Credo fund to tempt South African investors

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The door’s open

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Towers to dominate Reading’s skyline

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Chelsfield eyes White City summer search

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Surrey residential

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SIICS and the city

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Offices: Beauty and the beast

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36 evacuated from China to France show virus symptoms: Minister

first_imgNine Belgians and three of their partners as well as 15 Dutch citizens and their two Chinese partners were isolated after travelling on from Istres to a military airport near Brussels, according to Belga news agency. However, 60 others from Mexico, Rwanda, Brazil and Georgia remained on French soil, Buzyn told reporters.Some of the returnees will be quarantined for 14 days while others would be allowed to head back to their home countries if they showed no symptoms of the virus, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French broadcaster RTL.The first planeload of evacuees from China arrived on Friday and are in quarantine at a resort on the Mediterranean coast.Two passengers from that flight were identified as possible cases of coronavirus, but tests on them came back negative.Le Drian hailed the “remarkable” cooperation by the Chinese authorities which has allowed all the French nationals who wanted to return home to do so.The health minister assured that the arrival of more people from Wuhan presented no extra risk of contagion of the virus.France and its fellow G7 countries will discuss a joint response to the coronavirus epidemic, Germany’s health minister said on Sunday.So far in France, only six cases of coronavirus have been detected.Topics : Tests were carried out to establish whether they had the coronavirus and the results will be known on Monday, the health ministry told AFP.A further 16 foreign nationals displaying symptoms were flown back to their respective countries. The second evacuation flight was carrying people of 30 different nationalities, most of them European. Sixty five of the returnees were French. A total of 124 non-French evacuees swiftly travelled on to their home countries, according to military sources in Istres. Thirty six people aboard an evacuation flight from China that landed in France on Sunday showed symptoms of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 360 people, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said.In all, 254 people arrived in France from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the deadly virus was first detected, on the second such flight. “About 20 people who presented symptoms have stayed on the tarmac” at Istres airport in the south of France to undergo further testing, Buzyn told journalists. They included French and non-European nationals.last_img read more

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Budget cuts, furloughs inevitable for start-ups to survive pandemic: Investors

first_imgTopics : Investors have advised start-ups to start cutting their budgets, furloughing some employees and even laying off others to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, which will likely hit the economy hard.According to Dimitra Taslim, an investor at California-based global venture capital company GGV Capital, start-ups could begin with slashing perks such as travel allowances and free food while opting for furloughs instead of a headcount reduction.“Furloughing doesn’t always mean putting everyone on a leave of absence. It could mean putting employees on a three-day workweek and working less,” he said during a webinar on start-ups’ survival in 2020 on Wednesday. A headcount reduction, he went on to say, should always be the last option in budget cuts. Furthermore, there should be a team consisting of the company’s CEO, CFO, head of human resources and a legal team to formulate the lay-off scenario.Layoffs might be inevitable for some companies, especially when budget cuts are not sufficient to keep them afloat until at least mid-2022.“I think if start-ups have a runway until the first or second quarter of 2022, this can put them in a rather good position,” he said.The start-ups should opt to raise funds from existing investors because venture capitalists (VCs) have raised their bar in accepting new portfolios, so start-ups looking for new investors should be prepared to accept a suboptimal deal, Taslim added. He also advised expanding funding sources beyond venture capitalists, such as getting bank loans.Read also: Indonesia’s e-signature start-ups gain traction amid pandemicBRI Ventures CEO Nicko Widjaja expressed a similar view, saying a venture capitalist would be more cautious when looking at new investment opportunities but still want to do funding as usual.“The venture capital funding trend is going down for new or early-stage investments,” he told the press on a different occasion on Wednesday. “However, unicorns are still getting funded. Venture capitalists would still continue to fund start-ups with a good track record.”Meanwhile, Indonesian venture capital firm VC East Ventures cofounder and managing partner Willson Cuaca previously told The Jakarta Post his company would focus on helping start-ups in its portfolio and halt funding for new start-ups in the meantime.A recent survey by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and SurveySensum revealed that business players expect business situation to normalize within the next five months or around August.The survey further stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought down the revenue of businesses, with 76 percent of respondents saying the pandemic had “severely disturbed the daily activities of businesses.”Tourism and hospitality have been struggling because of the pandemic. Hotel chain RedDoorz is even working on a zero revenue assumption until next year while having to do major hiring and marketing costs.RedDoorz CEO Amit Saberwal said the company had to let go of some employees in both its core and non-core markets, delaying its appraisal by three months and either putting other employees whose positions did not allow them to work from home on leave without pay or furloughing them with a small allowance.“Reducing salaries and letting people go is all very painful to do and I think it’s difficult to cut costs without affecting the company’s morale,” he said on Wednesday.Read also: Ride-hailing apps rely on deliveries during pandemicHowever, he added that the period right after COVID-19 was a “good time” to be a start-up because there would be access to capital as well as an ecosystem that would support their business ideas.Meanwhile, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending start-up UangTeman CEO Aidil Zulkifli said that while the company experienced a 30 to 40 percent increase in loan applications last month, it would want to be more prudent in approving them.“We need to make sure our borrowers can pay back loans to their lenders or the lenders would lose their trust in us,” he told the Post recently, adding that the P2P lending platform would be cautious in funding businesses that required face-to-face interactions, such as restaurants and hospitality companies.P2P lending is one of the sectors that are reportedly doing well and remaining optimistic during this pandemic, even though most of their borrowers are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are expected to be one of the hardest-hit businesses. Editor’s note: This article has been revised to state GGV Capital investor, Dimitra Taslim, view that start-ups can be in a rather good position if they have a runway until the first or second quarter of 2022. The spread of COVID-19 has disrupted economic activity globally as the pneumonia-like illness infects people all around the world, hitting demand and putting a halt on various business sectors, such as tourism and manufacturing.Read also: Five more months to business as usual: Business playersIndonesia is projected to see its economy grow by a sluggish 2.3 percent this year, the slowest since 1999, and even contract by 0.4 percent in the worst-case scenario, according to government data.However, Taslim added that further budget cuts would depend on what sector the start-ups were in. For example, a start-up offering a human resource management software might want to cut its marketing and sales budget because other companies were placing their employees on leave or furloughing them.last_img read more

