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Braga invests $20 million to convert former Lactogal into business center

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Braga invests $20 million to convert former Lactogal into business center

Braga-based real estate investment company Castro Group will transform the former Lactogal factory located in Matosinhos, Porto district, into an 18,000 square meter business center, as announced today. Second That business magazine, is an investment of 20 million euros.

The Braga group said in a statement that the new complex already has a name – SPARK – Smart Park Matosinhos, which reflects the concept idealized for this project: a smarter building focused on the people who occupy it – “smart buildings” – and which, in the same time, associated with the planet.

The competition was attended by six national architectural firms, the winner of which was Paulo Merlini Architects. Guided by the motto “We are more”, this office is known for developing projects that “give people the right incentives, positively influencing their homeostatic levels.”

Photo: shots from the stage of the competition

The idea competition, notes Castro Group, was aimed at finding the best architectural solution to adapt existing buildings to new uses for offices and services while maintaining their industrial architecture.

“In this competition, we had high-quality proposals, among which the project presented by Paulo Merlini stands out because it is in line with the values ​​of the Group, and projects in which we want to make our mark,” says Paulo Castro, CEO of Castro Group.

“We also highlight the quality of the intervention proposal, in which the restoration of the existing one was privileged and the new construction looked harmonious. The selected office was able to present an approach that emphasizes concern for the idealization of spaces that combine the quality of work with the quality of life and well-being of its users. At the same time, they found in nature a motto to improve and dynamize the surrounding space through the creation of spaces open to the community and services that create a fluid and synergistic environment between interior and exterior,” he adds.

The current state of the plant. Photo: DR

The current state of the plant. Photo: DR

The current state of the plant. Photo: DR

The current state of the plant. Photo: DR

For his part, Paulo Merlini, CEO and founder of the winning office, states that “From the first visit to the building, it was immediately clear that any intervention should maintain and ideally enhance the energy of the pre-existing building, from what was once a symbol region”.

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He adds: “It became one of the main prerequisites for the whole project. Although one of the principles of the competition was to double the building area of ​​the original, we tried to make our intervention as less invasive as possible by highlighting this sleeping giant. We have developed a solution that, on the one hand, seeks to emphasize the presence of the original building, and on the other hand, seeks to become an expression of what we think the office of the future, post-pandemic reality should be like. A space that responds to biological needs rooted in our genome, a building that expresses itself in a new fusion of home and office.”

In this new proposal, the connection between indoor spaces (offices of the future) and outdoor spaces (green spaces and open to the community) is present at the meeting point of people, ideas, business, architecture and nature.

Laktogal began construction in 1964 and was completed in 1967. The plant was used for the production and storage of milk and was taken out of production in 2009.

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Economy

Are we close to the end of physical money? Coins and banknotes are practically disappearing in these countries — Executive Digest

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Are we close to the end of physical money?  Coins and banknotes are practically disappearing in these countries — Executive Digest

At present, the number of payment alternatives in addition to physical money such as credit cards, payment with applications or mobile phones is increasing, and well-known coins and banknotes are gaining ground.

However, ElEconomist explains, there is evidence that, despite the apparent growth of other forms of payment, physical money continues to hold. According to the European Central Bank (ECB), almost half of all payments, 48%, are made using banknotes. In the US, the US Federal Reserve has noted that money in circulation has even reached an all-time high.

There are countries that are discussing this issue, and some countries are testing formulas for moving to a fully digital model. A Spanish website has compiled a list of cases where money could be on the brink of extinction.

Sweden:

Despite having the oldest central bank in the world, it has been leading the fight against physical money since the beginning of the last decade. Between 2011 and 2020, Swedish citizens reduced their use of cash from 39% to 9%. With companies, banks and other institutions refusing to accept payments in coins or banknotes, Sweden would be quite willing to move away from cash if rural areas didn’t resist its decline.

At the same time, the Swedish government is at the same time trying to slow down the transition by asking citizens to keep money at home.

Norway:

Norges Bank, the country’s central bank, has released figures that Norwegians only use banknotes or coins for 3 to 4% of their transactions, and the lack of physical liquidity in the country is a concern, so although they are about to achieve full digitization, they are trying to stop this is.

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The Norwegian Consumer Protection Agency has already received complaints about the inability to pay for bus tickets or cafes in cash in the center of the capital, and the country’s Pensioners’ Association has also warned of the concerns this raises among a less digitized population.

Netherlands:

It is one of the countries not only in Europe but also in the world with the most development in this aspect, with a share of cash payments below 24% compared to 52% in 2005, 40% in 2011 and 30% in 2015. . . .

Data from the Dutch Payments Association shows that card usage for payments now exceeds 75%, with mobile payments up 30% last year.

In this case, banks are the biggest drivers of total digitalization to cut costs at branches and ATMs. In the Netherlands, 89% of customers are already digital, compared to the European average of 60%.

China:

The country is becoming so digitized in this regard that the People’s Bank of China is imposing fines on public and private institutions that refuse to accept cash payments in order to “protect citizens’ rights to use cash.”

