China to step up cryptocurrency crackdown

The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plunged in recent days amid fears of a crackdown in Asia and concerns that many currencies’ rapid rise in value last year could reflect an inflating bubble. (AFP)
Updated 17 January 2018
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China to step up cryptocurrency crackdown

BEIJING: China is preparing for a new crackdown on cryptocurrency, planning to stamp out remaining trading in the country, according to state media.
China will gradually clean up over-the-counter trading platforms, peer-to-peer networks where large exchanges occur and firms registered in the country which allow Chinese to trade overseas, the state-run Securities Journal said Tuesday.
The publication cited an anonymous source close to regulators tackling online finance risks.
The new plan follows China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency trading last year, which saw Beijing shut down bitcoin exchanges and ban all initial coin offerings.
But alternative channels for trading cryptocurrencies have popped up, including on social networks like WeChat, QQ and Telegram.
Those online groups facilitating large-scale peer-to-peer trade appear likely to suffer greater scrutiny in the coming months.
The international value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plunged in recent days amid fears of a crackdown in Asia and concerns that many currencies’ rapid rise in value last year could reflect an inflating bubble.
At one point on Wednesday, the price of bitcoin on some exchanges had tumbled more than 20 percent, falling below the $10,000 mark that the currency broke through in November of last year.
The market movements come just one month after the most valuable cryptocurrency bitcoin broke through the $20,000 mark in December.


Emirates Airline half-year profit slides 86% on oil hike

Updated 15 November 2018
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Emirates Airline half-year profit slides 86% on oil hike

DUBAI: Emirates Airline on Thursday posted an 86 percent drop in half-year profits as the Middle East's leading carrier was hit by a hike in oil prices and currency devaluations.
The Dubai-based airline in a statement its net profit in the six months to September 30 was also impacted by other challenges and expected tough months ahead.
Emirates said it recorded a profit of just $62 million in the first half of the 2018-2019 fiscal year compared with $452 million in the same period last year.
"The high fuel cost as well as currency devaluations in markets like India, Brazil, Angola and Iran, wiped approximately 4.6 billion dirhams ($1.25 billion) from our profits," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group.
Emirates, one of the world's biggest airlines, said fuel costs rose by 42 percent compared with the same period last year.
The company, which flies to more than 150 destinations, said the cost of fuel amounted to a third of its expenses.
Emirates is the world's largest operator of Airbus A380s with more than 100 of the superjumbos in its fleet.
"The next six months will be tough, but the Emirates Group's foundations remain strong," Sheikh Ahmed said in a statement.
In the six months to September 30, the airline carried 30.1 million passengers, a rise of three percent on the last fiscal year, the company said.
Emirates' revenues were 10 percent higher than the previous year at $13.3 billion.
"We are proactively managing the myriad challenges faced by the airline and travel industry, including the relentless downward pressure on yields and uncertain economic and political realities in our region and in other parts of the world," said Sheikh Ahmed.
Profit for the Emirates Group, which also includes Dnata, a leading air services provider, was also down by 53 percent to $296 million.