Toshiba LNG Division Sold to Total SA

Unburdening itself from its somewhat risky liquified natural gas venture, Toshiba Corp. completed the sale of Toshiba LNG Corp to oil and gas powerhouse Total SA of France for $15 million. The sale is part of the Japanese firm’s restructuring process.

Technigaz Mark III type LNG membrane inside an LNG carrier. Photo courtesy of Thinfourth

The sale was announced in June when Toshiba realized it would have a hard time profiting from US-produced LNG for Japanese utilities due to the fall of the price of LNG. As it is, the sale to Total SA will still result in a loss for Toshiba of about $847 million for the fiscal year ending in March. Toshiba plans to pay Total about $815 million to take the contracts Toshiba is already committed.

Toshiba’s deal with the US firm to have the rights to process U.S.-produced gas into 2.2 million tons of LNG each year for 20 years beginning in 2019 was brokered back in 2013.
Toshiba’s restructuring comes in the wake of a fraud scandal that came to light in 2015, and after Westinghouse Electric Company, a nuclear power subsidiary, went bankrupt in 2017.

Banking Guidance for Students

When students head off to college for the first time, it is vital to have the correct checking account for their needs. Credit card companies are fully aware of this and thus offer all sorts of incentives to sign up with them. But choosing the right bank – especially for those who have never done it before – can be a little overwhelming. Deciding whether or not to get a credit card is also very important.

According to Michelle Smith Source Financial Advisors Manhattan CEO, students should not “feel pressured to open a credit card because [they are] opening a bank account.”

Why is this advice being given though?  What are the issues with credit cards, in particular for students?  One answer is: reality.  There are many promises made to those signing up for a credit that are simply not true such as price deals (which turn out to be not such great deals) and cashback deals (also not all that attractive in reality).  When you factor in interest payments and fees the “deals” can actually be the opposite of “a good deal.”

Managing credit cards can be a challenge.  Why would a student – often away from home for the first time – want to be burdened with tracking debts and payments and managing deadlines every month?  Student life should be a fun experience and the only pressure involved should come from studying, not card management.

Also, if payment deadlines are missed, interest rates can spike to 20 percent or even more. Youngsters often get misled into believing that credit limit is their money, when in reality it is money that the bank is loaning you at a very high interest.

So as Michelle Smith suggests, students should not “feel pressured” to get a credit card.  A bank account is different, but a credit card – as noted in this article – is something quite different.

Frank Armijo: Renewable Energy and Job Opportunities

Providing clean, sustainable energy is crucial for the environment today and the global future tomorrow.  MeyGen – the world’s largest tidal energy plant – is currently in the construction phrase for SIMEC Atlantis Energy (SAE) in its efforts to provide clean, sustainable energy.  Vice President of Lockheed Martin Energy (one of MeyGen’s suppliers), Frank Armijo said:

“MeyGen is on track to provide clean, sustainable, predictable power for at least 175,000 homes in Scotland, support local jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and deliver significant, long-term supply chain benefits for the UK economy.”

Armijo also said that the company is in the process of developing a flow battery. This will use electrolyte chemistry with cheaper earth metals and chemicals. These have a lifespan of 6 to 10 hours (much longer than the lifespan of regular lithium ion batteries of 2-4 hours).  In addition, the batteries are devoid of problems such as reliance on expensive and toxic materials like zinc bromide and vanadium.

SIMEC Atlantis Energy (SAE) has been using 6-MW MeyGen as part of its 25-year operational phase.  To date it has delivered over 8 GWh of energy to the national grid.

Private Equity Company KKR & Co to Buy Major Stake in China Lighting Company

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, a New York-based private equity firm, says it will purchase a majority of shares of China-based NVC China for US$794 from parent company NVC Lighting Holding Ltd.

The companies announced that they will be creating a strategic partnership in which, when done, KKR will hold 70% of shares and NVC Lighting will own the remainder of the stocks.

NVC Lighting is planning on paying shareholders a special dividend after the deal is sealed, of HK$0.9 (US$0.01) a share. The deal is expected to be finalized during the fourth quarter of 2019.

The investment came from KKR’s flagship Asian Fund III. Since 2007 the fund has invested over US$4.5 billion in Chinese companies.

Radiology Congress Addresses Women In Leadership Positions in the Healthcare Sector

In 2017 women reached an important milestone in the realm of medicine when they became the majority of students enrolled in US medical schools. This good news does not mean that people like Hedvig Hricak can sit back and relax. Now Professor Hricak is gearing up for the next struggle, to see more women in positions of authority in the healthcare professions.

Cally Palmer, National Cancer Director, NHS England
Source: NHS England

Despite the fact that there are more female med students than male studying medicine today, the sad fact is that medical professorships and directorships are almost always filled by men. A lecture series organized by Professor Hedvig Hricak, which took place at the 2019 European Congress of Radiology, “Women in Focus,” dealt with exactly this issue.

Held in Vienna this year, the Congress is part of the annual meeting of the European Society of Radiology. Professor Hricak asked well-respected speakers to discuss the gender gap during “Women in Focus,” helping participants to understand the various dimensions of women taking on leadership roles in medicine.

‘Taking on a leadership position is always quite a decision,’ commented Professor Hricak. But this is true whether we are talking about a male or female in such a position. The question is why don’t we see women at the top? Although mentioned, physical and psychological differences were dismissed as the real culprit. Perhaps the problem lies in the female tendency to hesitate rather than to take the initiative?

Cally Palmer, National Cancer Director, one of the few women who does hold a high position as one of the leading executives at the British NHS, spoke at the Congress:

‘Resilience is essential, especially around fundamental principles,’ Palmer emphasized. ‘But, it’s just as important to know when you have to be flexible and to make concessions if you want to reach your goals.’

President of the Congress, Lorenzo Derchi took a hopeful view of the future of women in top positions in medicine, especially radiology.

‘Today, leading positions are mostly held by old men like me. But this culture of male prevalence is already being shaken up, and in a few years’ time many of these roles will be filled by women. Radiology can only benefit from the end of this inequality.’