Olympics cancellation to cost insurers $3bn, Bloomberg Intelligence

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The insurance industry would face a bill of between $2bn and $3bn if this year’s Tokyo Olympics are cancelled, according to analysis from Bloomberg Intelligence.

While noting that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is committed to going ahead with the postponed 2020 Olympics, Bloomberg Intelligence notes that the committee has about $800m of event-cancellation cover in place. Additional cover has also been brought by the local Japanese organising committee.

When insurance taken out by broadcaster, sponsors, professional sports teams and hospitality is factored in, Bloomberg Intelligence reaches the $3bn top-end estimate.

As a result, it says insurers and reinsurers will be on “tenterhooks” during the next six weeks as the planned Tokyo Olympics nears and they wait to see if Covid-19 has another sting in its tail.

Swiss Re said last year that its direct Olympic exposure was $250m. Munich Re hasn’t specified its exposure but Bloomberg Intelligence said it is likely to run into the hundreds of millions of euros, some of which may already have been reserved.

Charles Graham, senior industry analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said: “Insurers and reinsurers will be on tenterhooks over the next six weeks as the Tokyo Olympics’ opening nears, with any cancellation of the already postponed 2020 event potentially costing the sector $2bn-$3bn in aggregate, based on our calculations. That would hit an event-cancellation industry already battered by record 2020 claims.”

The 2020 Olympic games were due to take place last summer but were postponed till 23 July 2021 because of the pandemic.

Opposition in Japan to holding the Olympic Games may be easing, according to the latest polls, after the number of Covid-19 cases dropped.

However, Bloomberg Intelligence notes that medical opinion remains strongly opposed to the games taking place, with reports that Japanese corporate sponsors also favour a postponement after international spectators were excluded.

The IOC is focused on making the Olympics as safe as possible, with plans for daily testing and the vaccination of athletes. A decision on allowing spectators into venues will be taken later this month.

Joseph Lau, Drake own world top 5 biggest private jets

By Favour Nnabugwu


Private jets have seen a wave of first-time buyers over the past year as people with the means to purchase them have grown weary of flight cancellations and severed routes. Very few toy seriously with the idea of owning a widebody aircraft all of their own. However, that is just what the people on this list decided to click buy on. Let’s take a look at the largest private aircraft in the world.

1. Joseph Lau’s private 747-8 VIP

The biggest private jet in the world belongs to Hong Kong real estate tycoon Joseph Lau. It is valued at US$367 million. The longest and second-largest commercial aircraft ever built has a 445 square meter interior and on Lau’s version, its two levels are connected by a spiral staircase. The initial price tag from Boeing was US$153 million. Lau then added modifications for the additional US$214 million.

While the specifics of the interior are kept under wraps, the 747-8 reportedly features a lavish office space, several guest rooms, vaulted ceilings, as well as an onboard gym. An actual workout certainly beats walking up and down the aisle to keep circulation flowing on transpacific long-haul flights to help combat jet lag.

One of the richest people on the planet, the Sultan of Brunei, also gets about in a 747-8 VIP. However, the eight-year-old quadjet with registration V8-BHK officially belongs to the Government of Brunei, and as such, we have chosen not to include it. The aircraft replaced the previous transportation of the Sultan, a 747-400, in 2016.

747 Saudi Prince

Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud’s has his own private Boeing 747-400, complete with a throne. Photo: Getty Images

2. Prince Al Waleed bin Talal’s private 747-400

The world’s second-largest private jet, a Boeing 747-400, belongs to Prince Al Waleed bin Talal. Number 45 on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest people in the world, the Saudi Arabian royal and investor owns chunks of companies across the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

When the Prince bought the plane in 2003 it still had 400 passenger seats. These were torn out to make way for a dining room for 14 people, two luxurious double bedrooms, and, because why not, a golden throne in the middle of the cabin. The jet is reportedly serviced by 11 flight attendants.

