1 16 Tuesday, August 18, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star PRASA Yields May Be Triple Benchmark in Market Return By The STAR Staff Puerto Rico s water utility may have to pay yields three times higher than top-rated municipal borrowers as it sells $750 million of bonds, the first securities offering from the commonwealth since it defaulted this month, according to a report by Bloomberg. The island s Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA), is offering 30-year bonds for a preliminary yield of 9.5 percent, according to four people familiar with the sale who asked for anonymity because the deal isn t final. That compares with yields of 3.1 percent for benchmark securities. The bonds would carry an 8 percent coupon. The sale comes as the Puerto Rico government seeks to restructure its $72 billion of debt amid an escalating fiscal crisis. The government made only part of an interest and principal payment due by one of its agencies on Aug. 3. PRASA bonds maturing in 2042 traded Monday for an average of 69 cents on the dollar for a yield of 8.1 percent. They have to come with a pretty deep discount just to be in line with how bonds are trading in the secondary, Daniel Solender, who helps manage $17 billion, including Puerto Rico debt, as head of munis at Lord Abbett & Co. in Jersey City, N.J., told Bloomberg. The PRASA sale (see related story on page 5) is a test of Puerto Rico s ability to access the capital markets and is the first sale of long-term debt from the island since it issued $3.5 billion of general-obligation bonds in March To attract buyers to that sale, which was the largest junk- rated offering ever in the municipal market, the commonwealth issued the securities, which had an 8 percent coupon, for 7 percent less than face value. Hedge funds bought the bulk of the bonds. Kristen Kaus, a spokeswoman at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the lead underwriter on the sale, didn t immediately respond to phone and messages from Bloomberg seeking comment on the pricing. Puerto Rico securities have been trading at distressed levels for two years on concern that the island of 3.5 million wouldn t repay its obligations on time and in full. Officials aim to craft a plan by the end of the month for restructuring the government s debts. PRASA s bonds may be sheltered from that proposal. Government Development Bank President Melba Acosta, the island s top debt official, said the bank doesn t foresee the water agency reorganizing its obligations. PRASA, which had almost $5 billion of bonds and notes as of May 31, plans to raise rates by as much as 4.5 percent annually beginning in fiscal The utility provides water to 97 percent of the island s population and wastewater service to more than half. The bonds are repaid with fees on water use. There should be enough buyers for the sale, even though Puerto Rico is seeking to lower its combined debt load, said David Tawil, co-founder of hedge fund Maglan Capital LP. There should be adequate appetite for the deal in order to get it completed, Tawil, who manages $80 million in New York, told Bloomberg. The entity by all accounts is solvent and is self sufficient, vis a vis cash flow. With a very robust coupon that you frankly cannot find out of any similar type of issuer, all that together gets you to a conclusion that this is a good investment. Is God Calling You to the Traditional Roman Catholic Priesthood Ss. Peter and Paul Seminary Traditional Roman Catholic Church You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit John 15:16 Qualifications Between the ages of 18 and 55 Academic Ability Physical Health Mental/Spiritual Health Evidence of an ability to live a celibate life A spirit of sacrifice An ability to give up lesser but more appealing goods for the greater, spiritual ones A spirit of zeal A special form of charity A spirit of detachment A desire to be a priest Why the Traditional Priesthood? Come and discern whether God has chosen you to be a priest of the Traditional Roman Catholic Church. The Traditional Roman Catholic Church is independent of the Vatican; we are not schismatics, but rather upholders of the True Faith prior to Vatican II. We have valid sacraments and see the priest as another Christ who continues the mission of Christ on earth: The Salvation of Souls. In this day, there is a great need of priests to save those who have forgotten Jesus Christ s words: For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Matthew 16:26 Contact the Office of Priestly Vocations: 101 Pleasant Ave. Absecon, NJ Telephone: (609) Fax: Website: Then he saith to his disciples, the harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Matthew 9:37 Who We Are We are essentially Roman Catholics that uphold all the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church prior to the Second Vatican Council. We include the word traditional in order to show distinction between us and the modernistic church of Rome. We do not accept the Second Vatican Council, because it supports heresies like Religious Freedom, Religious Indifferentism, and False Ecumenism. We only maintain the Faith as it always was. Presents Seminar for Candidates to the Priesthood Free Refreshments will be Available Wednesday August 19, :00 A.M. 12:00 P.M. Courtyard by Marriott San Juan Miramar 801 Ponce De Leon Avenue San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico Have a Question? Please Call: Come Discern Your Vocation
