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Financial News from Quartz

  • Reddit, the anti-corporate corner of the internet, will soon allow brands to sponsor regular posts

    Reddit, the wild west of the internet, could be staring down a gunfight with its proudly anti-corporate users over a new advertising program . The volatile social network—which can be a minefield for sponsors—doesn’t push ads as hard as competitors like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. That’s because Redditors tend to …

  • Two of the Rio Olympics’ biggest champions won’t be at the games

    Dilma Rousseff has spent her whole presidency working to put on the Rio 2016 Olympics. But Brazil’s suspended president won’t be on the stands when the games open on Aug. 5. Neither will her predecessor and ally, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who spearheaded and won Brazil’s Olympic bid. The two have said …

  • Kenya’s PesaPal is moving into the physical world with its first point-of-sale system

    PesaPal, a Nairobi-based aggregator for online and mobile payments, is set to launch its own point-of-sale system (POS) to rival similar products from PayPal, Shopify and Square. Expected to be in place in a month, the point-of-sale system will enable business owners to accept payments more conveniently and help the firm …

  • Deutsche Bank promises that this is the last year it will waste so much money on legal fines

    Deutsche Bank has shelled out €10 billion ($11 billion) in fines and other legal charges over the past three years. But never fear, long-suffering shareholders—the bank has pledged to resolve its biggest pending cases by the end of this year, including a significant one in the US related to mortgage-backed securities sold …

  • A UK lawmaker is surprised to find herself in a Times Square video about the South China Sea

    It’s one thing to have your comments from an interview taken out of context. It’s another to have them taken out of context and then plastered in a big video above Times Square in New York City. Just ask Catherine West, a member of the UK parliament for Hornsey & Wood Green, a member of…

  • Finally, Nigeria has really let go and the naira is floating

    Following prolonged periods of a fixed exchange rate owing to depleted foreign reserves, last month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) decided on a change of tack to adopt more flexibility. The new policy, the CBN said, would see the value of Nigeria’s naira currency determined by market forces and after the policy was …

  • This could be the last economic growth Britain sees for a while

    The UK has recorded three-and-a-half years of uninterrupted economic growth, its third-longest streak since 1955. (But it’s probably over.) Gross domestic product increased 0.6% between April and June, including the days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the Office for National Statistics said today (July …

  • If they’re lucky, British millennials will barely earn more than Generation X in their lifetimes

    “There is a growing divide between a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation.” This is British prime minister Theresa May’s assessment of the country she now leads. Narrowing the generational gap in incomes is one of the many challenges she now faces. New research out recently reinforces that …

  • Tiger Global is now the biggest investor in online fashion retail in India

    One of the most active American hedge funds has become a key stakeholder in Indian online fashion. New York-headquartered Tiger Global, founded by billionaire Charles “Chase” Coleman (paywall) and known for early investments in startups such as Facebook and Zynga, currently holds a greater number of investments in Indian …

  • Twitter’s turnaround hopes are slipping away, along with its revenue growth

    By now, it should be routine: Investors go into Twitter’s earnings with modest expectations, the company manages to miss the lowered bar, and shares sink after hours. Well, here we are again. Reporting its second-quarter earnings, Twitter fell short of expectations with a $107 million net loss on $602 million in sales. …

  • A major Nigerian bank has had to deny links to Turkey’s failed coup

    One of Nigeria’s top banks has been named in the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15. A report by Yeni Safak, a Turkish daily, claims funds used to finance the coup, pegged at $2 billion, were kept and routed through United Bank for Africa (UBA), a leading Nigerian bank operating in 19 African…

  • Dolly the sheep’s clones are perfectly healthy, which could be huge for the future of cloning

    When Dolly the sheep died of lung disease and severe arthritis in 2003 after a relatively short seven year life, many scientists speculated that perhaps cloning had something to do with it. Could cloning an adult mammal, they wondered, make the clone adult-like right from birth. Maybe clones were not meant to live very …

  • Nintendo’s trying to figure out mobile gaming—with a console

    Pokémon Go has been a massive mobile gaming hit for Nintendo, a company that’s long been criticized for missing the boat on the public’s shift from console gaming to casual games played on cellphones. But instead of doubling-down on licensing its popular franchises for more mobile games, it seems Nintendo’s next move will …

