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Deutsche Bank looks to cut 10,000 jobs

Deutsche Bank plans to cut 10,000 jobs, or about a tenth of its global workforce, as part of efforts to reduce costs, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The German bank’s supervisory board met on Wednesday evening to talk about job cuts and other details of a broad restructuring plan ahead of the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the job cuts on Wednesday, adding that they were likely to extend into 2019.

The loss-making bank said after an abrupt management reshuffle last month that it aimed to scale back its global investment bank and refocus on Europe and its home market after three consecutive years of losses.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, is expected to announce further details of its reorganisation plans early on Thursday.

Bloomberg News reported the bank was planning to withdraw from a number of equities markets across the globe.

The Bloomberg report, which cited unidentified people, said that Deutsche would sharply scale back its presence in the United States, and had started cutting activities in Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

When it announced last month that it would scale back its investment bank, Deutsche Bank said equities was one of the areas it was looking at for possible cuts.

It has also said that it would cut back U.S. bond trading and the business that services hedge funds.

ACHIEVABLE TARGETS

Shareholders, fed up with a languishing share price and dwindling revenues, will call on the bank’s management to speed up the recovery process at the AGM.

Hans-Christoph Hirt, head of shareholder adviser Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, told Reuters on Wednesday he wanted to see a “credible strategy with achievable targets”.

Deutsche Bank Chairman Paul Achleitner last month abruptly replaced CEO John Cryan with Christian Sewing amid investor complaints that the bank was falling behind in executing a turnaround plan.

“Critically, the most recent CEO appointment needs to work out,” Hirt said.

Deutsche Bank’s shares have fallen nearly 31 percent this year.

The bank is also under pressure from credit ratings agencies. Standard & Poor’s is expected to say by the end of the month whether it will cut Deutsche Bank’s rating after putting it on “credit watch” in April.

Putin warns of financial crisis the world ‘has not yet seen’

The global economy is facing a threat of a spiraling protectionist measures that can lead to a devastating crisis, Vladimir Putin warned. Nations must find a way to prevent this and establish rules on how the economy should work.

The Russian president spoke out against the growing trend of using unilateral restrictions to achieve economic advantage, as he addressed guests of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday.

“The system of multilateral cooperation, which took years to build, is no longer allowed to evolve. It is being broken in a very crude way. Breaking the rules is becoming the new rule,” he said.

In addition to traditional forms of protectionism such as trade tariffs, technical standards and subsidies, nations are increasingly using new ways to undermine their competition, like unilateral economic sanctions. And nations which thought they would never be targeted by such measures for political reasons are now being proved wrong, Putin said.

“The ability to impose sanctions arbitrarily and with no control fosters a temptation to use such restrictive tools again and again, right and left, in every case, regardless of political loyalty, talks about solidarity, past agreements and long cooperation,” he said.

Putin called for a change of course, for free trade to be defended, and for rules-based regulation of the global economy, which would alleviate the chaos resulting from the rapid technological transformations arising from the development of digital technology.

“The disregard for existing norms and a loss of trust may combine with the unpredictability and turbulence of the colossal change. These factors may lead to a systemic crisis, which the world has not seen yet,” he said.

He stressed that there is a need for transparent universal rules as well as an inclusive mechanism, which would allow those rules to be amended in a way that would be accepted by the international community.

“We don’t need trade wars today or even temporary trade ceasefires. We need a comprehensive trade peace,” the president stressed.

“Competition, clash of interests, has always been, is, and will always be, of course. But we must be respectful towards each other. The ability to resolve differences through honest competition rather than by restricting competition is the source of progress,” Putin added.

The speech comes amid turbulent times for the global economy, in which the nationalist policies of US President Donald Trump have pitted America against other nations which his administration believes to be enjoying unfair advantages in trade. Trump has threatened China, European nations, Canada, and Mexico with trade restrictions, demanding the perceived misbalances be fixed.

The US has also intensified its use of economic sanctions, targeting Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other nations with various punitive measures.

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Russian Gold Reserves Surge Above 1900 Tons – 5th Largest In The World

Russian Gold Reserves

After adding 6,700,000 ounces (208 tonnes) of gold to her reserves in 2015, the Russian Central Bank added 6,400,000 ounces (199 tonnes) in 2016 and another 224 tons (7,202,000 ounces) in 2017.

The Central Bank of Russia ended 2016 with 1838.21 tonnes of gold on their balance sheet.

Central Bank of Russia added 7.2 Million ounces (approximately 223.945 tonnes) in 2017.

Through April 2018, the Central Bank of Russia has added 2.3 million ounces or approximately 71.54 tons of gold.

The chart below shows the Central Bank of Russia’s Gold Reserves by month with tonnage rounded to the nearest metric ton.

The Central bank of Russia has added about 628 tons of gold to her reserves from June 2015 – to March 2018.

Since 2009, Russia has added over 1,100 tons of gold to its reserves –  more than China who added about 775 tons during the same time period.

Russian Monthly Gold Purchases June 2014 – April 2018

Russia has added 26.7 million ounces (approximately 830 tons) to its reserves from June 2014 through April 2018.

Russia Adding Gold To Reserves At A Faster Pace Than China

From March 2016 to May 2017 China added 45 tonnes of gold to its reserves, while Russia added 246 tonnes, or 447% more.

The People’s Bank of China’s gold reserves as of September 2017 are at the same level as of October 2016. The Central Bank of Russia added 7.6 million ounces (236.39 tons) of gold from October 2016 to September 2017.

Russia has added about 122 more tonnes of gold to its reserves than China from November 2015 – November 2016.

Rubles For Gold

Increasingly, Russia has been buying up more of their gold mining production, in effect converting rubles into gold.

