Clearstream sees tenfold increase in annual profits

ClearStreams medical devices are used to clear blocks in the coronary and peripheral arteries and its products are used by cardiologists, radiologists, and vascular surgeons in angioplasty procedures.

According to the directors report section of the accounts, the group is committed to a programme of Ramp;D to enhance its market position.

The businesss Ramp;D spend last year decreased from euro;5.29m to euro;3.1m. The firms cash during the year decreased from euro;1.5m to euro;851,763. The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of euro;1m.

A note attached to the accounts states that the company is going through a phase of expansion and growth, has been profitable for the past financial year and is expected to remain profitable for the foreseeable future.

The note on the companys going concern status states that C R Bard will not seek repayment of inter company loans and balances within the foreseeable future.

Staff costs increased from euro;8.6m to euro;11.5m.

Glencore to Sell Shares and Scrap Dividend to Reduce Debt

Glencore Plc outlined a $10 billion debt-reduction plan less than three weeks after the commodity trader and miner said it was confident it could continue to pay a dividend to shareholders and preserve its credit rating.

The Swiss producer and trader of raw materials plans to sell about $2.5 billion in new shares and assets worth as much as $2 billion. The company will also suspend dividend payments as it seeks to reduce its $30 billion in debt. The stock rose as much as 13 percent, a record intraday gain, in London trading after last week falling the most since going public in 2011.

The debt plan represents an about-face for Glencore after Chief Financial Officer Steve Kalmin said less than three weeks ago that the company could “walk and chew gum,” meaning it could protect its credit rating and pay its dividend at the same time. The change of heart was prompted as investors expressed concerns about the balance after the company reported a 56 percent drop in first-half profit last month.

Debt Control Is Key Before and During Retirement

Findings from the third quarter Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor
and Retirement Optimism Index survey show debt reduction remains a top goal for
Americans, both before and after retirement.

The survey finds fully three-quarters of investors have some
type of debt, including 83% of non-retired investors and 54% of retired
investors. While two-thirds report a concerted effort to cut debt loads, an
even larger majority (89%) has taken at least a small action to reduce debt.

Among investors who carry debt, nearly half (46%) say the amount
of debt they are carrying has decreased in the past two years, according to
Wells Fargo and Gallup. Another 31% say it has increased and 23% say their debt
load has stayed the same. Among all investors, debts most often include either
a mortgage (53%), a credit card balance that carries over from month to month
(37%), a car loan (35%), a student loan (23%) or another outstanding debt or
loan (12%).

In one encouraging sign, seven in 10 investors who say they
made an effort to trim debt feel they have been successful in reducing their
debt as much as they had hoped. The progress is encouraging, researchers note,
especially given that 62% say they intend to make additional major efforts in
the future to reduce their debt.

Many of those surveyed (56%) implied their ultimate goal for
reducing debt today was achieving a debt-free retirement. Another 36% say this
is important but not critical, while 8% say it is “not too important” or “not
at all important.” A slight majority (55%) believe it is “very possible” for
them to be debt-free in retirement, while 37% say it is somewhat possible and
8% not possible.

Interestingly, Wells Fargo and Gallup find investors with
more saved in retirement accounts ($100,000 plus) are likelier to see debt “as
a powerful tool” for building wealth, at 20%, versus 6% of those with less saved.

NEXT: Social Security
worries abound 

Next Week in Bankruptcy

Wednesday in Wilmington, Del., the corporate shell of what was once RadioShack will ask a judge to approve its plan to pay back creditors. RS Legacy’s lenders cut a deal that allows unsecured creditors to pursue damages against RadioShack’s former leaders over financing transactions that predated the retailer’s chapter 11 filing. Plan documents say secured lenders will get $60 million to $70 million, for a 100% recovery.

RadioShack has yet to say what general unsecured creditors owed $150 million to $250 million can expect from the potential lawsuits and other assets being set aside in trust for them. Creditors in the voting class that includes Salus Capital Partners are owed $80 million to $90 million, and it’s unclear how much of that debt RadioShack can repay. The hedge-fund manager made a $150 million loan to RadioShack, but the sale of the company only raised enough money to cover RadioShack’s top ranking loans.

Also on Wednesday, Patriot Coal will seek a Richmond, Va., bankruptcy judge’s approval of a revamped timeline for the auction of its mines and the company’s overall restructuring, as Patriot works to firm up a deal with its bankruptcy lenders to help finance the sales.

