Take Control of Your Money With These 5 Budgeting Sites and Apps

Talking about money is a major taboo in countries and cultures around the world, and the UK is no exception. While discussing finances with friends and family can be nerve-wracking, staying quiet about how we earn, spend, and save contributes to poor financial literacy. As a result, many of us never learned how to budget when we were young. Once you start earning a real paycheque, though, learning how to manage personal finances is crucial. Thankfully, budgeting sites and apps can help even the most novice beginners get a handle on their spending habits.

Here are five of the most helpful free and paid money management sites you should go to for budgeting tips and UK banking advice.

1. Yolt

Yolt is one of the best-known budgeting apps in the UK. It’s an open banking platform that lets you see all your linked accounts on one dashboard and track your spending from each of these accounts. You can also use the app to set budgeting and savings goals, transfer money securely to friends, and track your finances based on your payday instead of a calendar month.

The most unique part of Yolt is its stealth mode, a feature that camouflages your real balances and account information from prying eyes. Activating stealth mode will alter your standard currency and randomise other info while still allowing you to show what the app’s interface looks like.

The downside of this app is that you can’t use it on the web, only on a mobile device. There’s also a delay before transactions register in your account, meaning you can’t quite view things in real-time.

2. Money Dashboard Neon

The original Money Dashboard was a pioneer in the world of budgeting sites, but they’ve since scrapped the old interface and come out with a brand new app—Money Dashboard Neon.

Like other budgeting apps, Neon lets you connect your bank accounts to track them all in one place. It also allows you to break your spending into different categories and build a custom budget. Users can even sync their pay cycles for more accurate budgeting and schedule automatic payments through the app.

The downside of Money Dashboard is that to keep their app free of charge, they sell user data to third parties. Even though they anonymise the data and promise not to release your identity, this could be a deal-breaker for more security-conscious folk.

3. Moneyhub

The Moneyhub personal finance app is a bit different than the others on this list because it requires a paid subscription. The organisation’s reasoning, though, is that they’ll never sell your information to third-party buyers—something that’s very important when we’re looking at banking. The subscription won’t set you back much, just 99p per month or £9.99 per year, and the security is well worth the cost.

Moneyhub’s other standout features include an overview of all your financial accounts, detailed analyses of your spending, and the ability to set spending goals for yourself. You can also use the “nudge” tool to avoid missing a payment and get notified of ways to save.

What sets Moneyhub apart from the rest is the “forecast” feature. With this tool, you can add in a theoretical change to your budget (such as getting your car repaired or going on holiday) and see how it will impact your future finances. This empowers you to spend wisely and never be caught off guard.

4. Cleo

Have you ever wished that your bank accounts came with a financial advisor who would tell you exactly when you can and can’t afford something? With Cleo, the AI budgeting app, your wish can come true.

Cleo uses a healthy dose of sass and millennial humour to give it to you straight. If you’re trying to decide whether going out for a pint is a good idea, ask Cleo. She’ll analyse your current account balances and upcoming expenses to tell you “absolutely not” or “yes, but then you can only spend £15/day for the rest of the week.”

If even that isn’t enough to keep you from opening your wallet, you can always ask Cleo to roast you. She’ll come back with a flurry of memes and drag you for your financial choices (or begrudgingly admit when you’ve done a good job).

5. Emma

Emma may not be a budget planning app, per se, but it does make saving and sticking to your budget a lot simpler. Emma is, as the founders say, a “fitness tracker” of sorts that watches your transactions instead of your heart rate.

This app links directly to your bank accounts, investments, and credit cards to provide a real-time view of your entire financial state. The main feed on the home screen includes easy-to-understand summaries of your account totals and upcoming reminders. Deeper inside you can find detailed analytics, information about all of your linked accounts, and a money-saving tool that helps you find better deals on recurring bills.

Emma is unique because it applies the concept of gamification to your money. The app prompts you to complete “quests” that will help you understand how to use all of its features to the fullest. If you need more robust features than the free version provides, you can upgrade to a “Pro” account at any time.

Give These Budgeting Sites a Try and Take Control of Your Finances

Curbing your extra spending and understanding where your money goes doesn’t have to be painful. These budgeting sites make money easier to understand and—dare we say—can even make budgeting fun. If you’ve ever had questions about how best to direct your dollars or just want to see your finances displayed in an intuitive format, give one of them a try today.

The way you budget and spend your money is important, but where and how you save it has just as much of an impact. Take a look at this article for help deciding whether a commercial or investment bank is more in line with your financial goals.

5 Huge Reasons to Trust Your Financial Advisors

1 in 10 adults in the UK are turning towards financial advisors to help manage their money and investments wisely. 

A financial advisor is a trained professional who can help you get the most out of your dollars. They help you know where to invest to get the best returns. And also how to manage your finances to meet your goals. 

Taking advantage of financial advisors can be a game-changer for many people. But often people put off asking for help and advice in this area. 

We’ve put together the top five reasons why you should work with a personal financial advisor. 

1. Training and Education in Finances 

The first reason that you should work with and listen to a financial advisor is that they likely have more knowledge about the subject than you do. 

