Road Quality and Mean Speed Score

Source: International Monetary Fund

Road Quality and Mean Speed Score

Author/Editor:

Mariano Moszoro ; Mauricio Soto

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

We introduce a novel measure of cross-country road quality based on the travel mean speed between large cities from Google Maps. This measure is useful to assess road infrastructure and access gaps. Our Mean Speed (MS) score is easier to estimate and update than traditional gauges of road network quality which rely on official reports, surveys (i.e., World Economic Forum’s Quality of Roads Perception survey), or satellite imaging (i.e., World Bank’s Rural Access Index). In a sample of over 160 countries, we find that MS scores range between 38 km/h (23.6 mph) and 107 km/h (66.5 mph). We show that the MS score is a strong proxy for road quality and access.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2022/095

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

ISBN/ISSN:

9798400210440/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2022095

Pages:

34

Seven Finance & Trade Lessons from COVID-19 for Future Pandemics

Source: International Monetary Fund

Seven Finance & Trade Lessons from COVID-19 for Future Pandemics

Author/Editor:

Ruchir Agarwal ; Gita Gopinath

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Pandemics and epidemics pose risks to lives, societies, and economies, and their frequency is expected to increase as rising trade and increased human interaction with animals leads to the emergence of new diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic teaches us that we can and must be better prepared, with scope for much greater global coordination to address the financing, supply-chain, and trade barriers that amplified the pandemic’s economic costs and contributed to the emergence of new variants. This paper draws seven early lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that could inform future policy priorities and help shape a better global response to future crises.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2022/097

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

ISBN/ISSN:

9798400210365/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2022097

Pages:

17

Assessing Vulnerabilities to Corruption in Public Procurement and Their Price Impact

Source: International Monetary Fund

Assessing Vulnerabilities to Corruption in Public Procurement and Their Price Impact

Author/Editor:

Aly Abdou ; Olivier Basdevant ; Elizabeth David-Barrett ; Misi Fazekas

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Public procurement can be highly vulnerable to corruption. This paper outlines a methodology and results in assessing corruption risks in public procurement and their impact on relative prices, using large databases on government contracts and tenders. Our primary contribution is to analyze how price differential in public procurement contracts can be explained by corruption risk factor (aggregated in a synthetic corruption risk index). While there are intrinsic limitations to our study (price differentials can come from structural reasons, such as a limited number of potential suppliers) it still provides a guiding tool to assess where corruption risks would have the biggest budgetary impact. Such analysis helps inform mitigating policies owing to the granular data used.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2022/094

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

ISBN/ISSN:

9798400207884/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2022094

Pages:

31

Sovereign Eurobond Liquidity and Yields

Source: International Monetary Fund

Sovereign Eurobond Liquidity and Yields

Author/Editor:

Daniel C Hardy

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Market liquidity is of value to both investors and issuers of securities, and is therefore a crucial factor in asset pricing. For the important asset class of Eurobonds, significant feedback from liquidity to pricing is established, and it is shown that bid-ask spreads (a proxy for market liquidity) and yields are closely related to bond characteristics such as issue volume, time to maturity, the inclusion of collective action clauses, and the jurisdiction of issuance. Debt management offices can choose these characteristics in a way that has economically significant and persistent effects on both liquidity and pricing.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2022/098

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

May 20, 2022

ISBN/ISSN:

9798400211430/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2022098

Pages:

71

AT&T INC. ANNOUNCES PRICING OF TENDER OFFERS FOR 63 SERIES OF NOTES

Source: AT&T

DALLAS, May 20, 2022 — AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) (“AT&T”) announced today the pricing of its offers to purchase for cash (i) 54 series of outstanding Notes listed in the table below under “Higher Coupon Offers”, up to a maximum $5 billion aggregate amount of Higher Coupon Total Consideration (as defined below) and (ii) 9 series of outstanding Notes described below under “Discount Offers”, up to a maximum $3 billion aggregate amount of Discount Total Consideration (as defined below). The tender offers described herein are being made on the terms and conditions set forth in the Offers to Purchase, dated May 16, 2022 (the “Offers to Purchase”). The Offers to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal and the related notices of guaranteed delivery can be accessed at the following link: https://gbsc-usa.com/registration/att. Capitalized terms used but not defined in this announcement have the meanings given to them in the Offers to Purchase.

