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EU looks to win Hungary support for Ukraine aid in return for EU funds access

EU looks to win Hungary support for Ukraine aid in return for EU funds access

BRUSSELS, Dec 6 (Reuters) - European Union finance ministers will on Tuesday look to get Hungary's backing for 18 billion euros ($18.89 billion) of support for Ukraine for next year in exchange for access to EU money from its recovery fund as well as budget.

EU officials said Budapest has also refused to endorse an OECD move to impose a minimum tax on global corporations as a way to increase its leverage in talks for EU funds.

At stake for Hungary is 5.8 billion euros of EU fund, for which it needs EU governments to approve its spending plan. If the plan is not approved by the end of the year, 70% of the amount will be irrevocably lost.

Hungary is also fighting for access to EU cohesion funds it would get between 2021 and 2027.

The European Commission last week asked EU governments to freeze 7.5 billion euros, or 65% of the funds to Hungary, until it addresses concerns over the high level of corruption and rule of law in the country.

A stalemate due to a lack of trust between Budapest and the EU institutions has made it difficult for EU finance ministers to come up with an informal package deal and sort out the separate issues.

The finance ministers can endorse the Commission's request, or reduce the amount of the frozen funds by a certain amount if Budapest convinces them that it has made progress since the last Commission assessment that ended on Nov. 19.

Hungary would need more time to convince the ministers of its progress, which could mean postponing a vote on the issues until Dec. 12, EU officials said.

On the EU side, all countries except Hungary want to move 18 billion euros in financial help for war-torn Ukraine for next year from a system of ad-hoc bilateral loans to the regular EU budget, to make the disbursements cheaper and predictable.

If Hungary does not agree, EU countries will still provide the money, but again in the form of bilateral loans, which is more cumbersome and tougher on the Kyiv administration.

The EU also needs Hungary's consent to implement the OECD agreement that large international corporations should be taxed a minimum of 15% where they operate rather than where they set up an office for tax purposes.

($1 = 0.9527 euros)

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Arun Koyyur

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe re-elected as Eurogroup president

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe re-elected as Eurogroup president

FINANCE MINISTER PASCHAL Donohoe has been reelected to lead the Eurogroup.

The Dublin Fine Gael TD was “reelected by consensus” for another two-and-a-half years, the Council of the European Union said in a statement.

Donohoe, 48, has been chairing the group since July 2020 and was the sole candidate for a new term.

The grouping is an informal body where ministers of the 19 countries using the euro discuss common concerns around sharing a single currency.

The vote took place at today’s Eurogroup meeting. As the only candidate and the incumbent Eurogroup President, Minister Donohoe was elected unanimously. 

Speaking after his re-election, Donohoe said he felt “enormously privileged” that he has been entrusted with a second term in the role.

“My first priority, is to deliver tangible results from our policy coordination to allow us to overcome the challenges that we are facing, and to pursue the great opportunities that await the euro and the people of Europe.”

The new term will start on 13 January 2023.

According to a statement from the Irish government Donohoe will carry out his duties as President of the Eurogroup and as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, after the change in Government in mid-December 2022.

The incoming Minister for Finance – Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath – will represent Ireland at Eurogroup meetings. 

With reporting by AFP

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Arise Ghana’s demo over tough economy comes off tomorrow

Arise Ghana’s demo over tough economy comes off tomorrow

Pressure group, Arise Ghana has announced its decision to embark on a nationwide protest tomorrow Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

The group is protesting the economic hardships in the country.

The group says the protest will continue until Parliament finalizes the motion of censure against Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and concludes the debate on the 2023 budget.

Speaking to Citi News, a leading member of the group, Bernard Mornah said the protest will start at 8:00 am and end at 2 pm.

“We are embarking on picketing around Parliament and around the yet-to-be-constructed National Cathedral. We have informed the police about it. So, as for tomorrow, it has been agreed that nothing will stop us because of the cordial discussions with the police.”

The group had intended to picket from November 15 to 17, 2022 at the Revolution Square right opposite the Jubilee House, but the Ghana Police Service sought an injunction on the event on the basis that the venue poses a national security threat.

The Police argued that per the National Security and the Police Security Intelligence assessment, there were reasonable grounds that converging at the Revolution Square, will endanger public safety and violate the rights and freedom of other persons.

But a High Court has ruled in favour of the police and asked the group to instead picket at the Independence Square.


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Ghana’s domestic debt exchange programme launched

Ghana’s domestic debt exchange programme launched

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has launched Ghana’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme with the hope of restoring the nation’s capacity to service its debt.

Speaking at the launch at the Ministry of Information on Monday, December 5, 2022, the Finance Minister said the objective of the Programme is “to invite holders of domestic debt to voluntarily exchange approximately GH¢137 billion of the domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, including E.S.L.A. and Daakye bonds, for a package of New Bonds to be issued by the Republic.”

Mr. Ofori-Atta said it was time for his Ministry and the Government to take such drastic measures now because “the Government may not be able to fully service its debt down the road if no action is taken.”

“The Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) demonstrated unequivocally that Ghana’s public debt is unsustainable, and that the Government may not be able to fully service its debt down the road if no action is taken. Indeed, debt servicing is now absorbing more than half of total government revenues and almost 70% of tax revenues, while our total public debt stock, including that of State-Owned Enterprises and all, exceeds 100% of our GDP. This is why we are today announcing the debt exchange, which will help in restoring our capacity to service debt.”

He also reiterated the Government’s assurances that there will be no haircut on the principal of bonds and Treasury Bills, against rumours that investors are well on their way to losing their investments in a debt restructuring drive to be soon undertaken by the Government.

“Let me repeat this fact as plainly as I can, in this debt exchange, individuals holding domestic bonds will not lose, they will not be affected, and they will retain the value of their investments. So let us remove any doubt and discard any speculation that the Government is about to cut your retirement holdings.

“As already announced, Treasury Bills are completely exempted, and all holders will be able to recover the total amount of their investment on maturity. There will be no haircuts on the principal of bonds and individuals that holds bonds will not be affected.”

Rumours of investors in bonds and Treasury Bills were rife last week that the Government was about slashing their returns, which reportedly led to panic withdrawals.

Mr. Ofori-Atta to this end, pleaded with the media to be circumspect and disseminate the right information regarding the current economic crisis and the Government’s debt exchange program in order not to create unnecessary panic among investors.

He added that the various stakeholders and regulators in the financial sector have been engaged to ensure the success of the exchange program.

“Specifically, the Bank of Ghana, the Securities & Exchange Commission, the National Insurance Commission, and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority will ensure that the impact of the debt operation on your financial institution is minimized, using all regulatory tools available to them.”


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Ofori-Atta launches Ghana’s Debt Exchange Program [Full Speech]

Ofori-Atta launches Ghana’s Debt Exchange Program [Full Speech]

STATEMENT BY HON. KEN OFORI-ATTA MINISTER FOR FINANCE THE LAUNCH OF GHANA’S DOMESTIC DEBT EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

Good morning ladies and Gentlemen,

As I announced in the evening of yesterday, Sunday, 4th December, 2022, we are gathered here today to invite holders of domestic debt to voluntarily exchange approximately GHS137 billion of the domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, including E.S.L.A. and Daakye bonds, for a package of New Bonds to be issued by the Republic.

The Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) demonstrated unequivocally that Ghana’s public debt is unsustainable, and that the Government may not be able to fully service its debt down the road if no action is taken. Indeed, debt servicing is now absorbing more than half of total government revenues and almost 70% of tax revenues, while our total public debt stock, including that of State-Owned Enterprises and all, exceeds 100% of our GDP. This is why we are today announcing the debt exchange which will help in restoring our capacity to service debt.

This is the path towards resetting the economy to a more stable one capable of addressing the development challenges of the country.

The reasons are quite clear. Covid-19 pandemic, rising global food prices, rising crude oil & energy prices; and the Russia-Ukraine war adversely affected Ghana’s macroeconomy, with spillovers to the financial sector. The combination of adverse external shocks have exposed Ghana to a surge in inflation, a large exchange rate depreciation and stress on the financing of the budget, which taken together have put our public debt on an unsustainable path.

To address the ongoing economic crisis, the Government has requested financial support from the International Monetary Fund.

We expect to reach a Staff-Level Agreement soon on an IMF programme aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and protecting the most vulnerable. To this end, as a Government, we are determined to implement wide-ranging structural and fiscal reforms to restore fiscal and debt sustainability and support growth.

