Denmark Lending – Nordbi Tue, 20 Sep 2022 19:45:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Denmark Lending – Nordbi 32 32 Private equity could become a ‘pyramid scheme’, warns Danish pension fund Tue, 20 Sep 2022 17:23:10 +0000

A senior executive at Denmark’s largest pension fund has likened the private equity industry to a pyramid scheme, warning that buyout groups are increasingly selling companies to themselves and their peers on a scale that “is not a good deal”.

Mikkel Svenstrup, chief investment officer at ATP, expressed concern that over the past year more than 80% of portfolio company sales by the private equity funds in which ATP has invested were either to another buyout group or were “continuation fund” agreements. , where a private equity group switches it between two different funds that it controls.

“We’re a big fund investor, we have hundreds of funds and thousands of portfolio companies,” he said. “Not a good deal, is it?” This is the beginning, potentially, I say “potentially”, of a pyramid scheme. Everyone is selling to each other. . . Banks lend against it. These are the concerns I shared.

ATP is a major investor in private equity funds. It has $119 billion under management and has committed money to 147 buyout funds, according to PitchBook data.

Svenstrup’s remarks, made at the IPEM private equity conference in Cannes, are similar to those made by Amundi Asset Management chief investment officer Vincent Mortier in June. Mortier said parts of the private equity industry “kinda feel like a pyramid scheme.”

Svenstrup said the “exponential growth” of the private equity industry in recent years, as investors poured cash into his funds, would “at some point” stop, adding that it was “just a matter of time”.

“It’s not that I think the private equity market is going to fall off a cliff,” Svenstrup said. “We’re just going to look [at] potentially low returns and high costs. He added that the industry plays an important role as a “key driver in moving certain companies through stages and eventually, hopefully, going public or being held by long-term owners.” .

ATP is reducing the number of private equity groups it commits money to, he told the conference.

“Obviously we looked very carefully. . . who refined [returns figures by] using bridge financing, leveraged funds. . . all these tricks they do to manipulate TRI,” he said. The IRR, or internal rate of return, is a key metric by which private equity groups report returns to their investors.

EC competition concerns prompt Pivo to withdraw from merger with Vipps and MobilePay Fri, 16 Sep 2022 14:29:30 +0000 Finnish mobile payment app Pivo has been pulled from a three-way merger with MobilePay and Vipps after the European Commission raised concerns about the deal.

Last year, MobilePay, Pivo and Vipps – all bank-owned – announced plans to join forces to create a single payment app with a combined user base of 11 million consumers in Finland, Denmark and Norway.

However, with Danske Bank-owned MobilePay and OP Financial Group-owned Pivo both having large customer bases in Finland, the EC’s Competition Directorate-General sounded the alarm.

This forced Danske Bank and the consortium of lenders behind Vipps to go ahead without OP Financial and Pivo. The revised plan still needs to be approved by the EC.

Christian Bornfeld, Head of Personal Customers, Danske Bank, says: “MobilePay in Denmark and Finland will still merge with Vipps. The parties’ ambition to create a cross-border mobile payment wallet has not changed.

“Danske Bank and the Norwegian banks behind Vipps would have preferred the merger, as planned, to include OP Financial Group and Pivo, but we respect the Commission’s concerns and now hope for early approval.”

The change means that the new company, called Vipps MobilePay, will now be 27.8% owned by Danske and 72.2% by the Norwegian consortium.

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure invests in onshore and offshore wind power Fri, 16 Sep 2022 05:56:54 +0000

Octopus Renewables Infrastructure (ORIT) has announced that it has purchased an additional 7.75% stake in the Lincs offshore wind farm from a fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management. This follow-on investment is in addition to the initial 7.75% stake in this wind farm that ORIT acquired in May 2022. Following this transaction, Lincs represents approximately 16% of ORIT’s capital. wallet based on gross asset value. In a separate transaction, ORIT has agreed to acquire the Leeskow onshore wind farm from German developer UKA. As part of these acquisitions, a subsidiary of ORIT entered into a £50 million credit facility with existing lender Natwest. The facility matures in November 2023 to match ORIT’s existing revolving credit facility.

The Lincs Offshore Wind Farm

Located off Skegness, north of the wash off the east coast of England, the Lincs Offshore Wind Farm has been operational since 2013 and generates long term fixed price inflation linked revenue from the UK. united. ROCK (Renewables Obligation Certificate), under which the wind farm receives 2 ROC per megawatt hour of electricity production during the first 20 years of operation. The wind farm has an installed capacity of 270 MW, consisting of 75 turbines of 3.6 MW each (spread over approximately 35 square kilometers) connected to an offshore substation (the offshore substation is then connected via 2 cables of export to a network connection point located in Warpole). The wind farm is operated and managed by Ørsted, the largest energy company in Denmark, and one of the leading developers and operators of offshore wind farms in the UK and worldwide. ORIT’s latest investment in Lincs comes with a co-investment from another fund managed by Octopus Energy Generation, Sky (ORI SCSp), which acquired an indirect 7.75% stake in Lincs as part of of this transaction. Following this transaction, funds managed by Macquarie Asset Management retain a 44% stake in Lincs. The site consists of 75 wind turbines of 3.6 MW.

