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China set to implement its first civil code, as private investment slows –



By Keith Zhai, Gabriel Crossley and Yew Lun Tian

(Reuters) – China’s parliament is poised to enact its first civil code, a wide-ranging legislative package that includes strengthening protection of property rights in a Communist Party-ruled country whose embrace of private ownership has long been awkward.

The civil code, in the works since 2014, will become law at a time when China needs its often-embattled private sector to step up investment to help revive a virus-battered economy, and will be a centrepiece of the annual parliamentary session that begins on Friday after a more-than two month delay.

However, the civil code is largely an amalgamation of existing laws, meaning its impact may be limited, some analysts said. And enforcement is uncertain, as courts are not independent and ultimately answer to the party, although legal reforms in recent years have aimed to give judges more independence and rein in local officials’ influence over courts.

The civil code, which among other provisions protects personal information and makes it easier to divorce or sue for sexual harassment, is expected to spell out the clearest boundary yet between government and markets since the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic of China.

It is a cornerstone of President Xi Jinping’s push to reform the country’s legal system by 2020, even as China has tightened controls on civil society and expanded party control under his leadership.

The legislation – on paper at least – reduces the scope for bureaucratic meddling and abuse that have often bedevilled private firms and property owners in a country where business owners were not allowed to join the Communist Party until 2001 and are still treated with suspicion by some party officials.

“It gives more complete protection to the rights of the individual,” said Wang Jiangyu, a law professor at the City University of Hong Kong.

“The bigger context is, is this a country that adheres to the rule of law? Is the government really executing the law?”


Implementation of the code, which incorporates existing laws including those covering property, contracts and torts, reflects long-running concerns among business owners over protection of personal and property rights.

“All private firms have their ‘original sin,'” Xu Bin, a steel trader in Henan province, told Reuters in March, referring to the sometimes dubious actions taken by entrepreneurs in the early days of China’s reform and opening.

Some worry those “sins” can still be used against them.

A 2017 survey on the climate for private sector firms by Unirule Institute of Economics, a now-defunct liberal Beijing-based think tank, found companies rated “legal fairness” 4 out of 10.

“Without legal protection, private businessmen don’t feel safe. Our survey showed that they think there is a 22.5% chance of danger to themselves and a 26.8% chance that their assets are at risk,” Sheng Hong, an independent scholar who was previously Unirule’s executive director, told Reuters.

However, the civil code will not protect entrepreneurs in criminal cases.

“Since the Civil Code only covers civil disputes, it does not help protect property rights against seizure of assets by the state, a most important concern among entrepreneurs,” said Xin Sun, a lecturer in Chinese and East Asian business at King’s College London.


Private sector investment in China has slowed sharply, to the worry of officials, from more than 20% growth when Xi assumed power to single digits in recent years. It fell 13% during the coronavirus-battered first four month of this year, compared with a 7 percent decline for state companies.

In an April meeting chaired by Xi, the Communist Party’s decision-making Politburo said the government will support the private economy and development of small- and medium-sized firms, which remain excluded from several industries and have long had difficulty securing bank credit.

“The civil code could restore confidence of private business owners and to help prop up economic growth,” said Hu Xingdou, a retired economics professor with Beijing Institute of Technology.

Sun, of King’s College, isn’t so sure, saying the civil code brings little added protection for rights and property, and is more symbol than substance.

“China does have a comprehensive system of high-quality written laws but a lot of concerns arise from their enforcement rather than the laws themselves,” he said.

(Reporting by Keith Zhai, Gabriel Crossley, and Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Tony Munroe and Michael Perry)

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Paul Holba appointed Chief Investment Officer of Empire Life Investments Inc. – Yahoo Finance



KINGSTON, ON, July 4, 2022 /CNW/ – Empire Life Investments Inc. (ELII) today announced the appointment of Paul Holba, CFA, as Chief Investment Officer. Mr. Holba also joins the executive leadership team of parent company The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Life).

Empire Life (CNW Group/The Empire Life Insurance Company)

Empire Life (CNW Group/The Empire Life Insurance Company)

Mr. Holba joined Empire Life’s retail distribution division in 2009, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience in the Canadian investment industry through progressively senior roles with global investment management firms and the asset management division of a major Canadian bank. He has held senior management roles in both Empire Life and ELII since then. For the past seven years, he has held the position of Vice-President, Retail Distribution, building strong relationships with and between advisors, investment professionals and strategic partners.

