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London city explosion! Asian investment in UK tech start-ups soars – EU left in dust

The fintech sector in the UK has recorded huge sums coming from Asian and Middle Eastern investors. Speaking to the PA, Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: “The UK tech sector is home to the most innovative, most exciting and most globally scalable startups in the world, so it’s no surprise Asian investors are recognising just what a wealth of talent we have here.” Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Gerry Grimstone, spoke to the PA and said: “Investors around the world are taking advantage of the UK’s high-skill, diverse economy, and it’s great to see investors in Asia have poured more than £1.7bn (two billion euros) into UK tech companies.

“We are ramping up efforts to attract investment into all corners of the UK, with our Office for Investment, Investment Council and regional Trade and Investment Hubs making it easier for businesses to find the right projects and assets that meet our strategic priorities.”

New data suggests the amount of investment raised in the first half of 2021 has also almost surpassed the total amount raised during the whole of 2020.

By the end of June, Asian and Middle Eastern investors had poured more than £1.7bn into UK tech companies.

This was equal to 13.2 percent of total inward investments made into the UK.

READ MORE: EU cracks showing as Brexit dubbed huge loss for Sweden

Boris Johnson’s Government has been focusing its attention on turning the UK into the tech centre of Europe.

This drive was boosted earlier this month when money transfer business Wise, formerly TransferWise, chose London as the place for its stock market listing.

The TransferWise IPO turned out to be the biggest listing of the year.

It also was recorded as the largest fintech listing in the London Stock Exchange’s history.

SaltPay and Checkout.com have also attracted the two largest private investment deals made this year.

These private investment deals are the largest in the UK fintech sector so far, with £360 million and £324 million being invested.

Asian investors have been investing heavily in the UK fintech sector this year.

The nations that have invested most in fintech are Japan, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China.

Investment expert warns Bitcoin lacks key elements to make it a currency of the future

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Chris Clothier, fund manager at London-based CG Asset Management, warned potential investors in Bitcoin that despite what proponents of the cryptocurrency may say, Bitcoin lacks a fundamental element for it to be used as a transactional currency of the future. While he acknowledged the possible strengths of the blockchain network, he stressed that the market will change and investors should be careful of where they place their money. Mr Clothier’s comments come as a mania of investing in Bitcoin along with various other cryptocurrencies have garnered huge traction, especially in young people. His comments come as the the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority banned Binanance from trading in the UK through fears of its unregulated activity.

Mr Clothier explained in depth how today’s Bitcoin market has fulfilled very little of what proponents of the cryptocurrency originally outlined it would.

He said: “The arguments were that it (Bitcoin) would become a major component in money remittances, typically that is migrant workers sending money from home.

“And that it would supersede traditional banking networks and come to dominate a large chunk of that.

“And then in turn that is what drove the valuation arguments which was to say that, let’s (hypothetically) say that global remittances are several hundred billion.”

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He went on to explain: “Let’s say that Bitcoin captures 10 percent of that market…. And that money is held for three days while it is held as currency – the quantity theory of money would then suggest that Bitcoin would have an inherent value arising from that.”

But he stressed: “As we know that has not come to pass.”

He explained how despite what investors argue about Bitcoin’s values as a currency of the future “Bitcoin is not used in transactions” adding how “that is one of the three core definitions of money.”

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Mr Clothier added how the definition of currency is: “It should be used in transactions, it should be a unit of account and third is that it should be used as a store of value.”

He concluded how it currently “only fulfills that third of the three” rendering it not a currency and undermining beliefs that it will overtake conventional fiat currency.

Mr Clothier’s argument went on to outline how investors must also be aware of the mania surrounding cryptocurrencies, explaining how there are many similarities between the current cyrptocurrency market and the ‘Dot com’ boom whereby investors piled money into businesses, many of which are no longer around today and have been overtaken by newer businesses that have followed.

He said: “If you go back over investing history, you see there are repeated episodes of human nature becoming excited and seduced by new investment phenomena… Very often they turn out to be fads or frauds or speculative bubbles and I think that every generation goes through that and it’s a painful bitter experience.

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“In previous mania it tended to be that people were investing in productive assets of which they were very excited, whether that was the railways or the internet.

“Whereas the current interest in crypto and NFT is resolutely in assets that are not productive and only slowly have value because society collectively agrees they do – that gives me greater pause for thought and concern.”

Recent months have seen Bitcoin banned in China as well as trading platform Binance have its licence to trade unregualted in the UK over major concerns of regulation.

Due to the ability to anonymously trade bitcoin with no financial trace, it is desirable for criminals as well as more sinister groups such as child traffickers who use the digital currency to hide activities from law-making authorities.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority website warns potential investors of the dangers of investing in cryptocurrencies.

