Bank lending to UK businesses remains weak

first_imgThursday 19 August 2010 8:54 pm whatsapp KCS-content Share NET lending to British businesses fell for the fourth month in a row in June while mortgage approvals slumped to their lowest level in over a year last month, figures from the Bank of England showed yesterday.In its Trends in Lending report, the central bank showed that the net monthly flow of lending to UK firms shrank by £3.5bn in June, following a £2.2bn drop the previous month. The Bank of England said in its report that net lending by the major UK lenders remained weak in July while the stock of lending contracted across all the main sectors of the economy in the second quarter of 2010. The Bank’s contacts also noted that credit conditions for smaller businesses remained tighter than for larger corporates but added that demand had weakened compared to the first quarter.But the main lenders hit back yesterday, with the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) arguing that the net lending figures did not show businesses paying back debts. “Banks want to lend. As fast as we are agreeing new lending, others are paying back,” said Angela Knight, chief executive of the BBA. According to the BBA, banks are lending out about £500m of new money every month. whatsapp Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofTortilla Mango Cups: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofWhat to Know About ‘Loki’ Ahead of Disney+ Premier on June 9Family ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proofcenter_img Show Comments ▼ Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUndoNoteabley25 Funny Notes Written By StrangersNoteableyUndoZen HeraldThe Truth About Why ’40s Actor John Wayne Didn’t Serve In WWII Has Come To LightZen HeraldUndoBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeUndoCrowdy FanShe Didn’t Know Why Everyone Was Staring At Her Hilarious T-ShirtCrowdy FanUndoautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comUndoAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic MirrorUndoTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastUndoElite HeraldKate Middleton Dropped An Unexpected Baby BombshellElite HeraldUndo Bank lending to UK businesses remains weak Tags: NULLlast_img read more

WTO enters a currency row

first_img Tags: NULL THE HEAD of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) stepped into an escalating row over currency policies yesterday, saying growing disputes about exchange rates could threaten global trade and economic recovery.WTO director-general Pascal Lamy said governments had largely resisted resorting to conventional trade measures such as higher tariffs to protect jobs in the wake of the crisis.Disorderly currency movements could damage stability in the trading system, especially if they were seen to be the pursuit of comparative advantage through exchange rates, he said. whatsapp Share KCS-content Tuesday 19 October 2010 7:59 pm Show Comments ▼ WTO enters a currency row Read This NextThe Truth About Bottled Water – Get the Facts on Drinking Bottled WaterGayotRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe WrapNewsmax Rejected Matt Gaetz When Congressman ‘Reached Out’ for a JobThe Wrap2 HFPA Members Resign Citing a Culture of ‘Corruption and Verbal Abuse’The Wrap whatsapplast_img read more

Oil prices fall on output negotiations as Gaddafi launches attack on rebels

first_imgTuesday 8 March 2011 9:01 pm OIL prices fell yesterday after the oil minister of Kuwait said that OPEC was in talks about an output increase.The commodity has surged on unrest in the Middle East, most recently driven by Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal oppression of anti-government protests in Libya.OPEC said it was considering an official hike in production for the first time in more than two years, allaying fears over security of supply. In London, Brent crude fell to around $113m a barrel on the news.Libya’s ongoing conflict has sent US crude prices to their highest level since September 2008, as investors continue to fret about potential supply disruption in the Middle East as unrest and protests spread.Gaddafi yesterday launched an assault to recapture towns held by rebels in the country. Reports suggest his forces have devastated Zawiyah, a refinery town just 30 miles from the capital Tripoli. Meanwhile, Prime Minister David?Cameron spoke with US President Barak Obama to plan an end to the violence in Libya.In a phone call yesterday afternoon, the two leader’s agreed to coordinate their efforts to end the fighting.A Downing Street spokesperson said:?“They agreed that the common objective in Libya must be an immediate end to brutality and violence; the departure of Gaddafi from power as quickly as possible; and a transition that meets the Libyan peoples’ aspirations for freedom, dignity, and a representative government.” KCS-content whatsapp Oil prices fall on output negotiations as Gaddafi launches attack on rebels Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe Wrap2 HFPA Members Resign Citing a Culture of ‘Corruption and Verbal Abuse’The Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The Wrap’Small Axe’: Behind the Music Everyone Grooved On in Steve McQueen’sThe Wrap whatsapp Tags: NULL Show Comments ▼ Sharelast_img read more