A trusted financial advisor will often have certification beyond their college education. This certification will be earned by completing various educational requirements and then passing an exam covering the things they’ve learned. 

The economy, market trends, and predictions, and even the worth of a dollar are things that are continually changing.

Financial advising educational systems will give these professionals the training necessary to keep up with all the changes. Not only will they be able to keep up, but they’ll also be able to explain things to you in a way you can understand. 

And from there they can give you sounds, steady advice based on the information they’ve been given about your situation and the current economic standings. 

You can certainly take a DIY approach to managing your finances, but you may lack the knowledge and training to do it successfully. 

2. Time to Dedicate to Watching Markets

In order for investing to be successful and make you money, you have to buy the right stocks at low prices and then sell them at higher prices. This requires you to watch the market to know when things are low and high. 

Timing is everything in making money from investments. 

It takes consistent effort on a daily basis to be able to see trends throughout the market. The average person doesn’t have a lot of spare time lying around to watch for and interpret the trends they’re seeing. 

Instead, you could put your confidence in a financial advisor whose job it is to watch and understand the market trends. 

These professionals often spend a significant amount of time keeping themselves informed and in the loop of what’s going well and what’s not in investing. They’ll have a  better knowledge of things to buy and what to sell. 

You could half-heartedly make investing decisions in your spare time or you could leave those up to the professionals. 

3. Keep Complicated Situations Organized 

The traditional economy of a single income household has been changing rapidly over the last decade. Now many people rely on side hustles and secondary jobs to earn all of their income. 

While all of these sources are great for your bank account, they can make your financial situation a little more complicated. 

It can be hard to keep everything straight and have a good comprehensive view of your financial state. This requires you to keep detailed records of what’s going in, what’s going out, and any other changes to your account. 

The best financial advisor for you will be one who understands your situation. They’ll be able to keep things organized for you and give you advice on how to use your money the best way. 

They may also be able to help you make sure you meet tax or other legal requirements based on their better understanding of the laws in your area. 

4. Know How to Work Towards a Goal

Most people have some kind of financial goal they’re working towards, whether they realize it or not. It could be to save for a down payment on a house or pay off some unwanted debt. Or maybe it’s as simple as not wanting to feel stressed about their money situation. 

If you have a goal in mind to help your financial situation, it’s a great time to work with a financial advisor. 

A lot of times the outside perspective of someone unattached to your situation can make a big difference in making a solid plan. They can show you weak spots in your spending and other ways you could save. 

You can come with questions to ask a financial advisor for a professional opinion. This helps you to make the best choices for your family. 

Working with a financial advisor may also give you the motivation and determination to make better choices. Almost like a new level of accountability to keep you honest!

5. Less Worry During Life Changes

Our lives are always changing; we move, change jobs, add to our families, and acquire new assets. All of these things (and many more) change our financial situation. 

A financial advisor will be able to help you navigate through all of those major changes. 

They’ll be able to give you advice on how to adjust the way you spend, save, and invest in order to best fit your new needs. They can help you amok he necessary changes to continue on your way to more financial freedom. 

It can be very stressful to have to deal with change in your life. There are so many unknowns regarding how things will actually look in the future. 

Eliminating as much stress as possible will help the transition be much smoother; this can be done by working with a financial advisor. 

Following Your Financial Advisors Advice 

Speaking with financial advisors and getting their thoughts and advice is the first step to greater financial success. 

But the most important part of that success comes when you act on the advice given. Taking action on the investments and opportunities presented will give you the best results. 

If you want to learn more about financial advisors, good investment practices, or other wealth management tips, check out our blog for great advice! 

56% of investors say sustainable investments (ESG) are a new safe-haven

Sustainable and responsible investments (ESG) are now regarded as ‘safe havens’ by the majority of investors, reveals one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

deVere Group, which operates in more than 100 countries globally, reports that 56% of clients who seek to include environmental, social and governance-orientated investments into their portfolios do so citing that such sustainable funds offer financial protection in times of uncertainty.

A safe-haven asset is a financial instrument that is expected to retain, or even gain value during periods of economic downturn.

Nigel Green, deVere Group’s CEO and founder, says: “There’s been a massive surge from clients this year looking for ESG investments.

“Indeed, more than a quarter of all clients are currently considering or are already actively engaged in responsible, impactful and sustainable investing.

“It’s a phenomenon that’s particularly prevalent with millennials, with eight out of 10 putting ESG credentials at the heart of their investment decision-making process.”

He continues: “However, what is perhaps particularly interesting are the reasons why investors are seeking ESG in the first place.

“Of course, the global public health crisis has acted as a wake-up call in many respects. It has prompted a growing collective awareness of mutual responsibility that fits perfectly into the narrative of ESG investing.

“But what’s most surprising is that the majority [56%] also now say that they perceive ESG investments as the new safe-haven asset class.  As such, they are increasing their exposure to such funds in a way that traditionally they would have done with, say, gold or U.S. government bonds.”

