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Category Archives: Sealand

Heres Why Sealand Capital Galaxy (LON:SCGL) Must Use Its Cash Wisely – Simply Wall St

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 5:17 am

Theres no doubt that money can be made by owning shares of unprofitable businesses. For example, although Amazon.com made losses for many years after listing, if you had bought and held the shares since 1999, you would have made a fortune. But while the successes are well known, investors should not ignore the very many unprofitable companies that simply burn through all their cash and collapse.

So, the natural question for Sealand Capital Galaxy (LON:SCGL) shareholders is whether they should be concerned by its rate of cash burn. In this article, we define cash burn as its annual (negative) free cash flow, which is the amount of money a company spends each year to fund its growth. Lets start with an examination of the businesss cash, relative to its cash burn.

See our latest analysis for Sealand Capital Galaxy

You can calculate a companys cash runway by dividing the amount of cash it has by the rate at which it is spending that cash. As at June 2019, Sealand Capital Galaxy had cash of UK62k and no debt. In the last year, its cash burn was UK478k. So it had a cash runway of approximately 2 months from June 2019. Its extremely surprising to us that the company has allowed its cash runway to get that short! You can see how its cash balance has changed over time in the image below.

Whilst its great to see that Sealand Capital Galaxy has already begun generating revenue from operations, last year it only produced UK587k, so we dont think it is generating significant revenue, at this point. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis well focus on how the cash burn is tracking. Wed venture that the 68% reduction in cash burn over the last year shows that management are, at least, mindful of its ongoing need for cash. Sealand Capital Galaxy makes us a little nervous due to its lack of substantial operating revenue. We prefer most of the stocks on this list of stocks that analysts expect to grow.

Theres no doubt Sealand Capital Galaxys rapidly reducing cash burn brings comfort, but even if its only hypothetical, its always worth asking how easily it could raise more money to fund further growth. Companies can raise capital through either debt or equity. Commonly, a business will sell new shares in itself to raise cash to drive growth. We can compare a companys cash burn to its market capitalisation to get a sense for how many new shares a company would have to issue to fund one years operations.

Sealand Capital Galaxy has a market capitalisation of UK2.0m and burnt through UK478k last year, which is 24% of the companys market value. Thats not insignificant, and if the company had to sell enough shares to fund another years growth at the current share price, youd likely witness fairly costly dilution.

Even though its cash runway makes us a little nervous, we are compelled to mention that we thought Sealand Capital Galaxys cash burn reduction was relatively promising. After looking at that range of measures, we think shareholders should be extremely attentive to how the company is using its cash, as the cash burn makes us uncomfortable. On another note, we conducted an in-depth investigation of the company, and identified 5 warning signs for Sealand Capital Galaxy (4 cant be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

Of course Sealand Capital Galaxy may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.

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Man who went to see son play in band caught drink-driving on way home – LeaderLive

Posted: at 5:17 am

A FLINTSHIRE man who had been to see his son play in a band in Chester was arrested for drink-driving on his way home.

Lesley Paul Lyon, 61, of Windmill, Pentre Halkyn, was spotted by police driving erratically on Sealand Road early on March 2, Chester Magistrates Court heard on Friday, March 20.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

Prosecuting, Amanda York said it was at 1.20am when police spotted Lyon driving his green Mitsubishi and appeared to be tapping his brakes for no reason, and had strayed over the central line on two occasions.

When stopped and asked if he had been drinking, Lyon replied: I have had a couple, yeah.

After initially refusing to get in the back of the police car, Lyon co-operated with the drink-drive test and blew 49 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, compared to the legal limit of 35.

When interviewed, he said he had been to see his son in a band and had not eaten that day.

He had seven convictions for eight previous offences, the last in 2018 for battery.

Lyon, defending himself, said: There is no excuse for drinking and driving. I am not in the habit of that.

He added he had drunk one pint in the afternoon with two further pints that evening, and had not had anything to eat.

