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Financial Conglomerate SBI to Acquire $30MM Stake in Digital Asset Firm B2C2

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LONDON–()–B2C2, the trading firm of choice in the institutional crypto markets, today announced that SBI Financial Services (a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, “SBI”) has agreed to acquire a $30 million minority stake in the firm.

The investment marks the start of a strategic partnership between one of the largest institutions to have ventured into the crypto market and a veteran digital asset trading firm. SBI, owner of Japan’s first digital bank and largest online brokerage, is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a member of the TOPIX stock index.

B2C2 will become SBI’s main liquidity provider as SBI expands its crypto offering to millions of existing customers. B2C2 will also benefit from SBI’s distribution network and financial firepower as it launches an electronic prime brokerage built upon its highly successful single dealer platform.

This month, the firm will release a fully automated facility to provide the most competitive two-way prices in the funding market. This capability expands B2C2’s existing secured financing operation, already lending hundreds of millions of dollars. B2C2 will continue to develop its offering until it constitutes a complete cross-asset prime brokerage business.

Yoshitaka Kitao, President and CEO of SBI Holdings, said: “We expect a lot of synergies with B2C2, a firm which has a large number of clients globally and offers abundant liquidity, excellent price competitiveness, and a diverse suite of products for their customers. We will work to develop innovative new crypto products and deepen synergies across our group of companies.”

Max Boonen, Founder of B2C2, said: “Today’s deal with SBI takes B2C2 a big step forward. Having claimed the top spot in our segment thanks to the technological edge of our single dealer platform, we found in SBI the right partner to unlock the next drivers of our growth. B2C2 will benefit from SBI’s balance sheet, which is far larger than anything committed to the crypto market to date. It will complement our asset liability management framework – the most sophisticated in the market – to deliver an execution platform that will not only be a game changer in crypto, but also positions us to expand across asset classes as we set our sights on the $20bn-a-year prime brokerage market.”

B2C2 is a veteran digital asset trading group with a world-class team drawn from global investment banks and buy-side firms. Headquartered in the UK, with offices in London, Tokyo and Jersey City, B2C2 is trusted by banks, brokerages, exchanges and fund managers globally to provide 24/7 liquidity.

Continuously innovative, B2C2 launched the first crypto-native single dealer platform in 2016 and was the first foreign dealer to succeed in the Japanese market. In 2019, the firm launched the first OTC streaming price feed and was the first crypto company in the EU to secure a MiFID investment firm licence. B2C2 OTC Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 810834).

– Ends –

About B2C2

Founded in 2015, B2C2 is the leading cryptocurrency liquidity provider. Awarded Cryptocurrency Innovation of the Year in 2020 by FStech and Best Institutional Crypto Liquidity Provider in 2019 by the readers of Profit & Loss, B2C2 bridges the gap between traditional financial and cryptocurrency markets. The company is trusted by brokerages, exchanges, banks and fund managers to provide 24/7 liquidity. Headquartered in the UK, with offices in London, Jersey City and Tokyo, the firm is privately held. For more information, please visit https://www.b2c2.com

About SBI

SBI Holdings, Inc. was established in 1999 as a pioneer of Internet-based financial services. The company provides financial services in a wide range of categories, including securities, banking and insurance and has formed the world’s first Internet-based financial conglomerate. The company has also expanded its business into biotechnology, including research and development and sales related to pharmaceuticals, health foods and cosmetics. For more information, please visit https://www.sbigroup.co.jp/english/

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source – Smithers Interior News

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The CFL has sent Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault a revised financial request.

A CFL source said Friday the league is seeking roughly $42.5 million in aid. In April, it asked the federal government for up to $150 million in financial assistance in the event of a cancelled 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the league was anxious “to be accountable to taxpayers,’ and would attempt to repay a portion of government assistance through ”community programs, tourism promotion, the Grey Cup, our digital channels.”

The source added the new request is to cover operating costs and player salaries for a shortened 2020 season. The proposal also includes a letter of support from the CFL Players’ Association.

The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither the government nor CFL have confirmed the request.

Last month, the CFL and CFLPA began talks to amend the current collective bargaining agreement to allow for an abbreviated season. The two sides must sign off on any changes for any games to be played.

But prior to the start of negotiations, the CFL presented the union with a memo outlining the conditions it wanted and a completion deadline of July 23.

When asked about the revised financial request, the CFL said, “We continue discussions with the federal government including discussions on our possible return to play.”

While the revision is for substantially less money, the CFL’s situation hasn’t changed much. It still requires financial assistance with revenues having dropped drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expenses expected to continue to rise if it tries to play a season with no fans

The CFL’s initial request of Ottawa consisted of three tiers: It called for $30 million immediately to manage the impact the outbreak has had on league business; additional assistance for an abbreviated regular season; and up to another $120 million in the event of a lost 2020 campaign.

