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Daily Archives: May 13, 2022

Development Bank of Mongolia Announces Early Payment Before Maturity on JPY 30 Billion Samurai Bond

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, May 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mongolian Prime Minister Oyunerdene Luvsannamsrai has instructed the Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) to explore potential options, including an early payment, to settle its outstanding Samurai Bond obligations. Following this, the Bank says it will be able to further manage its future obligations and improve its overall debt profile. The move will reduce Mongolia’s general government debt as the sovereign guarantee on the bond will concurrently mature.

According to Mr. Manduul Nyamdeleg, CEO of DBM, the Bank is waiting on potential options to make an early payment on its first-ever Samurai bond of JPY 30 billion (US $231 million) before its maturity date of December 2023. DBM is the only policy-oriented financial institution in the country with a mandate to finance large-scale, strategically important development projects in Mongolia. DBM serves a unique role in the local economy by filling the gap created by the emerging domestic banking sector, which remains unable to finance large development projects. Since its inception in 2011, the Bank has financed energy, transportation, affordable housing, agriculture, processing factories and mining projects in the country.

Due to its policy nature and the Government backing, DBM has maintained a strong funding base with a longer tenure and lower cost compared to those of the commercial banks in Mongolia.

In 2013, the Bank issued Mongolia’s first-ever Samurai bond in the amount JPY 30 billion with a 10-year maturity and coupon rate of 1.52%. The guarantee from the Government of Mongolia and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) made it possible to secure the long-term funding with a lower interest rate at the time. The proceeds from the bond have been used to finance affordable housing, processing factories, and agricultural projects in Mongolia.

Founded in 2011, Development Bank of Mongolia is wholly owned by the Government of Mongolia. Its principal objectives are ensuring sustainable economic growth in Mongolia, fostering value-added, export-driven production, and introducing financial solutions designed to implement Government development policies. As of May 10, 2022, total assets are MNT 4,196,004.38  million (US$1,351 million). Total loans and advances represent MNT 2,592,042 million (US $834.7 million), with the loan portfolio focusing on key sectors such as mining, agriculture and energy. Though the Bank was only established 11 years ago, it has successfully issued a number of notes in the international capital markets.

For more information, please contact: spilcher@atticuscomms.com

This content was issued through the press release distribution service at Newswire.com.

ITA Airways Launches the Summer Season on the French Market With Eleven Daily Flights Between France and Italy at Roadshow Presentation in Paris

A Total of 72 Weekly Flights at the End of July


Pierfrancesco Carino, VP International Sales at ITA Airways poses for a portrait at a press event at the Hotel Shangri-La on Thursday, May 12, 2022 in Paris. (Adrienne Surprenant/AP Images for ITA Airways)

PARIS, May 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Yesterday, at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris, ITA Airways, the new Italian national carrier presented the summer season on the French market to representatives of the press as well as to business partners in the French market. The Company aims to offer eleven daily flights between France and Italy by June, in order to meet the travel needs of tourists and business passengers.

ITA Airways which started operations on October 15, 2021, is an efficient and innovative air carrier that will be a reference point to provide Italy with quality connectivity with national, international and intercontinental destinations. ITA puts customers at the center of its strategy, thanks to a strong digitalization of processes that guarantees a first-class experience and personalized services, combining it with environmental sustainability (new green and technologically advanced aircraft, use of sustainable fuels) and the integration of sustainability into internal strategies and processes.

The development of the intercontinental network represents one of the Company’s main assets, a strategy that will also be consolidated thanks to the arrival at the end of May of the new latest-generation Airbus A350, which will join the Airbus A330 already in service with the fleet since the beginning of the summer season on long-haul destinations.

The expansion of ITA Airways’ routes for this summer focuses on the French market, which is the most strategic European market after Italy and the United States, as well as the one with the largest number of Italian-French. Indeed, ITA Airways’ program for the French market will be strengthened with an additional route between Paris CDG and Milan Linate from May 16, which completes the offer with three daily flights. In addition, we are also strengthening the connections between Nice and Rome – already operational – from 1 June, with a second direct flight to Rome Fiumicino.

