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The Energy Union: from vision to reality

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The fourth report on the State of the Energy Union, adopted today, shows that the Commission has fully delivered on its vision of an Energy Union strategy guaranteeing accessible, affordable, secure, competitive and sustainable energy for all Europeans.

Europe is already a global leader in fighting climate change. European policies implemented over the last five years in all policy areas have put the EU on the right track to fully embrace the clean energy transition, seizing the economic opportunities that it offers, creating growth and jobs and a healthier environment for consumers.

Beyond modernising European energy and climate policy, the Energy Union boosts the clean energy transition of the European economy in key sectors, in line with our commitments under the Paris Agreement, while ensuring a socially fair transition. Building a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate and energy policy has been one of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission. Today we take stock of the successful implementation of what was but a vision in 2014 of a unified, interconnected, secure and sustainable Energy Union. The report is accompanied by two documents showing progress made in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In parallel the Commission is also putting forward a report on the implementation of the strategic action plan on batteries and a communication for more efficient and democratic decision making in EU energy and climate policy.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, in charge of the Energy Union, said: “The Energy Union is Europe at its best: tackling together the big energy security and energy transition we can’t solve within national borders. From the daunting challenge of the energy transition we made an economic opportunity for all Europeans. To do this, we had to truly transform our energy and climate policies: not just tweaks at the margins but systemic change. No Member State could have delivered on its own. Our report shows how all the Energy Union measures combine to make our policy fit for the future. Today, our framework redirects investments into future oriented technologies and solutions. We have also kick-started measures for industry such as battery manufacturing in Europe, while making sure we’re not leaving any European behind in the transition. It is now for each Member State to follow suit and rapidly integrate national measures on energy, climate, mobility and all other related areas, so Europe leads the way towards climate neutrality by mid-century.”

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: Europe has now in place the world’s most ambitious and advanced climate and energy framework. We agreed all the legislation to meet our 2030 targets, with higher targets for renewables and energy efficiency. But the Energy Union is more than rules and policies: we mobilised record levels of clean energy investments in Europe, we brokered the Paris Agreement and triggered its quick entry into force, we further integrated the European energy market, and we set a long-term vision for climate neutral Europe by 2050. But we still have a long way to go. We need to keep up the deployment of renewable energy across Europe and step up efforts to save more energy. We must embark in a process of transformation with a much greater sense of urgency than I see today. With our climate-neutral strategy by 2050, wehave sketched out how this can be done, and presented a solid analysis of why and how Europe can achieve climate neutrality; why this model can be replicated by other countries in the world; how climate neutrality, economic prosperity and social fairness can and must go together.”

The Energy Union has strengthened the internal energy market and increased the EU’s energy security by investing into new smart infrastructure (including, cross-border), providing a new state-of-the-art market design and introducing a cooperation mechanism between the Member States based on solidarity to respond to potential crises in a more effective and efficient manner.

As the Commission has recently set out in its Communication “A Clean Planet for All”, the energy transition requires a comprehensive economic and societal transformation, engaging all sectors of the economy and society to achieve the transition to climate neutrality by 2050. The Energy Union framework puts Europe on the right path to become a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy.

The Juncker Commission has put in place a brand new legislative framework for the Energy Union. The updated legislative framework has enabled the EU to maintain its leadership in climate action by increasing its level of ambition for 2030 in a number of energy related sectors, from increased targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, to targets on emissions from cars, vans and lorries. In addition to the new legislative framework, the Commission has put in place an enabling framework of supporting measures toensure a smooth transition for European industries, regions and cities. A number of targeted initiatives have been created to guarantee all regions and citizens benefit equally from the energy transition. One of these initiatives is the European battery alliance.

The European battery industry has been identified as a strategic value chain for the EU in the context of a strengthened industrial policy strategy. The Energy Union report is accompanied by a separate report on the implementation of the strategic action plan on batteries.

A second Communication published today calls for a strengthening of the democratic accountability of the decision-making process under the Euratom treaty. The European Commission will establish a High Level Group of Experts to assess the state of play of the Euratom Treaty with a view to considering how, on the basis of the current Treaty, its democratic accountability could be improved.

In the same communication, the Commission asks the European Parliament and the Council to reflect on how energy taxation could better contribute to the EU’s energy and climate policy objectives, and how a move to qualified majority voting (QMV) decision-making amongst Member States could help to unlock progress in this area. This strand of work builds on the Commission’s blueprint for a gradual transition to QMV decision-making in all areas of taxation, first published in January.

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MICT Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2019

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MICT, Inc. (Nasdaq: MICT), today announced financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019.

MICT’s financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 reflect Micronet, Ltd. revenues for the months of January 2019 and February 2019 only. On February 24, 2019, Micronet closed a public equity offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange which resulted in a dilution of MICT’s ownership interest in Micronet to 39.53%. Thus, based on U.S. GAAP, MICT no longer includes Micronet’s financial results in its consolidated financial statements effective as of March 1, 2019. On September 5, 2019, Micronet closed a public equity offering on the TASE. As a result, MICT’s ownership interest in Micronet was diluted from 33.88% to 30.48%, and MICT’s current voting interest in Micronet stands at 37.79% of the issued and outstanding shares of Micronet.

