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Indonesia Passes Law to Simplify Labor, Investment Rules

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Indonesia Passes Law to Simplify Labor, Investment Rules

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia has rushed the approval of a law aimed at creating jobs and attracting investments, a day before 2 million workers were set to stage a three-day strike to reject it.

The parliament agreed to pass the omnibus bill on jobs in a plenary meeting on Monday. It was previously set to hold the meeting on Oct. 8.

The law that seeks to simplify and revise more than 70 existing regulations will overhaul the country’s labor rules, make it easier for companies to secure permits and ease foreign ownership requirements. Its passage sets the income tax from capital gains to 20%, while some dividend taxes will be exempted.

The bill’s passage could help President Joko Widodo shore up an economy that’s set to slip into another contraction in the third quarter as the continued spread of the coronavirus damped household spending and investments. The government has sought to speed up state spending, while warning that growth can’t come from the public sector alone.

The rupiah gained 0.4% to 14,800 a dollar as lawmakers voiced their support for the bill, the steepest rise in two weeks. The benchmark Jakarta Composite Index of shares advanced 0.7%.

Unemployment Fund

As part of the law, the government will set up an unemployment fund to support workers who lost their jobs, with the premiums paid for by the state budget. The fund will give cash payments, provide access to the job market and pay for training. The law will also maintain workers’ rights to maternity and menstruation leave as set out in the existing labor rule.

The law has been met with opposition from labor unions and politicians who sought to reject the reduction in severance pay and the introduction of indefinite labor contracts. Activists have also spoken out against the bill, which lets investments judged to be low risk to continue without needing to submit a report on their expected environmental impact.

Other changes included in the jobs creation omnibus law:

Government to set up one-map policy to solve the issue of overlapping land claims and conflicts, which would ensure legal certainty for businessesThose who hire foreign workers are required to submit a plan for how the employee will work, while banning foreigners from holding roles that oversee personnelSimplified process for registering intellectual property and getting halal certificationLaw to speed up the construction of low-cost homes

(Updates with market movement in fifth paragraph.)

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Cranbrook maps out investment attraction strategy for economic development – Cranbrook Townsman

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Cranbrook is eyeing a number of industrial sectors identified in an investment attraction strategy to bolster economic development over the next five years.

The strategy noted the city’s land-rich, regional focal point for the East Kootenay economy, identifying a number of existing and emerging sectors that are ripe for investment opportunities.

Those industries and sectors include renewable energy, defence, high tech, cyber security, aerospace, transportation and logistics, drones and unmanned vehicles (UAVs), Information Communications Technologies (ICT) including satellite and aerospace communication technologies, space exploration technologies, and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).

Brad Robson and Lee Malleau, with WāVv Business Development Inc, delivered a presentation to mayor and council on Monday night, outlining the work being done in conjunction with the city’s economic development office to attract new industries to the region.

The strategy identified an action plan of concurrent progress on four pillars including business growth, investment and trade; investment readiness; regional development and marketing and communications.

“We make very explicit recommendation on how to go about doing that, supporting existing businesses, adding rigor and credibility around economic development and that leads to an improved investment environment along with key things like taking a look at your investment environment and making sure the city is investment-ready,” Malleau said.

Business retention, business expansion and investment attraction are key elements necessary to producing a successful deal flow, which was another important component of the investment attraction strategy.

The strategy also looked beyond Cranbrook by including nearby communities such as Kimberley and Canal Flats in order to maximize opportunities for the region as a near-shore destination for development.

Robson said he has been connecting with clients and potential investors through his network, noting the city’s rising profile as an opportune destination for growth and expansion.

Mayor Lee Pratt added WāVv Business Development Inc was brought in to help expand the city’s economic development network, as conversations that may ‘come to fruition’ are already underway.

“The idea was, we had to expand that network, and Brad is part of a very large network and some very influential people worldwide,” Pratt said. “We’ve had comments and conversations with some of these people that we never, ever would have had. So there are some things that have already happened along those lines that we haven’t really discussed yet.

“But like Brad said, he’s bringing the attention of these people to Cranbrook and they’re people with deep pockets. It’s good news, it just takes time to come to fruition.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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How to adapt portfolios in a low-rate world – Investment Executive

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Government bonds provided reliable ballast earlier this year when equity markets tanked in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Government of Canada seven- to 10-year bonds returned 9.5% in the first three quarters of the year, and long-duration (20+ years) Government of Canada bonds returned almost 20%, according to a report from FTSE Russell.

Seven- to 10-year U.S. Treasuries returned 11.5% as of Sept. 30, while long Treasuries returned 20.8% (in USD).

“It’s going to be really hard to extrapolate that going beyond this,” Taylor said, since he doesn’t see North America moving to negative rates anytime soon.

