Most of China’s DLT Firms That Closed in 2019 Were Scams or Poorly Planned By Cointelegraph


Most of China’s DLT Firms That Closed in 2019 Were Scams or Poorly Planned

Most of the blockchain firms that closed in 2019 were cryptocurrency scams or had deficient business models, according to recent research.

Research sent to Cointelegraph by Chinese market research firm EqualOcean on March 26 suggests that most blockchain-backed Chinese businesses that halted their activity last year had major flaws.

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Huawei posts 5.6% rise in 2019 profit, smallest increase in three years By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Huawei company logo is pictured at the Shenzhen International Airport in Shenzhen

By David Kirton

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – China’s Huawei Technologies reported its smallest annual profit increase in three years, hurt by weak overseas sales amid an intensifying U.S. campaign to restrict its global expansion due to security concerns.

Net profit for 2019 came in at 62.7 billion yuan ($8.9 billion), up 5.6% compared with a 25% jump a year earlier.

Its carrier business, which includes 5G mobile network equipment, saw sales rise just 3.8%.

Accusing Huawei of being a threat to national security, Washington placed the company on its so-called Entity List, which restricts sales of U.S.-made goods and some other items made abroad that contain U.S. technology.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is also preparing further measures that will seek to restrict the supply of chips to the company, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters this month.

The United States alleges the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment to spy, an accusation Huawei has rejected.

“We will need to further adapt to the long-standing restrictions imposed by the Entity List, while also addressing the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Liang Hua, chairman of the board, said in a report posted on its website.

Overall revenue rose 19% to 858.8 billion yuan, helped by a 34% jump in sales for its consumer business unit which includes smartphones.

That was mainly driven by China, where sales surged 36.2% to 506.7 billion yuan. In contrast, revenue from the Asia-Pacific region excluding China fell 13.9%, while in Europe and the Middle East sales grew just 0.7%.

Huawei dominated smartphone sales in China, taking a 38.5% share of the market in 2019 compared with 27% a year earlier, according to research firm Canalys. This was in part due to a boost in nationalist sentiment after the company came under increasing pressure from the United States.

It spent 15.3% of its revenue, or 131.7 billion yuan, in research and development last year. Cash flow from operating activities jumped by more than one fifth to 91.4 billion yuan, thanks to a strong performance in its home market.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Italy’s UniCredit puts 2019 dividend, share buyback on hold after ECB recommendation By Reuters


© Reuters. The UniCredit-Banca di Roma bank headquarters is seen in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit (MI:), said on Sunday it was putting on hold plans to pay dividends on 2019 results and to buy back shares to meet regulatory calls to preserve capital to support the economy against the coronavirus.

The European Central Bank told euro zone banks on Friday to skip dividend payments and share buybacks until the start of October at the earliest and use profits instead to boost capital and their ability to withstand losses and to lend.

UniCredit said it was withdrawing a proposal to shareholders, who are due to meet on April 9, to approve a dividend of 63 euro cents per share and authorize a share buyback for up to 467 million euros ($520 million).

The bank said it reserved the right to submit again to shareholders the same proposals after Oct. 1 depending on the ECB review of its recommendation.

The bank’s core capital is set to rise by 0.37 percentage point following the decision not to distribute part of last year’s profits as dividends, it said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Less Than 1% of Australians Used Crypto to Pay for Services in 2019 By Cointelegraph


Less Than 1% of Australians Used Crypto to Pay for Services in 2019

While some Australian authorities recognize cryptocurrencies as a form of investment, digital assets like (BTC) are apparently not very popular as means of payment in the country.

Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), says that less than 1% of Australians used cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to make a consumer payment in 2019.

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Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Saudi Aramco’s 2019 profit down 21% on weak oil price By Reuters



DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Aramco (SE:) said on Sunday its 2019 profit fell almost 21% due to lower prices and a drop in production volumes.

Aramco posted a net profit of 330.69 billion Saudi riyal ($88.11 billion) after zakat and tax in the period ended Dec. 31, down from 416.52 billion riyals a year earlier.