When Ambrosie spoke to a federal standing committee on finance in May, he was roundly criticized for failing to stipulate where the funds would go and not involving the CFLPA in the process. But the source said the revised proposal mirrors an authentic financial offer and contains more specific details than the original one did.

The earliest an abbreviated ‘20 season will begin is September, but Ambrosie has stated a cancelled campaign also remains possible.

If the CFL holds a shortened season, it’s expected to do so in a hub city. Winnipeg has been mentioned as a strong hub candidate, but the source said Regina also is under consideration.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and Its Core Subsidiaries

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OLDWICK, N.J.–()–AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “bbb” and the various Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) on the unsecured debt and preferred equity of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax) (Toronto, Canada). AM Best also has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a+” of the subsidiaries of Odyssey Group Holdings, Inc. (Odyssey Group). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICRs of “a” of the members of the Crum & Forster Insurance Group (C&F), the members of the Zenith National Insurance Group (Zenith Group), the members of Northbridge Financial Corporation (Northbridge) (Toronto, Canada) and Wentworth Insurance Company Limited (Wentworth) (Barbados). In addition, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICRs of “bbb” and the Long-Term IRs of Zenith National Insurance Corp. (headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA) and Fairfax (US) Inc. (Delaware), both of which are indirectly, wholly owned downstream holding companies of Fairfax. The outlook of all of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (See link below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)

The ratings of Odyssey Group reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). The ratings also reflect group member Odyssey Reinsurance Company’s (Odyssey Re) ranking among AM Best’s top global reinsurers, supported by the group’s diversified global geographic footprint, which includes reinsurance and specialty primary insurance, large-line capacity and broad product offerings. Somewhat offsetting these strengths is Odyssey Re’s challenging operating environment, with the uncertainty brought by the current COVID-19 pandemic developments.

The ratings of C&F reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM. The ratings also reflect the benefits the group derives from its role within the larger Fairfax enterprise. C&F also benefits from its diversified and growing product portfolio and distribution networks. Management continues to focus on growth in its specialty business at appropriate rates, terms and conditions. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the competitive market conditions that persist in the commercial lines sector and relatively unfavorable expense levels.

The ratings of the Zenith Group reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM. The ratings also are enhanced by the benefits the group derives from its position in the Fairfax enterprise. Furthermore, the ratings reflect management’s expertise and commitment to maintaining underwriting discipline throughout market cycles. Zenith’s underwriting performance over many years has outperformed the workers compensation market. Somewhat offsetting these positive rating factors is Zenith’s concentration of written premium in California and Florida, as well as the job market impact caused by the COVID-19 reducing payrolls.

The ratings of Northbridge reflect the group’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM. The ratings of Northbridge also acknowledge the group’s position within Canada’s commercial insurance market, diversified commercial lines franchise and strong broker distribution network. The group continues to benefit from improved and strong underwriting performance within its small to mid-market commercial segment. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are competitive market conditions that persist in Canada’s commercial and personal lines segments, and the group’s relatively unfavorable expense levels.

The ratings of Wentworth reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate ERM. The ratings also are enhanced by the benefits it derives from its position in the Fairfax enterprise. In addition, the ratings of Wentworth are supported by its historically profitable underwriting performance and loss reserve position. The company benefits from its investment portfolio, which includes a significant allocation of cash and short-term securities. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors is the company’s concentration of property catastrophe exposure within its book of business, which subjects it to a substantial degree of volatility as evidenced over the past few years.

A complete listing of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries’ FSRs, Long-Term ICRs and Long-Term IRs also is available.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Billionaire Musk’s net worth zooms past Warren Buffett’s

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(Reuters) – Elon Musk’s net worth soared past Warren Buffett on Friday as the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> became the seventh richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Musk’s fortune rose by $6.07 billion on Friday, Bloomberg News said, following a 10.8% jump in the electric carmaker’s stock.

Buffett’s net worth dropped earlier this week when he donated $2.9 billion in Berkshire Hathaway <BRKa.N> stock to charity, the report added.

Tesla’s shares have surged 500% over the past year as the company increased sales of its Model 3 sedan.

The blistering rally also puts Musk in reach of a payday potentially worth $1.8 billion, his second jackpot from the electric car maker in about two months.

The stock is up about 38% since the close on July 1, a day before the company reported its quarterly delivery numbers.

Tesla’s solid delivery numbers heightened expectations of a profitable second quarter, which would mark the first time in its history that it would report four consecutive quarters of profit.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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