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Farmers outfit, civil society caution government against joining IPEF trade pillar

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Farmers’ outfit Samyukta Kisan Morcha (NP) and civil society comprising 32 organisations have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal urging them to not join the trade pillar of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the ministerial meeting of which is scheduled this weekend in the US.

Raising concerns that India signing the pact would raise the cost of agricultural production, and lower the regulatory barriers to trade of genetically modified seeds, crops and food, they said: “We urge India to not join the trade pillar citing geo-political considerations and without analysing the full implications of the agreement”. They said that under the trade pillar of the pact, while India will not have to make direct tariff cuts, the IPEF will still extract commitments.

The IPEF’s four pillars- Trade, Supply Chains, Clean economy and Fair economy- will include provisions on multiple sectors including agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing and services, farmers, workers and women.

“In particular, the IPEF will also impact policies related to the digital economy, environment and sustainability, taxation and finance among other issues,” civil society said.

The farmers’ outfit said that India joining the trade pillar facilitate the entry of US-based agri-tech firms, and agricultural production suppliers of retail services and infrastructure services into the country.

“Given the large number of deep problems we expect from IPEF, we request the government not to join the trade pillar and cancel all IPEF negotiations as soon as possible,” said Samyukta Kisan Morcha in a letter dated May 26, to Modi and Goyal.

It argued that legally binding rules on e-commerce being pushed through IPEF will have immense implications for India’s agricultural policy and practices, destroy the decision-making ability of not only governments but also farmers and consumers, with “major consequences for their livelihoods, production practices and consumption patterns”.“This will also allow entry of MNCs into food retail through the e-commerce route,” the Samyukta Kisan Morcha cautioned.

Moreover, the IPEF members’ requirement to sign on to the International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (UPOV1991) will put under threat Indian farmers’ natural and legal rights over seed and planting material.

UPOV seeks to protect new varieties of plants by intellectual property rights and does not recognise farmers’ rights.

“The right of small farmers to save seeds cannot be negotiable under a free trade deal that will ensure monopoly control over seeds by MNCs,” the farmers’ outfit said.

As per the civil society, the “sustainable practices” under IPEF may bring in gradual enforcement of disciplines on subsidies to the agriculture sector. Several provisions will impact regulations related to seeds, pesticides, export restrictions, and investments in productive resources, it cautioned.

Non-transparent negotiations

Civil society said that the agreement has happened “without due consideration and parliamentary scrutiny in terms of IPEF’s implications for India’s economic and development policy space”.

The IPEF trade pillar specifically includes provisions related to labour, gender, and environment, which India has opposed in its trade negotiations.

Stressing that IPEF is more “intrusive” than Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), the civil society said that it is likely to push US interests not through direct market access channels, but through changing regulations and standards, which would then indirectly lead to market access in the second stage.

It also does not talk of waiving intellectual property rights in favour of ensuring transfer of environment friendly technology or even for ensuring access to medicine.

“Despite the so-called stakeholder consultations, the IPEF remains a non-transparent and undemocratic trade agreement that is almost unilaterally designed and promoted by the most powerful economy in the world,” the civil society said.

The organisations also highlighted that it is belief among Indian trade officials that the IPEF will not be enforceable and is a “soft” agreement which can be negotiated and finalised quickly as it does not pose any legally binding commitments.

However, the IPEF will include ‘high- standard commitments that will be enforceable’ and India will have to comply with any commitments it makes, they cautioned.

All India Drug Action Network, All India Kisan Sabha, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Amazon India workers association, Kerala Coconut Farmers Association, and Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, among others are signatories to the civil society letter.

Nikola stock at risk of delisting, hits all-time of low of 60 cents

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Nikola (NKLA), once a high flying stock during the early months of the pandemic, is at risk of being delisted from the Nasdaq (^IXIC). Shares of the battery- and hydrogen-powered electric truck maker hit an all-time intraday low of 60 cents each on Thursday.

The company said it received a risk notification letter from the Nasdaq, saying Nikola is “not in compliance with the minimum bid price requirements.” Shares have closed below $1 each for 30 consecutive business days.

