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Alberta offers cash in push to become top global petrochemical producer – CBC.ca

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The Alberta government says it’s prepared to give billions of dollars to lure investors willing to build or expand petrochemical facilities in the province, part of what it says is a push to be a top global player in the field. 

In a news release introducing the new Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program, the government says it hopes to grow the sector by more than $30 billion by 2030 and compete with jurisdictions across Asia, the Middle East and the U.S. areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

“On top of our existing petrochemical producers and all the companies that feed in and support them, we have a multi-generational supply of natural gas, an experienced workforce, and one of the lowest tax rates in North America,” said Dale Nally, the associate minister of natural gas and electricity, in the news release. 

“By launching this program, Alberta moves towards achieving the goal of becoming one of the most attractive investment opportunities for petrochemicals in the world.”

The details

The program would offer grants of up to 12 per cent of eligible capital costs for new projects in the province. That money will be offered only in the final stages of construction in order to ensure projects are already built. 

The minimum investment required to be eligible is $50 million, with no upper limit, and the project must consume natural gas, natural gas liquids or petrochemical “intermediaries,” and create new and permanent jobs in the province.

The window for applications on projects between $50 million and $150 million will be open for five years, and 10 years for projects over that threshold. 

Hydrogen projects

Hydrogen facilities will be eligible for the grants and there is no cap on the number of projects. 

“Alberta has the potential to become a major player in low-carbon hydrogen and sustainable plastics production, but we’ll only get there if we have a competitive edge over other jurisdictions,” said Doug Schweitzer, the minister of jobs, economy and innovation, in the news release.

The government estimates it could create over 90,000 direct and indirect jobs  and bring in $10 billion for the government if it hits the target of growing the sector by $30 billion.

On Friday, the Globe and Mail reported that the province was in talks with a private firm from Saudi Arabia to build a $5-billion petrochemical facility in Alberta. 

“From Day 1, we have said that we are going to seek out international investors to create jobs in Alberta. We are pleased to see that interest has been expressed by a number of global companies from different regions,” said Jennifer Henshaw, a spokesperson for Nally, in response to questions about the Globe article. 

“We hope to have more to say in the months to come but cannot comment any further at this time due to confidentiality and commercial sensitivities.”

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China’s factories crank up output, but jobs, debt remain concerns – Aljazeera.com

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China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in November, while growth in the services sector also hit a multi-year high, as the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic stepped up.

Upbeat data released on Monday suggest the world’s second-largest economy is on track to become the first to completely shake off the drag from widespread industry shutdowns, with recent production data showing manufacturing now at pre-pandemic levels.

But companies are still not expanding their payrolls, the figures show, and some analysts point to rising debt levels among state-owned firms as another possible headwind for the economy.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 52.1 in November from 51.4 in October, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. It was the highest PMI reading since September 2017 and remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. It was also higher than the 51.5 median forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

“The latest official PMI surveys show that the pace of economic growth picked up in November on the back of a broad-based improvement in both services and manufacturing,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at research firm Capital Economics, said in a note sent to Al Jazeera.

China’s blue-chip share index hit a 5-and-a-half-year high following the data release.

Acceleration

The robust headline PMI points to solid fourth-quarter growth, which analysts at Nomura expect to quicken to 5.7 percent compared with the same period last year, from 4.9 percent in the third quarter, an impressive turnaround from the deep contraction earlier this year.

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Indices [Bloomberg]

The economy is expected to expand by about 2 percent for the full year, the weakest in more than 30 years but still much stronger than other major economies that are struggling to bring their coronavirus outbreaks under control.

The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed the sub-index for new export orders stood at 51.5 in November, improving from 51.0 a month earlier. That bodes well for the export sector, which has benefitted from strong foreign demand for medical supplies and electronics products.

Also helping activity in November were aggressive e-commerce shopping promotions, which unleashed solid consumer demand and bolstered confidence for small and medium firms.

But a surging yuan and further lockdowns in many of its key trading partners could pressure Chinese exports, which have been surprisingly resilient so far.

More companies have reported the impact from currency fluctuations, compared with a month ago, said Zhao Qinghe, senior statistician at the NBS.

“Some firms have flagged that as the yuan continues to rise, corporate profits are under pressure and export orders are declining,” said Zhao.

He added that the recovery across the manufacturing industry remained uneven. For example, the PMI for the textile industry has stayed below the 50-point threshold, pointing to weak business activity.

Consumer comeback

In the services sector, activity expanded for the ninth straight month. The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.4, the fastest since June 2012 and up from 56.2 in October, as consumer confidence gathered pace amid few COVID-19 infections.

Railway and air transportation, telecommunication and satellite transmission services and the financial industry were among the best-performing sectors in November.

A sub-index for construction activity stood at 60.5 in November, improving from 59.8 in October, as China steps up infrastructure spending to revive its economy.

Monday’s data also showed that the labour market is still facing strains. Services firms reduced payrolls at a faster clip in November, while factories slashed staff for the seventh straight month, although at a slower pace.

