Category: ‘Uncategorized’

Talking Horses: Hoping that fiery tearaway Yorkhill follows Gold trail

December 12, 2017 Posted by admin

Today’s best bets, by Chris Cook

Those of us who want to see Yorkhill in a Gold Cup got some encouragement from an Irish Times piece yesterday, predicting he may make his return to action at Leopardstown over Christmas in the race formerly known as the Lexus (or the Ericsson if you go back a bit further). “Leopardstown at Christmas looks a good possibility,” Willie Mullins was quoted as saying. 

Now, there is no excuse for getting carried away with what Mullins has to say about long-term targets. He doesn’t make decisions until he has to and reserves the right to change his mind at the last minute, as we are all aware. I’m certainly not going to place any actual bets on the strength of this latest scrap of news. 

But I’ll take it as encouraging news that the trainer is facing in the right direction and is not seriously thinking about returning his hot-headed chestnut to hurdles. This wimpish course of action was being touted as a live possibility after Yorkhill got himself beat at Punchestown in April but that right-handed track was all against him. Just keep him turning left and he can still be a world-beater over fences. 

Even on a left-handed track, he’s still a bit of a loon, of course. He’s a tearaway whose talent is hard to contain. Can you imagine if him and Might Bite both ended up in the Gold Cup? We’d need an equine psychiatrist on the panel at every Festival preview night. 

I’m worrying again, looking at his form and noticing how Mullins hasn’t once tried him at three miles. It’s only a couple of years since I was wishing this same trainer would tilt at the Gold Cup with another of his JLT winners but that didn’t end particularly well. 

On the other hand, Yorkhill’s pedigree is rather more suggestive of stamina than was Vautour’s. Yorkhill is by Presenting (sire of Denman, War Of Attrition and On His Own) and out of a half-sister to The Listener. Really, it’s amazing he’s done what he has at distances short of three miles. 

To business. The betting market for the last at Lingfield is all about Entertaining Ben and Don’t Blame Me, having seemingly failed to notice that both are front-runners who might detonate each others’ chances with a pace battle. Let’s add Shackled N Drawn into that mix, since he can take a fierce hold and now wears blinkers for the first time. 

All is set fair for a proper burn-up, so what we want is something that can cruise along behind and then pick up the pieces when those three have done each other in. I’m looking at you, Red Invader (3.15), not least because you’ve won on your last two trips to Lingfield and have now dropped back to the same mark you had for the most recent of those. The 12-1 looks pretty good. 

I also like the 3-1 about Kyllachy Gala (1.35), a Marco Botti production who has yet to win since joining him from Italy last winter. His best effort was his only previous attempt over this course and distance, back in January, when he was beaten a head off a mark 9lb higher than the one he has today. 

I saw renewed promise in his Wolverhampton effort last time, when he stayed on into fourth after trouble in running on only his second start after being gelded. This might be where we see the best of him. 

Wolverhampton faces an inspection this morning because of ice and snow, which will doubtless prompt many jokes about all-weather racing. One man who must be hoping it goes ahead is Tony Carroll, who has 10 entrants there, including at least one in each race. Since he’s only had four runners in the first 11 days of this month, that counts as a big day for this yard. 

Carroll is by no means a prolific trainer of winners but I’m interested in his Rowlestonerendezvu (7.20) at 9-1. This filly is bred to stay and now steps back up to a mile and a half, at which distance she is unexposed. Having been “never nearer” over a shorter trip last time, she is now back down to a mark just 4lb above the one from which she won at Ffos Las in July. 

Tips for all Monday races 

11.30 Mother Of Dragons 12.00 Wild Flower 12.30 Chip Or Pellet 1.00 Pretty Bubbles 1.35 Kyllachy Gala 2.10 Alsvinder 2.45 Little Boy Blue 3.15 Red Invader (nb)

3.50 Something Lucky 4.20 Zenovia 4.50 Captain Bond 5.20 Joyful Dream 5.50 Cookie Ring 6.20 Frozen Lake 6.50 Lagenda 7.20 Rowlestonerendezvu

Ayr ABANDONED (frozen)

Article source:

New SBV decree to ease gold trading regulations

December 11, 2017 Posted by admin

compiled by Thiên Lý

The State Bank of Việt Nam is collecting feedback for a decree on gold trading, which will include a monopoly for the central bank on accepting gold deposits.

The new decree will supersede Decree No.24/2012/NĐ-CP and get rid of certain conditions for companies that make gold jewellery.

Decree No.24 confers on the Government a monopoly on gold bullion production and import and export of the metal.

It classifies bullion trading as a conditional business requiring institutions and individuals to obtain a license from the central bank.