In order to regain compliance, the company’s closing share price must be at least $1.00 for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days. It has until November 20, 2023, to do so.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based startup has struggled to gain footing amid higher interest rates and challenges over the last several years.

Nikola went public in June 2020 via a SPAC. Soon after, the stock reached all-time highs of more than $65 per share amid investor buzz over the EV industry and a partnership announcement with General Motors (GM).

That deal was later slimmed down after a scathing short seller report in September 2020 from Hindenburg Research against Nikola and its founder, Trevor Milton.

The company initially denied Hindenburg’s claims. Later that month, Milton stepped down as executive chairman.

In 2021 the company said in an internal review Nikola and Milton had made some partially or wholly inaccurate statements.

UKRAINE - 2023/04/05: In this photo illustration, a Nikola Corporation logo is seen on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

UKRAINE – 2023/04/05: In this photo illustration, a Nikola Corporation logo is seen on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Higher interest rates and a tighter credit market has made funding more challenging for capital intensive startups.

In late March, Nikola announced a $100 million common stock offering at at a price of $1.12 per share. The stock sank as much as 18% on the news. Nikola said it intends to use the net proceeds from the public offering for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

In April, Nikola announced changes to its board of directors. It also underwent C-suite changes earlier this year, including the retirement of Chief Financial Officer Kim Brady.

Earlier this year, the startup celebrated the milestone of 100 Class 8 Nikola Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) sold. In early May, the company announced a purchase order made by AJR Trucking for 50 FCEVs.

Year-to-date the stock is down 72%.

Ines is a senior business reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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Madhwal magic sends Lucknow Super Giants packing, his 5-wicket haul propels Mumbai Indians to victory | Match Report

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In a stunning display of skill and determination, engineer-turned-pacer Akash Madhwal from Uttarakhand emerged as the hero of the match, propelling the five-time champions Mumbai Indians closer to the coveted summit clash with an 81-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL Eliminator held on Wednesday.

Mumbai Indians set a target of 182 for 8 in their allotted 20 overs, which seemed slightly inadequate given the explosive batting prowess of the Lucknow team. However, Madhwal, with his exceptional figures of 3.3-0-5-5, delivered a dream spell that sent shockwaves through the opposition. Supported by the brilliant ground fielding led by skipper Rohit Sharma, the Gautam Gambhir mentored side crumbled for a mere 101 runs in 16.3 overs, experiencing an evening they would rather forget. The Lucknow franchise suffered three run-outs, further adding to their misery.

Following this resounding victory, Mumbai Indians earned a spot in the second Qualifier in Ahmedabad, where they will face off against the Gujarat Titans on Friday. The outcome of this match will determine the opponent for the mighty Chennai Super Kings in the highly anticipated final scheduled for Sunday.

While the first part of the evening saw an impressive performance from Naveen-ul-Haq, who claimed four wickets for 37 runs and raised concerns about Mumbai Indians’ final score, it was Akash Madhwal who reaffirmed the faith his captain had placed in him. The defining moment came when he bowled a remarkable delivery from round the wicket to the dangerous Nicholas Pooran (0). The ball, delivered from a slightly wider position on the crease, swerved inward before catching extra bounce and enticing Pooran into edging it behind the stumps, where Ishan Kishan made no mistake in taking the catch.

This pivotal dismissal shattered Lucknow Super Giants’ hopes, and Madhwal capitalised on the momentum, claiming four more wickets. It was a remarkable achievement for Madhwal, who had initially played cricket with a tennis ball until the age of 23, proving that dreams can be realised through determination and perseverance.

Skipper Rohit Sharma, who had faced criticism for his fitness, silenced the naysayers with his exceptional fielding. His relay throw to dismiss Krishnappa Gowtham was a testament to his commitment and athleticism, leaving spectators in awe.

In the earlier innings, flamboyant Afghanistan seamer Naveen-ul-Haq displayed his talent by taking four wickets, restricting the Lucknow Super Giants to 182 for 8 in their allocated 20 overs.

As the Mumbai Indians continue their journey towards the final, fans eagerly anticipate more extraordinary performances and unforgettable moments in the IPL.

