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Çarşamba, 7 Aralık 2022
Çarşamba, Aralık 7, 2022
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INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
BUSINESS
POLITICS | WORLD
TECHNOLOGY
APOSTO PICKS

❄️ Bleak winter

Ukraine faces harsh winter as Russian strikes cripple its power capacity, OECD says Europe to be hit hardest in global slowdown, EU proposes gas price cap that could fail to please both critics and advocates

Reuters

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, November 23rd.

In unlikely occurrences, we list Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina at the World Cup on Tuesday. Ranking 31st among 32 nations in the tournament, no one saw Saudi Arabia winning over the two-time winner Argentina, especially not after Messi’s tenth-minute goal. The match is etched in history as the biggest shock of the World Cup ever with an 8.7% chance, followed by England’s loss to the US in 1950.

  • For a mid-week refresh, give these fresh finds a listen, and enjoy your unexpected wins today.

—Özlem, with Tanem and Can

INTERNATIONAL MARKETS

The global economy in 2023 will face a “significant growth slowdown” but should avoid a recession, the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook said on Tuesday, while high —albeit declining— inflation will remain in many countries. The OECD is forecasting world growth to slow from 3.1% this year to 2.2% next year and bounce back to a relatively modest 2.7% in 2024, with Asia being the main engine of economic expansion whereas Europe will bear the brunt of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

G20 growth forecast

via The Guardian

  • Furthermore: The Paris-based organization also expects the UK to be at the bottom of the G7 table for growth in the next two years, with only Russia being seen to perform worse among the top 20 major economies. British output will contract by 0.4% in 2023 and expand by just 0.2% in 2024 while Germany is the only other G7 country forecast to shrink next year, by 0.3%, but will bounce back with 1.5% growth in 2024.

Eurozone consumer confidence improved above expectations in November, according to a flash estimate released by the European Commission on Tuesday, although it remained at a very low level, well below its long-term average. The gauge for consumer morale increased by 3.6 points to -23.9 this month, against a forecast of -26.0, from a revised -27.5 in October. In the EU as a whole, consumer sentiment rose by 2.8 points to -25.8.

Eurozone consumer confidence

The European Commission

The European Commission on Tuesday proposed a gas price cap for the EU at €275 per MWh for month-ahead futures on the Dutch exchange that serves as Europe's benchmark, and will remain in effect for one year from Jan. 1 if approved by the bloc’s 27 member countries. The contract currently stands at around €120 per MWh after peaking at above €340 in August.

  • Behind the scenes: Diplomats, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the proposed ceiling was likely to disappoint the majority of EU states that have demanded a cap for months, and fail to assuage concerns of a small but powerful camp of member countries, led by Germany, opposed to the intervention.
  • Meanwhile: Gazprom threatened to cut gas flows sent via Ukraine next week, the last remaining pipeline still bringing Russian gas to western Europe. Traders and policymakers have been bracing for flows on that line to be curbed too, and prices rose no more than 5.2% on the news.

The German government is planning a €54 billion package to cap gas and electricity prices for companies and households next year as Europe’s largest economy seeks to contain the fallout from Russia’s moves to slash energy supplies. The package will be partly financed by a windfall tax on electricity profits, which the government expects to raise a double-digit billion-euro amount.

  • On a related note: Italian PM Giorgia Meloni presented her government's first budget on Tuesday, which contains €35 billion of extra spending and tax cuts, and aims to speed a recovery in the euro zone's third-largest economy. The package must pass the parliament by the end of the year, but the opposition said it targeted the poor and planned street protests.

Oil prices rose about 1% on Tuesday after top exporter Saudi Arabia said OPEC+ was sticking with output cuts and could take further steps to balance the market, outweighing global recession worries and concern about China's rising COVID-19 case numbers.

BUSINESS

Europe and the US can eliminate their reliance on Chinese batteries for electric vehicles by 2030 if competing countries spend more than $160 billion for components and production, Goldman Sachs forecast in a report to clients. South Korean companies LG and SK’s investments in the US would be pivotal to ending the reliance on China, where three-quarters of the world’s batteries are currently produced.

Volkswagen slashed its sales target in China by roughly 14% for 2022 as the Covid-Zero policy returns to the country, which is expected to disrupt supply chains for the auto industry. The German carmaker estimates to sell 3.3 million cars, level with its 2021 sales, instead of its previous forecast of 3.85 million.

WV in China

via Bloomberg

France's third-biggest listed bank Societe Generale and US investment management company Alliance Bernstein are planning to form a joint venture with a focus on global cash equities and equity research, companies said. SocGen plans to take 51% of the interest with an option to take full ownership after five years, and the joint venture will be run as a London-based long-term partnership under the Bernstein name.

Enel announced plans to sell assets valued at €21 billion as it moves to cut debt and streamline its business to focus on six “core countries.” The Italian state-backed utility, one of the world’s largest renewables producers, said on Tuesday it would sell its gas assets in Spain and withdraw from countries including Argentina and Peru to focus on clean energy developments in Europe and the US.