2 The San Juan Daily Star Tuesday, August 18, Disney Bulks Up Theme Parks, as Universal Gains Ground By BROOKS BARNES An artist s idea of what the Star Wars Launch Bay, a new attraction, will look like. It is coming to Disney s parks in both California and Florida. The empire is striking back. While insisting they pay little attention to each other, America s two largest theme park operators, Disney and Universal, have lately been locked in what certainly seems like an arms race. Universal kicked it off in 2010 with a Harry Potter mega-expansion. Disney then introduced or announced new Cars, Avatar and Fantasyland attractions. Universal, which is owned by Comcast, has since upped the ante, spending billions on new rides and resort hotels. Now, Disney is rolling out the heavy artillery: After a few years of aggressive investment in overseas theme parks, principally the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland leaving an opening in the United States for Universal Disney on Saturday announced expensive Star Wars -themed expansions at its California and Florida resorts. The pair of Star Wars lands, each 14 acres in size, will be built at Disneyland here and at Disney s Hollywood Studios, a down-on-its-luck park that is part of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Hollywood Studios will also get a new Star Wars -themed weekend fireworks show and 11 acres of new Toy Story rides. Estimated by analysts to cost more than $2 billion, including parking and other infrastructure upgrades, the vast bicoastal expansion Robert A. Iger, Disney s chief executive, described the Star Wars plans as jaw-dropping marks a long-expected effort by Disney to use its parks to capitalize on its 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm. Disney has long dismissed Universal as a challenger. But the bold building plans were, in part, read by analysts as a competitive response to Comcast, which is pouring billions of dollars into its own California and Florida properties, in particular focusing on wildly popular Harry Potter -themed attractions. The movie-focused Hollywood Studios, which in some ways started the Disney-Universal rivalry when it opened in 1989, has been especially at risk from Universal s surge. Hollywood Studios attracted 10.3 million visitors in 2014, just a 2 percent increase from the previous year, making it the least visited of Disney s four major parks in Orlando. Nearby Universal Studios handled 8.3 million guests, but that was a 17 percent increase from the year before. It s hard for us to recommend spending $80-$100 on a park that has so little to offer, the new edition of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World says of Hollywood Studios, calling a trip to the movie-themed Universal the superior choice. Disney had no comment on competition with Universal. Robert Niles, editor of the news site Theme Park Insider, said by phone on Sunday that Disney s announcement should be interpreted as a response to competition in a broad sense. Sure, they are looking at Potter, but they are also looking at anything that can compete with a Disney vacation, he said. They have to create not just a desire to go see, but a passion to go see. Disney s theme parks unit, a $15.1 billion annual business that is scrutinized as a consumer confidence bellwether, tends to open new attractions four to six years after announcing them. Disney declined to comment on the timing or anticipated construction costs related to its Star Wars announcements. Disney has recently tried to tap the brakes on expectations for the coming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will restart the movie series after a 10-year dormancy. Analysts expect the film to take in more than $2 billion. We just want to be careful that the world doesn t get ahead of us too much in terms of the estimates, Mr. Iger told analysts on an Aug. 4 call. We have to take a wait-and-see approach. But the decision to move forward with Star Wars outposts signals both Disney s long-term belief in its theme park business as a growth engine and its confidence that The Force Awakens will be a juggernaut both at the box office and in the retail aisle. Mr. Iger said the new Star Wars areas designed