Mr Green goes on to say: “They would be correct in citing this view. All the latest research underscores that the majority of environmental, social and governance investments have outperformed their non-sustainable counterparts this year and have had lower volatility.

“This cannot be ignored by retail – and increasingly institutional – investors who are looking for resilience in these highly unusual times of this new era.”

Previously, the deVere CEO has commented that the trend for ESG is only likely to intensify as millennials, who are statistically more likely to seek responsible investment options, become the major beneficiaries of the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth – an estimated $30tn in the next few years – meaning we can expect both retail and institutional investors to continue to pile into ESG.

Nigel Green concludes: “The data shows that the view held by traditionalists who claim ESG investments are ‘nice to have’ but not ‘a need to have,’ falls apart under scrutiny in the virus-driven global economic downturn.

“And whilst this short time frame is not determinative, those investors citing ESG’s safe-haven credentials are, for now at least, being proven right.”

California Insurance Commissioner launches first-ever database of green insurance products

Climate Smart Insurance Products Database is part of comprehensive insurance strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience

Los Angeles, California—Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has launched the Climate Smart Insurance Products Database, the first-ever consumer-oriented list of green insurance policies. With hundreds of climate-related insurance products already available to consumers and businesses, the California Department of Insurance has developed this database to help the public understand and access these products and encourage further insurance policy innovation in commercial, homeowners, and auto lines. Recognizing the potential for specific insurance products to address climate risks and contribute to a sustainable future will encourage consumers and insurance companies to explore products that harness new technologies and promote resilience.

“Understanding, preventing and reducing climate risk is of paramount importance, and we need innovative insurance solutions to accelerate the transition to sustainable and resilient communities and economies,” said Commissioner Lara. “When disaster strikes, insurance can help damaged homes, buildings, and vehicles be built back better, stronger and greener and springboard into the cleanest technologies.”

The Climate Smart database lists more than 400 products available to consumers and businesses that address climate risks, harness new technologies and build resilience. They include insurance products and solutions that:

  • Provide green-rebuild coverage, providing a pathway to building back stronger, more energy efficient, and lower-emission buildings and vehicles
  • Promote fuel-efficiency by offering lower premiums for low-emission vehicles
  • Provide discounts for green energy use and energy efficiency certification
  • Provide discounts for businesses who operate hydrogen and hybrid electric buses
  • Protect low-income communities and natural ecosystems

A June 1, 2020 report from the environmental and sustainability nonprofit group Ceres recommends the development of a database of innovative insurance products that reduce emissions or increase resiliency.

“California Commissioner Lara and his team at the California Insurance Department deserve great credit for creating the Climate Smart Insurance Products Database,” said Steven M. Rothstein, Managing Director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets. “This is part of a comprehensive insurance approach to climate risks. This database is a critical building block for a more sustainable future.”

The database is another element in Commissioner Lara’s strategy to combat climate change. Last year, Commissioner Lara announced an agenda-setting effort with the United Nations to create a Sustainable Insurance Roadmap, a comprehensive climate change strategy and action plan that is envisioned to pave the way for innovative risk management, insurance and investment solutions that reduce climate risks and protect natural ecosystems.

“One of the United Nations’ Principles for Sustainable Insurance promotes the aim of insurers working together with governments, regulators and other stakeholders in promoting widespread action on sustainability issues, and Commissioner Lara is showing us what regulators can actively do to make that happen and drive innovation,” said Butch Bacani, who leads UN Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), the largest collaboration between the UN and the insurance industry. “With this pioneering database, Commissioner Lara is demonstrating sustainability leadership, and we hope that other regulators will step up to the plate and lead by example.” 

Commissioner Lara previewed the database on July 8 at an international virtual event convened by the UN PSI and Swiss Re on sustainability leadership in insurance, which attracted more than 700 participants from over 60 countries. In addition to working the the UN, California will be collaborating with Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to build on this innovative database. California and Washington State have been working together with the UN Environment Programme as members of the PSI as well as the Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF) for regulators. 

“I applaud Commissioner Lara and the California Insurance Department’s thoughtful initiative to make the full range of existing climate-related insurance products available to consumers and businesses,” said Commissioner Kreidler. “Providing this innovative access to these products encourages communication between policyholders and their insurers, and will no doubt lead to new ideas and more refined climate-related insurance products going forward.”

***

The Climate Smart Insurance Products Database can be accessed via: www.insurance.ca.gov/climate-smart-database.

It is the first database of insurance products focused on sustainability that is available to consumers. The database includes insurance products sold in California and around the world.

