Photo Courtesy: College of New Caledonia
Nov 2, 2020 10:47 AM
PRINCE GEORGE—A $500,000 investment towards the College of New Caledonia (CNC) will help provide students enrolled in the heavy mechanical trades program better tools to help advance their knowledge in heavy duty mechanics.
The investment by Finning Canada includes equipment for CNC’s heavy mechanical trades program, ranging from toolbox sets and engines, to transmissions, pumps, and axles.
“By providing tools and equipment to CNC so they can help students gain the necessary experience and education in the trades, we are helping to open doors to gainful employment opportunities for the next generation of talent.”—Kevin Parkes, President, Finning Canada
The College has renamed one of its newest buildings in recognition of the partnership to, “Finning Heavy Mechanical Trades Training Facility.” Finning Canada and the College have had an on-going relationship since CNC first purchased equipment from them in 2013.
What’s your investment risk tolerance during a pandemic? – GuelphToday
When it comes to protecting your mental and physical health during a pandemic, it’s important to play it safe.
Can you say the same about your financial health?
The market fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was swift and concerning to investors. At the start of the pandemic, U.S. markets experienced the fastest 30 per cent stock decline ever. Many investors who thought their portfolios were safe started to worry as investments dropped in value. While remaining cautiously optimistic that 2021 will bring a stable and sustained recovery, market volatility is always present. This can create a need for investors to asses their risk tolerance with their advisor on a regular basis.
“Warren Buffet once said that when the tide goes out we see who’s wearing shorts,” said Darren Devine, President of Devine and Associates Financial Services Inc. “What that means is that investors’ emotions come to the surface. Investors feel great when the markets are on the rise. When the markets go down as they did during COVID, we can see what their actual risk tolerance is.”
Devine says the sudden and rapid recovery helped ease investors’ fears when the markets dropped in March. Investors often push beyond what their true risk tolerance is during periods of solid economic growth. Unfortunately, that tolerance can quickly vanish if portfolios loose a large percent of their value.
“In a V-shaped recovery, if you’re back to par, it’s a good time to review your investments,” suggests Devine. “See how your investments performed and whether they stayed in line with the amount of risk you can withstand”.
While not everyone’s investments are connected to the market, those that do were down a significant amount of capital. Seeing a portfolio valued at $200,000 quickly drop to $140,000 is upsetting to any investor. Devine says determining your risk tolerance comes down to your age and timeframe for contributing to your investment portfolio.
“An investment strategy that’s good for a younger person may not be good for an older person,” said Devine. “For a 25-year-old who may have a high-risk investment portfolio, this isn’t a time to panic. You’re likely buying units at a discount as a result of the downturn in the market. On the other hand, if you’re 62, retiring at age 65, now may be the time to ask questions. If a market correction occurs, does a high risk portfolio make sense at this stage of your life?”
No matter how your investments faired during COVID, Devine says it’s important to find out your true risk tolerance. This helps you prepare for any future market unpredictability.
“Not always do we get the benefit of a sharp recovery so quickly,” he said. “Being back to a period of positive growth in six months is rare. There’s no script here, no playbook. It’s not a static equation. Next time it drops it may take five years to come back. Take the time now to assess your risk and adjust your portfolio accordingly.”
To get an assessment of your investments, contact Devine & Associates Financial Services Inc. at 519-780-1730.
Key Outcomes for Foreign Investors in Vietnam's New Law on Investment – Lexology
Vietnam’s revised Law on Investment (Law No. 61/2020/QH14)(“LOI 2020”) enters into force from January 1, 2021. The National Assembly adopted the LOI 2020 on June 17, 2020. It will replace Law No. 67/2014/QH13 (“LOI 2014”), which has been in force since 2014. Notable provisions of the LOI 2020 for foreign investors in Vietnam include the introduction of a “negative list” for foreign investment, increases in ownership thresholds for treatment as a national investor, a “national security” provision, new investment incentives, and additional measures to streamline investment procedures.
The LOI 2020 will be accompanied by implementing regulations, which are currently being developed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, providing additional guidance as to conditions for investment in certain sectors, procedures for obtaining project approvals, and other key details.
Key outcomes in LOI 2020
Negative list. The LOI 2020 introduces, for the first time in Vietnam, a market access “negative list.” This means that foreign entities are afforded national treatment with regard to investment except in those sectors explicitly set out in an accompanying List of Restricted Sectors. This is a more permissive approach than previous iterations of Vietnam’s investment regulations, which followed a “positive list” approach, blocking market access except in listed sectors.
