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EU may fund Ukraine reconstruction with Russian oligarchs’ frozen assets



There are new ideas into how to reconstruct Ukraine as the country buckles after nearly three months of war with Russia

The European Union is considering using the frozen assets of Russian oligarchs to rebuild the war-torn Ukraine.

The European Commission is pledging a €9 billion loan to Kyiv to keep the nation afloat as it defends itself against Russian forces.

European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen spoke to ZDF television revealing that “lawyers are working intensively on finding possible ways of using frozen assets of the oligarchs for the rebuilding of Ukraine” proposing that Russia should also make its contribution.

She also assured that efforts will be put into helping Ukraine with reforms needed for it to join the European Union.

These include changes in rule of law and in the economic and political spheres particularly in battling corruption.

This comes only hours after Europe revealed its plan to reduce its dependence on Russian oil.

The EU sources around 40 per cent of their natural gas and 27 per cent of its imported oil from Russia paying Moscow approximately €400 billion per year.

Europe will begin to invest in pipelines in other countries and increase its reliance on greener energy sources.

The strategy announced in March aims on reducing Europe’s energy dependence on Russia by two thirds just this year.

This all comes amid rising energy costs as businesses deal with increasing financial pressures.

If all goes to plan the EU will have cut all energy ties with Russia by 2030.

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears



Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property



Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation



Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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