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ROCK SOLID: Newfoundland and Labrador ranks top 10 globally in investment attractiveness, policy perception –



ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

Newfoundland and Labrador is good as gold, according to a global mining industry survey.

The Fraser Institute’s 2020 survey of mining and exploration companies placed Newfoundland and Labrador in the top 10 jurisdictions for both investment attractiveness and policy.

The survey ranked 77 places, including several North American states, provinces and territories. Newfoundland and Labrador placed eighth in both categories.

Saskatchewan was the only other province to make the top 10, placing third in investment attractiveness and ninth in policy perception. Nova Scotia meanwhile ranked among the bottom 10 in the investment category and 24th for mining-friendly policy.

Jairo Yunis, a policy analyst with the Fraser Institute who co-authored a report based on the survey results, said the most attractive jurisdictions for investment tend to match their mineral potential with a competitive policy environment.

“However, Newfoundland’s improvement from (2019), when it ranked 28th in terms of overall investment attractiveness, was largely driven by improved perceptions by investors on its mineral potential,” he said. “When considering mineral potential alone, the province went from ranking 50th in 2019 to 11th in 2020, with no changes in its policy ranking.”

Exploration activity

Last year, the provincial Department of Industry, Energy and Technology processed 389 mineral exploration applications, more than in any of the previous five years. Expenditures for mineral exploration in 2020 were also up, climbing from $50 million in 2019 to $61 million last year.

Ed Moriarity, executive director of Mining Industry NL, said a combination of good people, solid infrastructure and strong geology and geoscience has placed the province in a position to succeed when it comes to this sector. He added the exploration and mining operations in Newfoundland and Labrador are quite diverse. In turn, this diversity helps attract further investment.

“You see (the survey) every year, and Newfoundland and Labrador will vary from year to year, but I was quite pleased to see it in the top 10 again,” Moriarity said. “We want to see us in the top three, or as we like to say, the best place in the world in which to explore and develop a mine.”

Moriarity said a favourable commodity market for gold has certainly helped Newfoundland and Labrador.

“The number of companies that are active in the province compared to year over year is also a factor in terms of that general awareness,” he added, noting there’s been a lot of work happening over the years to promote Newfoundland and Labrador’s mineral potential. In the last couple of years, he’s noticed an uptick in the frequency of news releases touting the achievements of projects in the province.

Ed Moriarity. — Contributed

Other opportunities

Moriarity sees another trend emerging that Newfoundland and Labrador is well-positioned to act on — green and low-carbon minerals are abundant in the province, including copper, nickel and cobalt.

“We have the potential here to realize that phase of development,” Moriarity said. “I think fundamentally as the world shifts in that direction, jurisdictions that are safe harbours, good legal and regulatory framework, that have a strong professional work force to avail of, that have the supply and service sector necessary to support it, all these factors are put into the risk equation for companies. And on the bottom line is the quality and quantity of the mineral occurrences and prospectivity you have in the province. That, I think, is always going to be a fundamental benefit for Newfoundland and Labrador as we move forward and capture these new opportunities and get our attention and direction focused there.”

Yunis cautioned the survey did identify some areas where the provincial sector could potentially improve in performance, noting 26 per cent of respondents indicated infrastructure was a factor deterring investment in Newfoundland and Labrador.

He said there is also a sense of uncertainty with respect to all Canadian provinces and territories when it comes to protected areas and land claim disputes.

Andrew Robinson is a business reporter in St. John’s. [email protected] | Twitter: @CBNAndrew


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Investment Boom For Tech Startups: New Venture Financing Breaks Records As Valuations Skyrocket – Forbes



The number of US startup financing deals of $100 million or more has increased by over 800% since 2016, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal. Miami-based investor, Keith Rabois, says on Twitter, “There are no VC funds with pricing discipline. All of us have caved.”

Today, non-traditional venture investors are entering the market, according to the Journal. (Think hedge funds, pensions and other institutions. Fidelity is now a huge investor in entrepreneurship – new territory for the typically-traditional investment firm. These new entrants represent 42% of deal flow, according to PitchBook Data Inc.)