The database allows consumers to search products in nine categories:

  • Fortified Homes can provide protection from natural hazards through improved roofing materials or other home hardening efforts. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) identifies best practices to protect against storms and wildfires.
  • Green Buildings and Equipment are energy efficient or otherwise sustainable.
  • Nature-Based Solutions harness the capabilities of natural infrastructure to mitigate against weather disasters.
  • Mileage-Based Insurance recognizes risk reductions from decreased driving.
  • Low-Emissions Vehicles include electric, hybrid and other low-emissions vehicles.
  • Microinsurance allows low-income individuals to receive protection from specific perils.
  • Renewables include solar, wind, geothermal and other sustainable technologies.
  • Carbon Offsets are reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere.
  • Super Pollutant Reduction includes efforts to decrease dangerous air pollutants.
  • California is the largest insurance market in the U.S., and one of the largest in the world. The California Department of Insurance was one of the first insurance regulatory and supervisory authorities in the world to sign UN Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance and commit to tackling global sustainability challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, pollution, and social and financial exclusion.
  • The Department of Insurance does not endorse any particular insurer. While the Department of Insurance makes every effort to confirm the accuracy of the database, insurance products may not be currently available and the database can be revised at any time, with or without notice.
  • The original source of the information for this database is Dr. Evan Mills (Energy Associates), who is a world-renowned researcher of the intersection between climate change and insurance. The Department plans to update and add to this information through dialogue with insurers, other climate experts, other state entities, and international leaders.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect USD 310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011, the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over USD 387 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov.

The perfect storm brewing for company pensions

Company pensions are becoming increasingly unsustainable due to the plunge in government bond yields and low interest rates, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The warning from Nigel Green comes as the yields of government securities – in which pension funds heavily invest – have fallen dramatically since the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Green says: “Institutional investors, such as pension funds, have always traditionally invested in government bonds, as they’re widely regarded as a safe-haven.

“However, the world has changed considerably in six months.

“Around the world, government bond yields are plunging as a direct result of the record-breaking asset purchase schemes introduced by central banks to help ease a severe worldwide economic slump due to the pandemic.

“And as the historic stimulus is set to remain, or even be expanded, the pressure on bond yields is expected to intensify.”

He continues: “The far-reaching stimulus agendas and more than a decade of ultra-low interest rates – which could be going even lower – are creating a perfect storm for company pensions, which are already feeling the squeeze of ballooning deficits.

“Increasingly, no longer are government bonds delivering the returns required to fulfil the obligations made to retirement savers.”

The deVere CEO also underscores the ongoing issues of the wider bond market.

“The falling yields have forced pension funds, and other institutional investors, to make highly unusual changes to their asset allocation mix as they seek out better returns in riskier assets.

“But then, the question is: If pension funds don’t buy government bonds, who will?

“China has been a major purchaser of U.S. bonds in the past to keep its export prices down. With its $1trn of Treasurys it’s the number two holder.

“But the new economic realities and geopolitical tensions have prompted Beijing to shed some of its U.S. bonds. In March alone, China sold $8bn of its hoard – in the same month as overseas investors and central banks got rid of $300 billion of Treasurys to raise dollars.”

Mr Green concludes: “Typically, bonds account for more than half of the assets held by pension schemes.

“Due to the falling bond yields, the potential for negative interest rates, and the already chronic deficits, company pension holders should seek with their adviser the available ways to safeguard their retirement income.”

Is Investing in Green Energy Financially Savvy?

The global market for green energy is expected to grow to a value of $1.5 trillion by 2025. 

When you consider the fact that this was a market that barely existed a few decades ago, it’s obvious that investing in green energy has made many people rich. It’s also going to continue making people rich for as long as the world needs renewable energy, which is likely to be forever.

The question, therefore, is this: what is the best way to make money from the green revolution if you’re new to the game?

Read on as we look at the answer to that question and set you on the path to becoming a profitable green investor.

The Different Ways of Investing in Green Energy

There are many different ways to get exposure to green energy. The right one for you will depend on your risk appetite, the amount you want to invest, and whether you want to be actively involved in the investment.

We’ve looked at the different options in more detail here.

Starting a Business

If you want to take an active hand in the green energy market, you could set up a business in the field. There are a few different options here.

Wind and solar energy are the two main forms of renewable energy in the world today. If you enter this industry, you’ll likely be setting up either a wind farm or solar farm.

This is, of course, specialized work. You’ll need an educational background in energy or physics, and you may need prior professional experience of working with renewable energy.

In order to produce energy on an industrial scale, you’ll also need to make a considerable initial investment. Solar panels and wind turbines are both expensive to buy in bulk. They also take up considerable space, which means that you’ll need to have a large plot of land to work on.

Buying Stocks

If you don’t want to set up a green energy company yourself, you could choose to invest in one that’s already in operation.

There are many different options here, from established energy giants to brand new operations. The latter will not feature on public stock exchanges, however, so you’ll need to look to different investment platforms for these.

If you invest in a new start-up while its shares are cheap and it goes on to create highly valuable energy solutions, you could end up multiplying the value of your investment many times over. On the other hand, if the company goes bankrupt, you’ll lose all your money.

If you’d prefer a lower-risk stock investment, it might be a good idea to look for a publicly-traded, blue-chip green energy company.

Investing in a Green Mutual Fund or ETF

This is similar to investing in green stocks. It will offer passive exposure to the green energy market, giving you financial benefits if and when the market as a whole improves.

The key difference between this and the option of buying company shares is the risk-reward profile. Because funds diversify your investment across a large number of ventures, you won’t lose all your money because of one company’s bad decisions.

