Indonesia’s forex reserves drop $9.4b in March as BI steps up efforts to stabilize rupiah

first_imgIndonesia’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves dropped US$9.4 billion in March to $121 billion as Bank Indonesia (BI) stepped up market intervention to stabilize the rupiah exchange rate amid heavy capital outflows, according to the central bank.Forex reserves have continued to decrease since February,  when they dropped from $131.7 billion in January, the second-highest level in the country’s history. March’s figure is enough to support seven months of imports and payments of the government’s short-term debts and is above the international adequacy standard of about three months of imports.BI said the decline in forex reserves in March was due to payments of the government’s external debts and market intervention to stabilize the country’s currency amid “extraordinary conditions due to panic in the global financial market triggered by the rapid and widespread effect of COVID-19 throughout the world”. The central bank has stepped up intervention in the spot foreign exchange and domestic non-deliverable forward markets, as well as bought bonds dumped by foreign funds, to anchor the rupiah, Governor Perry Warjiyo said recently.The central bank has purchased Rp 172.5 trillion in government bonds, including Rp 166.2 trillion from foreign investors in the secondary market.“Stabilization measures and policy mix reinforcement implemented by Bank Indonesia, as well as close coordination with the government and the Financial Services Authority (OJK), have gradually helped the market recover and market mechanisms have resumed since the last week of March 2020,” BI’s statement reads.Read also: Indonesia braces for recession, activates crisis protocolThe central bank was of the view that rupiah exchange rate against the greenback was relatively adequate and fundamentally undervalued. It expected the rupiah to appreciate to Rp 15,000 per dollar by year-end.“Bank Indonesia will continue to maintain reserve asset adequacy to bolster external resilience and preserve macroeconomic and financial system stability,” the central bank said.The rupiah stood at Rp 16,426 per dollar on Tuesday morning, having depreciated 0.09 percent, Bloomberg data showed.Topics : Read also: Rupiah inches closer to Rp 17,000 per US dollar as COVID-19 fears grow“The fear has induced capital outflow and amplified exchange rate pressures on the rupiah, especially in the second and third week of March 2020,” BI wrote in a statement on Tuesday.The rupiah lost around 15 percent of its value against the dollar in March as investors rushed to sell riskier assets and flock to safe haven assets amid fears over COVID-19’s rapid spread.Foreign investors have sold Rp 148.76 trillion (US$9.04 billion) in Indonesian assets, including Rp 135.08 trillion in government bonds and Rp 9.71 trillion in Indonesian shares, BI data shows.last_img read more

Pushing for women in science

first_img5 March 2003Deputy Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Minister Buyelwa Sonjica launched the South African Reference Group on Women in Science and Technology (SARG) on Tuesday.The advisory group, which comprises academics and businessmen and women in the field, will hold its first meeting in Cape Town on Friday.The group aims to develop strategies to overcome the obstacles that women face in the fields of science and technology due to social, educational and cultural factors. The group will also seek to ensure that women’s needs and aspirations are taken into account when research programmes and priorities are set.“Since 1990, the participation of women in research, as measured by their output, has not exceeded 10-15 percent of total South African publications”, Sonjica said. “This is an indication of how few women scientists, engineers and technologists are participating in academic research and development.”SARG is the brainchild of former Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Deputy Minister Brigitte Mabandla.Source: BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

International airlines face scrutiny over suspect pricing practice

first_imgAustralia’s competition watchdog will focus on international airlines whose booking sites continue to pre-check options such as travel insurance after the nation’s two major low-cost carriers today confirmed they were ending the practice.Tigerair Australia and Jetstar followed in the wake of Virgin Australia by announcing they were abandoning the practice after warnings against it from the  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission .The ACCC is  worried that the “opt out’’ model, which is not used by Qantas,  was leading consumers to unintentionally pay for unwanted extras that were “pre-ticked’’ on the airline websites.A survey by Australian consumer group Choice found families could save hundreds of dollars on travel insurance by unticking the boxes on some airline websites and buying their insurance elsewhere.The Australian action mirrors a similar campaign by the New Zealand Commerce Commission, which last year called on all New Zealand businesses to end “opt out” pricing and which has also pursued international carriers.However, the Australian airlines are moving at significantly different paces when it comes to axing the practice.Virgin stopped pre-selection travel insurance earlier this week and Tigerair said it had removed pre-selection of travel insurance and checked baggage from today (Friday).It vowed to continue to highlight available  options  throughout the booking process.“Tigerair Australia recommends that customers purchase travel insurance given its importance in the event of any disruption or change of circumstance,’’ the airline  said. “Additionally, Tigerair Australia gives customers the opportunity to purchase checked baggage at a cost-effective price during the booking process as it is always much higher to pay it for at the airport.’’Jetstar told the ACCC it would stop pre-selecting extras checked baggage, seat selection, travel insurance and charity donations on its online booking platforms from July next year.The commission said it would have preferred the Jetstar change to have been made earlier but it welcomed the decision as a positive move for Australian consumers. “Jetstar’s announcement is another step forward in the ACCC’s continuing effort to end pre-selection conduct in the Australian airline industry,’’ ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.“The ACCC will continue to engage with the remaining domestic airlines that still pre-select extras, and urge them to follow suit.“The ACCC will also turn its attention to international airlines operating within Australia which continue to pre-select extras.”last_img read more

