DENVER, Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Pie Insurance, an insurtech specializing in workers’ comp  insurance for small businesses, today announced it has exceeded $100 million in cumulative written premium and surpassed $100 million in annualized run rate premium. In less than 3.5 years since being founded, Pie Insurance has cemented its spot as the fastest insurtech company to hit these milestones. This monumental growth is evidence that small businesses, and the insurance agents who serve them, are ready to adopt a modern and automated insurance experience.

(PRNewsfoto/Pie Insurance)

“Commercial insurance in the United States generates $300 billion in annual premiums. However, the industry operates in an almost entirely analog environment,” commented Dax Craig, Co-Founder and President of Pie Insurance. “Pie leverages technology to modernize the entire insurance experience for small businesses, and our rapid growth is a testament to the huge unmet need in the market.”

Today’s milestones follow Pie’s last funding in May, in which the company raised $127 million and formed its affiliated entity, Pie Carrier Holdings. To date, Pie has raised $188 million to further the company’s mission of transforming small business insurance by automating the entire quote to claim experience—starting with workers’ comp insurance. Pie’s use of advanced analytics enables quotes in 3 minutes and savings of up to 30% for small businesses.

“Reaching $100 million in written premium in such a short time since our founding shows that there is a massive appetite for workers’ comp insurance that is simple, trusted and affordable,” said John Swigart, Co-Founder and CEO of Pie Insurance. “We recognize the numerous challenges that small businesses are currently facing, and we believe finding insurance shouldn’t add to their burden. We’re proud to help small businesses around the country save money and get workers’ comp insurance  quickly so they can focus

Fueled by increased consumer product demands during the pandemic, Dallas-Fort Worth industrial building leasing set a record in the first nine months of 2020.

Warehouse and distribution tenants have gobbled up 21 million square feet of industrial space in North Texas through September.

Almost 5 million square feet of net leasing was recorded just in the third quarter, according to a new report from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth industrial market continues to perform extremely well,” Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director Nathan Orbin said. “Even as concerns over the pandemic and an upcoming presidential election exist, demand remained strong,

“We anticipate demand to remain elevated as we are currently tracking over 14 million square feet of active tenant requirements.”

Expanding e-commerce and consumer products firms are driving the demand for North Texas warehouse space.

In the third quarter, some of the biggest leases were by Uline, a Wisconsin-based distributor of shipping, industrial and packaging materials that took 1.6 million square feet of space at DFW International Airport, and Amazon, which leased another 1 million square feet in southern Dallas. Encore Wire Corp added 724,380 square feet of distribution space in McKinney.

“E-commerce and the increasing demand for industrial product is driving the D-FW industrial market,” said Kurt Griffin, Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director. “D-FW has delivered close to 23 million square feet of industrial product year to date with another 24 million square feet under construction.

“However, tenant leasing is keeping up with new supply, maintaining a below historical level vacancy, which currently sits at 6.5%.”

Most of the ongoing industrial development is in southern Dallas County, in the AllianceTexas development area of North Fort Worth, at DFW International Airport and in South Fort Worth.

More than 23 million square feet of warehouse space is under construction in North Texas.
More than 23 million square feet of warehouse

* Bank lending rises 6.4% in September vs 6.7% in August

* Major banks’ lending slows as big firms pay back loans

* Smaller borrowers continue to rely heavily on lending

(Adds details, quotes from BOJ briefing)

By Chris Gallagher and Leika Kihara

TOKYO, Oct 12 – Japanese bank lending rose at a slower
annual pace in September than the previous month as corporate
funding strains caused by the pandemic eased mainly among big
borrowers, central bank data showed on Monday.

But lending by regional banks remained high as smaller firms
continued to borrow heavily to meet immediate funding needs, the
data showed, underscoring the lingering economic pain brought by
the health crisis.

“Big companies that had borrowed huge amounts of funds as a
precaution around spring are now paying back some of the loans
due to easing uncertainty over the pandemic,” a BOJ official
told a briefing.

“But that’s not to say conditions have improved. There are
gaps among industries on how much their profits have recovered.”