  • A Kenyan furniture maker is gunning to be the Ikea of Africa Quartz - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 11:02 AM EDT
    A Kenyan furniture maker is gunning to be the Ikea of Africa

    The furniture that comes out of Ciiru Waweru’s workshop in Nairobi isn’t hand painted or hand carved. The bunk beds, children’s desks, and baby cots made at Waweru’s children’s furniture brand, FunKidz, are more similar to what you would find at Ikea—flat-packable, made with computer-controlled cutting machines and printers. …

  • First Brexit, now this: British companies could be forced to pay to put their money in the bank

    In yet another sign the financial world is being turned on its head, one of the UK’s biggest banks has warned customers that it may saddle them with negative interest rates. That is, depositors would be charged for putting their money in the bank. Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Britain’s largest banks, and Natwest,…

  • Lufthansa is selling seats on flights through Airbnb Quartz - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 8:12 AM EDT
    Lufthansa is selling seats on flights through Airbnb

    Facing headwinds, Lufthansa has quietly listed seats on its planes on Airbnb. “Our cabin isn’t in the woods, but in the sky!” exclaims the ad, offering a roundtrip ticket from New York to Frankfurt for $885, including taxes, in premium economy. Lufthansa isn’t just being cute by tapping the Airbnb platform. It’s trying …

  • Chart: It’s not your imagination, US gun violence is over the top this summer

    There was another mass shooting in Florida this week. It seems like this is happening more and more, that this is shaping up to be an awfully bloody summer in the US. What is it? Does the oppressive summer heat bring this on? Are things really worse or is everything just more heightened after a…

  • It’s becoming nearly impossible to find a diaper in Venezuela

    Parents in Venezuela have a big mess on their hands. Kimberly-Clark, one of the country’s biggest diaper producers, said earlier this month it’s leaving the country. That means the unsavory quest to contain baby waste just got exponentially harder. Diapers, like other basic personal hygiene products including toilet paper …

  • Europe has too much chocolate Quartz - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 4:00 AM EDT
    Europe has too much chocolate

    Europeans just aren’t eating enough chocolate. In its latest financial report, Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli said its key markets in Switzerland and Europe are “largely saturated.” Moreover, the Swiss aren’t buying chocolate at home–instead they’re shopping for confections outside their own country. That’s partially …

  • The collapse of the Syrian economy is worse than Germany after World War II

    Economics is rightly an afterthought compared to the scope of suffering that has accompanied the war in Syria. Some 250,000 dead are dead. Roughly 5 million people have fled the country. Some 6.5 million others have been displaced within Syria’s borders, according to the UN. But it’s also worth noting the almost utter economic …

  • Snapchat is the latest tech company to be sued for mapping faces

    Snapchat is being dragged to a California federal court over a feature that outlines and maps the shape of your face. Two Illinois residents in May sued Snapchat in California state court for allegedly capturing and storing facial recognition data without getting consent from users or disclosing how long it will be kept. …

  • The company that created Pokemon Go is now worth over $3 billion

    Pokémon Go has transformed creator company Niantic into a unicorn, say analysts at Citibank. According to a research note sent to investors on July 19, the company that developed Pokémon Go is worth around $3.65 billion. Its app, which launched July 6, has catapulted to the top of global app stores and is estimated to…

  • Austria is facing legal action to break up its impenetrable ski-instructor cartel

    Austria: great for skiers, tough for ski instructors. The European Commission has ruled that some of the country’s requirements for instructing on its slopes “discriminate against non-Austrian ski instructors without justification.” Western Austria’s skiing hotspot of Tyrol was singled out for breaking EU laws that protect …

  • With its takeover of Yahoo, Verizon becomes king of the internet for “the olds”

    Across America, millions of people use dial-up connections to web portals as they surfed the information superhighway. It sounds like a scene from the 1990s, except that all of these things are still happening: Yahoo is still one of the most-visited properties on the web (No. 5, according to the web-traffic monitoring site …

  • Germany is rocked by the third violent attack from a refugee in a week

    Germany has been shaken again by another bloody attack by a young refugee. Late on Sunday (July 24), a 27-year-old Syrian refugee died when a bomb he was carrying in his rucksack went off outside a music festival in Ansbach, in the southern German state of Bavaria. The man had reportedly been denied entry to…

  • Why is the IMF concerned over the world’s fastest-growing major economy?

