Tag Archives: banking

Italy Can Increase Tax Benefits of Buying Losing Banks | Instant News

Italy is considering extending the fiscal benefits for banking mergers and acquisitions introduced late last year, according to a draft decision seen by Bloomberg.

The next step could attract potential state-owned buyers Banca Monte Paschi at Siena SpA, which Italy must sell before the end of 2021 as part of an agreement with the European Union.

The initial draft, which is still under discussion and subject to change, increased the tax break for buyers from 2% to 3% of assets. It also moved back by six months, to June 2022, the deadline for availing aid.

The benefits were introduced last year to make losing banks more attractive to acquire. This allows the buyer to increase his capital by converting the deferred tax assets of the purchased bank into a tax credit.

Although the tax relief measure does not have a specific target, it is part of an incentive package put together by Giuseppe Conte’s government to attract. UniCredit SpA bought Paschi, which was rescued by a state bail-out in 2017.

Milano Finanza reported the previous extension on Tuesday.

Talks between the two banks broke down earlier this year with the departure of Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier, who kept the lender without a leader until Andrea Orcel took over on April 15.


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Italian Minister Says Recovery Plan Rests on Upgrading the Private Sector | Instant News

Italy’s plans to start up its economy using grants and loans from EU recovery funds will not succeed without significant support from private investors, Minister of Infrastructure and Mobility Enrico Giovannini warned in an interview.

“Everyone is talking about public funds, but that is a distorted view,” said the minister. In an effort to shift the focus more towards a mix of public and private funding, Giovannini set up a commission within his ministry to explore ways of using other financial instruments for investment.

The Ministry has joint responsibility to invest 40.7 billion euros ($ 49 billion) of funds allocated to countries under the EU Next Generation program. Other European and national development programs will add another 20 billion euros.

Read more: Draghi Bet 261 billion Euro on a Redesign for the Italian Economy

The projects covered by the recovery plan, including the creation of a special economic zone and the construction of a high-speed railroad in the impoverished south, promise to create a “favorable environment” for business and ultimately serve to attract private investment, he said.

Investment Holding


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‘RDA to be converted into digital banking’ | Instant News

KARACHI: Roshan’s digital account will eventually be converted into digital banking, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan for Foreign Affairs Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari said on Monday.

He is in discussions with Azfar Ahsan, founder of the Corporate Pakistan Group (CPG) and the Nutshell Group, in the live online session of the CPG dialogue platform entitled “The Way Forward for Pakistan”. Discussing the Hundi issue, he said the government was trying to attract overseas Pakistanis from using Hundi and Hawala, but to do that we had to adjust the ease of transfer and were working on it.

“With Roshan Digital Accounts, we are working to introduce various incentive programs to curb indirect ways of transferring money to the country.” On a question about assistance to SMEs planned by Pakistanis overseas, Bukhari said that all efforts are being made to make it a one-window operation, which also allows for the easy return of funds to do business.

He said he was trying to shift the entire operation directly under the prime minister so that a swift decision could be taken. Regarding financing for SMEs, he said, Punjab Bank and Roshan Digital Account are working on it.

Bukhari also touched on criticism of the government restricting imports of mobile phones, but the result of this measure is that in the near future there will be three factories that produce mobile phones locally.

About the prospects of the tourism industry in Pakistan, he said, has a bright future, because now tourists come not only in summer but also in large numbers during winter.


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Westpac New Zealand CEO to retire | Instant News


Westpac New Zealand Limited Chief Executive Officer David McLean today announced he will retire after more than 20 years with the Group.

Mr McLean joined Westpac New Zealand in 1999 and held a number of senior roles in retail and institutional banking, before being appointed CEO of Westpac New Zealand Limited in February 2015.

Westpac Group CEO, Peter King, thanks Mr. McLean for his contributions during his long tenure.

“David has been with Westpac for over two decades and has held a number of senior roles during that time. He has made significant contributions to the company, including playing a key role in driving business growth in New Zealand while lifting bank support for New Zealanders.

“David has led the bank through the COVID-19 challenge, with a keen focus on helping customers adapt and support New Zealand through recovery.

“I wish David all the best for his retirement.”

Mr McLean said: “I really enjoyed my time at Westpac New Zealand and am honored to lead the organization.”

Mr McLean will remain in the role until June 25 after which Simon Power, General Manager of Institutional & Business Banking will act as CEO, subject to regulatory approval, while the global search is complete.

/ Public Release. This material comes from the original organization and may be point-in-time, edited for clarity, style and length. view more here.


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Ottawa could use a leader like New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern | Instant News

Jacinda Ardern continues to get it right. Since being elected prime minister of New Zealand nearly four years ago, this young politician has led progressive policies with an impressive combination of determination, compassion and politeness.

