Sale of U.S. utility PPL’s British unit faces delay as Brexit looms: sources

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The sale of British power utility Western Power Distribution (WPD) faces delays to at least the first quarter of 2021, partly due to uncertainty over whether Britain will leave the European Union without a trade deal, sources close to the matter said.

Current owner U.S. utility PPL Corp in August launched the sale of WPD, which has a regulatory asset value of 7.7 billion pounds ($10.1 billion) with the help of U.S. investment bank JP Morgan , to focus on its U.S. operations.

Based on its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at 1.25 billion pounds ($1.67 billion) for the financial year ended in March, WPD could fetch a valuation of up to 12 billion pounds.

Despite PPL’s gauging the interest of European utilities and investment funds, the power group has attracted just a small number of potential bidders, the sources said.

The next regulatory

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Chinese contractor blames delay in tarmacking 74-km road on Covid and rains

The contractor awarded the tender to tarmack the 74-kilometre Mbita-Sori road through Sindo, Magunga and Kiabuya has blamed the delay on Covid-19 and heavy rains.

China Civil Engineers Construction Corporation’s Xiao Hongzhi says they could not import the machinery after the government announced the lockdown of the country.

“Transportation of machinery to Kenya was hampered by the lockdown both here and China,” Xiao said.

The Sh2.83 billion job was awarded in early March.

On July 3, National Assembly Minority leader and Suba South MP John Mbadi handed over the project for the official start of the job.

Mbadi said the tarmacking of the road was to start in 2011 but this did not happen due to some “impasse”.

The government re-advertised the tender late last year and awarded the job to the Chinese company.

“The contractor was to start work 21 days after the handover,” Mbadi said.

But by Friday

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HUD official to Chicago: delay shredder’s final permit

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago should delay a final operating permit to the owner of a scrap shredder while the government looks into whether a pending move to the city’s southeast side would violate the rights of residents there, a U.S. Housing and Urban Development official said.

In a letter to the city’s law department, Lon Meltesen, director of HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in Chicago, said a city permit likely would hurt a civil rights inquiry into General Iron’s proposed move, the Chicago Tribune reported.

HUD officials last month confirmed they were investigating after community groups filed a complaint saying the business’ move from a wealthy, largely white neighborhood to a low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood violated federal fair housing laws.

The complaint alleges the city is aiding the transfer of the metal-shredding operations with a history of pollution problems to the southeast side through an agreement signed

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Real Estate Slump Forcing Big Funds to Delay Investor Redemption Requests

Some of the most conservative real-estate funds are suffering from falling property values, putting their fund managers in a tough spot as investors look to cash out.

These real-estate investment vehicles are known as “core” funds because they buy higher quality properties and limit their debt. The biggest core funds have raised billions of dollars from pensions and other institutional investors that seek steady, lower-risk returns.

Now that the pandemic has caused values of hotels, retail properties and even many office buildings to tumble, investors are lining up to cash out of these funds. That has put fund managers in a bind: They either have to sell property into a stormy market to raise that cash, or tell investors they can’t get some or all of the money they want back.

The San Diego Employees Retirement System tried to redeem about $85 million from the $9.5 billion AEW Core Property

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