They say: “Be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in crypto asset or crypto asset-related products.

“Most firms advertising and selling investments in crypto-assets are not authorised by the FCA. This means that if you invest in certain crypto assets you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.

“While we don’t regulate cryptoassets like Bitcoin or Ether, we do regulate certain crypto-asset derivatives (such as futures contracts, contracts for difference and options), as well as those cryptoassets we would consider ‘securities’ – find out more information.

“A firm must be authorised by us to advertise or sell these products in the UK – check our Register to make sure the firm is authorised. You can also check our Warning List of firms to avoid.”

Author: Tom Hussey
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Norway Creates Global Climate Investment Fund to Cut Emissions in Developing Countries

coal-fired plant


©
AP Photo / Branden Camp

Described as a milestone by the government, the fund has sparked criticism from both left and right – for being “too little” and coming “too late”, as well as for being pointless, as the developing countries themselves invest heavily in coal.

The Norwegian government has announced it will establish a new climate fund to cut emissions in developing countries, in line with the Paris Agreement, in which rich countries pledged to annually contribute billions of dollars in aid to cover developing countries’ ever-increasing energy needs.

The new climate investment fund is expected to have NOK 10 billion ($ 1.1 billion) over the next five years and will be managed by Norfund, a private equity company established by the Norwegian parliament in 1997 and owned by the Foreign Ministry. The fund receives its investment capital from the state budget and its mission is to help developing countries fight poverty through supporting economic growth, employment and technology transfer.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg emphasised that this is not a “greenwashing” of Norwegian politics, which is a recurrent criticism of the liberal-conservative coalition among the opposition.

“No, this is a hot real answer to the Paris Agreement. We follow up on what we have committed to, which is to participate in financing in other countries. It is not a replacement for what we are going to do here at home, but an addition,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told national broadcaster NRK.

The new fund is expected to contribute to the global phasing out of coal production by 2040. As of now, up to 30 percent of global greenhouse emissions are estimated to stem from the use of coal plants.

“The need is enormous and will only increase in the future,” Prime Minister Solberg said.

Solberg encouraged investors to join the Climate Investment Fund when it becomes operational.

“To succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially in Asia, we must include other commercial capital,” Solberg underscored.

Development Aid Minister Dag-Inge Ulstein described the Climate Investment Fund as a “milestone in Norwegian development aid history”.

“We know that even if we give one percent to aid, the world’s aid funds alone will never solve global challenges such as climate change,” he emphasised.

CEO Tellef Thorleifsson in Norsund, stressed a great energy need in developing countries with strong growth.

“India alone is planning to develop new energy which will exceed all current consumption in the EU in the next 20 years,” he underscored. “Now we have a new, clear mandate to invest more in the markets where the climate effect will be greatest,” he said.

However, the fund sparked criticism from both left and right. According to the Socialist Left Party, the government is doing too little and too late. Its mouthpiece Kari Elisabeth Kaski demanded that an extra NOK 6 billion ($ 700 million) is earmarked each year.

By contrast, Helge Lurås, editor-in-chief of the news outlet Resett described the fund as “giving even more money abroad”. He dismissed the whole idea as pointless.

“While Norway subsidises so-called green energy, the countries themselves invest in coal power. China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam plan to build 600 new coal power plants in the coming years. China alone accounts for more than half, 368 power plants,” Lurås concluded.

Author: Igor Kuznetsov
Read more here >>> Norway Government & Politics News

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.

Elina Nomicou
HELLAS DIRECT
+30 697 402 2291
[email protected]
Visit us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Author: Aalto University
The European Times News

David Beckham backs electric cars with massive investment into classic car electrification

The former England star is believed to have taken a 10 percent stake in Lunaz as he takes small steps into the automotive industry. The football star was photographed getting to grips with electric car technology at the company’s Silverstone factory.

They said the new electrification process could extend the life of up to 70 percent of vehicles.

They say when the 2030 petrol and diesel car ban comes into effect there will be around two billion conventional cars still on the roads across the world.

Lunaz says remanufacturing and upcycling cars through electrification will prevent the majority of these cars from being scrapped.

David Lorenz, Founder and CEO of Lunaz said the new system will save businesses money.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Investment firms took positions on stocks hit by Archegos implosion, Gamestop

Investment firms took positions on stocks hit by Archegos implosion, Gamestop© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire investor George Soros speaks to the audience at the Schumpeter Award in Vienna, Austria June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

By Maiya Keidan

(Reuters) – Several investment firms purchased shares in ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:) Inc, Baidu (NASDAQ:) and Discovery (NASDAQ:) Inc, which made big market moves linked to the implosion of investment firm Archegos Capital Management, while others on Monday disclosed bets against retail-trading favorite GameStop Corp (NYSE:).

