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PayPal Suspends Services in Russia

PayPal Holdings, Inc. closed down its services in Russia on Saturday in support of many technology and financial companies which have stopped operations in the country in the wake of Ukraine attack.  

In his statement, CEO of PayPal Dan Schulman said suspension in Russia takes place following “the current circumstances”. PayPal will join suspension measure for a while to make sure that dispersion of the account balances goes according to applicable legislation.  

Only transborder businesses are allowed by PayPal users in Russia; the financial technology company refused new users in the country to join on Wednesday. 

This comes after the Ukrainian government authorities requested fundraising and a cease in services to Russia.

PayPal has raised over $150 million through the charities which have supported Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine.  

Xoom, which is a cheaper option for transferring money, has also been suspended in the invading country.

Remitly, dedicated for personal transfers, and Wise, for small and medium business transfers, have already ceased some of their services in Russia.

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By Saha on March 5, 2022

Apple's Deadline for U.S. Staff to Return

Apple Inc., which had delayed calling remote-working employees back to the office  due to the risk of COVID-19 infection, now plans to welcome them back by April 11, according to a memo by Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.

 After April 11, employees will work in the office twice a week. By May 23, the memo added, in-office work will increase to three days.

Apple’s pandemic restriction have been moderately eased. It’s no longer necessary for vaccinated customers and staff to wear masks in the retail stores.

Apple is taking measure similar to those of other leading technology companies mandating return as case counts fall. Among them are Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Twitter.

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By Saha on March 4, 2022

CNQ's Profit Grow in Q4

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s report shows a profit increase in the fourth quarter on Thursday. The company paid its stockholders higher dividends because prices of crude oil rose sharply from the low prices of the early pandemic. 

Last year, low supply and rebounding economy escalated oil and gas prices. This year, Brent benchmark in the world has constantly climbed to over $100 per barrel in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The company, which is one of one of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producers in Canada, said its average realized price surged 79.5% to C$72.81 from October through December, 2021. On average, Brent crude oil price was $80 per barrel in the fourth quarter.

Production of Canadian Natural Resources went up to 1.31 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) over the same period, compared to 1.20 million boepd a year ago. Adjusted earnings rose to C$2.63 billion within the quarter from C$176 million a year earlier.

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By Saha on March 3, 2022

France Tops in Global Tourism

With 90 million visitors from around the world in 2019, France is the top visited country in the globe. The country’s tourism sector accounts for 8% of the gross domestic product, GDP, the French ministry of foreign affairs said. Like other countries tourism, which were struck by the Covid-19, France’s tourism was affected as well; the tourist revenue declined in half from January through July 2020.

Spain comes second in tourism, 83.5 million in 2019, and third is the United States, 79.3 million tourists, stated the World Tourism Organization.

The small, popular country can easily be accessed from Europe. 

A hub for clients of Virtuoso, a network of travel agencies and travel experts, France is not a favorite destination only for its accessibility as many European countries already have fine air and rail services, said Misty Belles, Virtuoso's vice president. She continued tourists like France for its superb cuisine, unique culture, unparallel beauty and the feeling they experience in there.

She also said France’s variety appeals to visitors and considering its size it is easily explored, despite the distant destinations in the United States. Belles, having visited the country over 20 times, referred to Paris as a spotlight.

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By Saha on February 28, 2022

Asian Markets Improve Due To Sanctions on Russia

Stocks in Asia rebounded as Washington decided not to exert harshest sanctions on Russia.The U.S. sanctions are aimed at two largest banks in Russia and controlling the country’s defense sector.

Russia’s decision to dispatch military forces to Ukraine shocked Asian and European markets. Oil prices past $100, the first time since 2014, and traders in Eastern Europe faced a serious challenge. Oil saw a growth; Brent over $100 per barrel while analysts cautioned that the crisis might cause a rise in prices for several months.

Worries exist over supplying essential goods like wheat, metal, and crude oil.

The gains in Tokyo rose 2% and Mumbai at a growth of 2.4%; in the meantime, Jakarta, Bangkok, Seoul and Wellington were up 1%. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index increased 1.95% and Topix index rose 1.00%.

Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai and Taipei saw gains. The Shanghai Composite Index surged 0.63% and the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange gained 1.21%.