Phil Mesman, head of fixed income with Picton Mahoney Asset Management in Toronto, said strategies need to shift now, even though the 40% fixed income part of portfolios served investors well this year.

Replicating the benefit from government bonds this year would require a -10 basis point U.S. Treasury yield, he said.

“All of the backward numbers look great in fixed income,” Mesman said. “The typical advisor portfolio looks amazing but, at current yields and current duration, it makes sense to be a little more creative.”

Taylor said investors can look to investment-grade corporate bonds to find yield through active management. Beyond that, he said investors will have to consider alternative strategies such as options writing and private debt, as well as hard assets such as real estate, infrastructure and precious metals.

“We think there’s going to be a rework of the traditional 60-40 portfolio,” he said.

Mesman said he’s focused on long and short opportunities in developed-market BBB- to B-grade bonds.

The Federal Reserve’s willingness to purchase corporate bonds has made the market more expensive and masked credit risk, he said. This has created opportunities on the short side to both protect the portfolio and provide alpha in cases “where the real economy’s impact on financial assets has yet to be felt,” he said.

Jonathan Hausman, managing director and head of global strategic relationships with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, warned about the risks of wading into high-yield credit.

“That works until it doesn’t,” he said earlier this month on a panel at the Global Risk Institute’s summit.

Rating agency Moody’s warned investors this week that a record number of companies are in danger of slipping from investment grade to junk territory due to the uneven economic recovery.

Speaking on a webinar earlier this month, FTSE Russell director of fixed income research Robin Marshall also expressed concerns about a “high-yield value trap.” Canadian credit spreads were wider during the economic downturn in 2015-16 than they are now, he said — a “conundrum” given the depth of recession investors are now facing.

High-yield valuations have moved to “demanding” levels relative to current default risks, he said.

Hausman also pointed to strategies such as infrastructure and real assets to provide protection as well as some return on the fixed income side, which is hard to come by.

“That requires some creativity,” he said, “but not much creativity because that’s how folks get into trouble.”

A report from Richardson GMP this month also warned against relying on government bonds and made the case for long-short credit strategies. It pointed to Japanese and German bonds, which started the year with lower yields and “provided nearly no ballast at all” in March.

“With the U.S. and Canada yields now at similarly low starting points, it is unlikely that they can provide anywhere near the same historical hedging properties as in previous downturns,” the report said.

Rather than diving into lower-quality assets to find yield, the report recommended long-short strategies for investment-grade credit.

Mesman also warned about duration risk on government bonds.

“I think the risk of government bond yields going higher, particularly in the long end of the market — longer-dated government bond yields — that’s something that’s underappreciated,” he said.

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Artis Real Estate Investment Trust announces changes to its board and committee composition – Canada NewsWire

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WINNIPEG, MB, Oct. 29, 2020 /CNW/ – Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: AX.UN) (“Artis” or the “REIT”) announced today that as part of its Board renewal initiative and its ongoing commitment to enhanced governance initiatives, the Board has undertaken a review of its composition.  Based on new information obtained during this review, the Board has determined that Mr. Victor Thielmann is not independent and should not continue as a member of the Audit Committee and the Governance and Compensation Committee. Mr. Thielmann has provided his resignation from the Board of Artis effective immediately.  On behalf of Artis, Mr. Warkentin, the Chair of the Board, extends his appreciation to Mr. Thielmann for his numerous years of valued service to Artis.  Lauren Zucker, Bruce Jack and Ben Rodney will continue to serve as independent trustees on the Audit Committee.

Other changes include Mr. Wayne Townsend voluntarily stepping down as a member of the Governance and Compensation Committee, Mr. Ben Rodney replacing him on this committee and stepping down as a member of the Investment Committee, and Ms. Lauren Zucker being added to the Investment Committee as successor to Mr. Ben Rodney.   

The vacancy left by Mr. Thielmann’s resignation will be filled by the Board as part of its Board renewal initiative.  The Board has retained Rosin Executive Search to advise on new suitable Trustee candidates.

Artis is a diversified Canadian real estate investment trust investing primarily in industrial and office properties in select markets in Canada and the United States. Since 2004, Artis has executed an aggressive but disciplined growth strategy, building a portfolio of commercial properties which, as of June 30, 2020, comprised approximately 23.8 million square feet of leasable area. Artis is focused on growing its industrial portfolio through strategic development projects in its target markets.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

SOURCE Artis Real Estate Investment Trust

For further information: please contact Mr. Armin Martens, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jim Green, Chief Financial Officer or Ms. Heather Nikkel, Vice-President – Investor Relations of the REIT at 1.204.947.1250

Related Links

http://www.artisreit.com

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