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Finance Information Students

Resources for National Wealth Analysis

The following is a brief list of links with information on the wealth and culture of various countries.  These websites can be a good reference for economic or financial analysis (particularly for international business). Please feel free to add more resources to share with our readers.

Department of Commerce

United Nations

World Bank

International Monetary Fund

Securities and Exchange Commission

World Trade Organization

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Corporate Finance Information Stocks

France Tops U.S. in Placing Women on Corporate Boards

France Tops U.S. in Placing Women on Corporate Boards

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2013, France has overtaken the United States’ lead role as the country with the highest percentage of women directors among the 200 largest companies in the world, according to the latest Corporate Women Directors International study of women directors. Propelled by quota legislation passed in 2010, a quarter of directors (25.1%) in France are now women, while the percentage in the U.S. peaked at 20.9%.

“France has raised the bar for other countries interested in opening up corporate board rooms to women,” said Irene Natividad , chair of the Washington-based international research group CWDI. “The dramatic increase in the number of women now serving on the boards of French companies shows that it is possible to do this at a quicker pace as long as there’s a plan to do so.” Among the Fortune Global 200 companies, the average percentage of women directors came to only 15%.

An impetus behind the increases in France and other European countries is through government quotas, which require 30-40% of board seats to be allocated for women. Norway, which paved the way by successfully reaching its 40% mandate for women on boards in 2008, has now been joined by Spain, the Netherlands, Iceland, Italy, and Belgium. Outside of Europe, Malaysia has a quota which will be implemented by 2016. With10 other countries with quotas for women on the boards of government-owned companies, there are now 18 countries using this strategy, with the United Arab Emirates the latest to require companies to have women on their boards.

The other propellant that led to more women board directors this year is the inclusion of gender or board diversity in the corporate governance code in several European countries – an initiative that has now spilled over to other continents. A very popular strategy for countries wanting to avoid quotas, there are now 17 countries who have adopted this initiative. Finland led this drive resulting in 22% of board seats now held by women, without a quota in place.

Among the Fortune Global 200 companies covered in the 2013 CWDI Report, those companies based in countries with quotas had a higher percentage of women directors (18.9%) than the average representation of women in peer companies at 15%. The three countries with the largest increases in the percentage of women directors since 2004, when CWDI first tracked women directors in the Fortune Global 200, all have quota laws – France (7.2% to 25.1%), Spain (1.9% to 12.7%), and Italy (1.8% to 9.3%).

Similarly, those companies which made it to the Fortune listing, which are based in countries with gender diversity recommendations for corporate boards also had a higher percentage of women directors at 19.9% than those companies in countries without such a directive in their corporate governance code.

“Quotas work,” said Natividad. “Inserting gender diversity into corporate governance codes works. What doesn’t work is assuming that women will rise to board seats ‘naturally’, and therefore do nothing.” The three countries with the lowest percentage increases in women-held board seats are the United States, China and Japan and all three countries combined have the largest cluster of companies among the 200 largest in the world at 104. None of these countries have concerted proactive strategies to improve the numbers of women directors in their respective countries. Should they do so, the percentage of women directors among the Fortune listing would rise significantly.

CWDI’s Top Ten list of best performing companies is dominated by US and French companies and has mushroomed to 26 companies (due to ties), again due to measures undertaken by countries to speed up the number of women directors. A U.S. company, Procter and Gamble leads the Top Ten with 45% of its Board made up of women.

About CWDI:

Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI) promotes the increased participation of women in corporate boards globally, fosters national and international networks to link women directors, and seeks to hone directors’ skills in corporate governance. To provide baseline information from which women’s progress on corporate boards can be measured, CWDI has conducted research internationally since 1996 to identify women corporate board members in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Spain, and the United States, as well as regional and global reports covering top companies and their record on board diversity. CWDI has also issued industry-specific studies resulting in 21 reports in 17 years.

In addition, CWDI has held roundtables on corporate governance in several cities globally for women directors and executives. The most recent brought together business and government leaders convened with the World Bank in Washington, DC, to share board diversity initiatives from several countries. For more information about CWDI or its publications, please contact Corporate Women Directors’ Washington, D.C. headquarters at cwdi@globewomen.com.

SOURCE: Corporate Women Directors International

 

Categories
Finance Financial Analysis Information Personal Finance Real Estate Risk

CoreLogic Releases Q4 2012 Renter Applicant Risk Index Report

CoreLogic Releases Q4 2012 Renter Applicant Risk Index Report

—Default Risk Among Renters Decreased Year Over Year—

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 20, 2013, CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading residential property information, analytics and services provider, today released its fourth quarter 2012 CoreLogic SafeRent® Renter Applicant Risk (RAR) Index Report, formerly known as the Multifamily Applicant Risk (MAR) Index Report. Published quarterly, the RAR Index Report provides market-based benchmarks for evaluating credit quality and risk of default for renters applying for apartment homes in multifamily housing units. The index also includes data from single-family rentals. Using a mean of 100, an index value above 100 indicates decreased risk, and a value below 100 indicates increased risk.

