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Japan's investment drive in LNG faces risk of souring: study – The Guardian

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By Aaron Sheldrick

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s banks and public agencies have funnelled nearly $25 billion into liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects since 2017 but the investments may sour as prices plummet from the COVID-19 pandemic and as climate change risks rise, a new study shows.

Spurred on by the government to boost energy security since the 2011 Fukushima disaster shut down the country’s reactors, Japan’s investment in LNG rivals that for coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, while more evidence is emerging of the high climate impacts from LNG and gas.

The backing of high-risk projects that require decades of sales to return investments looks questionable, with some facing the risk of delay or being scrapped, the study by Global Energy Monitor (GEM) released to Reuters showed.

“The original rationale for the program – enhanced energy security – appears now to be fundamentally flawed, as the simultaneous shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 oil price crash reveal the vulnerability of global LNG supply chains,” analysts Greig Aitken and Ted Nace wrote in the report.

Japan is the world’s biggest importer of LNG, with burning gas from LNG producing about 40% of the country’s electricity, though purchases are in long-term decline.

Competition from renewables and energy storage, which are growing cheaper, may also hit the investments, the report said.

GEM is a network of researchers focusing on fossil fuels and alternatives, the grouping says.

Japanese banks, public agencies and other entities have provided $23.4 billion of loans and support in 10 countries for more than 20 LNG terminals, tankers and pipelines, GEM said. Fourteen more LNG terminals in 11 countries are in line for Japanese financial support, the report said.

The report names government-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), along with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group, the country’s biggest commercial banks.

(Graphic: Top ten LNG loan arrangers since 2017, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/dgkplxjbdpb/LNG-league-table.PNG)

In response to questions about the report from Reuters, the commercial banks pointed to recent policy changes tightening fossil fuel lending, where they recognized the climate impacts of them. They are also big lenders to renewable energy infrastructure.

They declined to confirm the lending amounts or give details on any revisions in loan values. JBIC did not respond.

Underlining the risks to investments, Royal Dutch Shell this week announced plans to slash the value of its gas and oil assets by up to $22 billion.

Climate change is returning to the global agenda even as the coronavirus pandemic, which dominated headlines for months, is worsening.

More attention is also being focused on the atmosphere-warming impact of methane, which is often released or leaks from gas and oil facilities.

(Graphic: Spot LNG prices in Asia, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/xlbpgowjepq/eikon.png)

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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This millennial tech worker is meticulous about saving, but his investment gameplan needs work – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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It’s atypical for someone his age, but this 27-year-old tech support worker we’ll call Duke is confident he doesn’t need financial advice when it comes to spending or budgeting.

Duke, who earns $66,000 per year in Toronto, has been meticulously laying out his budget since he started working part-time in 2015. He divides his monthly take-home salary of $3,700 by 4.5 to give him a weekly budget of about $822. Each transaction he makes is placed into a spreadsheet where it’s dated and filtered into a category such as food and entertainment. A final column shows what percentage of his weekly budget was spent.

He’s never spent more than he’s earned, he said. In fact, he’s usually left with $1,000 at the end of the month to pump into his chequing accounts, which total $108,000.

“I don’t feel a financial adviser would be able to tell me anything I don’t already know,” said Duke of his spending.


Are you a millennial who wants to get the most out of your money? Contact Victor at



vferreira@postmedia.com



to appear in future edition of Spent, an entertaining look at the financial lives of real Canadian millennials.

He knows that, despite his budgeting, he could benefit from cutting down his food bill, which totalled $742 in the month Spent looked at his expenses. The bulk of that budget goes to groceries. Duke spent $286.66 over three trips to No Frills, $95.92 at Costco, $25.35 in two trips to Loblaw’s, $8.77 at Fortinos and an additional $100 at a local Chinese grocery store.