Leeskow onshore wind farm

The Leeskow onshore wind farm is a 34.6 MW operational wind farm located in Brandenburg, northeast Germany, which consists of seven Nordex N149 turbines, one of which was commissioned in August 2020, due to receiving its permit earlier than the other six which were commissioned in August and September of this year. Leeskow has benefited from a floor price supported by the government for twenty years under the German EEG scheme. The investment is not exposed to fluctuations or ceilings in wholesale electricity prices in the short or medium term. Leeskow has long-term debt financing with fixed interest rates, and completion is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2022 after receiving consent from the lenders for the change of ownership. When completed, Leeskow will represent approximately 8% of ORIT’s portfolio based on gross asset value1.

Comments from Phil Austin, President of Octopus Renewables Infrastructure

“Wind energy is a key pillar of the UK and EU energy systems. Today’s investment in the Lincs offshore wind farm brings ORIT’s position in this important operational offshore wind farm to 15.5% and our commitment to Leeskow marks our first investment in German onshore wind. »

Comments from Chris Gaydon, Chief Investment Officer at Octopus Energy Generation

“These acquisitions of operational assets further increase the diversification in ORIT’s portfolio, including the addition of a new country. Both assets add to the proportion of fixed price electricity revenues in the portfolio, with the Leeskow acquisition based on electricity prices well below the recently announced EU cap.

previous story | next story

EU seeks $140 billion to insulate consumers from energy crisis Wed, 14 Sep 2022 11:36:00 +0000

By Kate Abnett and Tom Käckenhoff

BRUSSELS/DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – The European Union executive announced on Wednesday plans to raise more than $140 billion from energy companies to help protect households and businesses from soaring prices that threaten recession economy and insolvency.

European gas and electricity prices have soared this year as Russia cut fuel exports to retaliate against Western sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine, leaving many struggling to pay their bills and public services in the grip of a liquidity crisis.

The European Central Bank’s chief economist said higher prices remain a “dominant driver of inflation” in the euro zone.

European governments have responded with measures ranging from caps on consumer electricity and gas prices to offering credit and guarantees to electricity suppliers threatened with collapse.

“EU member states have already invested billions of euros to help vulnerable households. But we know that will not be enough,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament.

In separate steps to try to protect consumers from record inflation, France announced new caps on energy prices for 2023 and Denmark prepared its own temporary caps on energy bills.

And in Germany, Uniper, its biggest importer of Russian gas, said the government could take a majority stake to help it weather the crisis, and a local utility group warned of insolvency. electricity companies.

The European Commission’s proposal includes capping the revenues of electricity producers who have benefited from higher prices but are not dependent on gas. It also included measures to force fossil fuel companies to share windfall profits from energy sales.

“In these times, it is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefiting from war and on the backs of our consumers,” von der Leyen said.

National governments would be responsible for recovering excess revenue and redirecting it towards measures that could include reducing electricity bills or helping consumers invest in energy-saving measures such as insulating homes.

The EU plan did not include an earlier idea to cap Russian gas prices, after Russia warned it could cut off all fuel supplies if one was introduced.

The Commission said it was still considering a Russian gas price cap and discussing the idea of ​​broader gas price caps, which also divided member states and were not included in Wednesday’s proposals.

Europe’s benchmark gas price rose to around 208 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), well below August’s record high above 343 euros, but up more than 200% from a year ago.

Europe has rushed to fill its storage facilities and has already achieved the goal of 80% full by November. But Russian supply cuts, which it says are due to sanctions hampering maintenance, make the winter outlook uncertain.

Moscow played down the impact of lost gas sales in Europe, saying other countries were ready to buy its energy as Europe sought to reduce its dependence on Russia.

“Months of geopolitical wrangling have left the European gas market whipped, with volatile prices resulting from a lack of supply, potential market intervention and wider uncertainty,” the analyst said. by Rystad Zongqiang Luo.

As part of the broad package of measures, the European Union’s securities watchdog will issue temporary market fixes by September 22 to help ease the liquidity crunch faced by energy companies, said the European Commission.

Utilities often sell electricity in advance but must offer a guarantee to compensators in the event of default before supplying the electricity. As gas prices have skyrocketed, warranty claims have also increased.

“We will work with market regulators to mitigate these issues by changing collateral rules – and taking steps to limit intra-day price volatility,” von der Leyen said.

Earlier, German local utility group VKU warned of possible insolvencies. Several utilities in the EU and Britain have already collapsed as they have often been unable to fully pass on the impact of rising gas prices to consumers.

“If individual companies are allowed to go bankrupt, it could become more difficult to fund everyone’s business,” VKU chief executive Ingbert Liebing told Reuters, adding that the group was in talks with the German government.

