Bitcoin at all-time high near $8,000

Updated 17 November 2017
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Bitcoin at all-time high near $8,000

LONDON: Bitcoin hit an all-time high just below $8,000 on Friday, on talk that a software upgrade whose suspension sent the cryptocurrency into a tailspin at the end of last week was, after all, going ahead within hours.
Talk that the upgrade — which could split or “fork” bitcoin into two versions — would go ahead was
driven by a statement on the web-site of Coinbase, the world’s largest bitcoin company with operations in 32 countries.
“The Bitcoin Segwit2x fork is expected to occur in the next six hours,” it said in a statement published at 10:04 a.m. GMT.
If a bitcoin clone were created, any holders would also in theory instantly become owners of the new spin-off.
Bitcoin, generally highly volatile, has been on a particularly wild ride, sliding at the end of last week to as low as $5,555 after plans for Segwit2x were suspended, before bouncing more than 40 percent since Sunday.
It reached as high as $7,997 in early Asian trading on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, before easing back a touch to trade broadly flat by 11:15 a.m. GMT at $7,863.
Market-watchers said speculation about the fork was driving bitcoin higher. If it went ahead as expected, holders of the cryptocurrency would be able to sell the spin-off at a profit if the market were to assign it any value.
But in a post on the Medium blogging platform, the company’s communications director David Farmer said Coinbase did not expect the fork to successfully split bitcoin in two, as it lacked the necessary support from the network to do so.
“Whenever people hear ‘fork’ nowadays the price jumps, as people hope to get the free dividend,” said Charles Hayter, founder of cryptocurrency data analysis site Cryptocompare.
“There is also a resulting spike in demand for people entering bitcoin” from other cryptocurrencies.
Farmer said the company was actively monitoring the situation and that all funds stored in Coinbase wallets remained safe. All bitcoin buying and selling would be suspended on Coinbase in the hour prior to the fork, which is expected between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. GMT.
Bitcoin is on track for its best week since July. For the year, it is up more than 700 percent.
— REUTERS


Abu Dhabi’s Senaat sees ‘potential’ for bond next year

An event was held on Sunday to mark the listing of the first tranche of Senaat’s sukuk on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and London Stock Exchange. (WAM)
Updated 46 min 49 sec ago
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Abu Dhabi’s Senaat sees ‘potential’ for bond next year

LONDON: Abu Dhabi’s Senaat sees potential to issue an additional bond next year, its CEO said on Sunday.

The state-owned investor in the industrial sector last month issued $300 million in sukuk, or Islamic bonds, according to reports. 

Jamal Al-Dhaheri, CEO of Senaat, said further bond issuances could be made next year. 

“Yes, there is potential (for 2019). We wanted to test the market and the response was very good,” Al-Dhaheri was quoted as saying by Reuters.

He was speaking at an event to mark the listing of the first tranche of Senaat’s sukuk, valued at $300 million, which is dually listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and London Stock Exchange.

The sukuk was raised at a profit rate of 4.76 percent with a seven-year tenure, and saw demand from over 180 local and global investors, exceeding the coverage ratio by almost tenfold, state news agency WAM reported.

“The listing of the sukuk on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is an important milestone in the company’s history. This is the first time the company has entered the public markets to issue sukuk that can be traded in one of the world’s leading financial markets,” Al-Dhaheri was quoted as saying.