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Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund evolves to create more companies and an environment for success – Yahoo Canada Finance



RFPs issued for fund manager for startup fund and ecosystem accelerators

CALGARY, AB, March 31, 2021 /CNW/ – The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) issued two requests for proposals (RFPs) to support the evolution of OCIF to accelerate the creation and scaling of more local companies and to strengthen the tech-innovation ecosystem in Calgary.

Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (CNW Group/Calgary Economic Development Ltd.)

Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (CNW Group/Calgary Economic Development Ltd.)

OCIF is seeking proposals for a third-party professional fund manager with a Calgary-focused fund that would match up to a $7.5 million contribution from OCIF to create a minimum $15 million pool of capital for investments in early-stage companies. The fund will provide the necessary capital for startups and aid in scaling small and medium-sized enterprises in Calgary.

A second request for proposals was issued for business accelerators and incubators to submit plans to expand and strengthen the tech-innovation ecosystem. As much as $20 million in funding will be available and the maximum expected allocation per individual accelerator bid will be up to $8 million over a five-year project timeline. OCIF will consider both private and not-for-profit accelerator models.

Both RFPs will be open until May 17th, 2021. Details can be viewed here.

“The community has set a goal to create 1,000 new tech companies in Calgary over the next decade, and these initiatives from OCIF will support that goal and create a thriving innovation ecosystem where those companies can succeed,” said Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer, Calgary Economic Development and a member of the OCIF Board of Directors.

OCIF, a $100 million initiative launched by the City of Calgary in April 2018, makes milestone driven grants to select organizations based on achieving employment and other metrics. It supports investments that spur growth and create jobs in strategic sectors in the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy.

To date, almost $43 million has been allocated to 15 projects that have led to investment commitments of nearly $640 million.

As OCIF focuses on ecosystem-building investments, a funding gap was identified for many promising emerging enterprises in Calgary that could be addressed by leveraging the OCIF resources. Unlike OCIF, the new capital pool will be managed by a third-party fund manager and would take ownership positions in the startup and scaleup ventures it supports.

Since its launch, OCIF has received more than 230 applications. Most were too early stage to qualify for OCIF support.

“One area of the business community we know would benefit from support are companies in the seed, pre-series A funding stage, and creating this additional capital pool allows us to leverage third-party investment expertise to expedite those decisions,” said Mark Blackwell, Chair of OCIF’s Board of the Directors. “The structure will provide an opportunity to generate a return that will be reinvested to create more opportunities for Calgary entrepreneurs and the broader innovation ecosystem.”

The innovation ecosystem RFP will allow for better coordination from all orders of government to attract investment.

“These two initiatives will accelerate the velocity of money going into the market,” Blackwell said. “This announcement is a major step for governments to work together to have a larger and coordinated impact on the City and the province. It will increase the number of Calgary-based jobs, real estate commitments and leveraged capital. Both initiatives support greater equality, diversity and inclusion in the ecosystem.”

“The intention for OCIF is to support key sectors in Calgary in the New Economy and with this evolution we can do that more effectively and better support more game-changing projects in the tech-innovation ecosystem in Calgary,” said Moran.


Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary in 2018 to support catalytic investments within the city to help diversify and transform the economy. The fund is administered by Calgary Economic Development and has a volunteer Board of Directors. For more information, visit our website.

SOURCE Calgary Economic Development Ltd.



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More China coal investments overseas cancelled than commissioned since 2017



More China-invested overseas coal-fired power capacity was cancelled than commissioned since 2017, research showed on Wednesday, highlighting the obstacles facing the industry as countries work to reduce carbon emissions.

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) said that the amount of capacity shelved or cancelled since 2017 was 4.5 times higher than the amount that went into construction over the period.

Coal-fired power is one of the biggest sources of climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions, and the wave of cancellations also reflects rising concerns about the sector’s long-term economic competitiveness.

Since 2016, the top 10 banks involved in global coal financing were all Chinese, and around 12% of all coal plants operating outside of China can be linked to Chinese banks, utilities, equipment manufacturers and construction firms, CREA said.

But although 80 gigawatts of China-backed capacity is still in the pipeline, many of the projects could face further setbacks as public opposition rises and financing becomes more difficult, it added.

China is currently drawing up policies that it says will allow it to bring greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by 2030 and to become carbon-neutral by 2060.

But it was responsible for more than half the world’s coal-fired power generation last year, and it will not start to cut coal consumption until 2026, President Xi Jinping said in April.

Environmental groups have called on China to stop financing coal-fired power entirely and to use the funds to invest in cleaner forms of energy, and there are already signs that it is cutting back on coal investments both at home and abroad.

Following rule changes implemented by the central bank earlier this year, “clean coal” is no longer eligible for green financing.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by assets and a major source of global coal financing, is also drawing up a “road map” to pull out of the sector, its chief economist Zhou Yueqiu said at the end of May.


(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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Bank of Montreal CEO sees growth in U.S. share of earnings



Bank of Montreal expects its earnings contribution from the U.S. to keep growing, even without any mergers and acquisitions, driven by a much smaller market share than at home and nearly C$1 trillion ($823.38 billion) of assets, Chief Executive Officer Darryl White said on Monday.

“We do think we have plenty of scale,” and the ability to compete with both banks of similar as well as smaller size, White said at a Morgan Stanley conference, adding that the bank’s U.S. market share is between 1% and 5% based on the business line, versus 10% to 35% in Canada. “And we do it off the scale of our global balance sheet of C$950 billion.”

($1 = 1.2145 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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GameStop falls 27% on potential share sale



Shares of GameStop Corp lost more than a quarter of their value on Thursday and other so-called meme stocks also declined in a sell-off that hit a broad range of names favored by retail investors.

The video game retailer’s shares closed down 27.16% at $220.39, their biggest one-day percentage loss in 11 weeks. The drop came a day after GameStop said in a quarterly report that it may sell up to 5 million new shares, sparking concerns of potential dilution for existing shareholders.

“The threat of dilution from the five million-share sale is the dagger in the hearts of GameStop shareholders,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management. “The meme trade is not working today, so logic for at least one day has returned.”

Soaring rallies in the shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings over the past month have helped reinvigorate the meme stock frenzy that began earlier this year and fueled big moves in a fresh crop of names popular with investors on forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets.

Many of those names traded lower on Thursday, with shares of Clover Health Investments Corp down 15.2%, burger chain Wendy’s falling 3.1% and prison operator Geo Group Inc, one of the more recently minted meme stocks, down nearly 20% after surging more than 38% on Wednesday. AMC shares were off more than 13%.

Worries that other companies could leverage recent stock price gains by announcing share sales may be rippling out to the broader meme stock universe, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.

AMC last week took advantage of a 400% surge in its share price since mid-May to announce a pair of stock offerings.

“It appears that other companies, like GameStop, are hoping to follow AMC’s lead by issuing shares and otherwise profit from the meme stocks run-up,” Ablin said. “Investors are taking a dim view of that strategy.”

Wedbush Securities on Thursday raised its price target on GameStop to $50, from $39. GameStop will likely sell all 5 million new shares but that amount only represents a “modest” dilution of 7%, Wedbush analysts wrote.

GameStop on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected earnings, and named the former head of Inc’s Australian business as its chief executive officer.

GameStop’s shares rallied more than 1,600% in January when a surge of buying forced bearish investors to unwind their bets in a phenomenon known as a short squeeze.

The company on Wednesday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had requested documents and information related to an investigation into that trading.

In the past two weeks, the so-called “meme stocks” have received $1.27 billion of retail inflows, Vanda Research said on Wednesday, matching their January peak.


(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta, Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)

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