According to the data, the risk of default among renters nationwide decreased year over year in the fourth quarter of 2012 with an index value of 103 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 with an index value of 101. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the risk of default increased in the fourth quarter 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2012 when the index value was 106. The increased risk from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012 reflects a riskier applicant pool that is typical in seasonally slower periods of applicant traffic (See Figure 1).

Renter Trends

  • Lower-priced rentals see more significant decreases in rent amounts: Average rent amounts for Class A properties, defined as those with rents greater than $1100, increased 0.3 percent year over year. At the same time, rent amounts for Class B properties, defined as those between $750 and $1100, remained unchanged from one year ago, while rent amounts for Class C properties, defined as less than $750, decreased 0.9 percent year over year.
  • Dual applicants increase: In the fourth quarter of 2012, the number of transactions with two applicants increased across property class. On a year-over-year basis, dual-applicant transactions increased 3.9 percent for Class A properties, increased 2.8 percent for Class B properties and increased 0.3 percent for Class C properties.
  • Applicant income rises: Applicant income in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased an average of 1.7 percent among all property classes year over year and also increased over the previous quarter by .5 percent.
  • Fewer applicants declined: Compared to a year ago, property managers denied fewer applicants in the fourth quarter of 2012. Class A property managers denied 5 percent fewer applicants, Class B managers denied 1.3 percent fewer and Class C managers denied 0.6 percent fewer applicants.

Regional Renter Applicant Risk Index Data

Regionally, the Northeast and West had the highest RAR index value in the fourth quarter of 2012, both at 110, reflecting decreased default risk (see Figure 2). The Midwest had the lowest RAR index value at 98, reflecting increased risk, with a five-point decline from the previous quarter when the value was 103. The increased risk in the Midwest is reflective of increased risk seen in two Midwest Core Based Statistical Areas* (CBSAs) (see Figure 3).

Figure 2: Regional Renter Applicant Risk Index Data

Region

Q4 2012

Q3 2012

Change from Q3 2012 to Q4 2012

Q4 2011

Change from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012

Midwest

98

103

-5

97

1

Northeast

110

113

-3

110

0

South

100

103

-3

97

3

West

110

111

-1

107

3

U.S.

103

106

-3

101

2

The three CBSAs with the largest year-over-year increases in applicant risk were Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (three-point value decline); Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio (two-point value decline); and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (one-point value decline). The CBSAs with the largest year-over-year declines in applicant risk were Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo.; New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.; and San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif., all with a four-point value increase (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Core Based Statistical Area & Renter Applicant Risk Index Deltas

CBSAs With Largest Decreases

Q4 2012

Q4 2011

Change from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

110

113

-3

Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio

98

100

-2

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

94

95

-1

CBSAs With Largest Increases

Q4 2012

Q4 2011

Change from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012

Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo.

105

101

4

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.

124

120

4

San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.

124

120

4

NOTE: CBSAs are selected from the Top 50 CBSAs based on   population and applicant volume.

* The CBSAs referred to within the Renter Applicant Risk Index Report may differ from the CBSAs referenced in other CoreLogic data reports. CBSAs are defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and CoreLogic may provide data either for the overall CBSA or a Metropolitan Division of a CBSA, depending upon the report. The particular CBSA used is identified in the report.

Methodology

The SafeRent Renter Applicant Risk (RAR) Index Report is published quarterly by CoreLogic. The RAR Index is calculated exclusively from applicant-traffic credit quality scores from the CoreLogic SafeRent statistical lease screening model, Registry ScorePLUS® and is based on an analysis of 39,000 properties representing nearly 6 million apartment homes and single-family rentals. The index provides a benchmark trend of national and regional traffic credit quality scores. The index value indicates the relative risk of an applicant pool fulfilling lease obligations. A risk index value of 100 indicates that market conditions are equal to the national mean for the Index’s base period of 2004. A risk index value greater than 100 indicates market conditions with reduced average risk of default relative to the index’s base period mean. A value less than 100 indicates market conditions with increased average risk of default relative to the index’s base period mean. Registry ScorePLUS is the multifamily industry’s only screening model that is both empirically derived and statistically validated. The statistical screening model was developed from historical resident lease performance data to specifically evaluate the potential risk of a resident’s future lease performance. The model generates scores for each applicant indicating the relative risk of the applicant not fulfilling lease obligations.

To receive local or regional renter applicant risk index data or if you have questions, contact CoreLogic SafeRent at smallon@corelogic.com.

About CoreLogic

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading property information, analytics and services provider in the United States and Australia. The company’s combined data from public, contributory, and proprietary sources includes over 3.3 billion records spanning more than 40 years, providing detailed coverage of property, mortgages and other encumbrances, consumer credit, tenancy, location, hazard risk and related performance information. The markets CoreLogic serves include real estate and mortgage finance, insurance, capital markets, transportation and government. CoreLogic delivers value to clients through unique data, analytics, workflow technology, advisory and managed services. Clients rely on CoreLogic to help identify and manage growth opportunities, improve performance and mitigate risk. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., CoreLogic operates in seven countries. For more information, please visit www.corelogic.com.

