“The nuclear industry will remain the cornerstone of our strategic autonomy,” said French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this year.
However, workers at French energy giant Electricite de France (EDF) don’t seem convinced after holding their third strike in as many weeks on Thursday over a planned overhaul of the company. The reform of the EDF is clearly overdue as it tackles creaky infrastructure and project overruns. However, managing the downsizing of nuclear capacity and the transition to renewables is proving to be one of the biggest challenges for Macron domestically.
Bitcoin’s value hit an all-time high just days after first hitting the $ 20,000 milestone. A surge in interest from larger corporate investors is finally giving the public image of virtual currencies a much-needed boost in credibility.
Meanwhile, both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes have hit record highs, in part due to increased optimism about a coronavirus stimulus bill in the US. Tech stocks are also booming due to changing consumption patterns upon lockdown.
Germany is the youngest country to find itself in a tough situation again as the number of COVID-19 cases exceeds 20,000 a day. Regions like Bavaria warn of catastrophic consequences for the health system if radical measures are not taken. Ryan Thompson has the latest from Frankfurt below.
As the European ski resorts can confirm, it seems to be a difficult winter season for tourist destinations almost everywhere. In China, however, there are signs that domestic tourism is recovering after the recent break on National Day in October. What lessons can be learned?
Read on to find out more about the day’s business news.
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The workers of the French energy giant EDF have gone on strike For the third time in as many weeks about plans to restructure the government-sponsored group. At noon it was reported that 24 percent of the employees in the current row had left the house about the so-called Hercules project Plan to spin off EDF’s nuclear division.
The workers fear that the plans are a prelude to separation and partial privatization the whole group. While France is scaling back its overall nuclear exposure, EDF has been under pressure to modernize existing power plants and is well above budget for new generation reactor construction projects at Flamanville in Normandy and Hinkley Point in Leicestershire, UK. Data shows that the most recent round of strikes reduced capacity by nearly 13 percent.
Bitcoin’s value has increased by a fifth in 24 hoursand values the cryptocurrency at more than $ 23,000. Overall, the price of Bitcoin has increased nearly 500 percent in the past nine months. In the most certain sign to date that the cryptocurrency is being taken seriously by institutional investors as a store of value, UK-based fund manager Ruffer became the first major investment firm in the City of London to announce that it has bought Bitcoin. The company, which manages more than $ 27 billion in assets, said it added $ 750 million worth of currency to its total return fund last month, which after reducing its gold exposure as ” mainly defensive move “.
Virtual currencies like Ethereum, XRP and Litecoin have all appreciated in value As investors turn to crypto as a hedge against the risk of inflation and the devaluation of standard currencies, the world’s economies will take advantage of the incentives to help manage the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wall Street trading remained at record levels after the Nasdaq closed Wednesday’s session at a new high. 63 points rise to 12,658 when the Federal Reserve promised to keep policy rates near zero, easing the flow of money. The technology-based exchange has also benefited from the change in consumer behavior after the lockdown. Microsoft alone has seen its share price rise by a third this year.
In the meantime, the US Congress is expected to vote on a shortly new $ 900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package This could include stimulus checks for individuals ranging from $ 600 to $ 700 and expanded unemployment benefits.
Texas and nine other states are suing Google, together with Facebook for violating antitrust law to increase revenue. The government’s recent attempt to curb the power of “big tech” has accused Google of anticompetitive behavior, particularly in the online advertising market. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleged via video link that Google had “repeatedly used its monopoly power to control pricing [and] engage in market agreements at rig auctions. “The Texas action is aimed at damages and what it calls” structural relief to restore competitive conditions “in the marketplace.
It will be “difficult but possible” to reach a post-Brexit trade deal by Friday. The EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, told the MEPs. The European Parliament says it needs an agreement by midnight on Sunday so that there can be broader approval this year. However, during a briefing with the leaders of the factions of the bloc, Barnier warned against setting a deadline that could not be met.
Meanwhile, Nissan says it will manufacture its new electric model, the Ariya, in JapanHopes for its manufacturing base in North East England.
UK Chief Financial Officer, Chancellor Rishi Sunak will expand the UK’s $ 92 billion COVID-19 emergency credit systems to businesses struggle with the effects of lockdown and Brexit. By spring, graduated restrictions on social gatherings will be in place across much of the UK and officials are expected to develop plans to extend the three main loan guarantee schemes, including those aimed at smaller businesses. Sunak warned against this this week Treasuries, which hit $ 30 billion last month, need to relax in the new year.
Turkey has announced that it will not reverse its decision to purchase the Russian S400 missile defense systemdespite the announcement of US sanctions.
Wahed, the US-based Islamic finance group backed by Aramco of Saudi Arabia, is buying Niyah, The British tech company is planning a single banking app for the Muslim community in the UK. Niyah announced plans earlier this year to offer Islamic-compliant digital bank accounts, debit cards and investments through an easy-to-use phone app. with the hope of expanding globally at some point. Sharia-based financial products are not allowed to charge interest or invest in prohibited sectors such as alcohol, pornography or firearms. The industry is projected to grow to $ 3.8 trillion in assets this year.
French luxury goods group Kering, which houses brands like Gucci and Saint Laurent, says it will cooperate fully on a tax investigation. while denying the wrongdoing. The statement comes after it became known that the French tax authorities began investigating the company in February 2019. The alleged wrongdoing is centered on accounts set up in Switzerland that were allegedly used to channel the proceeds from third countries, avoiding taxes of between USD 3 billion from 2010 to 2017.
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CLOCK: German cities have almost come to a standstill and many companies are closing their doors as the country enters a new tough lockdown. The virus continues to spread rapidly and the number of new cases reported daily is over 20,000. Ryan Thompson reports from Frankfurt.
During China’s final National Holidays, held between October 1st and 8th, more than 630 million trips were made across the country, with few infections reported. CGTN was joined by Christina Chi, a professor in the School of Hospitality Business Management at Washington State University, to discuss the lessons to be learned for the industry from the COVID-19 outbreak.
How big were the losses to tourism in China overall?
The pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the industry due to the travel restrictions imposed by various countries. And as for the subdued traveler demand for fear of the virus, the UNWTO estimated a 60 to 80 percent drop in international tourist arrivals in 2020, which will result in a loss of nearly trillion dollars in tourism revenue. The industry has gone through a mini-crisis over the years, but never on such a large scale.
Mainland China has contained the pandemic quite successfully. Air and rail travel in China has returned to near pre-pandemic levels, and hotel occupancy is also near last year’s level, according to Smith Travel Research, according to McKenzies, a recent report.
What was the biggest single effect?
China was one of the most important source markets for foreign travel. For the most part you have seen millions of Chinese people travel overseas and spend billions of dollars, but this year they need to stay closer to home. This is turning out to be a boon to domestic tourism, the middle class, and elsewhere in China. … and now you see that domestic high-end and leisure travel is booming.
And finally The number of first-time asylum seekers who came to the EU in the third quarter of 2020 has surprisingly increased. Despite suggestions that the COVID-19 pandemic is curbing the flow of migrants on Mediterranean and Balkan routes, the number of asylum seekers has risen, with arrivals increasing 132% in the three months to the end of September. Data shows that Syrians are still the largest nationality group, followed by Afghans, with Germany by far their preferred destination.
Source (s): Reuters