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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

While permanent fencing systems are effective for marking property lines and providing safe play areas for children and pets, they can be very costly and labor-intensive to install and also to remove. Fortunately, an inventor from Fort Myers, Fla., has found a quicker and easier way to have fencing available on an as-needed basis. He developed HIDEAWAY FENCING to provide an enclosed area for temporary confinement of a pet or for privacy. As such, it prevents a dog from getting lost or running away. It is particularly ideal for gated communities that don’t allow permanent fencing. This innovative modular system provides an attractive appearance for both consumer and commercial applications. However, when retracted, the system is completely invisible. What’s more, it is durable and easy to install and operate. Other appealing features include its convenience, effectiveness and affordable price. It is usable with new-construction or existing pools, and it is great for contractors as an added selling feature. The inventor’s personal experience inspired the idea. “I live in a gated community where the fencing we need for our pet is not allowed,” he said. “This invention not only solves that problem but could provide a safe area for confining and protecting small children or simply for privacy.” The original design was submitted to the Naples office of InventHelp. It is currently available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers. For more information, write Dept. 15-NPL-123, InventHelp, 217 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or call (412) 288-1300 ext. 1368. Learn more about InventHelp's Invention Submission Services at http://www.InventHelp.com - https://www.youtube.com/user/inventhelp # # #


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

At one time or another, many people have difficulty reading restaurant menus because of vision problems or lack of sufficient light. As a result they may not be sure exactly what they are ordering for dinner. Fortunately, an inventor from Naples, Fla., has found an easy way to solve that problem. She developed I MENU to help users read restaurant menus without reading glasses or other aids. As such, it allows users to enjoy dim, romantic restaurant atmospheres. It is particularly appealing to elderly users or anyone requiring vision correction because of the greater visibility it provides despite limited lighting. At the same time, it reduces eye strain and is attractive, comfortable and easy to use. In addition, this invention is convenient, effective and affordably priced. The inventor’s professional experience inspired the idea. “While working as a nurse, I often took my patients to restaurants and noticed they had difficulty reading the menus by themselves because of their poor eye sight and the dim lighting,” she said. The original design was submitted to the Naples office of InventHelp. It is currently available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers. For more information, write Dept. 15-NPL-108, InventHelp, 217 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or call (412) 288-1300 ext. 1368. Learn more about InventHelp's Invention Submission Services at http://www.InventHelp.com - https://www.youtube.com/user/inventhelp # # #


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

How lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries behave under short-circuit conditions can now be examined using a new approach developed by a UCL-led team to help improve reliability and safety. The use of high energy density Li-ion batteries is ubiquitous -- from powering portable electronics to providing grid-scale storage -- but defects can lead to overheating and explosions. Although catastrophic failure is extremely rare, recent high-profile cases including the recall of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone line and the grounding of an aircraft fleet highlight why it's important to understand battery failure. "In previous work, we've tracked Li-ion battery failure caused by extreme heat in 3D and real-time, but this is the first time we've tracked what happens to the temperature and structure of cells when we short circuit the battery in a controlled way at an internal location of our choosing, initiating a series of potentially dangerous events," explained first author, Dr Donal Finegan (UCL, NASA and NREL). "This is of particular interest, as short-circuiting is thought to be responsible for a number of high-profile, real world failures. Knowing when and where the cell will fail has allowed us to characterise what happens during catastrophic failure in-depth using high-speed X-ray imaging. This provides us with new insights to help guide the design and development of safer and more reliable Li-ion batteries." The study published today in Energy and Environmental Science involved researchers from UCL, NASA-Johnson Space Center (USA), the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, USA), WMG University of Warwick, Diamond Light Source (UK), The European Synchrotron (ESRF, France) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL, UK). To induce failure, the team inserted a device capable of generating an internal short circuit on-demand and at a pre-determined location into commercially available Li-ion batteries, which are commonly used to power portable electronics and electric vehicles. Designed and patented by U.S. researchers Dr Eric Darcy (NASA) and Matthew Keyser (NREL), the temperature-activated device allows researchers to mimic hidden defects that can occur during the battery manufacturing processes, leading to a dangerous chain reaction of heat generation and battery failure. The team used the device to gain insight into cell design vulnerabilities by causing cell walls to rupture or cells to burst open. Using high-speed X-ray imaging, researchers monitored what happened to the structure of the cells in real-time, as the short circuit drove the catastrophic failure process which propagated through cells and modules. Individual cells, as well as