Rental growth hits buffers as retail sector finally slows

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The centre ground

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Clerical Medical gets half of 4orty from Mountcity for over £60m

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Two more companies to exit public arena

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Topland buys Basingstoke’s ‘Babylon’

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Retail warehousing: The next generation

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British Land’s Meadowhall nets Stamp Duty bonanza

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China ‘urgently needs’ medical gear and masks as virus toll tops SARS

first_imgTian said authorities were taking steps to bring in masks from Europe, Japan and the US, while the foreign ministry said countries including South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Hungary had donated medical supplies.All but one of the 57 new deaths reported Monday were in Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province, most of which has been under lockdown for almost two weeks.The national death toll reached 361 — exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03.The number of infections also jumped significantly, passing 17,200.SARS, caused by a pathogen similar to the new coronavirus and also originated in China, killed 774 people — with most other deaths in Hong Kong.The virus is taking an increasing economic toll, shutting down businesses across China, curbing international travel and impacting production lines of major global brands.The Shanghai stock market plunged almost eight percent Monday on the first day of trading since the holiday as investors played catch-up with last week’s global retreat.In Wuhan, which has been transformed from a bustling industrial hub into a near-ghost town, residents have been living in deep fear of catching the virus.The city’s medical facilities have been overwhelmed, with state news agency Xinhua reporting Monday that 68 medical teams of 8,300 staff had been sent to Hubei.And amid mounting pressure, the government has been racing to build two new hospitals to treat the infected.The first of those, a 1,000-bed facility, was due to open on Monday, just 10 days after construction began.However, with the death toll surging in Wuhan and other areas of Hubei, it was not immediately clear what overall impact the hospitals would have on containing the epidemic.The industrial city of Wenzhou, 800 kilometers (500 miles) to the east, was placed under a similar lockdown to Wuhan on Sunday and its nine million people ordered to stay indoors.The emergence of the virus coincided with the Lunar New Year, when hundreds of millions travel across the country for family reunions.Originally scheduled to end last Friday, the holiday was extended by three days to give authorities more time to deal with the crisis.But some major cities — including Shanghai — extended it again, and many schools and universities have delayed the start of new terms.Road traffic on Sunday, when hundreds of millions of people would have been expected to return to their cities of work, was down 80 percent, the transport ministry said.Train journeys were down 74 percent on last year, according to Xinhua, and plane trips a fifth.Many companies offered staff the option to work from home or defer travel, or simply remained closed.The G7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States — have all confirmed cases of the virus. The US, Australia, New Zealand and Israel have banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China recently, and they have also warned their own citizens against travelling there.Many nations have evacuated hundreds of their citizens from China — with some forcing them into quarantine on their return — and more airlines are cancelling services to the mainland. The foreign ministry Monday criticized the US for being the first to evacuate nationals without providing “substantial assistance” to China.The US actions had caused “panic”, said spokeswoman Hua Chunying.Mongolia, Russia and Nepal have closed their land borders, while semi-autonomous Hong Kong announced Monday it was closing all but two land crossings.Also on Monday the Cruise Lines International Association, that represents some of the world’s largest operators, said vessels will deny boarding to passengers and crew who have recently travelled to China.Last week over 6,000 passengers spent around 12 hours in lockdown on the Costa Smeralda cruise ship in an Italian port until two Chinese tourists feared to have the virus tested negative. China said Monday it urgently needed medical equipment and surgical masks as the death toll from a new coronavirus jumped above 360, making it more deadly than the SARS crisis nearly two decades ago.The 57 new deaths confirmed Monday was the single-biggest daily increase since the virus was detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan, where it is believed to have jumped from animals at a market into humans.The virus has since spread to more than 24 countries despite many governments imposing unprecedented travel bans on arrivals coming from China. The World Health Organization has declared the crisis a global health emergency, and the first foreign death from the virus was confirmed in the Philippines on Sunday.”What China urgently needs at present are medical masks, protective suits, and safety goggles,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing.Authorities in provinces that are home to more than 300 million people — including Guangdong, the country’s most populous — have ordered everyone to wear masks in public in an effort to contain the virus. But factories capable of producing around 20 million masks a day are only operating at between 60 and 70 percent of capacity, industry department spokesman Tian Yulong said, adding that supply and demand remained in “tight equilibrium” as a result of the Lunar New Year break.center_img Topics :last_img read more

