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Digital investment in islands – Kathimerini English Edition

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Foreign investment funds discern significant investment prospects in Greece’s digital economy in terms of the further digitization of services and the property market.

Julie Meyer, chief executive officer at Swiss investment platform Viva Investment Partners, tells Kathimerini that Greece constitutes a key opportunity for the creation of investment ecosystems where digital technology is the main feature. The US entrepreneur, who has sewn up deals worth tens of millions of dollars, has already set in motion Viva’s business plan for Greece.

“For the next 10 years our annual investment conference, ‘Follow the Entrepreneur,’” which took place yesterday and Monday, “will be held on Mykonos,” she announced. “Risk and uncertainty have abandoned Mykonos, and, combined with a particularly friendly investment climate in Greece in the last few years, institutional investors are interested in investing in Mykonos,” she explains.

Meyer’s ambitious plan provides for the creation of a 50-million-euro investment fund on the island investing in the local property market and mainly in eco-living, experiential tourism, e-mobility, the minimization of the environmental footprint and the development of digital applications.

Technological innovations were the focus of the conference held on Mykonos, with the participation also of Bill Barhydt, founder and CEO of the Abra startup (a digital cash payments app), Tal Eliashiv, CEO of Netot venture capital, and Robert Gorby, chief commercial officer at Drive Software Solutions, which has developed an app for the smart management of vehicle fleets that could also by adopted in Greece, he told Kathimerini.

Mykonos, says Meyer, has significant funding requirements for the improvement of its infrastructure, while her aim is to turn the island into a year-round destination. She has a similar plan for the island of Kea, where she spends many months every year: “Through our Keanaissance plan we intend to invest in Kea for the development of necessary infrastructure, so that the island becomes even more enjoyable for families and children, as well as strengthening eco-living there,” explains Meyer: “We intend to turn Mykonos and Kea into islands where one can live year-round as a digital nomad.”

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Doug Ford promises ‘huge’ investment in Windsor, Ont., auto plant after shift cuts – Global News

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TECUMSEH, Ont. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province and federal governments will be making a “huge” investment in a Windsor, Ont., auto assembly plant to help ramp up production after the company announced a shift cut.

Stellantis, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, announced last week that it will cut its Windsor Assembly Plant down to one shift next spring in a move that will mean about 1,800 lost jobs.

The company says the move comes as the automotive industry faces significant headwinds including the semiconductor shortage and the effects of COVID-19.

Read more:
Feds fund initiative to develop electric and energy-efficient vehicles with McMaster

The cut from two shifts comes after Stellantis cut the third shift at the minivan plant in 2020 at a loss of about 1,500 jobs.

Ford, speaking near Windsor on Monday, says he wants to see three shifts again at the plant, and he will be speaking with Stellantis leadership on Tuesday.

The premier was not able to offer details on the investment, but said between both levels of government it’s “hundreds of millions” of dollars.

Stellantis has reaffirmed its commitment in a 2020 collective agreement with the local Unifor union to spend upwards of $1.5 billion at the plant.

The Windsor plant produces the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Voyager and Chrysler Grand Caravan.

Ford also spoke of his interest in having a battery facility in Windsor.

“We have all the natural resources, we have the lithium, we have the nickel, we have the cobalt, folks, everything is here,” he said.

“We don’t need to bring these batteries in from overseas. We have everything here. On top of that we have the best workforce anywhere in the world … Any people out there that are listening that want to expand in Ontario, especially the battery business, we’ll be at your front doorstep and we’ll be ready to make a deal with you.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Boris Johnson Says UK Doesn't Want to Turn Away Chinese Investment – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is not about to “pitchfork away” offers of Chinese investment despite the concerns of some of his own lawmakers. 

Decisions to bar Chinese companies from Britain’s fifth-generation communication networks and nuclear power, and condemnation of China’s human-rights record have soured relations with Beijing over the last few years, but Johnson maintains he is pro-China. 

“I am no Sinophobe — very far from it,” Johnson said in an interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait on Monday. “I’m not going to tell you that the U.K. government is going to pitchfork away every overture from China.”