However, you will also have a much more limited growth capacity. 

There are a couple of important differences between an ETF and a mutual fund. Most significantly, a mutual fund is actively managed, which means that fund managers will pick up and drop stocks in real time on the basis of market trends.

ETF managers, on the other hand, pick a basket of stocks or index at the fund’s inception and leave them in place regardless of trends. Because of this passive strategy, ETF fees tend to be much lower.

Setting Up Solar Panels or a Windmill

This admittedly isn’t an investment in the business sense. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great bet.

Recent COVID-19-related dips aside, fossil fuels are getting more expensive. As oil-producing countries tinker with the supply chain and the reserves of natural fuel continue to dwindle, the price of non-renewable energy will eventually become unsustainable.

When that happens, the homes and businesses that are self-sufficient in terms of energy will be much better off. If you live in an area that gets a lot of sun or wind, this is something you should consider.

The Advantages of Investing in Green Energy

The main advantage of investing in green energy is the market outlook. There aren’t many industries with as bright a future as renewable energy.

Green companies also benefit from government subsidies and tax breaks in many areas. Because many places desperately need green energy, ruling bodies are happy to incentivize its development in whatever ways they can.

To make the most of this, you should research political attitudes to green energy in a given country before deciding to invest in a company from there.

Depending on the investment you make, you might also be helping to fund a company that makes a real breakthrough in the field of clean energy. There are countless capable energy specialists that only need start-up capital to start building the energy solutions of tomorrow.

Investing in the Energy Solution of Tomorrow

When it comes to investments with future value potential, you might find it difficult to come across a better option than green energy. Our planet’s energy requirements are massive, and continuously growing, while non-renewable energy resources continue to dwindle.

Investing in green energy is therefore likely to be a successful strategy. However, to make sure you take on an investment that suits your goals and outlook, you’ll need to do a little research on the various available options.

To learn more about investment opportunities, check out our finance section.

TISE announces succession plan for Group Chairman

The International Stock Exchange (TISE) has announced that Jon Moulton will be retiring as parent company Chairman and stepping down as a Director at the end of the year.

Jon Moulton TISE
Jon Moulton, Chairman of The International Stock Exchange Group (TISEG)

He will be succeeded as Chairman of The International Stock Exchange Group (TISEG) by Charlie Geffen, who currently occupies the Chair role within the regulatory subsidiary, The International Stock Exchange Authority (TISEA).

Mr Moulton said: “We have significantly changed the business since I got involved seven years ago and I am pleased to be handing over the reins with it in a much stronger position. I’d like to thank my fellow Directors and the Executive teams for everything they have done to assist in making this difference and I’m delighted to be leaving the business in the highly capable hands of Charlie Geffen.”

Charlie Geffen, Chairman of The International Stock Exchange Authority (TISEA)

Mr Geffen has been TISEA Chairman since January this year. He will remain in that role until the end of 2020, at which point he will relinquish his position as Chairman and Director of TISEA. He will become TISEG Chairman from January 2021.

Mr Geffen was previously at the law firm Ashurst for 32 years, the last five as the firm’s senior Partner and latterly, at the US law firm Gibson, Dunn & Cutcher where, as Chair of the Corporate Practice in London, he led the growth of its Transactional Practice which secured a number of high-profile M&A mandates. He is a trustee of the Institute of Cancer Research and a member of Council at Surrey University.

Mr Geffen said: “The period since I joined the group at the start of the year has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic and the way in which the business has continued to operate smoothly is testament to our professional, committed teams. Jon will leave us in very good shape and I am looking forward to working with all internal and external stakeholders as we continue to improve the business.”

As a consequence of Mr Geffen’s appointment to the TISEG Board, an additional Non-Executive Director of TISEA will be recruited later in the year at which point there will be an announcement about the appointment of the new TISEA Chairman.

Anderson Whamond, Non-Executive Director of TISEG and Chairman of the Nominations Committee, said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to place on record our utmost thanks to Jon for his extremely valuable contribution to the transformation of the business over the last seven years. At the same time, I’m delighted that he will be succeeded by Charlie, whom I look forward to joining the TISEG Board from the start of next year as we execute the next phase of the group’s strategy.”

Following the initial announcement in February, it has been confirmed that TISEG CEO, Fiona Le Poidevin, will leave the company on 27 July.

Mr Whamond added: “Once again, I’d like to thank Fiona for her significant contribution and commitment to the development of the company over the last five years. The process for recruiting her successor is progressing well, despite the difficulties and uncertainties posed by COVID-19. However, it will be some months before a successor is in place and in the meantime, the existing senior management team will assume those responsibilities, with additional oversight from the Board.”

Figures released today show that despite the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the broader market environment, volumes of new applications to list on TISE held up unexpectedly well during the second quarter of 2020.

Overall, there were 390 new listings admitted to the Official List of TISE during the first six months of 2020, which represents a rise of more than 60% year on year and takes the total number of securities listed on the market up to 3,030 at 30 June 2020.