He explained he lived remotely in Pentre Halkyn with his wife, who had Huntingtons, and there were no bus routes.

He said he had diabetes and was at risk of getting coronavirus and had respiratory issues.

Lyon added: I can only beg for leniency.

Magistrates imposed the minimum 12-month driving ban, with the option of Lyon taking a drink-drive rehabilitation course which would reduce his ban by one third.

He must pay a 120 fine plus 85 court costs and a 32 victim surcharge.

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Man stabbed 56 times tells court his friend attacked him on night he’s ‘living over and over’ – North Wales Live

Posted: March 5, 2020 at 6:09 pm

A man said to have been stabbed 56 times after he was lured to a secluded spot and set upon has told a court he "lives that night over and over".

Giving evidence from behind a screen, Karl Johnson told Mold Crown Court that it was his friend Nathan Roberts who had attacked him.

Roberts denies attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He accepts that he arranged to meet Mr Johnson down a dark lane near to the entrance to Corus Steel in Garden City on October 21 last year, claiming it was because he wanted to buy cocaine and the area was "convenient for drug dealing".

But Mr Johnson told the jury he was "not a drug dealer" and had driven to North Wales to collect money Roberts owed him.

It is alleged that Roberts struck Mr Johnson over the head, rendering him defenceless, and launched a "sustained knife attack" as Mr Johnson got back into his car.

The 28-year-old, of Chester Close, Shotton, Flintshire, claims it wasn't him but two black men wearing dark tracksuits who spoke with "foreign accents".

He said that, after they fled, he moved Mr Johnson into the passenger seat of the car and got into the driver's seat, saying he was going to get him to hospital, but stopped at the Texaco petrol station on Sealand Road to put air in a flat tyre.

The court heard that blood-soaked Mr Johnson staggered out of the car and collapsed on the floor of the petrol station shop while Roberts bought cans of beer and Red Bull.

Mr Johnson was rushed to hospital and needed surgery.

When he came around, he told doctors that two other men had carried out the attack - but told the jury he had no recollection of saying that in his evidence.

He said: "As far as I'm concerned, the only person there was me and my mate Nathan.

"I'm living that night over and over."

Asked by the defence whether the stabbing was linked to drugs and whether he was "treading on the toes of other dealers", Mr Johnson said: "I'm not a drug dealer. I was in the middle of nowhere."

Under cross examination, it was put to him that it wasn't Roberts who stabbed him, but Mr Johnson said: "There was no one else there."

He added: "It was Nathan who attacked me.

"I wish it wasn't. I wish that day had never happened.

"I'm suffering. I've got to live with that day for the rest of my life."

The court heard that police found cocaine and cannabis in Mr Johnson's car, along with 600 in cash, a set of scales, and some bicarbonate of soda, which the defence suggested can be used to cut cocaine.

Mr Johnson said that, while he owned up to everything that was in the car, some of it - including the cocaine - wasn't his.

The court also heard from Mohammed Arshad, a cashier who was working in the Texaco garage on the night the two men came in at around 9pm.

He described one as "in pain and full of blood", who was "making noises" and saying: "Oh my God."

The other man bought some Red Bull and beers and Mr Arshad described him as looking "totally confused", but said he was trying to help the victim by taking off his friend's jacket and using it on his chest and attempting to give him water.

Mr Arshad said he called for an ambulance and heard one of them say they'd been attacked with a knife.

The trial continues.

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26 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in February 2020 – FashionUnited UK

Posted: at 6:09 pm

In February, it was heartening to see that the industry is reaching outto partners outside the fashion realm to make more sustainable products orto simply tackle social and environmental problems together. Even recentfashion weeks and other industry events were used to push the sustainablefashion agenda. FashionUnited has put together 26 such efforts that wereannounced in February 2020 alone.

