Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency
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Updated 07 December 2021

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency

Zimbabwe's Central Bank studies digital currency, rejects cryptocurrency
  • The country plans to send a team to Nigeria to learn from their experiences

RIYADH: Zimbabwe's Central Bank is exploring using its own digital currency instead of allowing cryptocurrency as legal tender, its Governor John Mangudya told Bloomberg.

“As a central bank we don’t believe in cryptocurrencies,” Mangudya said in an interview on Monday.

“We believe in central bank digital currency which is basically trying to say how do we have an e-Zimbabwe dollar as opposed to cryptocurrency,” he said.

The country plans to send a team to Nigeria to learn from their experiences in launching the first digital currency in Africa in October.

“We have got our fintech group and they are working very hard, most central banks in the world are working on this CBDC and we are definitely almost there," he said.

The government decided to pay annual bonuses to civil servants in US dollars rather than the local currency. Use of the Zimbabwean dollar would have increased its recent decline. 

The government paid annual bonuses to civil servants in US dollars instead of the Zimbabwean dollar. Using the latter could have added to its recent depreciation, according to Mangudya.


Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell

Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell
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Updated 11 sec ago

Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell

Saudi bourse extends gains as oil rally continues: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi stock exchange extended gains today, as investors reacted to a strong rebound in the energy market.

Brent crude oil surpassed $89 per barrel, and US benchmark WTI crude oil rose to $86.2 per barrel as of 3:20 p.m. Saudi time.

At the closing bell, the main index TASI registered gains standing at 0.6 percent, reaching 12,183 points, with Banque Saudi Fransi hitting its highest value since 2008 of SR51 ($13.6).

The parallel market Nomu inched up by 0.5 percent to close at 25,688 points.

Saudi oil giant Aramco awarded a SR268 million contract to Arabian Pipes Co. to provide steel pipes. Shares in the latter added 0.35 percent in response to the transaction, while Aramco gained 0.8 percent.

One of the Kingdom’s largest valued banks, Al Rajhi Bank edged 0.7 higher, and Alinma Bank added 0.4 percent amid trading of almost 9 million shares.

Shares in Saudi Automotive Services Co., known as SASCO, soared nearly 10 percent, leading the gainers.

SASCO had earlier acquired 80 percent of gas station operator NAFT Services Limited Co. for SR1.1 billion.

Advanced Petrochemical recorded gains at 2.9 percent after its board recommended boosting capital to SR2.6 billion in expansion push.

Saudi Research and Media Group, or SRMG, was among the stocks hitting record highs, as its share price soared to SR147.

Shares in telecommunication firm Etihad Atheeb led the fallers, down approximately 10 percent.


FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 

FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 
Updated 30 min 25 sec ago

FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 

FedEx launches its first AI-powered sorting robot in China, echoing industry trends 

RIYADH: US-based FedEx Express launched its first AI-powered sorting robot in collaboration with the robotics solution provider for logistics Dorabot, in China, echoing broader industry trends.

The DoraSorter robot, deployed at the 5,200 square meters FedEx South China eCommerce Shipment Sorting Center, is capable of handling small inbound and outbound packages from eCommerce customers.

It can carry up to 10 kilograms of packages, covering up to 100 destinations simultaneously.

In pursuit of building a smart logistics network, the sorting robot constitutes the company’s latest push in digitizing its operations to handle the growing volumes of e-commerce-related shipments in the region.

This comes as the global warehouse automation market is projected to hit $51 billion by 2030, according to McKinsey&Co., with over 4 million commercial robots to be installed at more than 50,000 warehouses by 2025. 

“With e-commerce taking center stage in the future of retail in our region, the speed with which a parcel can be picked up and delivered to customers’ doorsteps has become a dominant factor in driving the adoption of sorting robots,” president of Asia, Middle East & Africa region, Kawal Preet said. 