POLITICS | WORLD

Ukraine could face power shortages until April amid cold weather after Russian airstrikes caused “colossal” damage to the country’s energy infrastructure and halved its power capacity, officials said. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged citizens to conserve energy as the UN health body WHO warned of a humanitarian disaster this winter.

Kherson, people in line to buy SIM cards

via Reuters

  • On a related note: Ukraine received an additional €2.5 billion of macro-financial assistance from the EU, with the total amount provided since Feb. 24 reaching €6.7 billion, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said.
  • In other news: Ukraine’s law enforcement on Tuesday searched one of the most famous Orthodox Christian sites in Kyiv after a priest spoke favorably about Russia during a service, highlighting the deep splits in the Orthodox Church in Ukraine that have been sharpened by Russia's invasion. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Ukrainian authorities of “waging a war on the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Iran began producing enriched uranium at 60% at its underground Fordo nuclear plant, the country's official news agency IRNA reported, with the Foreign Ministry saying they took this step in reaction to a resolution by the UN's nuclear watchdog. Iran has already been enriching to 60% purity at its Natanz nuclear facility but started the process at Fordo after the International Atomic Energy Agency's criticism last week that Tehran continued to bar the agency's officials from accessing or monitoring its nuclear sites.

  • Context: Enrichment to 60% purity is well below the weapons-grade levels of 90%, although nonproliferation experts have warned that Iran now has enough 60% enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested a possible new ground offensive in Syria against Kurdish militants, as Russia called on Ankara to avoid escalation and to "show a certain restraint." Erdogan said Turkey's actions would not be limited to aerial strikes in Syria, where tensions heightened after Turkey carried out airstrikes targeting Kurdish militants over the weekend in response to a deadly bombing in Istanbul on Nov. 13 that Turkey blames on the militant groups.

Bulgaria will allow Russia-owned Lukoil to continue operating and exporting oil products to the EU until the end of 2024 —a deal that would give Bulgaria an additional €350 million boost— despite warnings by the bloc that it is against their sanctions.

Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Manchester United by mutual agreement with immediate effect, the football club said in a statement, following Ronaldo's controversial interview where he said he did not respect the manager Erik ten Hag and felt betrayed by the club. The Premiere League said last week that they have taken "appropriate steps" regarding Ronaldo's comments.

Ronaldo

via BBC

  • In other news: Germany's major grocery chain Rewe has dropped its advertising with the German Football Association (DFB) after FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to players wearing "OneLove" armbands in support of the LGBT+ community at the Qatar World Cup. The decision reflects Germans' negative mood towards the tournament both online, with the hashtag #BoycottQatar2022 trending on Twitter in Germany, and on the ground with protests.
TECHNOLOGY

Technology firms such as CoderPad and Calix are trying to attract former Twitter employees laid off by the company’s new owner Elon Musk, criticizing his management and promising their companies will value employees’ skills. After Musk’s takeover, Twitter fired top executives and laid off around half of the workforce, around 3,700 employees, with little warning.

Twitter HQ

via Reuters

  • In the meantime: Stop Toxic Twitter, a coalition of activists, is urging advertisers to issue public statements about removing their ads from the social media platform after former US President Donald Trump’s account was reinstated. 51 of Twitter’s 100 biggest advertisers suspended ads after private conversations with the coalition, and activists believe publicly announcing these pauses would help generate pressure over the remaining 49.
  • Blue saga: Elon Musk tweeted that he postponed the relaunch of Twitter Blue, which was previously planned for Nov. 29, until there is a “high confidence of stopping impersonation.” Musk recently made the blue tick feature public for a monthly fee of $7.99 before quickly blocking it due to a high number of fake accounts.

FTX has a cash balance of $1.24 billion (€1.21 billion), which is “substantially higher” than previously thought, a consultancy firm advising the collapsed crypto exchange said at a court filing on Monday. Meanwhile, an attorney for the company said at a court hearing that FTX suffered a cyber-attack as bankruptcy begins, and “substantial” assets are missing.

Bahamas

via The Block

  • Furthermore: FTX, its senior executives, and the CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents bought at least 19 properties worth around $121 million in the Bahamas in the last two years, according to official property records. Separately, attorneys said FTX units bought $300 million-worth vacation properties for its senior staff and that FTX was run as a "personal fiefdom" of Bankman-Fried.

Meta’s oversight board, comprising 20 journalists, academics, and politicians, ruled that the tech company should restructure how it processes removal requests from police and governments around the world, specifically by increasing transparency around certain moderation decisions. The recommendations came after the board ruled that it was wrong to ban a music video upon UK law enforcement’s warning that it could “contribute a risk to offline harm.”

APOSTO PICKS

🌋 Factbox: What's known about the Russian volcano that may be about to erupt?

♻️ Climate: 5 good ideas from COP27 — and how likely they are to happen

🛰️ Opinion: Ukraine shows how space is now central to warfare

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