Alt Mat, Block Texx, Descatuk, Indra Water, Infinichains, JSP, PurFi,Sasmira and Textile Genesis are the nine start-ups selected for Fashion forGoods first innovation programme focused on South Asia, which will takethem on a nine-month journey including mentoring, coaching and support fromFashion for Good and its partners. Additionally, the start-ups will receivesupport from Indian manufacturers Arvind and Welspun to test the viabilityof their ideas to make the fashion industry more sustainable.

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Swedish outdoor heritage brand Tretorn is teaming up with charity SeaLife Trust for 2020 to launch a special collection to conserve the planetsendangered sea life. The Tretorn x Sea Life Trust collection is part of thebrands spring/summer 2020 Eco Essentials, an initiative launched in 2016that reinvents its classic jackets and footwear into fully sustainableproducts.

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British luxury lobby group Walpole said 40 members have becomesignatories to its Sustainability Manifesto. Earlier this year, Walpolelaunched the British Luxury Sustainability Manifesto a commitment tohelping the British luxury sector become the global leader insustainability with a focus on four key pillars. The pillars includetackling plastic packaging and circularity initiatives to extend productlife and waste reduction to safeguard the environment, addressing carbonemissions, renewable energy usage, water consumptions and discharge ofchemicals.

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London-born heritage brand Hi-Tec Sports is putting sustainability firstin a new capsule collection in collaborating with Sealand Gear, the SouthAfrican-based upcycle and ecocycle brand renowned for its environmentallyand socially responsible products and accessories. The collection featuresan environmentally conscious limited-edition release of Hi-Tecs iconicSierra Re:Flex trail shoe, which marks Sealands footwear debut.

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German multinational corporation Puma has teamed up with First Mile tolaunch a co-created sportswear collection made from recycled plastic, whichgoes beyond recycling as it also rooted in social impact and humanconnection. The co-branded collection has been designed to help consumersperform their best during any workout and features shoes and apparelincluding T-shirts, shorts, jackets and leggings, which have been made fromrecycled yarn that is manufactured from plastic bottles collected in theFirst Mile people-focused network in Taiwan, Honduras, and Haiti.

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German e-commerce company Zalando announced that its private label Zignis now fully dedicated to sustainability, with all its new productscontaining 50 percent more sustainable materials or at least 20 percentrecycled content. All products in its SS20 collection are manufactured inthe top 50 percent of Zalandos supply base when it comes to socialperformance, according to the company. The brand said it also requiresthese factories to submit environmental data to the Higg Index to allow itto monitor and improve its performance in areas such as greenhouse gasemissions, water use and waste.

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French brand Szane, the countrys first online-only label, hasreimagined its denim line to be completely eco-friendly, just three yearsafter launching its first-ever denim collection. The new eco-friendly denimrange, called Szane (R)evolutions, has completely overhauled itsproduction process at every step to create the sustainable collection,where 85 percent of materials used are from natural origins.

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American denim brand Wrangler has launched a sustainable cotton programin Europe that will see the brand collaborating with farmers to promotesustainable agriculture production. This program builds upon an existinginitiative that the Kontoor Brands-owned company had previously launched inthe United States.

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Swedish retail giant H&M Group has said it is to become the firstretailer to use Circulose, a newly patented material made from discardedtextiles, in a dress in its upcoming Conscious Exclusive collection -marking the first time chemically recycled fibres are used in garments soldat scale.

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Swedish fashion brand Gant has announced it is bolstering itssustainable credentials with a number of new environmental targets, thelaunch of a rental service, and The 7 Rules by Gant - an initiative toeducate consumers on how to better care for their clothes. For 2020, nearly80 percent of its collection will be sustainably sourced. Additionaltargets include using 100 percent sustainably sourced cotton by 2022;reducing water use in manufacturing by 50 percent by 2025; using 100percent sustainably sourced key materials by 2025; and reducing its climatefootprint by 30 percent throughout all operations by 2030.