“In the third quarter, we closed on a $7.25 million funding, as part of a $9 million funding agreement in support of our planned business combination with BNN Technology and others. This $7.25 million funding included a $2 million investment from BNN into MICT. We expect to close on the balance of the additional $1.75 million in the near future,” stated David Lucatz, Chief Executive Officer of MICT.

On November 7, 2019, MICT closed on a $25 million private placement of convertible notes, converting automatically at $1.41 per share of MICT common stock at the closing of an acquisition by the Company of Global Fintech Holdings Ltd (GFH), which acquired the ParagonEX Limited group of companies and the trading companies of BNN Technology PLC. Through its newly acquired subsidiaries, GFH is already a successful and profitable business, providing its platforms within the financial trading and Contracts for Difference (CFD) sectors in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. GFH expects over the coming months to implement its program to acquire substantial revenues through the acquisition of significant players in the sector, resulting in rapid growth and the contribution of significant profitability to the MICT group.

Upon closing of the merger, the combined MICT group is expected to have a strong balance sheet with over $25 million in cash, enabling the Company to pursue a revenue acquisition program and to materialize significant fintech opportunities in China.

David Lucatz, CEO of MICT, said, “We strongly believe that our strategic decision to change our business and enter into the fintech space will contribute very positively to value creation for our present and future shareholders. The funding enables us to acquire GFH, a very exciting fintech company with world class technological assets, operational management and significant profitability. We expect the combination of strong cash reserves and abundant opportunities will facilitate substantial earnings growth potential for the Company.

Darren Mercer who recently joined the Board of MICT and is a director and officer of GFH, added, “The opportunity to be a part of the MICT group is a very exciting proposition for us. The GFH group of companies brings to MICT a suite of world-leading technology platforms that are product-agnostic and can support all our new ventures within the fintech space, be they through acquisition or through organic growth, including in the very significant Chinese marketplace. Supported by MICT’s strong balance sheet and our combined cash resources, we believe it is a very exciting time for all new and existing MICT shareholders.”

Q3 2019 Review

  • Gross loss for MICT was $0 for three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to gross profit of $54,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Research and development (R&D) expense for MICT for the three months ended September 30, 2019 was $0, compared to $425,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense for MICT was $501,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $2.93 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Net loss attributable to MICT was $1,210,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $2.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. On a per share basis, MICT reported a net loss of $0.11 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $0.28 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • As of September 30, 2019 MICT had $5.77 million in cash and equivalents

Nine Months 2019 Review

  • Gross loss was $369,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a gross profit of $3.31 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • R&D expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 was $261,000, compared to $1.46 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • SG&A expense was $2.36 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $6.28 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Net loss attributable to MICT was $3.22 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 compared to a net profit of $10,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2018. On a per share basis, MICT reported a net loss of $0.30 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $0.54 per basic and diluted share from continued operations and a net profit per share of $0.54 from discontinued operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.

Conference Call

The Company invites all those interested in participating in the call tomorrow, November 15, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. EST, to dial 1-888 -298 5973. Callers from outside of the U.S. may access the call by dialing: From London (and Europe) dial in +448 0818 90708 From Israel +972 79-939 8931.

user pin: 4444

Please dial in a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. EST. Participants may also access a live webcast of the conference call through the Investor Relations section of MICT’s website at: http://mixlr.com/servicesmict/

A telephone replay of the call will be available for two weeks at: 1-888 -298 5973. Callers from outside of the U.S- may access the call by dialing: From London (&Europe) dial in +448 0818 90708 From Israel +972 79-939 8931.

user pin: 3333

A slide presentation accompanying management’s remarks can be accessed at www.mict-inc.com.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or the solicitation of any vote in any jurisdiction pursuant to the proposed transaction or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Subject to certain exceptions to be approved by the relevant regulators or certain facts to be ascertained, the public offer will not be made directly or indirectly, in or into any jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of such jurisdiction, or by use of the mails or by any means or instrumentality (including without limitation, facsimile transmission, telephone and the internet) of interstate or foreign commerce, or any facility of a national securities exchange, of any such jurisdiction.

Important Additional Information Will be Filed with the SEC

In connection with the proposed acquisition, MICT intends to file a proxy statement on Schedule 14A and other relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Stockholders of MICT are urged to read MICT’s proxy statement and all other relevant documents filed with the sec when they become available, as they will contain important information about the proposed transaction. A definitive proxy statement will be sent to MICT’s stockholders seeking their approval of the proposed transaction. MICT’s stockholders will be able to obtain these documents (when available) free of charge at the SEC’s web site, http://www.sec.gov. In addition, they may obtain free copies of these by contacting MICT’s Secretary, 28 West Grand Avenue, Suite 3, Montvale, NJ 07645.