Additionally, there are three daily flights to Rome Fiumicino from Paris CDG and the three flights from Paris Orly to Milan Linate, the city airport.

The launch of these new routes consolidates the expansion process in the French market, which aims to reach a total of 72 weekly flights between France and Italy by July 2022, for a total of 11 daily flights.

The multiple offers of the Rome Fiumicino hub will allow ITA Airways to be the reference carrier of the France to Italy and via Rome to Europe and the Mediterranean for the Italian community and the main communities of the Mediterranean countries.

From Paris-CDG and Nice airports, connectivity is guaranteed with the main Italian destinations: Alghero, Brindisi, Bologna, Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Gene, Milan-Linate, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Reggio Calabria (from Paris-CDG only), Lamezia Terme, Turin, Trieste, Venice. From July, the destinations of Florence and Verona will be added to the network. From Paris-Orly, the national destinations accessible by Milan-Linate are as follows: Alghero, Brindisi, Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Naples, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Lamezia Terme.

During the 2022 summer season ITA Airways will also offer the most popular Mediterranean destinations with new flights to the Italian islands, including Sardinia served by both Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate. As well as seasonal flights, departing from Rome FCO and Milan Linate, during the month of August to Spain, Greece and Croatia, Lampedusa, Pantelleria; (destinations served: Corfu, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Ibiza, Menorca, Majorca, Kefalonia, Dubrovnik, Split).

In addition to these five routes already operated to North America, a new destination from Rome Fiumicino to Los Angeles will be added in June, bringing Italy’s offer to the United States to a total of six daily flights.

The summer season will also see the addition of new flights from Rome Fiumicino to Buenos Aires and São Paulo from early June. These new routes will allow ITA Airways to expand into South America, which has always been a preferred destination for Italian holidaymakers and a country with the largest community of Italian origin.

The centrality of the French market in ITA Airways’ strategy is also reflected in the major marketing campaigns launched in recent months in Paris and Nice, with billboards in the main French stations and places of passage such as La Défense or the department stores of the Bd Haussmann.

The local presence is also ensured by ITA Airways’ France team who work with travel agencies, business partners and the web to ensure coverage of key customer segments, including business, leisure and affinity traffic.

Finally, thanks to a strong commercial partnership established with the main commercial partners and companies, ITA Airways ensures the complete distribution of its flights covering each passenger segment in France.

Launched in early March, ITA Airways’ 2022 summer season includes 64 new destinations, including 23 domestic, 34 international and 7 intercontinental. Through codeshare agreements with major international carriers, ITA Airways continues to grow its network through partnerships with other global carriers – providing a preferred route to the Company’s most attractive markets, first and foremost in Europe and America, but also in Africa and Saudi Arabia.

The codeshare agreements allow ITA Airways to join the entire national network of other international carriers with direct flights from Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate to their hubs. A total of 24 codeshare agreements have been signed to date, for a total of more than 270 destinations served on which ITA Airways will use its own codes.

All ITA Airways flights can be purchased on the ita-airways.com website, from the ITA Airways call center or from travel agencies and airport counters.

Volare Programme
With a commitment to maximum customer orientation, ITA Airways launched on October 15, 2021 “Volare”, its new loyalty program, also accessible to French customers. It has been designed as an open ecosystem of services and products, made available by ITA Airways and its partners to ensure customers have a unique 360° travel experience. Since March, the program has been enriched with new features that increase its flexibility and ease of use and offer frequent travelers everything they could want from a program dedicated to them.

Volare expands its strength by relying on the four values on which it was developed: “Freedom”, “Personalization”, “Choice ” and “Login” :

Volare is a “tailor-made” program that consists of four exclusive clubs, on an ascending scale of increasing premium levels and dedicated priority services: Smart, Plus, Premium and Executive. With every purchase on ITA flights, customers can earn the points they need to upgrade to the next Club level and enjoy various premium benefits and services. In addition, from Club Smart, as the access threshold increases, the benefit to the customer also increases in terms of multipliers and services available.