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English fashion accessories designer Anya Hindmarch has once againforegone a catwalk show or a presentation for London Fashion Week in favourof something a little more experimental, and this time launched the 'I Am APlastic Bag collection and filled up her London stores with plasticbottles to make a statement on waste. The I Am A Plastic Bag is made froman innovative new fabric created from recycled plastic bottles and coatedwith recycled plastic windshields.

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American footwear brand Teva is working to keep plastic out oflandfills. Going forward, 100 percent of the polyester straps used in Tevafootwear will be made from recycled materials. The footwear brand haslaunched a new sustainable initiative to reduce its impact on theenvironment.

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Burberry has doubled down on its sustainability efforts and announcedthe launch of a new 'carbon insetting' project which was marked by acarbon-neutral AW20 runway show. In a push to reduce its carbon footprint,the label said it hosted its AW20 runway show in a certified sustainablevenue and prioritised electric vehicles and avoided air freight. Anyremaining carbon emissions from the show will be offset through a savannafire management project which aims to reduce the risk of wildfires thathave been ravaging Australia in recent months. Instead of gifting theevents guests, the brand also opted to collaborate with PUR Projet andtheir local partner to plant trees in Australia on guests behalf.

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British heritage brand Mulberry used its London Fashion Weekpresentation to highlight its Made to Last initiative inspired by thebrands responsibility commitments to the past, present and future withan immersive installation that brought the brands craft and design ethosto life. Set within the brands Bond Street store, the three-day programmefeatured live music, exclusive events, craft workshops, a pop-up caf, aswell as the brands new M Collection, a capsule of bags and outerwearcrafted from a blend of Econyl regenerated nylon and sustainable cotton.

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Amy Molyneaux rejoined the London Fashion Week schedule to showcase hernew collaboration with Frankie Phillips, creative director of sustainable,affordable fashion brand, ToBeFrank. The new label, ToBeFrank x Molyneauxhas sustainability at the core, with a collection that is 90 percentsustainable, using no virgin materials, and was born out of both creativedirectors wanting to prove that consumer dont have to compromise style tosave the earth.

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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched new guidelines toensure that vegan fashion items really are 100 percent free of animalproducts. The Voluntary Guideline on Veganism in Fashion sets out a numberof questions retailers should ask themselves before labelling something asvegan. The BRC said companies should not only cut out the use of leather,wool and natural silk in vegan products, but they ensure that no animalproducts are used in other components such as glues, dyes, andchemicals.

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Creative agency Superimpose has launched a new educational programmewith a focus on sustainability for aspiring creative talent in partnershipwith University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion. Itsnon-commercial creative platform Services Unknown is looking to pioneer anew educational format by switching up the creative curriculum with itsweek-long crash courses aimed at inspiring the next generation of creativechange-makers.

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Environmental charity Redress and TV director Lindsay Robertson haveteamed up to launch the fourth season of Frontline Fashion, anaward-winning YouTube docu-series following emerging fashion designers asthey tackle one of the industrys biggest issues: waste. Set in Hong Kong,a hotbed for Asias ever-growing fashion industry, the five-episode seriestracks the 10 finalists of the Redress Design Award in the days leading upto the grand finale of the sustainable fashion competition.

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Meet the kind-hearted truck driver who has helped feed Wrexham’s homeless every week for years – LeaderLive

Posted: at 6:09 pm

A KIND-HEARTED Flintshire truck driver has been helping to feed the homeless in Wrexham every week without fail for four years.

Matt Payne, 42, from Flint, provides hot meals and supplies at Queens Square every Wednesday from 8pm with his partner Sian Bradley, cousins Hel Smart and Carrina Edwards from Denbigh, and volunteer Matty Edwards who lives in Bagillt.

He said: We take out 30 hot meals and 30 snack bags every week. I have various cooks around Flintshire who help make the meals and put the bags together.

Then we use three cars to take it all down to Queens Square. Any left-over food is given away to the local night shelter so it doesnt go to waste.

At the moment were in desperate need of warm clothes, sleeping bags and roll mats which provide insulation.

After hearing about his selfless work from a client, Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management were keen to support his efforts.

Emily Mooney, who works as a PA for the company which is based in the former Wrexham Lager brewery building on Central Road, has been coordinating a staff collection which includes vital equipment such as sleeping bags and insulated roll mats as well as scores of food snacks.

Mr Payne said: Im really grateful to Hadlow Edwards for helping us out with this.

Theyve heard about what we do and know Ive been doing it for a long time so it will get to the people who need it. Im not a charity so I wont take money, I give out a shopping list instead!

We help between 20 and 30 people every week. Their backgrounds vary. A lot have addiction or mental health problems.

Ive put a takeaway carton in an ex solicitors hands before. He lost his wife and kids and ended up homeless. I always says youre only a couple of pay-checks or a couple of bad decisions away from being there.

Emily Mooney said: We heard about Matts wonderful work via a client and were keen to lend a hand in any way we could.

Were very proud to be part of the Wrexham community and want to support it as much as possible.

Sadly, more and more people are finding themselves living on the streets without food or any bedding, simple things we take for granted.

We asked Matt what part we could play and he said they were desperate for sleeping equipment and snacks so we immediately launched a collection in the office, which is still running and mounting up every day.

Hopefully this small gesture will make a big difference to the homeless community in Wrexham, and we applaud the work Matt continues to do on a weekly basis.

Matt was working for a skip hire firm when he was inspired to start helping the homeless following an encounter behind a retail premises in Wrexham town centre.

He explained: There was a guy huddled up and as I dont carry any money with me when Im working I didnt have anything to offer him.

Now normally Id go alright mate? and have a conversation, I chat to everyone. But on this occasion I just didnt think that would help him and I ended up ignoring him as I collected the skip.

It was the last time I ever did ignore a homeless person because I felt so bad. I was driving away thinking what can I do to help? What needs to be done? All day it wrecked my head.

At the time I was part of a motorcycle club so when I got home I put a post up on the Facebook group. I told everyone how it had made me feel so one of the members said to me what you going to about it then?

So I thought to myself what do they need? At first I started taking five or six meals every Wednesday. Then I put a Facebook appeal out locally and started getting donations.

Coats, socks, toiletries, you name it - everything that we take for granted. I got overwhelmed by peoples help. They felt the same as me, guilty that they werent helping but not knowing what needed to be done.

For the first month I was going out every Wednesday and trawling the streets looking for homeless people and finding them in various corners and shop doors.

Then I said Id be at Queens Square from 8pm every week, whatever the weather, and now I dont ever need to leave there.

The trust and respect is there. They know I will turn up. I only ever miss one week a year and thats to go on a family holiday and even then I get cover. They even help unload the car and set the table up.

Matts support for the homeless community goes beyond providing weekly meals and clothing supplies.

Hes also organised charity events and last year spent a week sleeping rough on the streets of Chester to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in the city.

Matt said: I slept rough in Chester for a week to help raise awareness. It was the scariest time of my life. I lived alongside the homeless people.

The public view of you is the hardest thing. You had people crossing the road just to avoid you.

I left my rucksack and sleeping bag in one of the soup kitchens and headed back out into the street and the difference in how people viewed you because you didnt stand out with your sleeping bag was an eye opener.

That person who is sat there with their sleeping bag is someones son or father. Theyre not an alien.

Matts crusade to provide homeless people with things that society often takes for granted has even led to him landing a new job with Sealand-based Dandys Topsoil.

He got to know owner Adam Dandy who does a lot of work to support the homeless in Chester and began driving for the company 12 months ago.

Can you help Matt to help the homeless? Find Matt on Facebook under Matt Pyne.