As far as the rest of his spending, he said he can’t make any other concessions. He only uses his car for transport — no ride sharing or public transit expenses appear in his monthly spending — and he spends just above $400 on insurance, gas and parking. His entertainment budget is light and so are his bills — $1,000 for rent, $42 for his cellphone and $15 for a gym membership.

Where he could stand to benefit from professional advice is not in regards with how to manage his funds, but how to invest them.

Duke does not have any money in a tax-free savings account and the only space being taken in his RRSP is from a work pension plan. When he first started investing in 2017, he placed $10,000 into a non-registered account and invested in a suite of mutual funds.

Over a year, he quickly grew frustrated with the high management fees he was paying and the heavy losses he was taking.

“I had no faith this person behind the counter could do a better job than me if I just got a little bit more of a background on what to invest in,” he said.

So he waited a few months before breaking even again and pulled his money from mutual funds, redirecting $3,000 into four index funds where he gave Canadian equities, U.S. equities, international equities and Canadian bonds an equal weighting of 25 per cent each.

Duke has had more success with this portfolio, but he wants more. He’s eyeing higher returns and is willing to put $100,000 of his money to work to generate them. He’s willing to take on risk, but at the same time, he wants his portfolio to be hedged against potential danger. Spent asked Frank Ortencio, portfolio manager of Raymond James’ Ortencio & Associates Wealth Management Group to help guide him.

Ortencio describes himself as an asset allocator — not a stock picker. He builds his portfolios by using ETFs to give him exposure to certain geographic regions and sectors.

Duke is still young and doesn’t have a pressing need to use his money over the next five years. He should be looking to take on more risk, Ortencio said.

“If he can live with the volatility he can increase his equity allocation to 90 per cent equities and 10 per cent bonds,” Ortencio said.

The first steps in Ortencio’s plan are to have Duke max out his contributions for both his RRSP and his TFSA. That would mean pumping $20,000 and $63,500 into the respective accounts. The remaining $17,500 would be placed into his non-registered account, joining the $3,000 already in there for a total of $20,000.

As for how he’d invest it, Ortencio said Duke can get all the bond exposure he’d need by investing 10 per cent of his portfolio into a single global bond ETF that would be held in either his RRSP or TFSA.

Duke would then begin slicing up the weightings in his equity portfolio by geographic region. Ortencio knows some investors might balk at the suggestion, but he wouldn’t recommend Duke place more than 12 to 15 per cent of his equity portfolio into Canada. He suggested the iShares MSCI Canadian Minimum Volatility ETF, which has dividend-based bank, utility and pipeline stocks among its top holdings.

“Canada is only about four per cent of the world market,” said Ortencio, who explained that Duke could much more easily diversify his portfolio if he avoids home bias.

Sixty per cent of Duke’s portfolio would then be weighted to global stocks, Ortencio said. Duke could either look for one global ETF that excludes Canada from its holdings or one fund that holds U.S. stocks and another that focuses on international firms. Again, he recommended two low-volatility products in the iShares Core MSCI All Country World Index Ex Canada ETF and the Power Shares S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF.

It’s in the remaining portion of Duke’s portfolio that he’ll take on more risk and expose himself to volatility, Ortencio said. Ten per cent can go to small and mid-cap stock ETFs, another 10 can go to REIT and technology ETFs and the final five per cent would be attributed to emerging markets. Within this section of the portfolio, Duke can also buy individual stocks — he voiced some interest in names like Tesla Inc. and Beyond Meat Inc. — but Ortencio wouldn’t recommend investing more than 10 per cent in one name.

“And 10 to 20 stocks would be too many,” he added.

Duke can keep some of his index funds in his non-registered account, as long as he adjusts their weightings. He can then use a Systematic Investment Plan, which allows investors to make automatic purchases and contribute $700 on a monthly basis going forward.

The important thing for Duke to remember, Ortencio said, is that while this portfolio might fall short of the max growth on the table during a raging bull market, it’ll also better insulate him in a sell-off like the one investors saw in March.