Meanwhile, Uniper shares fell 20% after the company, which has already secured 13 billion euros in state credit lines, most of which have already been drawn down, said the government could take a majority stake.

The Commission said it was also working on a transaction-based price benchmark that more accurately reflects the gas import market.

In France, network operator RTE said there was no risk of a blackout in winter but did not rule out some power cuts at peak times, saying the reduction in demand was essential.

“As a last resort, organised, temporary and rotating load shedding can be activated to avoid a generalized incident”, specifies RTE.

And the French government has said electricity price increases for households will be capped at 15% at the start of next year.

The government has said the caps – which allow for a much bigger increase than this year – mean that households with gas heating will pay an average of €25 more per month instead of around €200 more without any ceiling, and 20 euros instead of 180 with electricity. heater.

“We are determined, as at the start of the crises we have faced, to act, adapt and protect the French people and our economy,” said Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

(Reporting by Reuters offices; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexander Smith)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

Findynet in Finland paves the way for interoperability Mon, 12 Sep 2022 20:47:35 +0000

The Nordic countries have been at the forefront of digital payment innovation for decades and the adoption of electronic identity documents (eID) is no different. However, ensuring market openness for electronic identity services while maintaining end-user privacy and security can be a difficult undertaking.

To meet this challenge, Findynet Cooperative, an initiative made up of a group of banks, technology companies and the Finnish government social security agency Kela, recently received a government grant of 3 million euros (3 million dollars) to create a pilot environment for sovereign autonomy. identity network.

The funding will be used to develop a secure, shared identity network – a “self-sovereign” network and allowing individuals to have ownership of their digital identities while maintaining control over their personal data.

The Findynet cooperative will initially focus on financial data, but the notion of digital identity has the potential to impact more than just how people pay and interact with financial services. It could also have implications for other spheres of social life, including education, travel and democracy.

Findynet describes the network in more general terms on its website. “The network of trust, which will now be built, promotes digital and human-centric data economies. This means that end users manage their own data and can decide for themselves what information they share about themselves with different parties in order to maintain their privacy.

Providing examples, the website explains that “this exchange of information could involve electronic receipts, credit information and proof of professional qualifications”.

Finnish eID after TUPAS

Findynet’s focus on interoperability comes at a time when the market for eID services risks becoming fragmented, a relatively new challenge for a country where not so long ago the known eID system under the name of TUPAS dominated the landscape.

Developed by Finland’s largest banks, TUPAS was an authentication solution that once accounted for around 90% of all transactions requiring strong customer authentication (SCA) in the country.

But after government intervention to open the market to competition in 2019, the TUPAS protocol lost its dominance. And after nearly two decades as Finland’s pre-eminent identity solution for the banking industry, its fate was sealed by the EU’s eIDAS regulation, which raised the bar for SCA to the point where TUPAS did not. more reaches the SCA threshold.

Related: The Future of Digital Identity Verification: Driven by Technology, Shaped by Regulators

With TUPAS no longer the dominant technology, the Finnish Trust Network (FTN), a government program providing a single point of access to all eIDs, has opened up the market for digital ID services in the Nordic country. And by focusing on interoperability, the Findynet project can ensure that the newly opened market remains accessible to everyone.

After all, if there is a shared standard and a common network in which all participants are on an equal footing, there is no reason why banks, FinTechs, government agencies and employers should not cannot choose an eID solution of their choice, without running the risk of users losing control of their personal data.

Paving the way to eIDAS 2.0

The Nordic countries are a pioneer region for cutting-edge and innovative digital solutions, and with Findynet, Finland has the opportunity to become a model for other countries developing similar electronic identity systems.

Across the region, similar eID systems such as BankID in Sweden and NemID in Denmark have some of the highest usage rates in Europe. For example, a report by Signicat found that 99% of the Finnish population used some form of eID, while Norway, the Nordic country in the report with the lowest adoption, still had a usage rate of 93%.

Going forward, the kind of interoperability that Findynet pursues will be an essential part of all European eID systems in anticipation of an upcoming regulation known as eIDAS 2.0.

While the European Commission is currently working on an update to EU digital identity legislation, the new framework should ensure that every European has a set of digital identity identifiers recognized across the world. EU.

In the absence of the universal eID system, European mobile wallet operators have moved ahead to build a more integrated ecosystem in which different wallets are fully interoperable.

Read more: EU digital wallets tackle global card networks and work to ensure interoperability

In theory, the new European identity wallet would mean that a French eID could be used to open a bank account in Spain, or an Italian eID used to register with a doctor in Germany. This would significantly streamline bureaucracies across a number of public and private sector activities and reduce the burden on EU citizens currently navigating the fragmented landscape of the bloc’s digital identity systems.

But beyond payments, progress has been slow and it will take a lot more to get things off the ground.

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Investors cool on property groups as tide of cheap money recedes Sat, 10 Sep 2022 11:00:16 +0000

In March last year, Swedish property magnate Roger Akelius spotted the challenges ahead for the company he founded three decades ago and decided to take a few chips off the table.