May Amazon Finds – The Fitnessista

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Sharing some of the good stuff we’ve found lately on Amazon. I always love to hear about new things you’re loving, too, so please shout out in the comments below!

Hi hi! How are you?? I hope you’re having a great morning so far! I have to get some things ready for a photo shoot – we’re taking pics for the landing pages + social for my new program – and some end-of-the-year events.

For today’s post, I wanted to share some of the recent Amazon fashion and fun finds. Amazon has come a looooong way in their fashion game, and while I tend to invest more in the classics, it’s the perfect option for trendier items when I don’t want to spend a ton. As far home goods and essentials go, it just makes life so much easier.

Here are some of my favorite finds lately!

May Amazon Finds

This casual beach dress

I ordered this color because I’m trying to lean into the whole *deep winter* color scheme. It’s a perfect casual beach dress or coverup; perfect to layer with your swimsuit and wear to lunch. It’s super lightweight and flattering, plus they have a ton of colors.

This bodycon midi dress

Love the square neck of this dress! It’s more form-fitting (I always wear Spanx with things like this. It’s always worth it, I promise!) and they also offer it in a lot of colors. The fabric is much nicer than I was expecting, too.

The perfect white button-up

I’m super picky about button-up shirts and this one isn’t too sheer, and is oversized enough to wear as a swim coverup. I’ll also wear it with shorts and sandals this summer.

My new favorite set

This is by far my latest favorite Amazon purchase. It’s lightweight – so great for summer – and is a square neck cropped tank with shorts. The shorts have an elastic waistband and a zipper. It’s also very flattering and easy to dress up with platforms and jewelry, or wear with sneakers or sandals. I also ordered a navy blue one to wear with white sneakers!

Everyday sandals

I’ve gone through many pairs of these Bay slide sandals and while the rose gold color might be a bit overdone, I still wanted it. I like that they match everything and are easy to throw on with a dress or shorts.

Neck fans!

I got neck fans for our trip and to prove to the world that we are indeed tourists lol. P tends to get overheated so I didn’t want hr to be too hot!

An updated work-from-home setup

The Pilot thought my walking pad needed an upgrade, so he installed a wall monitor that’s eye level. It’s made such a huge difference! Also, it’s been very fun to play music watch a bit of Netflix while I’m working. (He used this mount for it, which enables me to rotate the screen and use it for workout streaming.)

So tell me friends: any new Amazon finds you’re loving??

Any summer travel must-haves? I’ll post my packing list once I get everything together!
xoxo

Gina

Exclusive: There isn’t a single lumpy account in our book that can turn into a bad asset, says PNB MD and CEO, Atul Kumar Goel

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Punjab National Bank, one of the leading public sector banks in India, reported a 6-fold-growth in net profit in the quarter ending on March 31, 2023. In an exclusive interaction with Zee Business, PNB’s MD and CEO Atul Kumar Goel talked about the bank’s target in the coming quarter and how it is planning to bring down the NPAs in this fiscal.

 

Q: What is the target of the bank in terms of credit growth in this coming year?

A: As far as credit growth is concerned it is 12.68 per cent in the last year and we are setting the target for the next year within the range of 12-13 per cent. And the growth will come from the RAM (retail, agriculture, and MSME), which will be our focus area. We are also projecting a 20 per cent growth in the housing loan sector. As far as corporate is concerned, we are getting good proposals from the infra side like road, steel, cement industry. One demand is also from the NBFC.

 

Q: Despite the lowering of the gross and net NPA, it continues to be comparatively high. How do you plan to further bring down the NPA in this quarter and what is the target for recovery?

A: GNPA will be below 7 per cent and our guidance will be that the net NPA will be below 2 per cent. There has been a lot of improvement in the collection efficiency. From July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2023, we have censored around Rs 82.5 lakh crore new sanctions, out of which around Rs 5.18 lakh crore was disbursed and the outstanding is Rs 4.16 lakh crore. In this new acquisition from July 2020, NPA is hardly 0.23 per cent, this is comforting for us. Thus our profitability has also increased in this quarter. The focus was always on the recovery and as on date we don’t have any accounts more than even Rs 50 crore for the corporate side, which might get downgraded in the next year. We are hopeful that recovery should be good in the coming financial year and the target is that the recovery should be doubled.

There is not a single lumpy account in our book that can turn into a bad asset. There are some accounts under the NCLT that will be resolved in the coming quarter. In terms of recovery, this year we have set a target of Rs 22,000 crore. Thus, for each quarter, we are expecting a recovery of approximately Rs 5,500 crore. Out of which we expect to recover Rs 530 crore from NCLT.

 

Watch here: PNB MD and CEO, Atul Kumar Goel talking about bank’s recover 
 

Q: What is your plan for sustained growth thereby balancing both credit growth and deposit growth?

A: Our net interest margin (NIM) was 3.24 per cent in the last quarter. We are having 43 per cent of the CASA (Current Account and Savings Account). Now, we are ensuring that accounts are opened instantly and by doing this we are hopeful that we will be able to garner more deposit growth. Liquidity was never an issue at PNB, as we have excess SLR. At times if we don’t have adequate deposit we can use the excess SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) to fund the credit growth.

Q: What is the plan in terms of risk management? Does PNB have any exposure to SpiceJet?
 

A: I don’t foresee any risk in the times to come. We don’t have any exposure to SpiceJet. 

Q: In times of financial inclusion, how much do you think the bank has been able to cater to the underserved population in the semi-urban and rural areas?

A: Around 65 per cent of the branches are in rural or semi-urban areas. In addition to that, we have 24,000 banking correspondents for areas where it is not possible to open branches. We have digital initiatives like EOTS for individuals availing loans of less than Rs 10 lakh and they don’t need to come to the branches.

Q: How many Vostro accounts are currently there?

A: As on date, we have got the approval for two accounts. We are approaching the RBI for permission for more accounts.

 

Also Read: Should you buy, sell or hold PNB, NTPC, PowerGrid, Zomato, JSW Steel shares?  

Nir Barkat tells antitrust regulator to quit

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Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat has summoned the head of the Israel Competition Authority Michal Cohen and asked her to step down.


Minister of Economy and Industry Nir Barkat has summoned the head of the Israel Competition Authority Michal Cohen and asked her to step down.

Cohen has served as the head of the Israel Competition Authority for the past two years, beginning as the acting head in August 2021.

The Ministry of Economy and Industry said, “Due to the deep lack of trust created between the two and the inability to continue working in this way when the professional gaps are so many and the head of the authority refuses to adopt and implement the minister’s policy, and in view of the failures in the role, Minister Barkat asked the competition regulator Michal Cohen to quit her position.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on May 22, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.



 

 

 

 

Law firms Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling plan merger

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London-based law firm Allen & Overy and New York’s Shearman & Sterling plan to merge, they announced on Sunday, in a deal that would create one of the world’s largest legal practices with combined global revenue of approximately $3.4 billion.

If approved by a vote of partners at both firms, the tie-up would be one of the largest law-firm mergers in recent years and result in a firm with around 3,900 lawyers across 49 offices worldwide.

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Allen Overy Shearman Sterling, which will be called A&O Shearman for short, “will be the only global firm with U.S. law, English law and local law capabilities in equal measure,” the two firms said in a joint statement.

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They said the deal will give Allen & Overy greater access to the U.S. corporate client base of Shearman & Sterling, which in turn would benefit from A&O’s global reach.

The planned merger comes just months after Shearman & Sterling abandoned talks over a tie-up with transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells.

Shearman & Sterling announced in February it was laying off attorneys and business professionals in the United States. It has also seen a number of partner-level departures in recent months across several U.S. and international locations.

Allen & Overy, which posted global revenues of $2.65 billion in 2021/22, is significantly larger than Shearman & Sterling, which generated about $1 billion, according to figures reported by The American Lawyer.

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The proposed merger would create the third-largest integrated law firm in the world by gross revenue, the two firms said, with a $1 billion practice in the United States. The firms’ joint statement gave no timeline for a partner vote on the deal.

Allen & Overy senior partner Wim Dejonghe said the tie-up “supercharges our ability to serve clients in the U.S. market, which has long been a strategic priority.”

Adam Hakki, senior partner at Shearman & Sterling, said “merging with Allen & Overy will dramatically accelerate our ability to meet (clients’) needs in an increasingly complex environment.”

(Reporting by Sam Tobin Editing by Chris Reese)

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Ramaphosa abandoned by key support base over SA policy missteps

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has lost the confidence of a key constituency.

Five years after ushering in a wave of business optimism that he’d revive an economy hobbled by industrial-scale corruption under his predecessor, executives are running out of patience with the 70-year-old leader. Economic stagnation spawned by record daily power outages, rampant crime, disintegrating infrastructure and foreign policy missteps is leading investors to the exits, with the rand fast-approaching a record low of 20 per dollar.

The business community’s growing disaffection with Ramaphosa’s administration was expected to be a topic of discussion at talks between his deputy, Paul Mashatile, and company executives on Friday evening. The mood going into the meeting was summed up by Investec Plc Group Chief Executive Officer Fani Titi.

“We are going nowhere fast,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “The government is disorganised. Totally disorganised.”

Business leaders raised concerns about issues affecting their constituents in their discussions with Mashatile, the presidency said in a statement after the meeting on Friday night.

“They urged the government to work with a greater sense of urgency in attending to the energy crisis, crime and corruption, and processing of applications relating to statutory obligations hindering their ability to conduct business effectively,” it said.

Dumping bonds

Foreign investors have sold a net $10.5 billion of South African government bonds this year, adding to $15.9 billion of net sales last year. Non-residents held just 26% of government bonds at the end of April, down from a high of 43% in March 2018, the month after Ramaphosa came to office, National Treasury data shows.

Meanwhile, government borrowing costs have surged. The generic 10-year yield climbed to a three-year high of 12.18% on Friday, compared with about 9.05% in February 2018 when Ramaphosa took office. The rand has lost 39% of its value over the period, the worst performance among major emerging-market currencies after the Turkish lira and Argentine peso. Options traders assign an 85% chance to the rand weakening to below 20 per dollar this year.

Opposition parties level manifold accusations against Ramaphosa: He oversees a bloated executive that includes several ministers who’ve proven inept or corrupt, but are retained because of their political sway; he consults endlessly on policies, many of which are misguided or never implemented, and fails to act decisively; and he’s placed South Africa’s trade relations with the US and European Union at risk by forging closer ties with Russia and refusing to condemn its invasion of Ukraine.

“Ramaphosa is not considered a positive leader by financial markets going forward,” said Matt Gertken, chief geopolitical strategist at BCA Research. “He is old and suffering from scandals, he failed to implement significant structural economic reforms, he failed to mend divisions” in the ruling party and now his credibility will suffer due to his foreign policy, he said.

In a succession of speeches and newsletters, the president has acknowledged the enormity of the challenges confronting the country, while highlighting his administration’s attempts to tackle graft and draw foreign investment.

“There is continuing confidence and trust between government, business and labour,” Ramaphosa said in an interview in Paarl, near Cape Town, on Friday. “We are always consulting each other and we all know that the challenges this country faces cannot be solved by each acting alone.”

Daniel Mminele

MTN Group Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita and Nedbank Group Chairman-designate Daniel Mminele have both warned that South Africa risks becoming a failed state unless its myriad problems are addressed. While most executives have steered clear of openly calling for Ramaphosa to go, that option is increasingly being discussed in business circles.

One CEO who declared she’s lost faith in the president is Magda Wierzycka, who heads asset manager Sygnia.

“I had no idea of how wrong I was going to be” in endorsing Ramaphosa when he took over as president, she said on Twitter. Instead of trying to turn the country around, the government had displayed apathy, patronage politics had continued, and there had been no “change for all South Africans,” she said.

Disenchantment with the government’s performance extends beyond corporate boardrooms. More than 80% of 1 517 respondents in a survey conducted in March by the Social Research Foundation said the country was moving in the wrong direction. Discontent has manifested in dozens of violent protests, the worst of which erupted in July 2021, when 354 people died and thousands of businesses were looted and destroyed.

