UN confirms appointment Rebeca Grynspan as UNCTAD Secretary-General

WORLD – Rebeca Grynspan of Costa Rica will be the new Secretary-General of United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN trade and development body after her nomination to the post by UN Secretary-General António Guterres was approved by the UN General Assembly. Ms. Grynspan, the first woman and Central American to be appointed as Secretary-General of UNCTAD, is an economist and current Ibero-American Secretary-General. She replaces Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi of Kenya who stepped down after serving his year terms. “I am grateful and honoured for the trust…

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mPharma, Sunculture join Morgan Stanley’s inaugural sustainable business collaborative cohort

AFRICA – Two African start-ups are among five breakthrough innovative companies that will receive awards and participate in Morgan Stanley’s first initiative that aims to advance systemic solutions for complex sustainability challenges across the World. The five companies include mPharma based in Ghana and Suncluture from Kenya: plus, MySoc from the US, Siklus from Indonesia and Trees as Infrastructure from the UK. Organised by Morgan Stanley, the leading American investment bank and financial services company, the Sustainable Solutions Collaborative, which is organised by the firm’s Institute for Sustainable Investing targets…

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Total rebrands as TotalEnergies, transforms into a broad energy company

WORLD – Shareholders of French energy giant Total have approved, almost unanimously, the resolution to change the company’s name to TotalEnergies, reflecting its strategic transformation into a broad energy company. In tandem with this name change, TotalEnergies is adopting a new visual identity. “Energy is life. We all need it and it’s a source of progress. So today, to contribute to the sustainable development of the planet facing the climate challenge, we are moving forward, together, towards new energies. Energy is reinventing itself, and this energy journey is ours. Our ambition is…

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Kuehne+Nagel completes acquisition of Apex Logistics

WORLD – Global transport and logistics company Kuehne Nagel, has completed the acquisition of Apex International Corporation, following the satisfaction of all closing conditions. Apex is an Asian freight forwarder, especially on the transpacific and intra-Asia trade routes. In 2020, the company generated turnover of CHF 2.2 billion (US$2.4 billion), gross profit of CHF 296 million (US$327 million) and earnings before taxes of CHF 126 million (US$139 million) and ranked seventh in terms of global air freight forwarding volume. In the first quarter of 2021, Apex has continued to perform…

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Radisson Blu celebrates a decade as the largest upper upscale brand in Europe, confirms 16 new signings in EMEA

WORLD – Radisson Hotel Group is celebrating Radisson Blu’s reconfirmed position as the largest upper upscale brand in Europe for the past decade and continues its successful portfolio growth in Europe, Middle East and Africa with over 2,000 rooms and 16 signings added to the Group’s portfolio in quarter 1. In a year of historic challenges, Radisson Hotel Group has remained actively committed to its five-year development plan to be recognized as one of the top hotel brands in the world and the brand of choice for owners, guests, and…

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Verizon Communications to dispose of Yahoo, AOL in US$5b mega-deal

WORLD – US-based telecoms company Verizon Communications is disposing of its media businesses, which include Yahoo and AOL, for US$5 billion. In a press statement, Verizon and Apollo Global Management announced that funds managed by affiliates of Apollo entered into an agreement to acquire Verizon Media for US$5 billion. Verizon will retain a 10% stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo at close of the transaction and continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer Guru Gowrappan. One of the world’s premier global technology and media companies, Verizon Media…

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Global e-commerce jumps to US$26.7 trillion, Covid-19 boosts online retail sales – UNCTAD

WORLD – According to a new  report by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), online retail sales grew markedly in several countries, with the Republic of Korea reporting the highest share at 25.9% in 2020, up from 20.8% the year before. Meanwhile, global e-commerce sales jumped to US$26.7 trillion globally in 2019, up 4% from 2018, according to the latest available estimates. This includes business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales and is equivalent to 30% of global gross domestic product (GDP) that year. “These statistics show the growing…

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WaterEquity secures US$25m funding from DFC to finance water and sanitation projects

AFRICA – The U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has provided US$25 million to WaterEquity Fund, a facility designed to support institutions that finance water and sanitation projects in Africa and other regions of the world. The US$25 million is the first tranche of a US$100 million loan. “At least five million people will be able to access improved water and sanitation services on these three continents,” said the DFC. The loan is being provided with “the issuance of fixed income instruments in accordance with the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) guidelines on…

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Global renewable energy capacity highlights for 2020

WORLD – According to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report, at the close of the year 2020, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 2,799 GW with hydropower accounting for the largest share of the global total, with a capacity of 1,211 GW. Wind and solar energy accounted for equal shares of the remainder, with capacities of 733 GW and 714 GW respectively while other renewables included 127 GW of bioenergy and 14 GW of geothermal, plus 500 MW of marine energy. In the same year, renewable generation capacity increased by…

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French government to double Air France-KLM stake as part of a recapitalization

WORLD – European Commission regulators have approved a €4 billion (US$4.7 billion) recapitalisation of Air France that could see the French government more than double its shareholding in Air France-KLM.  The French government’s stake in the group will increase from 14.3% to a maximum of 30% as part of the arrangement, Air France-KLM said. The too Dutch government has confirmed that its holding will be diluted to 9.3% from 14%. Dutch flag-carrier KLM supports the recapitalisation measure, the group stated but will not benefit from the €4 billion aid, according to the…

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