Consistent with all of the above, I announced during the Budget Statement presented to Parliament on November 24th, that Government will undertake a debt operation programme. We presented to you the contours of the Domestic Debt Exchange programme yesterday. As you are aware we established a consultative committee to work with the financial sector and incorporated their advice in our decisions.

Today, we are here to officially launch Ghana’s Domestic Debt Exchange programme.

The objective of this programme is to alleviate the debt burden in a most transparent, efficient, and expedited manner. In this context, by means of an Exchange offer, The Government of Ghana has been working hard to minimize the impact of the domestic debt exchange on investors holding government bonds.

In particular, it does not embed any principal haircut on Eligible Bonds, as we promised. Let me repeat this fact as plainly as I can, in this debt exchange individual holders of domestic bonds are not affected and will not lose the face value of their investments. So let us remove any doubt and discard any speculation that the Government is about to cut your retirement savings or the notional value of your investments. That is not the case.

As already announced, Treasury Bills are completely exempted, and all holders will be paid the full value of their investments on maturity. There will be NO haircut on the principal of bonds. Individuals who hold bonds will also not be affected at all.

Our domestic debt operation involves an exchange for new Ghana bonds with a coupon that steps up to 10% as soon as 2025 (with a first interest payment in 2024) and longer average maturity. Existing domestic bonds as of 1st December 2022 will be exchanged for a set of four new bonds maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032 and 2037.

Predetermined allocation ratio are as follows: 17% for the short bonds, 17% for the intermediate bond, 25% for the medium-term bond and 41% for the longterm bond. The annual coupon on all of these new bonds will be set at 0% in 2023, 5% in 2024 and 10% from 2025 until maturity. Coupon payments will be semiannual. For emphasis, this domestic debt exchange programme will not affect individual bondholders.

This domestic debt exchange is part of a more comprehensive agenda to restore debt and financial sustainability. We are also working towards a restructuring of our external indebtedness, which we will announce in due course.

This is a key requirement to allow Ghana’s economy to recover as fast as possible from this crisis. This is also a key requirement to secure an IMF support. We are confident that with the measures we are putting in place, including those outlined in the 2023 Budget Statement and underpinned by a successful IMF programme, Ghana will witness a stable and thriving economy from 2023.

We, accordingly, anticipate that inflation will be returned to single digit, ensuring that real returns on these new bonds will be protected.

As His Excellency the President declared in his Address to the Nation on 30th October 2022, “to restore and sustain debt sustainability, we plan to reduce our total public debt to GDP ratio to some fifty-five percent (55%) in present value terms by 2028”.

This can only be achieved through the active participation of all key economic actors. In that perspective, we call upon all domestic debt holders to take their share in ensuring that public debt sustainability is quickly restored by participating in this exchange programme.

Our pledge to you all is that Government will take all appropriate measures to safeguard the solvency of the financial institutions involved in the exchange. Thanks to well-targeted regulatory measures and the creation of a Financial Stability Fund (FSF), banks, pension funds, insurance companies, fund managers, and collective investment schemes will be supported, to ensure that they are able to meet their obligations to their clients as they fall due.

For this reason, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana will follow suit with details of the necessary assistance in due course.

We have also dialogued extensively with regulators across the Financial Sector including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Insurance Commission (NIC) and National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to agree that regulatory forbearance will be provided to all entities whose financial position is adversely

affected by virtue of participating in this exchange.

This debt exchange provides an orderly way to put our economy back on track. These efforts will be complemented by fiscal measures to protect the neediest and most vulnerable in society.

The Government expects overwhelming support to this exchange. And in truth, the success of this necessary endeavour depends, of course, upon the public’s cooperation. That will also mean the media being helpful in disseminating the right information to economic actors. We are all in this together and we intend to get out of this together.

The alternative would be a far worse economic crisis, with protracted closure from international markets (including imported goods and services) and further domestic economic instability both for the real economy and the financial sector. It would also mean depleted fiscal resources to support the neediest.

Ghana is not the first nation to undertake such Domestic Debt operation. To illustrate the point, let me cite the examples of just two countries among many others in the last 10 years.

Jamaica resorted to such operations in the past, notably in 2010 and 2013. In both cases, it chose to trust the sense of responsibility of the Jamaican people and proceeded through a voluntary approach. This approach was highly successful, as more than 99% of holders of domestic bonds participated in the exchange.

On the contrary, in the case of Greece, the Authorities chose to undertake a coercive approach, whereby a law was passed to force people into participating.