Mandela successor

Expectations that Ramaphosa was the right person to lead the country stemmed from his illustrious political career.

He trained as a lawyer, co-founded the National Union of Mineworkers and played a leading role in negotiating an end to apartheid and drafting the country’s first democratic constitution. After losing out to Thabo Mbeki in the contest to succeed Nelson Mandela as president, he went into business and amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune that made him one of the richest Black South Africans.

Ramaphosa reentered mainstream politics in 2012 when he was elected deputy president of the ruling African National Congress and secured the top party post five years later. He was appointed the nation’s president after the ANC forced Jacob Zuma to step down after a tumultuous nine years in office, during which key state institutions were hollowed out and the government estimates at least R500 billion ($26 billion) of taxpayer funds were stolen.

While Ramaphosa has made some headway in rebuilding the law-enforcement and tax-collection agencies, the coronavirus pandemic dealt a body blow to his efforts to rebuild an already fragile economy. He’s also failed to engineer at turnaround at Eskom, the state utility that supplies more than 90% of the nation’s electricity, which has been subjecting the country to rolling blackouts since 2008.

While Ramaphosa should be the ANC’s presidential candidate in next year’s elections after winning a second term as its leader in December, he’s indicated behind closed doors that he’s prepared to vacate his post if the party’s top brass wants him to, according to three people who are familiar with its internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorised to comment. Several opinion polls indicate that the ANC risks losing its outright majority, yet even if it does it’s likely to retain sufficient support to cobble together a coalition to retain power.

Paul Mashatile

“I am in my second term as ANC president and I will be president of the country again after the next elections that the ANC will win,” Ramaphosa said when asked if he intends staying on his post.

If Ramaphosa does exit early, his deputy Mashatile would be in pole position to succeed him. Mashatile has billed himself as a much more decisive leader than the incumbent who will do more to boost economic growth and investment, but the business community has yet to be convinced that he’d be an ideal replacement, according to two CEOs who declined to be identified.

Mashatile isn’t campaigning to get rid of Ramaphosa and will continue to support him, but in the event the president does leave, he’s prepared to step into the breach, said two of his close confidants, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

“South Africa doesn’t require rocket scientists,” Titi said. “We require leaders to make simple decisions about moving things forward.”

© 2023 Bloomberg

Canary Wharf joins forces with the Felix Project to tackle food poverty

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Canary Wharf Group and The Felix Project, a food redistribution charity have agreed a long-term partnership that will see them join forces to tackle food poverty in London.

The two organisations aim to deliver long term social impact while prioritising sustainability as they tackle this urgent issue, which sees around 400,000 children in the capital going to bed without eating a proper evening meal.

The Felix Project, which has four depots across London, including one close to Canary Wharf in nearby Poplar, will benefit from the strength, vibrancy and scale of the Estate. Canary Wharf Groupwill facilitate access to its businesses, workers and residents while also providing facilities, logistics assistance and support in the form of volunteering and fundraising drives.

The first major initiative will be the launch of the new Canary Wharf Green Scheme, which involves volunteers from the Estate delivering surplus food from retailers directly to local charities, schools and community organisations. Several retailers on the Estate have already signed up to the scheme, including M&S, Joe Blake’s and Waitrose. With over 70 cafes, bars and restaurants and seven grocery stores on the Estate, the two organisations are aiming for many more to come on board over the coming months.

The Green Scheme will launch this week – at capacity this will provide over 1,000 meals each week, through around 10 different local community organisations, saving over 500 kilos of good food from going to waste. To make this happen, Canary Wharf Group and The Felix Project are aiming to recruit as many as 1,500 volunteers.

The next phase of the partnership will see surplus ingredients from Canary Wharf’s restaurants and office canteens rescued and cooked into hot meals at Felix Kitchen in nearby Poplar, which will be distributed to local community organisations.

Shobi Khan, CEO at Canary Wharf Group comments:  “We are delighted to be partnering with The Felix Project. At Canary Wharf Group, we understand that we have a responsibility to create a positive and lasting impact that goes beyond the buildings and places we create.

