Deutsche Bank’s Baenziger not in bonus clawback talks: paper | Reuters

Heavy Construction News
 

FRANKFURT Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is not in advanced talks over frozen bonus payments, former board member Hugo Baenziger told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

 

Baenziger’s remarks run counter to comments made by the bank’s current chairman Paul Achleitner who said the lender was in talks to persuade former board members to make a financial contribution toward the costs of paying for the bank’s involvement in past misconduct.

 

 

“What Achleiter is referring to, I do not know. Until the annual general meeting I had not been in contact with him for nine months,” Baenziger was quoted as saying.

 

 

Deutsche Bank’s current and former board members have not been found guilty of personal misconduct. But the lender chose to freeze some bonus payments for senior bankers, in a bid to persuade shareholders that managers are being incentivised to stop any misconduct at the bank.

 

 

Baenziger, a former risk manager at Deutsche Bank, also told the newspaper he saw no legal basis for action against former board members. Baenziger could not be reached for comment.

 

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on Baenziger’s remarks but referred to comments made by Achleitner when he told shareholders the bank was exploring legal ways for the bank to get former board members to take personal and collective responsibility for the bank’s legal troubles.

 

(Reporting by Tom Sims; Writing by Edward Taylor. Editing by Jane Merriman)

 

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Lightweight ‘Upsee’ harness allows severely disabled children to walk

Heavy Construction News

May 8 – A five-year-old boy previously unable to walk has taken his first steps, thanks to a simple new walking harness which its designers believe will transform the lives of disabled children world-wide. Jim Drury paid Jack McCrystal and his family a visit.

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Until recently five-year-old Jack McCrystal was confined to a wheelchair. But now, thanks to the Upsee harness, he’s able to help dad Ronan walk the family dog.
Jack has a genetic condition that has rendered him unable to walk, speak or feed himself.
But his mother Maura is determined to give Jack the opportunity to do the things his older brothers could do – and says the Upsee makes this possible.
SOUNDBITE (English) MAURA McCRYSTAL, MOTHER OF UPSEE HARNESS USER JACK, SAYING:
“It’s really easy to use because it’s just buckles and belts and a pair of sandals, so you have Jack in it within less than five minutes now and up and out.”
The Upsee has been designed and developed by Northern Irish manufacturer Leckey.
CEO James Leckey says the device has three main components.
SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES LECKEY, FOUNDER AND CEO OF LECKEY, MANUFACTURERS OF UPSEE, SAYING:
“The waist belt that goes around the parent or the adult and carries the belts that take the weight of the child who’s supported by the harness and the harness has the connecting straps that connects it to the adult….The sandals have to take the child’s weight. They also have to leave it flexible enough, so you can feel them initiating the steps, so that’s quite a key part of the design. ”

The firm thinks the product could improve the lives of thousands of children suffering from motor impairments. They believe it can help users’ long-term physical and emotional development and say its beauty is its simplicity.
SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES LECKEY, FOUNDER AND CEO OF LECKEY, MANUFACTURERS OF UPSEE, SAYING:
“It’s very intuitive. We liken it to walking on your parents feet when you were a child.”
And it’s certainly working for Jack. He can now go fishing with his Dad – and even play football.
SOUNDBITE (English) RONAN McCRYSTAL, FATHER OF UPSEE HARNESS USER JACK, AS THEY KICK A BALL, SAYING:
“It’s just opened up a whole new world for us. We can get out there playing with footballs, the likes of what we’re doing here and just lets us go out with Jack as a normal five year old boy. He just really enjoys it.”
Although eventually Jack will become too big to wear the Upsee his parents are grateful he currently has a measure of independence. They say it’s also changed people’s attitudes towards him.
SOUNDBITE (English) MAURA McCRYSTAL, MOTHER OF UPSEE HARNESS USER JACK, SAYING:
“Quite recently we had four gentlemen had come up and spoke to us and had talked to Jack as well. Before when he was in the wheelchair he was just seen as a kid with special needs and I think people were actually afraid to come and speak to us. ”
The Upsee went on sale last month.
At nearly 500 dollars per unit it’s not cheap but it’s helping children like Jack take life in their stride.

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As large cap gets larger, can the tech rally continue?| Reuters

Heavy Construction News

By Rodrigo Campos
| NEW YORK

 

NEW YORK Technology shares have led U.S. stocks to record highs and are expected to continue to rise, but as market value becomes concentrated in the largest companies, some are beginning to look for the next rally leader.

 

The technology sector of the S&P 500 .SPLRCT has risen roughly 20 percent so far in 2017, led by Apple (AAPL.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O).

 

The only other company with comparable gains in market value this year is Amazon (AMZN.O), a market darling not in the tech sector despite being a big player in cloud services and data storage.

 

“These are the dominant players in their specific spaces and the hottest areas in tech,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company in Atlanta, highlighting their exposure to the cloud and artificial intelligence.

 

“You will continue to see money flowing into those names. People want to be exposed to the hottest areas,” he said.

 

(To view a graphic on ‘The Five Horsemen: growing influence of largest technology companies’ click reut.rs/2sntpYb)

 

Active funds have continued to throw their money behind the leaders with a record overweight on the technology sector, according to BofA/Merrill Lynch data going back to 2008.

 

 

But more than a third of the 2017 gains in the S&P 500 have come from these five companies, and the concentration of the advance has some investors jittery.

 

“Given how significant the (large cap) leadership has been year to date, I kind of think you need to find another group to produce that leadership,” said Jim Tierney, chief investment officer of concentrated U.S. growth at AllianceBernstein in New York.

 

Echoing Dell[DI.UL], Cisco (CSCO.O), Intel (INTC.O) and yes, Microsoft itself, the leaders of the Y2K tech boom, these new “five horsemen” have added more than $612 billion in value to the stock market this year. Their 2017 gains alone could buy the 85 smallest companies of the S&P 500.

 

Their combined value, near $3 trillion, is not far from the market value of all the other components of the Nasdaq 100.

 

 

NOT THAT EXPENSIVE, BUT…

 

This tech rally has come hand in hand with heightened expectations for profits. Investors are currently paying $18.50 for every $1 in earnings expected over the next 12 months in the sector, compared to the more than $40 they paid during the dot-com bubble and even the $20-plus seen during the most recent market peak in 2007.

 

Tech sector earnings are expected to grow 11 percent in the second quarter after rising near 21 percent in the first, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

 

However, with gains of more than 33 percent for Apple, Facebook and Amazon, near 25 percent for Alphabet and 15 percent in Microsoft, compared to a gain of 8.5 percent for the S&P 500, the room for more upside is declining.

 

 

Despite expecting gains upward of 20 percent for the rest of the year on the so-called FANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet – and their ilk, analysts at Fundstrat recommended in a Friday note balancing portfolios by scooping up the year’s underperformers: banks, energy and telecoms.

 

They are not alone in searching for exposure outside technology.

 

“We’re most overweight in technology but I don’t want to stay too long at the party,” said Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Investments in Atlanta.

 

“What I’m watching for is an opportunity to lighten up on tech exposure and put it into some of the more cyclical areas,” he said. “Financials are going to be catching a tailwind.”

 

AllianceBernstein’s Tierney bets beyond tech on healthcare .SPXHC, the second-largest sector weight on the S&P 500.

 

“Healthcare has really lagged the last 18 months or so. They could certainly pick up the mantle.”

 

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Sinead Carew and Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

 

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