A number of investment managers bet on companies that plummeted when large banks sold them in a hurry amid the collapse of Archegos at the end March.

Other funds used the first quarter to take out put option positions, which are bearish bets, in GameStop. Gamestop was at the center of a battle earlier this year between retail investors who thought the ailing video retailer should trade higher and hedge funds like Melvin Capital, which bet that its stock would fall.

Melvin Capital, which was badly hurt after holding bearish GameStop positions, did not disclose any put positions in its latest filing. Melvin’s Gabriel Plotkin in February said he was wary about holding big short positions again.

Regulatory filings show that Soros Fund Management and hedge funds HG Vora Capital Management and Coatue Management entered positions in media stock ViacomCBS Inc after disclosing no holdings in the previous quarter.

The so-called 13F filings do not disclose the date the purchase was made but give a snapshot of what U.S. stocks fund managers owned at the end of the quarter.

Archegos, a family office run by ex-Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang, was highly exposed to ViacomCBS, leaving the firm to face a huge margin call from its prime broker banks, which in March were forced to sell large blocks of shares of ViacomCBS, media peer Discovery Inc and Chinese search giant Baidu. ViacomCBS plunged 57% in March while Discovery dropped 44% and Baidu fell 30%.

Soros Fund Management, founded by billionaire George Soros, bought $ 194 million in ViacomCBS shares according to its filing https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1029160/000090266421002758/xslForm13F_X01/infotable.xml, while HG Vora picked up $ 78.9 million and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management purchased $ 77.1 million over the same period.

British hedge fund firm Rokos Capital Management, run by former Brevan Howard partner Chris Rokos, also purchased $ 167.8 million of Baidu stock in the first three months of the year, the filings showed.

Laurion Capital Management added $ 231.6 million in Baidu over the same period while Soros picked up $ 77 million and Hong Kong-based activist fund Oasis Management raised its bet in the company by 42% to $ 46.5 million.

Soros, currently led by Chief Investment Officer Dawn Fitzpatrick, and London-based hedge fund behemoth Marshall Wace both picked up more than 200,000 shares in Discovery after holding no position in the previous quarter.

Many of the investment funds did not hold shares in ViacomCBS, Baidu or Discovery in the previous quarter, showed the filings.

Several hedge funds also disclosed new put options on GameStop Corp over the same period, including Robert Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management and Caxton Associates, which bets on macroeconomic events.

Taconic Capital Advisors, Hunting Hill Global Capital and Hudson (NYSE:) Bay Capital Management also took similar positions.

Put options, which give the holder the right to sell at a specified price, can be used as a way for a hedge fund to short a stock without using equity markets.

Melvin, which closed its GameStop position earlier in the year with a large loss, did not list the company as one of its positions in its latest filing.

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Bitcoin & gold are quite complimentary, investment guru tells RT’s Keiser Report

Max Keiser continues his interview with James Turk of GoldMoney.com about bitcoin and gold to find out which asset could be considered as a hedge and why.

“Bitcoin is the currency of the future because it has proven to be an escape currency, it’s a way of getting your purchasing power into something that’s relatively safe,” says Turk.

He points out that “Bitcoin and gold are in fact complimentary to one another because the weaknesses of gold are the strength of bitcoin,” and vice versa.

“What I mean is that you can hold gold in your hand but you can’t do that with the bitcoin” but gold can be confiscated while the cryptocurrency cannot. “So, the two are really complimentary to one another, and if you feel that you need to own gold in your portfolio (and everybody should as a hedge), you might consider a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin, in your portfolio as well,” the expert says.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Business News

Dogecoin price: $1000 investment at start of 2021 rockets up past average US income

According to Yahoo Finance, it means that a $ 1000 (£719.39) investment placed on the cryptocurrency at the start of 2021, when its value was around half of a penny, would now be worth more than $ 100,000 (£71,939.50) Yahoo’s Zack Guzman highlighted the rise in a tweet.
He posted: “If you invested $ 1000 into the following on January 1, 2021, you’d have this much as of May 4: – Tesla: $ 907 – GameStop: $ 8,990 – Bitcoin $ 1,946 – Dogecoin: $ 103,703!!!”

In a report, Mr Guzman added how after the $ 0.56 (£0.40) price that Dogecoin appeared to stabilise around on Tuesday, the bet would now be worth $ 103,703 (£74,603.42).