    India is celebrating 25 years of economic liberalisation this month, but a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggests a sobering future. Yesterday (July 24), IMF listed (pdf) the top challenges Asia’s third-largest economy faces—those that would “weigh on growth.” This report comes less than a week …

  • This tiny islet in the South China Sea is now officially a “rock”—and the implications are global

    On July 14, Taiwan’s ex-president Ma Ying-jeou held up a bottle of water during a press conference to prove a key point—that 400-meter-wide Itu Aba, the largest feature in the contested Spratly archipelago, is clearly not a rock. The water, sourced from the feature Taiwan calls Taiping Dao (Island), is proof that it is …

  • KFC is ditching Indian vegetarians to do what it does best: sell fried chicken

    Two years after Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) announced that it will sell more vegetarian burgers in India, it is looking back at chicken in a big way. As competition in India’s burger market heats up, fast-food chains are returning to what they know best—in KFC’s case, tubs of fried chicken—leaving the vegetarian menu as …

  • Why Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.8 billion, in a deal Marissa Mayer calls “poetic”

    Verizon Communications has announced it is buying Yahoo’s core businesses for $4.83 billion—a steep price to pay for internet assets that are considered “worthless” by Wall Street. The deal makes sense for Verizon, though. As one of the largest US telecom carriers, Verizon faces market saturation and limited growth prospects …

  • Stories from the women on the front lines of Turkey’s coup

    PDuring the coup attempt on July 15, Turkey witnessed many heroic actions. People lay down in front of tanks. Others stood in front of them only to be shot down. Some disarmed members of the forces leading the coup. Others made futile attempts to show how angry they were, hurling stones at F16s flying overhead,…

  • Rocket Internet is raising plenty of money, but its stock is still getting hammered

    Rocket Internet, among the largest listed internet companies in Europe, announced today (July 22) that it closed a €330 million ($364 million) funding round for Global Fashion Group, one of its portfolio companies that sells clothing online on several continents, and that it was oversubscribed. The round was 10% larger …

  • Britain’s knight in shining armor is…Canadian Mark Carney

    In the aftermath of Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, Brexit’s loudest advocates scurried from public view and the political establishment descended into a caustic battle for control. Emerging from the melee was Theresa May, who has a reputation for consistency, if little else. But the UK doesn’t need …

  • Elon Musk is coming for Uber, along with everyone else Quartz - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 10:22 AM EDT
    Elon Musk is coming for Uber, along with everyone else

    The threat was buried at the bottom of Elon Musk’s July 20 update to his “Master Plan,” three short paragraphs in a section unassumingly titled, “Sharing.” “You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income…

  • Scent of a chicken: Scientists may have found an incredibly effective, all-natural mosquito repellant

    Rickard Ignell, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, had a simple question: Which animals attract mosquitoes and which repel them? His hope was that the answer might help humans repel mosquitoes and avoid the myriad of diseases—from malaria to Zika—that mosquitoes carry with them. With the help of his team, …

  • Decoding the jargon-filled job ad for manager of Belgium’s national soccer team

    Last week, Belgium’s soccer team parted ways with manager Marc Wilmots after crashing out of Euro 2016 in the quarter-finals. The country’s soccer association is casting the net wide to find a replacement: it posted an ad for the job on its website. Do you have what it takes? Judging by the job ad, in…

  • Donald Trump doesn’t know if he’d defend US allies in a war with Russia

    Republicans in Cleveland all seem to know one thing about president Barack Obama: He’s not a national security leader, and US allies don’t trust America anymore. Donald Trump will change that. “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s foreign-policy of leading from behind, moving red lines, feigning resets with Russia,” Trump’s …

  • Plastic Jesus built a tiny wall around Trump’s Hollywood star (and Mexico didn’t pay for it)

    On Tuesday (July 19), Donald Trump was formally nominated as Republican candidate for the US presidency, and the Los Angeles street artist known as Plastic Jesus decided to produce an artwork to mark the event. The artist, who has been referred to as “the Banksy of LA” and whose most famous works include road signs…

  • France rarely observes days of national mourning—but has done so three times since last year

    For the third time in eighteen months, president François Hollande has addressed the nation to declare a three days of national mourning (paywall). He did so following the terror attack last Thursday, when a man plowed through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing more than 80 people. He did the s …

  • Pokémon Go fanatics are determined to play anywhere, including Bosnian minefields and Iraqi war zones