‘GirlDad’ James picks Gianna Bryant’s number for All-Star Game

first_img“Today was the start of a new week,” James said as the team trained at their practice facility in suburban El Segundo. “We got a great workout, great practice today.”We continue to focus on what needs to be done to continue to win ball games and get better and be as great as we can be. So it was a good day for us today.”But it hasn’t been easy, and James said the Lakers continue to lean on each other as they try to get to grips with Bryant’s death.”There is no way any individual can do it on their own,” he said.”The week that we had, the week that we’ve all had.”You have to lean on somebody in order to gain strength. That’s the only reason we’re all able to get through it together.”Topics : “It felt like these last three years were the happiest I’ve ever seen him,” James said.The numbers are among the planned All-Star weekend tributes to Bryant and Gianna, who were among nine people who died in helicopter crash on January 26.The team captained by Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will wear the No. 24 that Bryant wore in the later stages of his 20-year NBA career.Memories of Bryant are sure to be everywhere for the rest of the season, but James said the Lakers are finding their way forward. The NBA’s two All-Star teams will wear jersey numbers honoring the memory of Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna in the mid-season showcase, and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had a simple reason for going with Gianna Bryant’s No. 2.”Zhuri,” James said, referring to his own five-year-old daughter.James spoke movingly on Friday of the joy Bryant had found since his retirement in life as a family man and father of four daughters.last_img read more

Rising garlic price cannot be blamed on coronavirus: Business watchdog

first_img“And we are pushing [the government] to not let this drag out until April again,” Guntur warned for 2020. KPPU director of business competition policy Taufik Ahmad said garlic retail prices in Jakarta and a few other cities could climb up to Rp 70,000 or Rp 80,000 per kg.But he noted that similar price volatility had been happening in the first quarter of the past three to four years. The price would usually go back to normal around May or June.”Maybe the problem is not the virus. We received information that there are transportation issues […] that have halted [export] flows from some points in China,” Taufik said.He also said that the government had eased import procedures through a 2019 Agriculture Ministry regulation, as long as garlic importers adhere to the mandatory cultivation of the vegetable after obtaining import licenses.Previously, the Trade Ministry’s price monitoring team head for North Sumatra, Gunawan Benjamin, said the continuous news about the coronavirus had shaken up domestic food prices – especially imported ingredients.Over the past week, North Sumatra and Central Java residents have seen the price of garlic – a staple ingredient in Indonesia – skyrocket, as supplies run short, with some believing the shortage is a result of the virus outbreak in China.According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), North Sumatra’s garlic imports declined by 58.4 percent to 29.24 million tons last year from 70.41 million tons in 2018. Of the 2018 imports, 70.18 million tons were imported from China, while the rest came from India.Read also: Garlic prices soar in Central Java as coronavirus hampers imports from ChinaMeanwhile in Central Java, garlic prices jumped 30 percent to the current Rp 50,000 (US$3.65) per kg from the usual Rp 35,000 per kg.“About 95 percent of the garlic supplies here are imported directly from China, and the virus is hampering it. We hope there will be import options from other countries soon,” Central Java Industry and Trade Agency head Arief Sambodo said, as quoted by kompas.com.Topics : The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) has rejected claims that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has diminished garlic supply from China, which had been blamed for a price spike of the commodity in Indonesia.KPPU commissioner Guntur Saragih said garlic demand and consumption were relatively stable. Instead, he blamed slow import realization for the scarcity, which he said had already happened before the virus broke out.The watchdog said the government had just issued an import recommendation for more than 100,000 tons, around 60,000 tons of which would be used to ensure supplies until the Lebaran holidays. However, those imports had yet to materialize as of Thursday. “It’s a problem when imports are done late. Supply will certainly thin out, thus automatically shifting [prices],” Guntur said.However, he said his team’s investigation had yet to ascertain whether importers were intentionally holding back imports to push up prices.The price currently stands at a national average of Rp 55,000 (US$4.01) per kilogram, double the usual Rp 25,000 to Rp 30,000 per kg, according to the Information Center for Strategic Food Prices (PIHPS).But this is not the first time garlic prices skyrocketed. Last year, garlic prices spiked to more than Rp 80,000 per kg due to import recommendations not being issued until April 2019.last_img read more