Global Airline Routes Might Get Stronger After a Possible Collaboration

chinese commercial plane

China Southern is in talks with American Airlines over a shareholding strategy to boost global airline routes.

China Southern Airlines Company Limited is the largest airline as far as the fleet is concerned in China. The organization consolidated a great position at a global level as well. It is the fourth largest carrier that transported the most passengers in the world. Along with Air China and China Eastern Airlines, it is known as the Big Three airlines in the country. As of recently, the company admitted a negotiation line with the American Airlines. This new collaboration might spark up the industry and improve global airline routes.

Shares of China Southern Airlines Rose to Highest Point in Three Months

China Southern Airlines Co. saw its shares rise to their highest value in the last three months. This boost was generated by the latest news. Asia’s biggest carrier admitted that it opened up the discussion of a possible tie-up with the American Airlines Group Inc. The collaboration might allow the American airline to buy a stake of China Southern.

On Sunday, during an exchange filing, the Chinese company confessed the possibility of a market strategy with the American Airlines over a stake purchase, but also other business ideas. On Monday, the stakes proliferated 5.3% to HK$5.74 in Hong Kong. The first similar collaboration occurred as recently as 2015. Delta Air Lines Inc. purchased a 3.55% share in China Eastern Airlines Corp for a total of $450 million. Thus, the newly opened negotiations can make the American Airlines the second U.S. airline to be the owner of a Chinese carrier’s stake.

Beijing Wants to Empower its Carriers through Stronger Global Airline Routes

This initiative comes on behalf of the Chinese company. The capital city, Beijing, is in full operations to expand its global airline routes. However, it needs the support of private capital to make things happen. The mixed-ownership strategy is, in fact, a power unity that can improve key aspects in the organization. China Southern Airlines needs better competitiveness and efficiency to become a first-tier company.

At the moment, China Southern has routes from Guangzhou to key cities in the United States, such as New York, Hawaii, Chicago, and Boston. It is also part of the SkyTeam alliance. The company is already collaborating with other two American carriers, namely Delta and Virgin American. Together they share a number of same flights.

Image source: 1

FCC Moves to Banish Illegal Robocalls

phone

FCC wants to track down and block illegal robocalls.

Robocalls have made life easier for illegal intentions, yet harder for households. These annoyances look just like regular phone calls except that at the other side of the line is a robot who doesn’t listen. Instead, they are repeating the text they’ve been programmed to deliver. This system of prerecorded calls is not safe. Scammers have been taken advantage of this for ages by pretending to call from official institutions and asking for funds. Because of their intrusive nature, FFC wants to banish illegal robocalls for good.

FCC Will Collaborate with Phone Companies to Identifiy Illegal Robocalls

On Thursday, the Federal Communication Commission announced that the authorities are planning a series of rules against illegal robocalls. Through them, the FCC hopes to be able to identify and block phone scams. For this, they need to cooperate with phone companies to target unassigned or illegitimate phone numbers.

According to the Chairman of FCC, Ajit Pai, there are around 2.4 billion artificial calls that contact people each month. He stated that the majority have a fraudulent nature.

“Robo-calls are the No. 1 consumer complaint to the FCC from members of the American public.”

The Public Punishes Corporations as Well if They Force Robocalls on Them

Other reports from FCC show that there is at least 1 in 10 Americans who has been falling victim to such a scam. Companies also had something to lose if they tried to appeal to this marketing channel. For instance, PayPal back in 2015 managed to force some of its users to agree on their new robocall campaign. However, as the organization started to receive large waves of criticism even from lawmakers, PayPal redrew this strategy from the market.

Ajit Pai is more concerned with the illegal robocalls than those coming from corporations and institutions. The practice that bypasses security is the spoofing method. Contacted people see an official phone number calling them when scammers are actually using another number. This way, the origin of the call is deceitful.

Thus, the proposal targets illegal robocalls mostly. The authorities may finish their paper by the end of the year. The public can also play a proactive role and submit their feedback. This way, Americans are one step closer to having a peaceful evening without annoying artificial calls. Telecommunications companies are also on board with this direction, especially Verizon and AT&T.