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No benefit, higher death rate for malaria drug in coronavirus study

first_imgA malaria drug widely touted as a potential cure for COVID-19 showed no benefit against the disease over standard care — and was in fact associated with more deaths, the biggest study of its kind showed Tuesday.The US government funded analysis of how American military veterans fared on hydroxychloroquine was posted on a medical preprint site and has not yet been peer reviewed.The experiment had several important limitations, but adds to a growing body of doubt over the efficacy of the medicine that counts President Donald Trump and right wing news channel Fox News among its biggest backers. Researchers looked at the medical records of 368 veterans hospitalized nationwide who either died or were discharged by April 11.Death rates for patients on hydroxychloroquine were 28 percent, compared to 22 percent when it was taken with the anti-biotic azithromycin — a combination favored by French scientist Didier Raoult, whose study on the subject in March triggered a surge of global interest in the drug.The death rate for those receiving only standard care was 11 percent.Hydroxychloroquine, with or without azithromycin, was more likely to be prescribed to patients with more severe illness, but the authors found that increased mortality persisted even after they statistically adjusted for higher rates of use. Topics :center_img Other drawbacks include the fact that the study did not assign people randomly to groups, because it was a retrospective analysis meaning it looked back on what had already happened.In addition, the results are hard to generalize because the population was highly specific: most of the patients were male, with a median age over 65, and black, a group that is disproportionately affected by underlying illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.There was no added risk of being on ventilator among the hydroxychloroquine only group, leading the authors to suggest that increased mortality among this group might be attributable to side-effects outside the respiratory system.Previous research has found that the medicine is risky for patients with certain heart rhythm issues and can cause blackouts, seizures or at times cardiac arrest in this group.Hydroxychloroquine and a related compound chloroquine have been used for decades to treat malaria, as well as the autoimmune disorders lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.They have received significant attention during the novel coronavirus pandemic and have been shown in lab settings to block the virus from entering cells and prevent it replicating — but in the pharmaceutical world, “in vitro” promise often fails to translate into “in vivo” success.The true answer can only be determined through very large, randomized clinical trials that assign patients to receive either the drug under investigation or a placebo.Several of these are underway, including notably in the United States, Europe, Canada and the United Kingdom.last_img read more

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