[Bitstamp] Sameer Dubey joins Bitstamp as Chief Operating Officer

We’re excited to be welcoming another trusted leader from the world of finance to Bitstamp. Sameer Dubey has joined our team as our new Chief Operating Officer.

Sameer brings global leadership in fintech and traditional banking to Bitstamp, where he is taking charge of expanding our operational capabilities as we scale across our global businesses. He is joining us following stints with leading banks such as N26 and Barclays Bank.

At the German neobank N26, Sameer served as the Head of Operations for UK. Prior to N26, he spent over a decade in executive roles at Barclays on their Payments and Cash Management Product team. At Barclays, he also helped the major UK bank take its early steps into the world of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. We recently sat down with Sameer to ask him a few questions about why he chose Bitstamp and how he sees the journey forward.

You’ve built an impressive career at both traditional institutions and neobanks. What convinced you to shift your focus to crypto?

I’ve been engaged with the world of crypto for quite a while. At Barclays, I was one of the founding members of what we called the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Council, and from that point, I started to see that, in the world of finance, this is probably the most fundamental shift that’s happened for hundreds of years. I saw myself playing a part in this world, so it was more a question of “when” than “if”. I was also familiar with Bitstamp, having been a customer for about four years. So, when the opportunity arose, I knew it would be a good fit.

How do you see the cryptocurrency industry evolving over the next few years?

I think that in a few years, we won’t really be talking about a cryptocurrency industry anymore. It will be another part of finance and innovative crypto businesses will be considered fintechs similarly to how N26 is perceived today. A lot of the groundwork for crypto to fully integrate into finance has already been laid in terms of the market infrastructure and the regulatory frameworks. Now, the trust from traditional players is starting to build up and cryptocurrencies, both as investable assets and as technological innovations, are getting a chance to prove what they can do on the biggest stage.

What part do you see Bitstamp playing in crypto’s evolution?

Bitstamp, from its inception, has been a cornerstone of the crypto industry – I expect us to continue playing that role. Additionally, as crypto merges with finance, the part we play is going to take on new meaning. Part of what makes this space so exciting is that we really can’t know where we’ll be in, let’s say, 10 years. From my perspective right now, I see Bitstamp continuing to provide best-in-class exchange services based on excellent trading technology and outstanding operations. We’re certainly going to build out that core with new assets and trading options, alongside launching brand new services like staking to build out a wider platform. The expertise we’re bringing in now, with leaders joining Bitstamp from various sectors of finance, will be essential on that journey and I’m excited about exploring the future with this team.

At Bitstamp, we’re continuing to bring in top talent and ramp up our global presence. To join Sameer and the rest of our team across Europe, US and Asia, visit our careers page .

PayPal CEO Says Bitcoin Could Be a Chinese Financial Weapon Against the U.S.

PayPal CEO Peter Thiel loves Bitcoin but hates it when China mines or uses it.

In a virtual event organized by the Richard Nixon Foundation, Peter Thiel explained that Bitcoin could be used by China as a weapon in the non-conventional war against the United States, taking advantage of its characteristics to counteract the hegemonic power of the dollar.

“Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.”

The World vs. The United States

Peter Thiel explained that Bitcoin threatens the very idea of fiat money but is especially dangerous to the U.S. dollar and called on U.S. strategists to take Bitcoin-related developments more seriously when studying the international geopolitical landscape.

However, Bitcoin hodlers are not the only ones who might take offense at being called a weapon of the Chinese communist party. According to the CEO of PayPal, the existence of the Euro itseld¿f is also a weapon of China in its conspiracy to destroy the power of the United States to control some critical aspects of the world economy:

“From China’s point of view, they don’t like the U.S. having this reserve currency, because it gives us a lot of leverage over things like the oil supply chain and things like that. They don’t want the Renminbi to become a reserve currency because then you have to open your capital account and do all sorts of things they really don’t want to do. I think the Euro you could think it is in part a Chinese weapon against the dollar”.

Regarding DECP, the digital currency that China is developing, Peter Thiel believes it cannot be compared to a cryptocurrency and called it a “totalitarian measuring device.”

The Global Tech Race According to The CEO of Paypal

Thiel’s words do not seem very harmonious with the patriotism he so proudly showed when attacking China. Several countries are developing their own digital currencies. Even the United States is beginning to advance the idea of creating a digital dollar with very similar characteristics to those of the Chinese money.

The CEO of PayPal is not concerned about China’s potential to innovate and create but rather about its power to copy things. In response to Michael Pompeo, he explained that China had not made many advances concerning blockchain technology. Still, if China reaches a position of parity with the United States from a technological point of view, the West would lose its advantage as a world geopolitical dominator.

Thiel regretted that Silicon Valley did not see China as an adversary. He pointed to Apple as a company that is a real structural problem for having “real synergies with China.” Google and Facebook were also mentioned by Thiel, who noted that they were friendly to the dreaded Chinese adversary.

Paypal has played a key role in the recent bullish trend of Bitcoin and the increase in cryptocurrency adoption.

Bitcoin price before and after Paypal supported it. Image: Tradingview

As reported by Cryptopotato, PayPal recently enabled service to purchase, store and process cryptocurrency payments for US customers, with prospects to release their support to other countries later in the year.

Hopefully, this massive boost to Bitcoin adoption will not be seen by regulators as a support for China’s crypto plans in the years ahead.

Spain Seeks Public Comments on Potential Cryptocurrency Regulations

Cryptocurrency regulations across different countries continue to be a hot topic, and Spain is the latest to join in. The nation’s watchdog has asked industry participants, investors, and consumers for their opinion, and they have until April 16th to respond.

Spain’s Regulator Looks for Crypto Legislation

According to a report from La Informacion, The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Spain’s watchdog overseeing the securities markets, has initiated the first steps of nationwide crypto regulations.

The process has started by sending emails to representatives of the cryptocurrency industry, investors, and customers. They have less than two weeks to prepare statements with their comments on the proposals and send them back to the agency.

The coverage outlined that the potential regulations could affect almost all areas of the cryptocurrency industry. However, the legislation could exempt some professional activities, assets that are exclusively used as means of payment, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Interestingly, the US also hinted at new rules regarding NFTs recently, but they seemed significantly more strict. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may implement taxes on NFT purchases made with profits of digital assets, as CryptoPotatoreported recently.

Apart from the aforementioned potential regulations on crypto assets, Spain has also explored developing a central bank digital currency. The country’s central bank said in late 2020 that releasing a CBDC is among the priorities in the next three years.

Regulations in Other Countries

The exponential growth of the entire crypto space in the past year or so has caught the attention of global regulators. Consequently, numerous countries have started looking into inserting legislative frameworks.

Spain’s northern neighbor, France, called for a new and robust approach towards crypto regulations in February this year. The chairman of the nation’s financial regulatory body (AMF) believes that the current legal structures are insufficient when it comes down to new asset classes such as digital currencies.

Continuing north on the map and Britain’s Finance Minister, John Glen, urged the country to firstly focus on regulating stablecoins rather than the entire market, while the FCA has repeatedly issued warnings.

In some countries, such as South Korea, the implemented regulations have caused troubles for some of the firms operating within their borders. The East Asian nation introduced new AML legislation last month, and several cryptocurrency exchanges announced closing doors for their respective South Korean branches in response.

Mark Cuban Praises Ethereum and Keeps Buying Bitcoin
Mark Cuban Praises Ethereum and Keeps Buying Bitcoin 101
Mark Cuban. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube, TMZSports

The Bitcoin (BTC) vs. Ethereum (ETH) debate just became even more complicated thanks to American billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban. He keeps praising ETH as more superior to BTC, but stores much more of his wealth in this most popular cryptocurrency than ETH, aims to buy more BTC, and doesn’t plan to sell it.

In March, he said that ETH is “the closest we have to a true currency,” and now he’s talking about ETH as a store of value alternative as it has “a lot more built-in utility in its organic and native form.”

“Because people are using ETH to buy NFTs, to do more things, and because smart contracts just make it a little bit simpler to do development. And because we’re looking at hopefully a shorter-term evolution to ETH 2.0, […] I think you’ll see there’s more reason to buy ETH right now beyond just being a store of value – but it doesn’t exclude, you know, being a store of value to buy ETH,” the Dallas Mavericks owner said during the recent Unchained podcast.