We intend to avoid as much as possible the Greek approach, as we strive to reach a consensual solution with our bondholders, which the is Ghanaian way.

In any case, the good news is that the Domestic Debt Exchange has yielded positive results both in Greece and Jamaica, and many others, and will certainly put our economy on a much stronger footing. Greece has now recovered full market access. We certainly anticipate a similar success story in Ghana. I want to assure you about the Government’s commitment to do what is necessary to succeed.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today’s announcement is a major policy step that the Government is taking over this short period to restore macro-economic stability, achieve debt sustainability and get the economy fully back on track in order to create and protect jobs, provide and enhance incomes, foster strong and inclusive growth led by exports,

and restore hope to the people of Ghana.

In all humility, I wish to remind each and everyone of us that Ghana is the only “home” we have. Its progress and prosperity are our collective duty. We have overcome many challenges and risen to the occasion many times before. We are a resilient society.

Thankfully, today our development is in a far more advanced stage than before when other challenges confronted us. We have made big progress over the years and the progress before us is even greater. This is another challenge which we must surely overcome. And overcome we must, for our sake and for the sake of our children.

Together, we can beat this. Our ultimate goal, when all is done, is to put our nation into a sustainable development path – one of fiscal responsibility, economic stability and growth that will truly translate into improving the lives of the people and all of the nation’s economic actors, including investors.

Your support can help us realise this ambition. I say this because I know that together we shall triumph. As in the days of Nehemiah, let us rise up, family by family, and rebuild together! Let us make our “Nkabom” budget a reality.

Thank you, and May God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.


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Calls grow for companies to disclose impacts on nature in bid to plug finance gap

Calls grow for companies to disclose impacts on nature in bid to plug finance gap

  • According to the UN, finance for nature will need to more than double to $384 billion by 2025 for global climate and biodiversity goals to remain within reach
  • Most new finance will need to come private sector, which only spends $26 billion a year
  • While 83% of Fortune 500 companies have climate-related targets, only 9% have targets to address forest and seabed loss
  • The Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures has been developed at warp speed to meet the need for companies to assess and report on their nature risk.
  • 330 businesses with $1.5 trillion in revenues are calling for reporting of nature impacts to be made mandatory as part of the negotiations towards a new biodiversity framework at COP15

December 5 - Negotiators meeting in Montreal this week at crucial talks aimed at reversing global biodiversity loss by 2030 by agreeing a new Convention on Biological Diversity have their work cut out for them.

As Sir Partha Dasgupta’s Economics of Biodiversity global review found, biodiversity has declined by 68% since 1970. And despite the fact that 50% of the global economy depends on a functioning ecosystem, just 0.1% of GDP is directed towards biodiversity restoration.

A new report from the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) finds that finance for nature, which will also be critical in the fight against climate change, will need to ramp up to $384 billion per year by 2025, more than double the current spending of $154 billion, for global climate and biodiversity goals to remain within reach.

Governments currently provide 83% of finance for what is known as nature-based solutions, or NbS, the UNEP report says, but their ability to dramatically increase these flows is limited. That means the private sector, which only spends $26 billion a year, will have to step up investment by an order of several magnitudes to fill the gap.

But is the private sector up to this enormous task?

Certainly “nature-based solutions” is the latest buzzword in boardrooms, with increasing numbers of corporates pledging to become “nature-positive” and take action to end deforestation in their supply chains as part of their net-zero commitments.

At COP27, more than 35 financial institutions, representing more than $8.9 trillion in assets under management (AUM), launched a Finance Sector Deforestation Action plan, following up on the commitment they made at COP26 to address commodity-driven deforestation impacts in their investment and lending portfolios by 2025.

But with the world’s primary forests still being lost at the rate of a football pitch every six seconds, according to WWF, the UNEP report finds little evidence of commitments bearing fruit on the ground, with “too little action and too little capital deployed”.

A ship sails through a narrow channel in the Rhine, Germany, caused by drought and low water. REUTERS/Benjamin Westhoff

The problem is that while there is a lot of noise around the nature-positive business agenda, it lags far behind climate on the radars of companies, and the institutions that invest in them.

A review of Fortune Global 500 companies by McKinsey found that while 83% of companies have climate-related targets, only 25% have set targets for freshwater consumption, 20% for addressing chemical and plastic pollution, and 9% to address forest and seabed loss.