Akelius Residential Property had been riding a wave of rising house prices and falling interest rates. Now the 77-year-old property mogul has presented his board with a simple plan to ‘safeguard current profits’: sell assets and pay down debt. “We will sell Stockholm, Malmö, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin,” he wrote in an email to board members.

Six months later, the company struck a deal to sell nearly 30,000 apartments in Germany, Denmark and Sweden to compete with Swedish property company Heimstaden Bostad, which took on more than $6 billion worth of new debts to close a deal worth more than $10 billion. .

“Heimstaden has doubled the size of its portfolio and built on doing so,” said David Shnaps, principal analyst at research firm CreditSights. “At the time, I thought, one of these guys is right and the other isn’t.”

A year later, with rising interest rates and soaring inflation threatening debt-ridden homeowners, Akelius appears to have been vindicated.

At the same time, bond investors, who in recent years have lent more and more money to European property companies at ever lower yields, are worried about these companies. Losses on real estate bonds have outpaced the broader corporate debt market this year.

Roger Akelius, founder of Akelius Residential Property © Mats Nolebring

A high-profile governance scandal at German residential real estate group Adler has cast a shadow over the sector, and since the European Central Bank ended its bond-buying program in July, new debt issuance has are stopped.

“Interest rates this low are not normal,” Akelius told the Financial Times. “You can almost play with the central banks but you can’t play with the whole market for several years. The nature of the economy will take its revenge.

Now that the tide of cheap money has died down, some highly indebted European property companies are at risk of running aground.

Line chart of rebased indices, percentage change this year showing that property bond yields have fallen more than those of other companies

After accounting for less than 1% of outstanding European corporate bonds in 2012, real estate debt accounted for almost 6% of the market last year, according to analysis by Legal and General Investment Managers.

Insufficient housing supply and population growth on the continent have encouraged businesses to expand by borrowing. Demand for residential properties only increased during the coronavirus pandemic, and with cheap debt readily available, property investors were ready to buy new properties at historically low rental yields.

In addition to higher borrowing costs, owners now have higher fuel, material and labor costs. Then there is the all-important question of how tenants will cope with rent increases, given the current pressure on incomes.

Accommodation in Sweden
Insufficient housing supply and population growth in Europe have encouraged businesses to expand by borrowing © Heimstaden

rough waters

Adler embodies the excesses of the years of easy credit. Through a series of debt-fueled acquisitions, the little-known company grew into a sprawling conglomerate that owned 70,000 apartments across Germany.

In the background was Cevdet Caner, an Austrian property magnate who presided over Germany’s second-largest property bankruptcy at the age of 35. On paper, he had a passive role in Adler, having acquired a stake in the company through his family’s investment foundation. , but in Europe’s close-knit property industry, it was an open secret that he was heavily involved in the group.

In 2020, a whistleblower told regulators and lenders that Caner was hiding his involvement in Adler through “complicated opaque structures.” Short seller Viceroy Research then released a highly critical report on Adler and his ties to Caner in 2021.

A subsequent forensic examination of Adler’s accounts by KPMG revealed extensive evidence that Caner not only had significant involvement in decision-making at Adler, but also received payments from the company.

GM090907_22X European Owners WEB

In April this year, the company refused to sign Adler’s accounts, then resigned as auditor. Adler has yet to find a replacement. Last month, German financial watchdog BaFin found that Adler had overstated its 2019 accounts by up to 233 million euros.

In response to KPMG’s review, Adler’s chairman said no “fraud and deception” had been uncovered. Caner said the report “refuted Viceroy’s reputational and financial damage claims.”

But the episode proved painful for Adler bondholders. Some bonds of its debt of more than 7 billion euros are trading at just over 50 cents on the euro.

It was also a more general wake-up call for investors.

“The Adler situation has some contagion effect, as investors are now reassessing what they thought was a safe annuity-type risk – as now much riskier,” said Gabriele Foà, portfolio manager at Algebris.

For some, Adler’s troubles are indicative of wider governance issues in the clubby world of European property.

An excavator works on the construction of new apartment buildings
An excavator works on the construction of new apartment buildings for Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden © Jeppe Gustafsson/Alamy

In February this year, Viceroy turned fire on Swedish property company Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden, alleging the ‘debt-fuelled’ residential company had overstated the value of its assets and conflicts of interest on its board of directors. ‘administration. SBB denied Viceroy’s allegations in press releases.

Some of Viceroy’s criticisms centered on the company’s “mind-boggling” indebtedness. The short seller calculated CFF’s loan-to-value ratio, the industry’s measure of debt to assets, at almost 70%, if the hybrid bonds it issued were in the form of debt rather than equity .

While that figure is well above the 46% reported by SBB in the first half of 2022, the company said classifying hybrid loans as equity is “not unusual” in real estate. Its bonds have not lost as much value as those issued by Adler.

Steps to Clear Debt

In Germany, Vonovia – the country’s largest property company and Adler’s largest shareholder – is taking steps to ease pressure on its balance sheet.