Image source: 1

Tencent’s Next Interest Is in Chinese Video Streaming Service

two girls on smartphone

A popular Chinese video streaming service gained the support of major investment holding companies.

Kuaishou is a video streaming service that is held in high esteem by young Chinese users. Tencent Holdings Ltd. saw the great potential of this business. This is why it organized a fundraising on behalf of the video sharing app. The final sum rounded up to a total of $350 million USD. This is just a secondary step in the company’s plan to go public on the United States market sometime at the end of 2017.

The Video Streaming Service Attracted Investors as Baidu, DCM, and Sequoia

The new round of funding for the popular Chinese video streaming service was designated for one purpose only. The company will use this financial support to streamline the user experience and improve its research and development operations.

Kuaishou explained the new direction of its business with a focus on artificial intelligence and the latest technologies in video analytics. This way, the company wants to ramp up its position on the market and entice new users with latest tech products.

The success of Kuaishou previosuly inspired other investment holding behemoths to support the business. These are DCM, Baidu, and Sequoia. However, the new round of fundraising didn’t reveal their second participation. On the other hand, Kuaishou will not receive financial support only.

Tencent Saw a Great Bussiness Opportunity in its New Project

On the contrary, the company managed to close a partnership with Baidu and Tencent. Together, they are going to improve the technology and product of the Chinese video streaming service. The ultimate goal is to attract new users through a top-notch experience on the platform.

The founder and chairman of Tencent, Pony Ma, is excited for the new project and partnership with his company.

“Kuaishou has brings people closer with their focus on the recording and sharing everyday lives. It’s a product that closes to users for its warmth and vigor.”

Tencent acknowledged the trend that is going to help video content expand into an even bigger market in the future. By merging their efforts together, Kuaishou and Tencent will complete their unique user insights, professional expertise, and conquered tech boundaries to come up with groundbreaking methods to seize business opportunities.

At the moment, the popularity of Kuaishou created a large community of 400 million global users. The social media application offers them a creative way to capture their everyday life on live stream or video clips. Afterward, they can share their work with the world. The tackled topics are usually inspired by everyday life. However, there are also beauty tutorials and quirky entertainment.

Image source: 1

Costco Brings Fresh Groceries to Your Door

costco store

Costco is partnering up with Shipt to bring fresh groceries from door to door in some U.S. states.

Costco Wholesale Corporation managed to become back in 2015 the world’s second largest retailer. The membership-only warehouse club was encompassed only by Walmart. However, the main competition is between Costco, Sam’s West, and BJ’s Wholesale Club. They are all targeting businesses and large families that are interested in buying quality products in bulk at low prices. To consolidate its position, Costco is ready to deliver fresh groceries from door to door.

The New Delivery of Fresh Groceries Will Start off in Tampa

On Tuesday, Costco announced a new partnership with an ambitious, young startup called Shipt. The two of them are going to work side by side to manage orders from customers. This marks another major effort for brick-and-mortar stores to compete with online services.

The new option for clients will be available in Tampa for starters. If everything goes according to plan, Shipt will be ready to conquer other 50 countries. By the end of the year, the startup projects to cover more than 30 million businesses and households.

Retailers are struggling to remain relevant in an industry with thin margins. Home delivery of fresh groceries represents an expensive way to win customers over. This strategy simulates the activity of an online store that saves the users from making any trips to the local market and from waiting in line.

The Delivery Services Experience a Productive Period

Thus, the delivery sector experienced a boom recently as more traditional companies desire to offer premium services to their customers. Such prosperous solutions are Instacart, Google Express, Amazon Fresh, and FreshDirect.

Moreover, major organizations such as Walmart and Kroger teamed up with behemoths in the transportation domain. Thus, they are testing an innovative delivery approach with Lyft and Uber. In an effort to save customers time, Sam’s Club, one of the main rivals of Costco, launched a drive-by pickup system at its own locations.

The startup Shipt is not at its first major such quest. The delivery service has already signed contracts with Whole Foods Market, Harris Teeter, and H-E-B. At the beginning of the month, Shipt won another contract from the supermarket chain, Meijer. The retailer was content with its development. Thus, the company will rely on Shipt services to deliver fresh groceries in six Midwestern states.

