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Amazon to hire 3500 workers in B.C. and Ont., expand their office footprint – CTV News

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Amazon.com Inc. will hire 3,500 Canadians to work in spaces it is opening and expanding in British Columbia and Ontario.

The e-commerce giant revealed Monday that 3,000 of the jobs will be in Vancouver, where it is growing its footprint, and another 500 will be in Toronto, home of a new Amazon workspace.

Jesse Dougherty, Amazon’s vice-president and Vancouver site lead, said the company wanted to offer the jobs in Canada because the country has an “enormous” amount of tech talent Amazon is eager to tap into and accommodate at home.

“I look at it through the lens of how can we grow so that people don’t have to leave Canada to learn and take on amazing global challenges that are of a scale that aren’t typically available here?” he said.

The new corporate and tech jobs will include software development engineers, user experience designers, speech scientists working to make Alexa smarter, cloud computing solutions architects, and sales and marketing executives.

The bulk of the jobs will be done out of the Post, a Vancouver building where Amazon will take over an extra 63,000 square metres of office space. By 2023 it will be operating across 18 floors it is leasing in the building’s north tower and 17 in its south tower.

Vancouver has long been seen as an attractive Canadian outpost for companies because of its proximity to the U.S. and major tech hubs including Silicon Valley and Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.

The company will also welcome new workers in Toronto, where it will lease 12,000 square metres over five floors at an 18 York St. building that is not far from investors on Bay Street. It hopes workers will be in the building next summer.

Amazon’s renewed interest in its corporate and tech workforce and footprint in the country comes after focusing the bulk of its efforts in the market on its network of 16 fulfilment centres — 13 already in operation and another three coming in Hamilton, Ajax and Ottawa, Ont.

Those centres have faced homegrown competition from Shopify Inc., an Ottawa-based e-commerce business that has shot up the Toronto Stock Exchange to hold the title of country’s most valuable company several times this year.

While it was long known for providing the back-end for companies to sell goods online, Shopify launched its own fulfilment network in 2019 and bulked up its presence in Vancouver with 1,000 hires and a new office earlier this year.

Dougherty doesn’t appear to be nervous about Shopify.

“Amazon works in lots and lots of different businesses and all of them are highly competitive and we welcome that because it inevitably creates better experiences,” he said.

“There are other benefits to having other tech companies raise the bar in markets we work in because it educates more talent, you can move around and it creates more economic activity.”

Amazon has invested more than $11 billion in Canada, including infrastructure and compensation, delivered $9 billion to the country’s economy and helped create at least 67,000 jobs, he said.

However, many have those jobs have been dogged with concerns.

The Warehouse Workers Centre, a Brampton, Ont.-based organization representing people in the warehouse and logistics sector, started a petition earlier this year that garnered hundreds of signatures claiming “Amazon is failing to protect our health.”

The petition alleged that Amazon, which employs tens of thousands of people in Canada and has fulfilment centres in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec, was refusing to give workers paid leave and not telling staff what their plans are if facilities are contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with COVID-19.

The petition claimed physical distancing at its facilities is “nearly impossible” and said some warehouse workers are now putting in 50 hours a week or more, which the petition called “unsustainable” and said needs to stop.

Amazon has spent more than $800 million on employee safety since the start of the year, Dougherty said.

The company has unveiled temperature checks, physical distancing measures and offered personal protective wear as part of that investment.

“The health of our employees is absolutely critical to us,” Doughtery said. It is our top priority, so we are always paying attention to how those systems are working and ensuring they are the best they can be.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2020

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Cenovus shares plummet on news of its $3.8-billion deal to buy oilsands rival – CTV News

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CALGARY —
The all-shares deal by Cenovus Energy Inc. to buy Husky Energy Inc. for about $3.8 billion will likely spark more mega-mergers among Canadian oil and gas majors, according to a veteran oilsands analyst.

“This is likely just the start of big deals in Canadian energy land and thus it begs the question of who is next?” said analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital in a report on Monday.

“As seen in the U.S. with the accelerated M&A activity, when there’s one meaningful transaction, there’s likely more to come.”

Several industry observers point to Calgary-based oilsands producer MEG Energy Inc. as the leading potential target, noting Husky’s failed $3.3-billion hostile takeover attempt of its smaller rival two years ago.

In his report, Skolnick presents scenarios where Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ) or Imperial Oil Ltd. buy MEG, while also outlining the numbers involved if Canadian Natural combines with Imperial or Suncor Energy Inc., and if Suncor was to merge with Imperial.

“Some (scenarios) have been asked about before and I was just bringing up some new ones — like a CNQ and Suncor merger is not something I’ve heard out there, but nor was Cenovus-Husky,” he said in an interview.

“I’m not going to give zero chance to anything anymore.”

Analysts generally applauded the surprise Cenovus-Husky hookup announced Sunday for its operational advantages but criticized the plus-20-per-cent premium in the price for Husky.

“The deal does makes strategic sense,” said Manav Gupta of Credit Suisse in a note to investors.

“Like U.S. E&P (exploration and production companies), Canadian energy companies also need to come together, cut costs and become leaner to better adapt to lower energy demand in post pandemic world.”

He said Cenovus’s reputation as an efficient operator in its steam-driven oilsands projects will help Husky overcome its struggles with operational issues, including higher operating and administrative costs.