Read More: Johnson Hosts Business Leaders’ Dinner Amid U.K. Investment Push

Johnson was speaking ahead of an investment conference in London on Tuesday designed to boost investment into the U.K. and just a fortnight before he hosts the Cop-26 climate summit in Scotland. With Chinese President Xi Jinping likely to be absent from the summit, concerns are growing China may refuse to set new climate change goals and deprive Johnson of a clear win on tackling global warming.

U.K. imports from China amounted to 67.6 billion pounds ($92.8 billion) in the year through June, according to U.K. statistics, a rise of nearly 40% from the previous year. That makes China the U.K.’s third largest trading partner.

“China is a gigantic part of our economic life and will be for a long time — for our lifetimes,” Johnson said. “But that does not mean that we should be naive in the way that we look at our critical national infrastructure.”

The government has said that Chinese firms are welcome to invest in non-strategic parts of the economy but Johnson refused to spell out exactly where he would draw the line. “You’d have to look at what you’re defining as strategic,” he said. 

As part of the investment conference, Huaneng will invest in a 50-megawatt battery project. 

The U.K. has already introduced legislation making it harder for foreign investors to take significant stakes in critical national infrastructure. 

Read More: China Blasts ‘Despicable’ U.K. Move to Ban Envoy From Parliament

Last month, China’s ambassador to London, Zheng Zeguang, was prevented from participating in a meeting in the U.K. Parliament in a case that crystallized the conflicting attitudes among Tory MPs. 

Zheng had been asked to attend by Conservative member Richard Graham, who chairs a group of lawmakers seeking to foster good relations with China. But the invitation drew outrage from others who have been sanctioned by Beijing for speaking out over alleged human rights abuses and the invitation was canceled by Parliamentary Speaker Lindsay Hoyle. 

Beijing has repeatedly denied any mistreatment of its Muslim Uyghur minority and insists crackdowns in Hong Kong are to prevent insurrection. 

Johnson insisted that the relationship can prosper “in spite of all the difficult conversations about the Dalai Lama or Hong Kong or the Uyghurs.”

“Actually trade with China has continued to expand for a very long time and I think probably will continue to expand for the rest of our lives,” he said. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Morrisons investors set to rubber stamp $10 billion CD&R takeover

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Shareholders in supermarket group Morrisons are expected on Tuesday to approve a 7 billion pound ($9.6 billion) offer by U.S. private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), bringing the curtain down on Britain’s most fiercely contested takeover this year.

CD&R, which has former Tesco boss Terry Leahy as a senior adviser, won an auction for Morrisons on Oct. 2, bidding a penny a share more than a consortium led by Softbank owned Fortress Investment Group.

Investor approval for the deal will conclude a six-month battle to buy Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer and one of the country’s biggest food producers.

It will end Morrisons’ 54-year run as a publicly listed company and see the ultimate decisions on the group’s future shift from its Bradford, northern England, base to the New York home of CD&R.

Morrisons, which started out as an egg and butter merchant in 1899, trails market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda in annual revenue.

The battle for Morrisons has been the most high-profile amid a raft of bids for British companies this year, reflecting private equity’s appetite for cash-generating UK assets.

With the winning bid representing a hefty 61% premium on Morrisons’ share price before takeover interest publicly emerged in mid-June, analysts expect little or no dissent.

To go through CD&R’s offer needs the support of shareholders representing at least 75% in value of voting investors at the meeting, which is being held both physically and virtually.

CD&R has committed to retaining Morrisons’ Bradford headquarters and its existing management team, led by CEO David Potts.

It has also said it will execute the supermarket chain’s existing strategy, not sell its freehold store estate and maintain staff pay rates.

These commitments are not legally binding, however.

If, as expected, shareholders approve the offer, CD&R could complete its takeover by the end of the month, making Morrisons the second UK supermarket chain in a year to be acquired by private equity after a buyout of No. 3 player Asda, by the Issa brothers and TDR Capital, completed in February.

($1 = 0.7284 pounds)

 

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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