He added that with Ethereum improvement proposal (EIP) 1559, “everything changes and what happens going forward is going to really impact how people perceive it specifically as a store of value.” Once the proof-of-stake is reached, bringing forth a much higher number of transactions per second, there will be a massive change in the environment, he said, resulting in a reason for some to use ETH as a store of value over BTC.

“I think the applications leveraging smart contracts and extensions on Ethereum will dwarf Bitcoin. Bitcoin will be a store of value but because it has to be done using miners, you can’t just switch to proof-of-stake with Bitcoin,” Cuban said.

Meanwhile, any asset that is looking for appreciation has to be sold with narratives, said Cuban. While gold’s narrative has historically been a hedge against inflation, it has never been that hedge, he argued. Gold’s not actually needed, but the narrative that it’s precious helps build its value.

“And bitcoin kind of is the same way,” he said. There is no correlation between the actions of the US Federal Reserve and the price of BTC, but it’s a “great narrative,” he said. “All assets could go up in price with inflation, and bitcoin could be one of them […] but so could the cost of bananas.”

That said, as a “bitcoin believer as a store of value,” he’ll “make an exception” – he plans to buy new BTC, not spend his existing coins, and use that to buy a Tesla.

Also, recently he said that his crypto portfolio consists of 60% bitcoin, 30% ethereum, and 10% of other cryptoassets.

Reserve currency and global tide

Meanwhile, Senior Commodity Strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, Mike McGlone, argues that BTC has a better chance to become a reserve currency than ETH. Per a Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index April report,

“It appears the narrative has tilted toward allocating a small portion of assets toward the crypto vs. the risks of missing out on the potential for bitcoin becoming the global benchmark digital asset. Adoption of the benchmark crypto as a global reserve asset has crossed the mainstream threshold, as we see it, and the market tide is rising.”

McGlone said that BTC is replacing gold suddenly rather than gradually and this process is likely to accelerate, “underpinning its price for the foreseeable future and magnifying the dollar’s dominance as the reserve currency.”

Bitcoin fills the need for a digital reserve-asset in a low-yield world, he said. Companies like Visa, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley have “embraced the digitalization of money, buoying the process of bitcoin replacing gold as the global digital-reserve asset,” said the strategist.

Most indicators show a shifting global tide that favors bitcoin as a reserve asset, McGlone concluded.

However, despite this tide, ETH keeps outperforming BTC in the crypto market.

At 15:41 UTC, BTC, with a market capitalization of more than USD 1trn, trades at USD 56,572 and is up by 676% in a year, while ETH (market capitalization – USD 239bn) trades at USD 1,992 and is up by 1,074%.

BP looks set to return more money to shareholders as it beats expectations

Oil major BP has said that it expects to start buying back its own shares again, after hitting its targets for reducing its debt load earlier than anticipated.

“We are pleased to announce that we now expect to have reached our $35bn net debt target during the first quarter 2021,” said BP’s chief executive, Bernard Looney. “This is a result of earlier than anticipated delivery of disposal proceeds combined with very strong business performance.”

Net debt at the end of 2020 was $38.9bn, meaning that BP has sliced nearly $4bn off its debt pile in the past three months.

The group will update with more detail when it reports on its first quarter results at the end of this month (27 April). For now, BP noted that it is committed to “returning at least 60% of surplus cash flow to shareholders by way of share buybacks, subject to maintaining a strong investment grade credit rating.”

So why has net debt declined so rapidly? BP made more money from selling assets than it had expected. Deals included the sale of a petrochemicals business to global chemical giant Ineos, the sale of a stake in software group Palantir, and the raising of more than $2.4bn from the sale of an Omani gas development. As a result, the group now expects sales proceeds to hit the upper range of its earlier $4bn to$6bn estimate.

The group also benefited from the strong rebound in the oil price earlier this year.

What does this mean for your portfolio?

BP’s share price cheered the unexpectedly positive announcement, gaining around 3% to trade at around 300p a share.

As Mark Nelson of Killik notes, the shares still look reasonably priced “on a price to December 2021 earnings ratio of 11.3 times” plus “a prospective dividend yield of 5.3%”. Meanwhile AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson reckons that the share buybacks raise the “prospect of more generous returns to shareholders”.