JJB lifeline approved by creditors

first_img Share whatsapp KCS-content STRUGGLING retailer JJB Sports has avoided collapsing into administration for the second time in two years, agreeing a restructuring with landlords who will forfeit millions of pounds of rent.Unsecured creditors of the Wigan, northwest England-based sportswear retailer, which has America’s richest man Bill Gates as a five per cent shareholder, backed its proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA) at a meeting yesterday.“The CVA was approved without modification by a majority of more than 75 per cent in value of the unsecured creditors of each of the company and (subsidiary) Blane (Leisure) present at the meetings in person or by proxy,” the firm said.JJB’s landlords had faced a stark choice; back the retailer’s plan for store closures and reduced rent or see it go into administration, threatening 6,100 jobs and Britain’s biggest retail failure since Woolworths in 2009.JJB’s landlords will now allow the retailer to close 43 stores by April 2012, with the option of closing a further 46 by April 2013. They will also accept rent at 55 per cent of current levels on the 89 stores and accept rent on a monthly rather than quarterly basis. Closing 89 stores over the next two years means the firm could shed around 2,300 jobs. Show Comments ▼ whatsappcenter_img JJB lifeline approved by creditors by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastSenior Living | Search AdsNew Senior Apartments Coming to Scottsdale (Take A Look at The Prices)Senior Living | Search AdsSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeHistorical GeniusHe Was The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived – But He Led A Miserable LifeHistorical Geniusmoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.com Read This NextRicky Schroder Calls Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl ‘Ignorant Punk’ forThe WrapCNN’s Brian Stelter Draws Criticism for Asking Jen Psaki: ‘What Does theThe WrapDid Donald Trump Wear His Pants Backwards? Kriss Kross Memes Have AlreadyThe WrapPink Floyd’s Roger Waters Denies Zuckerberg’s Request to Use Song in Ad:The WrapHarvey Weinstein to Be Extradited to California to Face Sexual AssaultThe Wrap2 HFPA Members Resign Citing a Culture of ‘Corruption and Verbal Abuse’The Wrap’The View’: Meghan McCain Calls VP Kamala Harris a ‘Moron’ for BorderThe Wrap’Black Widow’ First Reactions: ‘This Is Like the MCU’s Bond Movie’The Wrap’Small Axe’: Behind the Music Everyone Grooved On in Steve McQueen’sThe Wrap Tuesday 22 March 2011 8:24 pm Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Continental Reinsurance Plc (CONTIN.ng) 2008 Annual Report

first_imgContinental Reinsurance Plc (CONTIN.ng) listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Insurance sector has released it’s 2008 annual report.For more information about Continental Reinsurance Plc (CONTIN.ng) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Continental Reinsurance Plc (CONTIN.ng) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Continental Reinsurance Plc (CONTIN.ng)  2008 annual report.Company ProfileContinental Reinsurance Plc offers reassurance services for life and non-life classes through service centres in Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tunisia and Botswana. The company’s reinsurance offering covers fire and engineering; motor, liability and general accident; marine and aviation; oil and energy; and individual and group life risks. Continental Reinsurance Plc also provides specialist advisory services for reinsurance structuring, actuarial and risk management and product development support. Continental Property and Engineering Risk Services (CPERS) Limited in South Africa is a subsidiary of Continental Reinsurance Plc and operates as a technical referral competence with the Group. The subsidiary company was established to meet the growing demand for specialist engineering insurance risk cover and advisory services. Its core functions are underwriting, risk surveys, claims handling and training. Continental Reinsurance Plc’s head office is in Lagos, Nigeria. Continental Reinsurance Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchangelast_img read more

Zimplow Holdings Limited HY2013 Interim Report

first_imgZimplow Holdings Limited (ZIMW.zw) listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange under the Engineering sector has released it’s 2013 interim results for the half year.For more information about Zimplow Holdings Limited (ZIMW.zw) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Zimplow Holdings Limited (ZIMW.zw) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Zimplow Holdings Limited (ZIMW.zw)  2013 interim results for the half year.Company ProfileZimplow Holdings Limited manufactures and markets a diverse range of products for the construction, infrastructure and agricultural sectors in Zimbabwe. It also manufactures and distributes metal fasteners for the mining, construction and agricultural sector, and has interests in property management and leasing. The Farming division consists of three business units; Mealiebrand, Farmec and Afritrac which oversee the manufacturing of animal-drawn equipment and tractors, and spare parts for agricultural equipment. The Mining and Infrastructure division manufactures and distributes mining equipment, spare parts and related products through four divisions; Barzem, Mealie Brand, CT Bolts and Farmec. Zimplow Holdings Limited is a marketing and distribution agent in Zimbabwe for Massey Ferguson, Valtra, Caterpillar, Perkins, Falcon, Challenger, Vicon and Monosem. Zimplow Holdings Limited is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchangelast_img read more