He cited that the US Census Bureau reported the average American household income is at $ 69,000 (£49,638.25).

It means the $ 1000 (£719.39) bet at the start of 2021 on Dogecoin could have created by about 1.5-times the average US household income in just five months, according to Mr Guzman.

READ MORE: Dogecoin price: Why is Dogecoin rising? Investment could end in tears

Mr Markus wanted to make his crypto different from its rival bitcoin and aimed to make Dogecoin open to the masses.

On its Twitter account, Dogecoin describes itself as “an open source peer-to-peer digital currency, favoured by Shiba Inus worldwide”.

Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, is one of the most prominent supporters of Dogecoin.

After tweeting about the cryptocurrency to his 50 million followers in April, Mr Musk reportedly sent the price of Dogecoin soaring.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Elon Musk's Bitcoin investment ripped to piece: 'It could have gone either way!'

Tesla is sitting on roughly $ 2.5billion (£1.79bn) worth of Bitcoin, according to a securities filing, giving the company a significant gain on paper only a few months after investing. The automaker said its investment in the cryptocurrency was worth $ 2.48billion (£1.78bn) at the end of March. The company’s CEO Elon Musk announced earlier this year that it had purchased $ 1.5billion (£1.07bn) worth of Bitcoin and that it was planning to accept the crypto coins as payment for its vehicles.
At the end of April, Tesla revealed it registered a net gain of $ 101million (£72m) from sales of Bitcoin during the quarter, helping to boost its net profits to a record high in the first quarter.

Tesla does not account for Bitcoin as a mark-to-market asset, meaning it only recognises an earnings benefit if it sells to lock in the gains.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, though, Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner at Informed Choice, warned Mr Musk’s move could have easily gone either way.

He explained: “[Bitcoin] is not an investment.

“It is purely speculative and it is something that doesn’t have any intrinsic value.

“It’s just based on whether or not someone is prepared to pay a higher price for what you owe.

“The problem with Bitcoin is also that it tries to do too many things at once.

“Some people treat it as a store of value, like gold. Others treat it as a currency and others as an investment.

“Unless it picks one function, it is likely to continue with this price volatility going all over the place.”

When asked about Tesla’s investment in the cryptocurrency, Mr Bamford said: “It is fascinating…

“They made more money from Bitcoin than selling cars.

“But again it was a speculative move.

JUST IN: Boris Johnson failed to make ‘decisive divergence from EU’

The video, titled ‘Bill Gates: The Bitcoin Panic of 2021’ rolled to the “earliest clip” of Mr Gates discussing the coin in May 2013.

He said: “I think it is a tour de force.

“It’s an area where governments are going to maintain a dominant role.”

The analysis then fast-forwarded to a 2021 interview with Mr Gates, to see how his opinion had changed.

He said: “I don’t own Bitcoin, I’m not shorting it, so I take a neutral view.

“Moving money into a digital form and getting transaction costs down is something the Gates Foundation does in developing countries.

But there we do it so you can reverse transactions, so you have total visibility of who’s doing what.

“But Bitcoin can go up and down just based on mania. You don’t have a way of predicting how it will progress.”

The video claimed the comments showed that Mr Gates is “clear in his mind” that Bitcoin is a “bubble which will burst”.

Express.co.uk does not give financial advice. The journalists who worked on this article do not own Bitcoin.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Is Goldman Sachs Stock a Smart Investment?

Author StockNews
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Is Goldman Sachs Stock a Smart Investment?Is Goldman Sachs Stock a Smart Investment?

The world’s second-largest investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs (GS), exhibited nimble business execution amid the recent Archegos sell-off and delivered record profits in the first quarter. However, given President Biden’s plans to hike capital gains taxes along with corporate taxes, will GS be able to maintain its stellar performance? Read more to find out. Goldman Sachs Group , Inc. (NYSE:) is known for its top-flight investment banking and asset management services globally. It is the second largest investment bank in the world based on its 2020 revenues. GS is one of the few multinational investment banks that emerged from the Archegos sell-off relatively unscathed.

GS sold approximately $ 10.50 billion worth Archegos-related shares on March 26, which ultimately triggered the margin call. And thanks to the firm’s first mover advantage, it was able to avoid significant losses in exiting its position. Shares of GS have gained 25.5% year-to-date.

Owing to the firm’s quick decision and trade settlements during one of the largest margin calls in history, GS delivered record revenues and earnings growth at a time when most major investment banks downgraded their fiscal first quarter outlooks. GS’ net revenues increased 102% year-over-year to $ 17.70 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. Both its net income and EPS increased 498% from the same period last year to $ 6.71 billion and $ 18.60, respectively.

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