Total bank lending rose 6.4% in September from the same
month a year earlier, slower than a 6.7% gain in August, to a
record 573.7 trillion yen ($5.43 trillion), Bank of Japan data
showed.

The pace of lending by major banks slowed to 7.3% in
September from 8.0% in August.

Lending by regional banks rose 5.3%, roughly unchanged from
the previous month’s 5.4% increase. Those by “shinkin” credit
associations, which lend mostly to small firms in regional areas
of Japan, rose 7.8%, the fastest pace on record, the data
showed.

Bank deposits rose 9.0% in September from a year earlier,
the biggest increase on record, as households held back on
spending and instead saved government pay-outs aimed at
cushioning the blow from the pandemic, the official said.

($1 = 105.6300 yen)

(Reporting

(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong’s boom in initial public offerings is set to be prolonged as companies given a boost by the pandemic outbreak follow China’s technology giants in selling shares, the bourse’s head of listings said.



a person sitting on a bench in front of a body of water: Views of Hong Kong as China Law to Establish 'Red Lines' for the City, Adviser Says


© Bloomberg
Views of Hong Kong as China Law to Establish ‘Red Lines’ for the City, Adviser Says

Companies from the technology and biotechnology sectors could continue to fill the IPO pipeline in the near future as Covid-19 has boosted investments in research and development, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s Head of Listing Bonnie Chan said in an interview on Friday.

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“We thought 2020 would be a disappointment, but it has turned out to be a busy year,” Chan, 50, said. “I believe the IPO rush will continue.”

Hong Kong this year has seen a rush of listings from Chinese companies including JD.com Inc. and Netease Inc., which are selling shares in the city to supplement New York listings amid growing tension between the U.S. and China. It’s now soon set to welcome Jack Ma’s fintech giant Ant Group, which is said to plan a $35 billion dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Listings in Hong Kong have jumped 33% this year to HK$220 billion ($28.4 billion). In turn, the exchange’s shares have surged 47% so far in 2020.

The bourse anticipates that listings of companies in the retail and consumer industries will also return once the pandemic subsides, said Chan, who leads a team of more than 260 people to approve listings.

Ant, China’s biggest payments company, is waiting for a hearing with the Hong Kong stock exchange on approval for its listing, which was expected to have happened last week. It now faces added uncertainty stemming from a debate in Washington over restrictions on the payments behemoth.

Ant’s

(Bloomberg) — Sub-Saharan Africa will probably reverse an economic contraction next year as countries in the region begin to ease movement restrictions, even as the impact of the coronavirus will endure for years to come, according to the World Bank.



a person standing in front of a fruit stand: A vendor wearing a protective face mask walks by bags of beans and pulses for sale at Toi market in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Kenya plans to spend 53.7 billion shillings ($503 million) on a stimulus package to support businesses that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the National Treasury.


© Bloomberg
A vendor wearing a protective face mask walks by bags of beans and pulses for sale at Toi market in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Kenya plans to spend 53.7 billion shillings ($503 million) on a stimulus package to support businesses that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the National Treasury.

The pandemic has put “a decade of hard-won economic progress at risk,” the Washington-based lender said Thursday in its outlook for the region. As many as 40 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty, erasing five years of gains fighting poverty, the bank said.

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product is on track to shrink 3.3% this year, its worst performance on record, due to the combined effects of the disease and lower oil and commodities prices. Growth of about 2.1% could follow in 2021 and 3.2% in 2022, the bank said.

Still, the fallout of the pandemic remains hard to predict.

The lender’s baseline scenario assumes that the number of new infections will continue to slow and that fresh outbreaks won’t result in new lockdowns. If the outbreak is more prolonged or if there’s a second wave, sub-Saharan Africa’s economy may expand by only 1.2% in 2021 and 2.1% in 2022. By the end of 2021, the region’s real per-capita GDP may have regressed to 2007 levels, according to the report.

The region will lose at least $115 billion in output this year and long-term losses are expected “with the level of real per-capita GDP expected to contract by