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Foreign investment in Cuba, a crucial bet for development – Prensa Latina

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10 de enero de 2021, 9:37Havana, (Prensa Latina) Faced with a very challenging scenario, Cuba insists decisively on attracting foreign capital for development, Director of Foreign Investment at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, Carlos Luis Jorge, told Prensa Latina.

Despite specialized sources predicting a fall of more than 40 percent in investment flows at a global level, and a hardened U.S. blockade to malign its image, the island redoubles efforts to attract foreign direct investments (FDI).

Jorge pointed out the portfolio of opportunities that, first presented in 2014, has grown to over 500 projects, practically covering all sectors of the economy.

Between 2017 and 2018, businesses approved for investment exceeded two billion dollars each year and, although in 2019 that figure was not reached, the numbers were around 1,800 million dollars, Jorge recalled.

During 2020, he added, almost 30 businesses were authorized and the investment values involved exceed two billion dollars.

Currently, the executive said, we have two priorities for everything that is done with foreign investment, and the first is that projects should contribute to increasing exports.

Another sector of importance is the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, with their respective contribution to the Cuban environmental commitments, and about energy sovereignty.

The other is food production, since the State devotes considerable amounts of foreign currency each year to the acquisition of foodstuffs. The main goal is to reduce imports of these products.

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Bank of Canada’s next move to be tapering asset purchases: Reuters Poll

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By Mumal Rathore

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada‘s next policy move will be to taper its asset purchase programme following a solid economic rebound and sustained growth later this year, according to a majority of economists in a Reuters Poll.

Despite renewed lockdowns in some provinces and expectations of a slowdown this quarter policymakers expect a recovery to be driven by a successful vaccine rollout, knock-on effects from a U.S. fiscal package and further gains in oil prices.

The consensus of the March 1-5 poll predicted the BoC would keep its key interest rate on hold at 0.25% through to the end of next year, unchanged from the previous poll.

While two of the top five Canadian banks predicted the central bank would hike rates as early as the second quarter next year, none of the 34 respondents expected any change at the bank’s next meeting on March 10.

More than 70% of poll participants, or 15 out of 21, who responded to an additional question, said the central bank would taper its asset purchases programme as its next move.

“The bank will look to re-calibrate its quantitative easing programme before moving on the overnight rate,” said Derek Holt, vice president of Capital Markets Economics at Scotiabank.

“If growth comes in stronger than expected, we could see a reduction in monetary support offered through the asset purchase programme.”

Despite the Canadian economy contracting 5.4% in 2020, its deepest annual drop on record, it ended 2020 on a brighter note and grew at a stronger-than-expected annualized rate of 9.6% last quarter.

The economy likely grew 0.5% in January, according to the latest Statistics Canada report despite being hit by a second wave of infections and containment measures.

“The Canadian economy soldiered through the second wave of restrictions much better than anticipated, supported by a big rebound in resource sector activity and a raging housing market,” said Douglas Porter, chief economist and managing director economics at BMO.

“Look for new growth drivers to kick into gear as the economy re-opens in stages through this year, leading to roughly 6% growth – a nice mirror image to last year’s deep dive. It’s not precisely a V-shaped recovery, but it’s very close.”

All 25 economists who answered another question agreed with the BoC’s assessment of a solid and sustainable economy in the second half of this year.

 

(Reporting by Mumal Rathore; Polling by Manjul Paul; Editing by Jonathan Cable and Edmund Blair)

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Comparing Luxury Investment Around the World – Visual Capitalist

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Do you enjoy the finer things in life? For many of the world’s wealthy individuals, acquiring luxury goods such as art, fine wine, and watches is a passion.

Unlike traditional investments in financial assets, luxury goods can be difficult to value if one does not have an appreciation for their form. A rare painting, for example, does not generate cash flows, meaning its value is truly in the eye of the beholder.

To gain some insight into the market for luxury goods, this infographic takes data from Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report to compare the preferences of nine global regions.

Global Tastes in Luxury Goods

To rank the most popular luxury investments in 2020, Knight Frank surveyed over 600 private bankers, wealth advisors, and family offices. The following table summarizes their findings, as well as each category’s growth according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.

Global Average Ranking Category 10-year growth in asset values (%)
1 Art 71%
2 Classic cars 193%
3 Watches 89%
4 Wine 127%
5 Jewelry 67%
6 Rare whiskey 478%
7 Furniture 22%
8 Colored diamonds 39%
9 Coins 72%
10 Handbags 108%

Art was unmistakably the top category for 2020, ranking first in every geographic region except Africa and Asia, where it placed second instead. The global market for artwork was estimated to be worth $64 billion in 2019, and is often facilitated through auction houses such as Sotheby’s.

