first_imgIt was an emotional night for Calabar High School’s coach, Ludlow Barker, after watching his team hold off Ardenne High to win back-to-back Under-19 ISSA National Basketball Championship titles, following a 62-52 overtime win at the G.C. Foster College auditorium on Tuesday evening.Led by a game-high 28 points from MVP Maliek McCarthy and 13 points from Jevaun Faulder, Calabar High shrugged off a fourth-quarter surge from the Basil Barrett-coached Ardenne before going on to dominate overtime 12-4.Justin Rhoden was Ardenne’s top scorer with 15 points.However, in his post-match interview, Calabar High’s coach, Barker, could not restrain the tears as emotions overwhelmed him while he piled praises on his players for their sacrifice on the road to winning back-to-back Southern Conference and national championship honours.”I know these players,” said a tearful Barker. “When they commit to do the work, they come up trumps. I believe in them; they believe in me. I just love these players. I love coaching the school because they have heart and soul.TOP COACH, PLAYERS”They (players) say they have a top coach, but I say I have top players – the greatest players in the world – and I’d never exchange them for anything,” he stated.”Winning back-to-back South Conference titles was going to be tough, but winning back-to-back all-island was going to be harder. We had to have a lot of self-discipline and play good defence.”After an evenly contested first quarter (12-12), Calabar High captured the second period 11-7 to lead 23-19 at half-time. They continued to hold the ascendancy after taking the third quarter 17-14, but in the final quarter, Ardenne upped their game a couple of notches and Calabar High could find no answer as the Basil Barrett-coached team were hitting shots from all angles and range. In the final analysis, Ardenne High won the period 15-8 to be tied 48-48 at the final whistle.However, in overtime, Ardenne did not know what hit them as Calabar High came out firing and easily captured the period 12-4 for a convincing win.”My team held its nerve when it went to overtime. They were still feeling good about themselves even though they gave up the lead,” Barker admitted. “We didn’t lose concentration. We stuck to the game plan and we supported each other, and defensively, we did an excellent job. So to repeat at this level is quite a joy.”In the junior final, St George’s College avenged their Southern Conference final defeat to St Catherine High with a 54-47 win.Jordon Gilles with 17 points and Nathan Reid (10 points) were the top scorers for St George’s. Shevran Williams was St Catherine’s top scorer with 13 points.last_img read more

first_imgUS$150M bond…notes that GuySuCo still buried in over $70B of debtFinancial Analyst Dr Peter RamsaroopFinancial analysts are expressing concern over the announcement that the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) has secured a US$150 million (Gy$30 billion) bond to finance its administration of sugar estates.It is a syndicated loan that will have to be repaid within five years at a rate of 4.75 per cent interest. The consortium of investors behind the bond comprise the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and the Guyana Bank of Trade and Industry (GBTI).According to financial analyst Dr Peter Ramsaroop, the repayment of this loan will have ramifications for Guyana’s oil revenues. He noted that while there has been talk of selling lands to repay the loan, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is already buried in over $70 billion in debt. This, Ramsaroop noted, is almost three times the value of the bond.SPU head Colvin Heath-London“The US$150 million also has to be seen in the context of Guyana’s already increasing debt portfolio and diminishing revenue stream. Such a large loan is contingent on the successful turnaround of the now defunct estates,” Dr Ramsaroop has charged.“It is dependent on a reduced debt portfolio and increased revenue streams—a reduced debt portfolio and increased revenue stream based on oil revenues. This in itself poses even more pitfalls,?” he expanded.Dr Ramsaroop notes that the NIS will be expected to inject billions into the venture to recapitalize the remaining estates: Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt. According to Ramsaroop, the decision to arrange the loan should have never been taken in the first place.“There is also the fact that, to sweeten the pot for the consortium, a Government guarantee has been given. This (is) in addition to the increasing of the debt ceiling in the National Assembly for loans to be guaranteed by Government,” he said.