There are multiple examples of these features:

Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, named their daughter Neve Te Aroha. Te-Aroha means love in the original Māori language.

After the massacre of 51 worshipers at the Christchurch mosque in 2019, Ardern took only weeks to finalize a law banning the possession of semi-automatic weapons in the country.

His leadership regarding the pandemic has been impeccable. Ardern managed to guard New Zealand’s COVID-19 death rate only 26 cases, or five deaths per one million people, compared to 625 deaths per one million in Canada and 1,868 deaths per one million in the UK.

When it comes to navigating New Zealand’s economy and its intersection with the climate crisis, Ardern’s actions are just as impressive, as he dares to challenge old truths.

Ardern was perhaps the first developed country head to question the prevailing working assumption among economists and policymakers that one of the government’s top priorities is to promote economic growth. When he introduced his first “welfare budget” in 2019, his aim was to maximize citizens’ sense of well-being, not economic activity.

“Economic growth coupled with deteriorating social outcomes has not worked. This is a failure, ” Ardern said. There’s nothing quite like the K-shaped recovery we’re currently going through to illustrate how valid this means. While latest data showing that the Canadian economy is growing again and the stock market is nearing all-time highs, the welfare of the bottom half of the population has slumped.

The Ardern government has not presented the 2021 budget, but in its budget Budget Policy Statement, published in February, it pledges to continue pursuing welfare goals, addressing key issues such as climate change, jobs, housing, child poverty and the state of Māori and the Pacific, its native communities.

But even before the budget was proposed, Ardern recently introduced three measures particularly relevant to Canada.

The first is his attempt to limit the ever-increasing real estate prices in the tiny country. Driven largely by foreign investment, housing prices in New Zealand have risen rapidly over the past decade, closing off first-time buyers, increasing rents and creating a country-wide housing crisis.

Have completely prohibits foreign ownership property in New Zealand in 2018, the government recently extended the mandate New Zealand’s central bank to tackle the housing crisis.

Canada has a similar boom – almost out of control – real estate market, and cooling it down is a priority. While Ottawa imposes a one percent vacant home tax for foreign owners in its 2021 budget, experts argue that this measure fails.

Hence, allowing Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem, who recently said there is Signs of “worrying” in the Canadian housing market, using the central bank’s monetary policy to end the real estate party might be a good idea.

The second step is Ardern’s move last month to raise the minimum wage to $ 20 (NZ) per hour, the equivalent of $ 18 (Cdn.). Since 2017, the minimum wage in New Zealand has increased by $ 4.25 (NZ) or 27 percent.

Canadians can benefit from a similar pursuit. A Statistics Canada The report shows that between 1998 and 2019, the proportion of workers earning the minimum wage nearly doubled from 5.2 percent to 9.2 percent. Minimum wage workers are becoming increasingly concentrated in large enterprises and less likely to receive non-wage benefits, such as pension plans, additional medical benefits or paid sick leave, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced the government’s intention to introduce legislation that would set the federal minimum wage at $ 15 per hour, that is the minimum wage in many provinces is still far behind. In New Brunswick, for example, $ 11.75 per hour; in Saskatchewan $ 11.45; and in Quebec, a rate of $ 13.10 is scheduled to increase to $ 13.50 in May.

Finally, Ardern’s approach to the climate crisis is very inspiring. At an absolute level, New Zealand, with a small population of five million people, is negligible in terms of greenhouse emissions. But instead of doing the minimum necessary and leaving the stage to the big players, Ardern is determined to become a leader and, in many cases, set the standard for how countries should respond to the climate crisis.

New Zealand passed a zero emissions law, with commitments to achieve neutrality in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Meanwhile some critics argues that the country is still slow to curb emissions, Ardern declare a “climate emergency” in December, and pledged that its public sector would be carbon neutral by 2025.

Another bold step requires state banks to reveal the impact of their investments on climate change. New Zealand was the first country in the world to introduce a law intended to make the financial sector environmental record fully transparent. The law will make climate reporting mandatory for banks, insurance companies and investment companies, said Secretary of Commerce David Clark.



Canadian banks are some of the largest lenders to the oil and gas industry and their net-zero 2050 commitment is not clear. Mandating climate reporting can put banks on the right track.

Whether recovering from a pandemic, overcoming a housing bubble, battling the climate crisis, or supporting marginalized populations, Jacinda Ardern is a leader and an inspiration.

Canada and New Zealand face similar challenges. Hopefully, Ardern’s unconventional and courageous thinking will find its way to Ottawa. It certainly can use some of the courage, bold and visionary leadership.

Amir Barnea is professor of finance at HEC Montréal and a freelance contributing columnist for Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bayu_joo


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