small cell modules, were tested under conditions that represented a worst-case battery failure scenario. Short circuits were initiated inside the batteries at ~60 degrees C. During the failure process, cell temperatures reached in excess of 1085 degrees C. From analysing the high-speed imaging frame by frame, the team looked at the effects of gas pockets forming, venting and increasing temperatures on the layers inside two distinct commercial Li-ion batteries and identified consistent failure mechanisms. Corresponding author, Dr Paul Shearing (UCL) explained: "It is fascinating to see how quickly the process of thermal runaway can spread throughout these cells, which went from being completely intact to being completely destroyed within around one second. "This investigation provides the first description of how short-circuit failure propagates inside a cell in real time, this was only possible by combining the novel short-circuiting devices developed by NASA and NREL with ultra high-speed X-ray imaging. We were surprised to learn how susceptible neighbouring cells are to propagation of thermal runaway. This demonstrates the importance of isolating failing cells within larger battery packs and modules, which may be found in a range of applications from space suits to electric vehicles." The team now plans to examine how these new insights can be used to improve the safety of commercial battery and module designs. For example, researchers will study how the rupture of the highest energy density commercial cells can be prevented and how to reduce the risk of cell-to-cell propagation.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Net banking income at 102,3 million Euro (+33,5%), profit for the period at 32,7 million Euro (+48,3%). Excellent credit quality of loans to SMEs. The CEO Giovanni Bossi: "Both the Interbanca integration and the results are positive, we look to the future with the intention to continue improving and growing". -Credit risk cost of the loans to SMEs: 48 bps; Mestre (Venice), 11 May 2017 - The Board of Directors of Banca IFIS met today under the chairmanship of Sebastien Egon Fürstenberg and approved the financial results of the first three months of 2017. "Banca IFIS is on a roll and determined to achieve excellent results across all businesses, consistently with its plans and in line with market expectations," said Giovanni Bossi, Banca IFIS CEO. "In the first three months of 2017 we achieved our targets: we increased the number of customers across all businesses; our lending process was thorough, in compliance with the three pillars (control of profitability, liquidity, and capital absorption) that drive all the Group's operations; the integration of the new segments (leasing and corporate banking) - added to the Banca IFIS Group with the acquisition of the former GE Capital Interbanca Group - is proving effective, with the individual business units showing a positive trend and expected to improve rapidly thanks to cross-selling. As a result of the strategic repositioning that started with the acquisition, we increased our market share in the various businesses as well as generated innovative financing arrangements in terms of customers and markets, in line with the 2017-2019 strategic plan. We will continue developing the acquired business segments, executing the planned mergers of IFIS Factoring and Interbanca in Banca IFIS in the second half of the year. We will complete the migration to the new core banking platform, which will become operational by the end of the first six months of 2017, and continue working steadily on new technologies to support the lending process and banking services. We are working for a strategy to diversify funding sources as well as entering the bond market through a bond issue, as approved by the Board of Directors and in line with the 2017-2019 strategic plan". -Net banking income totalled 102,3 million Euro, +33,5% (76,6 million Euro at 31 March 2016). Several factors contributed to this positive result: the consolidation process of the former GE Capital Interbanca Group; the positive impact of the breakdown of the difference between the fair value as measured in the business combination and the carrying amount of the receivables recognised by the subsidiary over time, largely arising from the positions allocated to Workout & Recovery (the details by sector are described below); the increased number of customers across all sectors in which the bank operates; the continued growth of the NPL Area. -Net value adjustments in the Trade Receivables segment stood at 4,4 million Euro, compared to 5,3 million Euro at 31 March 2016 (+17,2%). At 31 March 2017, net value adjustments concerning Loans to SMEs totalled nearly 0,1 million Euro. This result testifies Banca IFIS's ability to lend by carefully assuming credit risk. -Operating costs totalled 56,4 million Euro (35,8 million Euro at 31 March 2016, +57,5%). The cost/income ratio stood at 55,1%, compared to 46,7% in the prior-year period. Personnel expenses amounted to 24,1 million Euro (13,4 million Euro in March 2016, +79,5%). The increase referred for 8,9 million Euro to the former GE Capital Interbanca Group. At 31 March 2017, the Group's employees numbered 1.361 (1.323 at 31 December 2016). There was also an increase in the expenses associated with the technological evolution of business processes. At 31 March 2017, the Group profit for the period totalled 32,7 million Euro, up 48,3% from 22,0 million Euro at 31 March 2016. For a better understanding of the results for the period and the comparative data, please note that changes in market interest rates and the bank's funding rates required revising the method to calculate the internal transfer rates for 2017, and therefore the consequent update of these indicators. To facilitate the comparison of the two reference periods, the 2016 results have been restated according to the 2017 funding approach across all segments. As for the contribution of individual segments to the operating and financial results at 31 March 2017, here below are the highlights: -Loans to SMEs (including the trade receivables, leasing, and corporate banking segments) generated 69,7 million Euro in net banking income. Total loans to SMEs amounted to 5.070,1 million Euro, down 3,1% from 5.233,8 million Euro at the end of 2016. The decline, which is normal in the first quarter compared to the end of the previous year, stemmed largely from trade receivables, while the leasing and corporate banking segments were up. Specifically, the breakdown of loans to customers was as follows: 15,7% are due from the public sector and 84,3% from the private sector. Trade Receivables generated 33,8 million Euro in net banking income (33,7 million Euro in the first quarter of 2016, +0,4%); the segment's turnover rose to 2,7 billion Euro (+13,2% from 31 March 2016), with 5.410 SMEs customers (+18,0% compared to the prior-year period). Loans to customers in the trade receivables segment declined by 244,7 million Euro (-7,9% from December 2016).  