Highlights of the year 2018 – Brexit, trade talks and green finance

The year 2018 was a year of Brexit, electric cars and trade talks. It included special moments in the financial markets and in the company side. Green Bonds and Green Finance were getting more attention in the markets and trade talks and Brexit were the topics during the year 2018 along. Climate Change and low carbon landed also in the agenda of central banks.

Investors were also asking what is the role of the City as a global financial hub. Should it have its own rules in spite of the Brexit? In the financial hub competition, Frankfurt and Paris were the European cities to get more new financial offices as financial companies were moving some operations to the EU side.

The UK Parliament is expected to vote of the Brexit during Janury 2019 after very intensive debate about the deal during the year.

Climate Change has become part of the everyday life in the financial markets and for example one of the biggest insurance companies in the US, Berskhire Hathaway informed in February 2018, that it has got 3 billion dollars losses of the natural catastrophies, the hurricances in the US. Several central banks, including the European Central Bank and some Asian ones, have also agreed about the co-operation in the climate issues and how to monitor the impact on the markets.

In the tech-side augmented reality and ioT were the themes for the year. Apple, Amazon, Google, Tesla, Intel  and Samsung  were one of the tech-companies to deliver new services related to the new technology. On the other side of the topic, Facebook was dealing with the privacy issues globally. New tech- companies listed in the markets were for example Spotify and Xiaomi.

Year 2018 was a year of electric cars in many countries. The e-cars breakthrough with charging issues was one of the tech topics as well. Telsa founder Elon Musk was the leading industry sector figure as he estimated that Tesla would make one million cars by 2020 in February 2018.

Also the German automakers announced new investments and concept cars. For example the BMW Group launched an autonomous driving campus in Munich in March 2018.

Year 2018 was also a year for luxury goods and services. The Basel World 2018 -fair announced its good selling and for example the CEO of Hublot, Ricardo Guadalupe,  told ComteamPUB+ that the company expects double digit growth for the year and that the Chinese customers will be the leading segment.

In the debt markets the US Uber and Netflix issued their junk bonds to investors. Uber, the ride-sharing company, is said to plan an IPO for the year 2019 according to the secret filings to the SEC.

One of the biggest infrastructure projects ever, the China Silk Road, is getting more attention from the green investors side, while the organization made its first announcement of the green principles for the project co-operation and operators. The ancient Silk Road is expected to rise the GDP growth by 4 % or 240 billion dollars in the countries invlolved according to Credit Suisse analysis.

The aim of the Roman time Silk Road is to connect the western Europe with the eastern coast of China and to renew the infrasturcture in between. This means also that the 10 world largest container ports are located along the route.

Trade talks between different countries have continued lively during the year. US and China have been in the headlines, but also the EU with its agreement with Japan.  The political situation and rising volatility in the financial markets tell the direction for the next year. Geopolitical easing is needed.

Päivi Härkönen, co-founder, ComteamPUB+

 

 

Business Finance Lifestyle

Xiaomi planning over 6 billion dollars IPO

Xiaomi, the Chinese smart-phone maker,  is planning to raise 48 billion HK dollars ( 6,12 billion US dollars) in the IPO in HongKong, the company said on Saturday. It would be the biggest Chinese tech IPO since Alibaba in 2014.

Mi MIX in white_01_preview

The Company will offer about 2,18 bilion shares priced between 17 and 22 HK dollars. The offering is starting next Monday and ending at Thursday. Trading of the shares is expected to start on July the 9th.

According to the founder, chairman and CEO Lei Jun the company´s revenue has exceeded 100 billion yuan (15,3 billion US dollars). The company was founded seven years ago. Xiaomi will be investing in global expansion and internet ecosystem.

Xiaomi is an internet company with smartphones and smart hardware integrated with its IoT platform.

Business Tech

Samsung outlined its connected IoT strategy – CES2018

Samsung Electronics (SMSN:LI) outlined its vision and strategy for intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) experiences at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

During the press conference, Samsung demonstrated its  ability to make seamlessly connected consumer experiences across Samsung devices at home, at the office and on-the-go. Samsung has been working to make all Samsung products IoT ready by 2020. In addition, the company announced today its plan to advance IoT adoption via an open, consistent and intelligent platform.

– At Samsung, we believe IoT should be as easy as flipping a switch. With the new products and services announced today, we’re making IoT easier and more seamless,” said Hyunsuk Kim, President, Head of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division and Samsung Research.

– We’re committed to accelerating IoT adoption for everyone and making all Samsung connected devices intelligent by 2020, he said in the press release.

 

Hyunsuk (HS) Kim, President, Head of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division and Samsung Research

 

Samsung is working with partners such as the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). OCF is the largest IoT standardization body in the world.