“While corporate leaders increasingly acknowledge the importance of nature, limited understanding of how to structurally and responsibly engage on the topic of nature degradation prevents many from making quantified commitments,” the McKinsey report said.

This divergence is also seen in the data companies report annually to voluntary disclosure platform CDP. While 18,600 companies disclosed climate change impact data last year, only 1,000 companies reported data on forests and 4,000 firms on water-security.

Cate Lamb, head of water security at CDP, told a panel discussion at COP27 that the potentially negative consequences of clean energy investments on natural assets such as water had until recently been overlooked at CDP, in the drive to push companies to mitigate their climate impacts.

There was an attitude of “we need to get mitigation over the line, and then we’ll deal with nature,” she said.

But CDP had a wake-up call last year at COP26, when the final text of the Glasgow Climate Pact explicitly recognized the importance of “ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including in forests, the ocean and the cryosphere, and the protection of biodiversity”, for the first time underlining nature’s critical role in the battle against climate change.

A new report from WWF shows that 59% of the world’s CO2 emissions are absorbed by natural systems, while the agriculture, food and land use sectors alone have the potential to contribute nearly one-third of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to keep the planet on course for 1.5C of warming.

Lamb said CDP is looking to make changes to its questionnaires and scoring systems over the coming year, with one scenario that companies won’t be able to get an A score on climate if they aren’t also taking meaningful action on protecting water and forests.

Mangroves, a critical component of nature-based solutions, pictured in Puerto Rico. REUTERS/Gabriella N. Baez

CDP is also backing a campaign by the Business For Nature coalition, signed by 330 businesses with more than $1.5 trillion in combined revenues, for world leaders who are meeting at COP15 to make it mandatory for all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature.

The final version of a disclosure framework that will allow them to do so will be published next September by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), a parallel organization to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure.

Although the TNFD was only launched in October 2021, it has moved at warp speed, developing the framework in a series of iterations, and in collaboration with 16 core knowledge partners and 750 companies and financial institutions. The latter have been road-testing beta versions of the framework since the first was published in March and reporting their findings back to inform refinements for the next.

Former Refinitiv chief executive David Craig, who is co-chair of the TNFD, told a session at last month’s ESG Investment Europe event in London that there have been 100 pilot-tests of the framework, including by companies engaged in soya farming in Brazil and palm oil in Indonesia.

The methodology borrows heavily on TCFD, adapting it for the nature context, but there are several key differences. One is that the concept of “double-materiality” is baked in. So the framework allows companies to assess and report both their nature risks and dependencies, and also their impacts. Another is that, unlike climate, local context is critical. “Where am I operating, is water scarce there or not? Is pollution an issue, or not?”

And then there is the social context, and the need for companies to engage with stakeholders in the landscapes where they operate: “Ninety per cent of the world’s farms are under a hectare in size … When it comes to impacts on land, you have to think about stewardship and indigenous rights. That’s an important part of the framework.”

The key message is that companies need to be reporting on their impacts on both nature and climate in an integrated manner.

“You have to address both together. If anything, the nature emergency is more pressing than the climate emergency,” he says, because nature-based solutions, like trees and mangroves, are also critical to stop soil erosion, help keep cities cool, and protect coastlines from flooding.

“At the moment we are destroying the very natural assets we need for adaptation. Every forest we cut down, every mangrove swamp we remove, every flood basin we build on in making the adaptation issue harder.”

He points to the impact of last summer’s prolonged drought in Europe, when low river levels forced shipping to ground nearly to a halt and power plants to curtail production. “There are ecosystem services that we have taken for granted for hundreds of years that we are realizing, amid scarcity, are more precious than we thought, creating huge risks for our financial systems and economies as a whole.”

An indigenous leader works with cattle at a community reservation in Roraima state, Brazil. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

This is born out in the data reported to CDP, with $335 billion in revenue at risk from water insecurity alone in 2020, said Lamb.

“We have evidence in the dataset of stranded assets across oil and gas, mining, and agriculture that are off the balance sheet, because companies have made the flawed assumption that the water that they need would always be there. …. This is material. It isn’t going away, and it will only get worse if companies continue their business-as-usual approaches.”

The TNFD’s framework will fill a crucial knowledge gap for investors. A survey by Credit Suisse of institutional investors last year found that while 84% of respondents described themselves as “very concerned” about biodiversity loss, fewer than one in 10 had measurable biodiversity-linked targets, and 70% cited lack of available data a key barrier to making investments supporting biodiversity.