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Meet the sponsor: Sealand Pacific Seafood Trading – Caterer Middle East

Posted: March 2, 2020 at 6:47 am

Can you tell us a bit about Sealand Pacific?

Sealand Pacific Seafood Trading LLC is an international brand which trades premium quality fish and seafood from the pristine waters of the North Pacific Ocean (Russia), Kamchatka region. Sealand head office is in Dubai, UAE, where the main trading point is based as Dubai is a hub for shipments from the Far East to Europe.

Why did you want to be involved with the Caterer Middle East 2020 awards?We are a proactive company and consider it our mission to promote the health benefits of Wild caught fish & seafood, to enhance the awareness for healthy consumer choices and to supply the market with high quality products.

What can guests at the awards this year expect from your activation?Guests at the award will have a chance to sample and discover for themselves the taste and variety of our wild sockeye and other premium salmons.

Why would the F&B industry in the region want to work with you?We hold important production stock in Jebel Ali and can ensure intermittent supply of any of our product which is important in F&B industry. Besides, we take an individual approach to each of our clients. This applies to both volume and frequency of deliveries, the format of the products, pricing and payment systems.

What sets you apart from your competitors?The taste of wild fish is incomparable to any variety of grown fish, no matter be in grown organically or artificially. The actual trend is to eat healthy and well and we go full speed ahead in support of it.

What does 2020 hold for you in terms of new products/developments?We continually renew our assortment and bring more wild fish varieties to the market. We started the year with a new supply of Chum salmon (Keta) and Rock Sole and are now looking forward to introduce wild Salmon caviar salted and frozen without use of any preservatives. The famous Kamchatka crab is also on the agenda for 2020.

Contact Sealand:

m.buznikova@sealand-resources.comwww.sealandresources.org

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Reporter takes to the skies: Qualicum Beach flight school now up and running – vancouverislandfreedaily.com

Posted: at 6:46 am

Mike Andrews says flying a plane in Qualicum Beach beats everywhere else in his books.

Andrews started up a flight school next to the Qualicum Beach airport in December 2019. Before that, he was in Campbell River with the same company, Sealand Flight. When they decided to expand, Andrews took the opportunity.

Most of the Island is inaccessible by car or foot, and so my passengers and students and I are consistently getting to explore places that most people will never see, he said. Were lucky to have extremely remote areas and also extremely busy cities practically right next door to our little airport here, so the flying experience becomes very diverse. Learning to fly on a mountainous coast is the most rewarding training environment for students and most scenic for flight-seeing passengers. In my opinion, it really is the most extraordinary place to fly all in all.

Andrews says he would encourage anyone interested in flying to come try it out theres no one type of person who it works for.

He also points to the demand in the profession as a reason to take a lesson and see if it might be for you.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Female pilots making history at Abbotsford International Airshow

Even googling the words pilot shortage, you can see the kind of demand that currently exists and is developing in the aviation profession, he said. Being a pilot is the kind of job where you get to do what you love every day, as your office is thousands of feet above the ground. If you ask any pilot, theyre likely to say that theyre happiest while theyre flying.

To get the full experience, I took the equivalent to a first flight lesson. He started by talking me through what the flight would look like and then showed me the aircraft.

Parked on the runway under semi-clear skies, the late 70s four-seater is the sole vessel used for lessons. After doing a thorough safety check of the exterior and gas levels, we climbed into the plane. I taxied down the runway a bit and was able to do a left turn after a few tries. Rather than using the steering wheel, thats just for when youre in the air, you use two pedals controlled by your feet.

Andrews handled the takeoff and we headed over Qualicum Beach. Once we had finished ascending, I took over flying for awhile. It felt surprisingly natural to pull the steering towards me a bit, angling the nose higher. It was completely surreal, but felt like second nature.

Andrews took over again and we dropped down a couple of hundred feet to fly over Rathtrevor Beach people in raincoats looked like little red dots on the sand and you could really take in the scope of low tide.