HIGHER COUPON OFFERS

The table below sets forth the applicable Reference Yields and Total Consideration for each series of the Notes listed below, as calculated at 11:00 a.m., New York City time, today, May 20, 2022, in accordance with the Offer to Purchase for the Higher Coupon Offers. 

The Higher Coupon Offers are scheduled to expire on the “Higher Coupon Expiration Date,” which is 5:00 p.m., New York City time, today, May 20, 2022, unless extended or earlier terminated. Holders of Notes described in the table above may withdraw their validly tendered Notes any time at or prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, today, May 20, 2022, unless extended by AT&T. In order to receive the Higher Coupon Total Consideration, Holders of Notes must tender and not withdraw their Notes, or submit a Notice of Guaranteed Delivery and comply with the related procedures, at or prior to the Higher Coupon Expiration Date.

For Holders who deliver a Notice of Guaranteed Delivery and all other required documentation at or prior to the Higher Coupon Expiration Date, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Tender Offer Documents, the deadline to validly tender Notes using the Guaranteed Delivery Procedures will be the second business day after the Expiration Date and is expected to be 5:00 p.m. (New York City time) on May 24, 2022.

The “Higher Coupon Settlement Date” will be the fourth business day after the Higher Coupon Expiration Date and is expected to be May 26, 2022.

Upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the applicable Offer to Purchase, Holders whose Notes are accepted for purchase in the Higher Coupon Offers will receive the Total Consideration described in the Notes to the table immediately above (the “Higher Coupon Total Consideration”) for each $1,000 principal amount of such Notes in cash on the Higher Coupon Settlement Date.  In addition to the Higher Coupon Total Consideration, Holders whose Notes are accepted for purchase will receive a cash payment equal to the Accrued Coupon Payment, representing accrued and unpaid interest on such Notes from and including the immediately preceding interest payment date for such Notes to, but excluding, the Higher Coupon Settlement Date. Interest will cease to accrue on the Higher Coupon Settlement Date for all Notes accepted in the Higher Coupon Offers.

DISCOUNT OFFERS

The table below sets forth the applicable Reference Yields and Total Consideration for each series of the Notes listed below, as calculated at 11:00 a.m., New York City time, today, May 20, 2022, in accordance with the Offer to Purchase for the Discount Offers. 

The Discount Offers are scheduled to expire on the “Discount Expiration Date,” which is 5:00 p.m., New York City time, today, May 20, 2022, unless extended or earlier terminated. Holders of Notes described in the table above may withdraw their validly tendered Notes any time at or prior to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, today, May 20, 2022, unless extended by AT&T. In order to receive the Discount Total Consideration, Holders of Notes must tender and not withdraw their Notes, or submit a Notice of Guaranteed Delivery and comply with the related procedures, at or prior to the Discount Expiration Date.

For Holders who deliver a Notice of Guaranteed Delivery and all other required documentation at or prior to the Discount Expiration Date, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Tender Offer Documents, the deadline to validly tender Notes using the Guaranteed Delivery Procedures will be the second business day after the Expiration Date and is expected to be 5:00 p.m. (New York City time) on May 24, 2022.

The “Discount Settlement Date” will be the fourth business day after the Discount Expiration Date and is expected to be May 26, 2022.

Upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the applicable Offer to Purchase, Holders whose Notes are accepted for purchase in the Discount Offers will receive the Total Consideration described in the Notes to the table immediately above (the “Discount Total Consideration”) for each $1,000 principal amount of such Notes in cash on the Discount Settlement Date. In addition to the Discount Total Consideration, Holders whose Notes are accepted for purchase will receive a cash payment equal to the Accrued Coupon Payment, representing accrued and unpaid interest on such Notes from and including the immediately preceding interest payment date for such Notes to, but excluding, the Discount Settlement Date. Interest will cease to accrue on the Discount Settlement Date for all Notes accepted in the Discount Offers.