    Some Pokémon Go gamers may discount the “reality” in “augmented reality” a bit too casually. The search for fake animals in the hit game has either led them to potentially dangerous places or distracted them in situations when their attention should perhaps not be on their phone. Minefields in Bosnia The brutal war that …

  • Hong Kong’s pro-democracy student leaders were convicted for the Umbrella Movement protests

    For the student activists who led Hong Kong’s pro-democracy “Umbrella Movement” in 2014, the aftermath is starting to take a dark turn. Joshua Wong, 19, and Alex Chow, 25, were both found guilty of unlawful assembly by local courts today (July 21). A court has found student activist Joshua Wong guilty of taking part in …

  • South Sudan’s historic Olympic team provides a glimmer of hope amid the threat of civil war

    Fresh violence has engulfed South Sudan on the eve of the fifth anniversary of its independence, leading to the death of 300 people, the displacement of tens of thousands and sparking fears that the country is on the verge of another civil war. Yet in the midst of the conflict, there is one bright spot…

  • Want to attend a big, fat Indian wedding? Buy a ticket Quartz - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 1:46 AM EDT
    Want to attend a big, fat Indian wedding? Buy a ticket

    Always wanted to play dress up for an Indian wedding, wear henna and dance to some Bollywood music? Now you don’t even need to have Indian friends to join the fun. Joinmywedding.com, a month-old startup based in Brisbane, Australia, will let you buy a ticket to an Indian wedding for $300 or roughly Rs20,000 per…

  • A disruptive startup just sold for $1 billion—and it isn’t even a tech company

    Despite what you might have read, innovative businesses can be more than just app makers and smart device manufacturers. Take the Dollar Shave Club, a direct-to-consumer business that sells men’s razor blades on a subscription plan, which was just acquired by personal care giant Unilever for a reported $1 billion. How did …

  • Airbnb has hired former US attorney general Eric Holder to help weed out racist hosts

    Airbnb has hired former US attorney general Eric Holder to help weed out discrimination on its home-sharing platform. Holder will work alongside Laura Murphy, the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington DC legislative office, and John Relman, a civil rights attorney, to “craft a world-class anti-discrimination …

  • Spotify is going to start playing ads based on all those Nickelback songs you secretly love

    There you were, naively thinking the dark recesses of your listening history were between you and Spotify alone. The music streaming company this morning (July 20) announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with several ad tech companies, which will give the latter groups access to Spotify’s data troves—including an individual …

  • Brazil’s “indefinite” Whatsapp block only lasted around four hours

    Brazil yesterday banned Whatsapp for the third time in eight months—but the ban was lifted after only four hours. On July 19, a Brazilian court ordered an indefinite ban on WhatsApp for refusing to intercept and provide authorities with messages from the platform for criminal investigations, Reuters reported. Telephone …

  • Americans are losing faith in religion’s ability to help solve social problems

    Throughout US history, religious leaders and institutions have played a vital role in addressing the issues of the day. The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which witnessed a horrific shooting in June last year, was used in the struggle against slavery as a site for organizing and …

  • The rare weather phenomenon that produced a giant mushroom cloud in Arizona

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that this picture is of an atom bomb exploding over Phoenix, Arizona. @chopperguyhd Here's a closer look at today's microburst over Phoenix pic.twitter.com/jkXuRvXL3k — Bruce Haffner (@chopperguyhd) July 19, 2016 Thankfully, there haven’t been any atmospheric nuclear bomb tests since …

  • The rich owe Indian banks more than $11 billion but refuse to pay up

    Indian banks are in trouble, and the trouble-makers refuse to toe the line. Up to 8,167 borrowers—despite their ability to repay—have defaulted on Rs76,685 crore ($11.4 billion) of loans taken from public sector banks in Asia’s third-largest economy. Answering a query in the Rajya Sabha on July 19, India’s finance minister …

  • You can now make an emoji of yourself to use in Snapchat Quartz - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 4:40 PM EDT
    You can now make an emoji of yourself to use in Snapchat

    Have you ever dreamed of plastering your Snapchat photos with emoji versions of yourself? Dream no more. Today, Snapchat announced a new integration with BitStrips, which it bought in March and owns the popular emoji app Bitmoji. After designing and customizing emojis of yourself in Bitmoji, you can use those stickers in …

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