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Global FDI flow fell 13% in 2018: UN Report

According to the report, this is the the third consecutive annual decline in global FDI flow.

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Global FDI flows

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows declined by 13 per cent in 2018 to $1.3 trillion from $1.5 trillion in 2017, the UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2019 said on Wednesday.

According to the report, this is the the third consecutive annual decline in global FDI flow.

“The contraction was largely precipitated by the United States multinational enterprises (MNEs) repatriating earnings from abroad, making use of tax reforms introduced by the country in 2017, designed for that purpose,” it said.

The developed countries were the hardest hit by the earnings repatriation, where flows fell by a quarter to $557 billion, a level last seen in 2004.

“FDI continues to be trapped, confined to post-crisis lows. This does not bode well for the international community’s promise to tackle urgent global challenges, such as abject poverty and the climate crisis,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.

“Geopolitics and trade tensions risk continuing to weigh on FDI in 2019 and beyond,” he cautioned.

The tax-driven fall in FDI, which occurred in the first two quarters, was cushioned by increased transaction activity in the second half of 2018, the report said, adding that the value of cross-border merger and acquisitions rose by 18 per cent, fuelled by American multinational enterprises using liquidity in their foreign affiliates.

However, developing country flows managed to hold steady, rising by 2 per cent, which helped push flows to the developing world to more than half (54 per cent) of global flows, from 46 per cent in 2017 and just over a third before the financial crisis, it said.

The UNCTAD report noted that despite the FDI decline, the United States remained the largest recipient of FDI, followed by China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In terms of outward investors, Japan became the largest followed by China and France, it said.

On the outlook for 2019, it said that FDI is expected to recover in developed economies as the effect of the US tax reforms winds down.

Business

JioMeet takes on Zoom, can support up to 100 participants

JioMeet offers unlimited meetings per day and each meeting can go uninterrupted up to 24 hours.

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JioMeet

New Delhi, July 2 : Amid growing calls for ”Made in India” digital tools, Reliance Jio has launched a free video-conferencing application called JioMeet, taking on US-based Zoom platform.

According to the JioMeet description on Google Play Store, the application can be used for 1:1 video calls and hosting meetings with up to 100 participants with enterprise-grade host controls.

Other highlights include easy sign up with either mobile number or email ID, meeting in HD audio and video quality.

The application can be used for creating instant meetings to chat with friends and also to schedule a meeting in advance and share meeting details with invitees.

JioMeet offers unlimited meetings per day and each meeting can go uninterrupted up to 24 hours.

The application can be used on Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, SIP/H.323 systems.

JioMeet has already been downloaded for over 10,000 times from Google Play Store.

Each meeting is password protected and the host can enable a “Waiting Room” to ensure no participant joins without permission, JioMeet said.

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Auto

Tesla delivers over 90K vehicles in Q2 2020, stock up 9%

Tesla’s revenue in Q1 2020 reached $5.9 billion, an increase of nearly $1.5 billion a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $8.1 billion of cash.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk

San Francisco, July 2 : Tesla stocks were up 9 per cent on Thursday after the electric car maker posted stronger-than-expected quarterly deliveries.

The Palo Alto-based company said it delivered 90,650 vehicles in the June quarter. It achieved the feat despite its Fremont, California based factory was out of action owing to Covid-19 lockdown for most part of the quarter.

Tesla delivered 80,050 Model 3s and Model Ys in the quarter and 10,600 of its Model S luxury sedan and Model X SUVs.

“In the second quarter, we produced over 82,000 vehicles and delivered approximately 90,650 vehicles,” Tesla said in a statement.

Tesla market cap was over $200 billion and its stock closed at a record $1,133.36 on Wednesday.

“While our main factory in Fremont was shut down for much of the quarter, we have successfully ramped production back to prior levels,” it added.

Tesla reopened its Fremont, California-based factory after a long fight with the local authorities as sheltering-at-home rules were in place in May.

The company posted a surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 despite temporary disruptions in productions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Tesla’s revenue in Q1 2020 reached $5.9 billion, an increase of nearly $1.5 billion a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $8.1 billion of cash.

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Business

Zuckerberg refuses to bow down, expects advertisers to return ”soon”

American food company Chobani, drug maker Pfizer and software major SAP were among the latest brands pulling who joined Coca Cola, adidas, cleaning supply firm Clorox, Conagra (the maker of Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and Pam), fast food chain Denny’s, Ford and Starbucks to pull their ads from the platform.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

San Francisco, July 2 : As hundreds of companies halt advertising on Facebook and Instagram, Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident the brands would soon return on the platform.

According to a report in The Information, Zuckerberg told employees he was reluctant to bow to the threats of a growing ad boycott, saying “my guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

“We”re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” he apparently told the employees, according to the report on Wednesday.

Of the 25 largest spenders on Facebook ads, only three companies Microsoft, Starbucks and Pfizer have confirmed pause ads on Facebook.

As Facebook ad boycott by more than 400 brands officially began on Wednesday, the social networking giant said it was getting better at removing harmful content and that the platform does not in any way profit from hate speech.

Writing an open letter to address concerns of advertisers, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications on Wednesday said that “platforms like Facebook hold up a mirror to society”.

“I want to be unambiguous: Facebook does not profit from hate,” said Clegg, who is a former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The call to boycott ads on Facebook started after the social networking giant decided to allow controversial posts by US President Donald Trump to stay up.

Facebook said that when it finds hateful posts on Facebook and Instagram, it takes a zero tolerance approach and removes them.

Facebook saw its market cap eroded in billions as more big brands boycotted its platform against the unchecked spread of hateful and disinformation on its platforms.

American food company Chobani, drug maker Pfizer and software major SAP were among the latest brands pulling who joined Coca Cola, adidas, cleaning supply firm Clorox, Conagra (the maker of Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and Pam), fast food chain Denny’s, Ford and Starbucks to pull their ads from the platform.

Facebook’s digital advertising accounted for more than 98 per cent of the company’s nearly $70 billion in revenue last year.

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