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Canadians feeling optimistic about their investments despite pandemic – insauga.com

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How are you feeling about your investments?

A recent survey from Scotiabank indicates Canadians are feeling optimistic about their investments since the onset of the pandemic.

The Scotia Global Asset Management Investor Sentiment Index, which measures investors’ optimism based on the survey, jumped to 117 in November 2020, which is a 17-point increase from May 2020.

Additionally, the index was 130 for those who met with an advisor between May and November.

“COVID-19 has been challenging for Canadians on so many levels, and it is easy to be swayed by negative news events,” Neal Kerr, Head of Scotia Global Asset Management (Canada), said in a news release.

“These results are testament to the critical role financial advisors play in buoying their clients’ confidence–even during a pandemic–and providing the reassurance and peace of mind they need to stay invested to meet their long-term financial goals,” he continued.

Further, according to the release, 82 per cent of Canadians who met with an advisor over the last six months feel confident about their investments, compared to just 56 per cent of those who did not.

“Our core purpose at Scotia Global Asset Management is to enrich our clients’ financial futures with outstanding investment solutions in partnership with comprehensive wealth advice,” Kerr said. “Financial advisors are working tirelessly to help clients navigate investment markets and remain on track with their long-term goals.”

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iA Financial launches iA Private Wealth brand – Investment Executive

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The new iA Private Wealth name “better represents where we’re going,” said Sean O’Brien, executive vice-president of iA Wealth, in an interview. “We’re much more of a planning shop [today], helping Canadian [clients] look to the future.”

iA Wealth is the wealth management division of Quebec City–based insurer iA Financial Group, which  acquired HollisWealth from Bank of Nova Scotia in 2017. iA Securities is the firm’s legacy IIROC dealer.

iA Wealth has been integrating the two platforms over the last three years, O’Brien said, building them out organically and through recruiting.

However, “the two brands together weren’t seen as one group,” O’Brien said. “Pulling [them] together under one name recognizes the strength of the platform we’ve built and will be an important part of us trying to attract the right advisor.”

Indeed, iA Wealth intends to step up its recruiting efforts this year for “entrepreneurial-minded” advisors who are “still looking for the stability of a good, strong company behind them,” O’Brien said. “We’re seeing quite a nice surge of interest on the independent side.”

In addition to iA Private Wealth, iA Wealth has two MFDA platforms, Investia Financial Services Inc. and FundEX Investments Inc., and an asset management firm, iA Clarington Investments Inc., which offers mutual funds, managed portfolio solutions, ETFs and SRI products.

Also announced on Monday, iA Wealth’s capital markets division, which had operated under the iA Securities brand, will now be known as iA Capital Markets.

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Upbeat entrepreneurs signal improved investment intentions for 2021: Survey – Coast Reporter

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MONTREAL — A growing number of Canadian entrepreneurs say they plan to invest more in 2021 than they did last year as the vaccine rollout, improving cash flow and a quick rebound in some sectors buoys optimism for the year ahead.

The findings of the Business Development Bank of Canada’s quarterly survey of 1,000 entrepreneurs released in a new report today are the most upbeat since the pandemic began.

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Pierre Cleroux, chief economist of the Montreal-based bank, says the more positive results bode well for the country’s economic recovery.

He says investment intentions are improving, with technology emerging as the biggest focus of spending.

The bank’s survey found that the key reasons for investing in technology included improving processes to reduce costs, boosting a company’s online presence and investing in remote working.

Cleroux says while many entrepreneurs were wary about allowing employees to work from home before the pandemic, he says the last 10 months have shown it can benefit a business.

“The pandemic has changed the game,” he said. “It changed the perception of working from home.”

Cleroux said remote work can improve productivity, increase worker motivation and spur innovation.

“It can also reduce costs,” he said, noting that 18 per cent of business owners surveyed by the bank said they plan to reduce their office space.

Despite an increase in COVID-19 cases across much of the country, Cleroux said the optimism uncovered by the survey is unlikely to change.

Businesses understand that once restrictions are lifted, the economy will rebound much faster than with other recessions, he said.

“This optimism we’re seeing will likely survive the second wave of the virus because we all believe the vaccine is going to improve drastically the situation of the economy,” Cleroux said.

Still, while business confidence has improved for the first time since the pandemic began, the study found that investment intentions compared to previous years are still relatively weak.

Across Canada, business investment intentions for the next 12 months are down three per cent compared with last winter, for example, but have improved significantly from last spring’s rock bottom decrease of 32 per cent, according to the bank’s report.

Investment intentions is the difference between negative and positive business sentiment.

Of note are the investment intentions of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, which at one per cent and four per cent, respectively, are the only positive results on investment intentions in the survey.

Meanwhile, investment intentions in B.C. are down three per cent, Ontario came in at four per cent lower, while the Prairie provinces were the lowest at a 13 per cent decline.

The online survey of business owners was completed between Dec. 3 and Dec. 18, 2020. The poll measures the confidence of entrepreneurs in the economy, business and hiring outlooks, as well as investment plans over the next 12 months.

According to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021.

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Total speeds up renewables push with $2.5 billion investment in Indian solar power – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Sudip Kar-Gupta

PARIS (Reuters) – Total is paying $2.5 billion for a share in Indian renewable energy firm Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) and a portfolio of solar power assets, marking the latest step in the French energy company’s drive to reduce its dependence on oil.

For its investment, Total will get a 20% stake in AGEL and a seat on its board, as well as a 50% share in the Indian firm’s portfolio of solar power assets, the French firm said.

AGEL is controlled by Indian conglomerate Adani Group and has a market capitalisation of about 1.483 trillion Indian rupees ($20.25 billion).

Total has embarked on a strategy of shifting towards electricity and renewable energy. It aims to have 35 gigawatts (GW) of gross renewable energy generation capacity by 2025 from around 9 GW now.

Growing investor pressure has spurred Europe’s top energy companies to outline plans to curb emissions and boost renewable energy output.

Last week, Total became the first major global energy company to quit the main U.S. oil and gas lobby, the American Petroleum Institute, citing disagreements over the lobby’s climate policies and support for easing drilling regulations.

Commenting on Total’s acquisition, CEO Patrick Pouyanne said: “Our entry into AGEL is a major milestone in our strategy in the renewable energy business in India put in place by both parties.”

“Given the size of the market, India is the right place to put into action our energy transition strategy based on two pillars: renewables and natural gas,” he added.

Total’s shares dipped 0.7% in early trading, as oil prices fell, but investment bank Barclays said Total was one of its top picks, with an “overweight” rating.

AGEL is targeting 25 GW of renewable power generation by 2025, and Total said AGEL would form a key part of Total’s own overall plans for 35 GW of gross production capacity from renewable sources by 2025, along with plans for a further 10 GW per year on top of that afterwards.

Total and Adani struck a partnership deal back in 2018 in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Christian Lowe. Editing by Mark Potter)

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