Corporate Banking generated 23,4 million Euro in net banking income and reflected, among other things, the positive impact of the breakdown of the difference between the fair value as measured in the business combination and the carrying amount of the receivables recognised by the subsidiary over time, largely arising from the positions allocated to Workout & Recovery. Also the strategy of refocusing on the growth of the Medium/Long-Term Financing and Structured Finance business areas contributed to the segment's performance. The Leasing segment's net banking income totalled 12,5 million Euro thanks to the positive development of the increase both in number of customers and loans, with positive effect on the growing market share, and included also the positive impact of the breakdown of the difference between the fair value as measured in the business combination and the carrying amount of the receivables recognised by the subsidiary over time, equal to 2.7 million euro. Specifically, finance and operating leases contributed 8,6 and 3,9 million Euro, respectively, to net banking income. -The NPL Area generated 30,5 million Euro in net banking income, compared to 24,6 million Euro in the prior-year period (+24,0%). In the first three months of 2017, the NPL Area acquired portfolios of receivables totalling 1,6 billion Euro and consisting of over 60 thousand positions. At 31 March 2017, the portfolio managed by the NPL Area included 1.378.597 positions, for a nominal value of 10,4 billion Euro. -Tax Receivables generated 2,9 million Euro in net banking income, down 26,9% from 4,0 million Euro at 31 March 2016. -The net banking income of Governance&Services was negative -0,8 million Euro. This was largely because of the lower overall contribution from the government bond portfolio-which in the first quarter of 2016 contributed 4,5 million Euro in interest income and 5,5 million Euro in gains on the sale of part of the portfolio carried out last year-as well as the fact that Banca IFIS incurred, and continues incurring, significant costs associated with the additional funding for the closing of the acquisition of the former GE Capital Interbanca Group. Here below is the breakdown of net non-performing loans concerning loans to SMEs: -net bad loans amounted to 65,6 million Euro from 65,1 million euro at 31 December 2016 (+0,8%); the net bad-loan ratio was 1,3%, in line with 31 December 2016. The coverage ratio stood at 91,9% (92,0% at 31 December 2016); -the balance of net unlikely to pay was 215,6 million Euro, +4,0% from 207,3 million Euro at the end of 2016; -Net non-performing past due exposures totalled 147,9 million Euro, compared with 137,4 million Euro in December 2016 (+7,6%). The increase was attributable to past due loans in the trade receivables segment due from the Public Administration that were purchased outright, rising from 46,8 million Euro at the end of 2016 to 56,4 million Euro at 31 March 2017 (+20,4%). The coverage ratio of the Net non-performing past due exposures stood at 14,2% (19,4% at 31 December 2016). Overall, gross non-performing loans to businesses (always excluding the non-performing loans of both the NPL Area and the Tax Receivables segment) totalled 1.373,9 million Euro, with 944,7 million Euro in impairment losses and a coverage ratio of 68,8%. At the end of the period, consolidated equity totalled 1.253,6 million Euro, compared to 1.218,8 million Euro at 31 December 2016. The consolidated CET1 and Total Own Funds Ratios of the Banca IFIS Group alone, excluding the effect of the consolidation of the Parent Company La Scogliera2,  both amounted to 15,4% at the end of 31 March 2017, compared to 15,7% at the end of 2016. For more details, see the Consolidated Interim Report at 31 March 2017, available in the "Institutional Investors" section of the official website www.bancaifis.it Pursuant to Article 154 bis, Paragraph 2 of the Consolidated Law on Finance, the Corporate Accounting Reporting Officer, Mariacristina Taormina, declares that the accounting information contained in this press release corresponds to the accounting records, books and entries. 1Net value adjustments in the NPL Area, totalling 8,2 million Euro at 31 March 2017 compared to 2,8 million Euro at 31 March 2016, were reclassified to interest receivable and similar income to present more fairly this particular business, for which net value adjustments represent an integral part of the return on the investment. 2The reported total own funds refers only to the scope of the Banca IFIS Group, thus excluding the effects of the prudential consolidation in the parent La Scogliera S.p.A. Consolidated own funds, risk-weighted assets and solvency ratios at 31 March 2017 were determined based on the regulatory principles set out in Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD IV) and Regulation (EU) 575/2013 (CRR) dated 26 June 2013, which were transposed in the Bank of Italy's Circulars no. 285 and 286 of 17 December 2013. Article 19 of the CRR requires to include the unconsolidated holding of the banking Group in prudential consolidation. The CET1 at 31 March 2017 including La Scogliera S.p.A. amounted to 14,0%, compared to 14,7% at 31 December 2016, while the Total Own Funds ratio totalled 14,9%, compared to 15,3% at 31 December 2016.


