AIM Connect: Your Digital Source of Information from Across the Globe

Date: Aug 2020

Photo: Annual Investment Meeting

Global Developments

USA/ Canada

United States - Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) has spent $2.07 billion on Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) shares since mid-July, after winning regulatory permission to increase what was already its largest common stock holding other than Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

United States - Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE.N) (ICE) said it would buy Ellie Mae, a technology platform for the mortgage finance industry, from private equity firm Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at $11 billion.

Microsoft is a step closer to acquiring the U.S. operations of the embattled Chinese social app, TikTok. The tech giant announced that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke with President Trump about acquiring social video app TikTok. Microsoft confirmed that President Trump gave its parent company ByteDance 45 days to strike a deal.

The Government of Canada announced the official launch of its national COVID-19 “exposure notification” app. The app is now available through IOS and the Google App Store.

United States - Google is paying $450 million for a nearly 7% stake in longtime home and business security provider ADT Inc, a deal that will open new opportunities for one of the internet’s most powerful companies to extend the reach of its Nest cameras and voice-activated voice assistant.

Asia Pacific:

Philippines - The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said it will focus its efforts on the region’s agriculture and fisheries sectors over the next five years as it aims for immediate recovery to counteract the economic slowdown triggered by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

China - The country’s foreign exchange reserves expanded to 3.1544 trillion U.S. dollars at the end of July, from 3.1123 trillion dollars at the end of June.

Thailand’s conglomerate the Charoen Pokphand Group announced that it will acquire Hong Kong- based ecommerce platform Chilindo for US$18 million via its digital arm Ascend Commerce.

Singapore - Mainboard-listed developer Yanlord Land Group is partnering Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC to co-invest in residential projects in China.

South Korea - Samsung Biologics announced that it will invest 1.74 trillion won ($1.5 billion) to build a fourth pharmaceutical plant in Incheon as the company expects demand for contract drug manufacturing to surge in coming years.

Japan’s service sector sentiment index rose in July, a Cabinet Office survey showed some improvement in business confidence although concerns persist over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India - One of the most popular payments platform UPI is now to break all the records by making more than 1.34 billion transactions alone in the last 28 days.

Singapore - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will award Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) additional privileges as a Significantly Rooted Foreign Bank (SRFB), allowing it to operate more places of business.

India - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is forging a comeback in India’s smartphone market with a new range of budget devices and a ramped-up online presence, aiming to recoup ground ceded to Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi Corp.

Japan - Gross domestic product data out later this month is expected to show the world’s third- largest economy had contracted by more than 20 percent on an annualised basis in the second quarter as the health crisis hit demand.

China - The Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI stood at 52.8 in July, up from 51.2 the previous month, reflecting that the manufacturing sector continued to expand amid the ongoing economic recovery.

Japan - Toshiba will spend around 34 billion yen ($321 million) on a new research and development complex in Japan geared toward artificial intelligence and security technologies

Middle East:

UAE – In continuation of the UAE’s economic relief measures, the UAE Ministry of Economy is to implement a “flexible package and plan” to support various sectors.

Tunisia has asked four countries to delay debt repayments, as it announced more pessimistic economic and budget forecasts for 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Data has become the oil of the 21st century — a vast asset with a fundamental value that has yet to be fully realized, at least in the Middle East and North Africa region. The world is fast approaching “peak oil,” after which petroleum consumption will decline in consumption, and rock-bottom prices will dent once-lucrative oil revenues.

UAE - The Central Bank of the UAE temporarily relaxed the net stable funding ratio (NSFR) and the advances-to-stable resources ratio (ASRR) for local and foreign banks to provide them with enhanced flexibility and capacity to support the economy and better manage their balance sheets.

Saudi Arabia - the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) covering Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector economy rose from 47.7 to 50, signaling overall stability in operating conditions.

Egypt - The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has launched an initiative to enable 20,000 youths across Egypt to freelance through electronic platforms.

Most GCC stock markets made gains in July as lockdown restrictions were eased and oil prices climbed, a monthly report by Kuwait Financial Centre ‘Markaz’ revealed.

UAE - NMC Health, an Abu Dhabi-based hospital chain, has secured a $250-million financing facility, conditional on a planned second-phase restructuring that would help the group to continue its operations, according to a statement by its administrators from Alvarez & Marsal.