In terms of asset appreciation, rare whiskeys have climbed the most in value over the past 10 years. Connoisseurs of this spirit will be familiar with distilleries like The Macallan, whose rare bottles can sell for more than a million dollars.

Comparing Luxury Investment Between North America and Asia

Below, we’ve compared the rankings of Asia and North America to get a better idea of how preferences can vary.

The biggest differences here are watches, which ranked first in Asia but fourth in North America, and classic cars, which ranked second in North America but fifth in Asia. The remaining eight categories took similar spots across the two regions.

Rank Asia Popularity North America Popularity
1 Watches Art
2 Art Classic cars
3 Jewelry Wine
4 Wine Watches
5 Classic cars Jewelry
6 Rare whiskey Rare whiskey
7 Handbags Furniture
8 Furniture Handbags
9 Colored diamonds Coins (tied for 8th place)
10 Coins Colored diamonds

Asia’s stronger preference for watches was likely driven by Chinese consumers, who are now the biggest buyers of luxury watches globally. Demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic proved resilient, with exports of Swiss watches to China increasing by 17.1% between January and November 2020.

Classic cars, on the other hand, may be more popular in North America due to the region’s longer automotive history. Two of America’s most iconic automakers, Ford and General Motors, have both been around for over a century!

The Biggest Sales of 2020

Here were some of the most extravagant and noteworthy luxury sales from 2020.

Art

Francis Bacon’s 1981 Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus was sold by Sotheby’s for $84.6 million in June 2020. A triptych is an artwork that is divided into three sections but displayed as a single piece.

Other paintings by Francis Bacon have sold for even larger amounts. In 2013, Three Studies of Lucian Freud was sold by Christie’s auction house for $142 million.

Classic Cars

A 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster sold for $7.1 million in March 2020, making it one of the biggest classic car sales of the year.

Founded in 1909, Bugatti has produced some of the world’s most sought-after cars. The French brand was acquired by the Volkswagen Group in 1998, and since then, has released numerous special edition cars with price tags reaching well into the millions.

Handbags

An Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Retourné Kelly 25 sold for $437,330 in November 2020, becoming the most expensive handbag ever sold at an auction. Founded in 1837, Hermès is commonly regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious makers of handbags.

COVID-19 Dampens Luxury Investment

When compared to 2019, total sales for Sotheby’s declined 16% in 2020, while Christie’s, another leading auction house, reported a 25% decline. Despite these decreases, executives remain optimistic.

“The art and luxury markets have proven to be incredibly resilient, and demand for quality across categories is unabated.”
– Charles Stewart, CEO, Sotheby’s

The industry has been largely successful in transitioning to online operations, with Sotheby’s reporting that 70% of its auctions in 2020 were held online, up from 30% in the previous year.

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Investment advisor at Canaccord Genuity charged in Vancouver pizzeria confrontation – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
One of the men charged following a heated confrontation over masks at a Vancouver pizza restaurant is an investment advisor at Canaccord Genuity.

The company issued a statement to CTV News on Friday saying the employee has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

“We are incredibly disappointed to learn of a shameful incident of inexcusable behaviour involving one of our employees,” a spokesperson for Canaccord Genuity said in an email.

“Canaccord Genuity rejects the disgraceful behaviours, opinions and actions of the individuals involved. They are in no way representative of our firm’s values.”

Vancouver police confirmed this week that assault charges have been approved against James Henry Davidson and Brenton Thomas Woyat.

Profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn identified Woyat as an investment advisor at Canaccord Genuity as recently as Thursday, though both pages appear to have been deactivated.

The allegations stem from a late-night altercation at the Pizza Pizza location in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood on Feb. 20.

Video shows two men confronting staff in an apparent dispute over the restaurant’s mask policy. The pizzeria requires everyone capable of wearing a mask to do so, in accordance with the province’s mask mandate.

“You guys are complete morons. COVID is a joke. You are completely brainwashed,” one man yells in the video.

The recording later shows a teenager who was waiting outside the pizzeria getting roughed up.

Police said the men drove away from the scene, but that officers pulled over two suspects minutes later. Const. Tania Visintin said one of them is facing a possible charge of impaired driving as well, but she could not specify which one.

Visintin described the behaviour captured in the video as “ridiculous” and “embarrassing.”

“This young man was just outside a pizza joint trying to eat pizza and he gets assaulted by two grownups,” Visintin said Thursday.

Police said they’ve seen a growing number of incidents involving customers who become belligerent when asked to abide by provincial guidelines in businesses.

“It’s unfortunate because these shop owners or store employees are just doing their job, they’re just making a living and following the rules,” Visintin said.

Woyat is scheduled to appear in court on March 17, while Davidson is due to appear on April 9.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Allison Hurst

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