“Swe are aware of the situation of the coronavirus epidemic and its impact on our entire economy, of which tourism is currently the most affected. Our Government is taking a responsible approach to solving the problem and the measures we will apply will be primarily to retain jobs and maintain the liquidity of employers whose business is directly affected by the viral crisis. “, said Tourism Minister Gary Cappelli. According to eVisitor data, in the first 10 days of March, 30% less arrivals and overnight stays were recorded. He added that just last week, finance ministers discussed possible economic and financial consequences, as well as consequences for tourism. In conversations with tourism workers from various sectors, some state assistance or compensatory measures are expected in the transition period from the moratorium on loans, wage relief, etc.… It is certainly most important to maintain the liquidity of the tourism sector and jobs. Due to intensive monitoring of the coronavirus situation, sessions of the Tourist Board of the CNTB will be held once a week “Currently, all countries are doing analyzes, the situation is different, you see what is happening in Italy and in some other countries where the prevalence of coronavirus is much higher, ie this epidemic. At the moment, Croatia is holding talks with all interested segments of the Croatian economy. We had a meeting with hoteliers last week, and I instructed Ministers Marić, Horvat and Cappelli to consult with all sectors of the economy.”, Said Plenković yesterday. Kristjan Staničić, CNTB: Planned promotional campaigns on digital and online platforms in most markets have been postponed Today, the 62nd session of the Tourist Board of the Croatian Tourist Board was held, at which the members of the council decided that the sessions will be held once a week due to intensive monitoring of the situation regarding coronavirus. Plenković: We are working on finding measures to make the coronavirus crisis as harmful as possible to the Croatian economy Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli emphasized that they have already started seasonal employment and training in tourism and expressed his desire to retain the workforce, especially employees from the territory of the Republic of Croatia. He announced that measures to retain workers would be implemented soon. Cappelli also emphasizes that it is important to send a clear message that our tourism sector will be prepared and will provide all the necessary services to tourists who come to Croatia. Dnevnik.hr he briefly conveyed some of the information from this meeting, but as far as could be read between the lines, it is obvious that we still have to wait for concrete measures, which, according to Minister Zdravko Maric, will be elaborated in more detail in the coming days. “The most endangered will be the transport sector, especially air transport, which is quite logical, and the second is, of course, the tourism sector. In both of these sectors, of course, Croatia will take appropriate measures. All ministries are currently monitoring the situation and we will then together, both at the European level and at the national level, continue to find ways to make the situation as harmful as possible for the Croatian economy.”, Concluded the Prime Minister. The meeting of Croatian ministers with representatives of economic associations and institutions, including representatives of the tourism sector, has ended. The burning issue was the impact of the coronavirus on the economy and the upcoming tourist season. Photo: Government of the Republic of Croatia The most vulnerable sectors of transport, especially air and tourism In the coming days, concrete measures will be known to help companies affected by the effects of coronavirus. “We are in constant contact with the most important tour operators, partners and entities from the tourism industry, as well as with colleagues from the European Travel Commission. In cooperation with the offices of the CNTB’s representative office in the world, we actively monitor the situation around the coronavirus every day, and we reacted in accordance with the new circumstances in terms of adjusting marketing and PR activities in the markets. Scheduled promotional campaigns on digital and online platforms in most markets have been delayed. Until the beginning of March, we successfully completed advertising as part of brand campaigns, while pre- and post-season promotion campaigns were postponed in order to place customized promotional messages at a more appropriate time to target groups in terms of their openness and readiness to travel after stabilization.” said CNTB Director Kristjan Stanicic.
Hymans Robertson is urging pension fund trustees to fully understand and consider the advantages of commercial consolidators to mitigate against covenant risk.Covenant risk is far higher for members of defined benefit (DB) with B-rated sponsors as they could face a whopping 50% chance of a cut in benefits due to their sponsoring employer going insolvent before the pension scheme is fully funded on a buyout basis, the consultancy said.Based on the average buyout funding level of 70% in the UK at the moment, Hymans Robertson has calculated that even those corporates with better credit ratings did not fare well.For a scheme with a BB rated sponsor there is a 33% chance of a haircut to members’ benefits, while for a BBB rated company – the most common credit rating in the FTSE 350 – there is still a 15% chance of a reduction in benefits. This risk of a ‘haircut’ continues even when the scheme is no longer reliant on sponsor contributions because an insolvency event triggers a wind-up of the scheme, forcing annuity purchase, it added.Alistair Russell-Smith, head of corporate DB at Hymans, said: “In reality the position is likely to be even worse than this because schemes with weaker sponsors unfortunately tend to be more poorly funded.”The Pensions Regulator’s 2020 funding analysis shows the average buyout funding level for schemes with weak or tending to weak covenants is only 62%. ”The likelihood of employer default and a haircut to benefits is therefore very real for the 32% of UK DB members in these schemes,” Russell-Smith said.He believes consolidators can mitigate this risk because scheme wind-up is no longer triggered on the insolvency of the ceding employer, meaning members continue to receive full benefits.“For example, if a scheme moved to a commercial consolidator there is only a haircut to members’ benefits if the consolidator’s wind-up trigger is reached,” he explained.For DB consolidator Clara-Pensions, Hymans has calculated this risk at less than 3%. “The risk is so much lower because of the improved funding and lower risk investment strategy, and because wind-up is no longer triggered on employer insolvency,” Russell-Smith said.“Trustees in these schemes should seriously consider transferring to a consolidator if the funding is available. It improves member security when taking full account of the exposure to covenant risk. In some cases this may even be without the need for a cash injection from the ceding employer.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.