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Investment industry sees slow recovery as assets remain below pre-COVID levels – The Globe and Mail

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Canadian fund companies continue to see their total assets remain below pre-COVID levels despite $2.6-billion in mutual fund sales in May as investors slowly began to regain confidence in the markets.

Mutual fund assets totalled $1.58-trillion at the end of May, up $38.7-billion or 2.5 per cent compared with April – but still below the $1.61-trillion high recorded at the end of February, according to data released on Friday by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC).

The fund industry saw more than $14-billion in redemptions in March as falling markets drove down the value of assets in mutual funds and investors were quick to cash out of long-term funds, including balanced, equity and bond funds.

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Now, over the past two months, Canadians have slowly been returning to markets with $1.8-billion in net sales for long-term mutual funds – which includes equity and bond funds – in May, up from $1.2-billion in sales in April. The same long-term funds had experienced net redemptions of more than $18.2-billion in March as fear from the coronavirus outbreak affected financial markets.

With markets recovering, equity funds saw more than $297-million in sales in May, while bond funds saw more than $1.83-billion in sales.

In May, money-market funds gained $817-million in sales, compared with $27-million in net redemptions for April.

Canadian exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets totalled $211.4-billion at the end of May – creeping closer to the record high in mid-February of $220-billion.

Equity ETFs sold the most, with $1.8-billion in net sales, while balanced funds saw $73-million in sales. Money market ETFs finished the month with $402-million in net sales. Bond ETFs continued to see net redemptions of $56-million, although down from redemptions of $629-million in April.

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Indonesia says trade, investment deal with Australia takes effect – The Guardian

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – An Indonesia-Australia deal that eliminates most trade tariffs between the two nations and aims to open up investment, took effect on Sunday, Indonesia’s Trade Ministry said.

The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), signed last year and ratified by the Indonesia’s parliament in February, aims to boost bilateral trade that was worth $7.8 billion in 2019.

“COVID-19 has resulted in economic slowdown in nearly all countries,” Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said in a statement. “IA-CEPA momentum can be used to maintaining Indonesian trade and improve competitiveness.”

In a signing ceremony last year, the two countries said the pact would eliminate all Australian tariffs on imports from Indonesia, while 94% of Indonesian tariffs would be gradually removed.

Australia aims to boost exports including wheat, iron ore and dairy, while Indonesia hopes to increase automotive exports, textile and electronics. The deal opens up investment, including for Australian universities in Indonesia.

The ministry said in the statement it has issued three regulations to allow for implementation of the deal.

(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by William Mallard)

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Africa's Biggest Investment Takes Shape Under Islamist Threat – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Dozens of soldiers clutching AK-47s and grenade launchers watch over roaring bulldozers on the white sand beach that meets a tropical turquoise sea. They’re guarding Africa’s biggest investment: a $23 billion project to export Mozambique’s natural gas from an area increasingly besieged by an Islamist insurgency.

Companies led by Total SA will pump the gas from wells about 40 kilometers (25 miles) offshore, cool it to temperatures below minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit so that it turns to liquid, then ship it to electricity plants from France to China. The consortium is about to finalize almost $16 billion in project financing — another record for the continent.

“The work is immense,” said Ronan Bescond, the 44-year-old French chemical engineer who Total chose to lead the project after a career of nearly two decades at the company. “The first cargo of LNG must be in 2024. And we are on the right track,” he said to a handful of reporters in a prefabricated room at the site 32 kilometers south of the Rovuma River that marks the border with Tanzania.

The obstacles facing a project that’s expected to transform the impoverished southeast African nation are huge.

To achieve the target of first production for an undertaking worth billions of dollars more than Mozambique’s entire economy, developers need to move thousands of tons of equipment through territory thick with Islamic State-aligned insurgents. At one stage, a Covid-19 outbreak saw the Total site accounting for three in four of the country’s confirmed infections. All this as natural-gas prices plunged to near 25-year lows.

Militants who first pledged allegiance to IS in 2018 have carried out increasingly brazen attacks this year.

Deadly Raid

Last week, they raided Mocimboa da Praia for a third time, and occupied the town for as long as three days. It’s a crucial supply hub just 60 kilometers south of the project site and the closest port.

