Facebook to Launch its Own Cryptocurrency

Massive ICO

An exclusive source has confirmed to Finance Magnates that beleaguered social media giant Facebook is diversifying its product line with a cryptocurrency of its own – Facebook Coin (FBC). Users will have to register to use the coin, but Facebook will guarantee that wallets and transactions will be completely anonymous.
The development has not been officially announced, but reportedly the coin is to be launched on the Ethereum blockchain via an ICO within the next two weeks. Given the size and reach of Facebook, it seems safe to assume that the ICO will rival the 1.2 billion dollars that Telegram raised in its own funding round.

https://www.financemagnates.com/

Saudi Arabia is ready to increase its oil production

A war with Iran won’t affect global oil production

Saudi Arabia is ready to increase its oil production in response to the expected decline in Iranian crude oil for international markets following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. That’s what an official from the Saudi energy ministry told local state news agency SPA.

Saudi Arabia supported Trump’s decision on the nuclear deal, unlike the United States’ allies in Western Europe: the heads of France, the UK, and Germany stated they are committed to upholding the Iran nuclear deal.

Russia and China—also signatories to the deal—have opposed Trump’s decision and are unlikely to make any changes to their economic relations with Iran following the U.S. withdrawal. While Russia is not a consumer of Iranian oil, China and India are—and they are unlikely to stop taking in Iranian crude despite the sanctions.

 https://www.oilprice.com/

BREXIT: Northern Labour MPs are rebelling against Jeremy Corbyn

MPs demand a second Brexit referendum

The row over Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit has exploded after five MPs from the party’s northern heartlands broke ranks and openly demanded a new referendum on the UK’s withdrawal deal.

The MPs from the Northeast – which heavily backed Leave in the 2016 referendum – said a new vote is essential because the true nature of Brexit is only just emerging.

Writing exclusively for The Independent, they warn plans to leave the single market will devastate family living standards as the future of major manufacturers and employers in their region is thrown into doubt.

 https://www.independant.co.uk/

Takeda buys Shire for $62 billion

Stock decline nearly 20 percent due to doubts about the deal

After five proposals and more than month of back-and-forth, it looks like this thing is happening. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd. agreed Tuesday to purchase rare-disease drugmaker Shire Plc for $62 billion. But this blockbuster deal comes with blockbuster risk. Takeda will be paying a steep premium and taking on big debt to acquire a company with uncertain prospects.
Takeda’s desire for geographic and drug diversification led it to overlook a lot of warts. Shire’s hemophilia business provides more than a quarter of its revenue. It faces near-term peril from Roche Holding AG’s recently launched Hemlibra, and long-term threats from potential one-time treatments being developed by companies such as BioMarin Pharmaceutial Inc. that could reduce demand for Shire’s older drugs.

Shire has an attractive pipeline of high-margin rare-disease drug candidates, but its research projects will have to over-deliver in order to compensate for competitive threats to current core business. The substantial research and development cuts that Takeda plans if the deal goes through won’t help.

 https://www.bloomberg.com/

Bitcoin’s victory

Wall Street Will SoonTrade Virtual Currency

Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are warming up to Bitcoin, a virtual currency that for nearly a decade has been consigned to the unregulated fringes of the financial world.

The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has been working on an online trading platform that would allow large investors to buy and hold Bitcoin, according to emails and documents viewed by The New York Times and four people briefed on the effort who asked to remain anonymous because the plans were still confidential.

The news of the virtual exchange, which has not been reported before, came after Goldman Sachs went public with its intention to open a Bitcoin trading unit — most likely the first of its kind at a Wall Street bank.

Rebel Tories want to stay in Single Market

MPs to push Theresa May into staying in single market – if Labour backs it

Conservatives have told The Independent there would be enough of their party’s MPs to lock in full single market access afterBrexit, as long as Labour also backs it. But in a move set to enrage Labour politicians, Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench will on Tuesday refuse support for just such a proposal in the Lords – preventing it from being voted on in the Commons.

Mr Corbyn is now being warned he risks a major internal row and must explain to pro-EU party members why he is “throwing away a clear opportunity” to defeat Ms May’s plans to abandon the single marketIt follows reports that Tory chief whip Julian Smith has already told the prime minister she lacks numbers in the Commons to defeat rebel amendments aimed at keeping the UK in an EU customs union.

Tory rebels, who joined forces with Labour to shift the government towards closer customs relations with Europe, will now push Ms May towards remaining inside the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – which would deliver full single market access. They say up to 15 Conservative backbenchers are now certain it is the best way to ensure the UK’s economic strength, while also staying true to the 2016 referendum result.

Venezuela’s economy is collapsing

Venezuela’s inflation could soar 13,000 percent by year’s end

Venezuela’s president says he’s boosting the minimum wage by 155 percent to keep up with runaway inflation that’s making it difficult for people to afford daily goods.

President Nicolas Maduro issued an order that brings the monthly wage to 1 million bolivars, or $1.61 on the commonly used black market. It’s the third increase this year. Despite having the world’s largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela is in its fifth year of an economic crisis worse than the Great Depression.

The International Monetary Fund has said it estimates that Venezuela’s inflation could soar 13,000 percent by year’s end.

Maduro will seek a second six-year term on May 20.

https://abcnews.go.com/

Cambridge Analytica is shutting down

At the centre of a storm around misuse of Facebook user data

Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm at the centre of a storm around misuse of Facebook user data, is shutting down and has filed for bankruptcy“The Company is immediately ceasing all operations” and has filed applications to begin insolvency proceedings in the UK, Cambridge Analytica said in a statement.

The statement also pushed back against widespread allegations that the company had improperly obtained Facebook user data to craft targeted advertisements, saying it “has been the subject of numerous unfounded accusations and, despite the Company’s efforts to correct the record, has been vilified for activities that are not only legal, but also widely accepted as a standard component of online advertising in both the political and commercial arenas”.

https://www.independant.co.uk/

Apple pops after crushing earnings

The stock are up more than 4% in after-hours trading.

Shares of Apple are up more than 4% in after-hours trading Tuesday following second-quarter earnings from the company that topped analyst expectations.

Here are the key figures:

  • Revenue: $61.1 billion versus an expected $60.86 billion
  • Earnings per share: $2.73 versus an expected $2.60
  • iPhones sold: 52.2 versus an expected 51.9 million.

The company also announced a $100 billion share buyback in addition to boosting its dividend by 16% to $0.73 per share.

“We’re thrilled to report our best March quarter ever, with strong revenue growth in iPhone, Services and Wearables,” said CEO Tim Cook in a press release. “Customers chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter, just as they did following its launch in the December quarter. We also grew revenue in all of our geographic segments, with over 20% growth in Greater China and Japan.”

Shares of Apple have declined 1.6% since the beginning of 2018.

 https://www.finance.yahoo.com/

T-Mobile, Sprint finalizing merger terms

Sprint valued around $26 billion

U.S. wireless carriers T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and Sprint Corp (S.N) are finalizing terms as they seek to sign a merger by Monday that could value Sprint at around $26 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The combined company, with more than 127 million customers, would have added clout to challenge industry leaders Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and AT&T Inc (T.N) in the race to expand offerings in next-generation 5G wireless technology.

T-Mobile majority-owner Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) will own a little over 40 percent of the combined company, but will have voting control so it can consolidate the company on its books, the sources said. The sources requested anonymity to discuss the confidential negotiations.