How to Look at a House like a Building Scientist (Part 1: Air)

first_imgThis article is the first in a three-part series on how to use various diagnostic tools to sleuth out problems in buildings. The work I do for Building Science Corporation (Joe Lstiburek’s company, for those who don’t know) involves forensic investigations of moisture-related (or similar) building failures—in other words, sleuthing out problems in buildings. Despite the fancy name, this typically involves crawling around the bowels of commercial and residential buildings to look at the problem areas and determine the causes. These problems may include strange odors that seem to emanate out of nowhere, windows that leak water during rainstorms, indoor swimming pools with rotting walls, freezer warehouse buildings with icicles growing out of the ceiling, mega-mansions with out-of-control humidity levels that are damaging the art collection, and moldy and wet crawl spaces. To solve these problems, a set of eyes and an understanding of building physics are the most important tools. But there are many clues that are not visible—thus the use of building diagnostic tools: the focus of this article. This series will cover a selection of my most-used tools for this type of building science diagnostic work. This is not a comprehensive survey of the available tools—but a look at my go-to items for day-to-day investigations. Also, I am deeply indebted to all of the other practitioners who have shared their knowledge, instruments, and tips/tricks—I can only hope I’m doing a little bit to pay it forward here.RELATED ARTICLESBlower Door BasicsDuct Leakage TestingDiagnostic Tools for Energy-Minded RemodelersEssential Energy-Audit EquipmentAn Introduction to Pressure Diagnostics The series will be broken down roughly into the following topics: Part 1: Air. Using devices that measure air leakage (such as blower doors and duct blasters), differential pressures, and airflow. Part 2: Heat. Using infrared cameras and temperature meters to find thermal bridges, sometimes combined with airflow tools to find air leaks. Part 3: Water. Using moisture meters, water-testing windows, and demonstrating drip edges and slope with squirt bottles. Why air measurements are important Controlling the air inside the building—by limiting air leakage—is critical for conditioning the air, and therefore affects comfort and energy use in buildings. But in addition to carrying heat, air leakage often carries moisture with it, which means that air leaks can lead to a variety of durability problems. Examples of air leakage problems include growing mold on roof or wall sheathing due to outward air leakage in cold climates, or condensation on cold ducts or pipes due to inward air leakage in hot-humid climates. In addition, I’m seeing more and more indoor humidity problems up and down the East Coast, and air leaks are a part of them. When I hear folks complaining about “new buildings being too airtight,” I let them know that I’ve investigated far more problem buildings that were too air leaky rather than too tight. Of course, air is invisible—although you can feel it moving from one place to another, diagnostic tools can tell you a lot more. Air leakage testing A blower door (Minneapolis Blower Door; Retrotec) is a calibrated fan used to measure air leakage in buildings; it is typically installed in a fabric shroud mounted in a doorway (Figure 1). The fan is used to depressurize the building to a known test pressure (typically 50 Pascals), and the airflow (cubic feet per minute or CFM) required to reach that pressure is a measurement of the building’s total air leakage (reported as “CFM at 50 Pascals” or “CFM 50”). Current codes require airtightness testing (see R402.4.1.2 of the IECC). Blower doors are used for both houses and large commercial buildings (although more fans are needed for the latter). Duct testing equipment (for example, Duct Blaster) is used in a similar manner to test duct airtightness. The calibrated fan is connected to a ductwork system, the intentional holes in the system (i.e., registers and grilles) are sealed, and the airflow required to reach a test pressure provides a measurement of leakiness. This series is not intended as a full discussion on the basics of measuring air leakage and how to use the equipment: manufacturers such as the Energy Conservatory and Retrotec have a wealth of information—including great instructional videos which you can find here and here. Incidentally, Duct Blasters are useful for more than ductwork testing. They can also be used to test airtightness of small buildings (such as the cottage in Figure 2), very airtight buildings, or individual dwelling units in multifamily buildings. For reference, a Duct Blasters can test up to 1350 CFM 50, while a Minneapolis Blower Door maxes out at 5350 CFM 50. Figure 1: Testing a house with a blower door. Figure 2: Testing a cottage with a Duct Blaster. Blower doors and pressure difference measurements In addition to testing the overall building’s air