivered a speech by video from Japan. But his message was upbeat.Mori says “I hereby pledge that on 24 July this flame will be lit at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.” 11 a.m.The International Weightlifting Federation says it has changed its Olympic qualifying criteria in response to the coronavirus outbreak but won’t say how the new system works.Olympic qualifying in dozens of sports has been thrown into chaos as continental championships around the world have been postponed.The IWF says it has drawn up a replacement set of qualifying rules and submitted them to the International Olympic Committee but it won’t tell athletes or national federations about the changes until the IOC signs off on the plan.The IWF says it has ruled out extending the qualifying period beyond April 30. That means any rescheduled continental championships won’t count. The Latest: Start of Swedish soccer delayed by virus Soccer in England will stay suspended until at least April 30 because of the coronavirus outbreak and the season could be finished in June.The Football Association and Premier League say they have agreed to extend the suspension from April 4 to April 30. The FA board has waived a regulation which would normally oblige leagues to finish by June 1.That means the English leagues can continue playing in space that opened up when UEFA postponed the European Championship to 2021.The FA, Premier League and English Football League say they are “united in their commitment” that the season should be resumed.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditLONDON (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):1:15 p.m.The Swedish soccer association says the start of the top professional leagues in the country have been postponed with the aim of playing again in late May or early June. Weightlifting’s long-standing problems with doping caused the IWF to demand top lifters competed more regularly at international events to be eligible for the Olympics — and to be subject to more doping tests. They were required to compete at least once between November and April.___10:45 a.m.Players from German soccer club Borussia Mönchengladbach have accepted pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic.Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl says the players approached the club with an offer of voluntary pay cuts, and the coaching staff, directors and executives have joined in. Associated Press The decision comes a day after a request from clubs in Sweden’s top two men’s leagues to delay the start of the season until the beginning of June because of the coronavirus outbreak.The season was due to start on the weekend of April 3-4.The federation says a detailed program of games will be presented after UEFA clarifies dates for rearranged European club tournaments.___1:10 p.m. Eberl says “I am very proud of the boys. A clear signal: we are standing together for Borussia in good and bad times.”Gladbach is fourth in the German league and was on course to qualify for a spot in next season’s Champions League. Gladbach CEO Stephan Schippers says the club and Bundesliga are in their toughest financial situation in more than 20 years because of lost revenue from tickets, TV and sponsorship.Gladbach played a game last week in an empty stadium. The club estimated it lost about 2 million euros ($2.16 million) in revenue by playing without fans.In Scotland, Hearts has asked all its players and other fulltime employees to accept a 50 percent pay cut, or contract termination.___
Everton are eager to push through a 12-month contract extension for Samuel Eto’o and his agents will be in England over Christmas to hold talks.The deal penned by the striker upon his arrival at Goodison Park as a free agent over the summer included a clause which can be activated once he has completed 15 games.With the Cameroon international having shown that he can be an important figure in Everton’s plans with four goals and two assists in his 15 appearances in all competitions, all sides are now keen to gather at the negotiating table.Roberto Martinez has previously admitted that he would like to keep the 33-year-old past the end of the current campaign, with the Spaniard announcing in October: “It’s natural he will get another year.”There are now only a few formalities left to be tied up, with it understood that the terms of Eto’o’s agreement would remain the same.The former Barcelona star has scored four goals in 14 appearances spread across Premier League, Europa League and League Cup competitions so far this season.