Analysts expected Aramco to post a net profit of 346.6 billion riyals ($92.35 billion) in 2019, according to an estimate of 15 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Aramco, the world’s top oil producing company, raised $29.4 billion in a record initial public offering in December last year.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Saudi economy grows just 0.3% in 2019 as oil sector shrinks By Reuters


© Reuters. Saudi economy grows just 0.3% in 2019 as oil sector shrinks

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s economy grew by a weaker-than-expected 0.3% in 2019 as the oil sector contracted sharply, official data showed on Sunday, although the non-oil sector accelerated.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, wants to boost the private sector and diversify its economy away from oil, but sliding oil prices and crude output cuts agreed with OPEC allies continue to weigh on its overall growth.

Real economic growth in the non-oil sector increased by 3.3% last year, according to data from the General Authority for Statistics, the strongest growth since 2014.

Overall GDP growth was below an official forecast of 0.9% and the oil sector shrank by 3.6%, marking the Saudi economy’s worst performance since it contracted in 2017.

Expansion of the non-oil sector was mainly driven by growth in the private sector, which amounted to 3.8%, said the statistics authority.

“Non-oil activities continued to strengthen supported by high investment activity,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

In 2019, financial, insurance and business services, as well as retail trade and restaurants and hotels, were among the activities that saw the strongest growth – reflecting the government’s investment drive into areas such as tourism and entertainment.

The energy and manufacturing sectors shrank.

Saudi exports fell by 10.4% year on year, because of a 14% drop in oil exports, the data showed.

Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor, Ahmed al-Kholifey, said last month the non-oil sector will support overall economic growth in 2020, despite a challenging economic backdrop, further weakened by the global spread of the coronavirus.

Last week, Saudi Arabia – which has not reported any cases of the new virus – closed its borders to foreign “umrah” pilgrims and to tourists from at least 25 countries where the new coronavirus has been found.

Pilgrimage is an important revenue source for the kingdom, which has Islam’s two holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, and is the backbone of plans to expand visitor numbers under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious economic reform agenda.

Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said the effects on the Saudi economy of the travel restrictions could be “substantial,” with the tourism sector accounting for 10% of Saudi gross domestic product, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

“The hit to the economy from these travel restrictions, combined with the lingering threat of fresh oil output cuts, means that the risks to our forecasts lie firmly to the downside,” he said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



UAE economy grew at 2.9% in 2019, central bank says By Reuters



DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates’ economy grew at 2.9% year-on-year in 2019, up from 1.7% in 2018, a UAE central bank report said.

The country’s hydrocarbon sector grew at 7.6% in 2019, while the non-hydrocarbon sector expanded by 1.1%, the bank report said.

The central bank said the UAE economy grew 1.3% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slowing from a pace of 2.9% in the third quarter.

The International Monetary Fund expects the UAE economy to expand at 2.5% in 2020 as oil producers will be hit by output cuts following the decision by OPEC and non-OPEC producers in December to extend supply cuts.

The UAE central bank report also said property prices in Dubai fell by 7.0% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, compared with an 8.2% drop in the previous quarter.

“The Dubai market continues to exhibit decline in rent due mainly to excess supply,” it said.

Property group Knight Frank said in a report earlier this month that a total of 62,500 residential units are scheduled to be completed this year in Dubai, the biggest number of new units since 2008.

For Abu Dhabi, the central bank said residential property prices fell 7.5% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, moderating from a drop of 8.2% in the third quarter.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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UK retail sales rebound in January after weak end to 2019 By Reuters



LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – British shoppers started spending again at the start of this year after a very sluggish end to 2019, adding to signs that improved sentiment since December’s election is translating into stronger economic activity.

Retail sales volumes rose 0.9% on the month in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, after a 0.5% fall in December, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.

This was the biggest rise since March and a stronger turnaround than the 0.7% month-on-month growth predicted on average by economists in a Reuters poll.

The bounce back was even more marked if fuel sales are excluded, with sales up 1.6% on the month, the biggest increase since May 2018 and above all forecasts in the Reuters poll.

