High River, Alberta–(Newsfile Corp. – May 29, 2020) – The Western Investment Company of Canada Limited (TSXV: WI) (“WICC” or “Western”) announces that it has filed its Q1 Financial Statements and MD&A on SEDAR.
In a message to shareholders, WICC CEO Scott Tannas provided the following commentary:
“As we continue to navigate our way through this severely depressed economy, WICC and its partners have been focused on making sure that each investee company has the resources to come through to the other side of this crisis. While we remain confident all our companies will thrive as things normalize, damage has been done that will take time to repair. That said, we have five strong companies with talented management teams and we are inspired by their passion and energy in confronting their unique business issues.
– Throughout the crisis, GlassMasters has remained open for business in their locations and with their extensive mobile service fleet. In the early weeks, the workforce was significantly reduced to fit the volume of sales activity. Since the end of Q1, sales have steadily risen week over week, and many previously laid off staff members have been recalled to meet surging demand.
– After a very strong January and February, Ocean Sales has suffered a significant reduction in revenue during the COVID-19 crisis. Together with management, we have put in place a plan that will see the company scale back its operations and temporarily focus all efforts on sales through the internet, while waiting for its traditional channels of sales to re-open. So far, the online sales results have been very encouraging, and it is clear there is a virtual market for Ocean Sales’ lineup of household consumer products. This is an important channel that Ocean Sales will continue to develop into the future. However, the resiliency of the exhibition and show industry in a post COVID-19 environment is in question. At best it will be many months before Ocean Sales will resume selling through that channel. This uncertainty caused us to reflect on the carrying value of the company – specifically the goodwill and intangible assets. We have determined that the goodwill value of the company has sustained impairment, and as result, we are taking a non-cash charge to our Q1 net income in the amount of $3.475 million. We do not take this magnitude of loss lightly. However, it is the prudent thing to do given what we know today, and it provides us with some additional flexibility as we position the company for the future. I want to be clear that our belief in the long term success of Ocean Sales remains firm, and we are resolved to continue to work with our partners, employees and suppliers to make sure this company is successful. Ocean Sales has a strong tangible asset base, including inventory and equipment that will allow its people to generate sales and profits in the future. In the meantime, they have the financial resources to hunker down and continue to invest in their online sales efforts. Once the current restrictions around public gatherings and retail store capacities are lifted, Ocean Sales will be ready to execute a plan to resume their traditional operations, while continuing to develop new channels of distribution.
– Foothills Creamery remains in high production mode producing ice cream and butter for consumers, with consumer packaged butter sales up significantly over last year, while sales to restaurants and bakeries are down. In Q1 Foothills Creamery recorded a seasonal loss that is typical for that business.
– So far, Golden Health Care has been successful in protecting their residents from COVID-19, and delivered a steady return on investment in Q1. This company has significant cash reserves of $3.3 million to meet any future challenge or opportunity.
– Fortress Insurance continues to add new customers and premiums every month, and we expect the pace of growth will accelerate throughout 2020. Our goals for 2020 remain unchanged for the company. The equity component of the investment portfolio at Fortress Insurance was impacted by the market but mitigated by our 75% allocation to fixed-income investments which have performed well. Some of the investment losses incurred near the end of Q1 have since been recovered as the market improved over the past few weeks. The company has very strong capitalization levels to support its growing business.
We are now 75+ days into this crisis, and we continue to be confident that our businesses are doing the right things to ensure future success. I reiterate the words from my previous report:
Given our current and anticipated future environment, we believe The Western Investment Company of Canada has sufficient liquidity to meet its obligations and support our investee companies through this crisis and beyond. We will continue to provide updates as time and circumstances require.
On behalf of the Board, I thank all shareholders for your continued trust and support, and wish you and your family good health through the coming weeks and months.”
About The Western Investment Company of Canada Limited
Western is a unique publicly traded, private equity company founded by a group of successful Western Canadian businesspeople, and dedicated to building and maintaining ownership in successful Western Canadian companies, and helping them to grow. Western’s shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol WI.
For more information on Western, please visit its website at www.winv.ca
The Western Investment Company of Canada Limited
Scott Tannas President and Chief Executive Officer (403) 652-2663 [email protected]
This news release may contain certain forward-looking information and statements, including without limitation, statements pertaining to future plans, acquisitions, financings and returns. Statements containing the words: ‘believes’, ‘intends’, ‘expects’, ‘plans’, ‘seeks’ and ‘anticipates’ and any other words of similar meaning are forward-looking. All statements included herein involve various risks and uncertainties because they relate to future events and circumstances beyond Western’s control. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. A description of assumptions used to develop such forward-looking information and a description of risk factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking information can be found in Western’s disclosure documents on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com. Any forward looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and Western does not undertake to update any forward-looking information except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/56900
Expressions of Interest for Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, is inviting Expressions of Interest from suitably qualified candidates to be considered as Ireland’s Director of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The remunerated position of Director is an important post with a demanding workload. A full-time residential position, it is based at Bank headquarters in London.