to look like a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space would each have two major rides, a battle experience based on elements of The Force Awakens and an attraction that will put patrons behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon. There will also be a version of the franchise s famed Mos Eisley Cantina in each location. Disney hinted that guests would be able to smell bantha fodder, a food eaten by tusked creatures in the Star Wars films, and taste blue milk, an intergalactic drink. Mr. Iger made the announcement before a crowd of 7,800 at a biennial gathering of Disney fans here called D23 Expo, which attracted 70,000 people over three days. It was at the last D23 Expo that Disney first signaled Star Wars theme park plans; the D23 exhibit hall in 2013 had R2-D2 positioned with boxes of blueprints labeled Project Orange Harvest. ( Blue Harvest was the code name for The Return of the Jedi during production in the early 1980s.) Disney has been quietly preparing Disneyland and Hollywood Studios for expansion. Last month, for instance, Disney won a 30-year exemption on ticket taxes from Anaheim in return for a pledge to spend at least $1 billion on new rides and a 5,000-car parking structure. The investment must begin by the end of In Florida, the 135-acre Hollywood Studios in February tore down a 122-foot sorcerer s hat (like the one Mickey wore in Fantasia ) that served as the park s centerpiece. The park rushed into construction by Michael D. Eisner, Disney s former chief executive, to beat the 1990 arrival of Universal has also closed an array of attractions, including a faux studio back lot tour, the Magic of Disney Animation pavilion and the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow exhibit. On a recent Monday in July, with the temperature reaching 93 degrees and humidity of nearly 80 percent, visitors roamed the vast, treeless southern end of Hollywood Studios in search of activities, finding few. We are gearing up for an all-new production, read the sun-faded marquee on the empty Premiere Theater. Watch for an exciting new experience coming soon, said a placard outside another closed venue. Bob Chapek, Disney s theme park chairman, told D23 Expo attendees that Hollywood Studios would be taken to a whole new level, adding that our ambition is up to the challenge. The park, which is expected to be renamed, will remain open during Star Wars and Toy Story construction. (The planned Toy Story rides include a Slinky Dog roller coaster and Little Green Men spinning flying saucers.) The Disney-owned Marvel movie brand was conspicuously absent from plans to rehabilitate Hollywood Studios. Although Disney bought Marvel in 2009 for $4 billion, the Florida theme park rights to Marvel characters like Spider-Man, the Hulk and Captain America continue to be held by Universal under a long-term contract.
3 18 Tuesday, August 18, 2015 Stocks The San Juan Daily Star Wall St. Closes Up After Early Losses The U.S. stock market climbed on Monday as China s currency steadied and optimism among homebuilders rose. Investors pushed the market lower at the open, then began buying after an index of homebuilders showed optimism at its highest since the housing boom a decade ago. Gains were modest, but broad as nine of the 10 industry groups of the Standard & Poor s 500-stock index ended the day higher, led by health care stocks. This continues to be a resilient market, said Henry Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Trust, drawing a parallel between the snap-back today and the one last week after China devalued its currency. The averages came back. Global news was mixed. The Chinese yuan barely changed, which was relief to investors rattled last week by a drop of as much as 3 percent in the currency after its surprise devaluation. Oil prices, meanwhile, fell below $42 a barrel for the first time in six and a half years, and investors reacted by dumping stocks of drillers and other energy-related companies. The S.&P. 500 ended the day up points, or 0.5 percent, to 2, The Dow Jones industrial average rose points, or 0.4 percent, to 17, The Nasdaq climbed points, or 0.9 percent, to 5, The gains for the S.&P. 500 pushed the index to roughly where it was a week earlier, before stocks around the world tumbled on the Chinese news. Bill Strazzullo, chief market strategist at Bell Curve Trading, said trading on Monday fits a recent pattern of investors toughing it out in the face of scary headlines. We ve weathered Greece, we ve weathered the slowdown in China, we ve weather trouble in our own economy and yet we re in spitting distance of all-time highs, he said. People are still bullish. Investors are hoping for good results from retail earnings reports this week, including Walmart and Home Depot on Tuesday, Target and Lowe s on Wednesday, and Gap on Thursday. Over all, S.&P. 500 earnings per share are expected to be flat in the second quarter from a year earlier, the worst results in nearly six years, according to research firm S&P Capital IQ. Bank MOST ASSERTIVE STOCKS LOCAL MORTGAGE RATES FHA 30-YR POINTS CONV 30-YR POINTS BPPR 3.00% % 000 Scotia 3.50% % 0.00 CooPACA 3.50% % 2.00 Money House 3.75% % 2.00 First Mort 3.50% % 0.00 Oriental 3.50% % 5.50 PUERTO RICO STOCKS COMMODITIES CURRENCY LOCAL PERSONAL LOAN RATES Bank PERS. CREDIT CARD AUTO BPPR Scotia CooPACA Reliable First Mort Oriental
4 The San Juan Daily Star Tuesday, August 18, Landed Your First Job? Tips For Managing Your Money Landing that first job out of college calls for a celebration. But when the party is over, it s time to sit down and figure out how to make your money work for you. First jobs give you the opportunity to set yourself up for financial security, says Kelley Long, a Chicago-based certified public accountant. Chances are you were handed a fat folder, and left to figure out your benefits on your own. Here are some tips to navigating them: Prepare for the golden years Retirement may seem like a long way off, but saving in your 20s can build bigger savings than if you start later. Check to see what type of retirement accounts you re offered. If your employer matches contributions you make to a 401(k) account, definitely sign up. It s free money, says Long, who is also a member of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission. If a match isn t offered, it still pays to put about 10 percent of your pay into the account. If no 401(k) is offered, look into opening an Individual Retirement Account on your own at a brokerage firm, such as Fidelity or Vanguard. Choose your health insurance Health insurance can prevent big medical bills from causing financial ruin. Health plans typically are offered in different tiers, the more you pay from every pay check, the more coverage you get. So read all the plans and make a selection based on your medical needs. If you re not happy with the plans, or if you can t stick with your doctors, you can also opt to stay on your parents plan until you re 26. That s not such a bad decision, Long says. Put together a budget Unfortunately, your paycheck will not look anything like the yearly salary your new employer offered. Taxes, health insurance payments and other deductions will take a big chunk out. You may not know exactly how much you ll take home each month until you get your first paycheck. From there you can put together a budget and figure out how much you need to pay for groceries, housing, auto payments and other necessities. It s also a good time to start building an emergency fund for any unexpected expenses. Aim to save between three and six months worth of your pay, says Kristen Robinson, a senior vice president of women and young investors at Fidelity in Boston. And don t forget to account for student debt payments. Typically, payback for federal student loans starts six months after graduation. Plan for the worse Protect your paycheck by signing up for disability insurance, which will pay you a portion of your salary if you re hurt or sick and can t work. The biggest asset that you have as a new young worker is your ability to earn income for the next 40 years, says Chantel Bonneau, a wealth management adviser at Northwestern Mutual in Los Angeles. Some employers may offer the benefit automatically, and let workers pay more for extra coverage, Bonneau says. Sign up for perks Don t miss out on any deals your employer may offer. Many have negotiated discounts for employees for cellphone bills, laptops and even gym memberships, all of which can add up to major savings. If you can t find any, ask your human resources manager if any are offered. Offbeat Ways to Make Travel Affordable By HARRIET EDLESON When Marie Koski of Springfield, Mass., was in Tuscany, cleaning pottery and bronze items that were more than 2,000 years old, she knew she was on the right trip for the right price. Ms. Koski, 61, a special-education teacher who retired last September, and her husband, John, 62, who is still working, spent seven days at what once was an Etruscan fort, helping an archaeologist excavate the site in the seaside city of Populonia. They arranged their trip through Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental organization that allows travelers to assist scientific researchers. Participants pay to be part of an expedition, but the contribution is tax-deductible. That helped our taxes quite a bit, Ms. Koski said. They spent $1,600 each, and airfare, to participate, and stayed in a three-bedroom apartment in a gated community, sharing a bathroom with another couple. I was never into archaeology or history, but it just left me with my breath taken away, she said. I like getting my hands dirty, and I don t mind hard