As debt markets have cooled, with new corporate bond issuance falling 16% in Europe in the first half of 2022, Vonovia chief executive Rolf Buch told analysts on a recent call. to the results that the company would sell 13 billion euros of assets “as quickly as possible” to provide cash.

“Neither new equity nor new debt are viable options in this market,” said Philip Grosse, chief financial officer of Vonovia.

GM090904_22X New WEB European Corporate Bond

Bankers expect more companies to offload assets to reduce debt to more manageable levels, but while some are pulling out of the market, others are ready to buy.

Heimstaden, Europe’s second-largest residential property company, spent an additional €217 million to buy more than 2,000 homes from Finnish company Sato in April.

Heimstaden chief investment officer Christian Fladeland said housing shortages across Europe mean “the fundamentals for residential investment” remain strong.

But investors are less certain. While Akelius Residential’s loan-to-value ratio, the industry measure of debt to assets, now stands at 9%, Heimstaden’s was above 45% in its second-quarter results.

“We are not so positive [on real estate] in a rising rate environment,” said Philippe Dehoux, head of global bonds at asset manager Candriam. “The sector is very indebted.

Foà d’Algebris added that he was wary of the real estate sector. “Real estate has increased a lot. They are very, very cyclical.

However, companies are not yet too worried about debt repayment, as few bonds will mature before the end of 2023 and 2024. “What you will need for more worries to trigger is is a catalyst,” said one banker. “If the rating agencies are preemptively acting on someone, if someone is struggling to pay their rent, or if they’re being held back by government regulations.”

But as conditions worsen, groups with less access to cash could struggle to refinance debt. “Maybe this is leading to consolidation within the industry, with smaller names having issues being bought up over the next two years,” another banker said.

Another long-term investor is also not done finding opportunities in European real estate. According to Roger Akelius: “Coming out of the crisis, there will be plenty of opportunities to acquire well-located properties in the next three or four years.”

Why the United States is one of the worst developed countries to raise a child Mon, 05 Sep 2022 13:32:42 +0000

Image source: Getty Images

The United States is the most powerful country on Earth. Yet when it comes to poverty, children are largely on their own.

Key points

  • Of 41 countries analyzed by Pew Research, the United States is the only country that does not offer paid parental leave.
  • The United States is the only industrialized country that does not provide universal health care.
  • Each year, the United States spends only $500 per child on early childhood care, leaving the rest to families.

Certainly, the hopes of renewing the expanded tax credit for children are not dead. Whether this is President Biden’s version, Sen. Mitt Romney’s version, a compromise between the two, or nothing at all is still very uncertain. Chances are we’ll have to wait until after the midterm elections to see.

In the meantime, it is interesting to note how other industrialized countries use taxpayers’ money to ensure that the basic material needs of children are met.

What the research reveals

Last year, six months of expanded child tax credit payments lifted about 3.7 million American children out of poverty. Families had more money in the bank to meet the basic needs of their children. But on January 1, 2022, these families were left on their own again as Republicans in Congress refused to extend monthly child tax credit payments.

According to a new study from Columbia University, the monthly child poverty rate rose from 12.1% in December 2021 to 17% in January 2022 when Child Tax Credit payments ended. The study shows that all children who lived in poverty before the expansion of the child tax credit have returned.

Take care of children

And it’s not just the lack of child tax credit payments that’s impacting families. It’s downright expensive to raise a child in the United States, made worse by the lack of paid parental leave and the high cost of daycare. Additionally, the United States is the only industrialized country without universal health care.

Compared to other countries, the United States does not come close to supporting children like other countries do. For example, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Elizabeth Davis and Aaron Sojourner for the Hamilton Project, annual government spending per child on early childhood care in the United States is $500. In contrast:

  • Norway spends over $29,000 per child
  • Finland invests more than $23,000 per child
  • Germany pays more than $18,000 per child
  • Even Chile, a relatively poor country, spends more than $8,000 per child on early childhood care

Raising Families

What other countries are showing is that it is possible to put families first. As the federal budget is debated, supporting children may become a priority. Here is an example of what other countries are doing. Keep in mind that this is only part of what these countries offer.


Parental leave in Canada can extend up to 78 weeks after childbirth or adoption. In addition, families receive $569 per month for each eligible child under age 6 and $480 per month for children ages 6 to 17.


Danish families receive $673 per term for each child under 18. In addition, new mothers benefit from a guaranteed leave of 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of a new child.


New mothers receive their full salary for 44 weeks after giving birth. If they choose to take 54 weeks of leave, they receive 80% of their income. To encourage fathers to get involved, Norwegian dads must take at least six weeks of parental leave or risk losing six weeks of family payments. Once a child is born, a couple receives $123 per month until the child turns 18. If a single parent is raising the child, the amount is doubled to $246 per month. Finally, daycare is available up to 10 hours a day and the maximum rate is capped at $290 per month.


Swedish families receive $136 per child. After childbirth, parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave. The government guarantees 240 days of paid leave each when there are two parents.