“This portfolio because it has a heavier tilt toward equity … the best-performing market, let’s say it’s up 10 per cent, his returns should be in the seven to eight per cent range,” Ortencio said. “But when the markets are down 10 per cent, because of the diversification, he may participate only on 70 per cent of the downside.”

Ortencio’s portfolio is an appealing one for Duke, who is happy with the opportunity to make more returns than he has in his time as an investor while also ensuring he retains some safety.

“This is definitely something I want to get up and running,” Duke said.


• Email:

vferreira@nationalpost.com

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Parkland eyes investment at Port of Oshawa – constructconnect.com – Daily Commercial News

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OSHAWA, ONT. — The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority has announced that Parkland Corporation has signed an agreement that could lead to construction of a liquid bulk transfer facility on the Port of Oshawa’s east wharf.

Parkland agreed to a Notice of Permission to evaluate investment, noted a July 30 release. Starting in August, Parkland will use a seven-month due diligence period to complete engineering design plans, prepare for various regulatory filings and conclude economic studies.

“Parkland already plays a leading role meeting the fuel needs of Ontario residents,” said Ryan Krogmeier, senior vice-president at Parkland, in a statement. “As we continue to pursue high-quality growth opportunities and extend our supply advantage, an import terminal in Oshawa would complement our existing transloading facilities in the Greater Toronto Area.”

“Parkland is a responsible operator with extensive experience operating commodity transload terminals in Ontario. The company operates a terminal at the Port of Hamilton where it has maintained an exemplary record of safety and environmental performance,” said Port Authority president and CEO Ian Hamilton.  

In spring 2020, a new grain export terminal, constructed by Sollio Agriculture and QSL, entered its first full season of service in Oshawa. The new facility gives Durham Region grain producers a local option to market their grain for export.

The Hamilton and Oshawa port authorities amalgamated in June 2019. Since then, the new port authority has identified approximately $25 million in work such as dock reconstruction, lighting and dredging that is required at the Port of Oshawa.

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Call for applications – AMF seeking applications for a position on the Investment Products Advisory Committee – Canada NewsWire

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MONTRÉAL, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – The Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) is seeking applications for a position on its Investment Products Advisory Committee (the “Committee”).

Committee mandate
The Committee’s core mandate is to discuss issues relating to ensuring efficient frameworks for creating, managing and distributing investment products—mainly mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, non-redeemable investment funds and individual segregated funds—and provide feedback and suggestions for enhancing the development and implementation of those frameworks.

Committee composition
Set up and coordinated by the AMF, the Committee is composed of up to 15 outside members from various sectors and professions related to investment products, as well as AMF representatives. Members must have extensive experience in their respective fields and a solid understanding of investment product regulation.

The AMF seeks to have a Committee composed of members representing manufacturers and distributors of the above investment products in particular, as well as investor advocates. It also wants to ensure that members reflect the various business models within Québec’s investment sector.

Committee members are appointed for a maximum three-year term. This term of office may be extended in accordance with conditions determined by the AMF. The Committee meets three to six times annually and members are not remunerated for their participation.

Profile sought
In order to maintain the appropriate representation of expertise, the AMF is especially interested in applicants who have extensive experience in investment fund creation and management, portfolio management or alternative asset management. Persons wishing to join the Committee should consult the call for applications. The deadline for applications is September 4, 2020.

The AMF favours diversity within its advisory committees and welcomes applications from all qualified persons.

The Autorité des marchés financiers is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.

Information:

Media only: 
Sylvain Théberge: 514-940-2176

Information Centre: 
Québec City: 418-525-0337
Montréal: 514-395-0337
Toll-free: 1-877-525-0337

Website: www.lautorite.qc.ca 
Twitter: @lautorite 
LinkedIn: Autorité des marchés financiers (Québec)

SOURCE Autorité des marchés financiers

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http://www.lautorite.qc.ca/

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