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UK secures $13 billion of investment as it seeks to overcome post-Brexit slump

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference in Downing Street on September 7, 2021 in London, England.

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LONDON — The British government is set to announce that it has secured £9.7 billion ($13.4 billion) of new foreign investment, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks to reverse the post-Brexit freefall in financing.

The government is hosting its first ever Global Investment Summit on Tuesday in a bid to convince the world’s largest international investors to pump money into the U.K.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be hoping to bolster support for his government’s “Global Britain” agenda in the wake of Brexit, with foreign direct investment into the U.K. having nosedived since the country voted to leave the EU in 2016.

The summit comes at a tricky time for the U.K. which is facing a slew of economic crises, including labor shortages, record-high natural gas prices and supply chain constraints.

A substantial portion of the event’s guest list hails from the U.S., including Bill Gates, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman.

According to Downing Street, the 18 deals already secured will lead to the creation of least 30,000 jobs and drive funding for key sectors such as hydrogen energy, sustainable housing and carbon capture and storage.

“This is just the start. We will see new partnerships for green growth forged at today’s Global Investment Summit, as we look ahead to COP26 and beyond,” Johnson said in a statement.

The U.K.’s Department for International Trade has also launched a new online platform for international investors to identify opportunities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The “Investment Atlas” will offer 53 strategic investment opportunities, including offshore wind substructures in Scotland and manufacturing ports in the northeast of England.

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The top 10 cities for expats living and working abroad in 2021

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Kuala Lumpur is the top city for expats to live and work abroad in 2021, according to a survey of more than 12,000 respondents from InterNations, an online expat community with more than 4 million global members.

The Malaysian capital city leads the list of 57 cities around the world. Málaga, a port city in southern Spain, and Dubai, a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates, rank as the second and third, respectively.

The survey, conducted in January 2021, asked expats to rate their satisfaction across four main categories, including quality of life (like a healthy environment and robust WiFi infrastructure), ease of settling in (such as language barriers and friendliness of local residents), personal finance (such as access to affordable health care) and working abroad (such as job security and a stable local economy). 

Expats in all three top cities say it’s easy to get settled and make friends in each location. Foreign residents in Kuala Lumpur and Málaga are satisfied with the affordable cost of living and the ability to manage their personal finances, while expats in both Málaga and Dubai appreciate the high quality of life there.

Here are the top 10 cities for expats living and working abroad, and how residents feel about their home away from home.

1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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  • 85% are happy with life in general
  • 78% are happy with the cost of living
  • 65% say making new friends is easy
  • 71% are happy with their job
  • 72% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 78% are happy with the quality of medical care

2. Málaga, Spain

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  • 86% are happy with life in general
  • 86% are happy with the cost of living
  • 69% say making new friends is easy
  • 48% are happy with their job
  • 62% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 81% are happy with the quality of medical care

3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

spreephoto.de | The Image Bank | Getty Images

  • 72% are happy with life in general
  • 31% are happy with the cost of living
  • 59% say making new friends is easy
  • 65% are happy with their job
  • 56% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 81% are happy with the quality of medical care

4. Sydney, Australia

@Barefoot_Traveller | Twenty20

  • 82% are happy with life in general
  • 28% are happy with the cost of living
  • 53% say making new friends is easy
  • 77% are happy with their job
  • 78% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 89% are happy with the quality of medical care

5. Singapore

Gardens by the Bay and Singapore skyline reflection on blue water at blue hour in Singapore.

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  • 79% are happy with life in general
  • 21% are happy with the cost of living
  • 56% say making new friends is easy
  • 71% are happy with their job
  • 78% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 89% are happy with the quality of medical care

6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • 89% are happy with life in general
  • 84% are happy with the cost of living
  • 77% say making new friends is easy
  • 88% are happy with their job
  • 79% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 60% are happy with the quality of medical care

7. Prague, Czech Republic

Viktoryia Vinnikava | Twenty20

  • 80% are happy with life in general
  • 61% are happy with the cost of living
  • 52% say making new friends is easy
  • 74% are happy with their job
  • 79% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 84% are happy with the quality of medical care

8. Mexico City, Mexico

Tais Policanti | Moment | Getty Images

  • 83% are happy with life in general
  • 75% are happy with the cost of living
  • 73% say making new friends is easy
  • 71% are happy with their job
  • 58% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 62% are happy with the quality of medical care

9. Basel, Switzerland

Museimage | Moment | Getty Images

  • 71% are happy with life in general
  • 23% are happy with the cost of living
  • 42% say making new friends is easy
  • 79% are happy with their job
  • 76% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 92% are happy with the quality of medical care

10. Madrid, Spain

Julian Elliott Photography | Stone | Getty Images

  • 80% are happy with life in general
  • 67% are happy with the cost of living
  • 68% say making new friends is easy
  • 60% are happy with their job
  • 66% are happy with their work-life balance
  • 89% are happy with the quality of medical care

Global expats on average

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Bitcoin and ether prices drop sharply

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In 2021, bitcoin and ether have seen huge rallies. In April 2021, the cryptocurrency market topped $2 trillion in value for the first time.

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SINGAPORE — Bitcoin prices dropped sharply on Saturday afternoon, plunging more than 10% to hit a low of over $43,000.

It pared some losses by around 2.30 p.m. HK/SIN, last at around $47,607. Still, the world’s largest cryptocurrency has dropped over 16% in the past 24 hours, according to Coindesk.

The price of ether also dived. On Saturday afternoon, it also dropped over 10% to a low of over $3,500. Losses fell back after that, last trading at $3,887.96, as of 2.30 p.m. HK/SIN.

Ether, the world’s second-largest digital coin by market value, has lost over 14% over the past 24 hours, according to Coindesk.

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Charlie Munger wishes cryptocurrency didn’t exist, admires China’s ban

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Billionaire investor Charlie Munger still isn’t a fan of cryptocurrency.

“I wish they’d never been invented,” Munger said at the Sohn conference in Sydney on Friday, according to The Australian Financial Review.

“I admire the Chinese, I think they made the correct decision, which was to simply ban them,” Munger added.

This year, interest in digital assets surged, with the cryptocurrency market briefly surpassing a market value of $3 trillion in November and top coins, like bitcoin, hitting record highs.

This isn’t a new stance for the 97-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. In May, during a Q&A session at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting, Munger said that his dislike for bitcoin increased amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Of course I hate the bitcoin success,” he said. “I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth, nor do I like just shuffling out of your extra billions of billions of dollars to somebody who just invented a new financial product out of thin air.”

“I think I should say modestly that the whole damn development is disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization,” Munger added.

Of course, bitcoin supporters would disagree with Munger. They believe bitcoin is a store of value that can be used to hedge against inflation. They’d argue that bitcoin is a sound peer-to-peer financial system.

But Munger has consistently criticized bitcoin for its extreme volatility.

“It’s really kind of an artificial substitute for gold. And since I never buy any gold, I never buy any bitcoin,” Munger said at the annual shareholders meeting for the Daily Journal in February. “Bitcoin reminds me of what Oscar Wilde said about fox hunting. He said it was the pursuit of the uneatable by the unspeakable.”

Bitcoin is currently trading at around $56,085, according to Coin Metrics, with a market value of over $1 trillion.

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