Universal family allowances (or “family allowances”)

Many governments around the world offer child-related grants. However, these countries stand out by offering citizens stipends that can be used for anything from paying for football camps to investing for future goals. Excluding the countries already mentioned, here are some of the other countries providing income to families with children:

  • Poland
  • France
  • Luxemburg
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Finland
  • Netherlands

Each country has developed a different way of determining which households receive a full monthly payment. For some, it’s based on income. For the others, everyone receives the same amount.

There is no doubt that the United States is a great nation. The question is whether he will use this greatness to come up with his own plan that will benefit both parents and children.

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What is AID? – The Defiant Fri, 02 Sep 2022 06:11:25 +0000

After Terra’s stablecoin UST collapsed in May and wiped out $60 billion in market capitalization, it has become increasingly urgent to see how stablecoins are supported. DAI, one of the first stablecoins, is one of the most important such tokens in DeFi.

On a spectrum between fully algorithmic and backed by cash reserves, DAI stablecoin falls somewhere in between. Let’s learn more about DAI.

Origin and purpose of the DAI

DAI stablecoin is supported by MakerDAO, a DeFi lender. Founded by Rune Christensen, the Maker Foundation launched open-source MakerDAO in 2014 to lead decentralized finance. Like other protocols, Maker works on Ethereum smart contracts to replicate traditional finance without intermediaries such as banks.

As a lending protocol, MakerDAO lacked a key element – ​​digital money but not as volatile as cryptocurrencies. This is where stablecoins come in.

MakerDAO launched the DAI stablecoin in December 2017 to be a reliable collateral for loans and to transfer crypto funds without price fluctuations.

By 2022, DAI had become the fourth-largest stablecoin by market cap, surpassing $7 billion. Since launch, DAI’s outstanding supply has remained below $11 billion.

Source: The Block

DAI is the most widely used stablecoin when it comes to integrating decentralized applications, or dApps. It supports 400 dApps and wallets.

Additionally, DAI is managed separately by the Maker Foundation, which is the coordinating body that manages the MakerDAO ecosystem through decentralized governance powered by MKR governance tokens.

As an additional layer of security that is not fully decentralized, there is the Dai Foundation, based in Denmark. This non-profit foundation is the custodian of Dai and Maker trademarks and open source IP copyrights.

The Importance of Stablecoin Collateral

Stablecoins use collateral to protect against market volatility. When the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates in April 2022, it triggered a sell-off in the market. This in turn removed the price of Terra’s LUNA coins, the primary collateral for Terra’s UST stablecoin.

Eventually, this sparked a classic bank run, in which investors sold off their LUNA coins, monopolizing the UST stablecoin. These types of stablecoins are backed by another cryptocurrency instead of fiat currency such as the US dollar, which is what Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) do.

In other words, stablecoins run the gamut between centralized (fully backed by cash stored in traditional banks) and decentralized (backed by other cryptocurrencies). Where is DAI on this spectrum of collateralization?

How is DAI supported?

DAI is unique in that it is backed by multiple stablecoins and cryptocurrencies. By far, the largest share of DAI’s support consists of centralized stablecoins USD Coin (USDC) and Pax Dollar (USDP), followed by Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), and dozens of other cryptocurrencies. .

Distribution of DAI guarantees. Source: Statista

Some of the cryptocurrencies in this green collateral bar are Basic Attention Token (BAT), Compound (COMP), TrueUSD (TUSD), 0x (ZRX), Decentraland (MANA), Chainlink (LINK), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Uniswap (UNI), and others.

Overall, one could say that DAI is a hybrid algorithmic stablecoin, largely centralized but flexible enough to become fully decentralized.

How does DAI typing and stability work?

As an ERC-20 token, DAI can not only be purchased on major exchanges such as Binance or Coinbase, but also on decentralized exchanges like Uniswapl. Because MakerDAO is an open-source protocol on Ethereum, which itself is the most decentralized blockchain outside of Bitcoin, anyone can issue DAI stablecoins.

This is not something USDC and USDT users can do, as they are both tightly regulated by centralized companies, Circle and Tether, respectively. To generate new DAI stablecoins, users need to borrow it by simply opening Maker Collateral Chests. This option is available through Oasis dApp, one of MakerDAO’s hundreds of dApps within its ecosystem.

DAI chest generation corresponds to bull and bear market cycles. The average size of a DAI safe is around $100,000. Source: Dune

Using the Oasis dashboard, borrowing involves posting ETH-based collateral. This creates a smart contract called a vault, holding these assets as an escrow. Once a DAI loan is paid off, it is paid into the user’s wallet. In other words, DAI is created by borrowing crypto funds (minting), and it is dissolved by repaying loans (burning).

Source: Dune

Therefore, DAI’s collateral aligns with the collateral that borrowers post to fund the loans. Since the collateral includes volatile cryptocurrencies, these deposits are always over-collateralized – the deposit is more important than the loan.