3. Alisher Usmanov’s Airbus A340

The largest private jet in the Russian Federation does not belong to Vladimir Putin, who in his indefinite presidential capacity flies a heavily modified version of an Ilyushin Il-96. It belongs instead to Uzbek-born Alisher Bourkanovich Usmanov.

The oligarch’s Airbus A340-400 is close to 13 years old. Since February this year, it is operated on his behalf by Margaux Aviation after 12 years with Global Jet Luxembourg, previously known as Silver Arrows. Usmanov acquired the four-engined jet in 2012 after selling Facebook shares for US$1.4 billion.

The plane has been named after Usmanov’s father and has ‘Bourkhan’ lettered on the front part of the fuselage. Its owner has reportedly customized the plane to reach a value of US$450 million. The interior features the usual widebody VIP extravaganzas such as a dining area, king-size beds, and luxurious leather seats.

Meanwhile, true to proper Russian oligarch form, Usmanov’s A340 also has a nightclub area. With a range of 7,300 NM (13,400 km), you could party all the way from Moscow to Lima or Los Angeles.

4. Roman Abramovich’s Boeing 767-300

The Chelsea boss and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich owns a Boeing 767-33AER nicknamed ‘The Bandit’ due to a feature of the livery with black slanted stripes around the cockpit windows. Abramovich picked up the jet, originally intended for Hawaiian Airlines which ended up canceling the order, in 2004.

It has reportedly been fitted with a banquet hall that can accommodate 30 people, a full-service kitchen, and gold-gilded bathrooms. Moreover, it has the same anti-ballistic missile system as the US presidential aircraft Air Force One.

When not used for his private transportation, Abramovich lends it to the Chelsea FC players. He has even been known to fly prospective signees to London for contract negotiations.

Abramovich 767

Roman Abramovich’s ‘The Bandit’ features the same anti-ballistic system as the Air Force One. Photo: Papas Dos via Wikimedia Commons

5. Drake’s private Boeing 767-200

Canadian rapper Drake acquired his very own Boeing 767-200ER early in 2019. Well, it is not exactly owned by Drake. Rather, it belongs to Ontario-based Cargojet. The plane is a free-publicity deal for the airfreight company, and why not, if you have a plane or two to spare. Who foots the fuel bill remains a little unclear.

Meanwhile, that is not to say that the aircraft has not been outfitted in style, with plush velvet sofas rather than stiff seats, a fully carpeted floor, gold and wood surfaces, a full-mirror wall, an entertainment room, and three fully-enclosed private suits.

‘Air Drake’ features the logo of the rapper’s clothing line but also that of Canadian airfreight company Cargojet that has sponsored Drake with the plane.

Honorary mention: Prince Al Waleed bin Talal’s Private A380 that never was
When it comes to size, it is hard to beat the Airbus A380. The manufacturer’s double-decker behemoth of a bird may not have sold in many exemplars to private customers, in fact, only one to be precise. Meanwhile, not even the one ended up being used the way it was intended.

The Prince placed the order for the aircraft at the Dubai Air Show in 2007. Sources say it was to be outfitted with a Turkish hammam, a garage for the Prince’s Rolls-Royce, a lift spanning three floors, a private suite, and even a space for concerts.

However, its intended customer never took delivery of the plane. Instead, Prince Al Waleed bin Talal sold it on to an undisclosed buyer who, according to Forbes, officially took delivery in late 2012.

Consequential adjustment: Pensioners on GL1 still receive N23,400 monthly, GL17 to get N188,600

By admin


DESPITE the recent approval of consequential adjustment in pensions arising from the implementation of the national minimum wage by President Muhammadu Buhari, the least paid retired pensioner from the civil service on Grade Level 01 still receives a paltry N23,426 monthly pensions.

Also, a civil servant who is lucky to retire at the highest level after service on Grade level 17 will henceforth receive N188,688 monthly pensions.