Il portafoglio acquisito è composto da circa 75.500 posizioni e comprende per la maggior parte crediti consumer non performing (prestiti personali, carte di credito) e per la parte restante contratti di finanziamento performing in regolare rimborso. "L'operazione rappresenta una novità; per la prima volta acquistiamo un portafoglio misto di crediti performing e non performing" è il commento di Andrea Clamer, responsabile dell'Area NPL di Banca IFIS. "In un mercato con dinamiche sempre più vivaci, ove la scelta di dismettere asset è ormai considerata una prioritaria opzione strategica, continuiamo a valutare tutte le possibili transazioni, in linea con i pilastri della nostra strategia, ovvero corretta redditività per il rischio ed equilibrato assorbimento di capitale".


LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rapid and accurate diagnosis of illnesses is extremely important to the health both of an individual and of the general population. A quick diagnosis allows for fast treatment and reduces the risk of others being exposed to an infectious disease. However, for many illnesses, timely analysis is still a significant challenge, with the process sometimes taking days to complete. Researchers are therefore constantly looking for ways to improve it. Infiniti Research recently performed an assessment of the infectious disease diagnostic testing market in Europe for a leading player in the global market. The primary objective was to analyze the market trends, growth drivers, and challenges for the market in the target region. The study also offers a detailed overview of targeted market segments including rapid diagnostics (POC), molecular diagnostics, immunoassay, and microbiology. Several firms are currently collaborating to develop a fast, low-cost sensor for diagnosing hepatitis. The sensor uses graphene and can test simultaneously for hepatitis A, B, and C. Hepatitis is a global problem, affecting almost 400 million people. China is one of the countries most severely affected by the disease, and this new project aims to help combat it in the region. The sensor is being developed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the University of Chongqing, Swansea University, and CTN, with support from the U.K.'s Newton Fund. The collaboration between the UK and China will significantly improve the way hepatitis is diagnosed in China, as the new test is non-invasive, fast, and less expensive than blood tests. The current two-year project is for the development of a prototype and preparation for commercialization. Request a brochure to see how Infiniti’s insights can help you The healthcare landscape is constantly changing and evolving, as scientists and medical experts look for new ways to deal with health threats. New technology emerges, along with new opportunities in multiple regions. Market intelligence can help identify new opportunities and threats, and evaluate the attractiveness and risk level of different markets. Infiniti’s recent assessment of the infectious disease testing market provided a detailed overview of the market segments and helped the client understand the overall market dynamics of the infectious disease diagnostic products segment. Infiniti’s researchers provided actionable insights on the design and manufacturing requirements for the diagnostic testing market and shed light on the performance and warrant standards of diagnostic testing devices. Have questions about this study? Request more information on this report Established in 2003, Infiniti Research is a leading market intelligence company providing smart solutions to address your business challenges. Infiniti Research studies markets in more than 100 countries to help analyze competitive activity, see beyond market disruptions, and develop intelligent business strategies. With 13 years of experience and offices across three continents, Infiniti Research has been instrumental in providing a complete range of competitive intelligence, strategy, and research services for over 550 companies across the globe.


Mestre (Venice), 26 May 2017 - Banca IFIS has finalized an agreement for the purchase of a loan portfolio having a nominal value of about 190 million euro from Barclays. The portfolio consists of about 75.500 positions made up of mostly non-performing consumer loans (personal loans, credit cards) and for the remaining part of performing loan agreements regularly repaid by customers. "This operation is new as it is the first time we have purchased a portfolio containing both non-performing and performing loans" said Andrea Clamer, Head of Banca IFIS's NPL Area, who sent on to say: "In a market with increasingly lively dynamics, where the choice to dispose assets is now considered a primary strategic option, we continue to evaluate all possible transactions in line with our strategic pillars which are the right profitability for the risk taken on and balanced capital absorption." The overall value of all NPLs managed by Banca IFIS, as of April, 30 2017, amounted to over 10 billion euro comprising over 1 million 400 thousand positions.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Colony Starwood Homes (NYSE:SFR) (the “Company”), a leading single-family rental real estate investment trust (“REIT”), today announced operating and financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. Capitalized terms used herein have the meanings set forth in the Appendix to the Supplemental Report of financial and operating information posted on the Company's website. “Our Same Home revenue growth of 6.9% reflects the continued robust demand and muted supply within Colony Starwood Homes’ high growth markets in the first quarter of 2017. Quarter ending occupancy of 96.1% positions us well as we enter the 2017 peak leasing season while Same Home Core NOI Margin of 65.4% indicates continued gains in operating efficiencies,” stated Fred Tuomi, the Company’s CEO. “We were very pleased with the execution of the Company’s first primary equity offering of $350.0 million, which demonstrated strong investor demand, further strengthened our balance sheet and provided substantial growth capital. Looking forward, we see 2017 as another year of strong fundamentals and superior results.” Total revenues were $151.