Additionally, MakerDAO’s native governance token, MKR, serves as a stability regulator. All MKR token holders can use their tokens to set the DSR – DAI savings rate. In extreme market conditions, even if regular overcollateralization is not enough, MKR holdings would be used as another source of liquidation.

As a reward for this service, MKR holders receive an interest payment also available through Oasis dApp.

A legal action

In early August 2022, an agency of the US Treasury Department sanctioned Tornado Cash as a suspected money laundering operation. This means that any person or company connected could be subject to legal action.

But what did Tornado Cash do to deserve such a harsh penalty? It is simply an open-source protocol to make online transactions private, especially on Ethereum. Much like the Signal Messenger app makes conversations private using end-to-end encryption (E2E), Tornado Cash conceals the wallet address involved in crypto transfers.

For example, if you want to send someone an anonymous gift, you can use Tornado Cash. Similarly, if you were to donate to a polarizing cause, such as a donation to a Ukrainian charity, you would use Tornado Cash as Vitalik Buterin (co-founder of Ethereum) did.

Although making Ethereum transactions private is legal, it is possible for money launderers to abuse it. To avoid being sanctioned, managers of centralized stablecoins like the USDC had to act.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire explained why he had no choice but to immediately block the wallets of users who interacted with Tornado Cash.

Therefore, MakerDAO founder Rune Christensen considered dropping the USDC collateral and converting it to ETH. This would mean that even DAI’s soft peg to the USD (via USDC) would be removed.

Source: Official MakerDAO Discord

In the years to come, this will be the space in which the fate of DeFi will be decided. If there is no fully decentralized stablecoin, the likelihood of financial privacy is very low. The US government may continue to sanction other platforms if it determines that they enable money laundering.

The whole purpose of a DeFi ecosystem is in jeopardy. Instead, it would simply be a more efficient online version of a traditional financial system with little financial privacy.

As the largest dApp platform, Ethereum is at the center of this battleground, with DAI as the engine. In other words, if the DAI stablecoin continues to be backed by vulnerable centralized stablecoins, demand could collapse.

Series Disclaimer:

This article in the series is intended for general guidance and informational purposes only for beginners participating in cryptocurrencies and DeFi. The content of this article should not be construed as legal, business, investment or tax advice. You should consult your advisers for all legal, business, investment and tax implications and advice. The Defiant is not responsible for lost funds. Please use your best judgment and exercise due diligence before interacting with smart contracts.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures backs Blue World Technologies by joining its €37m Series B Tue, 30 Aug 2022 12:11:00 +0000

With high-efficiency methanol fuel cells, Blue World Technologies is paving the way for the competitiveness of renewable e-fuels.

AALBORG, Denmark, August 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Blue World Technologies announced that Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), founded by Bill Gates, is joining as an investor in Blue World Technologies alongside Vaekstfonden (the sovereign wealth fund of Denmark), DEUTZ AG, and existing investors who have reinvested in December 2021 to complete the company’s €37 million Series B funding round. As part of the Breakthrough Energy Ventures investment – ​​funded in part by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe (BEV-E) – Blue World Technologies welcomes Allegra Kowalewski-Ferreiraa highly qualified and experienced investment professional to their Board of Directors.

The Series B funds will be used to increase fuel cell production as well as invest in the development of methanol fuel cell applications for the marine sector. At the end of 2021, the company internalized all production of core fuel cell components and is currently in pre-series production. Later this year, Blue World Technologies will start mass production and with further scale-up, the company expects to reach 500 MW production capacity within a few years.

“As the world’s leading venture capital fund for innovation and green technologies, we are honored to welcome Breakthrough Energy Ventures as a shareholder. It is in our DNA for both of us to set ambitious goals to make a difference in the world and we look forward to pursuing these goals together,” says the co-founder and managing director, Anders Korsgaardby Blue World Technologies.

We are facing a global climate crisis, and the only way out is to reach net zero CO2 emissions. In 2018, Anders Korsgaard, mad blowand Mads Friis Jensen founded Blue World Technologies to contribute to this mission, and since then the company has worked determinedly on the industrialization of methanol fuel cell technology through R&D and large-scale production. Fuel cells act as an alternative to fossil combustion engines, and with high energy conversion, methanol fuel cells enable cost effective use of renewable e-fuels such as methanol.

“Shipping is a vital part of our global economy, yet it contributes 1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions every year,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “We see a real opportunity in the introduction of methanol fuel cells in the maritime sector as a very promising path to net zero CO2.2 issue quickly. Blue World Technologies has found a unique way to offer shipping operators a climate-friendly solution with an attractive total cost of ownership.”

“Striving to achieve net zero CO2 emissions, one of our biggest contributions will be in the maritime sector, where our fuel cells can play an important role. Initially as a replacement for fossil fuel-based auxiliary power units, and in the longer term also to drive propulsion,” Explain Anders Korsgaard and carry on : “From the very beginning, the maritime sector has been a central topic in our dialogue with Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which goes well with the sector’s growing interest in methanol as a fuel, and so we also see huge potential in the entry on the market .”