Shipt employs a subscription business format actually. Customers have to pay an annual fee of $99. Once they purchase their membership, they can enjoy unlimited deliveries. They have one hour at their disposal to pick up their order when the package is dropped off.

Image source: 1

Enterprises to Build Applications in IBM Cloud Soon

blockchain

IBM will enable developers to build applications through its new blockchain service.

International Business Machines Corporation managed to score in 24 consecutive years a record thanks to its broad number of patents created for businesses. One of such innovative projects regards a connection between its cloud computing services and enterprises’ need to build applications. The result is a blockchain code borrowed from the Hyperledger Project.

Developers Will Be Able to Build Applications with Hyperledger Project

On Monday, the American multinational technology firm inaugurated its latest product called IBM Blockchain. This is the first time the organization enables developers to build applications directly on its IBM Cloud service. From now on, clients will be able to create personalized technology at the level of an entire enterprise.

The new service will use Hyperledger Fabric which is the result of collective work. At the beginning of 2016, the Hyperledger Project started by the Linux Foundation asked worldwide developers for codebase proposals. In the end, the new asset was a construct of several incubated technologies, such as Digital Asset Holdings and libconsensus from Blockstream. IBM was itself a contributor to this project through its own project called OpenBlockchain. The product was later on named as Fabric.

The chaincode Fabric has the capacity to conduct 1,000 transactions in the span of a second. IBM stated that the blockchain is going to become the main business logic of any enterprise. The technology is endowed with all the necessary processes for large organizations to build applications. The company continued by admitting that it collaborated with SecureKey Technologies, a tech company, and a consortium of Canadian banks to come up with a complex digital identity network.

IBM Blockchain Will Be Released at the End of 2017

As a result, IBM Blockchain is going to be a network of networks where consumers have it easier to navigate through. The asset is going to be officially launched by the end of 2017. Basically, it will allow users to prove their identities and get fast access to important accounts such as bank accounts, utilities or driver’s license. The banks that will take part in this social innovation are Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and Canadian Imperial Bank.

A blockchain first emerged on the market as a way to organize the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Later on, it developed into a modern digital shared record of transactions that happen without the approval of centralized power. There is only an online network of computers that handles this record. IBM put its blockchain technology to use for business giants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Northern Trust Corp, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

Image source: 1

Wall Street Bonuses Scored Highest Value Since 2013

new york stock exchange

Wall Street Bonuses hit a record height last years despite low profits for the industry.

The financial services sector in New York City saw a major revenue increase last year. Employees that empower this industry received $138,210 in Wall Street bonuses for the year of 2016. This financial improvement has spectacular surge in bank profitsto thank for. This is the first time in three years when the profits escalated so quickly. By comparison, industry workers received just a 1% boost to their salaries.

Wall Street Bonuses Soared 21%

On Wednesday, the New York State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, released a new financial report. One of the main findings of the document highlights a huge discrepancy between the worth of financial industries. While the bank’s employees and brokerages got to take home a 1% profit, the Wall Street bonuses soared 21%.

Another odd fact was that in 2016, the Wall Street profits suffered a plunge in numbers actually. Despite this profit decay, the employers were generous in the compensation area. In the Wall Street world, bonuses are declared between December and March. These consist not only of cash, but also of stock as well. This is why some employees might get their hands on their gratification in several years from now.

The source of generous bonuses might have something to do with stock prices for banks that increased since November. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase saw a boost of more than 30%. At the same time, the Bank of America left all the others behind thanks to a 50% increase.

Only 10% of Employees Benefited the Bonus

On the other hand, Michael Karp, the CEO of Options Group, a top recruiting company, stated that only up to 10% of employees benefited the Wall Street bonuses. It was only 2015 when trading business faced massive difficulties and had to lower the bonuses for employees by 15%.

“Since DiNapoli’s survey focuses on tax credits, much of the increase came from the appreciation of deferred stock bonuses vesting this year,” Karp explained.

The comptroller’s report didn’t divulge numbers. However, the document did specify the bonuses for 2015. The securities industry paid an average of $388,000. This makes the average bonus for the year of 2016 to hit a total of $500,000. The recently disclosed report shows only average bonuses. On the other hand, employees aren’t remunerated equally across the securities industry. Those in the front office such as bankers and traders earn significantly more than the others.

