Tag Archives: ‘backing

Insurance company Hellas Direct raises EUR 32 million

Hellas Direct receives a EUR15 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). EIB and Hellas Direct representatives at the virtual signing ceremony.

Next-generation insurance company Hellas Direct raises EUR 32 million and welcomes European Investment Bank backing

Hellas Direct today announced agreement of a EUR15 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The EIB is pleased to provide EUR 15 million backing to accelerate pioneering digitalization driven expansion by Hellas Direct through our largest ever support for financial services in Cyprus.”

— Lilyana Pavlova, Vice President of the European Investment Bank

NICOSIA, CYPRUS, July 8, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Hellas Direct, an innovative, technology-driven insurance company operating in Greece and Cyprus, today announced agreement of a EUR15 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The venture debt financing – which is the first of its kind to be offered to a Cypriot company by the EIB – is designed to support research and development, accelerate the group’s sales and marketing efforts and expand its customer base, is part of the total EUR 32m raised in Hellas Direct’s latest financing round.

The EUR 15 million EIB loan, representing the EIB’s largest ever support for financial services in Cyprus was formally agreed by Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou, Executive Directors of Hellas Direct and Lilyana Pavlova, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Cyprus during an online signing ceremony on Thursday 8th July.

“We are really proud that Hellas Direct is the first Cypriot company to be backed by a venture debt investment from the EIB. The bank’s support means a lot to us, as we prepare to replicate our business model across borders and to pursue a more aggressive acquisition strategy in the region”, said Alexis Pantazis, Executive Director of Hellas Direct.

“This is a great moment for Hellas Direct. We are very excited to be backed by the EIB, one of the world’s leading financial institutions. Their support and know-how will enable us to increase our market share, optimize our services and pursue our long term strategic goals. Great things are coming!”, commented Emilios Markou, Executive Director of Hellas Direct.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting innovation investment and high-tech business growth. The EIB is pleased to provide EUR 15 million backing to accelerate pioneering digitalization driven expansion by leading regional insurance company Hellas Direct through our largest ever support for financial services in Cyprus. The new investment will expand provision of technology led insurance services across the region and adapt financial services to a post-Covid world,” said Lilyana Pavlova, Vice President of the European Investment Bank .

In backing Hellas Direct, the EIB joins a broad range of global investors which includes Portag3, the IFC (member of the World Bank Group), Endeavor Catalyst, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and well-known family offices including those of Jon Moulton and Lord O’Neill.

Hellas Direct is a digital-first, full-stack insurance company, empowered by cutting-edge technology and the use of advanced analytics. It has built its own proprietary underwriting and online distribution platform and has developed a cutting-edge claims management platform. The group’s vision is to use this platform to generate leads and claims management fees. Empowered by the latest round of funding and using technology as a competitive edge, the company plans to expand into five blindspot European markets, starting with Romania, in order to replicate the multi-product, multi-channel approach it has successfully deployed in Greece and Cyprus.

Last year the EIB provided EUR 245 million for new investment in Cyprus and since the 2013 financial crisis the EIB has provided nearly EUR 2 billion for public and private investment in the country.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

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Author: Aalto University
The European Times News

‘Come on Gasquet’ – Cameron Norrie jokes about backing Roger Federer Wimbledon exit

“If it’s a time to play Roger, now is probably the best time I guess but he’s still a decent player. He still can play.”

Norrie has been in excellent form of late after reaching the final at Queen’s last month before losing to Matteo Barrettini.

His match against Bolt was the first time Norrie was playing on a main court at Wimbledon and he certainly enjoyed the occasion with the fans getting on his side.

“Unbelievable to back at Wimbledon this year,” Norrie added.

Author: Stuart Ballard
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport

GB News hails boycott victory – Full list of advertisers BACKING Andrew Neil's channel

Speaking on Thursday night, Mr Neil dismissed the Stop Funding Hate group, which published a list of companies whose adverts were seen on GB News in a bid to starve the channel of advertising income.

Mr Neil claimed the group were opponents of a free society and said firms which kowtowed to their demands were acting as the “useful idiots of bigots bent on censorship”.

He added: “It is quite remarkable that serious executives and well-established companies can be so easily cowed.

“They have all taken the knee to Stop Funding Hate. It is important they – and you – realise to whom they are in thrall.

“Stop Funding Hate does not stand for a liberal, inclusive society. It is dominated by far-Left agitators and cranks that push for advertiser boycotts of any media organisation with which it disagrees.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Pep Guardiola backing 'lion' Sergio Aguero to claim one more victim before Man City exit

Pep Guardiola has backed his “lion in the jungle” Sergio Aguero for one last kill in his final Premier League appearance for the club.  

Aguero will be given the captain’s armband to lead City on his last outing at the Etihad if fit.

