BRUSSELS — The EU’s executive on Monday rejected suggestions it waited until New Year’s Eve to publish divisive proposals to allow some natural gas and nuclear energy projects to be labeled as sustainable, saying “we weren’t trying to do it on the sly.”
The Commission’s decision to include gas and nuclear investments in the European Union’s “sustainable finance taxonomy” rules was circulated in a draft proposal late on Dec. 31 and leaked to some media organizations.
“Short of digging an actual hole, the European Commission couldn’t have tried harder to bury this proposal,” said Henry Eviston, spokesman on sustainable finance at the European Policy Office of the environmental group WWF.
“When the question was whether renewables are green, the Commission gave citizens three chances to provide their opinion. For fossil gas and nuclear, we get a document written behind closed doors and published on New Year’s Eve,” he said in an online posting.
European Commission Chief Spokesperson Eric Mamer told a news briefing that the executive had promised to present its position on what was a “very complex and sensitive topic” before the end of the year.
“We weren’t trying to do it on the sly, if you like, by going for Dec. 31,” he said. “I can assure you our colleagues would much prefer to have been relaxing on holiday, but they decided to continue their work through the Christmas holidays to make sure this came out before the end of the year.”
During months of heated debate on the proposals, some EU countries said gas investments were needed to help them quit more-polluting coal. Others said labeling a fossil fuel as green would undermine the credibility of the rules and of the EU as it seeks to be a global leader in tackling climate change.
Nuclear energy is similarly divisive. France, the Czech Republic and Poland are among those saying that no CO2 emissions from nuclear power means it has a big role in curbing global warming. Austria, Germany and Luxembourg are among those opposed, citing concerns around radioactive waste.
The Commission argues that the inclusion of both gas and nuclear in its taxonomy, meant to guide investment in energy projects, is just to facilitate a transition to fully renewable energy production. The Commission draft sets conditions under which gas and nuclear can be used in the transition period.
The Commission will now collect comments to its draft until Jan. 12 and hopes to adopt a final text by the end of the month. After that, the text can be discussed with EU governments and parliament for up to six months. But it is unlikely to be rejected because that would require 20 of the 27 EU countries, representing 65% of EU citizens, to say “no.”
The aim of the agreement is to send a signal to private investors as to what the EU considers acceptably “green” and stop greenwashing, whereby companies or investors overstate their eco-friendly credentials. The deal will also set limits on what EU governments can spend cash from the EU recovery fund. (Additional reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Barbara Lewis and Louise Heavens)
If you have a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), then you hopefully have an investment goal to go along with it. Now, we could drill down into specific savings goals, but, honestly, those goals change! What someone wants at 30 will be different at 50, and so on. First, it’s student debt, then a house, then a child, their education, and, of course, retirement.
Frankly, you shouldn’t have to juggle your investments every time you come up with a new goal. In fact, one of the main points of investing is to buy and hold for as long as you can. Sure, you can take out cash as your goals come in, but you should be able to hold onto them for as long as you want.
With that in mind, here are four TFSA stocks that will help you achieve any investment goal.
If you’re going to have long-term TFSA stocks, you need stable companies to get you there. That would definitely include Fortis (TSX:FTS)(NYSE:FTS). The utility company has been growing its dividend each year for almost 50 years. This comes from a stable business plan of growth through acquisition.
Investors have been flocking to Fortis as one of the TFSA stocks they want because of this stability — especially during the market pullback. The company is basically recession proof, providing gas and electric utilities to 3.4 million customers. You need the lights on no matter what, making it a strong choice for any investor.
Fortis shares are up 16% in the last year with a dividend yield of 3.63%.
The Big Six banks may be trading at all-time highs, but there’s a reason. And that reason is why they’re TFSA stocks for any investment goal. The banks managed to get out of the market drop relatively unscathed, and yet they still have so much cash on hand to make up for lost time. And that comes through solid dividend jumps.
But Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD)(NYSE:TD) has even more to offer. TD stock offers the most growth of the Big Six banks, with the most amount of credit card partnerships, growing online and United States presence, and the most loan options for solid revenue streams. And yet even after all this growth, TD stock still trades at just 13.42 times earnings.
TD stock is up 41% in the last year, with a dividend yield of 3.47%.
If you have the cash to invest, Constellation Software(TSX:CSU) is one of the few tech stocks that remains a stable investment. The company has been an acquisition powerhouse, identifying the software companies it believes will thrive with incredible expertise.
It’s those experts that have managed to keep the company growing at a stable clip, even as other tech stocks burn around it. Constellation shares have been steady as a rail, growing through venture funds and seeing revenue rise 30% year over year during the last quarter. It’s one of the TFSA stocks any investor should add as soon as possible before it rises even more.
Shares of Constellation are up 34% in the last year, and it recently boosted its dividend to offer a yield of 0.24%.
Finally, Nutrien(TSX:NTR)(NYSE:NTR) may be on the newer side, but don’t count this out among TFSA stocks. People need to eat, and Nutrien is now the world’s largest crop nutrient provider. As arable land decreases and climate change increases, Nutrien will be a necessity for any portfolio.
Nutrien continues to grow through acquisition. In the last few years, it has increased its digital presence at an incredible rate. This kept revenue coming in at an incredibly important time — for the company and farmers. Now, it’s nearing the three-digit mark and isn’t likely to come down.
Shares of Nutrien are up 37% in the last year, with a yield of 2.57% for investors.
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Binance, one of the world’s biggest cyrptocurrency exchange by trading volume, will set up a crypto exchange with Thailand’s Gulf Energy Development, both firms said on Monday.
Gulf Energy in a disclosure to the stock exchange said its agreement with Binance is a response to the rapid growth in digital asset infrastructure in Thailand.
Binance said it would set up the cryto exchange and related businesses in the country.
“Our goal is to work with government, regulators and innovative companies to develop the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in Thailand,” a Binance spokesperson said.
“The first step is to explore opportunities in an open and collaborative manner. ”
Last year, Binance received a criminal complaint from Thailand’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for operating a digital asset business without a license.
The Thai energy company has been diversifying into new areas and last year became the major shareholder of Intouch Holdings Pcl, owner of the country’s largest cellphone operator, Advanced Info Service PCL.
(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Martin Petty)
Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday to its highest level in nearly eight weeks, led by gains for energy and financial shares.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 179.89 points, or 0.8%, at 21,537.45, its highest closing level since Nov. 25.
Gains for the index were notched as shares globally recovered some ground after declines at the end of last week.
“Overseas market action has been positive and we’re basically benefiting from it,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.
The energy sector rose 1.7% as oil prices climbed. U.S. crude oil futures were up 0.6%, with investors expecting that global supply will remain tight despite a rise in Libyan output.
Technology and financials, the Toronto market‘s most heavily-weighted sector, both gained 1.2%, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5%.
TSX trading volumes were lower than usual as U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Canadian firms see labor shortages intensifying and wage pressures increasing, with strong demand growth and supply chain constraints putting upward pressure on prices, a regular Bank of Canada survey said, bolstering bets the central bank would hike interest rates as early as next week.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao)
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