work. Americans 50 and older spend more than $120 billion a year on leisure travel, according to the Travel Research: 2015 Boomer Travel Trends report from AARP. And many, like the Koskis, are finding creative ways to travel economically. Everybody has a budget, said Bowden Sarrett, travel adviser at Brownell in Mobile, Ala., a member of the Virtuoso network of travel agencies. Everybody s got their limits. There are many ways for older Americans to travel for less. These include home exchanges, home rentals, renting or buying mobile homes or recreational vehicles and volunteering, even if that includes a fee like the Earthwatch expedition. Some retired people find jobs aboard cruise ships. MSC Cruises, for example, hires retired and semiretired people as guest lecturers, port lecturers, language teachers and art and crafts instructors, according to Gary Glading, head of entertainment and guest experience for MSC Cruises. Mary Lichty, 59, worked as a sales representative in direct-mail marketing for 34 years. She always wanted to travel, including her dream during college to spend three months in Europe. Yet her dreams became, I ll do it later, out of practicality and necessity, said Ms. Lichty, who lives in Benicia, Calif., just south of Napa Valley. While working, she began taking wine courses at Napa Valley College, and in 2012, she began working part time at Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena, Calif., as a tasting room associate. Through that job, she met Jeffrey Maltzman, the founder of Blend Craft Wines winery at sea programs. She now works as a wine educator on the MSC Divina, which sails in the Caribbean. I m cruising, and they re paying me for it, Ms. Lichty said. Her husband, Peter, 60, who recently retired, travels with her. It s not a lot of money, she said, but the cabin and food are included. The ship has the option to assign them to the crew s quarters, but that has not happened during their several cruises. For those who find the idea of paying to volunteer too expensive or unappealing, another way to travel is to volunteer through the federal government. You can work at sites run by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service or even the Army Corps of Engineers. Grand Portage National Monument, for example, is offering an opportunity next summer to be a living history volunteer, interpreting North American fur trade history and Ojibwe culture in three eight-hour shifts a week. When not dressed in period costumes to depict the year 1797, participants will have time to hike, canoe and kayak in and near Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota. Another way to get better value is to travel to a destination when the weather is not ideal. For example, if you travel to London or Paris in early December, when the weather is cooler, you could get a lower airfare. Saving specifically for travel, like from paychecks while still working, is a good strategy to help afford a great trip. The Koskis saved money in a separate vacation club account through a credit union while she was teaching. We didn t wait until we retired to travel because you never know what the future holds, she said. Her husband s younger brother, with whom they traveled, died at age 60, she said. They still travel with his widow. While Ms. Koski was still working, the couple used a financial adviser. Before I retired, we did some research to see if it was feasible financially to take the kind of trips they preferred, she said. Make saving for travel a priority, said Wendy Money, 61, who has been an elementary schoolteacher in Sacramento for 41 years and a single mother. When considering an extra latte and a trip, she said, It s an easy choice. She plans to retire in three years and continue traveling, often with her 38-year-old daughter, Trina Warren. My list is really long, she said.
5 After Delicate Negotiations, US Says It Will Pull Patriot Missiles From Turkey 20 Tuesday, August 18, 2015 The San Juan Daily Star By ERIC SCHMITT The United States says it will withdraw two Patriot missile-defense batteries from southern Turkey this fall, a sign that the Pentagon believes the risk of Syrian Army missile attacks has eased since the Patriots were deployed in Officials said the antimissile systems would be needed elsewhere to defend against threats from Iran and North Korea. A statement issued Sunday by the United States Embassy in Ankara from the American and Turkish governments said the Patriots would be sent back to the United States for critical modernization upgrades. If needed in a crisis, the batteries and their 250 troops could be rushed back to Turkey within one week to fulfill an American and NATO commitment to Turkey s air defenses. Air defenses aboard American warships in the region also could help carry out the security mission over Turkey, the statement said. What