Volare already has many members, both from Italy and abroad. To date, the program has over 361,500 members, of which over 40,000 are Elite members (i.e. Club Plus, Premium and Executive). This result is also important because it is consolidated on the international market: 35% of the participants in the Status Match campaign came from foreign companies.

About ITA Airways
ITA Airways is a company wholly owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance for the exercise of activities in the air transport sector. ITA Airways aims to create an efficient and innovative air carrier that will become a reference point to provide Italy with quality connectivity both in terms of international destinations, thus boosting tourism and foreign trade, and within the country, also taking advantage of integrated air-train mobility. ITA Airways will place the best customer service at the center of its strategy (thanks to a strong digitization of processes that guarantee a first-class experience and personalized services), combined with sustainability, in its environmental aspects (new green and technologically advanced aircraft, use of sustainable fuels), social (equality and inclusion for a non-sexist company) and governance (integration of sustainability into strategies and processes) aspects internal). ITA Airways has been a member of the SkyTeam alliance since October 2021.

For more information:
LaPresse SpA Communication and Press Office Director
Barbara Sanicola – barbara.sanicola@lapresse.it

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ff07a172-0049-4115-b5ce-e324665ab1ea

The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

For Eurovision, Turin and Piedmont Shows Their Vocation for Hospitality on Many Levels


Music brings people together, even in the most challenging times. The Eurovision Song Contest, one of the most important international songwriting competitions globally, turns the spotlight on the touristic, cultural, and eno-gastronomic excellence of Turin and the northern-Italian region of Piedmont and the vocation of the region for the hospitality of different cultures.

TURIN, Italy, May 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Music brings people together, even in the most challenging times. The Eurovision Song Contest, one of the most important international songwriting competitions globally, is not only an opportunity to turn the spotlight on the touristic, cultural, and eno-gastronomic excellence of Turin and the northern-Italian region of Piedmont and the vocation of the region for the hospitality of different cultures. Turin and Piedmont are also showing how they embrace populations having a moment of difficulty.

On the occasion of the Eurovision Song Contest, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine arrived in Turin to perform at the Eurovision Village, in the beautiful Valentino Park, in collaboration with the European Commission and the European Parliament. The Orchestra was also welcomed in Palazzo Madama, a historic building that houses the Turin City Museum of Ancient Art. “We have been welcomed with great warmth, we feel good, and we love the fact of being here with you,” said Natalia Stets, director of the Orchestra, adding, “I think that Ukrainians and Italians are very close to each other: we share a big heart and a strong feeling of welcome.”

Founded in 2016, the Orchestra aims to develop Ukraine’s very young musical talents and is made up of boys and girls aged between 12 and 22 years old, from different cities, such as Odessa, Chernobyl, Kiev and Kalviv. The presence of the Orchestra shows how peace is a relevant part of the program of the Eurovillage, created by City of Turin and the Piedmont region on the occasion of Eurovision.

The village is open to citizens and free, with the exhibitions of over 200 artists, testimonials and activists. The idea was to represent in a closed space the rich environment of Torino and Piedmont made of culture and events, dealing with peace and human rights. The Eurovillage saw, on Europe Day, also the presence of the European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli.

Turin and the Piedmont Region proved again to be one of the most welcoming in the world, not only for Eurovision and not only for the many tourists. After the outbreak of the conflict, it welcomed 10 thousand Ukrainians and activated info centers giving detailed indications for families, individuals, or local authorities wishing to receive those fleeing the country.

For further info on the region, on its touristic and cultural initiatives: visitpiemonte.com.

For more information:
LaPresse SpA Communication and Press Office Director
Barbara Sanicola barbara.sanicola@lapresse.it

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2b0a5968-228f-4d29-9abd-f5dad1973a89

The photo is also available at Newscom, www.newscom.com, and via AP PhotoExpress.

