Russia's biggest bank, Sberbank, has recently announced a launch of a robot lawyer which will be assigned a task to process letters of complaints. The innovation will axe approximately 3000 specialists currently working in the bank structure, according to a report by TASS agency, citing Sberbank’s Deputy CEO Vadim Kulik. On the sidelines of the annual Gaidar Forum, Kulik announced robot lawyer was launched in Q4 of 2016, with full robotization to be completed in the first months of 2017. “It means that approximately 3000 specialists who have been processing letters of complaints will be freed from performing this particular task. We have quite ambitious plans. We are planning to launch robot lawyers in a range of fields", he added.
The top three Chinese bitcoin exchanges BTCC, OKcoin, and Huobi will be charging trading fees on Tuesday. The announcement comes after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) began inspecting the exchanges and pledging new oversight. The most vocal company so far has been the BTCC exchange giving details to the public regularly. “BTCChina, our CNY exchange, will start charging fees for bitcoin and litecoin trading from 12:00 PM (noon) UTC+8, Tuesday, January 24th,” explains BTCC during the recent trading fees announcement. “Market makers and takers will both be charged a flat fee of 0.2 percent per transaction. We are implementing fee-based trading to curb market manipulation and extreme volatility.”
Looking in the new 2017 Gold Outlook Report published by the World Gold Council, we read that in 2016 investors around the world returned in large numbers to the gold market, as a combination of macroeconomic drivers and pent up demand kept interest in gold high. But in the new year, there are some concerns that US dollar strength may limit gold’s appeal. The report provides some research information that lead to think that, on the contrary, not only will gold remain highly relevant as a strategic portfolio component, but also six major trends will support demand for gold throughout 2017 (1).
China and Switzerland have enjoyed a longstanding win-win partnership and China has an optmisstic economic outlook, the Swiss minister of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Johann Schneider-Ammann said in an interview with Xinhua, chinese media on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. "I am very proud that Chinese President Xi Jinping could come to my country and stay four days," Schneider-Ammann said "In April last year we established such good personal relationships, and I'm proud of this success."
Half a decade into its search for a new handgun, the US Army has chosen Sig Sauer's version of the Modular Handgun System, according to a Thursday announcement from the Army. The $580 million contract announced yesterday covers procurement over 10 years. Sig Sauer is a German Swiss company and will provide thousands of new handguns to the US military under the contract over the next decade, the Defense Department explained.
IBM reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street expectations on Thursday, thanks largely to the company’s transition towards higher-margin and faster-growing businesses like the cloud and Big Data analytics. But the iconic New York–based enterprise technology company has now suffered 19 straight quarters of declining year-over-year total revenues, a streak that has kept would-be investors on the sidelines. While earnings per share rose 4% from a year ago, revenues were down 1%, the company said. IBM's revenue has decline from the year-ago quarter since April 2012, when sales were nearly flat.
The GBP/USD currency pair confirmed yesterday's scenario, having climbed back above the 1.23 major level and even completely ignoring the immediate resistance at 1.2324. Friday brings a lot of uncertainty, as volatility direction is likely to be caused by Trump's speech during his inauguration later today. From a technical perspective we should see more upside movement, despite a group of strong resistances located just beyond the 1.24 handle. On the other hand, the US Dollar could receive a solid boost, with the Cable seen dropping as low as 1.21 in the worst case scenario.
George Soros, on the sideline of Davos Forum, gave his views on the state of the world. The EU, according to billionaire investor, is disintegrating following last year's Brexit vote and Italian referendum, a course that must be reversed. The trading bloc has become dysfunctional because it is governed by laws that are "not appropriate to the current circumstances" and not easily changed, he said. "If Europe breaks down, the consequences will be very dire," the investor said. "But I do see a way it could be saved, and this is also recognized by many of the people in Brussels. They can't say so publicly, but they know that Europe is not functioning."
Swiss Life company Zurich will cut 240 jobs in the UK as part of a business restructure. The company said it will remove 240 jobs from the UK business after plans were announced last year to merge the life and general insurance departments. The new structure will be effective immediately but the firm will consult on the job cuts before making any decisions. Zurich said the jobs cuts would not be in 'market facing' roles and were likely to be from back office positions. It said cuts would be made where there was overlap between life and general insurance positions.
The European Central Bank (ECB) made no changes to its record-low interest rates and announced no new measures on Thursday in what was its first policy decision of 2017. Specifically, the ECB left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.0%, in line with forecasts. The central bank also held its deposit facility rate steady at -0.4% and its marginal lending rate remained at 0.25%. Additionally, the Governing Council confirms that it will continue to make purchases under the asset purchase programme (APP) at the current monthly pace of €80 billion until the end of March 2017 and that, from April 2017, the net asset purchases are intended to continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary, and in any case until the Governing Council sees a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim.
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