leakage, we can use this equipment to create pressures in a building, and learn more about leaks in certain areas or zones. For instance, conditioned, unvented attics (with insulation and air barrier at the roofline), are becoming more common as a way to keep ductwork within the conditioned space and to insulate complicated rooflines. When testing these buildings for airtightness, we often measure the pressure difference (known as delta P or ΔP) across the attic hatch. The ideal condition is shown in Figure 3: with the house at -50 Pascals (Pa) relative to outdoors, if the ΔP across the hatch is 0 Pa, it means that the attic is also at -50 Pa. This indicates that the attic is 100% “inside”—the depressurization of the main portion of the house extends up into the attic, and it is all operating as a single zone of air. Figure 3: Depressurized house with an unvented, conditioned attic, 0 Pascals across ceiling (good). A similar measurement is shown for a vented, unconditioned attic in Figure 4. In this case, the attic is intentionally connected to outdoors with soffit and ridge vents, and we want the ceiling plane to be as airtight as possible. With the house at -50 Pa relative to outdoors, if the ΔP across the hatch is also 50 Pa, it means the attic is at 0 Pa—i.e., the same pressure as outdoors. This suggests the attic is well-vented and/or the ceiling plane is relatively airtight—all excellent for performance. Figure 4: Depressurized house with a vented, unconditioned attic, 50 Pascals across ceiling (good). But most of the time, we see conditions other than these two extremes. For instance, take that same unvented attic we looked at in Figure 3. If we ran the house at -50 Pa relative to outdoors, and the pressure difference across the hatch was 25 Pa (Figure 5), it means that the attic is at -25 Pa. This indicates that the attic is “halfway” between inside and outside. In more precise language, it means that the area of the holes in the roof (from attic to outdoors) is equal to the area of the holes in the ceiling (attic to house). Typically, this is a problem. It suggests that there are big air leaks from the unvented attic to outdoors that we need to fix, given that the ceiling plane is usually not intentionally air sealed in these houses. This usually involves crawling around the attic looking for signs of air leakage. Also, the amount of airflow coming down through the hatch can give you a first gut feel on how an unvented attic is performing—the ideal situation is next to no air from opening the hatch, and the worst case is a gusher of air. Figure 5: Depressurized house with an unvented, conditioned attic, 25 Pascals across ceiling (not good). Another example of this technique is shown in Figure 6: during a depressurization blower door test, we taped off the fireplaces with cardboard to avoid sucking ash into the house. Measuring the pressure drop or ΔP across the cardboard showed that the dampers are not really doing much air sealing, and that the fireboxes were essentially outside. This contributed to the major summertime air leakage in this house, and resulting difficulty of keeping interior humidity under control. In Figures 6-10, I’m using the Energy Conservatory DG-700 Pressure and Flow Gauge. It has since been discontinued. The new model is the DG-1000 Digital Pressure and Flow Gauge. We haven’t upgraded to the DG-1000 yet, but they’ve been out for a while, and well, work. Figure 6: Measuring ΔP across a fireplace seal. Figure 7: Measuring ΔP at an electrical outlet. Figure 7 shows a ΔP measurement at a party wall in a multifamily building—these “burn away” walls are notoriously difficult to air seal and are a problem for getting these buildings airtight. By removing the outlet cover plate and measuring the ΔP across the drywall, we could figure out the problem areas at the party wall, which ended up being the garage connection and the HVAC closet. There is an entire set of techniques for using these types of ΔP or “differential pressure” measurements, called zone pressure diagnostics, but that’s beyond what we can cover here. Indoor-outdoor pressure measurements Air pressures define which way the air moves, and how quickly. Therefore, measuring air pressures during normal building operation can also provide clues to problem conditions. For instance, in southern climates, “buildings that suck” can lead to huge moisture problems from pulling in hot, humid outdoor air. It’s also useful to have a bit more of an intuitive understanding of the pressure measurement of Pascals/Pa that we use. It is a very small unit—one Pascal is about the weight of a fly on the area of a penny. Also, 1 psi is 6895 Pa. Correctly-operating houses normally operate in the 3-5 Pa range, the blower door and duct blaster tests are run at 50 Pa and 25 Pa respectively, and when buildings are pressurized to exclude contaminants, 10-12 Pa is a typical range. When I deal with commercial building facilities managers and ask them whether their building is running at a positive or negative