About TISE

The International Stock Exchange provides a responsive and innovative listing facility for international companies to raise capital from investors based around the globe. TISE offers a regulated marketplace, with globally recognisable clients and a growing product range, from a premier location.

Headquartered in Guernsey and with offices in Jersey and the Isle of Man, TISE offers a convenient and cost-effective service for listing a wide range of securities, including trading companies, investment vehicles and specialist debt.

www.tisegroup.com

Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy and Annual Investment Meeting to Host a Live Webinar

The webinar entitled, “IsDB Group Private Sector Action Response to COVID-19” will discuss the challenges facing the private sector and global economy during the COVID-19 outbreak.

30 June, 2020, Dubai, UAE – The Islamic Development Bank Group in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy and Annual Investment Meeting, will conduct a live webinar entitled “IsDB Group Private Sector Action Response to COVID-19” on the 6th of July at 01:00 PM (KSA Time) to discuss the challenges facing the private sector and global economy during the COVID-19 outbreak.

H.E. Eng. Sultan Al Mansoori
H.E. Eng. Sultan Al Mansoori

The live session will also present the immediate joint action response of the IsDB Group Private Sector Entities namely, the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits (ICIEC), Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), in order to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar will discuss the future outlook to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the webinar will highlight the IsDB Group’s US$2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme for COVID-19 under its 3Rs approach “Respond, Restore and Restart”.

The keynote speakers who will share their in-depth perspectives in the webinar are Mr. Ousama Kaissi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC); Mr. Ayman Sejiny, the CEO & General Manager of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Ms. Cornelia Meyer, the Chairman & CEO of Meyer Resources.

Mr. Ousama Kaissi, the Chief Executive Officer of The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) and one of the keynote speakers in the webinar, stated: “While the disruption to global trade and investment flows is unavoidable due to the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus pandemic, it is essential that institutions with the mandate and means to stabilize the trade ecosystem during the crisis heighten their efforts to do so. ICIEC is honoured to be a part of this webinar with the UAE Ministry of Economy and our IsDB Group peers in order to share how we are employing our multilateral insurance solutions toward the collective recovery of member countries.”

H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar
H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar

“The private sector can play a pivotal and proactive role to close funding gaps in the COVID-19 response. It is capable to minimize short-term risks to employees and long-term costs to businesses and the economy as a whole. ICD will work closely with 100+ local and regional financial institutions in its network to provide necessary support so they can continue to fund private sector, particularly SMEs in affected sectors within the markets they operate in” stated Mr. Ayman Sejiny, the CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and one of the keynote speakers in the webinar.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and one of the keynote speakers in the webinar, stated: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, ITFC has moved quickly to put in place emergency financing measures to ensure that member countries continue to receive the support needed. Our COVID-19 ‘Rapid Response Initiative’ (RRI) has made US$ 300 million immediately available. This has facilitated the immediate access to medical equipment, the supply of staple foods and critical energy needs. Continuing to work closely with IsDB and partners, ITFC is moving forward with its Recovery Response Plan (RRP) with the provision of US$550 million for deployment over the next two years. The RRP is aimed at fixing the socio-economic damage which is expected to last longer than immediate impact of the virus; including the provision of lines of financing to fund the private sector and SMEs.”

“It is a great privilege to be in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Economy and Islamic Development Bank Group in organizing this live webinar session that will tackle the major challenges currently being confronted by the private sector and the global economy as a whole,” Mr. Walid A. Farghal, Director General of the Annual Investment Meeting mentioned.

“The private sector is indispensable to economic growth. In fact, it contributes up to 90 per cent of employment and provides over 80 per cent of government revenues in developing countries. Thus, it is essential to highlight this huge initiative by the IsDB Group that enables the sectors adversely affected by COVID-19 to continue their business activities,” he furthered.

During the webinar, 3 online initiatives will be launched jointly by IsDB Group Private Sector Entities and AIM. These initiatives will support the private sector, trade and exports in OIC member countries and will be focusing on:

  • Digital Country Presentations: to promote and showcase the investment and trade opportunities in OIC member countries which will serve as a virtual gathering and strategic innovative platform to support the investors, government agencies, private institutions, investment promotion agencies to discuss the best possible means to attract FDI.
  • Startups Virtual Pitch Competition: to connect Startups globally and support them in meeting potential partners and investors from other parts of the world.
  • MADE IN…..SERIES: this digital platform is open to all SMEs who want to showcase and present their local products, project and services to international audience.

The webinar will gather more than 700 participants from multiple sectors across the globe such as government officials, Chairmen, Presidents & CEOs of local and international companies, multilateral and financial institutions, Chambers of Commerce & Industry, business associations, investment promotion agencies, individual investors, and entrepreneurs.

