SINGAPORE — A total of 40 staff members of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases were among the first in Singapore to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 on Wednesday (30 December).
(Footage courtesy of MCI)
SINGAPORE — A total of 40 staff members of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases were among the first in Singapore to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 on Wednesday (30 December).
(Footage courtesy of MCI)
China has added a new giant buoy to a marine surveillance network used partly to strengthen the country’s territorial claims in the disputed East China Sea – dubbed a “buoys’ graveyard” after several were lost or damaged through accidents and vandalism as several nations vie for regional influence.Deployed this month at an unspecified location in the East China Sea – some of which is also claimed by Japan and South Korea – the 15-metre-wide platform will fill a gap in a buoy network used to collect data, according to a statement on Monday by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).The new buoy will help China better prepare for challenges such as environmental protection, extreme weather and territorial disputes with neighbouring countries, according to researchers involved in the project.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.An important function of the Chinese network is to mark out territory over which China is in dispute with Japan and South Korea, according to its operator, the State Oceanic Administration of China (SOA), which estimates the disputed waters at a combined 340 sq km (131 square miles) – more than half of the East China Sea.“The buoy deployment locations [in the East China Sea] cover areas of territorial disputes and other sensitive activities to meet the demand of data collection for rights protection and to demonstrate the sovereignty of our country,” said an introduction to the network by SOA researchers in a domestic journal in 2014.Cameras and other sensors on buoys in disputed waters will alert Chinese naval and law enforcement agencies if other parties make what is deemed an intrusion, so that they can move into position to thwart it, the SOA said.Such buoys can also collect data to improve early detection of natural disasters, being placed in the potential path of typhoons, and can monitor nutrients in the water.Among marine scientists, however, the East China Sea is known as a “buoys’ graveyard”. For centuries, it has been a busy fishing ground for Japanese, Korean and Chinese vessels. Some expensive buoys deployed there by countries in the region, and by others including the United States, have been damaged – often through accidents involving fishing boats, but sometimes by vandalism, with expensive on-board equipment sometimes removed.The US used to have the largest number of buoys in waters around China, as part of its strategy to counter China’s expansionist approach with its “first island chain”, a defence network comprising a large number of military bases stretching between South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.But in recent years the scale of China’s ocean surveillance network is believed to have exceeded the American presence in the region. The Chinese government has claimed to have established a monitoring network in the South China Sea “greater than any other country”.China’s known number of buoys in the East China Sea tripled to 27 between 2014 and 2019, with nearly half positioned in disputed waters, according to the SOA.The new 15-metre buoy is larger than most surveillance buoys worldwide, with the largest US buoy being 12 metres wide.“The commissioning of this facility put an end to the absence of long-term, fixed-point, real-time water profile observation in the offshore waters of our country by enhancing the observation capabilities of the Donghai [East China Sea] Surveillance Network,” the CAS statement said. South China Sea: the dispute that could start a military conflictAs China’s largest, most comprehensive and smartest data collection platform for marine observation and experiments, the new 15-metre buoy is better equipped to prevent interference, according to the researchers. It has been guarded by three sentry buoys, each moored to the sea floor and carrying solar-powered lighthouses to keep fishing boats at a safe distance.The main buoy’s size should make it less susceptible to damage in a collision with a fishing boat, researchers said, because its sensors can detect trespassers and send images to a Chinese command post on land.Smaller buoys’ data collection capability is limited, and gaps between data collection points can detract from the accuracy of estimates used in computer modelling for scientific research and naval activities. A submarine can use such data to avoid running into a rapid current that could drag it to deadly depths.Thanks to its size, the 15-metre buoy collects data with a robotic platform able to move up and down between the water's surface and the sea floor, enabling it to capture an underwater environment with unprecedented resolution and continuity and beam data to a communication satellite overhead. Its daily operations are run mostly by artificial intelligence.More from South China Morning Post: * Beijing defends East China Sea activities after Japan protests * Boiling point: Can China and Japan find a way to ease rising tensions over the East China Sea? * By air and sea: China’s two-pronged strategy to grind Japan down over disputed islandsThis article East China Sea: why giant Chinese territory marker may be leagues above old buoy network first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Outgoing US President Donald Trump will be far from the first to boycott his successor Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday -- but his absence will be the first since 1869.
We give you the lowdown on how fixed deposits work, and round up the best fixed deposit offers in the market right now. Imagine if you could stash away all the money you received as gifts throughout the year, forget about it for a while, […] The post Best Fixed Deposits To Lock In Your Savings In Singapore (2021) appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
The de facto chief of South Korea's Samsung business empire was convicted Monday over a huge corruption scandal and jailed for two and a half years, in a ruling that deprives the tech giant of its top decision-maker.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to scoring form with a double as Arsenal's rise up the Premier League table continued with a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle on Monday.
Chinese troops stationed in the South China Sea are learning battlefield English to avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments during engagements with forces from other countries in the disputed waterway.According to a report by state-owned English-language broadcaster China Global Television Network (CGTN), the skill is “essential” and “must be picked up”. People’s Liberation Army troops are using gaps in their military training schedule for both concentrated learning and self-study.“In recent years, countries and forces outside China have been provoking troubles and creating tensions in the South China Sea. The naval forces in the Southern Theatre Command are at the forefront of safeguarding rights as well as maintaining regional peace and stability in the South China Sea,” the report said.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. South China Sea: the dispute that could start a military conflictDuring a recent military exercise on an island reef in the Paracel Islands, part of the drill included using English when engaging with “enemy” troops. One soldier was heard in the broadcast to say in English: “You are surrounded. Surrender.”Liu Chuanming, a Chinese commander of a marine police district in the Paracels, said the deployment was at the forefront of China’s military defences in the South China Sea. “We must ensure that our intentions can be accurately conveyed, thus we need to improve our level of English.”The PLA has expelled a number of foreign ships from the South China Sea in the past year. Most recently, a Chinese warship used English to warn off a foreign merchant ship in the area during a PLA combat readiness cruise mission, with the message: “I am warning you again. Leave immediately or we will take further actions.”In December 2020, the PLA deployed naval and aerial forces when destroyer USS John S. McCain approached the Spratly Islands in what the US described as a “freedom of navigation” exercise. A similar incident occurred in August 2020, when the USS Mustin entered China’s claimed territorial waters off the Paracel Islands.Other 2020 encounters include the littoral combat ship USS Montgomery near the Spratly Islands in late January, the destroyer USS McCampbell near the Paracel Islands in March, and the destroyer USS Barry, also near the Paracels in April.The use of English by Chinese forces is not unknown. In October 2018, the destroyer Lanzhou was tracking and monitoring the Kaga, a Japanese helicopter destroyer which was refuelling from an American supply ship in the South China Sea.After the Chinese ship greeted its Japanese counterpart in English by radio, the Kaga is reported to have replied, “Chinese warship 170, Chinese warship 170, this is Japanese warship 184. Over.”The Lanzhou responded with: “Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force 184. This is Chinese warship 170. Good morning. Nice to meet you. Over.”More from South China Morning Post: * ‘South China Sea strategic benefit’ if Beijing builds tunnel to holiday island Hainan * South China Sea: why did the PLA land its massive Y-20 warplane on Fiery Cross Reef? * China-US tensions keep PLA sailors at sea for an extra four months in 2020This article PLA troops in South China Sea learn ‘essential’ battlefield English first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
President Donald Trump began his final full day in the White House Tuesday with a long list of possible pardons to dish out before snubbing his successor Joe Biden's inauguration and leaving for Florida.
Pressure is mounting on Sherman Kwek, heir to Singapore’s biggest family fortune, as he seeks to salvage the troubled property investment at the centre of an ambitious expansion into China.
The government is monitoring the COVID-19 situation carefully and considering if more measures are necessary, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong.
Malaysian YouTuber ‘heartbroken’ by criticism after deleting video with China critic Mike Chen. This article, Uncle Roger says he makes ‘zero dollar’ from Chinese social media, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
A 67-year-old former statutory board director was on Monday (18 January) jailed for six weeks for molesting a subordinate.
One of the first robo-advisors in the now crowded space, StashAway is a name well-known by many. Here’s what you can expect when you invest your cash or SRS funds with StashAway. As one of the early players in the robo-advisory space in Singapore, StashAway […] The post StashAway Review: Goal-Getting Investments Through ETFs appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
Singapore may be considering another round of measures to cool residential prices, according to market analysts, who see recent ministerial remarks as a signal for the possible move.
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With security bond guarantees and 100% cancellation refund, FWD Maid Insurance helps manage the costs of hiring a maid. Given the important role domestic helpers play in our homes, it’s a given that employers should provide a reasonable amount of care and welfare to their […] The post FWD Maid Insurance (Review): Basic Maid Coverage With Great Savings appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
Fresh questions have been raised over the risks of catching the coronavirus from food after traces were found in at least five samples of ice cream made in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin.Last Thursday, authorities in Tianjin, neighbouring Beijing, said three samples of ice cream had been found to contain traces of Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease Covid-19.An investigation suggested that Ukrainian milk powder used to make the ice cream was the likely source, after three samples of the powder and two further samples of ice creams from the same batch were also found to contain Sars-CoV-2, from more than 2,800 samples taken from the ice cream, packaging, manufacturing plants and retail stores.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Most of the potentially contaminated ice cream had been traced and recalled, but 21 ice creams remained unaccounted for, the authorities said.The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the possibility of catching Covid-19 from frozen food is low, but China has linked infections to imported food. In November, a truck driver, also from Tianjin, was infected with a strain of Covid-19 also found on pork imported from North America that he had handled, according to local authorities.Discovering traces of the coronavirus in ice cream prompts new questions, given that the food is usually consumed directly when cold, according to Han Jie, an environmental science professor from China’s Xian Jiaotong University.“The contamination of ice cream raw materials is different to the contamination that has happened previously during cold-chain food transportation and retail,” she said in an emailed response.“Frozen foods are usually safe to eat after being treated with high temperatures, such as cooking. But ice cream would not be treated with high temperatures. Whether the virus can infect people through the digestive tract if it enters the body via food, as far as I know there is no conclusive evidence yet.” Are fears over catching coronavirus from frozen food justified?Han was the co-author of a review published in the journal Environmental Chemistry Letters in October that looked at the available evidence at the time on whether Covid-19 could be transmitted through food and identified areas needing further research.“The continuous low-temperature environment kept through the storage and transport of refrigerated and frozen foods can dramatically prolong the survival of Sars-CoV-2, a characteristic commonly observed on other coronaviruses,” the review said.“The frequent detection of Sars-CoV-2 in frozen foods suggests that these are not random, isolated incidents but rather signs that viral contamination and food-borne transmission may present a systematic risk in the ongoing pandemic.”Previous research showed the coronavirus survived longer at 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) than at higher temperatures. Other coronaviruses, including the one causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), were found to survive at 4 degrees Celsius for 14 to 49 days, depending on the material they were stored in, but research specifically on the survival of Sars-CoV-2 on food surfaces was lacking, the review said.Fears over the ice cream and other food have become a political matter, with Chinese experts and media suggesting the coronavirus could have been brought to China via frozen products, despite there being no evidence to support this theory. WHO experts this month arrived in China to begin their long-awaited investigation into the possible origins of the virus.Instances of food being found to be contaminated with the virus have been rare. China’s National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment has said random inspections yielded positive tests just 0.48 times per 10,000 samples. Of the 873,475 frozen food samples randomly inspected by Chinese customs, only 13 returned positive results for the coronavirus, according to the agency.To try to prevent contaminated food causing infections, China has stepped up tracing capabilities.A data-sharing platform is being tested to share information with restaurants on the processing, retail and sale status of over 90 per cent of the country’s imported frozen food, according to China’s market regulator. China has encouraged food producers to maintain records to aid traceability in the event of food safety incidents.More from South China Morning Post: * Coronavirus: China reports 96 new infections, links superspreader to 102 asymptomatic cases * China’s rural Covid-19 clusters challenge country’s strategy to stop disease spreading * Coronavirus: what’s life like for the 20 million Chinese back in lockdown?This article Coronavirus in Chinese ice cream raises new alarm over infection via food first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Find out which air miles credit cards in Singapore give free access to Priority Pass and Plaza Premium airport lounges around the world. Many people think that access to airport lounges is a privilege reserved for regular business travellers, frequent flyers and the wealthy. That is not true! With […] The post 6 Credit Cards Which Give Free Access to Airport Lounges appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 30 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Tuesday (19 January), taking the country’s total case count to 59,157.
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Rohit Chopra to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tapping a progressive ally of Sen. Elizabeth Warren to helm the agency whose creation she championed. Chopra, now a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, helped launch the consumer agency after the 2008-09 financial crisis and served as deputy director, where he sounded the alarm about skyrocketing levels of student loan debt. Biden announced the move Monday, along with his intent to nominate Gary Gensler, a former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as the next chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
10th Allianz survey: Business interruption, Pandemic outbreak and Cyber incidents are the top three global business risks for 2021 -- all strongly interlinked. Globally, Pandemic outbreak rockets to #2 from #17 and is seen as main cause of business interruption in 2021, followed by Cyber incidents. Companies look to de-risk supply chains and boost business continuity management for extreme events. In Asia Pacific, the top three risks are mirrored although Business interruption swaps places with Cyber incidents, which ranks #1 for the second consecutive year. Market developments (#4), Macroeconomic developments (#8) and Political violence (#10) are all rising global risks. Socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic will bring more insolvencies and likely fuel further civil unrest in 2021. Climate change falls to #9 globally but will be back on the board agenda as a priority in 2021. JOHANNESBURG/LONDON/MUNICH/NEW YORK/PARIS/SAO PAULO/SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 19 January 2021 - A trio of Covid-19 related risks heads up the 10thAllianz Risk Barometer 2021, reflecting potential disruption and loss scenarios companies are facing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Business interruption (#1 with 41% responses) and Pandemic outbreak (#2 with 40%) are this year's top global business risks with Cyber incidents (#3 with 40%) ranking a close third. The annual survey on global business risks from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) incorporates the views of 2,769 experts in 92 countries and territories, including CEOs, risk managers, brokers and insurance experts. "The Allianz Risk Barometer 2021 is clearly dominated by the Covid-19 trio of risks. Business interruption, pandemic and cyber are strongly interlinked, demonstrating the growing vulnerabilities of our highly globalized and connected world," says Joachim Müller, CEO of AGCS. "The coronavirus pandemic is a reminder that risk management and business continuity management need to further evolve in order to help businesses prepare for, and survive, extreme events. While the pandemic continues to have a firm grip on countries around the world, we also have to ready ourselves for more frequent extreme scenarios, such as a global-scale cloud outage or cyber-attack, natural disasters driven by climate change or even another disease outbreak." The Covid-19 crisis continues to represent an immediate threat to both individual safety and businesses, reflecting why pandemic outbreak has rocketed 15 positions up to #2 in the global rankings at the expense of other risks. Prior to 2021, it had never finished higher than #16 in 10 years of the Allianz Risk Barometer, a clearly underestimated risk. However, in 2021, it's the number one risk in 16 countries and among the three biggest risks across all continents and in 35 out of the 38 countries which qualify for a top 10 risks analysis. Japan, South Korea and Ghana are the only exceptions. Market developments (#4 with 19%) also climbs up the global rankings of the Allianz Risk Barometer 2021, reflecting the risk of rising insolvency rates following the pandemic. According to Euler Hermes, the bulk of insolvencies will come in 2021. The trade credit insurer's global insolvency index is expected to hit a record high for bankruptcies, up 35% by the end of 2021, with top increases expected in the US, Brazil, China and core European countries. Further, Covid-19 will likely spark a period of innovation and market disruption, accelerating the adoption of technology, hastening the demise of incumbents and traditional sectors and giving rise to new competitors. Other risers include Macroeconomic developments (#8 with 13%) and Political risks and violence (#10 with 11%) which are, in large part, a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak, too. Fallers in this year's global rankings include Changes in legislation and regulation (#5 with 19%), Natural catastrophes (#6 with 17%), Fire/explosion (#7 with 16%), and Climate change (#9 with 13%), all clearly superseded by pandemic concerns. Top Asia Pacific Risks Similar to the global results, Cyber incidents (#1 with 41% responses), Pandemic outbreak (#2 with 39%) and Business interruption (#3 with 38%) skyrocketed to the top three business risks in Asia Pacific followed by Natural catastrophes (#4 with 27% ) rounding out the key issues in the region. As expected, Changes in legislation and regulation (#5 with 22%) also kept its place amongst the top five Asia Pacific risks in 2021 for the third consecutive year. This was largely due to the several elections and change in leaderships that took place across the region in Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia, as well as the broader implications on supply chains as a result of China's trade wars and greater uncertainty brought on by governments introducing tough lock down measures. Commenting on the Asia Pacific results Mark Mitchell, AGCS APAC Managing Director, said: "Companies and even entire sectors, have suffered large business interruption events as a result of the pandemic of 2020 and it's the largest catastrophic event to hit a modern, globalised and interconnected economy. The Pandemic has demonstrated just how vulnerable the world and businesses have become to unpredictable multi-country events and this has forever changed the risk landscape for clients and society more generally. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed our society, but has also fundamentally changed the way businesses operate, especially the acceleration towards greater digitalisation driven by more companies working remotely. Our hope is that businesses and clients can learn from their experiences in 2020 and make sure they have in place measures which will reduce the impact of similar events in the future." Pandemic drives disruption -- now and in future Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Business interruption (BI) had already finished at the top of the global rankings of the Allianz Risk Barometer seven times and it returns to the top spot after being replaced by cyber incidents in 2020. The pandemic shows that extreme global-scale BI events are not just theoretical, but a real possibility, causing loss of revenues and disruption to production, operations and supply chains. 59% of respondents highlight the pandemic as the main cause of BI in 2021, followed by Cyber incidents (46%) and Natural catastrophes and Fire and explosion (around 30% each). The pandemic is adding to the growing list of non-physical damage BI scenarios such as cyber or power blackouts. "The consequences of the pandemic -- wider digitalization, more remote working and the growing reliance on technology of businesses and societies -- will likely heighten BI risks in coming years," explains Philip Beblo, expert in AGCS's global Property underwriting team. "However, traditional physical risks will not disappear and must remain on the risk management agenda. Natural catastrophes, extreme weather or fire remain the main causes of BI for many industries and we continue to see a trend for larger losses over time." In response to heightened BI vulnerabilities, many companies are aiming to build more resilient operations and to de-risk their supply chains. According to Allianz Risk Barometer respondents, improving business continuity management is the main action companies are taking (62%), followed by developing alternative or multiple suppliers (45%), investing in digital supply chains (32%) and improved supplier selection and auditing (31%). According to AGCS experts, many companies found their plans where quickly overwhelmed by the pace of the pandemic. Business continuity planning needs to become more holistic, cross-functional, and dynamic, monitor and measure emerging or extreme loss scenarios, be constantly updated and tested and embedded into an organization's strategy. Cyber perils intensify Cyber incidents may have slipped to #3 globally, in Asia Pacific it ranks #1 for the second consecutive year. Elsewhere in the world, it still ranks as a top three risk in many countries, including Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain, UK and the US. The acceleration towards greater digitalization and remote working driven by the pandemic is also further intensifying IT vulnerabilities. At the peak of the first wave of lockdowns in April 2020, the FBI reported a 300% increase in incidents alone, while cyber crime is now estimated to cost the global economy over $1trn, up 50% from two years ago. Already high in frequency, ransomware incidents are becoming more damaging, increasingly targeting large companies with sophisticated attacks and hefty extortion demands, as highlighted in the recent AGCS cyber risk trends report. "Covid-19 has shown how quickly cybercriminals are able to adapt and the digitalization surge driven by the pandemic has created opportunities for intrusions with new cyber loss scenarios constantly emerging," says Catharina Richter, Global Head of the Allianz Cyber Center of Competence at AGCS. "Attackers are innovating using automated scanning to identify security gaps, attacking poorly secured routers or even using 'deepfakes' -- realistic media content modified or falsified by artificial intelligence. At