“Bringing DoraSorter to China as a pilot program is a natural choice for us given it’s the world’s biggest e-commerce market with an expected valuation of $3.3 trillion by 2025,” she added. 

Founded in 1971, FedEx Express, located in the US, is a multinational conglomerate holding company focused on transportation and e-commerce services. 

 

 

 


Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves

Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 38 min 17 sec ago

Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves

Bitcoin and Ether trade higher; IMF urges El Salvador to abolish bitcoin as legal tender: Crypto Moves

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Wednesday, rising by 4.55 percent to $37,968 at 3:08 p.m. Riyadh time.

Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,539, up by 5.19 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Other News:

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday called on El Salvador to change course and stop using bitcoin as a legal tender, citing the significant risks posed by the cryptocurrency.

The small Central American nation in September became the first country in the world to embrace the digital coin, allowing consumers to use it in all transactions, alongside the US dollar.

The call by the Washington-based financial organization came as the cryptocurrency dropped in value amid wider volatility on Wall Street in recent days, undoing much of the gains it had made during a record-setting climb in value last year.

The IMF staff had previously called on El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele to reconsider putting bitcoin at the center of his country's finances.

The latest pronouncement used much stronger language and came from the IMF's board, which is composed of representatives of member governments including the United States.

The board's directors “urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the bitcoin law by removing bitcoin's legal tender status,” according to a statement.

In Tuesday's statement from the board, they noted the fund supports the aim of “boosting financial inclusion” which could be advanced using the country's "Chivo” e-wallet, but warned about the high levels of volatility in the cryptocurrency's exchange rate.

Bitcoin's value has shown some correlation with Wall Street equities, but pressure has also come from China's crackdown on the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies, and also the risk of wider regulatory action from the likes of Europe and the United States.

Analysts also say it faces increased competition in 2022 from rival digital assets like ethereum.

Argentina

Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges by volumes traded, has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Argentinian Football Association, allowing the company to become the main sponsor of all the Argentinian football teams on a global scale.

This agreement is the first one the exchange has inked with a worldwide national team, and will last five years, according to Bitcoin.com.

The agreement also seeks to promote the brand with one of the most successful football teams, offering cryptocurrencies to users and fans who may not have been familiar with these technologies.

“Through this agreement, we hope to support Argentine soccer at all levels and introduce Binance, the crypto world and the blockchain to soccer fans across the country and the world,” Maximiliano Hinz, director of Binance Latam said.

The signed partnership also includes the development and launch of a new fan token that will be released in the near future.

However, the Argentinian Soccer Association had already issued a fan token of its own, in partnership with Socios.com, a fan token company.

The release of the new token was criticized by the Socios platform, which issued a press release announcing its stance on this new deal that AFA signed with Binance.

According to sports media, Socios rejected this new deal, made just nine months after they had signed another deal with them that would last three years.

“We will do everything in our power to prevent this and to protect the rights of fans who purchased $ARG Fan Tokens. We are facing a flagrant breach of contract and we will take all the necessary legal measures to guarantee that AFA fulfills the commitments acquired with Socios.com,” Socios.com said.

The first token was launched on June 15 last year, selling more than 400k tokens at that time.

Indonesia

Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority — the Jakarta-based government agency known as OJK which regulates the financial services sector — warned Tuesday that financial companies are not allowed to offer or facilitate the sales of crypto assets.

The warning was conveyed by the chairman of the OJK Board of Commissioners, Wimboh Santoso, on the regulator’s official Instagram account.

“OJK has strictly prohibited financial service institutions from using, marketing, and/or facilitating crypto asset trading,” he said.

The regulator also warned the public when investing in crypto assets.

“Crypto-assets themselves are a type of commodity that has fluctuations in value which can go up and down at any time, so people must understand the risks,” the OJK stated.