This was contained in the table of consequential adjustment in pensions arising from the implementation of the national minimum wage, recently released by the Acting chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta.
The consequential adjustment in pension affected retired civil servants in all the ministries and agencies. Nta pointed out that the table showed the ‘absolute increases’, adding that the approval takes effect from April 18, 2019, the date President Buhari signed the new National Minimum Wage into law.

He said: “It should be noted that retirees of agencies that are not in any of the above-mentioned salary structures will not be entitled to these increases in their pensions. However, these agencies should, in line with Sections 173 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and 3 (P) of NSIWC Act apply to the Commission to determine the appropriate increases that will be applicable to their retirees.”

According to the new pension table, a retiree on GL 01, who is currently on N14,733 monthly pension, will have an increase of 59 per cent, which invariably takes his pension to N23, 426, thus enjoying an increase of N8,692.

Pensioners on GL 08 enjoyed a 12 per cent increase from N45,107 to N50,520, an increase of N5,412; while retirees on GL 17, the highest level in civil service have a 9 per cent increase from N173, 108 to N188, 688, an addition of N15,579. Responding to the meagre increase in pension, the General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Elder Actor Zal, said the experience has challenged the union to further intensify its agitation for a minimum pension.

He demanded a N30,000 minimum pension, same as in national minimum wage, adding that with the present economic reality, it would be very hard for a pensioner to survive with a paltry N23,426 per month.

Lloyds of London secures reinsurance cover for central fund

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Specialist insurance and reinsurance marketplace Lioyds of London has secured a landmark £650 million reinsurance cover for its Central Fund, which supports sustainable and profitable long-term market growth.

The £650 million protection has been structured and placed by Aon. It is a multi-layered structure supported by newly created cell company Constellation IC – financed by investment bank JP Morgan – as well as a panel of eight reinsurers, including Arch, Berkshire Hathaway, Everest Re, Hannover Re, Munich Re, RenaissanceRe, Scor and Swiss Re.

The new five-year cover will reimburse aggregate payments from the Central Fund in excess of £600 million up to £1.25 billion, which will serve as a key component in Lloyd’s chain of security.

The arrangement will provide increased protection for Lloyd’s customers and the market against severe tail end events and further improve the quality and financial strength of Lloyd’s balance sheet.

In addition to protecting the Central Fund, the cover will create a significant buffer against adverse solvency developments. It is expected that the new cover will increase Lloyd’s central solvency ratio. The capital buffer will also facilitate growth opportunities against the backdrop of current favourable market conditions.

Burkhard Keese, chief financial officer of Lloyd’s, said: “We are very proud to place this innovative cover with eight of the world’s leading reinsurance companies and secure the support and commitment from one of the largest investment banks, J.P. Morgan.

This unique structure will enable us to support the market’s growth ambitions over the next few years, whilst also strengthening the resilience of our balance sheet. Our capital management and position are now more resilient than ever, providing enhanced protection for customers.”

Stephanie Linus becomes Gree AC Brand Ambassador

By Favour Nnabugwu

Nigerian actress, film director and producer, Stephanie Linus, is the new face of Gree AC on Tuesday, 15th June 2021.
Mrs. Linus was signed as the brand ambassador at an event graced by investors and business partners from Nigeria which took place at the Choice International Group headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos.
While giving her address, she expressed her delight, narrating her personal experience with Gree ACs over the last few years and testifying to the brand’s safety and durability. “My experience with Gree is different,” she said. “It circulates effectively, it is health-friendly, and it cools like winter. I am also thrilled at how much the company pays attention to aesthetics.”
As the United Nations Population Fund Regional Ambassador for West and Central Africa, the newly-signed brand ambassador shared how she is particular about the environmental safety that Gree AC assures its users.
Chief Diana Chen, Chairman of Choice International Group, the sole distributor of Gree AC said that the new ambassador, beyond matching the brand’s standards, will take it to greater heights to compete fairly at the international level. She also commended Nigeria for its great potential and revealed that her brand is focused on augmenting these potentials through capacity-building and massive empowerment projects.

