Amundi, the French asset manager, has confirmed it is interested in taking over Pioneer Investments from its parent, the Italian banking and financial services group UniCredit.Amundi issued a statement following what it termed “rumours” in Italian newspaper Il Messaggero about the submission of a non-binding offer for the purchase of Pioneer by Amundi.The French asset manager said: “Amundi confirms its interest in Pioneer, consistent with the growth strategy presented at the time of its IPO.”However, it also said it denied the Pioneer valuation levels attributed to it. Reports have put the valuation at €4bn.“Amundi re-iterates that its acquisition policy adheres to strict financial criteria – in particular, a return on investment greater than 10% over a three-year horizon,” the firm said.UniCredit is selling assets to bolster its capital.The Italian group has said it would unveil the result of its group-wide strategic review at a London Capital Markets Day on 13 December.Other parties interested in buying Pioneer, according to news reports, are Poste Italiane, Australian group Macquarie and the UK’s Aberdeen Asset Management.At the end of July, UniCredit said it had ended talks with Spain’s Santander banking group about plans for a merger between Pioneer Investments and Santander Asset Management, even though an agreement was signed last November.It said a listing of Pioneer was possible.
…urges Govt to monitor rising water levels at EDWCopposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday visited Central Georgetown after the City was hard-hit by high levels of floodwaters caused by torrential rain. Jagdeo walked through the City and empathised with vendors and business persons who complained bitterly about the drainage system.Given the proximity of Christmas and the sloth of the economy, the business community was up in arms about the lack of preparedness for the rainy season, pointing out that already minimum sales will come to a halt. Some persons lamented to the Opposition Leader the fact that there was enough time for City Hall and Government to prepare for the eventuality of flooding.Meanwhile on Friday evening, the Opposition Leader’s Office said that reports from an initial “on the ground” assessment on the effects of heavy rain that occurred over a 12-hour period on Friday, has been made available to the Opposition Leader.There has been flooding in residential and agricultural areas of Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).Jagdeo also expressed concern over the widespread flooding in Georgetown, with many homes and businesses severely affected.Coastal villages such as Lima, sections of Henrietta and Hampton Court, Capoey, Land of Plenty in Region Two; Canals Polder, Region Three; and residential and agricultural areas of Anns Grove/Two Friends, Cane Grove, Good Hope, Mon Repos, Lusignan and Foulis within Region Four are also affected by flood waters.Giving an assessment from reports out of the regions, the Opposition Leader stated that in Region Five, several communities are severely affected and some farmers in have reported damage to cash crops and livestock.The affected areas include: Blairmont; Rosignal; Bel Air and Woodlands Farm; Number Seven Back Street; Bath Woodley Park; Bush Lot; Number 28 and Number 29 Villages; Hopetown, Seafield/Tempie; and Profit/Rising Sun.In Region 6: New Amsterdam; Number 52 to 74 residential villages; Rose Hall; and several villages along Central Corentyne are affected.Jagdeo is calling on Government to implement every measure necessary to bring immediate relief to those affected, by ensuring that steps are taken to minimize damages and losses to property, livestock and agricultural crops.He is also urging the Government to pay special attention to the rising water levels in the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC), which is reported to be above 57 GD level, as well as the Boerasirie Conservancy.He said that the Mahaica and Mahaicony Creeks, Pomeroon River and other inland areas, should also receive attention, since backwater flows can result in downstream flooding, which is the predominant trend in riverine areas.The Opposition Leader noted that the defective sluices and silted outfall channels in drainage polders such as Capoey, Coizer, Three Friends, Letter Kenny and Borlam must be urgently addressed and operationalized, as well as those on East Coast Demerara, Georgetown, and other areas, as necessary.Meanwhile, the City was at a standstill as persons were seen taking shelter in buildings, while some stores had to be closed because of the climbing floodwaters.