the same time, data protection and privacy regulation and fines for data breaches continue their upward trend." Risers and fallers Macroeconomic developments is up to #8 globally and Political risks and violence (#10) returns to the global top 10 for the first time since 2018, reflecting the fact that civil unrest, protests and riots now challenge terrorism as the main exposure for companies. The number, scale and duration of many recent events, including Black Lives Matter protests, anti-lockdown demonstrations, Hong Kong riots and unrest around the US presidential election, have been exceptional. As the socioeconomic fallout from Covid-19 mounts, further political and social unrest is likely, with many countries expected to experience an increase in activity in 2021 and beyond, particularly in Europe and the Americas. Changes in legislation and regulation drops from the Global ranking from #3 to #5 year-on-year. "The pandemic may have caused some delays of the regulatory train, but it did not stop or even derail it. Quite the opposite, 2021 promises to become a very busy year in terms of new legislation and regulation, particularly in the areas of data and sustainability," predicts Ludovic Subran, Chief Economist at Allianz. Natural catastrophes falls to #6 from #4 in the global rankings, reflecting the fact that although aggregated losses from multiple smaller events such as wildfires or tornadoes still led to widespread devastation and considerable insured losses in 2020, it was also the third consecutive year without a single large event, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Climate change also falls to #9 globally. However, the need to combat climate change remains as high as ever, given 2020 was the joint hottest year ever recorded. "With the vaccination campaign coming into effect, climate change will be back on the board agenda as a priority in 2021," says Michael Bruch, Global Head of ESG at AGCS. "Many companies need to adjust their business for a low-carbon world -- and risk managers need to be at the forefront of this transition." More information on the findings of the Allianz Risk Barometer 2021 is available here: Top 10 global business risks Full report Individual country and industry sector results Watch a short film about the top 10 risks for 2021 About Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) SE is a leading global corporate insurance carrier and a key business unit of Allianz Group. We provide risk consultancy, Property-Casualty insurance solutions and alternative risk transfer for a wide spectrum of commercial, corporate and specialty risks across 10 dedicated lines of business. Our customers are as diverse as business can be, ranging from Fortune Global 500 companies to small businesses, and private individuals. Among them are not only the world's largest consumer brands, tech companies and the global aviation and shipping industry, but also wineries, satellite operators or Hollywood film productions. They all look to AGCS for smart answers to their largest and most complex risks in a dynamic, multinational business environment and trust us to deliver an outstanding claims experience. Worldwide, AGCS operates with its own teams in 31 countries and through the Allianz Group network and partners in over 200 countries and territories, employing over 4,450 people. As one of the largest Property-Casualty units of Allianz Group, we are backed by strong and stable financial ratings. In 2019, AGCS generated a total of €9.1 billion gross premium globally. www.agcs.allianz.com LinkedIn Twitter: @AGCS_Insurance Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements The statements contained herein may include statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. In addition to statements which are forward-looking by reason of context, the words "may", "will", "should", "expects", "plans", "intends", "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "predicts", "potential", or "continue" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those in such statements due to, without limitation, (i) general economic conditions, including in particular economic conditions in the Allianz Group's core business and core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, and including market volatility, liquidity and credit events (iii) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, including from natural catastrophes and including the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the Euro/U.S. Dollar exchange rate, (ix) changing levels of competition, (x) changes in laws and regulations, including monetary convergence and the European Monetary Union, (xi) changes in the policies of central banks and/or foreign governments, (xii) the impact of acquisitions, including related integration issues, (xiii) reorganization measures, and (xiv) general competitive factors, in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. 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