Under the LOI 2020, investment in certain sectors may be entirely prohibited or subject to certain restrictions or conditions. All investment, foreign or domestic, is banned in eight enumerated sectors (including trading in certain chemicals and identified narcotics. Under the LOI 2020, debt collection is newly added to this list of restricted sectors.1
Certain sectors are considered “conditional” for all investors, foreign or domestic, and may require formal approval (i.e., in the form of business licenses or other certifications).2 Such conditional sectors must “satisfy necessary conditions for reasons of national defense, security or order, social safety, social morality, and health of the community.” These sectors are listed in Appendix IV (“List of Conditional Investments and Businesses”) of the LOI 2020. The Government of Vietnam is expected to release implementing regulations further detailing conditional investment rules and procedures. Conditional sectors will also be listed on the National Business Registration Portal.3
Conditional investment rules apply to foreign investors, with additional potential restrictions including:
(i) Percentage ownership limits;
(ii) Restrictions on the form of investment;
(iii) Restrictions on the scope of business and investment activities;
(iv) Financial capacity of the investors and partners; and
(v) Other conditions under international treaties and Vietnamese law.4
These rules will be further explicated by forthcoming implementing regulations.
The List of Conditional Investments and Businesses of the LOI 2020 details 227 sectors with some changes from the LOI 2014. For example, sectors added to the conditional sectors list include water sanitization and architectural services. Certain sectors, including franchising and logistics, were removed from the list.
Lowering “foreign investor” threshold from 51% equity to 50%. Under the LOI 2014, enterprises 51% or more foreign-owned were treated as “foreign investors” for the purposes of investment activities. Thus, a company more than 50% owned by a foreign entity could still receive the benefits afforded to domestic enterprises. The LOI 2020 changes this, lowering the “foreign investor” threshold to 50%.5
Restrictions relating to “sham” nominee transactions. The LOI 2020 tightens rules regarding the use of Vietnamese nominees in order for foreign investors to access restricted sectors. An investment undertaken “on the basis of a counterfeit civil transaction” – also translated as a “sham” or “façade” transaction – can be terminated by the government.6
National security measures. The LOI 2020 states that investments shall be suspended or terminated if such activities are “harmful, or are in danger of harming national defense or security.”7 Notably, the terms “national defense” and “security” are not defined, leaving the Government of Vietnam interpretive freedom in applying this provision.
Investment incentives. The LOI 2020 introduces new incentives for investment in certain sectors, including:
(i) High-tech sectors, including software development, clean energy technologies, and information and communications technology-related products;
(iii) Public transportation;
(vi) Pharmaceuticals and other health industries; and
(vii) Investment projects for creative startups.
Further, the LOI 2020 provides for investment incentives in “[a]reas with difficult socio-economic conditions” and industrial zones.8 Such incentives may include tax incentives, access to credit, support for research and development, and other measures.9
Other notable provisions. The LOI 2020 includes a range of provisions dictating the terms for Vietnamese outbound investment and includes additional rules and guidance regarding investment approvals, including procedures for issuance, adjustment and termination of outward Investment Registration Certificates.
While the LOI 2020 appears structurally more permissive of foreign investment, certain administrative hurdles remain in place (e.g., the requirement that investors acquire project-specific Investment Registration Certificates and high-level approvals for certain types of investments). Further, uncertainty remains as to the specific conditions for investment in the “conditional” sectors, as well as the potential use of the blanket national security provision.
Despite these administrative and political considerations, foreign direct investment in Vietnam continues to increase at a consistent pace – reaching US $38.2 billion in 2019, up 7.2% from the year prior – and appears poised to continue. Vietnam’s ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in August 2020 and January 2019, respectively, also support the Government of Vietnam’s commitment to provide additional certainty and opportunities for foreign investors.
Two other notable laws of interest to foreign investors will also enter into force from January 1, 2021. The new Law on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) (Law No. 64/2020/QH14) will strengthen and codify provisions relating to PPP projects at the law level (as passed by the National Assembly), which could potentially reduce the uncertainty and ambiguity of the legal framework applicable to a particular infrastructure project. Meanwhile, the amended Enterprise Law (Law No. 59/2020/QH14) streamlines the regulation of the establishment, operation and governance of corporate entities in Vietnam and enhances protections for minority shareholders, among other key provisions.
Foreign Investment in UK Finance Set to Drop on Covid, Brexit – BNN
(Bloomberg) — Big financial services firms are set to avoid investing in British businesses next year, discouraged by the uncertainties of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Only 10% of of global financial services firms are planning to establish or expand operations in the U.K. in the coming year, down from 45% in April, according to a report by consultancy EY published Monday.
“U.K. financial services entered the pandemic in a very strong position, having led the rest of Europe in attracting overseas investment over the past 20 years,” said Omar Ali, U.K. financial services managing partner at EY.
The decline in appetite suggests the sector’s absence from the European Union trade talks “may have started to affect investor sentiment,” Ali said, while Covid-19 has made government support and infrastructure more important for those looking to invest.
The poll of 220 decision-makers painted a rosier picture in the medium term, with 53% expecting the U.K. to be more attractive for foreign direct investment in three years’ time.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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