“Paul has deep knowledge of the investment and insurance sectors and has proven himself as a highly respected and engaging leader within the company and the industry,” says Mark Sylvia, President and CEO of Empire Life and ELII. “Under Paul’s leadership, the ELII investment management team will continue its focus on performance through investing in attractively valued, high-quality businesses with an emphasis on downside protection for our customers and institutional investors.”

About Empire Life Investments Inc.

Empire Life Investments Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Empire Life Insurance Company. The company manages and offers mutual funds and is the portfolio manager of Empire Life segregated funds, including Empire Life Guaranteed Investment Funds.

About Empire Life

Established in 1923 and a subsidiary of E-L Financial Corporation Limited, Empire Life provides individual and group life and health insurance, investment and retirement products. The company’s mission is to make it simple, fast and easy for Canadians to get the products and services they need to build wealth, generate income, and achieve financial security. As of March 31, 2022, Empire Life had total assets under management of $18.6 billion. Follow us on social media @EmpireLife or visit for more information.

SOURCE The Empire Life Insurance Company



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Why ETFs are a good investment value – Yahoo Finance



Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, can be a good way to diversify your portfolio and can be cost-effective.

“ETFs are generally less costly and easier to access for investors,” said Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s director of global exchange-traded fund research. “They offer investors access to a whole host of investment strategies, from total market indexes to actively managed portfolios of stocks linked to the metaverse, with low fees, superior tax efficiency, and often much smaller investment minimums—typically as low as the price of a single share.”

Here’s what industry experts have to say about how to make ETFs sound investment values.

Johnson notes it’s important to know and respect what the “ET” in ETF stands for. “ETFs trade like stocks, and investors should practice good hygiene when it comes to trading them to avoid running up a big trading cost bill,” he said.


Specifically, Johnson explained that investors should consider using limit orders when buying and selling ETFs.

“This will help to ensure that they get the price they ask for (if not better) and prevent them from transacting at a price they might not like,” he said.

ETFs are fully transparent, said Tom Lydon, vice chairman with VettaFi.

“They frequently update their holdings, so investors know exactly what they are getting themselves into,” he said.


Also, Lydon explained that ETFs are more tax efficient than traditional open-end funds. Due to structural differences, said Lydon, ETFs do not incur a capital gains tax like how mutual funds would, but still come with a capital gains tax upon the sale of the ETF by an investor.

According to Lydon, ETFs may be seen as an improved version of their mutual fund cousins, providing the benefits of mutual funds and then some.

“Some of the key selling points of ETFs beyond traditional open-end funds may include things like lower expense ratios, flexible intraday trading, transparent nature and improved tax efficiency for taxable accounts,” Lydon said.


Finally, unlike mutual funds that are bought and sold once per day after the market closes, ETFs trade all day long.

“If you are familiar with trading individual company stocks on a brokerage platform, then picking up an ETF should be a similar experience,” continued Lydon.

Furthermore, he said more knowledgeable investors may also utilize various trade orders for executing ETF trades, including limit orders and stop-limit orders, along with short selling, to better manage their investment experience.

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Salim Manji Acquires 10,000 Shares of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit (TSE:AX.UN) Stock – MarketBeat



Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit (TSE:AX.UNGet Rating) Director Salim Manji bought 10,000 shares of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price of C$11.65 per share, for a total transaction of C$116,500.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 2,315,475 shares in the company, valued at approximately C$26,975,283.75.

Shares of AX.UN traded down C$0.02 during midday trading on Friday, hitting C$11.76. The company had a trading volume of 419,951 shares, compared to its average volume of 431,720. The company’s 50 day moving average price is C$12.50 and its 200 day moving average price is C$12.58. The stock has a market cap of C$1.37 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 2.76. Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit has a 52 week low of C$10.93 and a 52 week high of C$13.76. The company has a quick ratio of 0.05, a current ratio of 0.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 79.99.

AX.UN has been the topic of several recent research reports. National Bankshares lifted their target price on shares of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit from C$12.25 to C$12.50 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a report on Monday, March 7th. Laurentian Bank of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit to C$15.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 7th. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price target on shares of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit from C$13.00 to C$14.00 in a research note on Monday, March 7th. Laurentian lifted their price target on shares of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit from C$13.50 to C$15.00 in a research note on Monday, March 7th. Finally, Scotiabank lifted their price target on shares of Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit from C$12.75 to C$13.50 in a research note on Tuesday, March 8th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of C$13.53.

About Artis Real Estate Investment Trust Unit (Get Rating)

Artis is a diversified Canadian real estate investment trust investing in office, retail and industrial properties. Since 2004, Artis has executed an aggressive but disciplined growth strategy, building a portfolio of commercial properties in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and select markets in the United States.

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