The Russian Central Bank announced that it would begin buying gold on the Moscow Stock Exchange.

Russia is retaining an increasing percentage of its gold mining output.

Russia has the fifth largest gold reserves of any nation.

Overall Russian Reserves

The reserves of the Central Bank of Russian have grown over $89 billion or about 24% since January 2016.

Gold represented about $81.146 billion of Russia’s overall reserves at the end of April 2018, or about 17.6%.

Overall Russian Central Bank foreign reserves grew approximately 24% since January 2016.

Russian U.S. Treasury Holdings

Russia’s U.S. Treasury Bond Holdings 2014 – 2017

The Russian Central Bank has increased its US Treasury reserve holdings selling off a good portion of them in the summer of 2015.

As of March 2018, Russia held $96.1 billion in U.S. Treasury Bonds down from $131.8 billion in January 2014 but up from $66.5 billion in April 2015.

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NEWS: Victory Square Technologies Partners With Keynote to Bring the World Blockchain Forum and Emerging Start-Ups to New York City

Victory Square Technologies Inc. (“Victory Square” or the “Company”) (CNX:VST) (OTC:VSQTF) (FWB:6F6) is partnering with Keynote to bring the World Blockchain Forum to New York City for the first WBF: Security Tokens & ICOs conference on June 12-13, 2018.

The two-day conference will bring together more than 1,000 major stakeholders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Building on the previous World Blockchain Forum theme of “ICOs and Investments”, next month’s event will introduce New York to fintech industry leaders, inspiring speakers, experts and innovators from around the globe, opening up dialogue designed to explore security tokens in blockchain.

“Although bitcoin and blockchain technology are rapidly becoming more understood, security tokens remain a black box to most people,” noted Moe Levin, Founder & CEO of Keynote. “That will inevitably change and change fast because in our view the only real way to unlock the next trillion dollars of value in the ecosystem is by digitizing the traditional financial world through security tokens. Showcasing the best and brightest in the industry has been the aim of Keynote since 2012, and we’re excited to be bringing the 7th edition of the World Blockchain Forum to New York City.”

Peter Smyrniotis, a member of the Board of Directors of Victory Square and CEO of Blockchain Assembly Inc. (“Blockchain Assembly”), will be speaking on the main stage on June 12, 2018, at 10:50 am (EDT). The combined Victory Square and Blockchain Assembly teams will also be hosting a $100,000 USD Investment Prize pool for the top three blockchain companies during the WBF’s Pitch Your ICO session.

Notable ICOs that have launched with Keynote include Ethereum (which is currently at a $27 billion USD market cap), Litecoin ($2.5 billion market cap), Dash ($2 billion), Factum ($70 million) and Blockchain Capital ($30M).

Keynote Events has hosted 14 global blockchain-focused conferences in the past five years, including London, Brussels, Dubai, Los Angeles, Miami, Amsterdam and Chicago. WBF speakers are typically recognized as innovators, thought leaders and decision makers in the blockchain and currency industries. Past speakers have included: Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com; Halsey Minor, Founder of CNET and Founder of Uphold; Craig Sellars, Co-Founder of Tether; Brock Piere, Co-Founder of Blockchain Capital; Sasha Ivanov, Founder & CEO of Waves Platform; William Quigley, Founder of WAX; Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, CEO & Co-Founder of RSK Labs; Adam Perlow, Founder of Zen Protocol; and both Dr. Levin and Mr. Smyrniotis.

“Having already partnered with the WBF on two of 2018s biggest bitcoin and blockchain events in Miami and Dubai, Victory Square is excited to bring the World Blockchain Forum to the Big Apple,” said Shafin Diamond Tejani, CEO of Victory Square. “These conferences are strategically essential for us and New York will allow us to connect with the some of the most respected blockchain thought-leaders, institutional investors, regulators, leading companies and projects in the world, while at the same time showing off our own exceptional entrepreneurs and portfolio companies.”

A key for Victory Square are the Pitch Your ICO sessions where it will gain valuable insight from founders of the most promising upcoming blockchain companies. With over 30 leading blockchain companies selected to attend from all over the world to present to some of the leading cryptocurrency investors, Victory Square will judge and select three winners who will share in the special $100,000 USD prize pool.

“Victory Square continues to be a great supporter of not only the World Blockchain Forum but of the entire blockchain and crypto space,” added Keynote CEO Dr. Levin. “We are pleased once again to have Victory Square as a lead sponsor as they represent some of the most sophisticated minds in the industry today. With an already impressive and growing portfolio of blockchain-enabled assets under the Victory Square umbrella we look forward to seeing them showcase their talented teams in New York City.”

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Jim Rogers: U.S. has largest debt in world history, dollar to lose status as No.1 currency

The US dollar is becoming less appealing for investors as American debt continues to soar and the greenback is printed to cover it, investor Jim Rogers said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

The American currency will lose the status of main reserve currency much sooner than 2030, Rogers said at the Valdai Club’s discussion session, held as part of SPIEF.

“Dollar is going to be higher than now because the turmoil is coming. Then, it is going to be overpriced and people will look around and say, ‘America’s got the largest debt in the history of the world. It’s printing money as fast as it can,’” the investor said.

People will look at what Brazil, Russia, China, India, Iran and other developing countries are doing, Rogers said. “They are forming a competing currency right now,” he added. So, the dollar alternative will come from the countries that “have been bossed by the US, and they don’t like it, but have enough power to do something about it.”

Rogers went on to say that organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank “have never been right about anything” and should be abolished, since they have been politically dependent on the United States for decades.

Speaking separately to RT, the businessman said that sanctions and trade wars are the biggest threat to the world’s economic stability. “The world has learned throughout history that closing off is not good, opening up is good,” Rogers said.

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