Long story short, if you hold BP already – and we’ve been pretty positive on oil stocks so a lot of you probably do – this is another reason to hang on. And even if BP isn’t your preferred play, we’d suggest having some exposure to the sector – fossil fuels will be around for a while longer and the market still doesn’t look to have priced in all of the rebound potential from the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Momentum Global IM rebrands five funds post-Seneca acquisition

The change is effective on two Seneca funds from today (6 April), with three MGIM funds set to adopt a rebrand from 28 May.

VT Seneca Diversified Growth and VT Seneca Diversified Income are now known as VT Momentum Diversified Growth and VT Momentum Diversified Income.

MGIM acquires Seneca Investment Managers to create £4.7bn AUM business

MI Momentum Focus 3, 4 and 5 will respectively become VT Momentum Diversified Cautious, Balanced and Moderate from the end of May.

Each of the five funds will continue to benefit from the consolidated MGIM and Seneca investment teams feeding into the products.

The investment objectives of all five products will remain unchanged as part of the rebrand.

MGIM promotes Hardy to lead UK investment team

Ferdi van Heerden, chief executive of MGIM, said: “We have made great progress with the integration of Seneca into MGIM. This has ensured a combined business with a far broader and richer talent pool, all focussed on delivering target outcomes for clients.

“The Seneca and the Momentum Focus funds are very complementary and by fully integrating them into one Momentum branded range, this creates a comprehensive selection of risk rated multi-asset products designed to suit the needs of a whole spectrum of clients, either as their core investment holding, or at the very least a key addition to their existing portfolios.

“This is much more than just a cosmetic change. The enlarged investment team has been able to take their best ideas and deploy them across the integrated fund range.

“Going forward, investors should benefit from the output of this larger multi asset focussed team as their research depth and idea generation feeds into all of these solutions.”

Artemis launches Positive Future global equity fund

The Artemis Positive Future fund is managed by Craig Bonthron, Neil Goddin, Jonathan Parsons and Ryan Smith, who joined Artemis in November 2020. The four worked together at Aegon Asset Management (formerly Kames Capital), where they managed the Aegon Global Sustainable Equity fund. They are based in Artemis’ Edinburgh office and report to the firm’s CIO, Matthew Beesley.

Artemis’ Bonthron: Being different is good, being right is key

The fund aims to outperform the MSCI AC World (TR) index by assembling a concentrated portfolio of quoted companies, typically 35-45, that address challenges to sustainability. These companies have the potential to disrupt inefficient, outmoded business models.

The fund focuses on innovative, revenue-generating, high growth companies at an earlier stage of their development, offering diversification in a sector where large-cap ‘quality’ and ‘growth’ dominate.

Commenting on the launch, Craig Bonthron said: “We believe the best long-term opportunities for growth lie in companies that are addressing the challenges of sustainability. Our aim is to identify emerging companies that are doing this and that are poised to displace incumbents. Leading performance and sustainability are our objectives.”

Artemis adds MacPherson to distribution team

Matthew Beesley, CIO, added: “As always, our focus is on meeting our clients’ needs, and they have been searching for products that offer market-leading returns while making a positive impact on society. Craig, Neil, Jonathan and Ryan have a demonstrable record of achieving that.”

Ongoing annual charges are 0.87% for I-class. F-class is available for a limited time at a charge of 0.5%. It is structured as a UK-registered Oeic.

Yellen & Global Tax Plan, Russian Crypto Consultation, Indian NFT Marketplace + More News
Yellen & Global Tax Plan, Russian Crypto Consultation, Indian NFT Marketplace + More News 101
Janet Yellen. Source: A video screenshot, Youtube/Credit Suisse

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Tax news

  • Janet Yellen will use her first major address as US Treasury secretary to argue for a global minimum corporate tax rate, as she makes the case for President Joe Biden’s plan to raise corporate taxes to fund his more than USD 2trn infrastructure plan, Axios reported, citing prepared remarks by Yellen. Convincing other countries to impose a global minimum tax would reduce the likelihood of companies relocating offshore, but Axios argued that by trying to convince them to impose it, Yellen is acknowledging the risks to the American economy if it acts alone in raising corporate rates.

