Connect with us


Industry has to remain competitive as it goes green: RWE Krebber



Electricity pylons and wind turbines stand beside the RWE Niederaussem coal-fired power plant while Steam rises from cooling towers on February 16, 2016 near Bergheim, Germany.

Volker Hartmann | Getty Images News | Getty Images

A transition to greener industry has become a priority in Europe but the head of a major German energy producer said there needs to be a “level playing field” so the region’s companies can compete globally.

“What we need is a global level playing field,” Markus Krebber, chief executive of RWE, the biggest producer of energy in Germany, told CNBC on Monday. “[Otherwise] it will be very difficult to compete with CO2-intensive imports when you are forced, in Europe, to decarbonize your industries.”

“It needs to be clear that, whatever politicians come up with [in terms of] a regulatory framework, we need to keep that level playing field otherwise we risk not only losing jobs but also risk losing the acceptance of our societies,” he added.

Germany’s government has recently increased its carbon emission cutting targets, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approving draft legislation in May that aims to see carbon emissions cut by 65% from 1990 levels by 2030. The country is also aiming to be carbon neutral by 2045.

Germany’s emission levels are already 40% lower than they were in 1990, according to the country’s environment minister.

The more ambitious government targets have been set amid an upswing in support for Germany’s Green Party, which polls suggest is likely to become a partner in a coalition government following a federal election in September.

RWE’s Krebber said that, in the long-term, he was not concerned by government policies aiming at “greening” industry because the public supported the transition.

“If it’s wanted by the consumer and he pays for it you don’t need a support scheme, you just need a regulatory framework. But that will not happen overnight,” he noted.

“So I think that, in the beginning, we need support. But I would really urge everybody to think about market-based systems and not direct subsidies, which are not based on a competitive process, because we cannot risk to implement very expensive technologies in Germany. We currently have the highest power prices across Europe.”

Source link


What to watch after cryptocurrency breaks $30k



Bitcoin fell again on Tuesday, this time breaking below the critical $30,000 level.

That price has been highlighted by institutional investors as a key level of support.

Despite the market rebounding slightly on Tuesday, this move in bitcoin comes as investors look to mitigate risk with the spread of the delta Covid variant putting additional pressure on the broader market. 

Other cryptocurrencies were also lower Tuesday. Ether, litecoin and dogecoin all spent the day in the red. 

In an interview with CNBC’s “Trading Nation,” Delano Saporu, founder of New Street Advisors, said he sees more pain ahead for bitcoin. 

“I think you probably have more downside, maybe to around the $22,000 range [to] the $17,000 range for bitcoin going back to Dec. 20 of last year,” he said Tuesday. However, “from there, I do think there’ll be upside,” he said.

While short-term traders who invested in bitcoin at its highs are feeling the pain now, Saporu sees the cryptocurrency paying off for long-term investors. 

Read more about cryptocurrencies from CNBC Pro

“A lot of people that were speculating when the price was really at its highs and they were jumping in at that time were really looking for a quick profit,” he said. “They were wrong at that time.”

In the same interview, Fairlead Strategies founder Katie Stockton said bitcoin investors may feel the squeeze for a little longer.

“It marks the bottom boundary of a consolidation phase,” she said of the move below $30,000. “With that, it becomes what I call ‘ripe for a shakeout.'” 

According to Stockton, a shakeout is a “false breakdown” where the price of an investment dips below a support level. Following this dip, the price might quickly snap back once the market “shakes out those weak holders of bitcoin,” she said.

If bitcoin bounces back this week, she said, that would be a sign that this sell-off was temporary.

In addition, her model indicates that bitcoin is headed higher. She pointed to a secondary support level at around $27,000, which would be important to define its long-term uptrend.

Stockton added that she needs to see momentum turn for proof that this consolidation phase is bottoming. She predicts this would happen when bitcoin breaks out above the 50-day moving average, which is approximately $34,500 at current levels. 

“That would be a convincing turnaround for bitcoin,” she added.

Disclosure: Delano Saporu holds bitcoin.


Source link

Continue Reading


Trump friend Tom Barrack’s arrest puts the spotlight on United Arab Emirates



The arrest Tuesday of a key Trump ally, who is accused of lobbying illegally for the United Arab Emirates, helps illustrate how deeply the oil-rich Middle Eastern country had ingratiated itself with the United States during the Trump administration.

Between arms deals and diplomatic accords, the UAE, a relatively small crescent of land nestled between Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, played a major part in former President Donald Trump‘s policy in the region.

An indictment filed Tuesday in New York federal court alleges that Tom Barrack, a longtime friend and business associate of Trump’s, worked for years to develop that relationship by secretly furthering UAE interests through his influence with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and his administration.

