News

14.03.2017

EU court allows companies to ban wearing headscarf at workplace

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that employers can ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, including headscarves. "An internal rule of an undertaking [firm] which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination," the court said. The ECJ was ruling on a case dating to 2003 when Samira Achbita, a Muslim, was employed as a receptionist by G4S security services in Belgium. At the time, the company had an "unwritten rule" that employees should not wear any political, religious or philosophical symbols at work, the ECJ said.

 
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14.03.2017

Insects helped Swiss researchers for anti-crash drone

Swiss researchers have created a flexible quadcopter that recoils during a crash, influenced by Mother Nature. Wasps in particular have special joints that allow their wings to reversibly crumple during an accident. This transition into a flexible state during times of stress drastically minimizes any sustained damage.   Roboticists from EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, have developed a new drone to mimic the elasticity and durability of insects. Researchers achieved this by using a "squishy" material that's able to be rigged while flying but become malleable when it comes in contact with something. This flexibility absorbs potentially damaging impacts and eliminates them.

 
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14.03.2017

China started the new year in a strong way

The Chinese economy is investing again in 2017, the latest data from the Statistics Bureau shows. The first two months of 2017 saw China's fixed capital investment rise 8.9 % compared to the same period last year, which was also above expectations of 8.2%. Most of this came from the public sector, where investments grew 14.4%. Private-sector investment, which constitutes 60% of the total investment, increased by 6.7% from a year ago, the highest growth rate in a year.  "Today's data appeared to be mainly driven by infrastructure spending and a rebound in the real estate sector," said Zhou Hao, a Singapore-based economist at Commerzbank.

 
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13.03.2017

1MDB scandal: former Goldman Sachs banker banned by Singapore

Singapore banned former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Tim Leissner from the securities industry for 10 years and said it plans to issue similar orders against three others caught up in the scandal surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Leissner, who left Goldman Sachs in February 2016, was sanctioned because he issued an unauthorized letter to a financial institution and made false statements on behalf of the U.S. bank without its knowledge, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement Monday. The central bank had signaled its intention to ban Leissner last year.

 
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13.03.2017

South Korean fraud cut ABB profit

Swiss-based power and automation group ABB cut its 2016 profit report by $64 million after saying that internal controls failed to catch suspected fraud in South Korea.  It revised net income to $1.89 billion, ABB said in its annual report, down from $1.96 billion reported in February. The pre-tax impact was $73 million, less than the roughly $100 million previously reported, due to insurance recoveries.

 
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13.03.2017

Swiss parliament to stop funding NGOs that boycott Israel

Switzerland’s parliament made an unprecedented decision on Wednesday to prevent the state from "financing any organization which supports racism, anti-Semitism, or the BDS ( Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement)." Switzerland’s National Council, its lower chamber in Parliament, passed a bill on Wednesday by a vote of 111-78, that would cease all funding to non-governmental organizations (NGO) promoting boycotts against Israel and incitement to hatred. The Bern leadership provides approximately one million Swiss francs each year to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat in Ramallah, which then moves the money along to more than 30 pro-Palestinian Authority NGOs.

 
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13.03.2017

e-Commerce meets Fashion in Ticino: Xia Feng explains the digital transformation in the fashion sector

Fashion industry is generally undergoing a rapid transformation and almost all aspects of the traditional fashion business models are being disrupted by new technologies.

 
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13.03.2017

The New Presidential Cycle and the Recurring Patterns

A new presidential cycle just begun in the USA and the stock market has welcomed 2017 with a bullish note. The S&P500 rose about 7% in the first two months of the year, the month of March has started in a corrective mood and the market retreated a bit still leaving the progress around 5% year-to-date. It was a hefty start, that could well lead to a seasonal top. At the moment, we see the recent high of March 1st, near 2’400, above 21’000 for the Dow Jones Industrial, as a strong resistance, but it is interesting to compare the bullish wave of these recent weeks with the recurring cyclical patterns. First, we note that a healthy February is not so common. February is used to be a sluggish month for Wall Street, even worse in the first year of the presidential cycle with an average return, for the 16 occurrences since 1953, of -1.83%. In figure 1 is shown the average historical yearly pattern of the S&P500 since 1952 compared with the average of returns in the first year of the presidential cycle. They are very similar, even if the first of the four years term tends to be a bit more volatile and less performing. Usually, February and August are the worst months followed by June and September.

 
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13.03.2017

For Bitcoin ETF it's too early, SEC says

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disapproved on Friday the Bats BZX Exchange filing to list and trade shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. The shares, representing 0.01 BTC, would have tracked the price of bitcoins on the Gemini Exchange. The digital-asset exchange is owned and operated by the Gemini Trust Company, which would have owned the equivalent share value in bitcoins. The SEC classified the shares as an exchange-traded product (ETP), which typically provide investors with exposure to securities or other assets such as commodities. The world's largest asset manager, Blackrock, states that the global ETP market is worth $3.5 trillion.

 
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10.03.2017

R. Esposito: the FinLantern Community

R. Esposito, CEO of FinLantern, explains to Finanza Operativa his next initiatives, in particular the new "FinLantern Community".

 
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