CORELOGIC, the CoreLogic logo, SAFERENT and REGISTRY SCOREPLUS are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

SOURCE: CoreLogic

Categories
Financial News Information Personal Finance Retirement Savings Surveys Taxes Wealth

More U.S. Employers Likely to Add Roth Features to their Defined Contribution Plans in 2013

Aon Hewitt Survey Reveals More U.S. Employers Likely to Add Roth Features to their Defined Contribution Plans in 2013

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Provision Opens Door for Increased Roth 401(k) Adoption

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Feb. 6, 2013, A new survey by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), reveals an increasing number of U.S. employers are planning to add Roth features to their defined contribution (DC) plans in 2013. This comes on the heels of new legislation that makes it easier for DC investors to convert balances within their savings plan into Roth accounts.

Immediately following the passage of the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012—or so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ deal—Aon Hewitt conducted a pulse survey of more than 300 individuals representing large U.S. employers to determine the prevalence of Roth accounts and employers’ likely actions with respect to their plans over the next 12 months. According to Aon Hewitt’s findings, while almost half (49 percent) of respondents currently offer no Roth provisions, 29 percent of those that don’t offer Roth are very or somewhat likely to add this feature in the next 12 months. Of those new adopters, more than three-quarters (76 percent) will add both Roth contribution and in-plan conversion features.

“While employers have steadily been adopting Roth features in recent years, the new law, along with a better understanding of Roth by both participants and companies, will encourage more plan sponsors to add these options in the near-term,” said Patti Balthazor Bjork , director of Retirement Research at Aon Hewitt.

Aon Hewitt’s survey also found that employers that already have a Roth contribution option are likely to allow employees to make in-plan conversions to Roth accounts. Of those respondents that currently allow Roth contributions but do not offer in-plan conversions, more than half (53 percent) are very or somewhat likely to add this feature in the next 12 months.

For companies that already allow Roth contributions and in-plan conversions, more than three-quarters (79 percent) are very or somewhat likely to expand the eligibility for in-plan conversions, allowing them for previously non-distributable amounts.

“The new rules open the door for employers to allow expanded in-plan conversions, but it’s not a requirement,” explained Bjork. “However, it makes the Roth conversions more attractive for employees, so there will likely be increased interest and incentive for employers to offer them.”

Aon Hewitt’s retirement practice advises, designs and administers defined contribution benefits for hundreds of mid-sized and large plans. For more information visit aonhewitt.com.

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About Aon Hewitt
Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource solutions. The company partners with organizations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance. Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies. With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees. For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit www.aonhewitt.com.

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 61,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world’s best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon’s global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

MacKenzie Lucas , 847-442-2995, mackenzie.lucas@aonhewitt.com
Maurissa Kanter , 847-442-0952, maurissa.kanter@aonhewitt.com

SOURCE: Aon plc

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Information Investing Money

Royal Canadian Mint Wildlife Silver Bullion Coin Series Ending

Royal Canadian Mint Wildlife Silver Bullion Coin series comes to a close with a tribute to the Wood bison

OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2013, After five successful launches of 99.99% pure, one-ounce silver coins celebrating Canada’s rich and abundant wildlife, the Mint is bringing its popular Canadian Wildlife Silver Bullion Coin series to a close with a superb tribute to the Wood bison. This 2013-dated addition to the Mint’s silver bullion coin program was launched today at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany before a premier gathering of world mints, distributors and customers.

“The Mint has been delighted by consistent customer enthusiasm for our Silver Wildlife bullion coin series and while it is ending with a sixth and final coin, we look forward to continue introducing variety to the bullion market and to building interest in our industry-leading products,” said Ian E. Bennett , President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “As a majestic example of Canada’s abundant wildlife, as well as a great conservation success story, the uniquely Canadian Wood bison is a fine ambassador for a bullion coin program which has made the Mint stand out once again for innovation and quality.”

The Mint’s Ottawa facility will produce up to one million “Wood bison” silver bullion coins. Through this special series, a total of six different species of Canada’s legendary wildlife, including the grizzly; wolf; cougar; moose; and antelope, have been celebrated on finely crafted bullion coins struck of the same pure silver as the Mint’s world-famous Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins. This new pure silver bullion coin will soon be available through the Mint’s extensive network of bullion distributors.

The reverse image of the coin is designed by Canadian artist Emily Damstra . It shows a Wood bison galloping in a vivid display of strength and endurance. Canada is the only country in the world where the Wood bison, a subspecies of the American bison, can be found in the wild. Though 200,000 of these massive animals once prospered in the woodlands of the Canadian West, only hundreds remained by the early 1900s due to over hunting and human encroachment.

Extensive conservation efforts have raised their number to more than 10,000 and today, protected Wood bison herds exist in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon Territory, and the Northwest Territories.

It is important to note that Mint does not sell bullion directly to the public. Since the introduction of its first bullion coin in 1979, the Mint only sells bullion in large volumes to a global network of bullion distributors, who have the required infrastructure to sell and buy back bullion on a daily basis, and at real-time market prices.

About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada’s circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products and services, visit www.mint.ca.

Images of the new Canadian Wildlife silver bullion coin are available by visiting ftp://communications:MINT2007@ftp.mint.ca.

SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mint