To get a licence they should have a capital of at least VNĐ100 billion (US$4.7 million), a distribution network covering at least three provinces or centrally-administered cities, at least two years experience in the gold trade and paid taxes on gold trading of over VNĐ500 million (23,800) for at least two years when the business was not restricted.

Before Decree No.24 was issued, gold deposits and loans by banks had been stopped in November 2012 under the central bank’s Circular No.11/ 2011/TT-NHNN.
Before 2012 the gold market had been very volatile. Banks’ acceptance of gold deposits and lending had greatly impacted the liquidity of the banking system and even caused economic instability.

In the five years since, Decree No.24 has reduced the importance of gold in the economy and stabilised the gold market. Gold price movements no longer affect foreign exchange rates and, thus, economic stability. 

The precious metal is no longer the attractive asset class it used to be.

So, with the sailing in the gold market being smooth, why does the central bank feel the need to issue an amended Decree 24?

In August the Government Office wrote to the central bank governor, Lê Minh Hưng, informing him the State Bank of Việt Nam should “continue focusing on research and implementation of appropriate solutions to mobilise foreign currency and gold from the people to serve development and investment.”

At a recent meeting with the governor, the Prime Minister’s Working Group led by Government Office chairman, Mai Tiến Dũng, againt stressed the need to mobilise foreign exchange and gold.

Dũng said Việt Nam’s decision to ban gold deposits and reduce interest on dollar deposits to zero have helped restrict the pervasive influence of the dollar and gold on the economy and prevent chaos in the market, since people have stopped using them as a means of payment.

However, an estimated 500 tonnes of gold is held by the public, which, if brought into the market, would be good for the economy.

To enable this, the central bank found it necessary to amend some provisions in Decree 24.

Along with the task of continuing to manage the bullion market, the new decree also aims to simplify administrative procedures and scrap some of the conditions for issuing licences to gold businesses.

Businesses which make gold jewellery and fine arts will only need to meet the establishment conditions and register for production, with other rules pertaining to certificates of production and technical facilities set to be eliminated.

More than 5,800 businesses have obtained certificates of eligibility for gold jewellery and fine art production from the central bank based on Decree No.24.

For gold bullion trading too, the SBV is set to ease regulations to reduce unnecessary expenses for enterprises.

But the central bank will have a monopoly in mobilising gold deposits from organisations and individuals and trading gold on account.

Commenting on the SBV’s monopoly on mobilising gold deposits from the public, many experts agreed this is necessary to efficiently manage the gold market and foreign exchange rates.

The government hopes to extract the estimated 500 tonnes of gold with the public through the SBV.

In the past, people could deposit their gold at the SBV as well as commercial banks.

But the experts also warned about the potential risks since gold prices depend on the global market.

Great care and transparency are required on the part of the central bank, they said.

Consumer loans remain very popular

Nguyễn Hoàng Minh, director of the State Bank of Viêt Nam’s HCM City office, said consumer loans have increased sharply in the city in recent years.

In 2012-16 they grew at 20-22 per cent a year, he said.

At VNĐ250 trillion ($11.01 billion) they make up 12.2 per cent of the total outstanding loans of VNĐ2,000 trillion (US$88.1 billion) currently.

Data from the National Financial Supervision Committee shows consumer lending has risen by a whopping 58.6 per cent this year.

As for the overall national figure, a report in July by Bản Việt Securities Company had estimated the market at  nearly VNĐ600 trillion (US$26 billion) last year, or nearly 10 per cent of the GDP.

Significantly, most consumer loans are given by finance companies, whose interest rates are usually much higher than banks’.

The four biggest finance companies, FE Credit, Home Credit, HD Saison and Prudential Finance, account for 84 per cent of the market.

Consumer loans are mostly given for buying household goods and meet travel expenses, with mobile devices, vehicles and personal computers costing less than $2000 accounting for a large proportion.

Experts said the high interest rates are because the companies’ cost of capital is very high.

This is mostly because their loans are small and often for short terms (averaging between 6 and 18 months), which makes each expensive in terms of debt collection and management and other related services.

Besides, the loans are highly risky since they do not require collateral.

Analysts attributed the rapid growth in consumer to certain reasons, one of which is the rapid change in people’s incomes and spending habits.

Vietnamese consumers are spending over 67 per cent of their earnings  ratio, and this is set to rise further as the economy picks up.

The fact that consumer lending procedures are very simple and no collateral is required are other reasons for their popularity, especially among the population segment that does not qualify for bank loans.

This segment finds consumer loans attractive to black market loans controlled by loan sharks.