For further information, please refer to the following website (https://isdbg-psf.org/webinar)

About the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC)

Established 26 years ago in 1994 as a multilateral institution and member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, ICIEC was tasked to promote cross-border trade and foreign direct investments (FDI) in its Member Countries. To fulfill its mandate, ICIEC provides risk mitigation solutions to Member Country exporters. By protecting them from commercial and political risks, exporters are enabled to sell their products and services across the world. The multilateral credit insurer also provides risk protection to investors from across the world that seeks to invest in ICIEC’s Member Countries. To promote the sustainable economic development of its Member Countries, ICIEC – on a limited basis – can also support international exporters selling capital goods or strategic commodities to ICIEC’s Member Countries. In addition to its core business, ICIEC also offers technical assistance to Member Countries’ Export Credit Agencies. ICIEC’s mission is to make trade and investment between Member Countries and the world more secure through the Shariah-compliant risk mitigation tool. Its vision is to be recognized as the preferred enabler of trade and investment for sustainable economic development in Member Countries. ICIEC is the only multilateral export credit and investment insurance corporation in the world that provides Shariah-compliant insurance and reinsurance solutions. Today, ICIEC supports trade and investment flows in 47 Member Countries spanning across Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Its target clients are corporates (both exporters and investors), banks and financial institutions as well as Export Credit Agencies and insurers.

About the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

ICD is a multilateral development organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its 55-member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments in viable projects sponsored by eligible enterprises in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah. ICD also provides technical assistance and advisory services to member countries and their public and private enterprises with a view to improving the environment for private investment, facilitating the identification and promotion of investment opportunities, privatization of public enterprises and the development of the Islamic capital markets.  ICD applies Fintech to make finance more efficient and inclusive. ICD set up a platform built and centered on ICD relationship with 119 Financial Institutions. Through them, the IsDB Group in general and ICD in particular leverage access to the country and avail financing opportunities. For more information about ICD, visit www.icd-ps.org.

About the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC)

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC Member Countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving socioeconomic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided more than US$51 billion to OIC Member Countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for the Member Countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC Member Countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

About the Islamic Development Bank Group Business Forum (THIQAH)

The Islamic Development Bank Group Business Forum (THIQAH) is the window of IsDB Group that facilitate contact and coordination between entities concerned of the IsDB Group and private sector firms and related institutions in IsDB Group member countries. The main objective of THIQAH is to establish a unique and innovative platform for dialogue, cooperation and inclusive partnership for business leaders committed to partnering in promising investment opportunities. THIQAH’s vision is to position itself as the leading business platform of the IsDB Group serving the private sector and maximizing the achievements of successful investment projects. Through facilitation and catalyst roles, THIQAH will be leveraging IsDB Group’s resources to offer necessary services and confidence to investors and to establish strategic partnerships with the leaders of the private sector in order to capitalize on their expertise and know-how on one hand, and to synergize with IsDB Group entities on the other. The primary focus will be on maximizing cross-border investment among member countries to be supported by IsDB Group’s financial products and services. (www.idbgbf.org).

About Annual Investment Meeting (AIM)

Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), the World’s Leading Investment Platform in the Middle East and North Africa, will hold its 10th at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Under the theme ‘Investing for the Future: Shaping the Global Investment Strategies’, AIM will gather high-ranking government officials, decision makers, corporate leaders, policy makers, businessmen, regional and international investors, entrepreneurs, leading academics and investment experts to address the global challenges of securing viable investment aimed at contributing to economic growth.

AIM has evolved from assisting emerging economies to attract FDIs. On its 10th edition, AIM will embrace a bigger challenge of enabling economic growth through its five pillars – FDIs, Startups, Future Cities, SMEs, Foreign Portfolio Investment, and special event One Belt and One Road.

AIM 2019 saw the participation of over 16,000 visitors, 436 exhibitors and co-exhibitors, 66 high-level dignitaries, more than 150 experts and investment specialists, and 143 country representations.

€60 million for innovators awarded under EIT Crisis Response Initiative

30 June 2020, Budapest, Hungary – Almost 1 500 innovators from 44 countries applied for the EIT’s € 60 million Crisis Response Initiative. The funds have now been unlocked by the EIT Governing Board to ensure critical support swiftly reaches entrepreneurs. This will allow high-impact start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to benefit from additional funding under the ‘Venture Support Instrument’; and will enable the launch of new innovation projects tackling COVID-19 related challenges as part of the ‘Pandemic Response Projects. By deploying a rapid response mechanism, all EIT Crisis Response activities will be completed by the end of 2020 to help Europe recover.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, responsible for the EIT said: ‘This action of the EIT is part of the EU’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis, including substantial support to innovation. I am glad to see the efficient mobilisation of all EU instruments that we have at our disposal. Thanks to the EIT’s funding, hundreds of innovators and companies will be given the opportunity to participate in the collective effort to overcome this crisis and rebuild our economy sustainably.’

Under the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, each EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community launched Calls for Proposals for ventures and for innovation projects. Close to 1 500 proposals were received from 44 countries (including all 27 EU Member States as well as the Israel, Northern Macedonia, Norway, United Kingdom, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey).

Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chair of the EIT Governing Board, added: ‘This is the EIT in action: agile mobilisation of Europe’s largest innovation community to deliver innovative solutions and a boost to Europe’s economy. With the EIT’s rapid response and additional € 60 million funding, our Knowledge and Innovation Communities will now ensure high-impact ventures and ground-breaking projects help accelerate Europe’s recovery. The submission of almost 1 500 proposals highlights the depth of talent of innovators and the need for crisis recovery support in Europe and beyond.’