“The continued recovery reduces the need for further monetary easing, but any shift to tightening is also unlikely given continued labour market pressure,” said Erin Xin, Greater China economist at HSBC.

Another factor that could prove problematic for China is rising levels of debt among regional governments and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

“The recent wave of SOE debt defaults has contradicted the overall data improvement, including the latest PMI,” wrote Daiwa Capital Markets economists Kevin Lai and Eileen Lin in a research note sent to Al Jazeera.

“Many of these companies should have benefited from a nascent recovery since the economy reopened. However, most of these companies are owned and controlled by local governments,” they said.

“They have been allowed to raise more funds from the bond market and run bigger fiscal deficits when the pandemic began to hit the local economy. Hence, when domestic demand indicators turn better, it is usually a result of more debt-driven stimulus being injected into various industrial sectors.”

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Scotiabank CEO 'cautiously optimistic' about COVID rebound, reports $1.9B Q4 profit – Yahoo Canada Finance

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GlobeNewswire

Apple Rush Company seeing continued success with Element C through its distributor Botanaway, Inc. in Virginia

TITUSVILLE, Fla., Dec. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Apple Rush Company, Inc. (US OTC PINK: APRU), announces that it has shipped additional pallets of Element C to Botanaway, Inc. in Virginia. Element C continues to prove itself in the territories it is represented in. Sales have been solid and we believe it is the best in class of CBD beverages. It is one of a kind in taste, efficacy, and value. Depending on the market, pricing at retail is falling between $5.99 and $7.99 per can with 25mg of CBD. We have a new production run scheduled for next week and are excited about the reorder rate from retailers in the Midwest as well. Tony Torgerud, CEO of Apple Rush, said, “each of our distributors is proving that Element C is a top notch product that consumers love. We are receiving testimonials from consumers that can’t believe the difference Element C has made in their lives and expect that will continue as we expand to additional territories.”David Reynolds Derian, CEO of Botanaway, Inc., commented, “Element C is an amazing CBD beverage. We are seeing success with it throughout our thousands of retail stores and have our sights on several other functional beverages in the near future. The technology in formulation that APRU utilizes has proven to be a great differentiator from the other CBD infused beverages on the market.”Tony Continued, “we are excited to have David and his team on board for Element C. His support has been invaluable in what we do in research and development for new products. Our production runs will continue to increase in size as we expand across the country. I would expect to be making some announcements in the near future on new product development expanding the Element Brands line. We have been receiving calls from other parts of the country for distribution and will be adding those as production increases.”   About The Apple Rush Company, Inc. The Apple Rush Company, Inc., through its subsidiary APRU, LLC, is a distributor of CPG products under the trademarked Apple Rush brand, Element brand and other labels. The Apple Rush brand has more than 47 years of existence in the natural beverage industry. As a historical leader in the organic and natural beverage sector our goal is to now become a leader in the distribution of anhydrous hemp oil products nationwide. For more information, please go to www.applerush.com, www.aprubrands.com, and www.mistyk.com with our expanded product portfolio.Safe Harbor Act: Forward-Looking Statements are included within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements regarding our expected future financial position, results of operations, cash flows, financing plans, business strategy, products and services, competitive positions, growth opportunities, plans and objectives of management for future operations including words such as “anticipate,” “if,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “will,” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements and involve risks, uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control, which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from anticipated results, performance, or achievements. We are under no obligation to (and expressly disclaim any such obligation to) update or alter forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Investor Relations Contact: Tony Torgerud  888-741-3777 x 2

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Scotiabank beats as international unit rebounds, provisions fall – BNN

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Bank of Nova Scotia kicked off earnings season for Canada’s Big Six lenders by handily beating profit expectations amid a sharp drop in funds set aside for loans that could go bad.

Scotia said Tuesday its fiscal fourth quarter net income was $1.9 billion, compared to $2.3 billion a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, it earned $1.45 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $1.22.

In a potentially encouraging signal about credit quality trends amid the second wave of COVID-19, the bank booked $1.13 billion in provisions for credit losses during the three months ending Oct. 31. While that was a 50-per-cent increase from a year earlier, it was a significant decline from the $2.18 billion that had been set aside in the previous quarter.

Scotia’s core Canadian banking operations struggled in the quarter compared to the same time in 2019, with revenue falling four per cent year-over-year and adjusted profit sliding 13 per cent. The bank pointed out its net interest income came under pressure because of the Bank of Canada’s rate cuts. On a sequential basis, the unit’s profit surged 81 per cent.

The bank’s sprawling international operations rebounded in the quarter as adjusted profit hit $353 million from just $4 million in the fiscal third quarter.

Scotia’s other primary operating units – wealth management and global banking and markets – each delivered year-over-year growth in adjusted profit.

“As we look forward to 2021, we will continue to put customers first and we remain cautiously optimistic that better times lie ahead as we continue to grow our presence as a leading bank in the Americas,” said CEO Brian Porter in a release.

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