And his manager believes that, even off the back from injury which has kept him out City’s last two league outings, he has the inherent sharpness for one last pounce in front of 10,000 fans.

“The fans in the stadium and around the world will give him his tribute for what he’s done in terms of titles, numbers – which are incredible,” said Guardiola.

“When he’s fit and has continuity he’s a guy like Romario. In five metres he can – like a lion in the jungle – make a step to kill the opponents.

“His biggest quality (is) a unique sense (in front) of goal. 

Kane says it would be a ‘dream’ to play alongside Manchester City star

And he made it clear his presence will be missed when he moves on in the summer.

“First of all, he’s a nice person, funny, humble, he’s a legend. He’s come from Argentina to this country where it’s so difficult to score goals,” he explained. 

“And he has done it for many years. You cannot imagine how many more he’d have scored if he’d been fitter than he is.” 

Aguero, who along with David Silva and Vincent Kompany will be immortalised in bronze in statue form, scored 182 top-flight goals.

After only returning to training on Thursday, both player and manager will be mindful to keep something back for Porto next week should there be a chance for him to impact the match against Chelsea.

With regard to the rest of the squad, Guardiola said will select as normal.

“We are going to put players out to win the game,” he said. 

“We have six days until the Champions League final and if one player gets injured it is unlucky.

“They can get injured today or tomorrow. 

“Kyle Walker could not play against Brighton as he got injured, a twist in his ankle, playing with his children.”

Manchester City: Likely XI

(4-2-1-3): Ederson; Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho; De Bruyne; Torres, Jesus, Foden. 

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Public Citizen: Coca-Cola, AT&T gave nearly $1M to legislators backing voting restrictions

Two companies that oppose Georgia’s new voting law have given almost $ 1 million to proponents of similar laws in other states over the past five years, according to a report released Monday by a left-leaning group.

The report[1] from Public Citizen said Coca-Cola and AT&T, whose CEOs disapprove of Georgia’s law, donated more than $ 944,000 to state lawmakers around the country who have introduced or indicated their support for bills that would in some way restrict the right to vote in recent years.

AT&T donated the lion’s share, with more than $ 810,000 in donations to Republican lawmakers around the country who have supported bills that critics say would restrict the right to vote and disproportionately impact minority communities.


“Corporate leaders cannot credibly claim to love America while also giving contributions to lawmakers who are supporting thinly veiled attempts to suppress the vote, especially among people of color,” Public Citizen’s executive vice president, Lisa Gilbert, said in a statement Monday.

“The only acceptable action for corporations to take is to stop giving to supporters of these bills, forever.”

When reached for comment, a Coca-Cola spokesperson said: “We suspended all political contributions[2] in early January after the incident at the U.S. Capitol, and that pause continues.”

AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey slammed Georgia’s new law[3] in an interview with CNBC last week, calling it “unacceptable,” while AT&T CEO John Stankey issued a more measured statement[4] indicating his disapproval.

“We understand that election laws are complicated, not our company’s expertise and ultimately the responsibility of elected officials. But, as a company, we have a responsibility to engage,” Stankey said. “For this reason, we are working together with other businesses through groups like the Business Roundtable to support efforts to enhance every person’s ability to vote. In this way, the right knowledge and expertise can be applied to make a difference on this fundamental and critical issue.”

Stankey became CEO in 2020, while Quincey has been in the top post since 2016.


  1. ^ The report (www.citizen.org)
  2. ^ suspended all political contributions (thehill.com)
  3. ^ slammed Georgia’s new law (thehill.com)
  4. ^ issued a more measured statement (deadline.com)

[email protected] (John Bowden)

Novak Djokovic divides opinion again after backing co-president of controversial new tennis players’ group over on-court meltdown

Tensions over Novak Djokovic’s new tennis players’ group have reopened after the world No1 publicly offered his backing to Vasek Pospisil, who appeared to call the head of the ATP a “f***ing a*****e” in an umpire row this week.

Canadian Pospisil, with whom Djokovic announced the creation of the controversial Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) in August, was at the center of a shocking on-court meltdown at the Miami Open this week, apparently fueled by an earlier meeting with Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

Chair umpire Arnaud Gabas challenged the world number 65 over his enraged outburst after watching him throw a huge wobbly that included smashing his racket and angrily recounting his exchange with Gaudenzi the previous day.

“An hour and a half yesterday, the chair of the ATP, f***ing screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players,” Pospisil ranted, evidently indicating that the row over the new association is not likely to dissipate anytime soon.

“For an hour and a half. The leader of the ATP, get him out here.”

When Gabas asked why the ATP chief should be summoned, Pospisil offered the reply “f***ing a*****e” – widely interpreted as a further reference to Gaudenzi.