YOURSAY | Now not everyone can fly on time

Published by
Malaysiakini (English)

YOURSAY | ‘Insufficient aircraft not a good excuse, you must deliver what you sell.’ Minister demands answers from AirAsia after complaints mount OCT: It looks like AirAsia doesn’t have enough planes to operate its business (based on reports of many complaints involving flight delays and rescheduling experienced by passengers, which also gained the attention of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi). It also looks like one plane served multiple routes, so if there is a delay at one airport, there will be subsequent delays at other airports along the route due to c… Read More »

King conveys condolences to family of UAE President

KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 (Bernama) — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has expressed his condolences to the family of the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who passed away today.

His Majesty also expressed sadness over Sheikh Khalifa’s passing and hoped that his family will remain patient and resilient in coping with the loss.

“His Majesty prays for his soul to be blessed by Allah SWT and placed among the righteous,” according to a post on the Istana Negara’s Facebook page.

Following the news of the death of Sheikh Khalifa, Al-Sultan Abdullah contacted Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan by phone to personally convey his condolences to him and his family.

According to the post, His Majesty and Sheikh Mohamed became friends at the Royal Sandhurst Military Academy in 1978 and 1979 and the close friendship between the two leaders has remained to this day.

At the personal invitation of Sheikh Mohamed, His Majesty also agreed to leave for Abu Dhabi on Sunday (May 15) to join other heads of state to pay their last respects to Sheikh Khalifa.

The ceremony for paying last respects to Sheikh Khalifa is scheduled to be held for three days from tomorrow until May 16.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

UTeM develops DeepAI application to help people with autism generate income

MELAKA, May 13 (Bernama) — Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) has developed the DeepAI application aimed at helping people with autism generate their income.

UTEM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Massila Kamalrudin said the move was in line with the university’s high level of expertise in the latest digital technology and its role as an institution of excellence in research and innovation to participate in helping communities in need.

“UTEM has successfully developed a technology known as the DeepAI application which is artificial intelligence (AI) capable of producing artwork automatically using a variety of styles.

“Through the programme, autistic children can use their drawing style to produce more beautiful paintings,” she said in a statement here today.

According to Massila, the project was developed by a group of professors and lecturers headed by Prof Dr Goh Ong Sing with Dr Yogan Jaya Kumar, Dr Zuraini Othman, Dr Ngo Hea Choon and Muhammad Helmy Emran from the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, and Prof Dr Effendi Mohamad from the Faculty of Manufacturing Engineering as well as Mohd Shamsuri Md Saad from the university’s Institute of Technology Management and Entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, Ong Sin said the project was the university’s manifestation of its social responsibility, adding that he hoped it could help disabled people, especially autistic children to further develop their artistic talents.

“Normally an autistic child will take between one and three weeks to produce an artwork but with the help of DeepAI, they can produce a drawing in just one day.

“We hope this application will make it easier for them to produce their artwork and sell it to a wider market for them to generate income.”

He said the initiative had also received recognition and support from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) together with Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM) through The Malaysia Social Innovation Programme (MyIS).

“Presently, UTeM is working with the Melaka and Negeri Sembilan special education sector as well as with Persatuan Kanner Melaka to identify and train autistic children and people with disabilities who are interested and have the talent for painting,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

PM Ismail Sabri joins Biden, ASEAN leaders on final day of summit

WASHINGTON D.C, May 13 (Bernama) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will join United States President Joe Biden and ASEAN leaders on the final day of the two-day ASEAN-US Special Summit here Friday (Saturday in Malaysia).

The leaders will exchange views on regional and global issues at a session scheduled at 2.30 pm Friday (2.30 am Saturday in Malaysia).

Prior to that, Ismail Sabri will be attending a working lunch hosted by US Vice President Kamala Harris, and their discussion is expected to touch on maritime cooperation, health and pandemic recovery.

Harris and the ASEAN leaders will continue with another session of discussion later which will focus on climate action, clean energy transformation and sustainable infrastructure.

All the sessions on the final day of the two-day summit will take place at the US State Department, here.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency