Posts Tagged: ‘gold’

Gold extends losses to third day as oil slumps

November 28, 2014 Posted by admin


SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Gold extended losses into a third session on Friday, dropping to a one-week low, on expectations that plunging oil prices could sap inflationary pressure, curbing the metal’s appeal as a hedge.

Oil hit four-year lows around $70 a barrel on Thursday, as OPEC resisted the temptation to cut back production following the more than 30 percent plunge in prices since June.

The drop in oil prices, along with the resulting strength in the dollar, hurt gold which is often seen as a hedge.

“Precious metals declined as lower oil prices prompted concerns about deflation,” said ANZ analyst Victor Thianpiriya.

Spot gold had fallen 0.5 percent to $1,185.10 an ounce by 0257 GMT. It hit $1,183.90 earlier in the session – its lowest since Nov. 20.

The metal has lost over 1 percent for the week, snapping a three-week rally.

U.S. gold futures slid 1 percent to a session low of $1,183.20.

The dollar index gained, having made notable gains versus oil-related currencies, the Canadian dollar and Norwegian crown in the previous session.

“Gold sympathized with oil but I think there is a limit to the downward slide and we might hold $1,180 for now,” said a trader in Tokyo, adding that the market was also eyeing the Swiss vote on central bank reserves on Sunday.

The vote is aimed at preventing the Swiss National Bank from offloading its gold holdings and obliging it to hold at least 20 percent of its assets in gold, compared with 8 percent last month.

The most-recent opinion poll showed support among Swiss voters for the initiative had slipped to 38 percent.

A surprise ‘yes’ vote, however, could prompt the Swiss central bank to buy about 1,500 tonnes of gold over the next few years, boosting bullion prices, analysts say.

“Most people in the market are already expecting a ‘no’ in the Swiss vote but it might still cause some sell-off. A ‘yes’ vote is unlikely but if it happens, we can see a jump in prices,” the Tokyo-based trader said.

Among other precious metals, silver futures slid 3 percent. Platinum is down 1 percent for the week on outflows from the metal-backed exchange-traded funds.

Palladium was headed for a second weekly gain.

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Joseph Radford and Anupama Dwivedi)

Article source: http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/11/28/markets-precious-idINKCN0JC01S20141128

Crash-and-grab burglars hitting high-end stores in suburbs and Chicago

November 27, 2014 Posted by admin

Barreling a vehicle through a store’s thick glass window, the masked thieves smash a path toward their target: expensive jeans, handbags or jewelry.

They scurry to grab as much high-end merchandise as can fit in their arms, then hustle from the scene. In a flash, they’re gone with goods often worth tens of thousands of dollars.

A growing number of Chicago-area retailers have been hit by these audacious, well-organized burglaries in recent weeks, adding a new twist on the typical “smash-and-grab” heist as the holiday shopping season begins full-throttle.

Just last week eight burglars wearing masks and gloves slammed a car early in the morning through the front door of a Louis Vuitton store at a mall in Northbrook, fleeing with top-flight purses and other merchandise.

Map: 'Crash-and-grab' burglaries

Then Wednesday morning on Chicago’s West Side, a swarm of as many as 20 thieves stripped a hip store selling brand-name street wear of “all the good stuff,” one employee said.

Chicago and suburban police are trying to figure out if the same offenders are responsible for at least five late-night burglaries in which vehicles intentionally crashed into storefronts.

“They’re becoming more bold, no question about it,” said Robert Lombardo, associate professor of criminal justice at Loyola University Chicago. He suspects the thieves are using vehicles to plow into the stores not out of convenience but simply because of violent disregard for property and the law.

Typical smash-and-grab burglaries are relatively easy crimes for thieves because they don’t take much planning, authorities said.

“It’s a way for someone unsophisticated … to be relatively efficient at their crime, said Chicago police Sgt. Matthew Little of the Area North property crimes unit. “They’re not criminal masterminds.”

lRelated Northbrook Louis Vuitton surveillance video
NewsNorthbrook Louis Vuitton surveillance videoSee all related

But the five burglaries pulled off since early September seem more sophisticated and often involved numerous people.

In the Northbrook case, thieves drove through the outside entrance of the Northbrook Court mall and through a corridor before slamming into the Louis Vuitton store about 5 a.m. Nov. 18.

A video surveillance system captured the dramatic scene as several people used sledgehammers to break in the glass when the car didn’t fully enter the store, said Northbrook Detective Cmdr. Mike O’Malley. The thieves then entered one after another through the opening, leaping over the cracked, fallen pane of glass and what appeared to be a toppled display crate.

The burglars were dressed in black pants and black hooded sweatshirts, and their faces were covered or partially covered with either ski- or surgical-type masks. All of them appeared to wearing gloves as well.

Surveillance video shows thieves crashing into Louis Vuitton store

Surveillance video shows thieves crashing into Louis Vuitton store Chicago Tribune staff and WGN-TV Surveillance video shows masked thieves crashing their car into a Louis Vuitton store in north suburban Northbrook and stealing thousands of dollars in high-end purses and other merchandise — all in about a minute. Surveillance video shows masked thieves crashing their car into a Louis Vuitton store in north suburban Northbrook and stealing thousands of dollars in high-end purses and other merchandise — all in about a minute. ( Chicago Tribune staff and WGN-TV ) –>

They then quickly scattered throughout the store to grab bags and purses from the shelves and from behind the counter, slinging the merchandise over their arms before running out into the mall, the video showed.

Another Louis Vuitton store, this one at the Oakbrook Center mall, was hit in a similar crash-and-grab burglary Sept. 7 when thieves rammed a minivan into the store, stealing about $120,000 worth of merchandise.

In addition, Aurora police are investigating a similar style of crime that occurred Nov. 4 at Salvatore Ferragamo in the Chicago Premium Outlets mall. A minivan rammed through the front window of the store. Burglars escaped with $40,000 in purses and luggage.

Northbrook police have contacted police in the suburbs and Chicago, but O’Malley said it’s not clear whether the same crew carried out the brazen crimes.

“How could I even guess on that?” he said.

Northbrook police have submitted evidence gathered at the store to the state crime lab for analysis.

The latest crash-and-grab episode occurred about 4:15 a.m. Wednesday in Chicago when thieves drove through the metal shutters and glass doors of the Cisco Nyc store in the 4000 block of West Madison Street.

“I’m at a loss for words. It hurts,” manager Salah Muthana, bundled up in a gray hooded sweatshirt and coat, said in the store as freezing air poured through a gaping hole in the store’s front. “Basically, I worked the whole year, and at the end of the year, instead of making a small profit to feed my family, I’m going to be in debt maybe this year and next year just to pay off this damage.”

Surveillance video showed four people jumping out of the van while at least 16 additional thieves emerged from behind other vehicles off Madison Street and ran into the store.

The thieves carried garbage bags and hurried about the store, in one case bumping into one another, the video showed. They grabbed whatever clothing they could, shoved it into their bags and ran back outside.

Crash and grab on Chicagos West side

Crash and grab on Chicago’s West side Thieves made off with shoes and jeans after smashing a vehicle into a business CISCO NYC, Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood early Wednesday, police said. Thieves made off with shoes and jeans after smashing a vehicle into a business CISCO NYC, Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood early Wednesday, police said.See more videos –>

One thief could be seen grabbing a mannequin that was displayed on a wall where a number of designer shirts were for sale.

Muthana, 28, said the thieves emptied shelves in the front of the store but focused on the most expensive merchandise — high-end jeans and shoes, belts and hats.

Muthana couldn’t provide an exact count of what was taken or how much it was all worth, but he said Giuseppe-brand shoes cost as much as $1,000 a pair, the jeans go for $400 to $800 and the belts run as high as $350 and up.

“They targeted the higher-end items in the store,” he said as contractors worked to repair the front doors. “They didn’t touch the cheap-end merchandise.”

Thieves steal high-end merchandise because “that’s the stuff people want,” Lombardo said, especially with the holidays around the corner. If the thieves are local, they will seek to sell the merchandise in the neighborhood, Lombardo said, and showcase some of the gear themselves. If they are part of a more professional criminal crew, the gear may be bound for resale in other markets.

Another similar crime happened in September at an upscale Gold Coast apparel store when thieves rammed their car through the glass front doors and made off with several racks of coats.

The burglaries involving vehicles smashing through the entrances follow a string of more typical smash-and-grabs at Near North Side stores, also in September.

Chicago police believe “an organized group of criminals” is responsible for those burglaries, where hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen by thieves who smashed in the glass entrances of businesses.

Little, the Chicago police sergeant, described smash-and-grabs as generally “low-risk, high-reward endeavors.” But he noted that Wednesday morning’s burglary at the West Garfield Park store was risky considering that officers responded quickly to the scene.

Little, whose burglary team is investigating the crime, said it’s too early to tell how much the stolen merchandise was worth. The van used to crash into the store broke down and couldn’t be driven away, but Little couldn’t say whether it was stolen.

Article source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-crash-and-grab-met-20141126-story.html

The Reason For The DFC Global Buyout, Or Why You Should Read Corporate …

November 26, 2014 Posted by admin

In June 2014, US alternative finance company DFC Global (NASDAQ:DLLR) agreed to be bought out by private equity firm Lone Star Funds for 1.3 billion dollars. The company made 280 million dollars in EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, in 2012, and at least 200 million dollars in EBITDA in each of the three years before the transaction. Thus, the deal was done at a price of somewhere between 4.6 and 6.5 times EBITDA. In an environment where companies generally trade at double digit multiples of EBITDA, this deal was unquestionably a bargain for Lone Star.

The purchase of DFC Global was a particular bargain because the company was not a declining enterprise that might deserve such a cheap multiple. In the company’s last investor presentation before the buyout, management trumpeted annualized revenue growth over the past nine years of over 15%, and annualized adjusted EBITDA growth of over 11%. It is noteworthy that such growth came despite a major slump in the company’s operations in 2013. That slump was caused by regulatory difficulties for the alternative finance industry in the United Kingdom, where DFC Global is the country’s largest pawnbroker. In its presentation, management argued persuasively that these difficulties were only temporary and that the company had significant long term growth prospects in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Thus, why did the same management allow the company to be bought out on the cheap mere weeks later, depriving shareholders of those growth opportunities? I believe it is because DFC Global’s management was only telling half of the story in those final days as a public company. It is true that DFC Global’s business was highly profitable. It is also true that Europe offered potentially decades of lucrative growth. It is even probably true that the industry’s regulatory troubles would have eventually brought greater opportunities for the company in the UK. After all, smaller pawnbrokers and payday lenders would be unable to cope with the regulatory burden of new rules and would be forced out of business, leaving more business for DFC Global.

However, I believe it is also true that management was afraid that the company would not survive to take advantage of these opportunities. In the course of its expansion into the UK and Europe, DFC Global had taken on large amounts of debt. When its profits faltered due to its UK difficulties, its bankers imposed onerous covenants on the company mandating a certain level of earnings and a certain ability to cover fixed expenses. I believe that DFC Global’s management was worried that the company might not be able to meet these covenants. In fact, management might even have worried about the company defaulting on its debts and going bankrupt. I believe that this is why DFC Global’s corporate officers chose to sell the company so cheaply. Doing so may have deprived shareholders of great potential gains, but it also saved them from possible disaster.

Becoming Aware Of The Difficulties Behind DFC Global’s Buyout

I first became aware of DFC Global’s difficulties after sending my most recent article to the author of the excellent UK value investing blog Wexboy. The author of the Wexboy blog has written extensively about the alternative finance sector and investment ideas related to the alternative finance consumer. Thus, I thought he might be interested in my article, which discussed the March 2014 bankruptcy of UK pawnbroker Albemarle Bond (OTC:ABMLF). In retrospect, the story of Albemarle Bond has many parallels to that of DFC Global. Albemarle Bond also took on excessive debt in the course of a major expansion. That debt also came with earnings based covenants. The two companies were even impacted by similar difficulties in the UK alternative finance industry. The difference, though, is that instead of being bought out, Albemarle Bond violated its covenants, defaulted on its debts, and had to be liquidated after going into administration. It did so after the price of gold crumbled in 2012 and 2013, crushing the company’s gold buying business and leaving it unable to meet the earnings levels mandated by its debt covenants.

In my article, I argued that Albemarle Bond went under because its core business was impaired. I noted that the company would not have gone into administration if its original business of pawnbroking and jewelry retail had still been able to earn good returns. Particularly, I argued that the company’s bankruptcy could not be simply blamed on overexpansion, much less its forays into gold buying, as had been reported in the media. After all, if the company’s original pawnbroking locations had still been earning good returns, someone would have made an investment in the company rather than letting it slide into administration. This would have preserved at least some value for shareholders. Particularly, it would have made sense for the company’s 30% owner, American alternative finance company EZCorp, to make such an investment to save its original stake in the company. In my article, I argued that EZCorp’s decision to not do so despite easily having the ability to do so spoke volumes about the health of Albemarle Bond’s core business.

The author of the Wexboy blog offered another reason for EZCorp’s decision not to intervene. He noted that DFC Global’s debt burden was killing the company in the face of the ongoing problems in the UK alternative finance sector. As a result, EZCorp’s management might have wanted to see how things would turn out for one of its biggest competitors before making an additional commitment to the UK.

This comment intrigued me because I had profiled DFC Global in two of my previous articles about Broke, USA, Gary Rivlin’s book on the alternative finance industry. In my first article, I noted that DFC Global represented the opportunities available to the alternative finance industry from diversifying geographically.

(click to enlarge) Source: DFC Global Corp. 2014 Q2 Investor Presentation

Rather than concentrate on the US and Mexico like most American alternative finance companies, DFC Global has expanded significantly into Europe and the Commonwealth. Not only did it become the largest pawnbroker in the UK, but the company also has significant operations in Canada, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Spain.

(click to enlarge)

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2014 Q2 Investor Presentation

As mentioned previously, such operations offer the opportunity of growth for decades to come for the company. The company has described how its various diversified operations support one another, with cash flows from its more developed markets going to support growth in its newer markets. Also, I noted in my second article about Broke, USA that such expansion efforts even offer some ability to escape regulation, one of the greatest fears of the alternative finance industry, by allowing the company to move away from more heavily regulated locations like the US.

Thus, given such opportunities, I was surprised to hear about DFC Global’s troubles from the author of the Wexboy blog. As a result, I chose to look more deeply into the company’s final years before its acquisition. Having done so, I now believe that DFC Global teetered on the edge of disaster in early 2014. The company’s buyout, though it was on the cheap, may have saved it from a default and bankruptcy like that of Albemarle Bond. I believe evidence of this can be found in the firm’s last annual filings as a public company.

Evidence of Danger – Loan Covenants, Earnings Ratios, and More

In DFC Global’s 2013 Form 10-K, or annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, DFC Global describes how the terms of its revolving debt facility required it to obey certain financial covenants. Those covenants leveled a number of restrictions upon the company:

(click to enlarge)

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2013 10-K (Edited to bring everything onto one page.)

At first glance, such restrictions seem like simple boilerplate. However, they are absent from DFC Global’s 2012 10-K,. Indeed, the company describes the agreement that prompted this change in the conditions of the company’s credit facility:

(click to enlarge)

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2013 10-K

Though the company describes the company’s third credit term amendment in the most positive terms possible, arguing that it was made “in order to provide additional flexibility to [the company],” the reality seems to differ. This amendment placed onerous restrictions on the company’s ability to borrow additional money and make additional investments. It “[added] a new liquidity covenant, and [prohibited] the payment of cash dividends.” In other words, it appears as if DFC Global’s banks were seriously concerned about the company’s ability to honor its debts and wanted to force the company to conserve cash to do so.

The reason for this concern appears in the most alarming part of the 2013 10-K’s description of the company’s covenants, which is highlighted below:

(click to enlarge)

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2013 10-K

The highlighted section again, seems like boilerplate-of course a company’s ability to meet its financial covenants is dependent on its fiscal performance. However, what is surprising is that this passage cannot be found in the company’s 2012 10-K. That is not because there were no covenants on the company’s debt in 2012-indeed, the company describes how “[the] senior secured credit agreement governing [its] global revolving credit facility [contained] customary covenants, representations and warranties and events of default.” Instead, I believe that the company was offering a subtle warning to investors in its 2013 10-K about the possibility of a covenant breach and default similar to that of Albemarle Bond. Whereas the company’s quarterly presentations emphasized an optimistic message about the company’s core strength-and indeed, I agree that the company’s core business was not impaired-the company’s annual filing was warning of serious potential financial trouble.

When one examines the company’s financial statements, such warnings are hardly surprising. A common measure of a company’s creditworthiness is the ratio between its total debt and its EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. The latter number is popular as a measure of a company’s ability to pay its debts because it approximates the company’s cash flows that can be applied to interest payments.

Source: DFC Global Corp. SEC Filings, 2003 Q3 2014

In the trailing twelve months before DFC Global’s acquisition, the company’s Debt to EBITDA ratio reached an astonishing 25.3. Of course, this number was distorted by the large non-cash expenses the company incurred in that time period from writeoffs of intangible assets. However, it is easy to understand why the massive spike in the company’s debt levels as measured by Debt to EBITDA would concern the company’s creditors.

Such a spike would be particularly concerning given that DFC Global had always been a highly indebted company. The maximum safe Debt to EBITDA ratio for a company is usually somewhere around 4 or 5. DFC Global not only maintained a Debt to EBITDA ratio close to that for an entire decade, but actually breached that level several times. It is true that in some cases that was because of nonrecurring, noncash expenses; however, regardless, it is clear that DFC Global was always a company that lived on the edge in terms of debt.

This can also be seen when one examines the company’s interest coverage ratios, where again it is possible to see a major deterioration in the company’s metrics in the last twelve months before its acquisition:

Source: DFC Global Corp. SEC Filings, 2003 Q3 2014

A company’s interest coverage ratio measures its ability to pay the interest expense on its debts. This ratio is usually measured as a ratio between the company’s earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, and its interest expense. Again, DFC Global maintained very aggressive interest coverage ratios through its history, earning on average only 1.7 times the money needed to pay interest to its creditors.

Again, what is noteworthy is the serious deterioration in this metric in the twelve months before DFC Global’s acquisition. Whereas in the past the company always had enough EBIT to pay its interest, even taking into account noncash expenses, this time the company’s writeoffs drove its EBIT into the negative. This means that not only did the company not have the earnings to pay its interest, but it didn’t have any earnings at all even excluding its interest and tax expenses.

Indeed, even though DFC Global’s last earnings presentation before being acquired was sanguine about its future, even the metrics presented by the company in that presentation show its problems:

(click to enlarge)

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2014 Q2 Investor Presentation

As one can see, the company’s free cash flow, or its cash flow that could be distributed to shareholders after all necessary expenditures, fell by half between fiscal year 2012 (June 2011 to June 2012) and calendar year 2013.

The company’s revenues, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted operating earnings also declined similarly. It is worth noting that company adjusted the latter numbers, meaning that they are likely the most optimistic values possible. Nevertheless, the decline is stark, with the numbers falling somewhere between 33 and 50 percent. Adjusted operating earnings per share-earnings that excluded the company’s losses from noncash writeoffs-fell all the way back to 2006 levels.

(click to enlarge)

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2014 Q2 Investor Presentation

Despite the title of the above slide, I believe DFC Global’s troubles were a serious problem for the company. As we have seen, the company was forced to take on onerous covenants on its debt in its last months as an independent company. Moreover, the company even covertly warned investors in its annual filing that it might have trouble meeting such covenants. Such a covenant breach would, of course, have resulted in the company defaulting on its debts and going into bankruptcy in the same way that Albemarle Bond did, leaving little value for shareholders.

The Key Difference Between DFC Global and Albemarle Bond

In light of this evidence showing that DFC Global almost went down the same path as Albemarle Bond, it is worth considering why their fates diverged. As I noted above, I believe that Albemarle Bond went into administration in large part because its core pawnbroking business deteriorated. I believe such deterioration was caused by competition created by the massive increase in the number of pawnbrokers in the UK since the financial crisis. I believe that this rise in competition could drive down returns in the UK pawnbroking sector for a long time to come.

In contrast, I believe the key reason why DFC Global did not go into bankruptcy was that despite its troubles and its heavy debt load, the company’s ability to earn high returns was still sound. In other words, Albemarle Bond had a fundamental problem with its business that could only be solved through significant liquidations, whereas DFC Global merely had a balance sheet problem that could be solved by a balance sheet solution-in other words, a major outside investment like the one offered by Lone Star.

It is difficult to prove this. On the one hand, the same financial metrics-loss rates, returns on assets, and other similar measures of an alternative finance company’s performance-deteriorated for DFC Global as they did for Albemarle Bond in 2012 and 2013. On the other hand, it is worth noting that DFC Global’s deterioration was localized to its operations in the United Kingdom, particularly to its online lending operations there.

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2013 10-K (Edited to bring everything onto one page.)

This is important because DFC Global’s UK online lending business was only one of its business lines. That business line only contributed 18.2% of the company’s revenues as of the second quarter of 2014. That’s certainly significant, but it’s as much different from Albemarle Bond, almost all of which came from the deteriorating pawnbroking and jewelry retail segments. In contrast, loss rates stayed largely flat or even fell in almost all of DFC Global’s other businesses, even in the company’s UK store-based lending business.

This is particularly worth mention because as I noted in my article about Albemarle Bond, the past several years since the Great Recession have seen a tripling in the number of pawn shops in the UK. Similarly, payday lending, DFC Global’s other major line of business, has exploded in popularity. Broke, USA, Gary Rivlin’s book on the alternative finance industry, notes this by describing how in 2009, “[the] payday loan was becoming so popular in the UK that Kevin Brennan, its consumer minister, told the BBC he was ‘concerned that so many people are relying on these forms of high-cost lending.’” In the three years after that quote, payday lending more than tripled in the UK according to an estimate by the global Association of Chartered Certified Accountants:

Source: Payday lending: fixing a broken market by the ACCA

In the face of this massive increase in competition, it reflects well on DFC Global’s risk management practices that its loss rates for store-based lending actually fell in 2013. It seems to indicate that not only were the company’s problems localized to one business segment, but that the company was run well overall.

The fact that DFC Global was well run overall supports the company’s argument that its difficulties in its one problematic segment were temporary-an argument that I don’t think Albemarle Bond would be able to make. In April 2014, I wrote an article about Broke, USA‘s description of regulation in the alternative finance industry. In that article, I noted that DFC Global argued that its problems in 2012 and 2013 were driven by more stringent regulation in the UK payday lending space.

Source: DFC Global Corp. 2014 Q2 Investor Presentation

Such regulatory changes included restrictions on the number of times borrowers could roll over their loans and limitations on the company’s collections tactics. DFC Global’s CEO, Jeffrey Weiss, noted that such changes created difficulty in 2013 not only by affecting the company’s operations, but also by affecting the behavior of competitors. According to him, many of the company’s competitors had responded to the regulatory changes by trying to make as many loans as possible before the changes took effect. The company indicated that while such activities might create short term pain, regulation would benefit DFC Global in the long run by eliminating competitors that could not adjust.

This belief seems to have been borne out by recent events. An October 2014 Financial Times article described how an astonishing 99% of the 400 payday lending firms in the United Kingdom are likely to be put out of business by an interest rate cap which will take effect in early 2015. According to the article, this cap, which limits the interest that can be charged on a payday loan to 0.8% per day, will leave only three major online payday lenders. One of them is DFC Global.

This prediction of the near annihilation of DFC Global’s competition came from the Financial Conduct Authority, the new UK regulatory agency which will be enforcing the new rules; thus, it seems likely to come to pass. If it does, it will make the UK payday lending industry a three or four firm oligopoly. In doing so, it will potentially cement the ability of DFC Global to earn high returns from the UK payday lending business for years to come.

Interestingly, it would have been possible to predict that these regulatory changes, including a strict rate cap, would benefit DFC Global. In the aforementioned article, I mentioned that Rivlin describes in Broke, USA how Florida is one of the most strictly regulated payday lending markets in the United States. Despite having a rate cap even lower than the impending one in the UK-$10 per $100, versus $12 on a fifteen day loan in the UK-that state is DFC Global’s most profitable market. Indeed, the company emphasized its ability to operate in highly regulated environments in its last earnings presentations before its acquisition, an emphasis which seems to have been well founded.

Thus, the key difference between DFC Global and Albemarle Bond appears to have been the in the lasting quality-or lack thereof-of their core businesses. Whereas Albemarle Bond appears to have suffered permanent deterioration in its pawnbroking business-in my opinion, caused by the increase in competition-DFC Global’s problems seem to be genuinely temporary. It appears that the company will come out of its regulatory difficulties as one of only a few survivors in the UK payday lending market, allowing it to reap the benefits of a newly emptied market. Thus, the divergent natures of the two companies’ problems can be seen in the divergent fates of the two companies-one had to be liquidated, whereas the other was bought out, if at a bargain price.

Conclusions

In conclusion, I believe that DFC Global’s June 2014 acquisition was because of the serious deterioration of its business in the United Kingdom. Though this deterioration was temporary, it sufficiently affected the company’s ability to service its debts that its bankers placed onerous covenants upon it. As the difficult conditions persisted, I believe that the company’s management was afraid that the company would breach those covenants. As a result, DFC Global’s management agreed to sell the company to private equity firm Lone Star Funds.

Evidence for this can be found in the company’s corporate filings. As described above, the company’s 2013 annual filings paid significantly more attention to the issue of debt covenants than its 2012 filings. It is indicative that the 2013 10-K mentions covenants 21 times, versus only 10 times in 2012. Moreover, whereas the 2012 mentions are essentially perfunctory, the 2013 mentions go into significant detail about the restrictions imposed by the covenants and the risks of breaching them. Finally, there is the stark warning in the 2013 annual filing describing how the company’s future ability to meet its covenants would only be dependent on 2014 financial performance. I believe this was a warning from management-if a well hidden one-about the company’s ability to service its debts. I believe that the company’s June 2014 acquisition was made under financial duress because of that warning, combined with the deterioration of DFC Global’s earnings. Only the inherent strength of the company’s core business kept shareholders from suffering the same fate as those of Albemarle Bond.

Lessons

Of course, even if DFC Global’s shareholders were not wiped out like those of Albemarle Bond, that doesn’t necessarily mean that their ownership of the company’s stock came to a good end.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

In DFC Global’s last five years as a public company, shareholders lost more than 40% of their investment. In contrast, the SP 500 gained nearly 80% in that same time period. This means that DFC Global shareholders underperformed the market by an incredible 120% even without taking the SP 500′s dividends into account. I believe that these travails offer valuable lessons for the investor.

First and perhaps most obviously, there is the lesson that leverage can be lethal to an otherwise excellent investment. Throughout its history as a publicly traded company, DFC Global was always heavily leveraged. Its Debt to EBITDA ratio persistently stayed around 4, an aggressive degree of leverage, and rose above that at several points. Similarly, the company chronically earned barely enough to cover the interest costs on its debt. Though this leverage made possible the company’s massive expansion across Canada, the UK, and Europe, it also left it vulnerable to any downturn in its business. When that downturn occurred in 2012 and 2013, the company was unable to hold out long enough to see business conditions improve, and was forced to flee into the arms of an acquirer.

The company’s management, of course, never mentioned this threat of leverage in any but the most oblique terms. Even in DFC Global’s final days as a public company, corporate management continued to emphasize the company’s many growth opportunities in its earnings presentations, while downplaying its troubles. Even when management alluded to the company’s balance sheet difficulties, it was through oblique comments about the corporation’s financial strength and arrows that showed earnings going up over the years while playing down their recent decline.

This fact is at the heart of the DFC Global acquisition’s second important lesson-the importance of reading a company’s official filings closely, and the corresponding need to be skeptical of management. It is, after all, tempting to simply look at attractive, concise earnings Powerpoints and to believe that such presentations tell the whole story about a company’s prospects. I must admit that I myself succumbed to this temptation in playing up the upside of DFC Global’s strategic opportunities in my first two articles about Broke, USA, without doing the necessary additional research to find the downside. It was only after the author of the Wexboy blog noted the company’s debt issues that I looked further. Once I did so, I was reminded that it is only in a company’s official reports-filed in the US through the Securities and Exchange Commission-that a company is obliged to try to tell the whole truth, but good and bad.

Finally the DFC Global acquisition offers lessons about the alternative finance industry. Management’s description of the company’s ability to grow was genuine, and reflected how the industry still has many growth prospects around the world. It also reflected the importance of diversification in the alternative finance industry. Though geographic diversification did not save the company from near disaster, it did help cushion the effects of regulatory problems in one of the company’s markets. Moreover, such regulatory problems show that while the industry has found many ways to work around regulatory trouble, such trouble can cause serious problems for a company even when it does not permanently impair the company’s ability to earn high returns. That said, the DFC Global acquisition also offers the lesson to investors that regulation, even regulation that might wipe out the overwhelming majority of companies in a sector of the alternative finance industry, might still benefit some firms in that sector. After all, DFC Global looks likely to benefit from a regulation which will eliminate literally 99% of the UK payday lending sector.

Thus, the DFC Global acquisition offers both lessons specific to the alternative finance industry and universal lessons for all investors. Of course, the latter lessons about leverage and skepticism about management are well known. However, in my opinion, it is nice to have a reminder in the form of the DFC Global acquisition.

Additional consideration of the alternative finance industry, including a discussion of the competition that proved so problematic for both Albemarle Bond and DFC Global, will be the subject of my next article, “Understanding The Alternative Finance Sector Through Gary Rivlin’s Broke, USA, Pt. 4: Competition and the Price of Gold.”

Disclaimer: The content here is not meant as investment advice. Do not rely on it in making an investment decision. Do your own research. The content here reflects only the author’s opinions. Those opinions might be wrong. This content is meant solely for the entertainment of the reader and its author.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More…)

Article source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2710755-the-reason-for-the-dfc-global-buyout-or-why-you-should-read-corporate-filings-carefully?source=feed_sector_financial

Heroin dealers target Nome; epidemic hits home for city mayor

November 25, 2014 Posted by admin

Nome has a heroin problem says city Mayor Denise Michels, who describes how she first learned addiction to the drug had struck her own family. “I collect two things, guns and gold,” Michels said. “And all my jewelry and gold was gone. …”

In this video:

– Heroin is arriving in Western Alaska hubs by air and by sea, said Nome Police Chief John Papasodora. Drugs sold on the Seward Peninsula can sell for twice as much as in Anchorage, making the city an attractive target for Outside dealers.

– A regional hub for 9,400 people living across 24,000 square miles, Nome has only one agency that provides outpatient drug treatment, said Lance Johnson of Norton Sound Behavioral Health Services.

– Michels’ nephew eventually turned himself into police and began treatment in Nome. He left the city to finish in-patient treatment outside the state and recently celebrated a year of sobriety. He’s now training to become a drug counselor.

Article source: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/heroin-dealers-target-nome-epidemic-hits-home-for-city-mayor/29907280

North Penn region calendar: Week of Nov. 23

November 24, 2014 Posted by admin







Classic Movie Discussion: Second Fridays at 6 p.m.

Donate: Cleaning Out? Support the Library with Your Donations. We always welcome your books (hardbacks and paperbacks), DVDs and CDs. Drop them off at the table at the bottom of the steps any time! Please keep the library in mind for costume jewelry donations, too. Our first annual Costume Jewelry Sale during the Clean ‘n Green Day in July went so well, we’re going to make it an annual event. Drop off jewelry you no longer want at the front desk any time!

North Wales Area Library

What’s happening at the North Wales Area Library: 233 S. Swartley St., North Wales. 215-699-5410; www.northwaleslibrary.org. The library is open Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kick-Off Baby’s First Book 2014: A gift of literacy from the Friends of the NW Area Library, the PA One Book Every Young Child 2014 selection, “Stripes of All Types “by Susan Stockdale, is presented to each baby born to a Library patron. Please stop by or call the Library with the name and birth date of any new baby.

Story Hour: All ages welcome every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. and Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Petie The Dog: Come read to Petie any Thursday morning beginning at 10 a.m.

Teen Club: Every Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. For ages 12 and older. Enjoy a good book, movie or game with friends. Ask at the circulation desk about checking out one of our eReaders loaded with all of our previous book choices. Check out our Facebook page by searching North Wales Teen Book Club and “Like” us to receive updates and reminders.

Blood pressure screening: Third Thursday afternoon of each month, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Abington Health will offer free blood pressure screening. No appointment or fee.

eReader instruction: Get a new eReader/Smartphone? Library eBooks audiobooks for these devices are available for free through the library! Books are compatible with Nooks, Kindles, tablets, iPods, iPhones androids. Ask for an instruction sheet for your device, all you need is a current library card. Call for an appointment for extra help. Continued…

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • See Full Story

Tai Chi for Arthritis classes: This is a safe, easy-to-learn exercise class that increases vitality, mental clarity and calms the spirit. No experience or special equipment needed; wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Taught by a certified instructor. Tai Chi is a positive and fun experience for everyone — not just those with arthritis. Classes are Thursdays at 10 and 11:15 a.m. for newcomers and 5:45 p.m. The cost is $5 per session. Sign up now.

RSVP APPRISE: Second Tuesday of each month from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Medicare Counselors are trained by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program. All counseling is free confidential. Meetings can be individual or in groups. Theresa Lacianca will be counseling at NWAL. Call 610-834-1040 ext. 46 with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Computer tutoring: Would you like one-on-one help to better understand Windows, how to best manage your files, help with Microsoft Word or Excel, email, browsing the web, security questions or anything else specific on your PC? Get assistance by having someone sit with you and help you understand using your PC. Sign up now for one-on-one computer tutoring Indicate a few preferred dates and times plus the topics you would like help with. The fee is $10/hour, which will support the “Keep Us Alive, Help Us Thrive” Campaign.

Movie viewings: Every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 1 p.m.

Downtown Abbey Season 4: Each Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Adults Discuss Books: One Tuesday evening each month from 7 to 9 p.m. Books are available $10/each.

Euchre: First Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. Play this partnership game using standard playing cards. Don’t know how to play, the group will help you learn.

Mahjong Group: Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. in the main library.

Mexican Train Dominoes: Every Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Knitting Club: Every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the fireplace area. Continued…

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • See Full Story

Adopt-A-Brick: For $100, an engraved brick will be installed at the Veterans Memorial Flag Pole. Order forms available at the library.

Byers Choice: StoryTeller is available for sale at the library. $70/each plus $10 if shipping is needed.

Donate your car to the North Wales Area Library: The library will benefit from the proceeds of the sale or salvage of your vehicle and your donation is tax deductible. Contact Point Service Center and tell them you want to donate your vehicle to the NWAL. Arrangements will be made to tow your vehicle, if necessary, at no cost to you. Call Point Service Center at 215-699-TIRE (8473) or email pointservicectr@gmail.com.

Redner’s Save-A-Tape Program: Pick up a free customer card at Redner’s and join the Save-a-Tape Program. After your card is registered, drop your register receipts at the library circulation desk. We’ll take care of the rest. This program provides a cash rebate to the library based on sales. Your “Save-a-Tape” card must be presented when checking out at Redner’s.

Superfresh My Rewards helps the library: When you present your registered card each time you make a purchase at any Superfresh Store, 1 percent of your monthly purchases will automatically be contributed to North Wales Area Library. To register to support North Wales Area Library, our Group ID number is 149391205. Pick up your card at the store and register to support us with a form available at the Library.

AmazonSmile: Shop and designate NWAL as your nonprofit of choice and the library will receive a donation each time you shop! There is no additional cost to you. Be sure to go to the AmazonSmile website!

Art Music

Craft night: A Monthly Craft Night is held the first Thursday of the month from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville. This event is free and no registration is required. Bring your project and a snack to share. In the event of inclement weather, call 215-256-3020 or visit www.mhep.org.

Church Events

Thrift shop: The Thrift Shop at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 211 S. Main St., North Wales, is open for business. Store hours are Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The shop is located at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 211 S. Main St., North Wales. Donations of small household items, books, linens and women’s and children’s clothing are accepted during store hours. All proceeds are donated to local charities.

Community

Toys for Tots: For the 15th year, the North Penn Water Authority, 300 Forty Foot Road in Towamencin, is proud to be a dropoff site for The Toys for Tots Program sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps. Please drop off in our front lobby area at NPWA your new, unwrapped items for a child up to 18 years of age, such as toys, books, art supplies, music CDs or gift certificates during working hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Dec. 15. Any questions please contact, Marianne Morgan, community relations coordinator, at 215-855-3617 ext. 130.

Restaurant open: The Restaurant and Bakery at North Montco Technical Career Center will be open to the public every Wednesday and Thursday during the school year. The restaurant will be open for breakfast from 8:45 to 10 a.m. and for lunch from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call 215-368-1177 ext. 193. Visit www.nmtcc.org for the weekly restaurant menu and bakery specials.

Chorus seeks members: The North Pennsmen Barbershop Chorus is seeking new members. The membership includes men of all ages and walks of life, from high school age, to young adults, adults, to seniors. Contests and conventions are held in the spring and fall and attract between 600 and 2,000 singers at each event. The North Pennsmen also perform at many local community fairs, senior communities, sports events and churches. The North Pennsmen rehearse every Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Central Schwenkfelder Church, 211 Valley Forge Road, Worcester. For more information, please visit their site at www.northpennsmen.org or call them at 215-393-1940.

Bingo: The Knights of Columbus, Pius IX Council host 25 games of Bingo on the first and second Friday nights of each month. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the first game starting at 6:45 p.m. Game cards start at $9 per book for play all night. Las Vegas tickets, 50/50 and additional Jackpot Bingo games throughout the evening. Kitchen open with food for purchase. Knights of Columbus hall is located at 258 West 8th Street in Lansdale, on the corner of Eighth Street and Kenilworth Ave. Call 215-368-3044 or info@kofC4396.org for more information.

Donations sought: Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 533 Foundry Road, West Norriton, is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., selling furniture, lamps, lighting fixtures, paint, tile, flooring and much more. Donations are accepted at the ReStore until 15 minutes before closing. To schedule a pick-up for donated items, call 610-631-3149. Restore volunteers are also needed and training/orientation is provided.

Heartland Hospice: Heartland Hospice is looking for caring and dedicated people with an interest in serving terminally ill patients and their families in the greater Philadelphia area. Volunteer classes are available to fit each person’s schedule. Please call 610-941-6700 for more information.

Stiches of Love: Are you vision impaired or blind and would like to try your hand at knitting, crocheting, weaving, or other crafts? Come join us in our “Stitches of Love” program on the first and third Thursday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sessions are held at the Montgomery County Association for the Blind (MCAB), 212 N. Main St., third floor, North Wales. Volunteers are also welcome. For more information you may contact MCAB at 215-661-9800.

Volunteers sought: Holy Redeemer HomeCare and Hospice seeks compassionate and emotionally mature volunteers to provide support to local hospice patients and their families in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Volunteers may also assist with pet therapy and administrative work within the hospice department and are requested to have daytime availability. Hospice patient care volunteers visit with patients in their homes or nursing facilities once a week for two to three hours. They provide emotional support and companionship to patients and family members, assist with errands or provide respite for caregivers. Bereavement volunteers support the families of hospice patients following the loss of a loved one, while administrative volunteers assist with typing, mailings and/or filing. Hospice care workers provide a great service to families and loved ones of hospice patients. Many volunteers also report a great deal of personal satisfaction as a result of their services. Patient care and bereavement volunteers complete an application and attend an 18-hour volunteer training program that covers the medical, psychological and spiritual aspects of hospice volunteering. Day and evening training programs are offered. To sign up for volunteer opportunities in Pennsylvania, contact Holy Redeemer Volunteer Coordinator Jean Francis at 215-698-3737 or email jfrancis@holyredeemer.com.

Meals on Wheels: The North Penn Visiting Nurse Association’s Meals on Wheels program is looking for volunteers to pack or deliver meals to the elderly and infirmed. Meals are packed and delivered mornings, Monday through Friday. You can volunteer for as many days per week or month as you would like. Packaging meals requires approximately 2-1/2 hours of your time each day and involves making sandwiches, packaging food into individual serving containers and packing coolers with the meals. Delivering meals requires approximately 90 minutes of your time each day and involves loading coolers into your car and delivering a route of approximately 10 to 15 stops. The Meals on Wheels program is also in need of emergency, winter-weather volunteers to pack and deliver meals in bad weather. North Penn VNA is located at 51 Medical Campus Drive in Lansdale and delivers meals in the Lansdale, North Wales and Blue Bell areas. For more information or to volunteer, please call Bridget, North Penn VNA Meals on Wheels coordinator, at 215-855-6016.

Upper Gwynedd Fire Department programs: Upper Gwynedd Fire Department Cellphone Recycling Program — We are now accepting used cell phones. Please drop off your used cell phone at UG Fire house – 660 Garfield Ave, West Point, Tuesday night between 6 and 7 p.m. or during Hoagie sale – 2nd Saturday of every month. The Upper Gwynedd Fire Department is looking for volunteers — While it may surprise you to learn that fire protection is provided in Upper Gwynedd by 50 volunteers who receive no compensation at all, this is the norm, not the exception. Approximately 97 percent of the fire companies in the Commonwealth are volunteer. We are looking for firefighters, quick response medical personnel, junior firefighers, special fire police, and active members that can help at fundraisers and take care of administrative duties. To volunteer visit our website at www.ugfd.org or stop by any Tuesday night. The Upper Gwynedd Fire Department is always looking for cars to be donated to the fire department. If you have an old car that you are looking to sell or dispose of, why not donate it to the fire department? Your tax-deductible donation goes a long way and helps the first responders get valuable training. These vehicles are needed to keep up our training and skills in automobile extrication. You can even watch as the members turn your old car into scrap, all in the name of good training. All we need from you is your vehicle and title, and we take care of the rest. If your vehicle is older than 10 years, a title is not needed. A donation receipt will be provided to you. Call 267-228-5949 for more information.

Drama Dance

Line dancing: North Penn Lodge No. 1979 will host country line dancing on Tuesdays and swing dancing on Wednesdays at the North Penn ELKS, 2737 Trewingtown Rd., ColMarch Beginners’ lessons start at 7 p.m. The cost is $8. For more information call Dave at 215-997-7688.

Dance classes: Dance classes at the PEAK Center, 1292 Allentown Road, Towamencin: Ballroom dance classes: Learn the basics of the fox trot, cha cha, jitterbug and waltz. Beginners ballroom: Thursdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Intermediate ballroom: Thursdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Beginners line dancing: Thursdays, 12:30-1 p.m. Line dancing: Thursdays, 1 p.m. Tap dancing: Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. Cost is $24 for six-week sessions. Call 215-362-7432 for information and registration. Instructor John Long has been teaching ballroom, tap and line dance at many venues including the PEAK Center for over 20 years.

For Kids Families

Awana Club: Calvary Baptist Church in Lansdale holds an Awana Club for boys and girls ages 3 up through the sixth grade each Wednesday night during the school year. Come join hundreds of other children each week as they participate in a small group time, a chapel time and a one-of-a-kind game time. Club runs from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Minimal cost involved. Please contact Pastor John at 215-368-4444 (x110) for more information.

Children of the American Revolution: Girls and Boys from first to 12th grade are invited to join a chapter of the Children of the American Revolution. C.A.R. provides opportunities for a child to develop a love of, and a respect for, our country. The National Society of the Children of the American Revolution, founded in 1895, is the oldest patriotic organization for youths in our county. Membership is open to all children who are descendants of patriots of the American Revolution. Let your child see history come alive through the eyes of their Revolutionary War Ancestor. Monthly meetings and activities are being planned for all ages. For more information please contact Stephanie at SSeely00@comcast.net or Linn at DAR_news@verizon.net.

North Penn YMCA events: The North Penn YMCA, Lansdale Branch, 608 E. Main St., Lansdale, hosts events for children. Information: 215-368-1601. The North Penn YMCA will host a School’s Out Program, where children will be transported to the YMCA from area schools for before and after school care. Children will enjoy activities like swimming, art and music, fitness readiness, computer lab, special gym programs and the “Reading Nook.” Space is limited. For more information, call the number above, ext. 232.

Health

Fitness classes: Lansdale’s Department of Parks and Recreation is partnering with Viva Community Fitness to offer youth and adult fitness classes. Classes scheduled to start in October include Yoga/Pilates and Zumba. Classes will be held in the Parks and Recreation Building, 660 Lansdale Ave., Lansdale. For complete course description, fee, and registration form, visit the department’s web site at www.lansdale.org or call 215-361-8353.

Flu shots: North Penn VNA reminds area residents that it is not too late to get your flu shot. North Penn Visiting Nurse Association still has flu (influenza) shots available. Shots are free for adults who use Medicare B as their primary health insurance. Medicare cards must be presented to receive the vaccine at no cost. All others will be charged $25, payable in cash or by check. A receipt will be provided so you may obtain reimbursement from your insurance company. Please call 215-855-6191 to schedule a time that is convenient for you to receive your flu shot.

Yoga: Experience your True Self through Sahaja Yoga Meditation: Free classes every Saturday 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Lansdale Parks and Recreation Building 660 Lansdale Ave. (at 7th Street), Lansdale, 19946 For more information: 215-361-7137 or info@synorthpenn.org.

Health programs: The PEAK Center, 1292 Allentown Road, Towamencin, offers health-related programs for adults 55 years of age and older: Zumba Gold Mondays from 1:15-2:15 p.m. $4 per session; Strong WoMen (for Women and Men) Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10 a.m. $28/6 weeks; drop-in fee $5/class; Tai Chi Tuesdays from 10:15-11:15 a.m. $4 per session; Fitness Center Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. You must be evaluated by Kim Zimmerman. See Sandi at the Welcome Desk to set up a time; Fit for the Future 1 Tuesdays and Fridays from 9-10 a.m. No charge; Fit for the Future 11 Tuesdays from 12:45-1:45 p.m. and Fridays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. $4 per session; Total Body Toning Wednesdays from 10:15-11:15 a.m. No charge; Zumba Chair Wednesdays from 12:45-1:30 p.m. $4 per session; Yoga Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. $4 per session; and Line Dancing Thursdays from 12:30-1 p.m. (beginners) and 1-2 p.m. (experienced). $4 per session. Information: 215-362-7432. Acupressure and seated head, neck and shoulder massages are offered at The PEAK Center on a monthly basis. The cost for each treatment is $15 for 15 minutes and $25 for 30 minutes. Appointments can be made at The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main Street, Lansdale, 215-362-7432.

Arthritis Support Group: The Arthritis Support Group, sponsored by the NPVNA, meets 10:30-11:30 a.m. on the third Friday of each month at The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main Street, Lansdale. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact The PEAK Center at 215-362-7432.

Nutrition program: Farmers Market Nutrition Program — The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main St., Lansdale, will be a distribution site for Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons. Coupons are available to participants who are residents of Montgomery County, 60+ years of age, whose income does not exceed $20,036 or $26,955 for a couple. Coupons will be distributed 10-11 a.m. on Tuesdays, and 2-3 p.m. on Thursdays. Proof of age is required.

Glucose Clinic: Bayada Nurses sponsors free glucose testing on the fourth Tuesday of each month at The PEAK Center. Fasting is not required, but it is best to limit your breakfast intake. This is a free service offered to the community 9:30-10:30 a.m. For more information, contact The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main Street, Lansdale, telephone, 215-362-7432.TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club Inc., a nonprofit weight loss support organization, has established a new chapter. Weekly meetings will be held at the North Penn and Indian Valley YMCAs Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and at the Lansdale branch Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to attend their first meeting free of charge. Membership is $28 per year plus nominal chapter fees. For more information on TOPS, visit www.tops.org.

Meetings Lectures

IMA meeting: The North Penn Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants will hold a technical meeting Dec. 2 at the William Penn Inn, Route 202 and Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd. Social hour starts at 5:30 p.m., and dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. The business meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. Accountants and other financial professionals are encouraged to attend. The discussion topic this month will be Tricks of the Trade: A Life Coach Shares the Secrets of Coaching. Our speaker will be Lisa Tierney, who is a certified professional coach and an award-winning marketing professional with 18 years of experience in providing effective, strategic marketing advice to CPA professionals. Lisa will reveal the secrets of how coaching works as a catalyst for real change. Our December meeting will be Friends and Family night, so please bring a guest. All are welcome! The cost with reservations is $30 for members, for members without reservations and guests is $32 and for students with reservations is $17. Please make reservations before 11 a.m. Dec. 1 by calling 215-273-4998 or emailing northpennima@yahoo.com. Non-members are welcome. Information about the North Penn Chapter is available at northpenn.imanet.org.

Breakfast News Network: 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. at Normandy Farm Hotel (1401 Morris Road, Blue Bell, PA 19422) $15 members, includes full buffet breakfast. Join us for a networking program at Normandy Farm Hotel every Thursday morning for breakfast, business news, informative speakers and plenty of networking. The cost includes a full breakfast buffet. Copies of the business cards will be made available to those who would like them.

Toastmasters: Do you have a fear of public speaking? Blue Bell Toastmasters Club can help. We meet from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday at the Marriott Courtyard, located on Route 202, directly across from the Montgomeryville Mall. Learn how to improve communication and leadership skills in a friendly and supportive environment. Guests are welcome. Admission fee: $5. For more info, visit www.bbtoast.org.

The LeTip Chapter of Gwynedd: Meets every Tuesday at 7:16 a.m. We meet at the Clubhouse Too Diner at the corner of Sumneytown Pike Church Road in Lansdale. LeTip is a professional business lead exchange network. Please call and join us for a meeting. Call 215-779-0723

LeTip of Lansdale: A professional networking organization with the purpose of exchanging business leads. Attend one of our breakfast meetings to learn how LeTip will benefit your business. LeTip of Lansdale meets every Thursday from 7:01 to 8:31 a.m. at Franconi’s Restaurant, 1200 Welsh Road in North Wales. Please contact Elena Sickles at 610-222-4205 for more information about our chapter.

The Greater North Penn Regional Collaborative Board of Directors: Public meetings held the second Tuesday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the North Penn Visiting Nurse Association, 51 Medical Campus Drive, Lansdale. For more information, call Kathleen Fitzgerald at 215-855-8296.

The Firefighters Auxiliary of the Colmar Volunteer Fire Company: Interested participants can live in any town. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m. at the firehall, 2700 Walnut Street, ColMarch For more information, call Carol at 215-361-9620.

Single Volunteers of Bucks County: Meets every third Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at Andrews Hall (part of Doylestown Presbyterian Church), 125 Mechanic Street. Parking is located on Church Street. On all other Tuesdays, the group meets at the Churchville Nature Center on Churchville Lane. The group is for singles who want to make friends while helping their community through volunteering. For more information or directions, visit www.svbucks.org.

The Lansdale Chapter of the American Association of University Women: Meets the third Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the North Penn High School District Educational Service Center, Church Road and Hancock Street, Lansdale. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, call 215-368-9665 or visit http://aauwlansdale.org.

PRO-ACT: A volunteer-based, grassroots organization that works to reduce the stigma of drug/alcohol addiction and to ensure the availability of treatment options, hosts informational sessions. Information: 215-489-6120 ext. 3 (Maura Farrell).

Seniors

The PEAK Center: 1292 Allentown Road, Suite A, Lansdale, will offer the following programs. For more information, visit www.peakcenter.org or call 215-362-7432.

Four-Hour AARP Driver Refresher Course: AARP will be offering a four-hour driver refresher course Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Created by AARP, this course provides information to help you drive violation and crash free. This is a classroom course, there is no driving or other testing involved. Cost: $15 for AARP members and spouses; $20 for non-AARP members. Pre-registration required at the Welcome Desk.

Make and Take Craft Classes: The PEAK Center will host a make and take craft class Dec. 15 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Class will be conducted by Diane DeRogatis. Cost is $4 per person; register at the Welcome Desk.

Special Events

Breakfast with the Knight: The Knights of Columbus Pius IX Council will be hosting its monthly Breakfast with the Knights Nov. 23 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Knights of Columbus hall, 258 W. Eighth St., Lansdale. All-you-can-eat buffet including made-to-order omelets as well as a selection of hot and cold entrees. Cost: $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children ages 5 to 12. Active duty fire, police, military and children under 5 eat free. Call 215-368-3044 or visit www.koc4396.org for more information.

Holiday events: Lansdale Borough will host the following holiday events: Holiday Tree Lighting at Railroad Plaza at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 — After the tree lighting visit with Santa at the “Santa House” or take in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Lansdale Library. Holidays at the Homestead Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6. Merry TubaChristmas Concert at Railroad Plaza at 1:15 p.m. Dec. 7 — In the event of inclement weather the TubaChristmas Concert will be held at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 500 W. Main St. at 2p.m. Menorah Lighting at Railroad Plaza at 6 p.m. Dec. 16. For more information, call 215-361-8352 or visit www.lansdale.org.

Breakfast with Santa: The Knights of Columbus, Pius IX Council will be host a Breakfast with Santa Dec. 7 at the Knights of Columbus hall, 258 W. Eighth St., Lansdale. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, tater tots, cereal, french toast, donuts, toast, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Every family gets a picture with Santa,and each child receives a gift. Cost: $9 for adults and children. Three seating times: 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Advance reservations must be made by Nov. 28 and can be made by contacting Linda at 215-361-7650 or LansdaleBWS@gmail.com.

Exhibit: Historic Morgan Log House presents a rare exhibit that explores the 19th and 20th century “public schooling” in Towamencin through December. The Morgan Log House is located at 850 Weikel Road, Kulpsville. The exhibit will feature never before seen archival images, documents, and objects telling the unique story of the one-room schoolhouse. The site is open for walk-in tours general tours Wednesdays through Sundays through December. Admission is charged. For more information, visit www.MorganLogHouse.org or call 215-368-2480.

Support

Weight loss group: TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) has started a new chapter at Sanctuary United Methodist Church, 1346 E. Prospect Ave., North Wales. We meet on Monday evenings with private weigh in’s starting at 6:30 followed by a meeting at 7 p.m. We are a growing chapter and welcome new members. You are welcome to come and sit in on a meeting for free to see if we could be the support group that you are looking for. If you decide to join, annual fees are only $28 and include the TOPS magazine mailed to your home bimonthly. Monthly dues are $4 and most often you are able to earn that back thru our weekly weight loss based contests.

Common Bond: A support, fellowship group for widowed, divorced men and women over age 50 holds monthly discussion the first Sunday of the month in the library of St. John’s Lutheran Church, 505 N. York Road, Hatboro. Orientation for new members is at 2 p.m. Discussion from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. New members welcome. Reservations are necessary. For more information, call 215-675-3947 or 215-918-3376.

Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families Support Group: Meets Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Messiah, Route 202, Gwynedd. For more information, call Erin at 610-631-1014.Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter sponsors monthly family caregiver support group meetings at two locations. Pre-registration is not required. Information: 1-800-272-3900.

Dock Woods Community: Meets at 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, third Thursday of the month, 3 to 5 p.m.

North Penn Visiting Nurse Association: Meets at 51 Medical Campus Drive, Board Room, Lansdale, first Thursday of the month, 7 to 9 p.m.

Caregiver support group: A new family caregiver support group will be offered the fourth Tuesday of the month at 2:30 p.m. at Clare Bridge of Montgomery, 1089 Horsham Road. Bereavement Counseling: Professional counseling for individuals, couples, children and families dealing with loss and bereavement. Contact Emily, Vincent, Clinical Director at 610-222-4110, ext. 103.

Griefshare: Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, 75 W. Broad St., Hatfield, will present Griefshare, a free special weekly seminar and support group for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them. If you have lost a spouse, child, family member or friend, you have probably found that there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This group is sponsored by people who understand what you are experiencing and want to offer you comfort and encouragement during this difficult time. GriefShare is a nondenominational group and features biblical teaching on grief and recovery topics.

Elkins Park Area CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder): Meets the first Tuesday of every month, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Einstein at Elkins Park Hospital in Elkins Park. For information on CHADD or ADHD, please see our website www.chadd.net/249 or call Claire Noyes at: 215-779-6656.

Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley: The organization’s mission is to provide a meeting place where people with cancer and their families and friends can join others to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Free of charge and nonprofit, Gilda’s Club offers support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events in a comfortable, home-like setting. Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley is located in Warminster at 200 Kirk Road. Their phone number is 215-441-3290 or visit on the internet at www.gildasclubdelval.org.

Infertility counseling: Home Town Counseling is now offering group therapy for couples and individuals affected by infertility. The group will meet two Wednesdays a month from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in Hatfield. For more information or directions, call 215-631-7166.

Support group: The Independent Adults with Neuro-Muscular Diseases (IAND) support group assists those with Parkinson’s disease, MS and all neuro-muscular disorders. It is a joint effort between North Penn VNA and Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) Broomal office. The group meets on the first Wednesday of every month at North Penn Visiting Nurse Association at 51 Medical Campus Drive in Lansdale at 7 p.m. For more information, please contact North Penn VNA at 215-855-7343.

NAMI support groups: NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) holds monthly support groups for family members and caregivers of persons with mental illness (i.e. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD etc.) on the first Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Main St. and Richardson Ave., Lansdale. For more information call 215-886-0350.

Nar-Anon: Meets at 7:30 every Tuesday for support for families and friends of addicts at First Baptist Church, 700 N. Broad St., Lansdale.

New Beginnings: a non-denominational social group open to all widowed persons, holds meetings in the Parish Center of St. Stanislaus Church, 493 E. Main St., Lansdale. For more information, call Phyllis at 215-361-2951 or Marlene at 610-272-7324.

Support group: North Penn Visiting Nurse Association will host the Friends in Grief Support Group Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. The meetings will be held at 51 Medical Campus Drive, Lansdale. Registration is required. Call 215-855-8297 ext. 133. The program is free and offered by Hospice of North Penn VNA.

Chronic pain encouragement group: Peace Valley Church of Chalfont sponsors a Chronic Pain Encouragement Group, which meets monthly at Manna on Main Street in Lansdale. Information/Registration: 215-230-7300.

Parents of children on autism spectrum group: Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum are invited to join a support group on the second Friday of each month, 7 p.m. at Plains Mennonite Church, 50 W. Orvilla Road, Hatfield. The group gathers to give and receive emotional and practical support as well as to exchange information, share stories and be more effectively equipped with skills and insights to parent children on the Autism Spectrum. Catherine Schadler, M.Ed., shares her knowledge and expertise around topics chosen by the group. Pastor Dawn Ranck gives overall leadership, coordinating the group and facilitating the conversation. More information at www.plainsmennonitechurch.org or by calling 215-362-7640.

Addiction education program: Each month PRO-ACT (Pennsylvania Recovery Organization–Achieving Community Together) hosts a Family Addiction Education Program to help individuals and family recognize and address an addiction problem in a spouse, parent, child or other loved one. Led by trained volunteers who have been in the same situation, these information and support programs begin the first week of each month and meet once a week for three consecutive weeks. Sessions meet on the first three Thursdays of the month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at North Penn Community Health Foundation in Colmar. Sessions are free and confidential — first names only. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 800-221-6333 weekdays 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. or visit www.proact.org and click the Family Education Program link.

Self-help group: PUPS (People Understanding Parkinson’s) A self-help group for those adjusting to a new diagnosis or dealing with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Meets fourth Tuesday of the month from 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Abington Health Center, Schilling Campus, Willowwood Building, 2510 Maryland Road, Suite 251, Willow Grove. For more information or to RSVP, contact Lorna at 215-542-2931.

Mental health support group: St. John’s United Church of Christ, Main Street and Richardson Avenue, Lansdale, will host a mental health support group for family members and/or caregivers of mental ill persons the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call the Montgomery County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 215-886-0350 or email montconami@aol.com.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Souderton’s Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Step Study holds open meetings on Thursdays at the Souderton Mennonite Church, 105 W. Chestnut St., at 7:30 p.m.

Support group:The North Penn Chapter of “To Live Again,” a non-denominational support group for widowed persons, holds meetings. For more information, call Lois at 215-412-5547.

Support groups: The Wellness Place, 1000 W. Main St., Lansdale, hosts support groups. Information: 215-393-9105. A stress management program will be held Mondays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Beginners T’ai chi will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Intermediate T’ai chi will be held from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays. A bereavement group, open to anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer, will be held Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. A newcomers’ orientation for people affected by cancer will be held Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. A support group for people with cancer will be held Thursday from 10:15 a.m. to noon and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Yoga will be held Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m. Pot luck lunch will be held Fridays from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • See Full Story

Lansdale Public Library

What’s happening at the Lansdale Public Library: 301 Vine St., Lansdale. Information: 215-855-3228; inforequests@lansdalelibrary.org; or visit www.lansdalelibrary.org. The library is open: Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cribbage: Mondays at 1 p.m.

Mexican Train Dominoes: Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

Knitting/Crocheting Group: Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. Beginners, novices, whoever — if you’re looking for a nice way to relax and socialize, our knitting club is for you. Bring a current project, or a skein of yarn and needles to start.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Group: Wednesdays at 1 p.m. This mutual-aid group helps people make changes to their wellness plans.

Stitch and Chat: Fridays at 1 p.m.

Miss Lisa’s Toddler Tales: Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. A storytime tailored to toddlers!

Miss Lisa’s Family Storytime: Thursdays and Fridays at 11:30 a.m. For children ages 3 to 5. Parents and siblings are welcome.

Miss Lisa’s Tiny Tots Storytime: Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Miss Lisa will present her storytime for infants and caregivers.

Classic Movie Discussion: Second Fridays at 6 p.m.

Donate: Cleaning Out? Support the Library with Your Donations. We always welcome your books (hardbacks and paperbacks), DVDs and CDs. Drop them off at the table at the bottom of the steps any time! Please keep the library in mind for costume jewelry donations, too. Our first annual Costume Jewelry Sale during the Clean ‘n Green Day in July went so well, we’re going to make it an annual event. Drop off jewelry you no longer want at the front desk any time!

North Wales Area Library

What’s happening at the North Wales Area Library: 233 S. Swartley St., North Wales. 215-699-5410; www.northwaleslibrary.org. The library is open Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kick-Off Baby’s First Book 2014: A gift of literacy from the Friends of the NW Area Library, the PA One Book Every Young Child 2014 selection, “Stripes of All Types “by Susan Stockdale, is presented to each baby born to a Library patron. Please stop by or call the Library with the name and birth date of any new baby.

Story Hour: All ages welcome every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. and Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Petie The Dog: Come read to Petie any Thursday morning beginning at 10 a.m.

Teen Club: Every Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. For ages 12 and older. Enjoy a good book, movie or game with friends. Ask at the circulation desk about checking out one of our eReaders loaded with all of our previous book choices. Check out our Facebook page by searching North Wales Teen Book Club and “Like” us to receive updates and reminders.

Blood pressure screening: Third Thursday afternoon of each month, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Abington Health will offer free blood pressure screening. No appointment or fee.

eReader instruction: Get a new eReader/Smartphone? Library eBooks audiobooks for these devices are available for free through the library! Books are compatible with Nooks, Kindles, tablets, iPods, iPhones androids. Ask for an instruction sheet for your device, all you need is a current library card. Call for an appointment for extra help.

Tai Chi for Arthritis classes: This is a safe, easy-to-learn exercise class that increases vitality, mental clarity and calms the spirit. No experience or special equipment needed; wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Taught by a certified instructor. Tai Chi is a positive and fun experience for everyone — not just those with arthritis. Classes are Thursdays at 10 and 11:15 a.m. for newcomers and 5:45 p.m. The cost is $5 per session. Sign up now.

RSVP APPRISE: Second Tuesday of each month from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Medicare Counselors are trained by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program. All counseling is free confidential. Meetings can be individual or in groups. Theresa Lacianca will be counseling at NWAL. Call 610-834-1040 ext. 46 with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Computer tutoring: Would you like one-on-one help to better understand Windows, how to best manage your files, help with Microsoft Word or Excel, email, browsing the web, security questions or anything else specific on your PC? Get assistance by having someone sit with you and help you understand using your PC. Sign up now for one-on-one computer tutoring Indicate a few preferred dates and times plus the topics you would like help with. The fee is $10/hour, which will support the “Keep Us Alive, Help Us Thrive” Campaign.

Movie viewings: Every Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 1 p.m.

Downtown Abbey Season 4: Each Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Adults Discuss Books: One Tuesday evening each month from 7 to 9 p.m. Books are available $10/each.

Euchre: First Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. Play this partnership game using standard playing cards. Don’t know how to play, the group will help you learn.

Mahjong Group: Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. in the main library.

Mexican Train Dominoes: Every Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Knitting Club: Every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the fireplace area.

Adopt-A-Brick: For $100, an engraved brick will be installed at the Veterans Memorial Flag Pole. Order forms available at the library.

Byers Choice: StoryTeller is available for sale at the library. $70/each plus $10 if shipping is needed.

Donate your car to the North Wales Area Library: The library will benefit from the proceeds of the sale or salvage of your vehicle and your donation is tax deductible. Contact Point Service Center and tell them you want to donate your vehicle to the NWAL. Arrangements will be made to tow your vehicle, if necessary, at no cost to you. Call Point Service Center at 215-699-TIRE (8473) or email pointservicectr@gmail.com.

Redner’s Save-A-Tape Program: Pick up a free customer card at Redner’s and join the Save-a-Tape Program. After your card is registered, drop your register receipts at the library circulation desk. We’ll take care of the rest. This program provides a cash rebate to the library based on sales. Your “Save-a-Tape” card must be presented when checking out at Redner’s.

Superfresh My Rewards helps the library: When you present your registered card each time you make a purchase at any Superfresh Store, 1 percent of your monthly purchases will automatically be contributed to North Wales Area Library. To register to support North Wales Area Library, our Group ID number is 149391205. Pick up your card at the store and register to support us with a form available at the Library.

AmazonSmile: Shop and designate NWAL as your nonprofit of choice and the library will receive a donation each time you shop! There is no additional cost to you. Be sure to go to the AmazonSmile website!

Art Music

Craft night: A Monthly Craft Night is held the first Thursday of the month from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville. This event is free and no registration is required. Bring your project and a snack to share. In the event of inclement weather, call 215-256-3020 or visit www.mhep.org.

Church Events

Thrift shop: The Thrift Shop at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 211 S. Main St., North Wales, is open for business. Store hours are Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The shop is located at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 211 S. Main St., North Wales. Donations of small household items, books, linens and women’s and children’s clothing are accepted during store hours. All proceeds are donated to local charities.

Community

Toys for Tots: For the 15th year, the North Penn Water Authority, 300 Forty Foot Road in Towamencin, is proud to be a dropoff site for The Toys for Tots Program sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps. Please drop off in our front lobby area at NPWA your new, unwrapped items for a child up to 18 years of age, such as toys, books, art supplies, music CDs or gift certificates during working hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Dec. 15. Any questions please contact, Marianne Morgan, community relations coordinator, at 215-855-3617 ext. 130.

Restaurant open: The Restaurant and Bakery at North Montco Technical Career Center will be open to the public every Wednesday and Thursday during the school year. The restaurant will be open for breakfast from 8:45 to 10 a.m. and for lunch from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call 215-368-1177 ext. 193. Visit www.nmtcc.org for the weekly restaurant menu and bakery specials.

Chorus seeks members: The North Pennsmen Barbershop Chorus is seeking new members. The membership includes men of all ages and walks of life, from high school age, to young adults, adults, to seniors. Contests and conventions are held in the spring and fall and attract between 600 and 2,000 singers at each event. The North Pennsmen also perform at many local community fairs, senior communities, sports events and churches. The North Pennsmen rehearse every Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Central Schwenkfelder Church, 211 Valley Forge Road, Worcester. For more information, please visit their site at www.northpennsmen.org or call them at 215-393-1940.

Bingo: The Knights of Columbus, Pius IX Council host 25 games of Bingo on the first and second Friday nights of each month. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the first game starting at 6:45 p.m. Game cards start at $9 per book for play all night. Las Vegas tickets, 50/50 and additional Jackpot Bingo games throughout the evening. Kitchen open with food for purchase. Knights of Columbus hall is located at 258 West 8th Street in Lansdale, on the corner of Eighth Street and Kenilworth Ave. Call 215-368-3044 or info@kofC4396.org for more information.

Donations sought: Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 533 Foundry Road, West Norriton, is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., selling furniture, lamps, lighting fixtures, paint, tile, flooring and much more. Donations are accepted at the ReStore until 15 minutes before closing. To schedule a pick-up for donated items, call 610-631-3149. Restore volunteers are also needed and training/orientation is provided.

Heartland Hospice: Heartland Hospice is looking for caring and dedicated people with an interest in serving terminally ill patients and their families in the greater Philadelphia area. Volunteer classes are available to fit each person’s schedule. Please call 610-941-6700 for more information.

Stiches of Love: Are you vision impaired or blind and would like to try your hand at knitting, crocheting, weaving, or other crafts? Come join us in our “Stitches of Love” program on the first and third Thursday of each month, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sessions are held at the Montgomery County Association for the Blind (MCAB), 212 N. Main St., third floor, North Wales. Volunteers are also welcome. For more information you may contact MCAB at 215-661-9800.

Volunteers sought: Holy Redeemer HomeCare and Hospice seeks compassionate and emotionally mature volunteers to provide support to local hospice patients and their families in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Volunteers may also assist with pet therapy and administrative work within the hospice department and are requested to have daytime availability. Hospice patient care volunteers visit with patients in their homes or nursing facilities once a week for two to three hours. They provide emotional support and companionship to patients and family members, assist with errands or provide respite for caregivers. Bereavement volunteers support the families of hospice patients following the loss of a loved one, while administrative volunteers assist with typing, mailings and/or filing. Hospice care workers provide a great service to families and loved ones of hospice patients. Many volunteers also report a great deal of personal satisfaction as a result of their services. Patient care and bereavement volunteers complete an application and attend an 18-hour volunteer training program that covers the medical, psychological and spiritual aspects of hospice volunteering. Day and evening training programs are offered. To sign up for volunteer opportunities in Pennsylvania, contact Holy Redeemer Volunteer Coordinator Jean Francis at 215-698-3737 or email jfrancis@holyredeemer.com.

Meals on Wheels: The North Penn Visiting Nurse Association’s Meals on Wheels program is looking for volunteers to pack or deliver meals to the elderly and infirmed. Meals are packed and delivered mornings, Monday through Friday. You can volunteer for as many days per week or month as you would like. Packaging meals requires approximately 2-1/2 hours of your time each day and involves making sandwiches, packaging food into individual serving containers and packing coolers with the meals. Delivering meals requires approximately 90 minutes of your time each day and involves loading coolers into your car and delivering a route of approximately 10 to 15 stops. The Meals on Wheels program is also in need of emergency, winter-weather volunteers to pack and deliver meals in bad weather. North Penn VNA is located at 51 Medical Campus Drive in Lansdale and delivers meals in the Lansdale, North Wales and Blue Bell areas. For more information or to volunteer, please call Bridget, North Penn VNA Meals on Wheels coordinator, at 215-855-6016.

Upper Gwynedd Fire Department programs: Upper Gwynedd Fire Department Cellphone Recycling Program — We are now accepting used cell phones. Please drop off your used cell phone at UG Fire house – 660 Garfield Ave, West Point, Tuesday night between 6 and 7 p.m. or during Hoagie sale – 2nd Saturday of every month. The Upper Gwynedd Fire Department is looking for volunteers — While it may surprise you to learn that fire protection is provided in Upper Gwynedd by 50 volunteers who receive no compensation at all, this is the norm, not the exception. Approximately 97 percent of the fire companies in the Commonwealth are volunteer. We are looking for firefighters, quick response medical personnel, junior firefighers, special fire police, and active members that can help at fundraisers and take care of administrative duties. To volunteer visit our website at www.ugfd.org or stop by any Tuesday night. The Upper Gwynedd Fire Department is always looking for cars to be donated to the fire department. If you have an old car that you are looking to sell or dispose of, why not donate it to the fire department? Your tax-deductible donation goes a long way and helps the first responders get valuable training. These vehicles are needed to keep up our training and skills in automobile extrication. You can even watch as the members turn your old car into scrap, all in the name of good training. All we need from you is your vehicle and title, and we take care of the rest. If your vehicle is older than 10 years, a title is not needed. A donation receipt will be provided to you. Call 267-228-5949 for more information.

Drama Dance

Line dancing: North Penn Lodge No. 1979 will host country line dancing on Tuesdays and swing dancing on Wednesdays at the North Penn ELKS, 2737 Trewingtown Rd., ColMarch Beginners’ lessons start at 7 p.m. The cost is $8. For more information call Dave at 215-997-7688.

Dance classes: Dance classes at the PEAK Center, 1292 Allentown Road, Towamencin: Ballroom dance classes: Learn the basics of the fox trot, cha cha, jitterbug and waltz. Beginners ballroom: Thursdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Intermediate ballroom: Thursdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Beginners line dancing: Thursdays, 12:30-1 p.m. Line dancing: Thursdays, 1 p.m. Tap dancing: Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. Cost is $24 for six-week sessions. Call 215-362-7432 for information and registration. Instructor John Long has been teaching ballroom, tap and line dance at many venues including the PEAK Center for over 20 years.

For Kids Families

Awana Club: Calvary Baptist Church in Lansdale holds an Awana Club for boys and girls ages 3 up through the sixth grade each Wednesday night during the school year. Come join hundreds of other children each week as they participate in a small group time, a chapel time and a one-of-a-kind game time. Club runs from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Minimal cost involved. Please contact Pastor John at 215-368-4444 (x110) for more information.

Children of the American Revolution: Girls and Boys from first to 12th grade are invited to join a chapter of the Children of the American Revolution. C.A.R. provides opportunities for a child to develop a love of, and a respect for, our country. The National Society of the Children of the American Revolution, founded in 1895, is the oldest patriotic organization for youths in our county. Membership is open to all children who are descendants of patriots of the American Revolution. Let your child see history come alive through the eyes of their Revolutionary War Ancestor. Monthly meetings and activities are being planned for all ages. For more information please contact Stephanie at SSeely00@comcast.net or Linn at DAR_news@verizon.net.

North Penn YMCA events: The North Penn YMCA, Lansdale Branch, 608 E. Main St., Lansdale, hosts events for children. Information: 215-368-1601. The North Penn YMCA will host a School’s Out Program, where children will be transported to the YMCA from area schools for before and after school care. Children will enjoy activities like swimming, art and music, fitness readiness, computer lab, special gym programs and the “Reading Nook.” Space is limited. For more information, call the number above, ext. 232.

Health

Fitness classes: Lansdale’s Department of Parks and Recreation is partnering with Viva Community Fitness to offer youth and adult fitness classes. Classes scheduled to start in October include Yoga/Pilates and Zumba. Classes will be held in the Parks and Recreation Building, 660 Lansdale Ave., Lansdale. For complete course description, fee, and registration form, visit the department’s web site at www.lansdale.org or call 215-361-8353.

Flu shots: North Penn VNA reminds area residents that it is not too late to get your flu shot. North Penn Visiting Nurse Association still has flu (influenza) shots available. Shots are free for adults who use Medicare B as their primary health insurance. Medicare cards must be presented to receive the vaccine at no cost. All others will be charged $25, payable in cash or by check. A receipt will be provided so you may obtain reimbursement from your insurance company. Please call 215-855-6191 to schedule a time that is convenient for you to receive your flu shot.

Yoga: Experience your True Self through Sahaja Yoga Meditation: Free classes every Saturday 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Lansdale Parks and Recreation Building 660 Lansdale Ave. (at 7th Street), Lansdale, 19946 For more information: 215-361-7137 or info@synorthpenn.org.

Health programs: The PEAK Center, 1292 Allentown Road, Towamencin, offers health-related programs for adults 55 years of age and older: Zumba Gold Mondays from 1:15-2:15 p.m. $4 per session; Strong WoMen (for Women and Men) Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10 a.m. $28/6 weeks; drop-in fee $5/class; Tai Chi Tuesdays from 10:15-11:15 a.m. $4 per session; Fitness Center Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. You must be evaluated by Kim Zimmerman. See Sandi at the Welcome Desk to set up a time; Fit for the Future 1 Tuesdays and Fridays from 9-10 a.m. No charge; Fit for the Future 11 Tuesdays from 12:45-1:45 p.m. and Fridays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. $4 per session; Total Body Toning Wednesdays from 10:15-11:15 a.m. No charge; Zumba Chair Wednesdays from 12:45-1:30 p.m. $4 per session; Yoga Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. $4 per session; and Line Dancing Thursdays from 12:30-1 p.m. (beginners) and 1-2 p.m. (experienced). $4 per session. Information: 215-362-7432. Acupressure and seated head, neck and shoulder massages are offered at The PEAK Center on a monthly basis. The cost for each treatment is $15 for 15 minutes and $25 for 30 minutes. Appointments can be made at The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main Street, Lansdale, 215-362-7432.

Arthritis Support Group: The Arthritis Support Group, sponsored by the NPVNA, meets 10:30-11:30 a.m. on the third Friday of each month at The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main Street, Lansdale. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact The PEAK Center at 215-362-7432.

Nutrition program: Farmers Market Nutrition Program — The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main St., Lansdale, will be a distribution site for Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons. Coupons are available to participants who are residents of Montgomery County, 60+ years of age, whose income does not exceed $20,036 or $26,955 for a couple. Coupons will be distributed 10-11 a.m. on Tuesdays, and 2-3 p.m. on Thursdays. Proof of age is required.

Glucose Clinic: Bayada Nurses sponsors free glucose testing on the fourth Tuesday of each month at The PEAK Center. Fasting is not required, but it is best to limit your breakfast intake. This is a free service offered to the community 9:30-10:30 a.m. For more information, contact The PEAK Center, 315 W. Main Street, Lansdale, telephone, 215-362-7432.TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club Inc., a nonprofit weight loss support organization, has established a new chapter. Weekly meetings will be held at the North Penn and Indian Valley YMCAs Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and at the Lansdale branch Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Visitors are welcome to attend their first meeting free of charge. Membership is $28 per year plus nominal chapter fees. For more information on TOPS, visit www.tops.org.

Meetings Lectures

IMA meeting: The North Penn Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants will hold a technical meeting Dec. 2 at the William Penn Inn, Route 202 and Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd. Social hour starts at 5:30 p.m., and dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. The business meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. Accountants and other financial professionals are encouraged to attend. The discussion topic this month will be Tricks of the Trade: A Life Coach Shares the Secrets of Coaching. Our speaker will be Lisa Tierney, who is a certified professional coach and an award-winning marketing professional with 18 years of experience in providing effective, strategic marketing advice to CPA professionals. Lisa will reveal the secrets of how coaching works as a catalyst for real change. Our December meeting will be Friends and Family night, so please bring a guest. All are welcome! The cost with reservations is $30 for members, for members without reservations and guests is $32 and for students with reservations is $17. Please make reservations before 11 a.m. Dec. 1 by calling 215-273-4998 or emailing northpennima@yahoo.com. Non-members are welcome. Information about the North Penn Chapter is available at northpenn.imanet.org.

Breakfast News Network: 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. at Normandy Farm Hotel (1401 Morris Road, Blue Bell, PA 19422) $15 members, includes full buffet breakfast. Join us for a networking program at Normandy Farm Hotel every Thursday morning for breakfast, business news, informative speakers and plenty of networking. The cost includes a full breakfast buffet. Copies of the business cards will be made available to those who would like them.

Toastmasters: Do you have a fear of public speaking? Blue Bell Toastmasters Club can help. We meet from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday at the Marriott Courtyard, located on Route 202, directly across from the Montgomeryville Mall. Learn how to improve communication and leadership skills in a friendly and supportive environment. Guests are welcome. Admission fee: $5. For more info, visit www.bbtoast.org.

The LeTip Chapter of Gwynedd: Meets every Tuesday at 7:16 a.m. We meet at the Clubhouse Too Diner at the corner of Sumneytown Pike Church Road in Lansdale. LeTip is a professional business lead exchange network. Please call and join us for a meeting. Call 215-779-0723

LeTip of Lansdale: A professional networking organization with the purpose of exchanging business leads. Attend one of our breakfast meetings to learn how LeTip will benefit your business. LeTip of Lansdale meets every Thursday from 7:01 to 8:31 a.m. at Franconi’s Restaurant, 1200 Welsh Road in North Wales. Please contact Elena Sickles at 610-222-4205 for more information about our chapter.

The Greater North Penn Regional Collaborative Board of Directors: Public meetings held the second Tuesday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the North Penn Visiting Nurse Association, 51 Medical Campus Drive, Lansdale. For more information, call Kathleen Fitzgerald at 215-855-8296.

The Firefighters Auxiliary of the Colmar Volunteer Fire Company: Interested participants can live in any town. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m. at the firehall, 2700 Walnut Street, ColMarch For more information, call Carol at 215-361-9620.

Single Volunteers of Bucks County: Meets every third Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at Andrews Hall (part of Doylestown Presbyterian Church), 125 Mechanic Street. Parking is located on Church Street. On all other Tuesdays, the group meets at the Churchville Nature Center on Churchville Lane. The group is for singles who want to make friends while helping their community through volunteering. For more information or directions, visit www.svbucks.org.

The Lansdale Chapter of the American Association of University Women: Meets the third Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the North Penn High School District Educational Service Center, Church Road and Hancock Street, Lansdale. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, call 215-368-9665 or visit http://aauwlansdale.org.

PRO-ACT: A volunteer-based, grassroots organization that works to reduce the stigma of drug/alcohol addiction and to ensure the availability of treatment options, hosts informational sessions. Information: 215-489-6120 ext. 3 (Maura Farrell).

Seniors

The PEAK Center: 1292 Allentown Road, Suite A, Lansdale, will offer the following programs. For more information, visit www.peakcenter.org or call 215-362-7432.

Four-Hour AARP Driver Refresher Course: AARP will be offering a four-hour driver refresher course Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Created by AARP, this course provides information to help you drive violation and crash free. This is a classroom course, there is no driving or other testing involved. Cost: $15 for AARP members and spouses; $20 for non-AARP members. Pre-registration required at the Welcome Desk.

Make and Take Craft Classes: The PEAK Center will host a make and take craft class Dec. 15 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Class will be conducted by Diane DeRogatis. Cost is $4 per person; register at the Welcome Desk.

Special Events

Breakfast with the Knight: The Knights of Columbus Pius IX Council will be hosting its monthly Breakfast with the Knights Nov. 23 from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Knights of Columbus hall, 258 W. Eighth St., Lansdale. All-you-can-eat buffet including made-to-order omelets as well as a selection of hot and cold entrees. Cost: $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children ages 5 to 12. Active duty fire, police, military and children under 5 eat free. Call 215-368-3044 or visit www.koc4396.org for more information.

Holiday events: Lansdale Borough will host the following holiday events: Holiday Tree Lighting at Railroad Plaza at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 — After the tree lighting visit with Santa at the “Santa House” or take in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Lansdale Library. Holidays at the Homestead Open House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6. Merry TubaChristmas Concert at Railroad Plaza at 1:15 p.m. Dec. 7 — In the event of inclement weather the TubaChristmas Concert will be held at St. John’s United Church of Christ, 500 W. Main St. at 2p.m. Menorah Lighting at Railroad Plaza at 6 p.m. Dec. 16. For more information, call 215-361-8352 or visit www.lansdale.org.

Breakfast with Santa: The Knights of Columbus, Pius IX Council will be host a Breakfast with Santa Dec. 7 at the Knights of Columbus hall, 258 W. Eighth St., Lansdale. Breakfast includes scrambled eggs, sausage, tater tots, cereal, french toast, donuts, toast, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Every family gets a picture with Santa,and each child receives a gift. Cost: $9 for adults and children. Three seating times: 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Advance reservations must be made by Nov. 28 and can be made by contacting Linda at 215-361-7650 or LansdaleBWS@gmail.com.

Exhibit: Historic Morgan Log House presents a rare exhibit that explores the 19th and 20th century “public schooling” in Towamencin through December. The Morgan Log House is located at 850 Weikel Road, Kulpsville. The exhibit will feature never before seen archival images, documents, and objects telling the unique story of the one-room schoolhouse. The site is open for walk-in tours general tours Wednesdays through Sundays through December. Admission is charged. For more information, visit www.MorganLogHouse.org or call 215-368-2480.

Support

Weight loss group: TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) has started a new chapter at Sanctuary United Methodist Church, 1346 E. Prospect Ave., North Wales. We meet on Monday evenings with private weigh in’s starting at 6:30 followed by a meeting at 7 p.m. We are a growing chapter and welcome new members. You are welcome to come and sit in on a meeting for free to see if we could be the support group that you are looking for. If you decide to join, annual fees are only $28 and include the TOPS magazine mailed to your home bimonthly. Monthly dues are $4 and most often you are able to earn that back thru our weekly weight loss based contests.

Common Bond: A support, fellowship group for widowed, divorced men and women over age 50 holds monthly discussion the first Sunday of the month in the library of St. John’s Lutheran Church, 505 N. York Road, Hatboro. Orientation for new members is at 2 p.m. Discussion from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. New members welcome. Reservations are necessary. For more information, call 215-675-3947 or 215-918-3376.

Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families Support Group: Meets Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Messiah, Route 202, Gwynedd. For more information, call Erin at 610-631-1014.Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter sponsors monthly family caregiver support group meetings at two locations. Pre-registration is not required. Information: 1-800-272-3900.

Dock Woods Community: Meets at 275 Dock Drive, Lansdale, third Thursday of the month, 3 to 5 p.m.

North Penn Visiting Nurse Association: Meets at 51 Medical Campus Drive, Board Room, Lansdale, first Thursday of the month, 7 to 9 p.m.

Caregiver support group: A new family caregiver support group will be offered the fourth Tuesday of the month at 2:30 p.m. at Clare Bridge of Montgomery, 1089 Horsham Road. Bereavement Counseling: Professional counseling for individuals, couples, children and families dealing with loss and bereavement. Contact Emily, Vincent, Clinical Director at 610-222-4110, ext. 103.