Im not one for rollercoasters or sky diving, but Id definitely try flying again. Id have to agree with Andrews theres no one type of person who it suits.

For more information, head to sealandflight.com. The company offers lessons, sightseeing as well as charter flights.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

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Flying over Rathtrevor Beach. (Emily Vance photo)

Reporter Cloe Logan and Mike Andrews flying over Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)

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Photographer from Deeside on ‘cloud nine’ with accolade – LeaderLive

Posted: February 27, 2020 at 2:21 am

A PHOTOGRAPHER from Deeside says she is on 'cloud nine' after being highly commended at a special awards ceremony.

Stacey Oliver from Sealand was a finalist in the Creative Wedding Photographer category at The Welsh Wedding Awards 2020.

The awards aim to reward those within the wedding industry that make the special day as perfect as possible, including the caterers that provide delicious reception meals, decorators who make the wedding venues flourish or hair and makeup artists who make the brides look and feel on top of the world.

Accolades to be awarded include Wedding Venue of the Year, Caterer of the Year, Photographer of the Year, Specialist Wedding Supplier of the Year and many more.

Mrs Oliver said: "I cant believe I was nominated, so to be highly commended in creative wedding photographer of the year for the whole of Wales is something I could only dream off.

"Words cant explain how I'm feeling at the moment - Im on cloud nine."

A spokesman for The Welsh Wedding Awards 2020 said: These awards seek to recognise everyone in this sector that has shown excellence, commitment and have the customer satisfaction as top priority in their business. Working in the wedding industry can be challenging at times and these finalists have managed to stand out amongst the rest, despite the difficulties."

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China firms in $10 billion share sale rush as funding rules eased amid virus worries – Reuters

Posted: at 2:21 am

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Listed Chinese companies are queuing up to issue shares and have already announced plans to raise more than $10 billion in the past week after fundraising rules were relaxed to help ease cash strains caused by the coronavirus.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a face mask crosses a road after the extended Lunar New Year holiday caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Beijing's central business district, China February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

More than 50 companies, including Bank of Ningbo (002142.SZ) and battery maker Yinghe Technology (300457.SZ), have published as of Thursday fresh or revised plans to raise as much as 73 billion yuan ($10.4 billion) through private placements, according to Reuters calculations.

The new rules allow companies to sell shares worth up to 30% of their share capital via private placements compared with 20% previously. The number of investors allowed to participate in such placements was lifted to 35 from 10.

The changes also make the deals more attractive to investors by halving the lock-up periods and enabling more flexible pricing.

The rush to market comes as China has been pumping liquidity into the financial system, cutting interest rates as well as easing other funding avenues, in a bid to limit the economic damage from the coronavirus that has killed over 2,000 people and stalled many business activities.

The share sales will also be helped by a resurgent stock market. The blue-chip CSI300 .CSI300 has rebounded roughly 13% from a low hit on February 3 when traders returned after the new year break, compared with 3.8% for the U.S. S&P 500 .SNP benchmark over the same period.

China cut its benchmark lending rate on Thursday, helping lift the tech-heavy ChiNext index .CHINEXTP to the highest level in almost three years.

Investors are encouraged by monetary easing, and are looking beyond the epidemic, said Wu Kan, a portfolio manager at Soochow Securities Co.

China needs a booming stock market to help channel funding to the real economy.

Relaxation of the rules comes as a relief to many companies. More than 75% of respondents in a survey of over 140 companies by Sealand Securities, said the epidemic was straining their liquidity, with smaller firms saying they will burn through their available cash within three months unless the situation normalizes.

Some companies badly hit by the virus reported an 80% slump in revenue.

But the relaxed standards represent a reversal of Chinas stance since officials sharply tightened share placement rules following the 2015-16 market crash, where reckless fundraising was seen as a contributing factor.

Xu Chao, analyst at the Pacific Securities, said the rule changes represented a very strong loosening signal from the authorities.

