European pension funds have received a further three-year exemption from derivatives clearing rules in a move the European Commission claims will save them “up to €1.6bn”.Pension schemes will not be expected to comply with requirements to trade derivatives through clearing houses until 2020, the commission announced yesterday as it unveiled amendments to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).In its proposed amendments, the commission said “no viable technical solution facilitating the participation of [pension schemes] in central clearing has emerged to date”.The delay will give central clearing houses, pension schemes, and other players more time to come up with solutions, the European Commission said. However, Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president responsible for financial stability, financial services, and the capital markets union, said central clearing for pension funds remained “a clear goal”.He added that the delay would help pension schemes “avoid estimated losses of up to €1.6bn”.The decision marks the third time the European Commission has delayed bringing pension funds into EMIR’s scope. It originally pushed back the deadline by two years to August this year, before adding another year to this revised timetable.A spokesman for PensionsEurope, the continent-wide trade body, said: “The prolongation of the exemption is good news for pension funds. We appreciate that the European Commission has taken seriously into consideration the undue financial burden that would have resulted from [the] clearing obligation when only cash can be used as collateral. Now we need to use these extra years of exemption to find good permanent solutions.”James Walsh, policy lead for EU and international at the UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, welcomed the exemption.“This extension recognises that the market has not yet developed a practicable solution for clearing by pension schemes,” he said. “While this development removes the worrying prospect of compulsory clearing from August 2018, it does not present a solution to the underlying problem. Derivatives are an essential tool for pension funds, who use them to hedge their risks and ensure they can pay pensioners.”In a speech announcing the EMIR amendments, Dombrovskis also outlined regulatory effects on non-EU-based central clearing houses, a particularly important issue with the UK’s impending exit from the EU. London is a key hub of derivatives trading in Europe, with the commission estimating that as much as 75% of euro-denominated interest rate derivatives are traded in the UK capital.Dombrovskis said the European Commission was considering whether to require clearing houses “of key systemic importance” to be domiciled within the EU. Alternatively, the commission could request “enhanced supervisory powers” over clearing houses in non-EU countries.He added that detailed discussions on this issue would begin soon, with a view to proposing legislation in June.In addition to the exemption for pension funds, the commission also announced a streamlining of reporting requirements to alleviate the burden on smaller players in the derivatives markets, particularly non-financial companies.
×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Form-wise, the speaker will differentiate itself from competing products like Apple’s Homepod with a round body that stands on three feet — think of it as a mini tripod for your speaker, if you will. The company didn’t announce a price point for the speaker yet, and instead promised updates for price and availability soon.One of the music services available on the speaker will be Spotify, which is being deeply integrated into both the Bixby speaker as well as other Samsung devices. The company even invited Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on stage to announce this new partnership. “The partnership that we are announcing with Samsung today is a true cross-platform listening experience,” Ek said.Part of the arrangement will allow what Samsung calls seamless continuity: Consumers will be able to start listening to an album or playlist on their phone, then continue to play the music to their TV when they get home, and finally press play on their smart speaker to keep playing the same music there.Samsung’s partnership with Spotify is notable for a number of reasons. For Samsung, it’s the latest episode of a multi-year search for a distinct music strategy, which included the launch of its own Milk Music service — a service that was killed two years after its launch. Samsung also briefly flirted with acquiring Tidal, and more recently partnered with Google to use Google Play Music as its default music service.For Spotify, the partnership is a clear attempt to fight off Apple Music, which is benefitting from its close iPhone integration. Unsurprisingly, Ek boasted Thursday that the deal would give his company a vastly larger footprint. “We’re talking about hundreds of millions of devices,” he said. Samsung used its Unpacked event in New York Thursday to unveil its own smart speaker, dubbed Galaxy Home. The company also announced a new partnership with Spotify, promising to deeply integrate the music service into a range of Samsung devices including phones, TVs and the upcoming Galaxy Home speaker.Samsung’s Galaxy Home speaker will be powered by Bixby, the company’s smart assistant. It will use eight microphones, which are supposed to be capable of optimizing far-field voice recognition even in large homes.The speaker will be powered by audio technology from AKG, a subsidiary of the speaker maker Harman, which Samsung acquired last year. It features six tweeters for omnidirectional sound, as well as one woofer. The speaker also integrates a smart home hub capable of controlling devices compatible with Samsung’s Smartthings technology.
The 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway continued to remain closed for traffic for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday due to landslides triggered by heavy rain, leaving over 700 Kashmir-bound trucks and light passenger vehicles stranded.Authorities have not allowed any fresh movement of traffic from Jammu to Srinagar or from the other side, a senior traffic police officer said.”Road has been washed away at several places due to massive landslides triggered by continuous rainfall in the state. A large stretch of road has been washed away at several places,” the officer said. There have been fresh landslides at three different places in Ramban district, he said. The highway was closed on April 1 due to landslides triggered by heavy rains at different places, he said.The men and machines of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are working to clear the highway of landslides and make it motorable, he said.