TERMS OF THE TENDER OFFERS

 AT&T’s obligation to accept for payment and to pay for Notes of any series validly tendered in the tender offers is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions described in the applicable Offer to Purchase, including that the aggregate Total Consideration for Notes purchased in the Higher Coupon Offer and in the Discount Offer not exceed $5,000,000,000 and $3,000,000,000, respectively, and on the applicable Maximum Purchase Consideration being sufficient to pay the Total Consideration for all validly tendered Notes of such series. As a result, no series will be subject to pro-ration in the amount accepted. AT&T reserves the right, subject to applicable law, to: (i) waive any and all conditions to the tender offers; (ii) extend or terminate any or all of the tender offers; (iii) increase the Maximum Purchase Consideration of either the Higher Coupon Offers or the Discount Offers or both; or (iv) otherwise amend the tender offers in any respect.

Holders are advised to check with any bank, securities broker or other intermediary through which they hold any of the Notes listed above as to when such intermediary needs to receive instructions from a holder in order for that holder to be able to participate in, or, where revocation is permitted, timely revoke their instruction to participate in the tender offers. The deadlines set by each clearing system for the submission and withdrawal of tender instructions will also be earlier than the relevant deadlines specified herein and in the applicable Offer to Purchase and the related Notice of Guaranteed Delivery, as applicable.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., TD Securities, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Citigroup are acting as the Joint-Lead Dealer Managers for the tender offers. For additional information regarding the terms of the offers, please contact Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. at (866) 627-0391 (toll free) or (212) 250-2955 (collect), TD Securities at (866) 627-0391 (toll free) or (212) 250-2955 (collect), Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC at (800) 828-3182 (toll free) or (212) 357-1452 (collect) or Citigroup at (800) 558-3745 (toll free) or (212) 723-6106 (collect). Global Bondholder Services Corporation is acting as the tender agent and information agent for the tender offers. Questions or requests for assistance related to the tender offers or for additional copies of the Offers to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal or related Notices of Guaranteed Delivery may be directed to Global Bondholder Services Corporation at  (855) 654-2014 (toll free) or (212) 430-3774 (collect). You may also contact your broker, dealer, commercial bank, trust company or other nominee for assistance concerning the tender offers. The Offers to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal and the Notices of Guaranteed Delivery can be accessed at the following link: https://gbsc-usa.com/registration/att.

This press release is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described herein.  The tender offers described herein are being made solely by the applicable Offer to Purchase, the Letter of Transmittal and the related Notice of Guaranteed Delivery and only to such persons and in such jurisdictions as is permitted under applicable law. 

Neither the communication of this press release, the applicable Offer to Purchase or any other offer materials relating to the tender offers is being made, and such documents and/or materials have not been approved by an authorized person for the purposes of section 21 of the UK Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (the “FSMA”). Accordingly, this press release, the Offers to Purchase and such documents and/or materials are not being distributed to, and must not be passed on to persons in the United Kingdom other than (a) persons who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (the “Order”); or (b) high net worth entities, and other persons to whom it may lawfully be communicated, falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order (such persons together being “relevant persons”). This press release and the Offers to Purchase are only available to relevant persons and the transactions contemplated herein will be available only to, or engaged in only with relevant persons, and must not be relied or acted upon by persons other than relevant persons.

Chair of fisheries subsidies negotiations reports on progress made during “Fish Week”

Source: World Trade Organisation

Some 50 delegations representing a broad spectrum of views took part in various discussions on 16-20 May, which concluded with a stock-taking meeting of the Negotiating Group on Rules at the level of heads of delegations.

“Overall, I sensed a positive vibe during this week’s meetings and noticed members’ willingness to constructively engage in discussions. I was also encouraged to see some movements in positions,” the chair told heads of delegations, adding that all members further expressed a desire for an effective and ambitious outcome.

The chair reported that much of the work over the week in meetings with different configurations focused on some of the outstanding issues in the draft Agreement that need to be resolved, such as: the treatment of non-specific fuel subsidies; the balance and ambition related to overcapacity and overfishing, including special and differential treatment for developing country members and least-developed country members; the issue of reflagging; transparency requirements related to forced labour; and territoriality.