Private placements raised just 122.9 billion yuan last year from a peak of 1 trillion yuan in 2016, according to Kaiyuan Securities, which expects fundraising via this route to at least double in 2020 from 2019.

The easier access to funds could increase the risk of moral hazard, some analysts have warned.

Its a double-edged sword, said Fan Lei, economist at Sealand Securities, who said the moves implied regulators were becoming more tolerant toward market speculation, often dubbed stir frying.

A bit of stir-frying helps attract money into the market, Fan said.

Editing by Jennifer Hughes and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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The Lunar New Year’s most talked-about watches – High Horology Journal

Posted: at 2:21 am

Celebrations for the Lunar New Year were dampened by the spread of the coronavirus, with rising fears as towns were placed under quarantine. Parades were cancelled, travel bans imposed across China and many brands shut down stores. Nike, for example, temporarily closed half its stores and Apple closed all its stores. In a reversal of roles, instead of cashing in huge profits, as one would expect from a nation that is expected to make up 65% of the worlds luxury spending by2025, brands have been giving back, with big names such as LVMH and Kering donating money towards efforts to fight the virus. Chinese tech giants, including Baidu, have also pledged millions towards medical research and supplies. So, in a very different context to usual, which watch brands came out on top this Lunar New Year?

Methodology: Using a social listening tool, we analysed which five watch brands made the biggest impact on social media during the Lunar New Year. Here are the results.

Each year Chopard releases an astrology-inspired watch to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The dial of this years execution shows a rat (for the Year of the Rat), depicted using the ancient Japanese art of Urushi painting. Chopard kept up a steady stream of social media posts throughout the period, a possible reason why the brand ranks high on our list. This included nine posts on its Instagram account in red and gold, the traditional colours of the Lunar New Year, including a video showing the craftsmanship behind the dial. The dial itself could be another reason for this popularity. It shows Chopards respect for Chinese tradition, featuring symbols such as spring flowers to represent the spring festival. The watch is produced in a limited edition of88, which is a lucky number in Asian cultures.

The brand didnt run any special social media campaigns for Lunar New Year but it did release a watch inspired by Chinese astrology, a tradition it began in2009. This year marks the 12thedition and therefore the conclusion of the 12-year cycle of the zodiac. That this is the end of this tradition within a tradition could be why Panerai was so prominent on social media. The watchs bold design compared with other Chinese zodiac watches could also explain its popularity. A hinged cover on the Luminor Sealand 44mm is etched with a rat using the sparsello technique, following which layers of gold threads are hammered into the etched surface. This was also a limited edition of88.

Cartier, along with other brands including Louis Vuitton and Gucci, built on the New Year tradition of older family members giving red envelopes containing money to younger members red being the colour of good fortune and happiness and created its own red envelopes. Cartiers envelopes gave the starring role to its panther and were embellished with gold leaf as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Knowing that the brand didnt release any special New Year watches, its spin on the red envelopes explains why it was so popular on social media. Cartier is investing heavily in China, including the opening of an online store on the Tmall Luxury Pavilion platform. While there were no specific campaigns on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, the brand is active on WeChat, Chinas largest messaging app.

For the2019 Lunar New Year, Bulgari launched a controversial marketing campaign with a play on words that many found offensive. Looking at social listening, this doesnt appear to have affected the brands popularity this year possibly the result of heavy investment in China where Bulgari plans to open new stores and expects to see its jewellery sales double over the next five years. Six Instagram posts in traditional red and gold highlighted the Divas Dream collection. The desirability of its jewellery amply compensated the fact the brand didnt release a special New Year watch.

After Omega, Rolex is the largest luxury watch brand in the Chinese market, and this desirability no doubt explains why it remained popular during the celebrations, despite not releasing any New Year watches or posting about New Year on its social media accounts.

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The Lunar New Year's most talked-about watches - High Horology Journal

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