When it comes to achieving affordable, environmentally sustainable and secure energy systems, a group of small economies is quickly accelerating away from the rest of the world. The top 20 performers in the fifth annual Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report 2017 have achieved twice the average increase in their score compared to that of all other countries. The report, developed in collaboration with Accenture Strategy and launched on Wednesday at the European Commission, ranks 127 countries based on their ability to provide energy across three dimensions of the “energy triangle”. It finds that the highest performers, which are primarily smaller countries and advanced economies, can overcome constraints if supporting policies are in place.
Last week a team of civil society organisations, included swiss Pro Specie Rara, Swissaid and Public Eye, started a public appeal to politicians and demand that effective prohibitions are put in place to stop the granting of patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding. The protest is targeted at patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2016 to the brewing companies Carlsberg and Heineken. The patents claim barley derived from conventional breeding, its usage in brewing beer and the beer produced thereof. However, the patents are simply based on random mutations in the plant's genome.
The cost of making a car in the UK could increase by £2,370 ($2,930) in the event of a hard Brexit, according to research published by PA Consulting Group. The tariffs would apply to both imported and exported cars with the report stating carmakers would be likely to pass any price increases to buyers. The report explained that the increased cost of manufacturing could be the case if the UK falls back on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules post Brexit. It warned that the 10% WTO tariffs on exporting and importing with the European Union (EU), could force some manufacturers in the UK to relocate outside the country.
Hurun Report and Wailian Group on Tuesday released the Hurun Immigrant Billionaires List 2017, a ranking of the immigrant billionaires from around the world. The Hurun team of researchers extensively went through the Hurun Global Rich List 2017, pulling out all first generation immigrants, those who reside today in a country different to where they were born and/or brought up. This is the first year of the list and is a sublist of the Hurun Global Rich List 2017 series, released on 7 March. Hoogewerf said, "We believe this to be the first serious attempt to track the immigration status of the world's billionaires."
HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, believed to have processed almost $740 million on behalf of Russian money launderers with ties to gangsters and intelligence services, according a major investigation carried out by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta, and reported by the Guardian. The figure was gathered by documents covering the years 2010-2014 showing at least $80 billion was moved out of Russia by an organisation called the Global Laundromat. Investigators are still trying to identify who is behind the nickname, but the task is difficult as the owners of offshore entities that moved money through the banks often kept their identities secret, the report noted, adding the documents include details of about 70,000 banking transactions, including 1,920 that went through UK banks and 373 via US banks.
During the first half of Tuesday's trading session the New Zealand Dollar remained near the previous closing price of 0.7050 against the US Dollar. The currency exchange rate was prepped up by the 20-day SMA, which was located at the 0.7049 level and the lower trend line of a rather week medium term ascending channel pattern at the 0.7035 level. It is highly possible that the currency exchange rate will surge by the end of the day's trading, as the closest resistance level is located at 0.7082, where the weekly R1 is located at. However, a break of the resistance is unlikely, as the weekly R1 is strengthened by the monthly S1 at the 0.7090 level.
The economic outlook is bright enough to warrant a pro risk investment stance. Our overweight equities/ underweight duration seems consistent with a firming of global growth and an unwinding of prior deflation fear. What could derail the recent rally of risky assets ? Europe Political Risk: A Le Pen victory in France cannot be ruled out even if odds are slim. It would undermine European political cohesion (weak as it is), and would impose a larger risk premium on euro-denominated assets. A Macron victory would signal diminishing political risk in Europe, as the French and German leadership would be committed to supporting the European Union and the single currency. We underweight French sovereign and financial assets in search for clarity.
Apple has unveiled a new special-edition red iPhone 7, with a philanthropic decision, the Cupertino-based company added a red special edition to the lineup. The new red aluminum finish, which is available to order for both iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in-store and online on March 24, is a fundraising effort for the Global Fund. The additional colour option is part of Apple's Product Red campaign, a range of red products for which Apple makes a contribution from every purchase to the Global Fund for HIV and AIDS programmes. To date, Apple has generated over $130m through the project making it the organizations’s largest corporate donor, the company said.
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