On Friday,  a Patriot lawyer told a bankruptcy judge that the proposed financing will not only change the terms of Blackhawk Mining LLC’s bid for the bulk of Patriot’s mines but will also “materially” change the terms on which Patriot repays its creditors. The plan Patriot has been touting has faced opposition from several groups, including the federal government, key creditors and the union representing its miners. Patriot’s official committee of unsecured creditors, a group that includes miners, had said the prior plan wasn’t feasible.  Patriot had previously acknowledged the risk that the sales might not close, but said the “compromises and transactions” at the heart of the plan are fair and provide the best possible recovery to creditors.

Thursday in Austin, Texas, Dune Energy Inc. will seek approval of a chapter 11 plan that would pay back creditors from the sale of the company’s oil and gas assets. Dune, which earlier this summer won approval to sell the assets to two other energy companies, plans to pay senior lenders owed $48 million with their share of the sale proceeds plus a so-called deficiency claim of $30 million. That claim, along with $68 million owed to second-lien lenders, will be paid as general unsecured claims.

The plan calls for the creation of a trust to pursue certain clawback lawsuits. In bankruptcy proceedings, a trustee can sue to claw back certain payments to businesses if the company can prove it was insolvent at the time it took on new liabilities.

The proceeds from those lawsuits are earmarked for Dunes unsecured creditors. Such suits are often unsecured creditors best shot at seeing a recovery on their losses.

Depending on the outcome of the litigation, court papers estimate that unsecured creditors, owed a total of some $109 million, would recover about three cents on the dollar.

-Peg Brickley, Jacqueline Palank and Patrick Fitzgerald contributed to this article.

Write to Joseph Checkler at joseph.checkler@wsj.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeCheckler

Update: This post has been updated to reflect an agenda change to Patriots Wednesday hearing.

New Report Examines Payment Aspects of Financial Inclusion

The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the World Bank Group today issued a consultative report on Payment aspects of financial inclusion. The report examines demand and supply-side factors affecting financial inclusion in the context of payment systems and services, and suggests measures to address these issues.

Financial inclusion efforts – from a payment perspective – should aim at achieving a number of objectives. Ideally, all individuals and businesses should have access to and be able to use at least one transaction account operated by a regulated payment service provider, to: (i) perform most, if not all, of their payment needs; (ii) safely store some value; and (iii) serve as a gateway to other financial services.

Benoît CœurÃ, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) and CPMI Chairman, says that, “With this report, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures and the World Bank Group make an important contribution to improving financial inclusion. Financial inclusion efforts are beneficial not only for those that have no access to financial services, but also for the national payments infrastructure and, ultimately, the economy.”

Gloria M. Grandolini, Senior Director, Finance and Markets Global Practice of the World Bank Group, comments that, “This report will help us better understand how payment systems and services promote access to and effective usage of financial services. It provides an essential tool to meeting our ambitious goal of universal financial access for working-age adults by 2020.”

The report outlines seven guiding principles designed to assist countries that want to advance financial inclusion in their markets through payments: (i) commitment from public and private sector organisations; (ii) a robust legal and regulatory framework underpinning financial inclusion; (iii) safe, efficient and widely reachable financial and ICT infrastructures; (iv) transaction accounts and payment product offerings that effectively meet a broad range of transaction needs; (v) availability of a broad network of access points and interoperable access channels; (vi) effective financial literacy efforts; and (vii) the leveraging of large-volume and recurrent payment streams, including remittances, to advance financial inclusion objectives.

Financial distress can hinder success of academically prepared minority …

Students were surveyed in the fall, winter and spring of freshman year, said Micere Keels, associate professor in comparative human development, who led the study. At each time-point, approximately 35 percent reported having difficulty paying their bills, being upset that they did not have enough money and being concerned that they would not be able to afford to complete their degree.

The report is the first of a series that will be released from the Minority College Cohort Study, for which Keels is the principal investigator. The study tracks the emerging adult trajectory of Black and Latino college freshmen from five public and private universities in Illinois.

Students who started college with a high level of financial distress fell into one of three groups. The first group is students who enrolled knowing there was an unmet need that would have to be paid for out of pocket, but hoped that somehow they could find a way to pay it before a hold was placed on their account.

The second group is students who enrolled believing there was no unmet need but the final amount of aid received was lower than expected, or made housing or other changes without realizing that it would create unmet need.

