Since legislation passed in early July, Monaco’s retailers have had the option to open their doors most Sundays. So why are many choosing not to?
Up until July, Monaco’s shops were required to close on Sundays, except for roughly 15 special occasions per year. It was a throwback to another time, a time when Sunday meant families went to church together followed by a Sunday outing. A time when internet shopping didn’t exist.
As we no longer live in those times, it seemed time for a reboot. In an attempt to invigorate the local economy and make Monaco a Sunday destination for shopaholics, the National Council proposed a law back in October which would allow shop owners to open on the seventh day about 30 times a year.
Despite the new law, many of Monaco’s shops have decided to keep their doors closed. Monaco’s trade unions have lamented this fact saying it was “a shame” to have pushed this law through so quickly only to see so few businesses take advantage of it.
The government is quick to point out that the openings are strictly voluntary but want to remind people the option is there. To that end, they have published a pamphlet showing both employer and employees the guidelines of the law, so everyone is clear on their rights and obligations.
A former executive at Monaco-based Unaoil will not be extradited to the UK to face corruption charges, according to a report by MLex, the reputable media outlet specialising in financial coverage.
A court official allegedly told MLex that Prince Albert rejected a request by UK fraud prosecutors to extradite Saman Ahsani, Unaoil's former commercial director, following an "adverse opinion" from Monaco's Court of Appeal. The ruling can't be appealed, a court official said.
The allegations against Mr Ahsani were not liable for criminal prosecution under Monaco's laws at the time they were alleged to have occurred, the official added. The decision was made on February 28, but had not been made public until now.
Mr Ahsani has not been charged with any offence and has denied wrongdoing.
The UK had opened a criminal probe into Unaoil to investigate suspected bribery, corruption and money-laundering two years ago following allegations in the Australian press.
Emanuele Lauro, Chairman and Chief Executive of Monaco-based Scorpio Bulkers, has told the company’s shareholder’s in the annual report that 2017 was characterised by an improved environment for the dry bulk industry.
“With the world economy firing on all cylinders in 2017, the demand for the commodities we carry and the distances they need to go continued to increase. A case in point – and an example we touched on last year – is coal. For now and for the foreseeable future, as China tries to urgently address corruption and – most especially – pollution while all the while maintaining economic growth, domestic coal production will decline and long-haul imports will increase.
“The consequences on our markets are broad and deep: it is not simply larger vessels shuttling coal from Australia to China. Second order effects include our Ultramaxes carrying coal from the United States to Europe. Tertiary effects include tightening supply/demand balances which support freight on cargoes like steel slabs from Russia, bauxite from Brazil, and logs from New Zealand. Meanwhile, robust demand is being met with historically low fleet supply growth.”
For the year ended December 31, 2017, the Company’s GAAP net loss was $59.7 million, or $0.83 loss per diluted share compared to a GAAP net loss of $124.8 million, or $2.22 loss per diluted share for the prior year.
On February 5, 2018, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.02 per share on the Company’s common stock. Total vessel revenue in 2017 increased to 162.2 million from 78.4 million in 2016.