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, and net loss attributable to common shareholders was $11.3 million, or ($0.11) per share, driven by depreciation and amortization expense. NAREIT FFO was $33.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2017, or $0.31 per share, and Core FFO was $52.8 million, or $0.48 per share. NAREIT FFO and Core FFO are common supplemental measures of operating performance for a REIT, and the Company believes both are useful to investors as a complement to GAAP measures because they facilitate an understanding of the operating performance of the Company’s properties. For the Company’s Same Home portfolio of 28,732 homes, revenue, operating expenses and NOI were $137.4 million, $50.7 million and $86.7 million, respectively, for the three months ended March 31, 2017. Year-over-year Same Home revenue and expense growth were affected by the implementation of a third-party utility billing service provider during the third quarter 2016, whereby water, sewer and trash services are now held in the Company’s name during resident occupancy and subsequently billed-back to the resident; this had the effect of increasing both revenue growth and expense growth. Core Rental Revenue and Core Property Operating Expense measures reflect the net effect of these utility reimbursements, as well as other chargebacks. Core Revenue growth for the quarter was 5.6% with Core Expense growth of 4.0%. Same Home Core NOI margin for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and March 31, 2016 was 65.4% and 64.9%, respectively. The table below summarizes Same Home operating results. During the three months ended March 31, 2017, the Company acquired 397 homes for an aggregate total investment of approximately $92.4 million, or approximately $233,000 per home, including estimated investment costs for renovation. The Company sold 136 single-family rental homes for gross sales proceeds of $27.8 million, resulting in a gain of approximately $0.7 million. As of March 31, 2017, the Company had $3.8 billion of debt outstanding and approximately $250.0 million of undrawn commitments on its credit facilities. In January, the Company sold $345.0 million of 3.50% convertible senior notes due 2022. The Company used the net proceeds from the new convertible offering to repurchase, in privately negotiated transactions, substantially all of its 4.50% convertible senior notes due in 2017. Remaining proceeds from the note issuance were used to repay amounts drawn on the Company’s credit facilities, to fund ongoing asset acquisitions and for general corporate purposes. During January, the Company also entered into a five-year $550.0 million swap contract, effectively fixing its floating securitization debt at an average rate of 3.59% over the term bringing the Company’s fixed rate debt to over 90% of total debt. In March, the Company completed a follow on equity offering of approximately $750.0, consisting of approximately $350.0 million primary shares sold by the Company and approximately $400.0 million in secondary shares sold by original sponsors. In March the Company also entered into an $800.0 million forward swap contract effective from 2019 through 2022 to extend existing swap contracts expiring in 2019. Subsequent to March 31, 2017, the Company finalized a $675.0 million revolving credit facility, replacing two secured facilities originated prior to the merger between Colony American Homes and Starwood Waypoint. The Company entered into an at-the-market (ATM) sales agreement under which it may sell up to $300.0 million of its common shares in amounts and times to be determined by the Company. The Company paid down the principal balance of its SWAY 2014-1 securitization by $300 million from cash on hand. On May 2, 2017, the Board declared a dividend of $0.22 per common share for the second quarter of 2017, which will be paid on July 14, 2017 to shareholders of record on June 30, 2017. The Company is reaffirming it’s full-year 2017 guidance and the assumptions outlined below: The Company does not provide forward-looking guidance for certain financial measures on a GAAP basis because it is unable to reasonably predict certain items contained in the GAAP measures, including one-time and infrequent items that are not indicative of the Company’s ongoing operations. Such items include, but are not limited to, discontinued operations, share-based compensation and other items not reflective of the Company's ongoing operations. This outlook is based on a number of assumptions, many of which are outside the Company’s control and all of which are subject to change. This outlook reflects the Company’s expectations on (1) existing investments and (2) yield on incremental investments inclusive of the Company’s existing pipeline. All guidance is based on current expectations of future economic conditions and the judgment of the Company’s management team. Please refer to the Forward Looking Statements disclosure. A conference call is scheduled on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss the Company’s financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. The domestic dial-in number is 1-877-407-9039 (for U.S. and Canada) and the international dial-in number is 1-201-689-8470 (passcode not required). An audio webcast may be accessed at www.colonystarwood.com