The companies have identified $1.2 billion in annual potential cost savings which will include workforce reductions.

But Gupta added the premium is “excessive” and joined other observers in predicting Cenovus shares would trade lower, as they did, falling by as much as 15 per cent or 73 cents to $4.15 in Monday morning trading in Toronto.

Husky, meanwhile, gained as much as 44 cents or 13.9 per cent to $3.61.

Husky shareholders are to receive 0.7845 of a Cenovus share plus 0.0651 of a Cenovus share purchase warrant in exchange for each Husky common share if the deal is concluded.

Cenovus shareholders would own about 61 per cent of the combined company and Husky shareholders about 39 per cent.

The transaction must be approved by at least two-thirds of Husky’s shareholders but Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing controls 70 per cent of Husky’s shares and has agreed to vote them in favour of the deal.

The announcement Sunday came just as Calgary’s oilsands companies are about to start rolling out third-quarter financial results, with Suncor Energy Inc. set to report Wednesday and both Cenovus and Husky scheduled to report on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2020

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Jack Ma's Ant Group aims to raise $34.5 billion in largest IPO of all time | Markets – Business Insider

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Ant Group
Ant Group logo is pictured at the Shanghai office of Alipay, owned by Ant Group which is an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China September 14, 2020.

  • Ant Group will raise $34.5 billion through a dual initial public offering in November, making it the biggest-ever IPO.
  • The financial services giant aims to evenly split its 1.67 billion-share debut across the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.
  • Shares will be priced at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) each in Shanghai and at 80 Hong Kong dollars ($10.32) in Hong Kong. The collective sum trounces the previous $29 billion record set by Saudi Aramco’s IPO last year.
  • Ant is set to begin trading in Hong Kong on November 5, according to regulatory filings.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Ant Group plans to raise $34.5 billion in a dual initial public offering next month, edging out Saudi Aramco’s debut to become the largest listing of all time. 

The financial services company – an arm of billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba empire – will evenly split its offering, selling 1.67 billion shares each in debuts in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Shares listed on the Shanghai exchange will be priced at 68.8 yuan ($10.27) each, according to regulatory filings published Monday. The pricing implies a 114.9 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) windfall from the listing.

Shares set to trade on the Hong Kong exchange are priced at 80 Hong Kong dollars (10.32) each, setting up the other half of the listing to bring in 133.7 billion Hong Kong dollars ($17.2 billion). In total, the dual listing can value Ant at $313.4 billion should its market debut enjoy strong investor demand.

Read more: BANK OF AMERICA: Buy these 11 under-owned stocks ahead of their earnings reports because they’re the most likely candidates to beat expectations in the weeks ahead

Such an IPO would also trounce the record set by Saudi Aramco in 2019. The oil titan raised $29 billion in a share sale that temporarily established it as the world’s highest-valued company. 

Ant could even push its fundraising total just below $40 billion if it sells shares through so-called greenshoe options. The agreements allow the company’s underwriters to sell additional shares than initially planned. If investor demand permits, Ant can raise another $5.2 billion across both exchanges through the over-allotment options.

The financial tech firm is expected to begin trading in Hong Kong on November 5, according to the filing. It’s not yet known when shares will begin trading in Shanghai.

Ant’s debut is slated to bring tech-IPO proceeds to their highest level since the dot-com bubble’s 1999 peak. Strong demand for new offerings has lifted the market from its March slump and reinvigorated IPO dealmaking despite the bleak economic backdrop. July alone saw companies raise $19 billion through listings, the biggest one-month haul since September 2014.

China International Capital Corp. and CSC Financial will underwrite Ant’s Shanghai listing. CICC, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan will lead the Hong Kong IPO.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

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A blue sweep will create a ‘stock pickers market’ and end secular stagnation — A top US fund manager overseeing $34 billion says these are the 3 sectors to watch

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Ant Group raises $34 billion in world's largest IPO – CNN

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The tech company behind China’s largest online payments platform priced its dual listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai’s Star Market at 80 Hong Kong dollars ($10.32) and 68 yuan ($10.13) per share respectively, according to regulatory filings released Monday.
That means the IPO will raise over $34.1 billion and value the company at about $310 billion. The previous record for a stock-market listing was held by Saudi state oil company Aramco, which raised $29.4 billion in an offering on the Riyadh exchange last December.
The listing is a win for China which has been encouraging the country’s top tech companies to list at home instead of on top exchanges in the United States.
Ant is splitting the IPO evenly between Hong Kong and Shanghai, selling 1.67 billion shares on each exchange. The shares to be issued are equivalent to about 11% of the company.
Ant is the financial technology company affiliated with Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba (BABA), which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 in what was also a world-record setting IPO. Billionaire Ma has ultimate control over Ant.
Ant is one of the biggest technology firms in the world and the biggest online payments platform in China. The app has established its presence in every aspect of financial life in China, from investment accounts and micro savings products to insurance, credit scores and even dating profiles.
The firm’s payments app Alipay had 731 million monthly active users as of September, Ant said in regulatory filings. The platform handled 118 trillion yuan ($17.7 trillion) in payments in the 12 months through June.
The company said revenue for the nine months ended in September rose about 43% to 118.2 billion yuan ($17.7 billion) compared to the same period last year. Gross profit for the period rose 74% to 69.5 billion yuan ($10.4 billion).

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