This influx of new money is creating massive opportunities for tech founders (and other entrepreneurs) to seize on new opportunities. Investment in US startups for the first half of 2021 was $150 billion – on pace to double the overall number from 2020 (which was also a record year). While reports focus on Silicon Valley, there’s no denying that fresh cash is looking for an idea to fund.

Could you be the next entrepreneur to benefit from this surge in investment?

According to CB Insights, global funding for new ventures and tech startups is exploding – up over 157% versus last year. As of July 2021, there are more than 700 “Unicorn” companies around the world. A unicorn startup is a privately-held company with a valuation of over $1 billion. Popular unicorns include Stripe, SpaceX and Canva. Small business resource, Merchant Maverick, lists 20 of the top pitch competitions where ideas can find the funding they deserve – and entrepreneurs can get started in accessing new capital investment. Another great resource for pitch competitions is Growth Mentor, offering a list of 18 high-profile places to test your persuasive powers. Having coached the winners of several of the competitions listed, I’ve discovered the easiest way that entrepreneurs can access a seven-figure investment. Here it is:

Learn how to ask for it.

The language of business has never been more important. Understanding how to translate an idea into action, especially action from the investors who can fund your dreams, is where entrepreneurship begins. While the Harvard Business Review cautions that Creativity is Not Enough, I’d argue that it’s a pretty good place to start. Because bringing new ideas to life is the definition of creativity in business, and a great way to look at innovation.

Jim Rohn said, “Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.” With investors hungry for new ideas, perhaps learning to pitch your business concept is the fastest way to bring it to life. What door could a wise idea, clearly expressed, open for you?

Remember the words of Felix Dennis: “Having a great idea is simply not enough. It is how ideas are implemented that counts in the long run.” Ideas without action are just dreams. But the distance between dreams and reality can get a lot shorter when an enthusiastic investor is involved. Billions of dollars in deal flow are being infused into the market, as non-traditional investors wonder: Who will be the next unicorn? Maybe you will help them to find new ways to answer that question.

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Planning to invest in index funds? Check the pros and cons – Economic Times



In recent times, investor interest has been rapidly increasing in passive index strategies. 2021 has already seen the launch of over 15 index funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds). The figure for entire 2020 was just 17.

What are index funds?

Index funds replicate the weightages of companies that form part of the benchmark index under consideration. The weightage of the stocks in the fund will closely match the weightage of each stock in the index. In case od a change in the weight of stock within the index, the fund manager too will make changes to have its weight in the portfolio aligned to that of the index. For example, a Nifty index fund will invest in the 50 companies forming the Nifty50 index.

Benefits of Index Funds

Diversification: Index funds, in a simple and easy manner, provide diversification by investing across many stocks. Take Nifty 50 index. Through this index, an investor gets access to 50 different companies. As a result, the value of one’s portfolio will not be adversely impacted in the event of any negative development in any one of the companies which is a part of the index. Furthermore, this diversification comes with a ticket size as low as Rs 100.

Lower Costs: Costs associated with an index fund are generally very low. The total expense ratio (TER) for an index fund, as per market regulator SEBI, is capped at 1 percent. When compared to actively managed counterparts, this turns out to be a cheaper option for an investor who is comfortable with index fund investing.

Return Potential: The aim of an index fund is to generate returns as close to that of its underlying index. Over the long term, if an investor is ready to stay invested, the return profile is likely to reflect the growth of the economy. For example, the 5-year CAGR of an index like Nifty 50 TRI is about 15%.

SIP Facility: Just like any actively managed fund, investors can opt for daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or quarterly SIP options.

Limitations of Index Funds
Lack of Flexibility: Unlike an actively managed fund, if there is any material development in the economy or markets, the fund manager here cannot make any changes to the portfolio. As a result, there is no scope for the fund manager in managing market downsides.

No room for Alpha: By investing in an index fund, the investor is signing up for returns that will be in line with that of the index which the fund is tracking.

Tracking Error: Tracking error is the difference between the scheme’s return and the benchmark index’s return. While index funds try and replicate an underlying as close as possible, there is likely to be a gap due on account of factors such as expenditure incurred by the fund, cash balance, or portfolio deviation.

