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ICICI Bank Offers Among The Best Risk-Reward Globally, Says Jefferies

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ICICI Bank Ltd. is not only well poised to leverage on growth pickup in Indian bank credit but the recent correction, coupled with high return-on-assets, makes it among the best risk-reward ratio across global peers, according to Jefferies.

The private sector lender is set to benefit from an uptick in bank credit growth from 8-9% in early 2022 to 12% year-on-year now, the financial services firm said in a June 24 report. “ICICI Bank’s presence across segments of credit–corporate (working capital, capex), retail (mortgages and others)–its strong deposit franchise position it well on liquidity.”

The bank’s growth, it said, will also continue to be boosted by ramp-up of the SME vertical, where credit grew 39% over the year earlier in FY22. “It could also leverage an uptick in capex cycle given its domain expertise in project financing.”

According to Jefferies, return-on-assets is a better reflection of core profitability than return-on-equity, which can be significantly influenced by leverage. On ROAs, ICICI Bank achieved peer-best levels of 2.1% in Q4 FY22, even as it said the “sustainable level” could be tad lower around 1.8-1.9% as credit costs normalise.

But a comparison of global banks across ROA and PB (in FY23/CY22) shows that ICICI Bank offers among the best risk/reward.

“It trades at 1.1x on PB/ROA, as its one-year forward core banking PB of 2x is well justified by its ROA of 1.8-1.9%, which also has potential upside risk,” the research house said. “Among global banks that are near 1x on PB/ROA, ICICI Bank offers among the highest ROA.”

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Global monkeypox outbreak isn’t an international public health emergency ‘at present,’ WHO rules

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Both the World Health Organization director-general and an emergency committee convened Thursday agree that monkeypox isn’t a international public health emergency “at present,” the organization said Saturday. Read More

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Non-work related loss of life

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NEW YORK, June 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mercer International Inc. (“Mercer” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: MERC) is deeply saddened to announce that an employee has passed away at its Rosenthal mill in Germany on June 25, 2022. Mercer and local authorities conducted an investigation and so far determined that the tragic loss was not work related. Mercer’s emergency procedures were immediately activated, local authorities were notified and industrial safety and occupational health personnel were involved for support.

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“We are saddened about the loss of life of one of our employees and our thoughts are with the individual’s family and colleagues,” stated Christian Soergel, Managing Director of Mercer Rosenthal. “Given the nature of the incident, we will be respecting the privacy of our employee’s family and will continue providing support to them and to all our affected employees.”

About Us

Mercer International Inc. is a global forest products company with operations in Germany, USA and Canada with a consolidated annual production capacity of 2.3 million tonnes of pulp, 550 million board feet of lumber, and 140 thousand cubic meters of CLT. To obtain further information on the company, please visit its website at www.mercerint.com.

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The preceding includes forward looking statements which involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “are optimistic that”, “projects”, “intends”, “designed”, “will”, “believes”, “estimates”, “may”, “could” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward‐looking statements. Among those factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are the following: the highly cyclical nature of our business, raw material costs, our level of indebtedness, competition, foreign exchange and interest rate fluctuations, our use of derivatives, expenditures for capital projects, environmental regulation and compliance, disruptions to our production, market conditions and other risk factors listed from time to time in our SEC reports.

APPROVED BY:

Jimmy S.H. Lee
Executive Chairman of the Board
(604) 684-1099

Juan Carlos Bueno
President & Chief Executive Officer
(604) 684-1099

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Iran-U.S. nuclear talks to resume ‘in coming days’, Tehran and EU say By Reuters

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© Reuters. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell attend a joint news conference, in Tehran, Iran June 25, 2022. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agenc

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By Parisa Hafezi

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s indirect talks with the United States on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, the Iranian foreign minister said on Saturday amid a push by the European Union’s top diplomat to break a months-long impasse in the negotiations.

“We are prepared to resume talks in the coming days. What is important for Iran is to fully receive the economic benefits of the 2015 accord,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said, adding that he had held a “long but positive meeting” with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby (NYSE:) said he could not speak on the status of the negotiations.

“But there’s nothing changed about our position that a nuclear deal is the best way to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons status,” Kirby told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One. “We want to get them back into compliance.”

The pact appeared close to being revived in March when the EU – which is coordinating negotiations – invited foreign ministers representing the accord’s parties to Vienna to finalise an agreement after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and President Joe Biden’s administration.

But the talks have since been bogged down, chiefly over Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its elite security force, from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

“We are expected to resume talks in the coming days and break the impasse. It has been three months and we need to accelerate the work. I am very happy about the decision that has been made in Tehran and Washington,” Borrell told a televised news conference in Tehran.

Two officials, one Iranian and one European, told Reuters ahead of Borrell’s trip that “two issues including one on sanctions remained to be resolved”, comments that Iran’s Foreign Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied.

“We agreed on resumption of negotiations between Iran and U.S. in the coming days, facilitated by my team, to solve the last outstanding issues,” Borrell said.

“And the coming days mean coming days. I mean, quickly, immediately.”

In 2018, then-U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, under which Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme in return for relief from economic sanctions.

The U.S. withdrawal and its reimposition of crippling sanctions prompted Iran to begin violating its core nuclear limits about a year later.

Western powers fear Iran is getting closer to being able to produce a nuclear bomb if it decided to, though Iran says its intentions are entirely peaceful.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, which makes the decisions in the nuclear talks, told Borrell that Iran will further develop its nuclear programme until the West changes its “illegal behaviour”.

“Iran’s retaliatory actions in the nuclear sector are merely legal and rational responses to U.S. unilateralism and European inaction and will continue as long as the West’s illegal practices are not changed,” Shamkhani said, without elaborating.

And despite the imminent resumption of talks, Borrell appeared to play down the possibility of a quick deal.

“I cannot predict … We are pushing for it. I appreciate the goodwill from the Iranian side. There is also goodwill from the American side,” Borrell said in a news conference on an EU website.

“Talks between Iran, the U.S. and the EU will not take place in Vienna because they will not be in the 4+1 format… they will probably take place somewhere closer to the Persian Gulf and more specifically in a Persian Gulf state,” Iranian media quoted Borrell as saying.

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