“However, we are not done yet. It is clear that to reach an agreement before MC12, we must get this done not later than the week of 30 May, which I see as ‘fish decision week,'” the chair said. “I have heard some members say that it is ‘now or never’ for a fish agreement, and I tend to agree. We need to do everything we can to ensure that it is ‘now’.”

“Director-General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and I will be keeping in touch regarding activities to facilitate the decision-making that needs to happen,” he said.

Under the mandate from the previous Ministerial Conference and the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 14.6, negotiators have been given the task of securing agreement on disciplines to eliminate subsidies for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, with special and differential treatment being an integral part of the negotiations. MC12 will be held on 12-15 June in Geneva.

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WTO virtual event looks at finance and trade lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic

Source: World Trade Organisation

The event – entitled “Finance and Trade Lessons from the Pandemic — Looking Forward” – featured a presentation by Ruchir Agarwal, senior economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Head of the Global Health and Pandemic Response Task Force.

Discussions explored lessons learned regarding the rationale, sources, timing and scope of financing; financing frameworks; research and development; production; and cross-border flows of goods and services during the pandemic. It also mapped key considerations for the way forward.

The event webpage, including access to the livestream, presentation and background materials, is available here: WTO | Finance and Trade Lessons from the Pandemic – Looking Forward.

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DDG González: “Trade is essential to win the fight against climate change”

Source: World Trade Organisation

DDG González highlighted that trade is critically important for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to access the goods, services and technologies needed to adapt to climate change and decarbonize their economies, adding that trade officials need to take a serious look at the barriers that may hinder the emergence of an efficient, globally integrated market for the clean technologies of today and tomorrow.

“We must make sure that trade and climate policies pull in the same, not in opposite, directions, because the wrong trade policies can set back efforts to achieve climate and other environmental goals,” she said.

DDG González called on trade officials in Latin America and the Caribbean to make full use of the WTO as a forum to discuss with partners the trade effects of border carbon adjustments and other climate measures, and to work through any challenges that may arise to avoid fragmentation and friction. She added that the WTO is working across a wide range of areas relevant to climate change, from promoting trade in environmental goods and services and reforming environmentally harmful subsidies to shoring up the circular economy and fighting plastics pollution.

DDG González observed that many emerging green and circular business models rely on digital tools, leasing and sharing systems, and compliance with sustainability standards to create value. “Trade officials can help green businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean take root and join sustainable supply chains by reducing services and digital trade barriers, and by working with domestic stakeholders and international partners to strengthen countries’ infrastructure for standards and quality,” she said.

During the event, speakers addressed the challenges and opportunities facing Latin America and the Caribbean in using trade to decarbonize their economies and promote green business initiatives. The event, titled “Trade and Environment: What Do Policymakers and Companies in the Americas Need to Know?”, was moderated by Steve Liston, Senior Director at the Council of the Americas. In addition to DDG González, the panel was composed of Bill Maloney, Chief Economist of Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank Group, and Nigel Purvis, CEO of Climate Advisors. The recording of the event is available here.

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Co-convenors update participants on latest progress in e-commerce discussions

Source: World Trade Organisation

Facilitators of small group discussions reported on the work undertaken in recent weeks to narrow differences in negotiating positions in the areas of open internet access, electronic transaction frameworks and cybersecurity. Ambassador Yamazaki encouraged the facilitators to try to arrive at convergence on those issues before the summer break.

Ambassador Yamazaki announced the establishment of two new small groups on privacy and telecommunications. He said that WTO members have heard a range of views on proposals related to privacy and on updating disciplines related to telecommunications services, the so-called Telecommunications Reference Paper. He stressed that the establishment of small groups on these issues will enable members to deepen their discussions. 

He invited proponents of proposals that do not have a reasonable degree of support to actively build the necessary support or even consider withdrawing these proposals to achieve a greater convergence on the negotiating text. He also said that amendments to the proposals to reflect views expressed by other members should be done in a timely fashion. He added that the co-convenors are considering a stocktaking session in July to assess progress.