the statement did not mention was a complicated story behind the Patriot decision, which briefly last month seemed poised to dash months of painstaking talks with Turkey about allowing American armed drones and fighter jets to fly combat missions against the Islamic State from Incirlik Air Base and other Turkish installations. American diplomats and other senior officials were so concerned that they delayed notifying Turkey of the impending Patriot pullout until after President Obama and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey reached agreement on the bases and other antiterrorism steps in a phone call on July 22, senior American officials said Sunday. Before there was a deal, any announcement that could be perceived as the U.S. diminishing its commitment to Turkey would have sent the wrong signal, said Derek Chollet, a former assistant secretary of defense who is now a senior adviser for security and defense policy at the German Marshall Fund. The challenge for senior State and Defense Department officials boiled down to managing one priority withdrawing the antimissile systems and their troops, an Army capability already stretched by nearconstant deployments without scuttling another priority, gaining Turkish permission to launch airstrikes from Incirlik. Last week, six F-16 fighter jets and 300 American military personnel arrived at Incirlik and flew their first combat missions. Internationally, the decision by Turkey and the United States to work together was hailed as a critical rapprochement between allies who had long disagreed on an approach to the civil war in Syria. The new mission is to clear the Islamic State from a 60-mile-long area along the Turkish border in Aleppo Province and from territory about 30 miles south. But now, two weeks after the plan was announced, it is unclear which forces will fight the militants on the ground, what support they will receive and how long it will take, Turkish officials and Syrian rebel leaders say. Four American officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a diplomatic issue, said Sunday that Turkish officials were livid when told two weeks ago that the United States was withdrawing the Patriots. Patriot systems have been stationed just north of the Syrian border since January The deployment was made at Turkey s request after the shooting down of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces in June 2012 and the killing of Turkish civilians by Syrian shellfire four months later as the civil war there escalated. Turkey, which was supporting the Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-assad, expressed concern at the A Patriot missile-defense system in Gaziantep, Turkey, on February 5, time that it was vulnerable to Syrian missiles, including Scuds that might be tipped with chemical weapons. Scud attacks by forces loyal to Mr. Assad against rebels in northern Syria in late 2012 added to Turkey s concerns. The Scuds fired at the rebels were armed with conventional warheads, but the attacks showed that the Assad government was prepared to use missiles as it struggled to slow rebel gains. Originally, three NATO allies the United States, the Netherlands and Germany each agreed to provide two Patriot missile batteries and about 250 soldiers to augment Turkey s air defenses. The Dutch mission was replaced this year by a single Spanish battery. The Defense Department never liked the Patriot mission, which many Pentagon officials viewed as mostly a symbolic gesture. The Patriots in Turkey have not been called on to intercept a single hostile missile. The batteries and their troops are among the most highly demanded in the Army, and as the missile threat from the Assad forces seemed to ease, Pentagon officials sought to withdraw the units, give their troops more rest at home and focus on higher-priority threats from Iran and North Korea. The Patriots are really stretched, said one senior American general familiar with the batteries operations. Several months ago, after an internal review of what the embassy statement on Sunday called the global missile defense posture, the administration decided to withdraw the Patriots from Turkey, Pentagon officials said. On Saturday, Germany said it would pull its batteries and troops from southern Turkey by the start of 2016 after a reassessment of the threats stemming from the conflict in Syria. The decision was taken after the present assessments made by the NATO in June 2015, which concluded that the threat against Turkish territories by Syrian ballistic missiles is very low, Ursula von der Leyen, Germany s defense minister, said in a statement. Since the Turks were notified of the United States decision, American officials have argued that the armed drones and F-16 s deploying to Incirlik will provide a better overall security guarantee than the Patriot batteries.