Consumer demand faltered in the latter part of 2019 against a backdrop of political deadlock in parliament over Brexit.

This culminated in a snap election in December that returned Prime Minister Boris Johnson to office with a comfortable majority. Business and consumer sentiment has improved since then, as Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 with an 11-month transition deal.

Sales at petrol stations fell by 5.7% in January, the largest since April 2012, which the ONS linked to higher fuel prices, while clothing sales grew by the most since May 2018 after several months of weakness.

Annual sales growth remains lacklustre, however, up just 0.8% on the year after 0.9% annual growth in December, broadly in line with economists’ forecasts.

Excluding fuel, sales did not grow at all over the period from August to December, the weakest such run since comparable records began in 1996.

Earlier in 2019 consumer demand had been robust, helping support growth at a time when businesses had put investment on hold until there was more clarity over Brexit.

Britain has now left the European Union, and an 11-month transition deal expires at the end of the year, after which there will be customs checks and potentially tariffs on trade with the EU, as well as curbs on immigration.

January figures from the British Retail Consortium showed a slowdown in spending to 0.4% from 1.9% growth in December.

Asda, the British supermarket arm of the world’s biggest retailer Walmart (N:), said on Tuesday that increasingly budget-conscious consumers were behind a fall in underlying sales in the key Christmas quarter.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Egypt’s jobless rate drops to 8% in fourth quarter 2019: state agency By Reuters


Egypt’s jobless rate drops to 8% in fourth quarter 2019: state agency

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s unemployment rate fell to 8% in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 8.9% in the same quarter in 2018, state statistics agency CAPMAS said on Saturday.

But the unemployment rate increased by 0.2% compared with the third quarter when it was 7.8%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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U.S. companies cut back on installing robots in 2019


(Reuters) – The robot invasion slowed a bit last year.

FILE PHOTO: The aluminium cab of all-new 2015 F-150 pick-up truck moves down the robot assembly line at the Ford Rouge Center in Dearborn, Michigan, November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo/File Photo

U.S. companies installed fewer robots in 2019 than they did the year before, the first cut back since 2015, as a downturn in manufacturing fueled by trade wars and weaker demand dampened appetite for the machines.

Shipments fell to 23,758, a more than 16% drop, according to data seen by Reuters that was set for release on Tuesday by the Association for Advancing Automation, an industry group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Robot shipments also fell in Mexico last year, declining 25% to 3,263, while shipments in Canada roughly held steady at just over 3,000 units.

(GRAPHIC: Robot shipments slowed last year, here)

A major goal of President Donald Trump has been to drive manufacturers to bring work back to the United States, presumably aided by new automation and robotics that would allow domestic plants to compete with cheaper labor in China and other lower-cost countries. But that trend appears to have been overwhelmed by a larger slowdown in manufacturing.

Alexander Shikany, vice president of the Association for Advancing Automation, said the slowdown is likely to be short lived. Orders for new robots in North America, a separate measure that gives a sense of how many machines will be installed in future months, increased last year by 1.6% to 29,988 units, Shikany noted.

The largest driver of that growth was a more than 50% jump in orders from automakers, which Shikany said were making robots part of their investment in the next wave of automotive technology.

No. 1 U.S. automaker General Motors Co (GM.N), for example, recently announced it was investing $2.2 billion to build electric trucks and autonomous electric vehicles at its Detroit-area plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.

Hytrol Conveyor Co Inc, a privately held company in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that produces conveyor belts and had sales last year of over $200 million, did not cut back on robot installations in 2019. With demand from e-commerce businesses and other warehouse operations booming, the company spent $1.9 million last year to help automate its assembly line.

David Peacock, the company’s president, said the company realized three years ago it would have trouble keeping up with demand growth without more robots.

The investments have not cut jobs. Headcount at Hytrol Conveyor’s factory has increased 18% over the past three years to 1,300 workers. Revenues, meanwhile, are up nearly a quarter.

Reporting by Timothy Aeppel; Editing by Tom Brown



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