As many as nine workers for Total subcontractors Fenix Construction Services Lda died in the attack, Jasmine Opperman, an African analyst at Wisconsin-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, said in a Twitter post. The company didn’t answer seven calls and two emails seeking comment.

Before the gas discoveries and insurgency, the remote coastline was more famous for luxury tropical island resorts. Last month, one of the nearby hotels offered a discount price of $19,820 a night to hire out an island as a refuge from the coronavirus.

The private military company that Mozambique hired in April to provide air support to government troops in the form of helicopters fitted with machine guns has struggled to quell the violence. Lionel Dyck, the founder of Dyck Advisory Group, the firm the government employed, declined to comment when contacted by mobile phone.

IS Warning

Governments including South Africa, the U.S. and Portugal have indicated willingness to help fight the insurgency.

“The insurgency is a challenge but we’re happy that our defense and security forces have been playing their role,” Max Tonela, Mozambique’s energy and natural resources minister, told reporters during the June 19 site visit. “We all as Mozambicans must fight against this evil that comes from external attacks.”

About 1,300 people have died in the violence, with a further 220,000 displaced since the first attack three years ago, which also took place at Mocimboa da Praia.

For the second time, IS referred directly to the projects in a weekly newsletter this month. The group said that it would be “delusional” to think that the government could protect the investments, and warned other countries against getting involved.

The marginalization of young men in a region that’s predominantly Muslim and 1,900 kilometers away from the capital, Maputo, has helped lead to radicalization that’s fueled the insurgency, according to researchers including Saide Habibe at the Maputo-based Institute of Social and Economic Studies who have studied the origins of the fighters.

Total’s project will hire 14,000 people at peak construction, of which at least 5,000 will be Mozambican and many from the region, Bescond said at the briefing, wearing a surgical mask, as all visitors to the site must do to prevent another outbreak of the coronavirus.

The financial rewards are worth the cost to the government of the soldiers patrolling the vast compound and snipers on its perimeter fence — Total’s estimate is $50 billion in direct and indirect revenue over 25 years for the $15 billion economy.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Fincasa Announces Global Online Investment Summit "Next Generation Visionaries" – Canada NewsWire

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It will be live streaming via major social media channels, organized in association with Strategic Swiss Partners (SSP), Switzerland and JW-Prime Management Consultancy, Philippines.

Fincasa Ventures is a promising global venture capital led by Founder and Group CEO Varis Sayed, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and Mentor for various companies globally – from start-ups to private equity. He is specializing in cross border international businesses and investments.

Fincasa Ventures recent investment announcement:

Varis Sayed affirmed that he has invested 50 million USD in MediSponsor.IncUSA incorporated company, which offers easy-to-use XAAS-based innovative yet Integrated Healthcare Cloud CRM Solution along with Payment Gateway.

MediSponsor is a camel of health-tech industry for investors. It will bring value proposition on COVID-19 Pandemic through its Visual Analytics technology as well as impact in healthcare service delivery. Fincasa invites global investors for second round of funding to align Phase II R&D plans.

Varis Sayed informed that Rahul Pawar, Founder & CEO of MediSponsor, was appointed as Advisory – Head Global Start-up Hub in Fincasa Ventures to shortlist start-ups across the globe for investments. Due to his ideation and solution architecting capabilities Varis Sayed is calling Rahul Pawar as Steve Jobs from India and supports his vision for MediSponsor – from Navi Mumbai to NASDAQ.

Recent investment by Fincasa would enable MediSponsor to capitalize and position a company in the healthcare sector of Africa, Middle East, South America & South Asia through care model innovation and digital market transformation.

MediSponsor leadership team includes “A perfect blend of Healthcare & Management domain” – co-founders Dr. Roshan Patil and Dr. Nilesh Patil from the Indian Institutes of Management, which is ranked among the best globally for its various management programs.

MediSponsor Head Quarters in Dubai, UAE gives the company a world-class business environment for speedy growth. Fincasa investment along with strategic partnership will help MediSponsor to achieve its vision of being the most valued brand in Healthcare Technology.

SOURCE Fincasa Ventures

For further information: Anastasia Svyrediuk, [email protected]

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