Sun, Jun 03, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Business Quick Take

Agencies

EUROZONE

Juncker denies Italy threat

There is no threat of a new sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone, despite an anti-establishment coalition government taking office in Italy on Friday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in remarks published yesterday. Asked by the RND network of German newspapers whether the currency bloc faced a new crisis, Juncker said: “No. The reactions of the financial markets are irrational. People should not draw political conclusions from every fluctuation in the stock market.” The Italian coalition comprises two parties hostile to the euro. “I am certain the Italians have a keen sense of what is good for their country,” Juncker said. “They will sort it out.”

SRI LANKA

IMF disburses part of loan

The IMF yesterday announced the release of the latest installment of the country’s US$1.5 billion bailout, but said that restructuring the lossmaking national airline is essential to sustain economic recovery. The IMF welcomed the island nation’s increase in fuel prices last month — a precondition for it to receive US$252 million of a three-year loan approved in June 2016. The IMF said Sri Lanka should also implement a pricing policy for electricity, which is subsidized for households and small businesses. Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.1 percent last year, the slowest in 16 years.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple lets Telegram update

Secure messaging app Telegram on Friday said that Apple Inc cleared the path for an updated version, despite a ban in Russia. Telegram chief executive Pavel Durov thanked Apple and its CEO, Tim Cook, from his verified Twitter account for “letting us deliver the latest version of @telegram to millions of users, despite the recent setbacks.” A day earlier, Telegram accused Apple of blocking its updates for users worldwide after Russian authorities imposed a ban on Telegram for refusing to hand over keys to decrypt messages.

BANKING

Visa apologizes for failure

Visa Inc said its system in Europe is back to “close to normal levels” after a hardware failure prevented some transactions. “We apologize to all of our partners, and most especially, to Visa cardholders,” Amanda Pires, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. “The issue was the result of a hardware failure. We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorized access or malicious event.” Visa said the system breakdown affected customers throughout Europe.

TECHNOLOGY

Wind farm gets bitcoin mine

A state-owned Estonian wind farm on Friday launched a cryptocurrency mine, hoping to cash in on nature’s unlimited supplies of power on a windswept Baltic Sea island, a company official said. “It is great that the decentralized money transfer blockchain technology has found its way to our wind farm. Hopefully, it will be a fruitful cooperation,” Eesti Elekter board member Oleg Sonajalg said in a statement on Friday. Eesti Elekter set up a container with banks of computers hooked up for 24-hour cryptocurrency mining at its seven-turbine, 6 megawatt Salme wind farm on the island of Saaremaa, off Estonia’s west coast.

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