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Tokyo 2020 Will Go On ‘at Any Cost’: Japan Olympic Minister

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will proceed, according to the Japanese Olympics minister.

Speaking to the press, Seiko Hashimoto said that the games would proceed next year ‘at any cost given athletes’ efforts to be ready.’  

This statement comes a day after the International Olympics Committee’s John Coates said that the event would be held in 2021 ‘with or without COVID’.

When asked about Coates’s remarks, Hashimoto said that ‘for the Games next year, athletes are continuing to work hard in the environments they find themselves in. So I feel we have to hold it at any cost.’

On Monday, Coates had said that he was confident the delayed Games would take place in 2021.

Coates heads the Committee’s Coordination Commission for the Tokyo event, and he vowed that the 2020 Olympic Games would be the ‘Games that conquered COVID.’

Don’t you think that this would be an apt theme for the games, considering what the world has gone through?

Defense Company Hensoldt in Germany’s Biggest IPO of 2020

Hensoldt, the defense supplier backed by KKR & Co., has announced an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Frankfurt that would be the largest of 2020 in Germany.

Both Hensoldt and KKR will dispose of new stock to accumulate capital, according to a statement on Tuesday.

While Hensoldt didn’t shed more light on the size of the offering to be finalized by the end of 2020, the deal will consist of a public offer to both institutional and individual investors in Germany and private placements in other regions.

KKR has plans for a $3.5 billion valuation, and investors may get 20% to 30% of Hensoldt via the listing.

This would essentially make the deal the largest IPO in Germany in 2020, where only three firms have gone public. 

Do you think this IPO would help revive a market that has lagged behind other exchanges in Europe for most of 2020?

Racist Advertising Saga in South Africa’s Largest Pharmacy Chain

South Africa’s largest pharmacy chain Clicks Group Ltd. closed several branches after at least seven shops were vandalized in anti-racism demonstrations linked to a hair-product advertisement that has stirred controversy.

Recently, the retailer posted a promotion on its website that portrayed the natural hair of black people as ‘dry, damaged, and frizzy,’ while white people’s hair was described as ‘normal.’

Following the advert, the Economic Freedom Fighters, the third-largest political party South Africa entered the fray and called for protestors to barricade Clicks stores.

According to reports, two outlets were hit with petrol bombs, and the retailer released a statement saying, ’Clicks is unable to estimate the total damage to stores given the ongoing protest action.’

Regardless of Clicks’ attempt at damage-control, apologizing ‘unreservedly for the promotion’ and suspending ‘negligent employees,’ do you think it is too late for them to regain their image?

European Fund Issues in Korea as $303-Million Fund Frozen

Freezing of redemptions of a European fund has wreaked devastating repercussions worldwide as money managers in South Korea with holdings stopped client withdrawals.

Kiwoom Asset Management has halted withdrawals from its investment vehicle, which has H2O Asset Management’s MultiBonds and Allegro.

The Seoul-based firm’s decision came after ‘the immobilization of some funds run by H2O, which is part-owned by Natixis SA, at the request of the French regulator.’

The frozen fund has $303 million in assets, and this action underscores the tremendous impact of the London-based asset manager’s woes, plus the rate at which decreasing interest rates have driven buyers from Korea to accumulate billions of dollars in unconventional assets overseas.

Bahrain Offers Dollar Bond to Fill Increasing Budget Gap

Bahrain has commenced trading a three-tranche dollar bond to fill in one of the largest budget deficits globally.

The Gulf state is selling benchmark-size seven-year Islamic bonds, plus conventional debt lasting 12 years and/or 30 years.

Bank ABC, HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc, Gulf International Bank BSC, Standard Chartered Plc, and National Bank of Bahrain BSC are the sales lead managers. On Tuesday, they will set up a global investor call. 

This announcement marks the nation’s resumption to the global debt market for the first time since May and comes hot on the heels of Dubai’s $2 million bond sale after a six-year hiatus from the public borrowing scene. 

Despite a $10 billion bailout package by its wealthy neighbors in 2018, Bahrain is still besieged by fiscal strain. Do you think this latest move will get it out of trouble?

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