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By Saha on February 27, 2022

Low Earners Shattered Most As Inflation Rises

The lowest earners in America are struggling as inflation affects their family budgets.This is while what they have saved up after the breakout are growing less.

Federal aid including payments for child tax credit (CTC) each month along with payments for student loans are coming to a halt. Tax refunds might be paid with a delay; making challenges for low-income families.

The fastest yearly inflation pace was seen in January as prices were up 7.5% from 2021.

A survey at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School showed the lowest earner families, gaining less than $20,000 a year, suffered the most in 2021. 

Higher portion of low-income families' budget goes to essentials including energy and transportation whose prices go up faster than other commodities and services.

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By Saha on February 26, 2022

Russian Stock Indexes Drop Amid Tensions

As President Vladimir Putin dispatched troops into Ukraine, the stock indexes in Russia dropped on Tuesday. The RTS Index was down 32.5% since the beginning of 2022 and MOEX dropped by 8.8%.

Prior to his order to send troops to the regions, Putin recognized independence of the two separatist regions, Donetsk and Lugansk.

The Russian central bank would be affected by the possible sanctions against the country. However, the Russian bank said it will monitor financial market and take essential measures to keep the financial status stable.

BCS Global Markets said this conflict would lead to a huge selloff of assets.

Although Russia has denied the plans to attack Ukraine, the assets of the country have been impacted, as worries for new sanctions arise.

Russian OFZ bonds, once profitable among foreign investors, dropped further too.

The country’s Brent crude oil at $97.40 per barrel could not help Russian assets either. 

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By Saha on February 23, 2022

China Against U.S. Notorious Market List

China criticized the measure by the U.S. administration to put several e-commerce websites on its so-called notorious markets list. The Asian country has named it "irresponsible ", said the Chinese ministry of commerce on Friday.

Shockingly, the well-known e-commerce sites, which are run by Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd exist on the recent notorious markets list prepared by the U.S. government, according to Trade Representative's office. 

The list mentions 42 online marketing platforms alongside 35 physical marketplaces reportedly involved in significant brand counterfeiting and copyright infringement. 

Requesting for objective representation of the Chinese progress, China urged the U.S. to make unbiased evaluation and undue pressure on companies, according to a statement by the ministry. 

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By Saha on February 18, 2022

Singapore's Recovery Expected to Be Slow

Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) saw a growth of 6.1% year-on-year in the 4th quarter, partly above the government’s estimate, said the ministry of trade and industry. Analysts’ expectation was 6.2%.

Singapore’s estimate for the economy is a growth of 3-5% in 2022 as the country is recovering from the pandemic’s decline. However, officials alarmed a flipside to the global economy and rising inflation.   

The global economy is still struggling for recovery as supply chain impediment and increasing energy expenses, following friction between Russia and Ukraine, cause ascending inflation rate.

Trade and manufacturing have speeded up the country’s economic recovery; yet, this year’s expectations for tourism, air transport, and consumers sales are lower than what it was before the pandemic.

Gabriel Lim, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said supply chain bottlenecks in the world are predicted to linger during the first half of 2022; which would keep down industrial production and economic growth. He added constant supply issue along with high cost of energy amidst geopolitical agitation have impacted rising inflation in the world.

Priyanka Kishore, Head of India and South East Asia, and Sung-Eun Jung, Experienced macroeconomist, said economic growth is expected to slow down in the first half of 2022 while it’s taking long for reopening as a result of omicron spread and high inflation. Also, we expect finance and fiscal policies are tightening this year, they said in their research.

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By Saha on February 18, 2022

Huawei's Premises in India Searched

Indian tax officials have carried an investigation in offices of Huawei telecommunications equipment company, said a government authority who also approved local media news.

The authority, seeking for anonymity, said the search was done in Huawei’s office grounds in Gurgaon and Bangalore.  

In this regard, NDTV reported that Indian authorities from the income tax office checked financial documents, account books and company records, Indian businesses as well as overseas transactions.

Huawei said in its statement we were notified of the officials’ visit to the office. It also added Huawei is certain that the operations in India entirely comply with the laws and regulations so it will provide the Indian officials with sufficient information.

The income tax office didn’t comment on this though.

India didn’t name Huawei among the foreign suppliers authorized to test 5G technology last year.  

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By Saha on February 16, 2022

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