The latest survey by the region’s central bank shows that 66% of payments in the region are made using a mobile phone, compared to 23% in cash. At the same time, the percentage of card payments is even less: only 7% of transactions.

South Korea:

Since 2016, the country has been trying to digitize payments, which is why cash in circulation is only 40% of the total, which is an all-time low. Of the total number of transactions in the country, only 17% are made in physical money.

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Canada:

In the country led by Justin Trudeau, Visa said citizens are “ready to move away from cash” as Canada “has one of the highest penetration rates of credit card payments in the world (70%)”. As a percentage of total transactions in 2021, only 17% were made with physical money. Cards make up 60% of transactions and electronic payments 12%.

Australia:

The latest report from The Global Payments explains that the country is accelerating its transition to cash, which will account for just 2% of all transactions by 2025. From 75% in 2007 to around 30% in 2019.

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Economy

Vinted has been targeted by online scammers | Internet

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Vinted has been targeted by online scammers |  Internet

Platform online Wynted was attacked by tell jokes. According to Portal da Queixa, a Lithuanian company that buys, sells and exchanges goods has received several complaints from Portuguese users who have been deceived by fraudulent schemes.

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Economy

How Asia’s richest woman lost half her fortune in a year

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How Asia's richest woman lost half her fortune in a year

60 minutes / YouTube

For years, Yang Huiyan’s fortune has been at the center of headlines, comments, and calculations outside of China.

Yang Huiyan, who is only 41 years old, is not only the richest woman in her country, but also the most the richest in all of Asia.

FROM inherited a real estate empire from his father over ten years ago, his fortune continues to grow. But in 2022, everything changed: last year it suffered a real decline.

According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index calculations, Yang saw his net worth drop more than 52% last year.

In 2021, Bloomberg estimated the fortune of a business woman at about $33.9 billion (about 33 billion euros), which fell to around $16.1 billion (about €15.7 billion) in July last year.

Economic analysts saw this not only as a grim sign of the state of the Chinese housing market, but also as a serious warning that The future of the world’s second largest economy.

This comes as the country’s real estate sector has been hit hard by falling home prices, declining buyer demand and a bad debt crisis that has affected some major property developers since 2020.

The situation has reached the point where some banks ran out of moneywhich caused protests in some cities of the Asian country.

And although Yang remains the richest woman in Asia, her position has begun to falter.

Yang is followed by chemical fiber entrepreneur Fan Hongwei, who also has an estimated net worth of around $16 billion, according to Bloomberg.

But who is Yang Huiyan and how did he make one of the biggest fortunes in the world?

heiress

Born in 1981 in Shuntak, a district of Foshan City, Guangzhou Province, in southern China, Yang is the daughter of one of the richest people in the Asian country: Yang Guoqiang.

Raised in one of China’s most influential families, she received an excellent education and was sent to the United States at the time of youth. In 2003, he graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Returning to China, he inherited from his father in 2007. most actions Country Garden Holdings, China’s largest real estate company.

Founded in 1992 in Guangzhou, Country Garden Holdings has been successful since its Hong Kong IPO and has raised about $1.6 billion, about the same as Google’s since its 2004 US IPO.

Although Yang is known for staying out of the public eye and living a low key lifestyle, center of countless headlines inside and outside of China.

One of the most high-profile cases occurred in 2018, when legal documents known as the “Cyprus Papers” were leaked and revealed that he had obtained Cypriot citizenship in 2018, despite China not recognizing dual citizenship.

Problems

Chinese market researchers describe Yang as a creative woman with business acumen.

In June last year, the International Hospitality Institute recognized it in its ranking the most influential people in the global hotel industry.

However, his business was already showing signs of weakness.

The situation in the real estate market in the country since 2020 has become more complicated not only because of the coronavirus pandemic, but also because the Chinese authorities tried to curb over-indebtedness in real estate.

This resulted in large builders facing payment struggles and forcing them to renegotiate a contract with your creditors.

The crisis worsened when Evergrande, the most indebted Chinese real estate company, defaulted on its dollar-denominated bonds in late 2021 after months of liquidity problems.

Since then and this year, several other major groups, including Kaisa and Shimao Group, have also applied for creditor protection.

The crisis has escalated in recent weeks after news of a “buyers’ strike” after thousands of people stopped paying their mortgages due to the delay in starting construction work on the houses. Due to the delay in the delivery of houses, companies did not start receiving mortgage payments on time.

All this led to the fact that Zagorodny Sad, which felt good in the first months of the pandemic, also faced liquidity problemto such an extent that last July he had to sell shares at a discount of almost 13% to raise funds.

And the long-term picture doesn’t look good for Young, his fortune, or the company he represents.

In a July report last year, ratings agency S&P estimated that real estate sales in China may fall by a third this year because of the mortgage strikes, a collective movement in which buyers decided to put mortgage payments on properties that were behind schedule.

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Meanwhile, Capital Economics, an independent London-based economics research firm, predicted that “without sales, many other companies will fail, which is financial and economic threat“for China.

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