Griefshare: Bethany Bible Fellowship Church, 75 W. Broad St., Hatfield, will present Griefshare, a free special weekly seminar and support group for people who are grieving the death of someone close to them. If you have lost a spouse, child, family member or friend, you have probably found that there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This group is sponsored by people who understand what you are experiencing and want to offer you comfort and encouragement during this difficult time. GriefShare is a nondenominational group and features biblical teaching on grief and recovery topics.

Elkins Park Area CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder): Meets the first Tuesday of every month, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Einstein at Elkins Park Hospital in Elkins Park. For information on CHADD or ADHD, please see our website www.chadd.net/249 or call Claire Noyes at: 215-779-6656.

Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley: The organization’s mission is to provide a meeting place where people with cancer and their families and friends can join others to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care. Free of charge and nonprofit, Gilda’s Club offers support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events in a comfortable, home-like setting. Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley is located in Warminster at 200 Kirk Road. Their phone number is 215-441-3290 or visit on the internet at www.gildasclubdelval.org.

Infertility counseling: Home Town Counseling is now offering group therapy for couples and individuals affected by infertility. The group will meet two Wednesdays a month from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in Hatfield. For more information or directions, call 215-631-7166.

Support group: The Independent Adults with Neuro-Muscular Diseases (IAND) support group assists those with Parkinson’s disease, MS and all neuro-muscular disorders. It is a joint effort between North Penn VNA and Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) Broomal office. The group meets on the first Wednesday of every month at North Penn Visiting Nurse Association at 51 Medical Campus Drive in Lansdale at 7 p.m. For more information, please contact North Penn VNA at 215-855-7343.

NAMI support groups: NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) holds monthly support groups for family members and caregivers of persons with mental illness (i.e. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD etc.) on the first Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Main St. and Richardson Ave., Lansdale. For more information call 215-886-0350.

Nar-Anon: Meets at 7:30 every Tuesday for support for families and friends of addicts at First Baptist Church, 700 N. Broad St., Lansdale.

New Beginnings: a non-denominational social group open to all widowed persons, holds meetings in the Parish Center of St. Stanislaus Church, 493 E. Main St., Lansdale. For more information, call Phyllis at 215-361-2951 or Marlene at 610-272-7324.

Support group: North Penn Visiting Nurse Association will host the Friends in Grief Support Group Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. The meetings will be held at 51 Medical Campus Drive, Lansdale. Registration is required. Call 215-855-8297 ext. 133. The program is free and offered by Hospice of North Penn VNA.

Chronic pain encouragement group: Peace Valley Church of Chalfont sponsors a Chronic Pain Encouragement Group, which meets monthly at Manna on Main Street in Lansdale. Information/Registration: 215-230-7300.

Parents of children on autism spectrum group: Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum are invited to join a support group on the second Friday of each month, 7 p.m. at Plains Mennonite Church, 50 W. Orvilla Road, Hatfield. The group gathers to give and receive emotional and practical support as well as to exchange information, share stories and be more effectively equipped with skills and insights to parent children on the Autism Spectrum. Catherine Schadler, M.Ed., shares her knowledge and expertise around topics chosen by the group. Pastor Dawn Ranck gives overall leadership, coordinating the group and facilitating the conversation. More information at www.plainsmennonitechurch.org or by calling 215-362-7640.

Addiction education program: Each month PRO-ACT (Pennsylvania Recovery Organization–Achieving Community Together) hosts a Family Addiction Education Program to help individuals and family recognize and address an addiction problem in a spouse, parent, child or other loved one. Led by trained volunteers who have been in the same situation, these information and support programs begin the first week of each month and meet once a week for three consecutive weeks. Sessions meet on the first three Thursdays of the month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at North Penn Community Health Foundation in Colmar. Sessions are free and confidential — first names only. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 800-221-6333 weekdays 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. or visit www.proact.org and click the Family Education Program link.

Self-help group: PUPS (People Understanding Parkinson’s) A self-help group for those adjusting to a new diagnosis or dealing with the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Meets fourth Tuesday of the month from 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Abington Health Center, Schilling Campus, Willowwood Building, 2510 Maryland Road, Suite 251, Willow Grove. For more information or to RSVP, contact Lorna at 215-542-2931.

Mental health support group: St. John’s United Church of Christ, Main Street and Richardson Avenue, Lansdale, will host a mental health support group for family members and/or caregivers of mental ill persons the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call the Montgomery County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 215-886-0350 or email montconami@aol.com.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Souderton’s Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Step Study holds open meetings on Thursdays at the Souderton Mennonite Church, 105 W. Chestnut St., at 7:30 p.m.

Support group:The North Penn Chapter of “To Live Again,” a non-denominational support group for widowed persons, holds meetings. For more information, call Lois at 215-412-5547.

Support groups: The Wellness Place, 1000 W. Main St., Lansdale, hosts support groups. Information: 215-393-9105. A stress management program will be held Mondays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Beginners T’ai chi will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Intermediate T’ai chi will be held from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays. A bereavement group, open to anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer, will be held Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. A newcomers’ orientation for people affected by cancer will be held Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. A support group for people with cancer will be held Thursday from 10:15 a.m. to noon and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Yoga will be held Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m. Pot luck lunch will be held Fridays from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

  • Return to Paging Mode









Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
comments powered by Disqus

Article source: http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2014/11/23/north_penn_life/communities/doc546a673a70e5b127105540.txt

India About to Announce New Gold-Import Restrictions

November 23, 2014 Posted by admin

NEW DELHI—India’s government is about to announce new measures to slow the import of gold, hoping to help shrink the country’s chronic current-account deficit, a finance ministry official said Tuesday.

India has become the world’s largest consumer of gold again in recent months as the price of the precious metal has fallen just as India entered the annual festival season when Indian consumers think it is auspicious to buy the…

Article source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/india-about-to-announce-new-gold-import-restrictions-1416306888

GLD Selling Only A Minor Factor In Gold’s Selloff, A Bullish Omen

November 22, 2014 Posted by admin

Gold has suffered a rough couple of months, getting pounded below major support. One driver was stock-market capital flowing out of gold again, as evidenced by renewed differential selling pressure seen in gold-ETF shares. But this was minor compared to last year’s, despite extreme bearish sentiment plaguing gold. Gold-ETF selling exhaustion has effectively been hit, paving the way for big rebound buying.

The dominant gold ETF remains the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD). This vehicle revolutionized gold trading for stock investors, creating a quick and efficient conduit for the vast pools of stock capital to migrate into and out of gold. And since GLD just celebrated its 10th birthday this week, it’s a great time to take another look at it. Starting from humble beginnings, GLD has matured into a gold juggernaut.

If you weren’t following the precious-metals realm back in the early 2000s, it’s hard to even imagine how different the pre-gold-ETF era was. Before GLD’s introduction in mid-November 2004 kicked it off, stock traders had no easy way to prudently diversify part of their portfolios into gold. Their only options were selling stocks to buy physical gold coins, trading gold futures, or buying gold-miner stocks as a gold proxy.

But for pure stock traders, all these posed real problems. While physical gold is awesome, buying coins is an inefficient and expensive process riddled with high premiums. Gold futures are a highly-leveraged and exceptionally-dangerous game most stock traders avoid like the Black Death. Though gold stocks can be wildly profitable, they are far riskier than gold itself due to an array of serious operational risks.

The gold ETFs led by GLD gave stock traders a cheap and easy way to bypass all these alternatives to gain direct gold-price exposure. GLD held physical gold bullion in trust for its shareholders. And all it took to buy GLD shares was a mouse click and trivial trading commissions. And even with GLD’s 0.4% annual management fee, it is still far cheaper than gold coins given the high premiums they command.

GLD was created specifically for American stock investors by the World Gold Council, the industry group funded by the world’s biggest and best gold miners. It was never intended to replace physical gold for investors, but to open up gold investing to stock traders who would never or could never (due to legal restrictions like in mutual funds) buy gold coins. Despite the silly conspiracy theories, GLD has been a great success.

And its resulting big footprint has forever altered the gold landscape. GLD is a tracking ETF, designed to mirror the gold price. But GLD’s shares trade independently of gold, leading to constant supply-and-demand mismatches. If they aren’t immediately addressed, GLD shares will decouple from gold and this ETF will fail its tracking mission. Literally the only way to maintain tracking is for GLD to act as a capital conduit.

Excess supply and demand of GLD shares from stock traders has to be quickly equalized into physical gold bullion. The mechanics of this are simple. When demand for GLD shares exceeds gold’s own, GLD will be bid up faster than gold and decouple to the upside. GLD’s custodians must step in to supply this excess share demand. They do this by issuing new GLD shares and immediately selling them.

The proceeds from expanding GLD’s share base are then plowed directly into physical gold bullion in a matter of hours. So excess GLD-share demand by stock traders effectively shunts their capital directly into gold itself, bidding it up faster and keeping GLD tracking it. Whenever GLD’s gold-bullion holdings are rising, it always means that GLD-share demand from stock traders exceeds the demand for gold itself.

But conduit ETFs are a double-edged sword. Sometimes stock traders want out of gold, and sell GLD shares at a faster rate than gold is being sold. This excess GLD-share supply will hammer GLD’s price below gold’s and cause it to decouple to the downside. That excess supply has to be quickly absorbed or GLD will fail. So its custodians immediately start buying back GLD shares to sop up the surplus offered.

They raise the capital to do this by selling some of this ETF’s underlying physical gold bullion. And that effectively pulls stock-market capital back out of gold, weighing on its price. Stated another way, excess GLD-share selling pressure is also shunted directly into gold itself. GLD opened up a major highway for stock-market capital to quickly flow into and out of gold, depending on the prevailing whims of stock traders.

When the gold miners launched GLD via their World Gold Council, they sought to address withering criticism from hardcore physical-gold-or-die conspiracy theorists by being hyper-transparent. Thus every single trading day, GLD publishes an exhaustive inventory of every single gold bar it holds in trust for its shareholders. This data includes serial numbers, refiners, weights, and purities. This week it was 863 pages long!

Having GLD’s holdings available daily is a fantastically-useful dataset, because it effectively shows whether stock-market capital is flowing into or out of gold. When GLD’s physical-gold-bullion holdings are rising, stock traders are buying gold on balance. And when GLD’s holdings are falling, stock traders as an aggregate are selling gold. Stock-market capital flows via GLD can greatly affect gold’s prevailing prices.

Differential GLD-share selling by stock traders indeed helped drive gold’s recent sharp selloff and major support breakdown over the past couple months. They dumped GLD shares faster than gold was being sold, forcing this world-leading gold ETF’s custodians to sell gold bullion to buy back the excess share supply offered. But provocatively, excess GLD-share supply was merely a minor factor in gold’s latest selloff.

Before we dig into that, strategic context is essential. Back in September 2012, gold was trading around $1750. That’s when the Federal Reserve launched its wildly-unprecedented third quantitative-easing campaign. QE3 involved the Fed conjuring paper money out of thin air and using it to buy up bonds, monetizing them. Naturally this was highly inflationary, and should have been great for gold like QE1 and QE2 were.

But curiously, QE3′s open-ended nature along with Fed jawboning about backstopping stock markets instead fomented a monster general-stock levitation. Stock traders believed the Fed would step up its money printing to arrest any significant stock-market selloff. And with this effective Fed Put, they aggressively and euphorically bought stocks while ignoring large and mounting fundamental, technical, and sentimental risks.

As the stock markets melted up last year thanks to the Fed, demand for alternative investments led by gold evaporated. Alternatives only shine brightly when conventional markets are struggling. This vexing dynamic led to a massive 22.8% gold plunge in 2013′s second quarter. This happened to be the worst quarter for gold in an astounding 93 years, an extreme once-in-a-century anomaly of epic gold selling!

This unprecedented gold mass exodus primarily came from two fronts. First was extreme futures selling by American speculators, which I’ve written a lot about. Second was extreme selling in GLD shares. Stock traders fled GLD at crazy rates, forcing it to vomit vast torrents of gold supply into the global market. And naturally heavy selling spawns a vicious circle, where lower prices drive more selling forcing prices even lower.

As the Fed-levitated stock markets melted up, GLD’s selling would increase as the desire for alternative investments and prudent portfolio diversification waned. Then when they pulled back periodically, the differential selling pressure in GLD would slow dramatically. The inverse relationship between the benchmark stock-market levels and GLD’s holdings is striking. And so was GLD’s impact on gold prices.

My chart today looks at the last couple years of GLD’s holdings with the gold price superimposed on top. Since GLD’s all-time-record holdings high in December 2012, all monthly draws and builds in GLD’s holdings are noted. And though GLD contributed greatly to gold’s once-in-a-century selling anomaly in 2013, in recent months its impact has been modest. This is actually a very bullish omen for gold going forward!

Not surprisingly, GLD’s holdings have a strong correlation with gold. When stock-market capital flows into physical gold bullion via this conduit, GLD’s holdings rise and that buying pushes gold higher. But when stock traders exit gold, their selling flowing through GLD forces this metal lower. And that’s the whole story of 2013. Extreme GLD-share differential selling spawned by the Fed’s stock-market levitation crushed gold.

The World Gold Council does the best research into global gold supply and demand. According to its latest numbers, gold demand dropped 11.1% in 2013 to 4081 metric tons. That was 509t less than 2012′s. But the largest gold-demand categories of jewelry and physical bars and coins actually grew dramatically last year, up 18.0% and 32.0% respectively. Only one category shrunk, and that was gold ETFs.

Gold demand through ETFs swung from 279t in 2012 to an astounding and probably never-repeatable negative 880t! Differential gold-ETF-share selling in 2013 added 880 tonnes of gold supply to the world markets, far more than that 509t total drop in global demand! So truly without the mass exodus of stock traders from gold ETFs, gold’s price would have actually risen last year instead of plunging by 27.9%!

And of that epic global gold-ETF selling, America’s GLD alone accounted for 553t or 5/8ths of the total. GLD is the dominant gold ETF by far, and can really impact the gold price when there are heavy supply-and-demand mismatches with its shares necessitating gold-bullion buying and selling. GLD’s holdings liquidation alone in 2013 exceeded the total drop in world gold demand, so it’s effectively solely responsible!

That epic outlying record draw was radically unprecedented. Remember that gold ETFs were only first introduced in late 2004, and GLD’s periodic draws before 2013′s extreme anomaly were vastly smaller. So the gold world had never before witnessed American stock traders pulling capital out of this precious metal en masse. Such an event was never even possible before in history before gold ETFs arrived.

While GLD’s epic draws last year were spread across every month of 2013, the second quarter was the epicenter. That quarter alone GLD’s holdings plummeted by 252t, or over 45% of 2013′s total. April 2013 alone, that month gold suffered a panic-like plunge when major support failed, saw a crazy 142.7t draw! That represented over a quarter of last year’s total GLD liquidations, the pinnacle of popular fear.