Image source: 1

Justice Department Is Expected to Charge Yahoo Hackers

yahoo company

Yahoo is going to get the help of Justice Department to catch the culprits of the 2013 and 2014 data breaches.

U.S. officials are ready to pinpoint hackers that are responsible for the greatest security breaches ever reported in the history of the Internet. Even though the incident happened in late 2014, Yahoo reported it two years later on December 14, 2016. The report announced the existence of two hacking assaults. It is estimated that the cyber theft affected over 1 billion users. The aftermath impacted the Verizon deal and it created changes at the level of the leadership. The Justice Department is going to reveal the identity of at least the hackers that participated in one of the massive hacking attacks.

The Justice Department Has Its Eyes Set on Four Suspects

On Wednesday, the Justice Department is expected to issue indictments for a part of the people that initiated the hacking attacks on Yahoo. It is rumored that the U.S. officials are going to pinpoint four persons that created large damages when they compromised the security of around 1 billion accounts. The source of the news is an official that received the briefing regarding this case. However, as the matter is not public, the person requested to remain anonymous.

According to the source intercepted by publication Bloomberg, the U.S. is ready to arrest one of the culprits as soon as Tuesday. Moreover, they are also aware of the whereabouts of the other three persons. They are located somewhere in Russia. However, Yahoo, Sunnyvale, and the Justice Department did not comment on this news.

Verizon Lowered Its Price Offer

The new series of indictments are the result of the public disclosure held by Yahoo company. This revelation about major security breaches of historical proportions impelled Verizon Telecommunications Inc. to reconsider the price for its deal. The company intended to acquire major internet assets from Yahoo. These cover even websites like sports, finance, and others. Yahoo will remain with just the 15% owned stake in Alibaba Group, another series of 35% shares in Yahoo! Japan, and other secondary projects.

In light of the disclosure, Verizon asked for a price reduction of $250 million. Thus, the final offer might be of $4.38 billion. Given that the company was once worth $100 billion, the transaction is more than advantageous for the telecommunications company. On the other hand, Verizon is going to share liabilities as a result of the investigations into security breaches.

Image source: 1

Citrix Considers New Sale Process Under Goldman Sachs Supervision

citrix systems headquarters

Citrix Systems is considering a new sale process at the advice of Goldman Sachs.

Citrix Systems Inc. has been specializing for 28 years in cloud computing technologies as well as server, networking, and SaaS. However, continuous financial evolution impelled the company to seek a new sale process. Goldman Sachs plays an important role here, by advising the tech organization on best suitors for their cloud services.

The tech company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is working with employees at Goldman Sachs  Group Inc. to organize an effective yet discreet sale process. The consulting firm is looking to propose the deal to potential buyers which can also include private equity firms. The sources of this thread have been contacted by publication Bloomberg. However, they refused to have their identities disclosed as this is a private matter.

Potential Suitors Have to Deal with High Valuation

Nonetheless, this is going to be a difficult task even for Goldman Sachs. The finalists of the sales process would most probably have to split the bid between them given the large market valuation of Citrix Systems. The buyout firms are usually unwilling to team up with others, which will lead to a complicated transaction. The same sources pointed out to an increased market value of the tech company over the years. This evolution might make it difficult for buyers to offer a premium deal for Citrix.

On Monday, the shares have already increased by 6.8% to $84.93. Thus, the total value of the company rose to $13.3 billion. Moreover, during the last 12 months, the stock was boosted by around 30%. This result comes in contradiction with the claims of the management, according to which they are more after a conservative prospect for the upcoming four quarters. Neither Goldman Sachs nor Citrix Systems wanted to comment the news.

Overview of Recent History Prior to the Sale Process

In 2015, Citrix Systems included Jesse Cohn, a partner of Elliott Management, an activist hedge fund company, to its board. At the same time, the tech organization named Robert Calderoni as the executive chairman. As a result of these changes, the company underwent a series of reviews as far as strategic and operational points are concerned.

It was only last July when Citrix Systems announced the evolution of its GoTo business thanks to a merger with LogMec Inc. The deal was worth $1.8 billion which led to a collaboration with its main rivals in online meeting organization.