Africa:

Tanzania - Traditional exports nearly doubled to 1,020.9 million US dollars in the year ending June from 518.0 million US dollars in corresponding period last year, on account of the increase in both volume and prices. According to the

Bank of Tanzania (BoT) monthly economic review for July traditional exports accounted for 16.6 per cent of exports of goods and 10.4 per cent of exports of goods and Services.

The Government of Rwanda approved a draft law establishing the Rwanda Space Agency (RSA), signaling yet another step towards promoting advancement in earth observation technologies. For the country to fully utilize the potential that comes with this technology it will need to re-skill its people.

Mozambique - MRG Metals (MRQ) continues to progress discussions with Moçambique STT Sociedade Anónima, who’s behind the proposed Chongoene Development Corridor (CDC) Project.

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) said it has extended a USD 250-million (about Rs 1,870 crore) line of credit (LOC) to Mozambique for improving power supply quality in the country.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Africa’s foremost multilateral trade finance institution, is supporting the advancement of Mozambique’s energy industry and economy by committing up to US$400 million in guarantees and direct lending to the Area 1 LNG Project.

Nigeria - GB Foods, manufacturer of the popular Gino tomato paste brand, has inaugurated its new N5.5 billion ($14.5m) factory in Ogun State. The new factory will be used to make its mayonnaise brand, Bama, for the Nigerian and West African market.

Ecowas Bank for Investment and Development says it has invested over $300 million into Ghana’s economy. Areas of investment, the bank said include, Energy, Trade, Technology, Tourism and hospitality industry.

Liberia - Amdocs, a leading provider of software and services to communications and media companies, announced partnership with Orange Liberia to upgrade its end-to-end digital enablement platform to reduce time-to-market and easily enable launching more innovative, personalized offers and bundles, including mobile, internet and Orange Money services to its customers.

Nigeria - The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has reached an accord with its partners, to settle all outstanding issues surrounding the development of Oil Mining Lease, (OML) 130 with a prospect of raking in $510 million revenue.

Nigeria - Foreign exchange liquidity improved at the weekend as the daily turnover rose by 246.31 percent to $43.67 million from $12.61 million recorded at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window.

Nigeria - Foreign exchange liquidity improved at the weekend as the daily turnover rose by 246.31 percent to $43.67 million from $12.61 million recorded at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window.

Europe:

Facebook has announced that applications are open for ‘Facebook Accelerator: Commerce’, which is welcoming startup teams from Europe who is developing e-commerce solutions. Such tools could be AI-powered catalogue management or immersive shopping experiences using AR; any solution that helps “bridge the gap between online and in-store experiences.”

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health said that the government had signed an agreement with the American biotech company Moderna to procure 4.5 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, if the vaccine should prove successful.

UK - Uber said it was buying the British tech company Autocab, which sells booking and dispatch software to private hire firms, in a move that will allow the taxi app to reach customers where it does not currently operate.

Ireland - TikTok has said it plans to build a $500m (£375m) data centre in Ireland. It will store videos, messages and other data generated by European users from the short-form video- sharing app.

UK - Planet Smart City, the British startup revolutionizing smart affordable housing who we recently featured due to their expansion in Brazil and €24 million funding round, has announced a partnership with UN-Habitat (the UN agency responsible for promoting socially and environmentally sustainable towns, cities and communities). Together they will join forces to deliver innovative solutions for slum communities.

Latin America:

Strategically important sector for economic and social development, electricity transmission and distribution in Latin America has been revolutionised by the arrival of Chinese state-owned conglomerates State Grid and Three Gorges in Chile and Peru and by their ongoing expansion in Brazil.

BPC, the leading provider of digital payment solutions, partners with specialised market consultancy Brazilian Desk, to connect Brazilian micro and small businesses in key sectors such as agriculture in one digital ecosystem – BPC Marketplace. The closed-loop trading environment, supported by BPC’s payment platform, will be used to forge critical market links and boost Brazilian SME communities’ financial inclusion and instant access to income.

Chile - A Chilean proptech, raised $2M led by Clout Capital to facilitate property management in Latin America. The company currently operates in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, and Bolivia, and offers services to over 3,000 housing blocks.

Australia & New Zealand: 

The federal government of Australia has announced an investment of $1.67bn over ten years, including $1.35bn as a Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, to boost cyber resilience.

Blackbird Ventures, one of Australia’s largest venture firms, has another AD 500 million ($357 million) to invest after raising its fourth fund. A New Zealand-based startup has developed a method of safely and wirelessly transmitting electric power across long distances without the use of copper wire, and is working on implementing it with the country’s second-largest power distributor.
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Annual Investment Meeting

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