Equity Bank Limited (EBL.ug) Q12015 Presentation

first_imgEquity Bank Limited (EBL.ug) listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2015 presentation results for the first quarter.For more information about Equity Bank Limited (EBL.ug) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Equity Bank Limited (EBL.ug) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Equity Bank Limited (EBL.ug)  2015 presentation results for the first quarter.Company ProfileEquity Bank Limited is a financial conglomerate offering banking products and solutions to individuals and small-to-medium enterprises in Uganda through its subsidiary company, Equity Bank Uganda Ltd (EBUL). Its product offering ranges from savings and current accounts and fixed deposit accounts to social institutional accounts, credit products, treasury, trade finance and bank guarantee services. EBUL offers solutions for Internet banking, money transfers, merchant acquiring, point of sale and mobile banking services. Equity Bank Uganda Limited was formerly known as Uganda Microfinance Limited and changed its name to Equity Bank Uganda Ltd in 2008 when the microfinance institution was purchased by Equity Bank Limited. The financial conglomerate operates in six countries in the African Great Lakes Region, including subsidiary banks in Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania. Equity Bank Limited is listed on the Uganda Securities Exchangelast_img read more

I reckon there’s a tailwind behind this FTSE 250 stock and its big dividend

first_img See all posts by Kevin Godbold I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” I reckon the infrastructure sector looks attractive right now, and renewable energy is one fast-growing area that could support a long-term investment for me.To cover that area in my portfolio, I’m tempted to buy shares in Renewables Infrastructure (LSE: TRIG), which listed on the London stock exchange with its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2013. Since then, the investment company has been building a portfolio of assets diversified by power market, regulatory framework, weather pattern and technology class.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Long-term assetsThe investments have asset lives as long as 30 years or so, and the sites are managed “to optimise generation and minimise equipment downtime.”  So far, the strategy has been working well for shareholders and the financial record shows a steady stream of dividends with the payment increasing a little each year.Today’s full-year report shows us that dividends for 2019 were just under 2.2% higher than the year before. And the directors are aiming to raise the payment by 1.8% in 2020, which gives us an indication of the pace of progress we can expect from a shareholding. But with the shares near 136p, the forward-looking dividend yield for 2020 is running just under 5%, which I see as attractive.Indeed, since 2013, there’s been little volatility in the share price, and I’m optimistic that a steady performance can continue. If so, TRIG could shape up as a decent investment for shareholders willing to invest for the next few decades.Promising figuresI find the figures in today’s report encouraging. Profit before tax rose by almost 32% and the firm’s portfolio generated around 50% more electricity than the year before. However, earnings per share came in broadly flat because of two fundraising events in the year, which enabled the company to invest in more assets.TRIG raised a gross £530m of new capital in the period and made its first investment in Germany with the acquisition of interests in the Gode Wind 1 and Merkur offshore wind farms. Overall, the firm now has 74 portfolio projects spread between the UK, Ireland, France, Sweden and GermanyThe overall Net Asset Value (NAV) increased by 11.9% in the period, although the NAV per share increased by just 5.6% to 115p. Chair Helen Mahy pointed out in the report that since 2013, the NAV in the accounts has increased by an annualised 8.4%. The business appears to be growing steadily and I reckon that reflects in the way the dividend has grown over the past few years.TRIG seems to be operating in an area of the market that’s gaining traction. And recent political moves towards the goal of a zero-carbon future could act as a tailwind.Mahy said: “Demand for clean energy is growing and we continue to see a pipeline of attractive investment opportunities.” Meanwhile, I’d buy a few of the shares and hold them for decades for the steady and rising income from the dividend. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Kevin Godbold has no position in any share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.center_img Enter Your Email Address I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. I reckon there’s a tailwind behind this FTSE 250 stock and its big dividend Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Kevin Godbold | Tuesday, 18th February, 2020 | More on: TRIG Image source: Getty Images. last_img read more