“Our purpose is to bring people together to enhance lives now and, in the future, and we have always prided ourselves on our ability to create long-standing meaningful relationship with our communities based around Canary Wharf. Through partnerships like this we aim to ensure Canary Wharf is more than just a place to live or work, but a place where you can be connected to the local community and can have a positive social impact.

“The business community at Canary Wharf has a big part to play in making The Felix Project a success and indeed some of our local companies are already on board, including Morgan Stanley and Barclays. With such a concentration of retail and office businesses on the Estate, a key part of our role as partner will be to introduce the charity to our wider community and bring the scale that’s needed to have a real, lasting effect on local people’s lives.

“We have so many people who can play their part, whether they work, live or regularly visit here, and I urge anyone willing to spare a couple of hours to sign up to volunteer and help us get surplus food to those who need it the most.”

Charlotte Hill, CEO of The Felix Project comments:  “In the UK, 4.7m people are struggling with the cost of food. This is an issue we cannot afford to ignore and the situation is critical as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies. Many Londoners are trying to feed themselves on less than £3 a day.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Canary Wharf Group as they’re in the unique position to be able to convene the hundreds of businesses, retailers, employees and residents on the Estate to tackle this issue together, meaning we’ll have a much greater social impact than we would otherwise. They have the access and logistics that we need to make the scheme a success at a time when the need is so high, and are committed to the same long lasting, sustainable and meaningful change that we built our charity for.”

Through the partnership, Canary Wharf Group will be hosting a number of fundraising opportunities including The Felix Project’s first flagship event in autumn, to be announced in the coming months.

Pablo Olivares, Younger Brother of World-Record Holder Jesus Olivares, Squats 400-Kilogram (881.8-Pound) PR

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Strength clearly runs in this powerlifting family.

Pablo Olivares is the younger sibling of Jesus Olivares, the current owner of the all-time heaviest raw World Record total (1,152.5 kilograms/2,540.8 pounds) in powerlifting history. That means the athlete has a lot to live up to from an ambitious strength perspective. At the rate of the lesser-known Olivares’ training, he might not have much to worry about in this regard soon enough.

On May 16, 2023, Olivares posted a video to his Instagram profile where he captured a raw 400-kilogram (881.1-pound) squat during an intense training session. According to the caption of Olivares’ post, the lift is a personal record (PR) by five kilograms (11 pounds). Olivares used wrist wraps, knee sleeves, and a lifting belt to help him score the massive squat. It’s feats like this that evidently might put Olivares on a fast track to achieving milestones akin to those of his brother — who can be seen spotting him in the background of the clip.

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While Olivares doesn’t have the same lofty profile as his World Record-holding brother — who is also the reigning two-time International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) raw World champion in the 120-kilogram (264-pound)-plus division — that doesn’t diminish what he’s accomplished to this stage of his career. Based on his precedent, monstrous squat PRs like this could only be scratching the surface of what he’s capable of at an individual level.

Here’s an overview of the younger Olivares’ all-time raw competition bests. The athlete has notably fluctuated from appearances in the 120-kilogram (264-pound)-plus, 124.3-kilogram (274-pound)-plus, and even 139.7-kilogram (308-pound)-plus divisions:

Pablo Olivares | All-Time Raw Competition Bests

  • Squat — 380 kilograms (837.7 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 215 kilograms (474 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 340 kilograms (749.5 pounds)
  • Total — 925 kilograms (2,039.3 pounds)

Some of the more noteworthy triumphs in Olivares’ powerlifting career include wins in the 2023 USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Texas Strength Classic, the 2022 Powerlifting America (AMP) Nationals, and the 2021 USAPL Texas Open. Since September 2021, Olivares has lost a powerlifting competition just once in five appearances.

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Based on a recent Instagram post from 2023, Olivares has aspirations of eventually squatting 422 kilograms (930 pounds) by the end of the calendar year. At this rate, even if he does have some work to do to catch up to his more decorated sibling, it doesn’t seem like Olivares is running into any insurmountable obstacles.

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