in the investor relations section. A replay of the call will be available through June 9, 2017 and can be accessed by calling 1-844-512-2921 (U.S. and Canada) or 1-412-317-6671 (international), replay pin number 13658913, or by using the link at www.colonystarwood.com, in the investor relations section. Colony Starwood Homes (NYSE: SFR) is one of the largest publicly traded owners and operators of single-family rental homes in the United States. Colony Starwood Homes acquires, renovates, leases, maintains and manages single-family homes in markets that exhibit favorable demographics and long-term economic trends, as well as strengthening demand for rental properties. Colony Starwood Homes is building its business upon a foundation of respect for its residents and the communities in which it operates. Additional information can be found at www.colonystarwood.com. A copy of the First Quarter 2017 Supplemental Information Package (“Q1 2017 Supplement”) and this press release are available on the Company’s website at www.colonystarwood.com. This press release and the Q1 2017 Supplement contain and may refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures and terms that management believes are helpful in understanding our business, as further set forth in the definitions, explanations and reconciliations of each non-GAAP financial measure to its most comparable GAAP financial measures included in the Appendix. These measures and terms are in addition to, not a substitute for or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP and should be read together with the most comparable GAAP measures. Certain statements in this press release and the quarterly supplement/presentation are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws and are based on certain assumptions and discuss future expectations, describe future plans and strategies and contain financial and operating projections or state other forward-looking information. The Company’s ability to predict results or the actual effect of future events, actions, plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, the Company’s actual results and performance could differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. Factors that could materially and adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects, as well as the Company’s ability to make distributions to its shareholders, include, but are not limited to: the factors referenced in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K; unanticipated increases in financing and other costs, including a rise in interest rates; the availability, terms and the Company’s ability to effectively deploy short-term and long-term capital; the possibility that unexpected liabilities may arise from the Company’s merger (the “Merger”) with Colony American Homes (“CAH”), including the outcome of any legal proceedings that have been or may be instituted against the Company, CAH or others in connection with the Merger and the associated transactions; changes in the Company’s business and growth strategies; the Company’s ability to hire and retain highly skilled managerial, investment, financial and operational personnel; volatility in the real estate industry, interest rates and spreads, the debt or equity markets, the economy generally or the rental home market specifically, whether the result of market events or otherwise; events or circumstances that undermine confidence in the financial markets or otherwise have a broad impact on financial markets, such as the sudden instability or collapse of large financial institutions or other significant corporations, terrorist attacks, natural or man-made disasters, or threatened or actual armed conflicts; declines in the value of single-family residential homes, and macroeconomic shifts in demand for, and competition in the supply of, rental homes; the availability of attractive investment opportunities in homes that satisfy the Company’s investment objective and business and growth strategies; the Company’s ability to convert the properties it acquires into rental homes generating attractive returns and to effectively control the timing and costs relating to the renovation and operation of the properties; the Company’s ability to complete its exit from the non-performing loan (“NPL”) (and related real estate owned) business in the anticipated time period on acceptable terms and to re-deploy net cash proceeds therefrom; the Company’s ability to lease or re-lease its rental homes to qualified residents on attractive terms or at all; the failure of residents to pay rent when due or otherwise perform their lease obligations; the Company’s ability to effectively manage its portfolio of rental homes; the concentration of credit risks to which the Company is exposed; the rates of default or decreased recovery rates on the Company’s target assets; the adequacy of the Company’s cash reserves and working capital; potential conflicts of interest with Starwood Capital Group, Colony Capital, LLC (“Colony Capital”), Colony NorthStar, Inc. (“Colony NorthStar”) and their affiliates and managed investment activities; the timing of cash flows, if any, from the Company’s investments; the Company’s expected leverage; financial and operating covenants contained in the Company’s credit facilities and securitizations that could restrict its business and investment activities; effects of derivative and hedging transactions; the Company’s ability to maintain effective internal controls as required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and to comply with other public company regulatory requirements; the Company’s ability to maintain its exemption from registration as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended; actions and initiatives of the U.S., state and