According to Reuters, Japan-based JERA, the world’s largest buyer of LNG, is already using the crisis to push for less rigid contracts with Qatar, and allowing more imports from the US. Source GulfNews
Cybersecurity firms ESET and Dragos Inc. release detailed analyses of a piece of malware used to attack the Ukrainian electric utility Ukrenergo, what they say represents a dangerous advancement in critical infrastructure hacking. The researchers describe that malware, as only the second-ever known case of malicious code purpose-built to disrupt physical systems. The first, Stuxnet, was used l to destroy centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear facility. Source Wired
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has begun laying off employees in its operations and technology division, part of the second-largest U.S. bank’s plan to cut costs. On Wednesday the bank cut jobs across that division, many of which came from its Charlotte, N.C., headquarters, a spokesman said. He would not specify the number of jobs lost. Source Reuters
With a population of more than a billion people with a median age of 20 years, Africa should be a retailer’s dream.
But a combination of corporate hubris, strategic missteps and the crash in commodity prices has made navigating the continent’s nascent consumer landscape a bigger-than-expected challenge for the world’s largest merchants. Source The Wall Street Journal
Google-owner Alphabet Inc. has agreed to sell robotics firm Boston Dynamics to SoftBank, the Japanese telecommunications and technology company. Source The Verge
House Republicans made headway on President Donald Trump’s pledge to dismantle post-crisis financial rules by approving a sweeping bill Thursday that rips up major aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act. Source Bloomberg
The European Central Bank (ECB) left its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday and dropped any reference to a future rate cut. In a statement it said it expected interest rates to “remain at present levels for an extended period of time,” but added that it would be ready to extend its quantitative easing (QE) program if needed. Source CNBC