Barrack, a 74-year-old private equity billionaire who was chairman of Trump’s 2017 inaugural fund, was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning.

The seven-count indictment also accuses Barrack of obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements in a 2019 interview with federal authorities. Also included in the indictment are Matthew Grimes, 27, of Aspen, Colorado; and a 43-year-old UAE national, Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi.

A judge ordered Barrack and Grimes to be detained, with bail hearings set for Monday.

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

“Mr. Barrack has made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset. He is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty,” a spokesperson for Barrack told CNBC in a statement.

The indictment said Barrack had informally advised American officials on Middle East policy, and also sought to be appointed to a senior role in the U.S. government, including as special envoy to the Middle East.

A spokeswoman for Trump did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Barrack’s arrest.

The UAE – a federation of seven Arab monarchies, with a population just shy of 10 million – is home to several sovereign wealth funds, such as the nearly $700 billion Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Between 35% and 50% of the ADIA’s investments are parked in North America, according to the fund’s website.

Barrack is not the first person in Trump’s orbit whose ties to the UAE have come under scrutiny.

While he was an advisor to the UAE, George Nader, who later pleaded guilty to child sex and porn charges in a case that sprouted from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, had wired $2.5 million to Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy, the Associated Press reported in 2018

Nader paid the money to Broidy, sources told the AP, in order to bankroll an effort to persuade Washington to harden its stance against Qatar, a U.S. ally but a bitter rival of the UAE.

The New York Times, citing hundreds of pages of correspondence between the two men, also reported in 2018 of a campaign by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to influence the Trump White House.

Broidy in October 2020 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent.

A U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter approaches at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.

A dealmaker

The UAE, where Trump forged business ties prior to becoming president, established itself as a key partner for the U.S. in the region during the Trump administration.

The UAE signed onto the 2020 Abraham Accords, which took steps toward normalizing diplomatic relations between Arab nations and Israel. The pact made the UAE the first Persian Gulf state to normalize ties with Israel and the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan.

Last November, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration would sell more than $23 billion worth of military equipment to the UAE “in recognition of our deepening relationship” and the nation’s “need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran.”

In April, President Joe Biden’s administration reportedly told Congress it would proceed with the Trump-era weapons sale. The deal includes dozens of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 combat aircraft, America’s most expensive weapons platform, as well as General Atomics armed MQ-9 Reaper drones.

The United States, the world’s largest arms exporter, sends half of its weapons to the Middle East, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Arms imports to the Middle East were 25% higher in 2016 through 2020 than in 2011 through 2015.

After Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the UAE is the next largest buyer of U.S. arms in the Middle East.

Amanda Macias reported from Washington. Kevin Breuninger reported from New York.

Source link

Continue Reading


Revolut launches travel booking feature Stays



Revolut’s new travel booking feature, Stays.


LONDON — European fintech giant Revolut is jumping into the travel industry.

The London-based firm launched a new feature Tuesday called Stays, which lets users book hotels and other accommodation through its app.

Customers can receive up to 10% cashback on bookings made through Revolut, the company said.

The move marks a challenge to travel industry giants like Booking Holdings, Expedia and TripAdvisor. It’s also the company’s first product to launch outside the realm of finance.

“As the world begins to cautiously open up, we know everyone is desperate to get away whenever they can — whether it’s to Margate or Mallorca,” said Marsel Nikaj, Revolut’s head of savings and lifestyle.

“We’ve built Stays to make it easy for people to find and book their perfect break in their ideal destination. After 18 months of endless restrictions and lockdowns, we want to give people more and make their money travel further.”

Revolut began life in 2015 as a digital-only banking and payments platform for spending abroad without paying steep currency exchange fees. The company has since expanded its offering, rolling out new features for trading shares and cryptocurrency.

The firm is one of a number of popular “neobanks” that have emerged in Europe and other parts of the world, luring mostly younger customers with a slick user experience and colorful bank cards.

Rivals include Monzo and Starling in the U.K., N26 in Germany and Chime in the U.S.

Last week, Revolut was valued at $33 billion in a monster funding round, making it Britain’s top fintech start-up and the second-largest fintech in Europe. The company has 16 million users globally.

Revolut is aiming to become what’s known as a “super app,” which offers multiple services through one interface. The trend has gained traction in Asia, popularized by companies like Grab and GoTo in Southeast Asia and Alibaba and Tencent in China.

Revolut’s Stays feature is first launching in the U.K. on Tuesday before rolling out to Europe and the U.S. in the coming months. It will only offer accommodation for now, but there are plans to include flights, car hire and other travel options later down the line.

It comes as some European countries are tightening restrictions on public life due to fears over a resurgence in Covid cases. In stark contrast, England lifted nearly all its remaining coronavirus curbs on Monday.

Source link

Continue Reading