Why I think GlaxoSmithKline and this company are two of the best shares to buy now

first_img Kevin Godbold | Wednesday, 11th November, 2020 | More on: BXP GSK Enter Your Email Address Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Image source: Getty Images. The high-calibre small-cap stock flying under the City’s radar I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Click here to claim your copy of this special investment report — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top Small-Cap Stock… free of charge! Adventurous investors like you won’t want to miss out on what could be a truly astonishing opportunity…You see, over the past three years, this AIM-listed company has been quietly powering ahead… rewarding its shareholders with generous share price growth thanks to a carefully orchestrated ‘buy and build’ strategy.And with a first-class management team at the helm, a proven, well-executed business model, plus market-leading positions in high-margin, niche products… our analysts believe there’s still plenty more potential growth in the pipeline.Here’s your chance to discover exactly what has got our Motley Fool UK investment team all hot-under-the-collar about this tiny £350+ million enterprise… inside a specially prepared free investment report.But here’s the really exciting part… right now, we believe many UK investors have quite simply never heard of this company before!center_img Exactly one year ago, I thought pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Beximco Pharmaceuticals (LSE: BXP) were attractive stocks. Today, I still reckon they’re two of the best shares to buy now.The pharmaceutical sector is a rich hunting ground for defensive, cash-producing and recession-resistant businesses. And I’m a big fan of steady dividend income and growth potential. Meanwhile, over the past year, these two stocks haven’t been standing still.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Why I think they are two of the best shares to buy nowWith its share price near 1,475p, GlaxoSmithKline is just over 14% below the level of a year ago. There’s been some disruption to operations because of the pandemic. But the company continued trading, including making a big effort in pursuit of a workable vaccine for Covid-19.Last spring, the directors declared their intention to maintain shareholder dividend payments at a flat level for the year. And I think that move demonstrates the resilience of the business under stress conditions – exactly what’s needed from my defensive investments.  However, despite steady trading, the shares declined and bottomed at the end of October.To me, the value looks compelling now. For example, the forward-looking earnings multiple for 2021 is around 12.5. And the anticipated dividend yield is about 5.4%. But those attractive numbers are from a company delivering a return on capital of almost 15% and an operating margin just over 25%. To me, the figures suggest both quality and value, so I’d be happy to buy the stock today.Meanwhile, at 70p, generic medicines producer Beximco Pharmaceuticals has a stock price changing hands around 65% higher than it was a year ago. And some of the move has arisen because of an upwards valuation re-rating. It appears investors are beginning to appreciate the attractions of the highly-regulated business that’s based in Bangladesh.The growth story is on track at BeximcoBut the valuation remains fair. The forward-looking earnings multiple for the trading year to June 2021 is around 10 and the anticipated dividend yield is a little over 3% — and earnings should cover the payment more than three times. Meanwhile, the business has been delivering an operating margin of just under 22% and a return on capital of 15%.I think Beximco’s quality and value metrics look similar to GlaxoSmithKline’s. However, Beximco’s market capitalisation at £284m is tiny compared to GlaxoSmithKline’s almost £74bn. But I’m comfortable with that situation because Beximco could have more room to grow its operations.And today’s full-year results report demonstrates the company’s recent progress introducing new medicines to the Bangladesh home market and abroad. Indeed, there’s been expansion in the US, Europe and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, despite the pandemic, revenue increased by just over 12% year on year, and earnings per share rose by almost 16%.The directors held the cash dividend flat for the year but declared a stock dividend of 10 new shares for every 100 held by shareholders. I reckon the way the firm is sharing its success with investors speaks volumes about the directors’ confidence in the outlook. I’d be pleased to buy some of the shares today and hold for the long haul. Why I think GlaxoSmithKline and this company are two of the best shares to buy now Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Kevin Godbold has no position in any share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended GlaxoSmithKline. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. See all posts by Kevin Godboldlast_img read more

Five talking points from November

first_imgTackle interpretation: Thomas Lavanini was yellow carded for a ‘no arms’ tackleThe practical issue being that, unlike an upper body tackle; it is very difficult for a player to completely wrap their arms around the ball carrier’s ankles, when leading with the shoulder, due to relatively small circumference of the carrier’s ankles. It takes longer to wrap your arms around a smaller object, than a larger object thus magnifying and isolating the use of the defender’s shoulder. November saw some very unbalanced refereeing with regards to the ‘speed-bump’ tackle. This cannot be the case come the Six Nations – test matches deserve and will require more clarification. TAGS: Wasps The passing of Jonah Lomu, Richie McCaw’s incredible career, crowd funding in Welsh rugby and Wasps’ renaissance are all discussed Momentum: Wasps are leaving big-name sides in their wakeWhereas some clubs make decision making look incredibly difficult, Wasps are currently making it seem very easy – moving Ashley Johnson from flanker to hooker being a minuscule, but perfect example. All of which combined, in November, with Wasps beating Leinster away and Toulon at home. It’s worth remembering that this is a Toulon team which subsequently beat Clermont Auvergne, at the Stade Marcel Michelin, which is rarer than hen’s teeth – it’s actually rarer than a hen’s toothbrush. If you haven’t seen Wasps play this season, do. It’s rugby as it should be played.Can crowdfunding help the Welsh regions?Welsh rugby is beginning to recover after years of financial and administrative neglect. However, the cash flow in Wales is still way short of that in the Aviva Premiership and the Top 14. And whilst lucrative stadium sponsorship deals, and increased commercial activity, are beginning to make a difference, there is one avenue that hasn’t been explored – Crowd Funding. Crowd Funding taps into a revenue stream outside of the traditional routes.Progress: Wales is starting to bring its best players back but more money needs to be generatedWhilst television income, season tickets and commercial activity are vital, crowd funding could appeal to those who are unable to, both physically and geographically, contribute to their team’s finances. The Welsh Regions could quite legitimately set up a ‘Crowd Fund’ to secure a major marquee player – potentially harnessing support and cash from those living outside of the region or overseas etc. With enough social media activity, particularly via official Supporters Groups, the ‘Crowd Funding’ of a marquee player could genuinely help the regions. It works in many other sectors and rugby is no different. Definitely worth a shot.The ‘Speed-bump’ tackle needs clarificationNot a month goes by without one of rugby’s laws being jammed under the microscope. November saw the ‘speed-bump’ tackle become the latest to dumbfound players, supporters and pundits. By the way, I’ve made-up the name ‘speed-bump’ tackle, but it seems to accurately describe the act of hitting a ball carrier, low, around the ankles, without the use of the arms. What was once an accepted defensive technique, particularly in the narrow channels, is now a penalty and yellow card risk.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Jonah Lomu – the man who changed rugbyNovember saw the passing of the most devastatingly effective player in the history of rugby union – Jonah Lomu. Never has there been, or will there be, another individual to compare with Lomu. It was as if he’d been created by a 13-year-old boy on a computer game, where all of the ‘dials’ were switched to max. If like me, born in 1977, you were used to seeing backs measuring up at 5ft 10ins and 12st, then Lomu changed your perception of rugby. My generation simply accepted that forwards had the power and backs had the pace. But then Jonah arrived.Sorely missed: Jonah Lomu’s passing will leave a big hole in world rugbyHe made forwards look like backs, and backs look like malnourished Victorian street urchins. At 6ft 5inches tall, 18st 5lbs and clocking a 100m time of 10.7 seconds, rugby simply wasn’t prepared for him. It is perhaps strange that Lomu’s most famous victim is Mike Catt. But if you look at Lomu’s highlight reel, Catt is actually one of the fortunate ones. Some defenders, rather embarrassingly, didn’t even have the opportunity to lay a finger on him. His lateral movement, combined with incredible acceleration, Jurassic thighs and calves, and an industrial handoff meant that most players didn’t even get the chance to be flattened. RIP Jonah Lomu.Richie McCaw – the man who rugby changed rugby to his rulesMany athletes attain greatness in sport. But true greatness is achieved when the game starts to accommodate ‘you’. The remarkable Richie McCaw fits into this category. November saw McCaw retire from what is the finest career in rugby union. A period of achievement whose numbers look so unbelievable that it could almost be a FIFA press release. 148 tests, 131 wins and 110 as captain. Ten Bledisloe Cups, Four Tri- Nations Championships, Three Rugby Championships, Three World Player of the Year titles and two Rugby World Cups.Leader of men: Richie McCaw led by example on and off the pitchBut McCaw’s achievements in rugby extend beyond numbers. As with Michael Jordan’s ‘Jordan Rules’, McCaw reached a level where the game changed for him. McCaw’s mastery over his position, sport, team, opposition, media and officials meant that he, as with Jordan, defined his own rule book. In short, Why would you enter through the gate, when you’ve been given the keys to the side door? McCaw is the best forward to play the game. A truly wonderful player.Wasps showing others how it’s doneThere are a few teams in rugby, and their supporters, who can on occasion feel a bit sorry for themselves. Overly dwelling on issues of history, identity, or location can seriously affect the wellbeing of a club. The antithesis of which is Wasps. This is a club which has moved 82 miles, to Coventry, and suffered massive financial problems over the past four seasons. Yet they are now lying top of their Champion Cup group, 5th in the Aviva Premiership table and are playing some of the finest rugby in the Northern Hemisphere.last_img read more