municipal governments and changes to governments’ policies that impact the economy generally and, more specifically, the housing and rental markets; changes in governmental regulations, tax laws (including changes to laws governing the taxation of real estate investment trusts (“REITs”)) and rates, and similar matters; limitations imposed on the Company’s business and its ability to satisfy complex rules in order for the Company and, if applicable, certain of its subsidiaries to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and the ability of certain of the Company’s subsidiaries to qualify as taxable REIT subsidiaries for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and the Company’s ability and the ability of its subsidiaries to operate effectively within the limitations imposed by these rules; and estimates relating to the Company’s ability to make distributions to its shareholders in the future. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement and should consider all of the uncertainties and risks described above, as well as those more fully discussed in the reports and other documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Except as required by law, the Company is under no duty to, and the Company does not intend to, update any of the forward-looking statements appearing herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

"Banca IFIS sta correndo, determinata a produrre risultati di eccellenza in tutti i business, coerentemente con i propri programmi e in linea con le aspettative del mercato," è il commento di Giovanni Bossi, Amministratore Delegato di Banca IFIS. "In questi primi tre mesi del 2017 i risultati attesi  sono stati raggiunti: il numero di clienti è incrementato in tutti i business; l'erogazione di credito è stata ottima, nel rispetto dei tre pilastri (controllo della redditività, della liquidità, e dell'assorbimento di capitale) che animano ogni operazione del Gruppo; l'integrazione dei nuovi settori leasing e corporate banking - entrati a far parte del Gruppo Banca IFIS con l'acquisizione dell'ex Gruppo GE Capital Interbanca - sta funzionando, con risultati delle singole business units in trend positivo e con prospettive in rapido ulteriore miglioramento grazie al cross selling. Il riposizionamento strategico avviato con l'acquisizione ha portato sia ad una crescita delle quote di mercato nei vari business, sia alla generazione di operazioni di finanziamento su basi innovative in termini di clientela e mercati, in linea con quanto delineato nelle linee guida del piano strategico 2017-2019. Continueremo a sviluppare il piano strategico, proseguendo con le fusioni programmate di IFIS Factoring e Interbanca in Banca IFIS entro la seconda parte dell'anno. Completeremo il passaggio alla nuova piattaforma di core banking, operativa già entro la fine del primo semestre, e continueremo nello sviluppo intensivo delle nuove tecnologie applicate al credito e ai servizi bancari. Stiamo lavorando ad una strategia di diversificazione delle fonti di raccolta e l'ingresso nel mercato del debito con l'emissione di bond, come approvato dal Consiglio di Amministrazione ed in linea con il piano strategico 2017-2019". Margine di intermediazione pari a 102,3 milioni di euro, +33,5% rispetto al primo trimestre 2016 (76,6 milioni di euro al 31 marzo 2016). Il risultato positivo registrato dalla voce è influenzato  da una serie di fattori: il processo di consolidamento dell'ex Gruppo GE Capital Interbanca; l'effetto positivo dello smontamento temporale del differenziale fra il valore di fair value determinato in sede di business combination e il valore contabile dei crediti iscritti nel bilancio della controllata originato principalmente dalle posizioni allocate al Workout&Recovery (i dettagli per settore sono descritti in seguito); l'incremento del numero dei clienti in tutti i settori di presenza dell'istituto; il continuo sviluppo dell'Area NPL. - Costi operativi pari a 56,4 milioni di euro (35,8 milioni al 31 marzo 2016, +57,5%). Il cost/income ratio (rapporto tra costi operativi e margine di intermediazione) ammonta al 55,1% rispetto al 46,7% dello stesso periodo dell'anno precedente. Le spese per il personale sono pari a 24,1 milioni di euro (13,4 milioni a marzo 2016, +79,5%). L'incremento delle spese del personale è riferito per 8,9 milioni di euro all'ex Gruppo GE Capital Interbanca. In totale il numero dei dipendenti del Gruppo a fine marzo 2017 è di 1.361 risorse (1.323 al 31 dicembre 2016). Aumentano inoltre anche le spese connesse alla nuova evoluzione tecnologica dei processi di business. - Crediti verso le imprese (voce che comprende i settori crediti commerciali, il leasing ed il corporate banking): totalizzano un margine di intermediazione complessivo pari a 69,7 milioni di euro. Il totale dei crediti verso le imprese  è pari a 5.070,1 rispetto a 5.233,8 milioni, in contrazione del 3,1% rispetto a fine del 2016. La riduzione, ordinaria nel primo trimestre rispetto alla fine dell'esercizio precedente, è originata prevalentemente nel settore dei crediti commerciali, mentre risultano in incremento i settori del leasing e del corporate banking. In particolare la distribuzione delle esposizioni creditizie verso la clientela mostra una quota del 15,7% verso il settore pubblico e dell'84,3% verso il settore privato. Nel dettaglio, i Crediti Commerciali realizzano un margine di intermediazione pari a 33,8 milioni di euro (33,7 milioni di euro nel primo trimestre 2016, +0,4%); il turnover del settore sale a 2,7 miliardi di euro (+13,2% rispetto al 31 marzo 2016), con un numero di imprese clienti pari a 5.410 (+18,0% rispetto allo stesso periodo dell'anno precedente). L'impiego puntuale del settore crediti commerciali registra un decremento di 244,7 milioni di euro (-7,9% rispetto a dicembre 2016).  