The inevitable selling exhaustion was finally hit in January 2014, following a mind-boggling 41.7% draw in GLD’s holdings of 564t over 13.2 months. Selling is always finite, there are only so many stock traders who own GLD and are susceptible to being scared into selling low. Thus GLD’s holdings stabilized this year, despite the Fed’s vexing ongoing stock-market levitation. They started grinding sideways.

Until the last couple of months that is. After seeing modest GLD holdings’ builds in February, March, June, and July, differential selling pressure resumed in September and October. The remaining stock traders owning GLD, the strong hands that weathered 2013′s extreme anomaly, were getting scared by gold’s steep selloff. This metal slumped to support in September, and then broke that key support last month.

While it’s never wise to sell into extreme lows, we can’t blame the stock traders for capitulating on gold given the extreme bearishness in recent months. As a full-time speculator, investor, researcher, and newsletter writer, I’m as deeply immersed in the precious-metals realm as anyone. And to me it sure felt like the recent gold bearishness even exceeded that of the spring of 2013 and the end of last year.

In fact fear had grown so crazy-high that gold stocks were recently pummeled to apocalyptic levels. The leading gold-stock index, the HUI, just fell to fundamentally-absurd 11.3-year lows! The last time gold stocks had traded so low, gold was merely $350. But earlier this month it was around $1150, or 3.3x higher. Gold-stock levels are a reflection of gold sentiment, and hadn’t been worse for over a decade.

So the universal fear infecting gold in the last couple months was the most extreme seen at least since its secular bull was born in April 2001. If there was ever an event to drive everyone wavering out of GLD shares, gold’s recent $1190 support break was it. Yet despite this the differential selling pressure on GLD shares remained modest. September and October only saw relatively-minor GLD draws of 25.1t and 28.7t.

For comparison, in 2013 GLD’s monthly draws averaged 46.0t! So the recent GLD-share selling was almost trivial relative to that epic extreme. Between mid-July and early November, gold’s price dropped 14.7% over 3.9 months. In that entire span, GLD’s holdings merely fell by 67.2t. There were multiple single months in 2013 that saw comparable or larger draws. GLD hasn’t been a major factor in gold’s recent selloff!

So why was gold so weak then if American stock traders weren’t to blame? Extreme selling by American futures speculators. Every week, their total gold-futures positions are revealed in the Commitments of Traders reports from the CFTC. And in the CoT-week span that most closely matches that recent gold drop, these guys dumped 36.6k long-side contracts while adding a breathtaking 74.1k short-side ones!

Some perspective is essential on these extreme numbers. Specs slashed their gold-futures longs by 14.8% in that short span, while ramping their shorts by 90.6%. Both moves resulted in heavy gold selling, at a total of 110.7k gold-futures contracts. This is the equivalent of a jaw-dropping 344.3 metric tons of gold supply unleased by American futures speculators alone! Obviously that dwarfs the 67.2t contributed by GLD.

Extreme futures shorting is the best kind of selling, as every single one of those contracts will soon have to be unwound. Speculators effectively borrow gold to sell it short in dangerous highly-leveraged bets, and they legally have to rebuy that gold soon to pay it back. So the near-record gold-futures shorting is super-bullish for gold and portends an imminent sharp short-covering rally. But back to our GLD focus here.

While American stock traders did capitulate as gold swooned to and through $1190 support, they only contributed less than 1/6th of the identifiable American gold selling. And that was in the most extreme fear-laden and hyper-bearish gold environment seen in over a decade! The modest differential selling pressure on GLD shares in light of this reinforces that selling exhaustion has effectively been reached.

Selling low is dumb, there’s no polite way to sugarcoat it. Smart investors and speculators buy low and sell high, and refuse to succumb to popular fear to do the opposite. GLD’s remaining shareholders are far stronger and smarter than the crop that abandoned gold last year. Their holdings are far more sticky, more likely to be permanent portfolio diversification rather than hot money spookable into fleeing on a whim.

Last week GLD’s holdings slumped to 720.6 tonnes, a 6.1-year low! The last time they were down here was September 2008, heading into that once-in-a-century stock panic. And gold was trading around $900. So theoretically ignoring churn, the remaining GLD shareholders are likely still sitting on nice gains in gold. Since they’ve held on this long, they are highly unlikely to join today’s irrational fear-blinded selling.

And if this proves true, GLD’s holdings have finally decisively bottomed and can only go higher. That will necessitate new stock-market capital inflows into gold via GLD. And the catalyst for stock traders returning to alternative investments led by gold will be these vexing Fed-levitated stock markets finally decisively rolling over very soon here. With gold so incredibly loathed, there is vast room for GLD buying.

As of its recent holdings low, GLD was worth about $27b. That same day, the total market capitalization of the elite SP 500 stocks was $19,030b. If only 1% of that stock-market capital would diversify into gold, GLD’s holdings would soar by 7.1x! That equates to enough stock capital flowing into GLD to force its custodians to buy about 4400t of gold at today’s cheap prices. And 1% is really conservative in the grand scheme.

For decades if not centuries, the most prudent portfolio-construction wisdom advocated all investors holding 5% to 10% of their investable capital in gold for diversification and insurance. So seeing an overall 1% US allocation to gold as the stock markets roll over into what’s almost certain to be a new cyclical bear is a conservative projection. Alternative investments shine the brightest when conventional ones are weak.

The bottom line is the recent gold selloff was not primarily driven by American stock traders dumping their GLD shares. Though they did capitulate a bit, the great majority of the selling came from American futures speculators making leveraged downside bets on gold. The fact that stock traders largely held strong in the most bearish gold environment in at least a decade is a very bullish portent for gold prices.

With GLD’s holdings so incredibly low, there’s vast room for major stock-trader buying as gold inevitably recovers. As the Fed-manipulated stock-market melt-up starts cracking soon, investment demand for gold among American investors and speculators is going to soar. And the torrents of capital that will flow back into GLD shares will be shunted directly into underlying physical bullion, catapulting gold higher.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it. The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More…)

Additional disclosure: I own extensive gold-stock positions, which have been recommended to our newsletter subscribers.

Article source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2703385-gld-selling-only-a-minor-factor-in-golds-selloff-a-bullish-omen

How to Know the Gold You Buy in India Is Real

November 21, 2014 Posted by admin


An Indian shopper tried on gold jewelry during the Hindu festival of Diwali in Amritsar on Oct. 21.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Shalini Goel, a housewife, rushed to sell her old jewelry and small pieces of yellow metal in Delhi’s jewelry market as prices for gold soared last year, confident of getting a decent price.

But the jeweler offered less than what she had paid for them. The reason? The jewelry  she bought was “not all gold, it lacked in purity,” the dealer said.

The adulteration of gold isn’t new in India but a recent statement by India’s leading precious metals refiner that most of the scrap gold it receives does not meet the necessary levels of purity has prompted fresh warnings to consumers.

“The average gold content present in scrap gold that we receive for refining has varied from 80% to 85%,” Rajesh Khosla, managing director of MMTC-PAMP, the country’s only accredited gold and silver refinery, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Monday.

India is the world’s largest consumer of gold, the metal is a common gift during festivals, religious events and weddings. But purchasing jewelry for special occasions and keeping it as a safe investment option could be useless, if it lacks purity.

Gold purity is measured in carats or K with 24K being the purest. But gold in its purest form is rarely used to make jewelry especially intricate designs because of its softness and needs to be mixed with other metals like silver, copper or zinc. To ensure that mixing of metals in gold is done within set limits, it has to undergo the purity test at hallmarking centers operated by the Bureau of Indian Standards the accredited government agency that provides hallmarking.

Jewelers are supposed to get the gold they want to sell tested through these BIS laboratories to obtain a certification of purity or fineness in gold articles and a hallmark stamp in accordance with certain international specifications.

They must send the standards agency samples of the gold. BIS inspectors then visit the retailer and, if the assessment is satisfactory, grant the jeweler a license verifying the purity of the articles.

There are currently more than 300 BIS-authorized hallmarking centers and 13,000 licensed jewelers across India, dealing in gold jewelry, according to BIS.

Under current BIS rules, if sellers misuse the permit they could lose their jeweler’s license, face a fine or both.

The problem is, hallmarking is not mandatory in India, which results in a large number of jewelers selling gold that is not certified.

“There have been instances of even top jewelers selling gold that is not really pure to avoid tax and make a quick buck,” BIS spokeswoman Renuka Salwan told The Wall Street Journal.

Besides, some sellers even mislead customers by saying that hallmarking involves huge costs. “In reality, obtaining the certification may mean you pay a little extra, but it’s worth the cost since it ensures purity,” Ms. Salwan said.

To get a piece of gold hallmarked costs 25 rupees (40 cents) per article.

She said people are becoming increasingly aware of the impurity and malpractices in the unorganized industry and shifting to organized players “to get better quality and newer designs.”

In order to curb the menace of impure gold, BIS is currently working to issue a unique identification number for each hallmarked piece of jewelry so that consumers can trace details of the item in case they are unsure of its quality, BIS director-general D.K. Nayyar said.

“This will stop hallmarking of substandard jewelry,” he said.

Here’s a ready reckoner for buying gold:

-         BIS Standard Mark: A triangular stamp of the Bureau of Indian Standards

-         Purity Grade: The number shows how pure the gold is. This ranges from 8 carat denoted by 333 to 24 carat (pure gold) denoted by 999.

-         Hallmarking Center Logo: This is used to check where the jewelry has been evaluated and hallmarked. A list of the centers and logos can be checked here.

-         Year of Marking: This is denoted by a code alphabet decided by BIS. [letter 'A' denotes year 2000,'B' for 2001]

-         Jeweler Identification Mark: Most jewelers have their own identification mark of BIS certification.

For breaking news, features and analysis from India, click here and follow WSJ India on Facebook.
The WSJ is now on LINE. Scan to follow or click “Add Friends” from your mobile device to add our official account.


Friends Added

Article source: http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/11/20/how-to-know-the-gold-you-buy-in-india-is-real/

Group Cautions Against Impure Gold in Indian Jewelry

November 20, 2014 Posted by admin

Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 4:00 pm

Group Cautions Against Impure Gold in Indian Jewelry

News Dispatches

India West

|
0 comments

India’s leading precious metals refiner, MMTC-PAMP, has stated that not all gold jewelry sold in India is as pure as the sellers promise it to be.

Alleging that the scrap gold that comes for refining has 15 percent to 20 percent less gold content than the set purity standards, the refiner urged gold buyers in the country to remain cautious while purchasing the yellow metal.

According to the refiner, average gold content in scrap gold has varied from 80 percent to 85 percent. Meantime, the Bureau of Indian Standards, the agency that provides hallmarking on jewelry as proof of purity, also admitted that there have been incidents where gold retailers who claim to have hallmark certification sell products with lesser gold content.

According to ResourceInvestor.com, BIS director general Sunil Soni announced that the agency plans to assign unique IDs to each hallmarked item, in order to ensure that all gold jewelry sold in the country conforms to purity standards.

In an attempt to crackdown on sale of impure gold jewelry, BIS has proposed imposition of heavy penalties. The customer could claim three times the difference amount from the jeweler if the jewelry sold by the retailer is found to contain less gold content. 

More about Jewellery

  • Wedding Inspiration: Five Unique Tikka  Headpiece Ideas Wedding Inspiration: Five Unique Tikka Headpiece Ideas
  • ARTICLE: Wedding Inspiration: Five Unique Tikka Headpiece Ideas
  • Here comes the Groom Here comes the Groom
  • ARTICLE: Here comes the Groom

More about Gold

  • ARTICLE: Gold Demand Rose 13% in 2013
  • Gujubhai Releases Fusion Navratri Song Gold Gujubhai Releases Fusion Navratri Song ‘Gold’
  • ARTICLE: Gujubhai Releases Fusion Navratri Song ‘Gold’
  • ARTICLE: Jewelers Agree to Stop Sale of Gold Bars, Coins

on

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 4:00 pm.


| Tags:


Jewellery,



Gold,



Gold Jewelry

Article source: http://www.indiawest.com/news/business/group-cautions-against-impure-gold-in-indian-jewelry/article_2b53f94e-6f5c-11e4-8343-8b3fd3e73b60.html

India About to Announce New Gold-Import Restrictions

November 19, 2014 Posted by admin

By Prasanta Sahu And Vibhuti Agarwal

NEW DELHI–India’s government is about to announce new measures to slow the import of gold, hoping to help shrink
the country’s chronic current-account deficit, a finance ministry official said Tuesday.

India has become the world’s largest consumer of gold again in recent months as the price of the precious metal has
fallen just as India entered the annual festival season when Indian consumers think it is auspicious to buy the
commodity and the government eased some earlier restrictions on gold trading.

Indian trade data released Monday showed that gold imports almost quadrupled to $4.18 billion in October from $1.10
billion in the same month last year. Total imports rose 3.62% to $39.45 billion, widening the trade deficit to $13.35
billion, from last October’s $10.59 billion.

The measures could be announced as early as Tuesday evening said the official, who didn’t wish to be identified.

India ratcheted up the taxes and restrictions on gold imports last year after the country’s trade imbalance made
its currency–the rupee–a target of a sell off. Gold imports fell sharply on the restrictions but gold smuggling
skyrocketed.

Confident that the rupee was in a better place, India’s central bank in May relaxed rules to allow more importation
of gold. It also eased financing rules for jewelers. Gold imports have shot up again since then, sparking concern that
the country’s growing trade imbalance could again lead to a run on the rupee.

India’s jewelry companies, who are also among India’s biggest exporters, said they need relief from the
restrictions not more of them.

“The government is no doubt concerned about the impact on the current-account deficit and wants to control it
urgently, but an additional restriction on gold imports will have an adverse impact,” said Pankaj Parekh, vice chairman
of the Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council, a lobby group that represents more than 3,000 exporters. “It will jack
up domestic prices and hurt consumer demand.”

Jewelry companies are trying to do their part by trying to reduce the amount of gold coins and bars that are sold,
he said.

Jewelers suffered last year as the import restrictions and taxes led to a 40% decline in sales during the Diwali
holiday season.

The curbs did however help India to bring down its current-account deficit to 1.7% of gross domestic product in the
fiscal year ended March from a record 4.8% in the previous year.


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  11-18-140549ET
  Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones  Company, Inc.





Article source: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/india-about-to-announce-new-goldimport-restrictions-20141118-00081