Unsurprisingly, Djokovic supported his co-president. “Concerning matters at hand, I am not in Miami,” the Australian Open champion told his following of almost nine million on Twitter.

“However, Vasek Pospisil is my good friend and I empathize with him wholeheartedly.

“Players on tour would agree that he is an individual of the highest integrity who cares about the wellbeing of his fellow competitors. I am hopeful that players recognize the importance of standing together.”

Fellow modern greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had hinted that they felt the inception of the new association was divisive, with the Spaniard speaking out against “separation” and the Swiss urging players to remain “united” in response to Djokovic and Pospisil’s proposals at the time.

While the Serbian superstar received a familiar deluge of love from his legion of admirers after his latest message, others were unconvinced that Pospisil should be supported.

“Didn’t care about his fellow competitor while he was throwing his hissy fit and ruining his opponent’s rhythm,” replied one.

Another argued: “There is a time and a place, Novak – and on the court and to an umpire is not that place.”

Talk of the PTPA has quietened since the two players directly behind Djokovic in the rankings appeared to at least temporarily shun the idea.

“Spoken like a true leader,” said one Djokovic admirer. “The biggest tragedy is that it never should have reached that level in the first place.

“The players are not employees of the ATP. They are in a mutually beneficial relationship so when the ATP chairman becomes toxic, it is time for them to step down.”

Another respondent also criticized Gaudenzi. “He has poisoned the well, no matter how the players interact with the ATP now or in the future,” they warned.
Also on rt.com ‘I disrespected the game’: Tennis ace Vasek Pospisil apologizes for on-court tantrum after calling umpire a ‘f***ing a**hole’
“When you burn that credibility and show your colors, you cannot recover. He has to go, no matter what history will show. The players need to demand action.”

Djokovic initially welcomed the appointment of Gaudenzi in 2019, although his patience with the supremo may have been tested by the one-time world number 18 comparing him to a child riding a bike while suggesting that his ill-fated Adria Tour last summer had “endangered many” within the context of the pandemic.

Gaudenzi and Djokovic met fora  two-and-a-half hour meeting the month after the PTPA plan was announced, with Djokovic praising their “open and transparent” relationship while claiming that the associations would work together.

Speaking earlier this month, Gaudenzi credited Djokovic with “redefining excellence” in tennis.
Also on rt.com ‘Where are the women?’ Tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic SLAMMED for ‘TONE DEAF’ men-only union as Nadal and Federer SHUN idea


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Pound euro exchange rate ‘in poor fashion’ while ‘backing away’ from 1.17 handle

After a period of increase for the pound to euro exchange rate, sterling has begun the week “in fairly poor fashion” according to one financial expert. Though there are few major developments anticipated to shake the exchange rate in the next few days traders are said to be keeping a close eye on the upcoming “Bank of England (BoE)” decision due on Thursday.
The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.1610 against the euro according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.

Michael Brown, currency expert at Caxton FX spoke with Express.co.uk to share his insight into the current exchange rate.

“Sterling started the week in fairly poor fashion against the common currency, backing away from resistance around the 1.17 handle, this morning trading closer to the 1.16 mark,” he said.

“The move appeared to have little in the way of fresh narratives around it, and likely owed to the fairly broad-based sterling weakness that was evident yesterday.

READ MORE: Holidays: France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal latest FCDO advice

“So far, the central bank has followed a similar stance to the Fed in interpreting the jump in yields as a natural response to a healthier economic outlook, particularly given the UK’s rapid vaccination rollout relative to other nations.

“Nevertheless, with government borrowing expected to continue soaring this year, sharply rising long-term borrowing costs, tightening financial conditions, could be detrimental to the economic recovery and verbal intervention by the BOE may be needed to try and calm bond markets.

“GBP/EUR continues to lurk near the €1.17 handle, over 1% stronger month-to-date, but currently experiencing resistance around this zone.”

So, what does this all mean for travel money?

Currently, Britons can not jet off on leisure holidays under the ongoing lockdown rules.

However, hope has been spared that some international travel could resume as soon as May 17 if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” out of lockdown goes as planned.

Many travel firms, including easyJet, have already reported a spike in bookings since the PM’s announcement.

While it may be tempting to switch travel money in advance, particularly while the pound sits close to the 1.17 mark, one travel money pro has warned this may not be as lucrative as you first assume.

James Lynn, co-CEO and co-founder of travel card Currensea, explained: “It may be tempting to take out foreign currency in anticipation of a future holiday, while the exchange rate is favourable.

“However, I would advise against this. Market movements are often more marginal in reality than they appear.


“Once we are allowed to travel again, this will signify the end of the COVID bump and I anticipate this will mean the Pound has improved even more significantly than the level it is at today.”