“While the decisions have already exposed the treasury to billions in further liability, the move has now created a precedent,” Ramsaroop explained. “Precedents then set the stage for future similar transactions.”Syndicated loanThe Guyana Sugar Corporation is already inundated in billions of dollars of debtIt was announced a few days ago that NICIL had issued a US$150 million bond facility through Republic Bank’s investment banking division, in order to raise capital for GuySuCo’s operations. It was also stated that London House Chambers Attorney Devindra Kissoon had helped arrange the transaction.The statement had explained: “With the issue, NICIL becomes the first public issuer to raise debt in the local capital markets in over 10 years. The bond is the largest ever bond facility arranged in Guyana, and was oversubscribed by local investors on the first tranche.”NICIL had also explained that: “the bond will be issued in multiple tranches, with the first tranche of roughly Gy$17 billion, or US$85 million equivalent, being issued to local investors on Friday, May 25, 2018.”According to NICIL, the money from the bond will be used towards capital expenditure and general operations for GuySuCo. But even with this US$150 million, there are still plans to raise a whopping US$65 million more to finance the complete revitalisation and recapitalisation process.In its release, NICIL said it expects to raise the remaining sum, equivalent to Gy$13.6 billion, within the next few months through a combination of local and regional investors.“A targeted road show is expected to be launched within the coming weeks that will likely include investor briefings in Trinidad and Jamaica” in order to raise the much needed funds, the release noted.RepaymentQuestioned during an exclusive interview on the GuySuCo repayment of the bond, SPU head, Colvin Heath-London, insisted that the SPU and GuySuCo were committed to ensuring that all the necessary repayments were made.He had been adamant that strict adherence to financial best practices would be followed within GuySuCo, to ensure that there was no wastage of revenues secured by the sugar company from its ongoing operations.But a source close to the SPU revealed that GuySuCo, with financial advice of NICIL and the SPU, would embark on a process that could see the company selling some $3 billion worth of spare parts that were currently lying in its storage bond.Also, a proposal has been made to secure another $10 million by selling scrap metal sourced from around the company’s East Demerara Estates. This publication was told that over the next few months, GuySuCo would embark on the process of selling prime real estate not being utilised. Some 4600 acres would be up for grabs.From that alone, it is understood, the SPU and GuySuCo hope to garner a whopping $50 billion if sold at different intervals. Further, the Unit could seek to secure some $265 million by selling GuySuCo lands in and around the Wales Estate.last_img read more

first_imgIn an accompanying editorial, Dr. Patrick Catalano of Case Western Reserve University, noted that the current guidelines were written when the concern was low birth weights. Now it’s shifted to rising obesity, he said. Artal said pregnancy is one of the main causes of obesity in women. Using information from birth certificates, the study analyzed the pregnancies of more than 120,000 obese women from Missouri to see how weight gain affected their blood pressure, C-sections and the baby’s birth weight. Obesity increases a woman’s risk of miscarriage and other serious complications such as gestational diabetes. The study found that 23 percent of the obese women gained less than 15 pounds, 31 percent gained 15 to 25 pounds and nearly half gained more than 25 pounds. Those who gained less had better outcomes. The researchers considered three levels of obesity based on body mass index, or BMI, and came up with optimal ranges of weight gain. For a BMI of 30-34.9, the best outcomes came with a weight gain of 10 to 25 pounds; gaining less than 9 pounds was best for a BMI of 35-39.9 and losing up to 9 pounds was best for those with a BMI over 40. The study’s strengths are its size – drawing from an entire state – and that it is the first to look at different levels of obesity, “not a lumping of all obese women together,” said Dr. Emily Oken, a Harvard Medical School professor and researcher on obesity, nutrition and weight gain in pregnancy. The Missouri study found that the least-heavy obese women who lost weight were at somewhat higher risk to have a low birth-weight baby. However, they still benefited by having fewer other complications. Obese women who gain too much are also at risk for low birth-weight babies, Oken said, adding “It is a balance.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityObese mothers who put on less than the recommended 15 pounds were less likely to develop pregnancy-related high blood pressure or deliver by Caesarean section and more likely to have a normal- weight baby, the study showed. The findings, in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, fuel growing concern that national weight-gain guidelines for pregnant women are outdated and don’t take into account the nation’s obesity epidemic. The Institute of Medicine, which issued the weight guidelines in 1990, is about to consider changing them. Dr. Raul Artal, one of the study’s authors, said the fear has been that not gaining weight would hurt the fetus. “Not only were there no deleterious effects, but there are benefits,” said Artal of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, who supports changing the weight guidelines. STUDY: Doctors find obese mothers-to-be can add few or no pounds without harming baby. By Cheryl Wittenauer THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ST. LOUIS – Obese women can gain little or no weight during pregnancy – and even lose a few pounds – without harming their babies, new research suggests. last_img read more