“Maritime transport is considered one of the sectors difficult to reduce and represents 3-4% of the total CO of the EU2 emissions”, said Marie-GabrielEuropean Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. “This investment from Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe represents an important step in realizing the potential for reducing emissions and is fully in line with EU policy to boost renewable and low-carbon marine fuels. I am delighted to see the Commission’s pilot investment in Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe paying off and I look forward to more innovative and game-changing investments in the near future.”

Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe was created by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Breakthrough Energy Ventures to invest in innovative European companies and bring radically new clean energy technologies to market. It was created to support Europe the best clean energy entrepreneurs whose solutions can lead to significant and lasting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – Blue World Technologies and this investment in the company are one example.

Vice President of the European Investment Bank Christian Kettel Thomsen said: “To solve the climate crisis, we need innovative new technologies across all areas of the economy. We welcome Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe’s investment in Blue World Technologies to develop methanol fuel cell applications for the The decarbonisation of maritime transport is an important part of reducing global emissions and for the EIB it is a key priority under its new lending policy in the transport sector, announced on last month. “

One of the first investors, Vaekstfonden, is delighted to welcome Breakthrough Energy Ventures:

“As an early investor in Blue World Technologies, Vaekstfonden is delighted to welcome one of the world’s leading climate impact investors – Breakthrough Energy Ventures – as a co-investor”said Christian Winterpartner of Vaekstfonden and member of the board of directors of Blue World Technologies and continues: “They will further strengthen the global outlook for climate impact. And we look forward to seeing our collaboration unfold in the years to come.”

One of the biggest challenges to ensuring a net zero future lies in the maritime sector, where direct electrification is not an option due to operational requirements. With an annual CO2 reduction potential of 1.8 Gt in 2050, new technologies and new fuels are essential. Especially in the past year, the use of renewable methanol as a transportation fuel has become a global trend, with methanol-powered ships, cruise ships and large ocean-going container ships being built. Blue World Technologies fuel cell systems enable eco, CO2– neutral operation with zero particle output. As a flexible power solution, the system can be used for auxiliary power, for smaller generator sets or larger power units in the megawatt range, or for propulsion depending on the type of vessel and customer needs.

Press contacts:

Anne Kvist
PR and Communication Manager
+45 31 60 16 71

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AU and Global Center on Adaptation to host climate adaptation forum aiming to raise $25 billion by 2025 Sun, 28 Aug 2022 16:05:56 +0000

AU and Global Center on Adaptation to host climate adaptation forum aiming to raise $25 billion by 2025

NAIROBI, Kenya- The African Union and the Global Center on Adaptation are about to organize a summit in collaboration with the African Union, the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Africa Adaptation Initiative and the Climate Vulnerability Forum.

This is in preparation for COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, which is only two months away. African Heads of State and other world leaders will gather in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the Africa Adaptation Summit.

The summit is expected to garner more support and resources for the region’s flagship Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP).
A program to realize the vision of the Africa Adaptation Initiative by mobilizing $25 billion in investments by 2025 for climate adaptation in food security, resilient infrastructure, adaptation jobs and development. climate finance.

President Macky Sall of Senegal and Chair of the African Union and outgoing President of Kenya and Global Champion of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), Uhuru Kenyatta, are expected to spearhead the agenda from the continent on climate change during the forum.

Others are President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia; President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum; President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Chairman of the Africa Adaptation Initiative; President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia.

Invited European heads of state and government are also expected to speak at the summit, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands; President Emmanuel Macron of France; Prime Minister Metter Frederiksen of Denmark; Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre of Norway. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada is also expected to speak.

As world leaders expected to speak, UN Under-Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki; International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva; World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; President of COP26 Alok Sharma; Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission; European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer; Patrick Verkooijen, Director General of the Global Center for Adaptation; the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina; and the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of the Global Center on Adaptation, Ban Ki-moon.

Africa’s vulnerability to climate change continues to increase as the gap between available funding for climate adaptation and needs continues to grow.

The latest report from the Climate Policy Initiative and the Global Center on Adaptation reveals that Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) from 51 African countries cumulatively show an investment need of around $579 billion for adaptation through 2030. This compares to the $11.4 billion in tracking funding for adaptation in Africa on average annually in 2019-2020. If this trend continues through 2030, cumulative adaptation financing in 2030 will be $125.4 billion, less than a quarter of the estimated needs indicated in the NDCs.

Funding for the AAAP is mobilized through upstream and downstream funding mechanisms approved by the African Union. The Upstream Financing Facility, managed by the Global Center on Adaptation, is targeting capitalization of $250 million to attract billions of dollars of investment in proven adaptation strategies.

The objective of this fund is to strengthen the adaptation and resilience components of projects that need the support of multilateral development banks and other development financial institutions.

The African Development Bank operates the Downstream Climate Finance Facility provided for in the 16th Replenishment of the African Development Fund, the concessional lending arm of the Bank Group.

To date, this dual funding strategy has enabled the AAAP to quickly achieve large-scale impact by integrating adaptation into projects worth more than $3 billion.