The third group is students who, because of limited financial knowledge, believed that financial aid would cover everything and did not budget for living expenses such as food and activity fees. For students without access to any additional credit, from family or banks, incidental expenses add up and lead to stopping-out.

Students in the study entered college in the fall of 2013 and will be followed for six years, regardless of whether they leave college. They were recruited from five Illinois universities: DePaul University, Loyola University, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The report is available on the projects website.

Tamar N. Dolcourt

Tamar Dolcourt is a bankruptcy and restructuring attorney with Foley amp; Lardner LLP. Ms. Dolcourt represents clients in all aspects of bankruptcy proceedings. She is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy amp; Business Reorganizations and Labor amp; Employment Practices as well as the Energy Industry Team.

Ms. Dolcourt’s diverse bankruptcy practice includes representation of debtors-in-possession in Chapter 11, representation of secured lenders in real estate bankruptcies and representation of unsecured creditors, both individually and on official committees.

Ms. Dolcourt also represents multiple clients in commercial real estate foreclosure, receivership, and related bankruptcy matters.

SPYR Inc (OTCMKTS:SPYR) Engages Industry Experts To Get A Competitive …

SPYR Inc (OTCMKTS:SPYR) intends to excel in the mobile game and application development business and for the purpose the company is busy engaging leading experts to its team. The company hired Mr. Paul Thind as the Managing Director of its dedicated games and application segment. He is an opinion leader in the mobile games, internet, entertainment, digital media space and virtual world.

Thind has been brand builder in the industry, and this association will prove extremely beneficial for SPYR. The company plans to give a stiff competition to its peers in this fast-growing industry. Thind gives the company an opportunity to get recognized and increase its market share in mobile games and virtual worlds.

Atrinsic, Inc. (OTCMKTS:ATRN) Files Form 8-K

Atrinsic, Inc. (OTCMKTS:ATRN) submitted Form 8-K wherein it revealed that on September 3, 2015, it issued secured convertible notes to each of Hudson Bay Master Fund Ltd. and Iroquois Master Fund Ltd for an aggregate of $50,000. Both of them are secured lenders to the company. These issued notes mature on August 31, 2016 and have a interest rate of 5% per annum. The interest is payable at maturity.

The accrued interest and outstanding principal of each note is convertible, subject to a Beneficial Ownership Cap of 4.99% into shares of Atrinsic common stock at an initial price of $5 per share, at the will of the respective holders. The proceeds will be used to support working capital needs. On September 3, Atrinsic also finalized a note modification deal, made as of July, with each of Hudson and Iroquois.

Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHX) Engages Gary Nafus As New CRO

Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHX) jumped more than 2% as it appointed Gary Nafus its CRO in shoring up company’s executive team. The company also engaged Matt Muilenberg as SVP, Customer Evangelist. More recently, Nafus served as a managing director at Kenshoo.

Puerto Rico unveils a fiscal reform plan to reduce debt

Puerto Rico on Wednesday issued a five-year plan for broadly restructuring its mammoth debts, opening what is likely to be a turbulent new chapter in its efforts to rekindle economic growth and avoid an unprecedented collapse.

The new plan calls for restructuring about $47 billion of Puerto Rico’s $72 billion in bond debt and carrying out an ambitious package of economic changes under the eyes of an independent financial control board. Virtually every element of the plan requires either concessions negotiated from creditors or legislation enacted in San Juan or Washington, suggesting a long and difficult road ahead.

In a live televised speech Wednesday morning, Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said economic revival was “our historic responsibility” and warned that if creditors did not come to the negotiating table, “Puerto Rico will have no choice but to go ahead without them.”

Already, Puerto Rico has had to take “extraordinary measures” to keep from running completely out of cash. The government liquidated the assets of its workers’ compensation fund and two other insurance pools over the summer so it could pay other bills. It has delayed sending people their 2014 income tax refunds until at least February 2016.

Among the most striking aspects of the plan — and likely to be one of the most contentious — is the proposal to restructure Puerto Rico’s general obligation bonds, which were sold to investors with an explicit constitutional promise that timely repayment would take priority over all other expenditures on the island. Puerto Rico stunned investors this summer by defaulting on another type of bond but failing to pay general obligation debt when due is almost unheard of.

“There is a high probability of protracted litigation,” said Ted Hampton, a vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, who cited general-obligation bondholders as especially likely to sue.