But experts warned that the threat of bad debts is a constant one for banks and finance institutions. VNS

Article source:

Long hair, tattoos and still drives a Micra, but maverick Harry Williams is a shining light for Exeter and England

December 10, 2017 Posted by admin

It was not so much the undersized 1999 Nissan Micra but more the Eighties shellsuit and gold medallion which made an instant impression on Harry Williams’ first day in professional rugby.

‘Who is this guy we’ve signed?’ asked his Jersey team-mates in 2014. ‘Don’t worry about his fashion sense,’ said coach Steve Boden. ‘The kid has potential.’

Three years later and Williams is now a fully-fledged England prop. He is fulfilling that potential with Exeter, although he refutes some parts of the story from the Channel Islands.

Exeter and England prop Harry Williams does not fit the mould of a modern Test player

Exeter and England prop Harry Williams does not fit the mould of a modern Test player

‘Firstly, it wasn’t a gold medallion, it was a silver St Christopher necklace,’ says Williams. ‘I took it off for training but the boys still made out like I was [American rapper] Wiz Khalifa.

‘There are a couple of terrible photos that keep getting unearthed. It’s like they’re buried underground but, like in Jumanji, every now and then the earth starts to shake and they emerge.’ And what about the car? ‘Yeah, I still drive the Micra,’ he adds. ‘I’ve changed the tyres though.’

Williams does not fit the mould of a modern Test player. He has not been drafted through the age groups with silver spoons and free 4x4s, instead going to university and working as a bakery cleaner.

The 26-year-old former bakery cleaner took the long route to the top in rugby union

The 26-year-old former bakery cleaner took the long route to the top in rugby union

He played in the same Whitgift School team as Elliot Daly and Marland Yarde but took the long route to the top via Wasps, Staines, Auckland, Loughborough University, Nottingham and Jersey.

‘Going to uni, being a bit skint, spending long nights in the library and driving 40 minutes between lectures and training probably makes you value being a professional a bit more,’ he says.

‘I lived in big house with a load of lads and had a good time for a few years; went to a few techno nights. I’m really pleased I did that. I’m a bit older than some of the other guys now, 26, but I don’t feel older because it’s only my fourth year as a full-time professional. I really value it for what it is.’

The 21-stone forward has had to trim off some ‘lard’ since his Championship days

The 21-stone forward has had to trim off some ‘lard’ since his Championship days

Now Williams shares a house in Exeter with team-mates James Freeman and Alec Hepburn, whose classic Buick Skylark and lavender Volkswagen Lupo are also parked on the drive.

They debate politics — ‘I’m an anti-war libertarian; true freedom for all’ — the rise of Bitcoin and we’re looking at setting up a 10-pin bowling team, ‘The Smoking Aces’.

But here, conversation turns to ring-fencing the Premiership, with Williams against the proposals to scrap promotion and relegation outright in light of his personal journey through the lower leagues. 

‘The Championship was pivotal for me,’ he says. ‘To take away that foundation could be quite harmful. Getting rid of the play-offs was a step in the right direction but you shouldn’t just shut down the league without a serious plan. It’s people’s livelihoods on the line. I wouldn’t ring-fence the league.’

Williams has had to trim off some ‘lard’ since his Championship days, when his annual salary would have been close to one £22,000 England match fee. The 21-stone prop featured in every autumn Test, impressing Eddie Jones with his scrum, but he is in no danger of getting carried away.

Williams played in the same Whitgift School team as Elliot Daly and Marland Yarde

Williams played in the same Whitgift School team as Elliot Daly and Marland Yarde

‘Life doesn’t change just because you’ve played international rugby,’ he says. ‘You’re still a bare bum in the shower.’

His maverick image remains the same, even in the clean-cut world of professional sport. ‘Don’t I look like an RFU pin up?’ he jokes. ‘Are you saying I’m one of the offcuts? Are you calling me ugly?

‘The long hair thing, I’m committed to it. It has taken four years to grow. The tattoos are just a thing I like. It’s not like I’m trying to hit back at anyone and be some kind of non-conformist. It’s like when you see some old bus driver with a pair of swallows on his hands. I’ve got Sailor Jerry’s rum, a bear with arrows in its head. None of them really mean anything. I’m not some guy from a biker gang who listens to heavy metal. I like to think I could stand on an RFU poster if I needed to!’

Today, Williams’ attention will be on Cian Healy and Jack McGrath, Leinster’s two Lions looseheads, as Exeter return to European action. ‘Is there more pressure now [that we’re Premiership champions]?’ he says. ‘I prefer having the pressure of being champions.

‘It’s decent to have a bit of a target on your back, we’ll welcome all-comers, get on the road and hopefully do a job.’


Article source: