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US Rigs Looking To Bounce Back

 2 min read / 

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Editor’s remarks:
Rig count is an important measure for gauging supply and demand, and determining the outlook of the oil industry. The number of rigs drilling has sharply declined in the last 18 months due to the oversupply in the industry, with a 50% decline in offshore rigs in the US between August 2015 and August 2016. Many producers were simply priced out of the market, primarily due to OPEC and Russia pushing high supply and the low demands of a mild winter in 2015. Oil majors have slashed investment by billions, cut jobs by tens of thousands, and most importantly improved their efficiencies through acquisitions and internal transformations. The number of US oil rigs drilling began increasing before the announcements to cap production. The likes of Hess Corp, Apache Corp and many other shale giants are stronger than ever, as the number of oil rigs drilling is once again on the rise. Rather than simply keeping afloat, US producers are hoping to compete on an equal footing with other oil exporting nations. It is unclear by how much oil supply will decrease, but it is certain that the strong US producers remain in a position to somewhat challenge the oil cartel, and without being allowed to join any organisation themselves, they are bound to no agreements.

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The Darkest Hour: Fatalities in WW2

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Following the release of The Darkest Hour, which stars a beefed-up Gary Oldman as former British prime minister Winston Churchill, the Second World War has once again peaked the interest of the public. The movie depicts how Churchill dealt not only with the mess at Dunkirk in the opening stages of the war but internal divisions in his war cabinet as Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax pushed for a diplomatic solution to avoid all-out war. In the end, Churchill’s decision to go to war prevailed and, as the common quip goes, victory was seized through British intelligence, American strength and Russian blood. Looking at the number of fatalities that each side sustained, there is no small amount of truth to this statement. Following the collapse of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the consequent launch of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa and the eventual push back of German forces after their defeat in Stalingrad, an astronomical 20 million Russians died.

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How Are the Chinese Net Giants Faring?

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chinese tech

In the last year, China’s tech giants have really come into their own. Finally, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have shed their former reputation as “China’s version of [insert western tech company]” and begun to define their business models by their own terms. The market has rewarded them for it too: Baidu gained 60% in 2017, with Tencent and Alibaba each up about 120%, which trumped the price gains achieved by their western competitors. Tencent has cemented itself as the world’s biggest video games company due to its ever-expanding portfolio of mobile games and savvy investments in a broad range of foreign tech firms. Alibaba, meanwhile, has expanded into physical supermarkets in China, where it hopes to build further streams of revenue. Baidu is somewhat lagging, as its relatively small market cap indicates but the company is actively testing autonomous cars.

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How Big Banks Have Invested in FinTech Since 2013

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big banks fintech

In the UK at least, fintech has been characterised by challenger banks such as Starling and Monzo opening their (virtual) doors to customers in recent years. However, that does not mean that big banks aren’t getting in on the fun too. Since 2013, premier investment bank Goldman Sachs has completed some 37 fintech-related investments with Citibank trailing with 25 similar deals over the same period. Kensho is one company that has received a lot of attention from Wall Street’s biggest players; Goldman, JPMorgan, Citi and Morgan Stanley all invested in the machine learning startup’s Series B fundraise last year at a valuation of $500m. with the advent of blockchain, it seems like 2018 will see many more fintech deals take place.

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