Image source: 1

China Backs Off on Overseas Investments

beijing scenery

Zhong Shan, the commerce minister of China, urged businesspersons to slow down on irrational overseas investments.

Last year, China scored a new record when it comes to overseas investments. Many Chinese companies sought to invest outside the country and bought businesses valued at a total of $225 billion. This record number marked the Chinese business leaders as a new global power. However, policy makers are worried of to how much extent money is leaving Chinese territory. With this idea in mind, the authorities are urging businesspersons to slow down this expansion.

Commerce Minister Calls for Cognition over Overseas Investments

Even though the portfolio of companies in China extended to unbelievable heights, Zhong Shan, the commerce minister, perceives this movement as imprudent. The minister defined this expansion as “blind and irrational investment.” During the annual meeting of Congress in China, Zhong Shan announced at a news briefing several future plans. To mitigate this situation, he stated that officials are going to strengthen their monitoring over a selected number of companies.

“Some even have had a negative impact on our national image” stated Mr. Zhong who is also a trusted personality in President Xi Jinping’s  political entourage. By this, he referred to several enterprises that left a negative trail after the completion of their acquisitions overseas.

Repercussions of the Recent Comments

Even though the company didn’t explain the event, Wanda Group failed to honor the deal on Friday with Dick Clark Productions, the producer of Golden Globe Awards. The Chinese conglomerate led by the Wang Jianlin was supposed to conclude an already announced purchasing act with Dick Clark Productions last week. However, it was Wanda Group that didn’t honor the $1 billion agreement. It is uncertain if this sudden shift is related to Beijing stepping in or if this was a realization of a big mistake.

It was not only companies but also Chinese families, who relied on overseas investments for their economy. They felt how the national finances are slowing down amid a weak currency and other such issues. China had to cover around $1 trillion expenses during the last two and a half years to support the value of the currency.

On the other hand, companies are showing signs of leaving the irrational investments behind and heading for safer territories. A managing partner at DLA Piper, a law firm in China, Qiang Li, stated “There is no question that investors will continue to invest overseas, by getting the proper approvals.” He explained this projection as an observation of the recent deals in which he participated. Only a quarter of them continued to get money out of China. The rest of them relied on dollars that are owned by China and which they already got in circulation overseas.

Image source: 1

Treasury Appeals to Congress to Fix Debt Default

U.S. treasury department

The Treasury Department will have to deal with severe consequences if the Congress doesn’t tackle the debt default.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary of the United States, started an initiative to address the debt default of the U.S. government. He wants the government to postpone the scheduled payments for its bonds. As a consequence, Steven Mnuchin asked the House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to increase debt limit at the first occasion.

On Thursday, Steven Mnuchin sent a letter to Paul D. Ryan in which he stated that the federal government is in full work on its tax policies. As a consequence, at this moment the government is usually adjourning the sale of certain local and state securities. Other strategies employed are going to regard the payment delay to several pension funds in an effort to not fall behind on other more important payments. However, these delays will eventually catch up with the government. At that point, there will be no other temporary solution left than to admit the fact that they don’t have money anymore to pay off the bills.

Thus, in his letter to Paul D. Ryan, Mnuchin declared that paying the outstanding debt represents a priority for the Treasury that would not be taken lightly. This is why Mnuchin urges Congress to tackle the debt default with the first rising opportunity and change the deadline. Only then will the Treasury be able to continue its common priorities.

The Treasury Department is entitled to perform payments each year that are usually known as Social Security checks. This way, the institution can cover Medicare bills, research, care for veterans, funds for the military, and other projects as well. By the end of the year, the Treasury ends up dealing with trillions of dollars in a complicated system.

However, this year, budget experts signaled a sensitive situation. If the Treasury Secretary fails to convince Congress to raise the debt limit by August, there will be some troublesome consequences. One of them could be that the government will have no other options to fix the debt default and it will have to admit that it failed to respect its obligations.

By the end of the fiscal year which is on September 30th, the Congressional Budget Office expects the government to spend $3.963 trillion. On the other hand, the national revenue will amount to $3.404 trillion. Thus, the deficit will be around $559 billion. CBO predicted that the publicly held debt would round up to $14.8 trillion.

Image source: 1