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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

What we’re tracking on 14 June 2017 cont’d

The UAE’s ambassador to DC gives Qatar a solid kick in this op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. You had us from your lede, Mr. Al Otaiba: “It is a striking and dangerous contradiction: Qatar invests bns of USD in the U.S. and Europe and then recycles the profits to support Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and groups linked to al Qaeda.” (paywall)

Asian wealth set to outpace Western Europe’s for the first time: Asia has climbed another step in dominance in the global economy, as private wealth in the Asia-Pacific region is set to grow more than 9.5% to USD 38.4 tn in 2017, outpacing wealth growth in Western Europe which rose 3.2% to USD 40.5 tn, according to the Boston Consulting Group. BCG chalks that up to uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Asian wealth is expected to climb to USD 42.3 tn by the end of 2017. Investors from Asia-Pacific were the biggest source of global offshore wealth last year with USD 2.9 tn, followed by USD 2.6 tn from Western Europe, according to Bloomberg.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Back in October 2015, we wrote about the Slack-killer that Goldman Sachs and Google were promoting to the global finance and legal industries: Goldman Sachs CIO Marty Chavez — a 20-year veteran of the firm who literally believes that he heard God tell him to return to GS while he was cleaning a toilet in a monastery — talks with Re/Code’s Kara Swisher how software is eating finance, discussing “Goldman’s strategy for obtaining software, favoring open source options whenever possible, and putting the firm’s army of 11,000 engineers to work building it when it’s not.” The two also discussed Symphony, an ultra-secure Slack competitor created by Goldman and others as a reaction to revelations Bloomberg reporters spied on people’s use of Bloomberg’s messenger program. Google just took a stake in Symphony — which specifically targets both buy- and sell-side institutions as well as enterprises and individuals with security needs — in a round that valued the company at USD 650 mn. Watch the Chavez interview (runtime: 33:36), learn more about Symphony (no charge for individuals, institutions have to pony up) or get the low-down on its fundraising (from Business Insider or the WSJ).

The Update: Symphony, still backed by Goldman and BlackRock and now valued at north of USD 1 bn after a funding round that closed last month, has “teamed up with news and data provider Thomson Reuters in its biggest push yet to oust Bloomberg as the dominant chat network in global markets,” the Financial Times reports in a front-page story this morning. “The 200,000 licensed users of Symphony’s messaging network will this year be able to share charts, news and data from Thomson Reuters’ terminals in [a development] the company hopes will make the platform stickier for traders.”

The company that owns the IP of the guy who inspired Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi has filed for bankruptcy protection, the Wall Street Journal reports. There’s more from MarketWatch and Reuters, and the company has gone so far as to issue a press release saying it has secured USD 2 mn from an “independent third-party private investment firm” to finance its working capital needs and keep the lights on for the time being.

So, when do we eat? Maghrib prayers are at 6:57pm CLT in Cairo, and the cutoff time for sohour is 3:08am.

Oh, and make sure you check out this morning’s Worth Watching (below) to see side-by-side the Israeli national airline’s advertisement from which EgyptAir’s agency appears to have, uhm, “taken inspiration”.

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