The quality and relevance of the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities’ Calls for Proposals under the EIT Crisis Response Initiative were evaluated. Based on this, the EIT Governing Board decided to allocate the following grants: 

EIT Climate-KIC: EUR 8.40 million

EIT Digital: EUR 7.65 million 

EIT Food: EUR 10.25 million

EIT Health: EUR 9.85 million

EIT InnoEnergy: EUR 7.40 million

EIT Raw Materials: EUR 9.80 million

EIT Manufacturing: EUR 3.30 million

EIT Urban Mobility: EUR 3.35 million

 Following the EIT Governing Board decision, each EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community will now finalise its selection processes based on the available budget. It is foreseen that 60% of the EIT Crisis Response funds will be awarded to highly innovative start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs as part of the ‘Venture Support Instrument’, and 40% to innovation projects under the ‘Pandemic Response Projects’. More details on the selected ventures and innovation projects to be financed will be announced in the coming weeks.

BACKGROUND: EIT- MAKING INNOVATION HAPPEN!

What is the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)?

The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs across Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The Institute supports the development of dynamic pan-European partnerships – EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities – among leading companies, research labs and universities.

What is the EIT Crisis Response Initiative?

The EUR 60 million EIT initiative launched in May 2020 consists of two main tracks of activities to be implemented by the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities across Europe:

  • Venture Support Instrument: Start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs have been enormously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Additional EIT support (financing, technical assistance and network) will help highly innovative ventures weather the crisis and accelerate their growth.
  • Pandemic Response Projects: More than ever, innovations and new solutions are needed to tackle the current crisis and prevent its resurgence. The EIT ecosystem is agile and will mobilise innovators to address the COVID-19 crisis, both in terms of the immediate health concerns and the wider response needed.

Learn more about the EIT Crisis Response Initiative in this factsheet.

EIT powers innovative solutions to global challenges

The EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities work to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy (EIT Climate-KIC), drive Europe’s digital transformation (EIT Digital), lead the global revolution in food innovation and production (EIT Food), give EU citizens greater opportunities to lead a healthy life (EIT Health), achieve a sustainable energy future for Europe (EIT InnoEnergy), strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EIT Manufacturing), develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe (EIT RawMaterials), and solve the mobility challenges of our cities (EIT Urban Mobility).

Together with their leading partners in Europe, they offer a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities. This includes education courses that combine technical and entrepreneurial skills, business creation and acceleration services and innovation driven research projects.

EIT Facts & Figures

  • Proposed budget of EUR 3 billion between 2021 and 2027 under the EU’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Framework Programme 
  • Europe’s largest innovation network: 2 000+ partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in 60+ innovation hubs across Europe
  • Europe’s tried, tested and proven innovation engine: powered more than 2 000 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 900 new products and services. To date, EIT-supported ventures have raised more than EUR 1.5 billion in external capital. More than 2 200 students have graduated from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes.
Image

More information: EIT in a nutshell Infographic

Discover EIT Community innovators: EIT Community COVID-19 solutions

Investors buoyed by extra U.S. stimulus to support recovery

Investors who have been “paying attention” have been topping–up their investment portfolios and will continue to do so, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The comments from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, which has $12bn under advisement, come as stock markets around the world further rallied on Tuesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced an expansion to its historic stimulus programme.

Mr Green affirms: “Global stocks have been buoyed by the news from the Fed – the world’s de facto central bank – to buy individual corporate bonds in addition to the exchange-traded funds it is already purchasing, to support the world’s largest economy.

“This extra stimulus acts as a ‘backstop’ or ‘floor’ for equities. 

“The additional Fed support was widely expected by the markets and therefore, investors who have been paying attention have been topping-up their investment portfolios recently as entry points will inevitably continue to go higher as we move forward.”

He continues: “It is likely that savvy investors will continue to enhance portfolios as the backing is likely to be maintained for years, not quarters.

“Also, it has been reported that President Donald Trump’s administration is preparing to unveil a $1 trillion infrastructure package. This will further boost asset prices.”

The deVere boss called the additional measures last week. 

He noted on Thursday June 11: “Further stimulus can be expected from the Fed – and also perhaps from Congress too – in the near future… This will support and likely boost asset prices moving forward. Investors will now be eyeing the opportunities before any fresh or enhanced stimulus packages are announced.”

London’s FTSE 100 and Frankfurt’s Dax both jumped 2.2% in morning trading on Tuesday, the pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 gained 2%. U.S. futures markets suggested that U.S. stocks would rise further when trading begins on Wall Street, with S&P 500 futures up 1%.

In Asia-Pacific, Tokyo’s Topix shot up 4% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 3.9%. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.4% while China’s CSI 300 index was 1.5% higher.

Nigel Green concludes: “Few things can fuel markets like another stimulus injection.

“The message investors are taking away is that the U.S. central bank and government are prepared to do whatever it takes to support the recovery.”