The co-convenors are working on initiatives to support developing and least developed countries participating in the e-commerce negotiations, said Ambassador Yamazaki. He added: “The co-convenors recognise that while the digital economy offers benefits for all, developing and least developed countries face barriers in achieving these aims.”

Ambassador Yamazaki drew attention to the joint statement issued by ministers of Australia, Japan and Singapore in December 2021, in which they set a goal for members of securing convergence on the majority of negotiating issues by the end of 2022. He said that the co-convenors are planning to issue a brief statement at MC12 that highlights the importance of the negotiations and reiterates the necessity of achieving progress.

Members also heard presentations on the importance of cross-border data transfers in the areas of life sciences and source codes.

Several members took the floor to express their strong opposition to the conflict in Ukraine. Russia responded by saying that it regrets that these interventions are being made in the context of the e-commerce discussions.

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[Galaxy Book2 Pro Series “How To”] ② Enjoy More Extensive Ecosystem and Productivity Experiences

Source: Samsung

At a time when laptop flexibility and performance are more important than ever, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Book2 Pro series redefines the standards for next-level lightweight computing, offering consumers a versatile laptop that is both powerfully fast and powerfully secure.
 
In the second installment of this three-part “How To” series, Samsung Newsroom will be exploring the range of powerful ecosystem and productivity features that Samsung made sure to pack the Galaxy Book2 Pro series with in order to empower you to do more with your connected devices.
 

 
 
Double the Screen, Double the Productivity With Second Screen
Second screen lets you transform your Galaxy tablet1 into an additional display for your Galaxy Book2 Pro series, super-charging your workflow regardless of the task.
 
By simply opening Second screen from your tablet’s Quick Panel and then selecting your tablet in the Second screen app on your Galaxy Book2 Pro series PC, you can harness either Duplicated mode for more precise editing of a document on your tablet, or Extended mode for full screen support and total control over the two screens at once.

 
 
Stay Focused and Connected With Phone Link and Link to Windows
Link to Windows,2 or Microsoft Phone Link, allows you to extend your Galaxy phone experience to your PC. By simply launching the Phone Link app on your Galaxy Book2 Pro series and visiting the Apps menu, you can send and receive messages — and even calls — right from your PC for more seamless working experiences.
 
Your Phone and Link to Windows also let you access smartphone apps on your PC, even if you don’t have the app installed on your laptop. You can launch up to five Android apps at once on your PC screen to extend the benefits of your Galaxy smartphone to your PC.
 
The new Recent Apps functionality on the Galaxy Book2 Pro series also allows you to access your most recently-used smartphone apps — all merely a click away from your Windows 11 taskbar.
 

 
 
Control Your Devices More Seamlessly With Multi Control
With Multi control,3 your inter-device experiences just got so much easier, as the feature lets you harness the keyboard and trackpad of your Galaxy Book2 Pro series for your Galaxy Tab S8 screen. Simply enable Multi control on both devices to be able to move your cursor freely between the two devices’ screens.
 
Furthermore, Multi control lets you easily copy and paste text and images across devices, and even allows you to drag and drop Gallery photos or files across your devices.

 
With work and study from home playing an increasingly large role in our lives, having the ability to make the most of our connected devices is more important than ever. With the Galaxy Book2 Pro series, taking control of your ecosystem for more productive workflow experiences just got easier than ever before.
 
 
1 Compatible with Galaxy Tab S7, S7+, S7 FE, S8, S8+ and S8 Ultra.2 Link to Windows is preloaded on select Galaxy devices. Phone Link requires Windows 10 April 2019 Update (or later) for PC and recommends the latest Windows 11. Some mobile apps may restrict content to be shared on other screens or may require a touch screen to be able to interact with them. Multiple Android applications can be launched simultaneously — up to five at a time — on a Windows 11 PC.3 The same Samsung Account and turning on Multi control on both devices is required (Samsung Settings > Advanced features > Multi control). Both devices should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Samsung Multi control requires One UI 4.1 update or later on the Galaxy Tab and Samsung settings v1.5, Samsung Settings v3.3 (ARM) or later on the PC.