Among the investors that are backing the Business for Nature campaign to make reporting on nature mandatory is BNP Paribas Asset Management. “The unravelling of nature is under way and investors need to act now, starting with a better understanding of how our investments impact nature and how nature loss may translate into financial risks, says Jane Ambachtsheer, global head of sustainability.

“To achieve this, we need better and more consistent disclosure from the private sector... Enhanced disclosures enable us to allocate capital in a way that can help protect our clients from risk, while contributing towards a better future for society and the planet.”

The UNEP report pointed to positive regulatory developments. The European Union has introduced the “do no significant harm” principle as part of its sustainable finance framework to prevent investments that focus on decarbonization, but do not consider other environmental services such as biodiversity.

Similarly, the Network for Greening the Financial System, a grouping of 114 central banks and financial supervisors, has recommended that “biodiversity-positive” and “biodiversity-harmful” activities be defined in green investment taxonomies, and has set up an interdisciplinary consultation process that involves scientists and conservation experts.

Margaret Khulow, finance practice leader at WWF, said in an interview: “The finance sector has awakened to the climate risk and the nature risk and the inter-relations between the two … They realize they have to act, together and with regulators and policymakers, in order to make changes, like making (climate and nature) disclosure more standardised and regularized. … Because when the rules are clear, the money moves.”

She said financial regulators were increasingly interested in the issue, with the Dutch, French, Malaysian and Brazilian authorities all now conducting an analysis of the consequences of nature loss on their economies.

“People laughed when I said this during a panel (at COP27), but I draw hope from central bankers,” she said. “It’s a complex, multi-disciplinary problem that requires many parties at the table, all pulling in the same direction. What the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) will hopefully do is show the direction.”

Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias. Sustainable Business Review, a part of Reuters Professional, is owned by Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.

Thomson Reuters

Terry Slavin is editor-in-chief of Reuters Events Sustainable Business, and edits The Sustainable Business Review and The Ethical Corporation magazines @tslavinm


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Vested Finance launches 2 portfolio options for retailers, take total count to 5

Vested Finance launches 2 portfolio options for retailers, take total count to 5

New Delhi: Retail investors will now be able to invest in globally diversified ETFs and new-age technology players via Vested Finance, a US investment platform, which has launched the facility for the same.

The FINRA-registered US broker-dealer, via its affiliate VF Securities, has announced two additional pre-built Vests in partnership with Xumit Capital and Ethical Advisors, which will enable the retailers to invest in the same.

Vested Finance helps Indian investors to invest in US stock markets via multiple investment instruments like stocks, ETFs, and pre-built investment portfolios called Vests.

Following the latest announcement, Vested Finance has partnerships with five industry players to offer third-party portfolios for the investors to put their money overseas.

Vests are curated portfolios that comprise stocks and/or ETFs and are constructed with different goals or specific themes. Investing in such instruments is similar to investing in passively managed mutual funds or PMS.

This mechanism allows clients to choose the vests based on their risk appetite and theme and save their time studying specific stocks for global portfolio diversification.

Vested Finance has always strived to make global diversification options available to Indian investors in an accessible and cost-effective manner, said Viram Shah, Co-Founder & CEO of Vested Finance.

The new Vests offer customers an opportunity to invest in ETFs and futuristic technologies like metaverse, artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain," he added.

These instruments are made using the subscription option, offered in quarterly and yearly plans. Vested Finance offered Vests from Wright Research, Negen Capital and Prasenjit Paul.

Despite the volatility in the global market, Vested has registered a 20% rise in the investors putting their money in US stocks via this mechanism.

Vested Finance is a FINRA-registered US broker-dealer and the only Fintech platform operating in India that has obtained a license from FINRA, the regulatory body for brokers and dealers in the USA.

(What's moving Sensex and Nifty Track latest market news, stock tips and expert advice on ETMarkets. Also, ETMarkets.com is now on Telegram. For fastest news alerts on financial markets, investment strategies and stocks alerts, subscribe to our Telegram feeds.)

Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.