According to Samsung, in spring 2018 the company will unite its IoT applications, including Samsung Connect, Smart Home, Smart View and more into the SmartThings app to connect and control any SmartThings-enabled device directly from their phone, TV, or car from a single application.

Additionally, Samsung announced plans to connect HARMAN Ignite to the SmartThings Cloud, moving the IoT experience beyond the smart home to the car. As a result, consumers will be able to manage their connected home from the car and vice versa.

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Lifestyle Tech

Trending topics at CES2017

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is arranging the world leading Tech fairs in Las Vegas during this week. The trending topics include Internet of Things integrated with home devices – but also cyber-security, mobile payments, 5 G network, artificial intelligence, robots and connected cars are gaining more attention.

According to CTA, it is expected that this year there will be around 165.000 attendances, 6500 media representatives and 3800 companies – all celebrating 50 years of the exhibition.

One of the growing interest area is also about the integration of technology, innovations and sustainability issues. This Green Tech sector is growing also in Las Vegas and for example companies like Ericsson (ERIC:US), LG Electronics (066570:KS) , Panasonic (PMM:MK), Samsung (SMSN:LI) and Sony (SNE:US) are the consumer tech companies sharing their best practises in these issues. Most of the cases it is about the energy efficiency, but also about the innovations to daily life and the wellbeing.

“Innovation is measured by how many people can share, use and experience it. Thanks to our long and rich history in connectivity, we are deeply familiar with the feedback loop between innovation and experience. CES is always a fantastic stage for innovation, so we are excited to be sharing the latest connectivity technology, 5G, with partners and our mutual customers”, says Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson’s Chief Strategy and Technology Office in the company press release.

Companies are expected to make the major product launches during Wednesday the 4th, a day before the official opening of the fairs. This year is also important for the wearable industry and how the new product segments will find new customers and combine luxury, intelligence and usability.Print

 

 

Business Lifestyle Tech

Gitex 2015 Tech fairs talk about innovation and internet of things

Technology fairs, Gitex 2015 in the Middle East is showing the best technology innovations in the areas of digital banking, 3D printing, robotics and autonumous vehicles. There are over 100 000 visitors from 150 countries. The visitors are mainly from the Middle East and Africa and they represent goverments, telecom, retailers and bankers.

The fairs are full of new technology boosters like the internet of things. Here in this video a SAP representative gives his greetings to the fairs:

Tech

What are the main topics in CES 2015 in Las Vegas?

The growing demand of consumer electronics is a economic factor. If you think about the world largest consumer electronics exhibition (CES) in Las Vegas this year, the city is full of everything: press releases, events, 20 000 new prodcut launches, business peopleWhat´s new in the CES this year?, journalists and investors. Now also a dedicated stage for startups. So, it is hard to pick the best of the huge event, but here is a short list of what is going on in Vegas:

Cars: If you think about the car industry, there are two big trends that are driving the industry at the moment. First, electric cars and cars with renewable energy. For example Tesla Motor has a unique business strategy with their own software and batteries compared to other automakers.

The second trend is the self-driving cars: for example Volvo, Mercedes and Audi have followed the road of Google cars. Volvo is experimenting a new model of self-driving cars so that there are several cars in the chain and the leading car will take care of the speed of others. During the fairs BMW also launched their new model of a car, which can park itself. In-vehile technologies have grown so much that this industry sector is now one of the biggest in the fairs.

This rapid growth is also raising the question of car security and safety. Which operating system is taking care of the information & entertaining panels ?

Wearables: I have written about wearables and the need for more classy-style and finally we have seen – The Swarovski Shine. This crystal maker and wearable company Misfit have combined forces and the outcome is marvellous. This is a collaboration of a fitness and sleep tracker…this beautiful wearable will be in the shops in China, HongKong and the US by the end of March.

This is also a good example of product differentation. All the others from Apple, LG, Microsoft, Motorola to Sony, show pretty much the same design models in their wearables. Blackberry announced that they will support the Android operating system wearable in their own products.

Home: Home security continues to be one of the topics as well. Kitchen appliances and different new gadgets will be part of the internet of things (ioT) in all the home electronics. According to Google, it is estimated that in 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet.

For example Samsung estimated that 90 procent of its products will be ioT devices by 2017 and all the devices by 2020.

As Intel´s CEO Brian Krzanich said in his presentation:” We are going to experience Computing Unleashed, where computing gains a new dimension. From that two dimensional world, to a three dimensional world. Computers are gaining senses. They are going to be able to see, and hear. And that will result in their ability to understand. They are becoming wirefree, giving new meaning to portable and mobile,” he said.

Consumer electronics are expanding rapidly and the Las Vegas CES is now International. The first Asian fairs will be running this spring in Shanghai.

 

Photo: Ville Koski, 2014

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