Who can consider investing in Index Funds?
Every Investor should have index funds as part of their asset allocation. First-time investors may also consider index funds as a stepping stone into the world of equities. In the short term, returns could be volatile but over the long term the fluctuations average out. To conclude, an index fund offers one of the cheapest ways to take exposure to equity markets but before investing do check if the fund matches your risk appetite, investment horizon, and financial goal.

The author, Chintan Haria, is Head- Product Development & Strategy, ICICI Prudential AMC. The views are his own.

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How To Invest In AMC And Really Make Long-Term Money – Forbes



AMC, the nation’s largest movie theater chain and darling of the meme stock afficionados, has all the hallmarks of a disaster movie: a monster (the pandemic), questionable actions from main characters (the company’s ownership) and skanky fundamentals (too much debt, share-price dilution).

That’s not to mention that fast-growing streaming services are eating into its customer base like acid, and the Delta virus variant could squelch the former multiplex goers’ thoughts about returning.

In any disaster movie, the beleaguered good guys also find the monster’s vulnerability. In The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells’ classic Martian-invasion book later made into several flicks, the aliens’ weakness is a lack of immunity to our planet’s germs. For AMC and other such troubled companies like GameStop

, it’s the low regard ease with which a mob can take down short seller. A coterie of young folks have a deep distaste for the Wall Street establishment, which failed their parents and their families very badly during the financial crisis some 13 years ago.

Today, that translates into making meme stocks, which stodgy old hedge funds have shorted, into a cause célèbre for Gen Z investors. The young amateur stock jockeys have pumped up these names, sticking it to those smug Wall Street tycoons, who get caught in short squeezes.

Due to the Robinhood crowd’s support, AMC has seen its stock price triple thus far in 2021. That’s despite losing $4.5 billion last year ($1.42 per share) as pandemic-spooked film audiences stayed home, and also logging a $500 million loss in 2021’s first quarter. Second quarter earnings, slated for Aug. 9, are expected to show a narrower loss, just 91 cent per share, per the Zach’s Consensus. In the January-March quarter, attendance had fallen almost 90%, versus the year-earlier period.

The popularity of AMC’s stock has been a boon for the chain, even though the outfit diluted shares a bunch via new stock issued. The company has floated common stock offerings, raising a total of $1.25 billion—cash that it desperately needs in a nasty time like now. Analysts project that the company will be in red ink for at least three more years.

Meanwhile, management, led by CEO Adam Aron, also whittled down net debt to $4.6 billion as of March 31, from $5.4 billion. Plus, it completed a debt-for-stock exchange offer, and extended maturities on $1.7 billion in bonds until 2026. As a result, S&P Global Ratings last month raised AMC’s rating to CCC+ from CCC-. Granted, this is still deep in junk bond territory, but represents a forward step.

The larger question is: Does AMC have a future, or will it dwindle to little or nothing? Think of all the corporate powerhouses of yore, like Eastman Kodak

or Xerox

, that time has passed by.

Maybe AMC can avoid that fate. For the near future, AMC likely will consolidate its hold on what remains of the cinema-going public. Many small operations tanked over the past year. Regal Entertainment and Cinemark, its two biggest U.S. competitors, are in a weaker condition, and AMC could end up the last chain standing.

After that, AMC has to bet that people eventually will want to return to the wide-screen auditoriums that, indeed, offer a much richer visual experience than even the largest TVs at home. Going out to the movies has always been a communal undertaking, and like live sports, which are showing a decent comeback, could reclaim their patrons. True, stadium-viewed sporting events offer the extra dramatic element of rooting for the home team. Once Hollywood starts putting out better movies—its pandemic entries have been kind of lame (Tenet, anyone?)—sitting in the dark to watch a blockbuster will have better appeal.

If you agree with that thesis, then when is the right time to purchase AMC shares? One answer is to buy on the dips. In fact, we’re in a dip now: AMC has fallen almost 30% since mid-June, partly owing to the onset of the Delta variant. And odds are that Robinhood gang will tire pf AMC.

At that point, is buying the shares a mad-money play? Sure. Still, look at other pandemic-stricken stocks that are rising anew, like oil companies. That could be enough for a Hollywood ending.

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