VENTURE CAPITAL INPUT IN EUROPE DECLINES

For companies that depend on external funding, the full effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are becoming clear. There has been a 12% decline in venture capital investment in Europe this year. Funding is now back at 2018 levels for fast-growing companies in the region. However, raising external funding is not the only way for a company to grow and succeed. There are countless examples of businesses that have hit the big time despite not picking up external investment, bootstrapping their growth with self-funding of one type or another. SOURCE: Forbes

UK’S SSE TO SELL NATURAL GAS ASSETS

British power producer SSE said on Tuesday it has agreed to sell its portfolio of natural gas exploration and production assets to UK-based upstream energy company Viaro Energy for 120 million pounds ($161 million). The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and partner consent, the company said. SOURCE: Reuters

AUSTRIA READIES HUGE BAILOUT

Austria expects to pay out an extra nearly 1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) in support for companies hit by a new lockdown that the government imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said on Saturday. Austria will go into its third lockdown after Christmas and lift it earlier for people who get tested, the government said on Friday. The new lockdown comes 11 days after a second lockdown ended. SOURCE: Reuters

WHEN TEMPORARY BECOMES PERMANENT

The French government will extend through 2021 a lower threshold for screening non-EU investments in listed French companies that was put in place during the coronavirus crisis and was due to expire at year end, the Finance Ministry said on Friday. The government temporarily lowered in July the threshold above which investors from outside the European Union buying stakes in listed French companies must seek its approval, to 10% from 25% previously. SOURCE: Reuters

FILE PHOTO: People walk down a shopping street amid the government reopening bigger shops as well as small businesses in a loosening of the second lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Vienna, Austria December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo