Germany Officially Recognized Bitcoin as a Legal Tender

The German Federal Ministry of Finances considers Bitcoin as tax-exempt so long as it is used as a means of payment, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported Thursday, March 1.

The German federal authority published its decision to not subject purchases with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency to taxes on Feb. 27, citing the European Court’s 2015 decision, which set a precedent for all members of the European Union.

The Court justified its taxing decision by stating that it considers cryptocurrency as a legal means of payment:

“So-called virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin) are considered equal to the legal means of payment, as long as these so-called virtual currencies have been accepted as alternative and contractual means of payment by the parties involved in the transaction and have no other purpose than being used as a means of payment.”

According to the decision, a conversion from crypto to fiat or vice versa is classified as “other ...

March 2, 2018

PSA Peugeot Citroen drives to record profits in 2017

French carmaker PSA Group says it made record profits and sales last year despite the costs of buying long-struggling Opel.

PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, reported Thursday an 11.5 percent rise in net income to 1.9 billion euros ($2.3 billion). Sales grew over 20 percent to 65.2 billion euros, partly thanks to the addition of Opel.

CEO Carlos Tavares gave an upbeat forecast for the year and said the group will keep focusing on turning Opel around after years of losses. PSA bought General Motors' Germany-based Opel and Britain-based Vauxhall brands last year.

PSA is also taking advantage of new French labor rules championed by President Emmanuel Macron, planning 1,300 voluntary job cuts this year and restructuring its workforce to boost production of electric and autonomous vehicles.

PSA said it will pay an increased dividend of 0.53 euros per share for 2017, compared with 0.48 euros for 2016. 

Source: Business Insider UK

March 1, 2018

Cities around the world increase the consumption of renewable energy

As nations drag their feet on even modest climate change commitments, cities continue to take up the slack, particularly in taking up clean energy. More than 40 cities worldwide, including several in the U.S., now get all their electricity from renewable sources, while at least 100 get at least 70% of their power from renewables. Many more have made commitments to go that way in the future.

The figures come from the CDP, which tracks the carbon disclosures of organizations in the public and private sectors. Since the signing of the Paris climate accord in 2015, it has seen the number of cities reporting their climate impacts shoot from 308 to 572. More cities, it says, are taking their climate roles seriously.

“There’s been a sharp rise in environmental reporting since the last time we did this,” says Kyra Appleby, head of CDP’s cities program. “There has been a lot of momentum ...

Feb. 27, 2018

HP Inc reports three-fold jump in profit

HP Inc reported a more than three-fold rise in first-quarter profit on Thursday as the company, formed out of the 2015 split of Hewlett-Packard Co, benefited from changes in the U.S. tax law and sold more personal computers and printers.

Net earnings rose to $1.94 billion, or $ 1.16 per share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31, from $611 million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company reported a one-time tax gain of $1.03 billion in the quarter.

Revenue rose to $14.52 billion from $12.68 billion.   

/Source: Business Insider UK/

Feb. 23, 2018

World’s largest solar park under development in Egypt

The Benban Solar Park aims to reach somewhere between 1.6-2.0GW of solar power by the middle of 2019.

The projects will receive no incentives, however, it will be given a 25 year contract to sell its electricity at 7.8¢/kWh to the the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and pegged to the value of the US dollar.

Currently, 29 projects have received financing – representing at least $1.8 billion. These 29 projects represent almost 1.5GW of solar power.

The land was initially laid out with 41 unique plots ranging from 0.12mi2 to 0.39mi2. The total land area of the park is approximately 14.4mi2.

This eastern region of the Sahara Desert has some of the best solar power resources – sunlight – on the planet. Better than the US/Mexico western desert, but maybe just behind the world’s best spot in the Chilean desert highlands.

The park represents some of the complex financial models – partially backed ...

Feb. 22, 2018

Walmart to enter Indian market

Walmart Inc (WMT.N) is in talks to buy a stake of more than 40 percent in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, a direct challenge to Inc (AMZN.O) in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Terms under discussion were not immediately available, but Flipkart would be valued at more than the $12 billion figure given when Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) Vision Fund took roughly a fifth of the firm last year for $2.5 billion, they added.

A deal with Walmart would give Flipkart much-needed muscle in its fight against Amazon, which has committed to investing $5 billion in India as it expands aggressively, including into online grocery deliveries, which analysts tip as the next big battleground for the country’s e-commerce sector.

Besides its own e-commerce site, Flipkart owns fashion portals Myntra and Jabong, and controls nearly 40 percent of India’s online retail, ahead of Amazon, according to estimates by research firm Forrester. It is also looking ...

Feb. 16, 2018

Trump's Soaring Budget Deficit Risks Intensifying Market Frenzy

A growing budget deficit will force the US to borrow $ 1 trillion, which could exacerbate the condition on the US stock markets.

The Senate budget deal will add $ 300 billion to public spending and increase the deficit.

According to the economist of Bank of America, by 2019 the deficit will exceed 5% of the gross domestic product, which will be the highest rate since the Second World War.

In the short term, tax cuts and increased government spending will fuel the economy, stimulating growth, employment and wages. The deal concluded by the Senate could add up to 4.2% to economic growth in 2018 and 0.2% in 2019, raising the forecast for growth to 3.1% in 2018 and 2.3% in 2019.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 1000 points on Thursday, while the S & P 500 fell 3.75%, as a result of which the decline from the peak of January ...

Feb. 8, 2018

Microsoft's financial results exceeded forecasts

Microsoft in the second quarter of 2018 financial year received adjusted revenue and profit more than forecasted by the market.

For the 10th consecutive quarter Azura cloud services revenue growth rates exceeded 90%. Sales of the service grew by 98%.

In connection with the tax reform of the United States, Microsoft made a one-time write-off of $13.8 billion, after which it recorded a net loss. For three months, the figure was $6.30 billion (82 cents per share), compared to a net profit of $6.27 billion (80 cents per share) for the same period last fiscal year.

The company's revenue increased by 12% from $25.83 billion to $28.92 billion.

On average, according to analysts' forecasts, the profit should have been 87 cents per share with Microsoft's revenue of $28.41 billion.

Over the past 12 months, the company's capitalization has increased by 50% to $730 billion.

/Source: interfax/

Feb. 1, 2018

These Are 2018’s Most (And Least) Attractive Emerging Markets

By some measures, Mexico and Turkey come out as the most attractive emerging markets for 2018.

In a Bloomberg analysis based on a range of metrics including growth, yields, current-account position and asset valuations, the two countries score highest among 20 developing economies. Asian economies occupy the five lowest-scoring positions.

Mexico and Turkey scored higher because their real effective exchange rates are more competitive than the average of the past 10 years, according to the analysis. India and China’s valuations are relatively expensive in historical terms. Their economic growth is unlikely to be as fast as it has been in the past decade, estimates show.

Turkey’s five-year government bond yields about 13 percent, while Mexico’s yields 7.5 percent. Both exceed India’s equivalent rate of about 7.3 percent, which is the highest among Asian nations covered by the analysis. China’s yields about 3.9 percent.

The study covers 20 of the 24 markets making up MSCI ...

Jan. 22, 2018

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Wants to Invest $1 Billion in Auto Tech Startups

The world’s largest automotive alliance will invest as much as $1 billion to fund mobility startups over the next five years as it looks to make inroads with new technology at a time of rapid upheaval for the transportation sector.

Carmaking partners Renault (RNSDF, +0.25%), Nissan Motor (NSANY, +0.38%) and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF, -0.07%) will invest as much as $200 million during the venture capital fund’s first year, the alliance said in a statement Tuesday. The fund, called Alliance Ventures, will finance new developments in electrification, autonomy, connectivity and artificial intelligence.

The fund’s first strategic investment is in Ionic Materials, a Woburn, Massachusetts-based company developing cobalt-free solid-state battery materials that can be used in electric vehicles.

In September, the Franco-Japanese alliance announced plans to introduce 12 new purely electric vehicles by 2022 while extending the models’ range and cutting battery costs. It also plans to bring to market 40 vehicles with autonomous-drive technology. ...

Jan. 11, 2018