pressure, they sometimes respond, “they added up the airflows and it should be positive.” My response is: let’s measure it directly to figure it out—and plenty of times, adding up the airflows gives the wrong answer. Indoor-outdoor pressure measurements are simple if you can find an operable window or doorway. These ΔP measurements are also important for residential work—for instance, if they installed an oversized kitchen range hood in a custom house without a makeup air system we can measure the net effect. Also, very airtight construction with unbalanced fans (e.g., exhaust-only ventilation) can cause problems. Figure 8 and Figure 9 show measurements of indoor-outdoor ΔP at a door or window. Before anyone gives me grief about the daylight you can see at the window sill, that only affects the ΔP measurement if a house is very airtight, and doesn’t matter for most of these types of measurements. Figure 8: Indoor-outdoor ΔP at a doorway. Figure 9: Indoor-outdoor ΔP at a window. But there are times when a one-time measurement isn’t enough to fully understand what is going on. For instance, on a windy day, it can be next to impossible to tease out the effect of operating fans on house pressures. Also, it can be useful to get a log of operating many mechanical systems (kitchen exhaust, bath exhaust, dryer) in various combinations to determine their effect. In those cases, you can connect Energy Conservatory manometers (pressure meters) to a computer (Figure 10) and use free TECLOG software to graph the pressures in real time, and to observe the effect of changes visually (Figure 11). This creates a computer file that you can refer to and run calculations on later. Figure 10: Using TECLOG to log pressures. Figure 11: TECLOG real-time pressure graph. Air flow indication and measurement In addition to putting a number on pressure differences, it’s often useful to demonstrate where air leaks are, and which way airflow is going. The typical go-to solution is a smoke generator or a smoke pencil—one trick from my colleagues is to connect a vaping pen to a squeeze bulb (Figure 12). I have also heard good things about Cirrus Outdoors smoke generators, but haven’t tried one myself. Figure 12: Smoke pencil from a vaping pen. Figure 13: Kestrel wind (air velocity) meter. To get more precise, wind or air velocity meters (such as Kestrel impeller-based meters, Figure 13) can measure these flows—typically in feet per minute/FPM. You can estimate flows out of HVAC registers by measuring airspeeds and the opening area (called a “traverse”) with these meters. However, I’ve pretty much replaced my Kestrel meter with a tool from the HVAC world—a hot wire anemometer (Figure 14 and Figure 15, Fieldpiece Instruments STA2 In Duct Hot-wire Anemometer). A hot wire anemometer has a fine wire that is heated above air temperature, and the rate of heat loss/cooling measures the airspeed. This tool is exceptionally useful because it has an extension probe that lets me “feel” for air leaks out of arm’s reach. A typical use is to depressurize the building, and put the probe on suspected air leakage locations. Figure 14 is the inside of a metal panel building—this panel seam was leaking despite the double-gasket design. Figure 15 shows measurements of air leaks around a window sill with the trim removed: hot, humid air was getting pulled from the masonry cavity at these openings under the window trim, condensing, and dripping. Figure 14: Hot-wire anemometer air velocity meter. Figure 15: Hot-wire anemometer air velocity meter. HVAC air flow measurements Getting more into the HVAC world, measuring air flow into grilles/exhausts and out of registers/supplies is often useful, especially when doing commissioning (or startup) measurements—is your equipment providing the flow that they said it would? Also, these tools come out when we’re trying to diagnose HVAC-related problems, like hot or cold rooms. The equipment that an HVAC technician would use is a flow capture hood (Figure 16)—it can be used for either supplies or returns (up to a limited size). As a warning, there are plenty of case studies showing that you get wonky results with problems like off-center placement, a register that “swirls” the airflow, or even their effect of “choking off” the airflow by putting the flow hood on the register (see “How Accurate is Your Air Flow Capture Hood Measurement“). A useful tool for exhaust fans is a “flow box” (Energy Conservatory Exhaust Fan Flow Meter, Figure 17) It’s a box with a variable opening, and measuring the pressure inside the box provides the exhaust flow. It is light, quick, reliable, and works well. Lastly, if you’re looking at exhausts, the “toilet paper test”—despite its simplicity—gives some useful information. If the toilet paper sticks to the fan face, you’re probably getting a decent airflow. Figure 16: Flow capture hood. Figure 17: Exhaust fan flow meter. -Kohta Ueno is a senior associate at Building Science Corporation. Photos and illustrations courtesy of the author.last_img read more