The Minister’s nominee is expected to be appointed by the EBRD, with the agreement of Ireland’s Constituency partner countries, for a three-year term from 1 August 2024.
Minister McGrath commented:
“This is an exciting opportunity to represent Ireland (and our Constituency partners Denmark, Lithuania and Kosovo) as a Director on the Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development overseeing the policy-making and governance of the Bank. The EBRD is a unique International Financial Institution supporting projects across three continents. By investing in projects which otherwise would not be fully met by the market, the EBRD promotes entrepreneurship and fosters transition towards open and sustainable market economies. I am keen to ensure our Irish representative has the ability, education, vision, and experience to make a significant contribution to the Board and brings a range of skills and diverse perspective to the deliberations of the Board.
My nominee will need high competence in economic and financial matters. Expertise can come from notable or significant achievements in the corporate or financial sector, academia, policy-focused institutions, or public service. Importantly, they will have the highest ethical standards, a strong sense of professionalism and commitment, and dedication to serving the interests of all the shareholders and be able to make themself readily available to the Board in the fulfilment of their duties.”
Expressions of interest will be accepted up to 3pm on 27th March 2024
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Council adopts regulation on instant payments
The Council adopted today a regulation that will make instant payments fully available in euro to consumers and businesses in the EU and in EEA countries.
The new rules will improve the strategic autonomy of the European economic and financial sector as they will help reduce any excessive reliance on third-country financial institutions and infrastructures. Improving the possibilities to mobilize cash-flows will bring benefits for citizens and companies and allow for innovative added value services.
The instant payments regulation will allow people to transfer money within ten seconds at any time of the day, including outside business hours, not only within the same country but also to another EU member state. The regulation takes into consideration particularities of non-euro area entities.
Payment service providers such as banks, which provide standard credit transfers in euro, will be required to offer the service of sending and receiving instant payments in euro. The charges that apply (if any) must not be higher than the charges that apply for standard credit transfers.
The new rules will come into force after a transition period that will be faster in the euro area and longer in the non-euro area, that needs more time to adjust.
The regulation grants access for payment and e-money institutions (PIEMIs) to payment systems, by changing the settlement finality Directive (SFD). As a result, these entities will be covered by the obligation to offer the service of sending and receiving instant credit transfers, after a transitional period. The regulation includes appropriate safeguards to ensure that the access of PIEMIs to payment systems doesn’t carry additional risk to the system.
Under the new rules, instant payment providers will need to verify that the beneficiary’s IBAN and name match in order to alert the payer to possible mistakes or fraud before a transaction is made. This requirement will apply to regular transfers too.
The regulation includes a review clause with a requirement for the Commission to present a report containing an evaluation of the development of credit charges.
This initiative comes in the context of the completion of the capital markets union. The capital markets union is the EU’s initiative to create a truly single market for capital across the EU. It aims to get investment and savings flowing across all member states for the benefit of citizens, businesses, and investors.
On 26 October 2022 the Commission put forward a proposal on instant payments that amends and modernises the single euro payments area (SEPA) regulation of 2012 on standard credit transfers in euro by adding to it specific provisions for instant credit transfers in euro.
Source: European Council
FCA highlights need for enhanced competition in wholesale data markets
The FCA has unveiled the outcomes of its in-depth study into the wholesale data market, focusing on the sectors of credit ratings data, benchmarks, and market data vendor services.
Despite deciding against major regulatory actions due to the risk of unintended consequences that could affect the data’s availability and quality—a crucial resource for global investors—the FCA has pinpointed several areas where competition could be significantly improved.
The study’s revelations indicate that the current state of competition in these markets may lead to users incurring higher costs for data than would be the case in a more competitive environment. This concern is particularly pressing given the critical role that such data plays in supporting effective investment decisions across the financial sector.
In a move to address these findings, the FCA has proposed initiatives aimed at ensuring wholesale data is distributed under fair, reasonable, and transparent conditions. This approach forms a part of the regulator’s broader strategy to ‘repeal and replace’ assimilated EU law, reinforcing the UK’s status as a premier global financial hub fostering investment, innovation, and sustainable growth.
Sheldon Mills, the FCA’s Executive Director of Consumers and Competition, emphasised the importance of quality and accessible wholesale data for the efficiency of financial markets. “The quality and availability of wholesale data is integral to well-functioning wholesale financial markets,” Mills stated. He further clarified, “Our market study found that firms can access the data they need to make effective investment decisions. We do not believe the case has been made for significant interventions. However, we will examine ways to help support wholesale data being provided on fair, reasonable and transparent terms.”
In its commitment to fostering a competitive and fair marketplace, the FCA will continue to scrutinize allegations of anti-competitive behavior across all markets, including wholesale data markets, leveraging its powers under the Competition Act to address any such issues.
Source: Fintech Global
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