Participants in Solicitation

MICT and its directors and executive officers, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies for the special meeting of MICT’s stockholders to be held to approve the proposed business combination. Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be deemed participants in the solicitation of MICT’s stockholders in connection with the proposed business combination will be set forth in the proxy statement. You can find information about MICT’s executive officers and directors in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

 

SOURCE MICT, Inc.

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New free digital banking service puts dollars back in the pockets of Canadian shoppers

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Photo source: pymnts.com

 

Just in time for the holiday season, Price Drop is rolling out across the country for new and existing motusbank and Meridian Members. Price Drop promises to put real dollars back in the pockets of Canadian shoppers by automating the traditionally time-consuming process of price matching for retail purchases. The free digital banking service is the first of its kind offered by a financial institution.

“We’re excited by how easy and convenient it is to use Price Drop, not to mention the savings it offers, especially at a time of year when shoppers are looking for the best deals,” says David Baldarelli, COO of motusbank and SVP of Digital Banking & Analytics at Meridian. “We’re especially delighted that we can now extend this free value-add feature to more Canadians to offer a solution that eliminates stress and hassle in their every-day lives.”

While 150 of the top retail chains in Canada offer price matching, research shows that only five to eight per cent of shoppers take advantage of these price-matching guarantees. Many shoppers don’t know they exist while others are put off by the legwork involved in price-matching manually, on their own.

HOW PRICE DROP WORKS

The Price Drop feature is available – with no obligation or cost – to new and existing motusbank and Meridian Members by simply downloading the mobile banking app they use and opting in for the service. Price Drop automates the process in three easy steps:

  • After making a purchase, users simply snap a photo of the receipt of the item (if bought in-store) or obtain the digital receipt (if bought on-line) and send to Price Drop via email;
  • Price Drop then searches for better prices on electronics, furniture, toys, apparel, and other eligible items from price-matching retailers;
  • Price Drop will send an email or in-app notification if it finds a better price. It will also provide proof required to claim the difference in cost from the retailer.

There is no limit to the number of receipts that can be submitted or refunds received.

PROVEN PRICE DROP SAVINGS

We worked with Winnipeg-based fintech company PriceRazzi in helping to develop and test the digital service. More than 2000 Price Drop users participated in the successful pilot phase, revealing that:

  • 52% of people who submitted eligible receipts saved money through Price Drop
  • 23% of users who saved money by using Price Drop saved 30% or more on their purchase
  • Savings ranged from $2 – $500 for purchases for small household products to big screen TVs
  • The average saving per purchase through Price Drop was $25

“Consumers never have to waste another second searching for lower prices again,” says Baldarelli. “We invite all Canadians to have a chance to save money and experience the fresh approach to banking we make available to Members. We see the introduction of this service as yet another example of how we constantly focus on helping Canadians live simpler, easier lives.”

To learn more about this value-add feature and find out how to save dollars, visit motusbank or Meridian.

 

SOURCE Meridian Credit Union

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Visa and Georgia’s TBC-backed Neobank – Space Announce Strategic Partnership

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Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, and Space, the first fully digital bank in Georgia, today announced they have signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop innovative banking services and expand digital banking footprints in new geographies.

Space is a startup backed by TBC Bank and was launched in 2018 with just three employees. They now have more than 70 employees, and have amassed a portfolio of more than 160,000 consumers. The bank operates as an innovative banking laboratory, and has successfully introduced financial services in new formats in Georgia. These include online bank account opening, remote KYC, courier card delivery by electro scooters, and the ability to manage all banking services through a mobile app.

Through the partnership, Visa will work with Space to jointly develop innovative, user-centric and secure banking solutions and help Space in their ambitions to expand to other countries focusing on CISSEE.

Nikoloz Kurdiani, the Deputy CEO of TBC Bank said, “Space has the ability to transform everyday banking experiences by making them easier and better. When we launched Space, we wanted to move beyond the traditional banking approach and outdated technology to create a new type of bank in Georgia that would be better at responding to modern customers’ needs. Now, we are ready to go global. Therefore, it is critically important for us to have gained Visa as our strategic partner. Space has proved that its innovative and ambitious vision is realistic and that it is ready to accomplish bigger goals.”

Yevgen Lisnyak, Senior Director and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures (Visa, CISSEE), added: At Visa we believe in the power of partnership to bring our profound experience and innovative solutions to emerging payment players like Space. Being in the center of Fintech ecosystem, we aim to share our knowledge, best practices and network of technological partners with Space to achieve mutual goals in expanding the reach of digital financial services. Today, we are witnessing a rapid transformation of the financial banking sector, where new players are playing a significant role. Neobanks are agile, consumer-centric, flexible and innovative, offering modern consumers completely new financial solutions and digital banking experience. We are excited to be able to support fintechs to navigate the payments landscape in the Caucasus region to achieve their business growth and international expansion ambitions”

 

SOURCE TBC Bank

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