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Maple Finance Severs Ties With Orthogonal Trading, Alleging It Misrepresented Financial Position

Maple Finance Severs Ties With Orthogonal Trading, Alleging It Misrepresented Financial Position

CoinDesk - Unknown

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

Maple Finance, a big blockchain-based lending platform, severed ties with crypto firm Orthogonal Trading, alleging that it was "misrepresenting its financial position."

The move came after Orthogonal was due to pay back a $10 million USDC stablecoin loan from a credit pool managed by M11 Credit on Dec. 4. Orthogonal has been a significant borrower on Maple, and also was a manager and underwriter of a credit pool on Maple.

M11 Credit has issued a notice of default to Orthogonal for all active loans outstanding on Maple's USDC stablecoin pool, with $31 million of current liabilities in four loans.

Maple said in a statement that Orthogonal has been "operating while effectively insolvent," and didn't communicate that it would be unable to service the debt.

"Misrepresentation like this is in violation of Maple’s agreements, and all appropriate legal avenues to recover funds will be pursued including arbitration or litigation as necessary," according to the statement.

A default by Orthogonal could deal another blow to crypto lending and unsecured credit protocols, still grappling with the fallout of crypto exchange FTX's implosion.

An email from CoinDesk requesting comment from Orthogonal wasn't immediately returned.

M11 Credit wrote Monday in a blog post that it was informed by Orthogonal on Dec. 3 that it "incurred larger losses than previously disclosed" due to funds held on FTX, the crypto exchange which imploded last month, and as a result was unable to repay its debt as a borrower.

"We are extremely shocked and disappointed by the actions of Orthogonal Trading," M11 Credit's statement said. "Purposefully misstating information during the numerous contacts we have had over the last weeks severely impacted our ability to manage our outstanding credit risk."

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 15:50 UTC): Added paragraphs about M11 Credit's statement and Orthogonal's outstanding loans from M11 Credit.


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Ukraine hit with fresh wave of deadly missile attacks, including Zaporizhzhia suburbs

Ukraine hit with fresh wave of deadly missile attacks, including Zaporizhzhia suburbs

Ukraine said Russia had launched a new round of missile attacks on Monday as the West tried to limit Moscow's ability to finance its invasion by imposing a price cap on Russian seaborne oil.

Air alerts sounded across Ukraine and officials urged civilians to take shelter from what they said was the latest in waves of Russian missile strikes since its Feb. 24 invasion.

"Missiles have already been launched," air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said. There was no immediate word of any damage or casualties but officials were quoted by Ukrainian media as saying that explosions could be heard overhead in some areas as air defence systems went into action.

Russian forces have increasingly targeted Ukrainian energy facilities in recent weeks as they faced setbacks on the battlefield, causing major power outages as winter sets in.

"Don't ignore the alarm," said Andriy Yermak, head of the Ukrainian presidential staff.

What questions do you have about Russia's invasion of Ukraine? Send an email to ask@cbc.ca

Russian missiles crashed into buildings in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia on Monday, destroying several houses and killing at least two people, a senior Ukrainian official said.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential office, gave no further details of the attacks. A city official said buildings had been hit in the suburbs of the city of Zaporizhzhia and some Russian missiles had been shot down.

The governor of the Kyiv region said air defences were working in the region, and told residents to remain in shelters. An energy provider said power had been knocked out on the northern region of Sumy in the latest missile strikes.

WATCH l Donbas city has faced months-long Russian campaign:

Bakhmut, Ukraine, becomes centre of brutal, drawn-out battle

The Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has been the focus of unrelenting Russian attacks for almost six months, creating apocalyptic scenes of dead soldiers in trenches. As winter sets in, Russian troops are mounting an aggressive counter-offensive to recapture the city.

Russia has said the attacks are designed to degrade Ukraine's military. Ukraine says they are clearly aimed at civilians and thus constitute a war crime.

Ukraine had only just returned to scheduled power outages from Monday rather than the emergency blackouts it has suffered since widespread Russian strikes on Nov. 23, the worst of the attacks on energy infrastructure that began in early October.

Russia cries foul

A $60 US per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil came into force on Monday. The G7 nations and Australia agreed to it on Friday after European Union member Poland, which wanted it even lower, dropped its objections. Russia is the world's second-largest oil exporter.

The agreement allows Russian oil to be shipped to third-party countries using G7 and EU tankers, insurance companies and credit institutions, only if the cargo is bought at or below the $60 per barrel cap.

