January 17, 2020

Argentina’s Chubut Bonds Tumble as Province Seeks Debt Overhaul
(Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s Chubut province bonds plunged to the lowest since November after local officials said they wanted to renegotiate the debt.The bonds due 2026 slid as much as 8 cents to 63.3 cents on the dollar after its economy minister Oscar Antonena proposed reducing coupons and suspending principal payments for four years on $650 million of the overseas bonds. Antonena told local reporters that the province is sending the proposal to its local legislature along with a fiscal readjustment plan that would shrink its bloated public sector.The province’s plan comes as other Argentine issuers affected by a plunge in the peso and an economic slowdown struggle to pay their debts. President Alberto Fernandez’s administration is seeking to renegotiate the country’s debt with private creditors and the International Monetary Fund. Earlier this week, the Province of Buenos Aires -- Argentina’s most populous province -- also requested to push back a $250 million principal payment due Jan. 26 until May.Chubut’s proposal to its local congress includes a four-year hiring freeze on government jobs, opening a voluntary retirement plan for public employees, cutting political appointments by as much as 20%, and raising taxes by 50% over the next four years, Antonena said. Chubut will have an estimated fiscal deficit of 22 billion pesos ($367 million) this year. Its public sector has ballooned to 65,000 public employees, compared to 22,000 in 2003, the minister said.“What we face today isn’t a debt problem, it’s a problem with the structure of our salary load,” Antonena told local reporters on Jan. 15. “For the proposal to be successful, we need to reach debt sustainability after changing the province’s fiscal structure.”Out of Chubut’s $855 million total debt, around 80% is held in international bonds, according to a government presentation. The $650 million of bonds Chubut is seeking to restructure are backed by oil and gas royalties that are paid directly into a trust, which meant the government couldn’t access the funds to pay for public expenses like salaries. The province has been warning it would seek to modify its debt load since January 2018.Chubut’s proposal, which would delay maturities without imposing a loss on the principal to creditors, mimics the federal government’s strategy to stimulate the economy by freeing up funds otherwise earmarked to pay the debt. But Chubut’s large fiscal imbalance means just delaying payments may not be enough, according to Roger Horn, a senior emerging-markets strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities America in New York.“A few years of debt service relief is not going to do too much to help a province like Chubut, which can’t even pay teachers on time,” Horn said. “It’s nice to see them talk about no haircut, but there’s a possibility that a haircut might be the only solution to right-size their debt burden, especially after last year’s currency devaluation.”Province officials declined to comment for the story.The province, received a 1 billion peso ($17 million) advance in funding from the federal government Jan. 7, citing “urgent commitments” arising from budgeting constraints and debt payments as the reason.“It’s imperative to reprofile the debt, considering that other provinces like Buenos Aires also said they can’t pay for their commitments,” Antonena said. “We’re working alongside the national government, which is working with us as it seeks to take the entire country, not just Chubut, out of this national crisis.”To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Squires in Buenos Aires at ssquires4@bloomberg.net;Jorgelina do Rosario in Buenos Aires at jdorosario@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Carolina Millan at cmillanronch@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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