Mrs. Linus remains committed to creating more awareness for the brand and enabling more people to understand the quality of Gree ACs.
EU, US end 17years dispute over Airbus, Boeing subsidy

By Favour Nnabugwu


The European Union (EU) and the United States are set to end their 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies involving Airbus and Boeing.

After holding talks at a US-EU Summit in Brussels, both parties have agreed to suspend punitive tariffs for five years and cooperate more closely.

After a 17-year-long disagreement involving subsidies for aerospace manufacturers Airbus and Boeing, the EU and US have finally arrived at a resolution. Officials from all parties involved confirmed the news this Tuesday, including President Joe Biden at the US-EU Summit in Brussels.

The agreement will suspend an estimated $11.5 billion worth of punitive tariffs imposed by the EU and US for five years. Various products, including wine, tobacco, cheese and spirits, were previously slapped with hefty tariffs as both sides engaged in retaliatory trade skirmishes.

Additionally, both parties will work closely on developing new aircraft and adhere to standards of fairness and transparency
“Today’s announcement resolves a long-standing irritant in the U.S.-EU relationship. Instead of fighting with one of our closest allies, we are finally coming together against a common threat.”

An agreement over the dispute has been brewing for some time, with the Biden administration hoping to ease tensions that grew during Trump’s presidency. In March, the EU and US agreed to suspend the aforementioned tariffs for four months as they worked towards a more lasting resolution.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said of the agreement,
This really opens a new chapter in our relationship because we move from litigation to cooperation on aircraft — after 17 years of dispute.”

Along with the suspension of tariffs, the EU and US have agreed to not provide specific support for any one manufacturer. The Airbus-Boeing dispute broke out due to accusations of unfair favoritism from both sides. In 2004, the US claimed Airbus had received billions in unfair subsidies from European governments, with the EU counter-claiming Boeing had received similar aid from the US.

According to an EU statement, both sides will seek to “preserve a level-playing field between our aircraft manufacturers and will also work to prevent new differences from arising.”

The EU and US are also concerned about the non-market practices of other countries, with U.S Trade Representative Katherine Tai mentioning China by name.
Additionally, the EU and US will work together to provide research and development funding and establish a fair, transparent process for cooperation in the future.

Under an accord titled ‘Understanding on a cooperative framework for Large Civil Aircraft’, the EU and US have agreed to: Refrain from R&D funding as well as specific support (such as specific tax breaks) to their own producers that would harm the other side.

Offer financing to large civil aircraft producers on market terms.
Provide R&D funding through an open and transparent process and make the results of fully government-funded R&D widely available.

Collaborate on addressing non-market practices of third parties that may harm their respective large civil aircraft industries.
Establish a ‘Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft’ led by each side’s respective Minister responsible for Trade.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis summarized,

“With this agreement, we are grounding the Airbus-Boeing dispute… We now have time and space to find a lasting solution through our new Working Group on Aircraft, while saving billions of euros in duties for importers on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Shares in Boeing and Airbus both went up by 0.5 percent on Tuesday morning after the news broke. Airbus officials have celebrated the agreement, which the company states “will provide the basis to create a level-playing field which we have advocated for since the start of this dispute.” Christian Scherer, Airbus CCO, said at a media briefing today,

“From Airbus’s perspective, we’re clearly welcome that anything that levels the playing field in this highly competitive industry and avoids this terrible, lose-lose proposition of tariffs across the Atlantic or across any borders for that matter, is good… Anything that substantiates a long-term convergence between the two sides of the Atlantic on this is from my perspective really good.”

Boeing also praised the agreement in statement today, Boeing welcomes the agreement by Airbus and the European Union that all future government support for the development or production of commercial aircraft must be provided on market terms. Boeing will fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected.”