Crude oil tankers, including the Troitsky Bridge vessel, lie at anchor in Nakhodka Bay near the port city of Nakhodka, Russia, on Sunday. Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, the U.S. and the 27-nation European Union agreed on Friday to cap at $60 US per barrel what they would pay for Russian crude oil shipped by sea. (Tatiana Meel/Reuters)

"It took a long time to get here — but this arguably is one of the strongest responses to [Vladimir] Putin's war in Ukraine," tweeted Simone Tagliapietra, an energy policy expert at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels.

Moscow has said it will not abide by the measure even if it has to cut production while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said $60 was too high to stop Russia's assault.

The Sunday Magazine11:25A child’s diary of war

On the morning of February 24, Yeva Skalietska was woken up by a loud, metallic bang. The 12-year-old girl from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv rushed to a makeshift bomb shelter with her grandmother, hiding from Russian missile attacks and writing about the experience in her diary. Now, nearly 10 months into the war in Ukraine, Skalietska and her grandmother are living in Dublin, and her diary is being published for the world to read. Skalietska​​​ joins Piya Chattopadhyay to talk about the fear, anxiety and small moments of comfort she documented in her book, You Don't Know What War Is.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is in charge of energy issues, warned in televised comments on Sunday that Russia won't sell its oil to countries that try to apply the price cap.

"We will only sell oil and oil products to the countries that will work with us on market terms, even if we have to reduce output to some extent," Novak said in televised remarks hours before the price cap came into effect.

India noncommittal on cap

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday it was "obvious and indisputable that the adoption of these decisions is a step towards destabilizing world energy markets."

India has so far not committed to the price cap.

While hosting Germany's foreign affairs minister on Monday, the country's Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam said it isn't right for European countries to prioritize their energy needs but "ask India to do something else."

India and Russia have close relations and New Delhi has not supported Western sanctions on Moscow, even though it has repeatedly urged an "immediate cessation of violence" in Ukraine. India, also a major market for Russian-made weapons, has so far abstained from UN resolutions critical of Moscow's war.


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Air Canada’s New Holiday Film Celebrates Togetherness

Air Canada’s New Holiday Film Celebrates Togetherness

  • Animated short film follows a heartwarming story of a baby loon reuniting with loved ones for the holidays

, /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada is celebrating the holiday season with a new, heartfelt short film to enchant Canadians with a message of togetherness. Launching today across Canada, the animated spot stars a baby loon who gets separated from its family on the annual journey south for the winter. The baby loon finds its way back to its loved ones in an unexpected way that is sure to give Canadians a jolly surprise.

Air Canada is celebrating the holiday season with a new, heartfelt short film to enchant Canadians with a message of togetherness. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

Air Canada is celebrating the holiday season with a new, heartfelt short film to enchant Canadians with a message of togetherness. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

"Together for the Holidays", opens with the baby loon and its family soaring through the Canadian skies as a strong gust of wind pushes the protagonist out of its parents' path. However, all is not lost. With a safe landing in a whimsical new place, the baby loon makes a new friend and life-changing new memories. The final act sees the baby loon reunited with its family, new friend in tow, reminding us togetherness makes the holidays merry and bright.

The spot also features music from two Canadian artists: Where You Are by Tenille Townes, one of Canada's most critically acclaimed country singers and Les échardes by Charlotte Cardin, a four-time 2022 Juno Award winner. Their emotive songs and lyrics add the soundtrack to our story.

"It's been a tradition for us to use magic and wonder in our storytelling when it comes to our holiday ads, as it is one of the most celebrated and heartfelt times of the year," said Andy Shibata, Vice President, Brand, Air Canada. "Air Canada takes great pride in being the airline that plays a role in uniting family and friends to help them celebrate these special times."

"Together for the Holidays", developed with FCB Canada, launches today in multiple forms. A combination of 90-second and 60-second versions will be shown in cinema, 60-second and 30-second versions on televisions across Canada, and 30-second and 15-second versions on social media and digital platforms.

For 85 years, Air Canada has been connecting people across our vast country and beyond. As a global airline, Air Canada flies to six continents. Combined with the networks of its Joint Venture and Star Alliance partners, Air Canada offers customers easy access to virtually any destination in the world.

Visit aircanada.com for more information.

About Air Canada 

Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 88 internationally. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada's Aeroplan program is Canada's premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.

Sign up for Air Canada news: aircanada.com

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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2022/05/c4994.html


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