 


Nasdaq profit beats estimates on IPO rush, investment products demand

Nasdaq profit beats estimates on IPO rush, investment products demand
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 26 January 2022

Nasdaq profit beats estimates on IPO rush, investment products demand

Nasdaq profit beats estimates on IPO rush, investment products demand

Nasdaq Inc. on Wednesday reported a nearly 16 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates, buoyed by the frenetic pace of US initial public offerings and strong demand for its investment-related products.


Technology, health care and financial technology companies led the IPO rush during the quarter, that included the stellar debut of Rivian Automotive Inc. on the exchange that valued the electric vehicle maker at over $100 billion.


Tech-heavy Nasdaq in 2021 eclipsed rival New York Stock Exchange to host the new listings of 1,000 companies, representing $181 billion in capital raised. Of the total listings, 752 were IPOs, including chipmaker GlobalFoundries Inc. and fintech Coinbase Global.


Nasdaq reported an adjusted profit of $1.93 per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Analysts were expecting $1.78 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Even as the transatlantic exchange operator’s bourses remain its core business, Nasdaq has pushed into the software sector to reposition itself as a financial technology company offering analytics, data and cloud services.


The company’s revenue from solutions segment surged 19 percent to $581 million. Its investment analytics products that help customers research across multiple asset classes to make investment decisions have become key growth drivers.


It also launched a cloud-based data management platform geared toward investment management firms during the quarter.


The company’s net revenue came in 12 percent higher at $885 million from $788 million a year ago. Market services revenue rose 5 percent to $303 million over the same period.


In line with other financial institutions that have seen expenses rise amid inflationary pressures, Nasdaq also saw a 15 percent increase in operating expenses primarily due to higher employee compensation and benefits.


SoftBank-backed Gopuff hires banks for IPO: sources

SoftBank-backed Gopuff hires banks for IPO: sources
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 26 January 2022

SoftBank-backed Gopuff hires banks for IPO: sources

SoftBank-backed Gopuff hires banks for IPO: sources
  • Gopuff was valued at just $4 billion in an October 2020 fundraising

 Gopuff, the SoftBank Group Corp.-backed delivery startup that was valued at about $15 billion last year, has tapped banks to lead preparations for a US initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.


US-based Gopuff, which operates in 1,000 cities in the United States and Europe, is working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on its planned stock market float, which is expected later this year, the sources said. It also plans to tap other underwriters, including JPMorgan Chase , the sources added.


The sources cautioned that the timing, valuation and size of the IPO were subject to market conditions. All sources requested anonymity because the discussions are confidential.


Gopuff, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan declined to comment.


The sources said that GoPuff is expecting to be valued at a significant premium to its $15 billion valuation from a fundraise in July.

Gopuff was valued at just $4 billion in an October 2020 fundraising.


The company also issued a convertible note in December to raise $1.5 billion from existing investor Guggenheim Investments and other debt holders, the sources said.

The note will convert to equity at either the IPO price or at a maximum valuation of $40 billion, the sources added.


Gopuff is pushing ahead with its IPO preparations and is expected to be among the biggest flotations this year, despite market conditions that are less than ideal for stock market launches.


Volatility has caused a number of IPOs to be postponed while other companies have been forced to rethink their plans. IPO bankers, however, say the pipeline for deals is still healthy.


Founded in 2013 by college students Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, Gopuff has grown into one of the largest on-demand delivery startups.

It business was aided by widespread lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic that forced people to rely on online delivery platforms.


Headquartered in Philadelphia, Gopuff delivers items like food, alcohol and medicines at a $1.95 flat delivery charge, and competes with other delivery platforms like Instacart and Rappi, both of whom are also expected to go public this year.


Gopuff has 600 mini-warehouses.

By owning the inventory and end-to-end supply chain, Gopuff aims to make its business more profitable. Earlier this month, it launched its first private-label brand.


Gopuff has raised more than $3.5 billion in equity funding to date, counting Accel, Blackstone, Fidelity Management and singer Selena Gomez among its prominent backers.