10 months agoAC Milan ready to go for Man Utd striker Marcus Rashford

first_imgAC Milan ready to go for Man Utd striker Marcus Rashfordby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan are ready to go for Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.Corriere della Sera says Milan are eyeing Rashford as an alternative to Alexandre Pato.Milan need to find a new striker after Zlatan Ibrahimovic chose to commit to a new deal at LA Galaxy.Rashford could attract an approach from Milan regarding a loan deal.The England starlet is highly regarded by United but has started just nine Premier League games this season and scored only four goals. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Paula Abdul To Host Lupus LA Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon

first_imgThe Lupus LA Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon will take place this Friday.Now in its 15th year, the Lupus LA Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon is a Beverly Hills tradition. Guests will enjoy an afternoon of fashion and fun, including an exciting silent auction with over 200 designer handbags, donated by top designers and celebrities, as well as an exclusive fashion show from Roberto Cavalli.The event will also feature lunch, a live auction, awards and more. Funds raised will support Lupus LA’s mission to find the causes of and cure for lupus, while providing support, services and hope to those affected by lupus. Preview the handbags and purchase tickets at www.LupusLA.org.The event will be hosted by Paula Abdul. Additional attendees include Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick; “Silicon Valley”), Lisa Ann Walter (The Parent Trap; Bruce Almighty), Kearran Giovanni (“Major Crimes”), Kate Von (“Cutthroat Kitchen”) and more to be announced.This year’s Women of Achievement Award Honorees are Cara Dellaverson (Senior Vice President, Drama Development, NBC) and Emily V. Gordon (Writer, Producer, The Big Sick).WHEN: Friday, November 17, 2017Red Carpet & Silent Auction: 11 AM – 12:30 PMLuncheon, Fashion Show, Live Auction, Awards: 12:30 – 2 PMWHERE: The Beverly Hilton, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210last_img read more

Symonette Discusses Bahamas as Commercial Arbitration Centre

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, February 3, 2018 – Nassau – Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration, the Hon. Brent Symonette says that the government is committed to easing the way business is conducted in the country.  The Minister made the comments while delivering opening remarks at the 6th Annual Arbitration and Investment Seminar, held at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre at the University of The Bahamas on Monday, January 29.“While The Bahamas is recognized internationally as a mature, well-regulated and sophisticated international financial centre with international financial institutions delivering a myriad of services including banking, private banking and trust service, investment advisory services and insurance among others, there are real concerns about the ease of doing business in The Bahamas which has the potential to erode our competitive advantage in these areas globally,” said Minister Symonette.He said that as globalization continues, The Bahamas has to meet the demands of the global community including its perception of the country as a business centre and its expectations.“We cannot be left behind as our regional neighbors make changes to the way they do business to position their countries globally,” he said. “Too much is at stake for the Bahamian people, particularly the youth of our country, the backbone of the future.”He said with this objective in mind, the government would implement a number of initiatives aimed at improving the ease in which business is conducted. He pointed to three priority areas.“Those areas include the business license process, the investor proposal process and various immigration processes, including work permits,” said Minister Symonette, “The government will also move to bring ‘greater transparency’ to the processes of doing business in The Bahamas.”He said that as it pertains to resolving disputes, the government remains committed to the establishment of the country as a modern and sophisticated international commercial arbitration centre.“We believe that given our developed financial services sector and large ship registry, there are opportunities which can allow these matters to be arbitrated here in The Bahamas creating jobs for Bahamian professionals while having trickle down for the economy at large. The potential for long term employment opportunities for Bahamian professionals has to be stressed.”Topics discussed at the summit included, ‘Smooth or Rough seas? Challenges to Maritime Arbitration,’ ‘Court-Connected Mediation & Arbitration, Anti-Suit Injunctions, Helpful or Harmful’ and ‘Construction Adjudication: Baha Mar Open, Now Have We Learned the Lessons for Construction Dispute Resolution?’Release: BISPhoto Caption: Header: Attendees look on during the 6th Annual Arbitration and Investment Summit — Caribbean, Latin America and Other Emerging Markets 2018. The event was held under the theme, ‘Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution; Cooperation vs. Competition.’ The summit was held at the Harry C. Moore Library at the University of the Bahamas on Monday. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)Insert: Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration, the Hon. Brent Symonette, delivering opening remarks at the 6th Annual Arbitration and Investment Summit — Caribbean, Latin America and Other Emerging Markets 2018.  The event was held under the theme, ‘Arbitration, Alternative Dispute Resolution; Cooperation vs. Competition.’ The summit was held at the Harry C. Moore Library at the University of the Bahamas on Monday, January 29, 2018. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp -088center_img Related Items:last_img read more