Listen to the audio:
What Moved Global Markets
– Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Aramco could be valued at up to $1.7 trillion, according to a price range announced Sunday for its upcoming listing, less than the $2 trillion figure the kingdom’s crown prince had previously targeted. Saudi Aramco said in a press statement Sunday morning that it’s hoping to sell a 1.5% stake in the company, or about 3 billion shares. The company does not plan to market IPO in the United States, two sources familiar with the matter said.
– Trade deal: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about a phase-one trade deal in a phone call Saturday morning, according to Chinese state media. The two sides had “constructive discussions” about “each other’s core concerns” and agreed to remain in close contact, Xinhua reported.
– CNBC reports: Investing returns are likely to be much lower in the years ahead.
What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– The Libra Association released on Friday a developer update, saying that Facebook’s cryptocurrency project has been running for “five months and growing strong.” In a blog post, Libra Association developer Michael Engle said that the Libra testnet has registered more than 51,000 transactions since it was reset in September. Developers have also developed 34 projects on the testnet, including 10 wallets and 11 blockchain explorers.
– After reaching settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), two Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects have failed to meet the initial deadline to repay investors, while a third delayed registering its tokens as securities, per a Wall Street Journal report. These companies are: Airfox, Paragon, Gladius.
– The number of Bitcoin ATMs installed worldwide has now surpassed a new milestone surpassing 6,000.
– The Finnish Financial Services Authority (FIN-FSA) has officially registered LocalBitcoins as a virtual currency provider, starting at the beginning of November 2019. Finland only allows officially registered providers who fulfill the legal requirements to operate in the country.
Fintech: Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro announced that the Christmas bonus of the country’s retirees and pensioners will be paid to them in the national cryptocurrency Petro. The Twitter profile of local news outlet Venepress reported on Maduro’s remarks on Nov. 17.
Healthtech: Don’t trust your watch! Users of Fitbit watch said their perception of Google as an owner of a health tracker caused them to express distrust and look to competitors like Apple Watch – because of Google’s issues with privacy.
Al: Microsoft sends a new type of AI processor into the cloud: an innovative chip from Graphcore could push AI applications to bigger heights.
Smart cities: Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, a company owned by Google, has provided more details on the technology it intends to use to develop a futuristic smart city in Toronto, which includes self-driving garbage cans and infra-red sensors to track foot traffic in stores.
NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Binance’s Weibo Account Has Been Suspended. The exchange’s Weibo page now reads: “The account has been blocked due to violations of laws and regulations and the relevant provisions of the Weibo Community Convention.”