Il Corporate Banking realizza un margine di intermediazione pari a 23,4 milioni di euro e riflette anche l'effetto positivo dello smontamento temporale del differenziale fra il valore di fair value determinato in sede di business combination e il valore contabile dei crediti iscritti nel bilancio della controllata originato principalmente dalle posizioni allocate al Workout&Recovery pari a 20,1 milioni di euro. Ha contribuito al risultato del settore anche la strategia di rifocalizzazione sullo sviluppo delle aree di business del Credito Medio/Lungo termine e Finanza Strutturata. Il margine di intermediazione del Leasing risulta pari a 12,5 milioni di euro grazie al positivo sviluppo sostenuto dalla crescita del numero di clienti e degli impieghi con effetto positivo sulle crescenti quote di mercato, nonché per l'effetto positivo derivante dallo smontamento temporale del differenziale fra il valore di fair value determinato in sede di business combination e il valore contabile dei crediti iscritti nel bilancio della controllata, pari a 2,7 milioni di euro; in particolare, il contributo al margine del leasing finanziario ammonta a 8,6 milioni e quello del noleggio operativo a 3,9 milioni. - Governance&Servizi registra un margine di intermediazione negativo di -0,8 milioni di euro. Il risultato è da imputare principalmente al minor apporto complessivo del portafoglio titoli di Stato, che nel primo trimestre 2016 contribuiva con interessi attivi per 4,5 milioni e per 5,5 milioni di utili da cessione a seguito della vendita di parte del portafoglio avvenuta sempre nel 2016, nonché ai significativi costi legati al funding addizionale che Banca IFIS ha sostenuto e sostiene nel 2017 in relazione alla conclusione dell'operazione di acquisizione dell'ex Gruppo GE Capital Interbanca. Dichiarazione del dirigente preposto alla redazione dei documenti contabili societari Il dirigente preposto alla redazione dei documenti contabili societari, Mariacristina Taormina, dichiara ai sensi del comma 2 articolo 154 bis del Testo Unico della Finanza, che l'informativa contabile contenuta corrisponde alle risultanze documentali, ai libri ed alle scritture contabili. 1 Le rettifiche di valore nette su crediti afferenti all'Area NPL, pari a 8,2 milioni al 31 marzo 2017 e a 2,8 milioni al 31 marzo 2016, sono state riclassificate fra gli interessi attivi e proventi assimilati al fine di dare una rappresentazione maggiormente aderente alle peculiarità di tale business, che vede le rettifiche di valore nette parte integrante del rendimento. 2 Il totale fondi propri indicato è relativo al solo perimetro del Gruppo Banca IFIS, che dunque esclude gli effetti derivanti dal consolidamento ai fini prudenziali nella controllante La Scogliera S.p.A. I fondi propri, le attività ponderate per il rischio ed i coefficienti di solvibilità consolidati al 31 marzo 2017 sono stati determinati avendo a riferimento i principi regolamentari contenuti nella Direttiva 2013/36/UE (CRD IV) e nel Regolamento (UE) 575/2013 (CRR) del 26 giugno 2013 recepiti nelle Circolari della Banca d'Italia n. 285 e n. 286 del 17 dicembre 2013. L'articolo 19 del CRR prevede l'inclusione ai fini del consolidamento prudenziale della holding del Gruppo bancario non consolidata nel patrimonio netto contabile. Il CET1 al 31 marzo 2017 comprendente La Scogliera S.p.A. è pari al 14,0% rispetto al 14,7% del 31 dicembre 2016, mentre il Total Own Fund Ratio si attesta al 14,9% rispetto al 15,3% del 31 dicembre 2016.  


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.forbes.com

Nigerian oil and gas companies are pinning their hopes on Western demand for new debt, as appetite for energy deals wanes. The fall in oil prices, an FX shortage and militant attacks on oil-sector infrastructure have pushed indigenous firms – including those that acquired oil fields from Shell and Total – into deep distress. As a result, several of these companies have been forced to restructure the maturities of their loans. Amidst these dire circumstances, Nigerian oil and gas companies may be thrown a lifeline in the form of yield-hungry fixed-income investors. Seplat, for example, headed to London in March to discuss a US-dollar bond, primarily with hedge funds. “These developments come as no surprise to me,” said Femi Ogunkolati, chief executive officer of Synterra, a Nigeria-based conglomerate with interests in energy. “Going forward you’ll see a slew of companies doing this, but pricing will be steep. Local banks don’t have the capacity they used to. Indigenous firms will need to refinance, but with all the supply disruption, doing so may no longer be an option.” It’s an assertion backed by numbers. At the end of 2016, the average NPL ratio of Nigerian banks rose to over 10%, according to these banks’ financial statements. Exposure to the oil and gas sector took up the bulk of these “bad loans.” When oil was $110 a barrel, many Nigerian firms that have since been hit with distress borrowed big from these lenders through borrowing base facilities. But when the drop in prices is as swift as over the last few years, hedging strategies can be insufficient and new loans are almost impossible. “Local banks are focusing on restructuring deals, as opposed to new loans,” said an energy banker. "Banks just want to ensure their existing assets are maintained. We pushed out the maturity profile for one of our clients in the sector last year, but there has been little in the way of new deals.” The banker was alluding to a $1.5 billion five-year facility Aiteo signed in 2014, with a syndicate of local banks. But militant attacks on oil and gas assets, specifically in Bayelsa and Delta States, have raised concerns about some of the region’s assets, including those of Aiteo.

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