Regulation news

  • The Russian Central Bank has issued a set of draft regulations that could have an impact on the nation’s crypto and stablecoin sectors. The new consultation paper saw the bank urge companies not to develop what it called “private currencies” – adding that “monetary surrogates” could undermine the existing financial system and warning that these “currencies” could create the “excessive binding of consumers to the ecosystem, which will “worsen conditions” for competitors. The paper’s authors argued that such “private currencies” would allow issuers to make arbitrary changes to “the economic value” of their tokens, “leading to violations of consumer rights.”

NFTs news

  • Indian crypto exchange WazirX has launched a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for Indian artists, reported the Economic Times. Indian creators can now place their digital assets for auction and earn royalty thereafter. WazirX will not charge its customers for creating and listing NFTs on the platform, but a gas fee needs to be paid to the miners – a cost the exchange is reportedly working to nullify to make NFT minting cost-effective for artists and creators.
  • Tron (TRX) founder and CEO Justin Sun has purchased one of TIME Magazine‘s NFTS for ETH 117 (USD 209,736). The cover is 1965’s ‘The Computer In Society’, created by Artist Boris Artzybasheff, and this was the first time the computer was mentioned on the cover of TIME, Sun said. It will be placed in the recently announced JUST NFT Fund.
  • Pop culture consumer products company Funko has acquired a majority ownership stake in TokenWave, the developer of TokenHead, a mobile app and website for showcasing and tracking NFT holdings. TokenHead, available on iOS and Android, currently displays over 10m NFTs and has more than 100,000 visits per day, said the press release. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. Funko expects to launch its initial NFT offerings in June, featuring a unique property each week at a starting price point of USD 9.99. Products will be sold on the WAX platform.

Exchanges news

Coinbase is set to go public with two directors (Fred Ehrsam and Fred Wilson) who are members of the audit committee and are major shareholders, while one was a founder, the Wall Street Journal reported.

DeFi news

  • The CEO of online retailing platform Shopify, Tobi Lutke, has turned to decentralized finance (DeFi) Twitter for ideas on the platform’s potential role in the DeFi space. Lutke asked what commerce-related opportunities for the DeFi space the community is most excited about, as well as what role would they want Shopify to play in that space. Many suggestions came in, such as adding support for bitcoin (BTC) Lightning payments, stablecoin integration, NFT-based merchant reputation scores and customer rewards program, partnerships with major DeFi projects, etc.

Mining news

  • Blockchain-based e-commerce business and a fintech service provider Future FinTech Group (FTFT) signed an acquisition framework agreement with the shareholders of Nanjing Ribensi Electronic Technology, which currently operates a bitcoin mining farm with all the necessary governmental approvals and with a capacity to operate 30,000 bitcoin mining machines, located in Sichuan Province, China. FTFT will pay a total of RMB 60m (USD 9m) for the acquisition of Nanjing Ribensi, they said. The sellers guarantee that the net profit of Nanjing Ribensi shall not be less than RMB 15m (USD 2.3m) for 2021, RMB 20m (USD 3m) for 2022, and RMB 25m (USD 3.8m) for 2023.

Blockchain news

  • The ruling parliamentary party, United Russia, is set to use blockchain technology in upcoming voting ahead of elections in the Chechen Republic, reported Chechen Info. The Russian constituent republic is set to go to the polls for the first time since 2016 in September 2021. And the Chechen United Russia primaries are slated to take place in late May, with registration closing for the party’s elections later this month. The process will take place online, with votes cast on a blockchain-powered platform constructed by a state-owned Russian public services provider.

Crime news

  • A Chinese woman has reportedly been catfished by crypto scammers on dating apps, as cases of crypto fraud on dating platforms in East Asia begin to climb. Cryptonews.com recently reported on a rise in male dating app users being targeted by scammers in Japan. But in an apparent reversal, Hangzhou.com reported on the case of a woman from the coastal city of Zhejiang who was allegedly duped by two “online boyfriends” at once – one of whom convinced her to join an online gambling syndicate. The other, who claimed to be a successful “blockchain” investor, convinced her to make a series of investments – the largest of which was worth over USD 2,500 – in what she believed was an above-board crypto program. After first making some small apparent gains on the platform, she upped the ante before making bigger losses.
  • The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned that fraudsters are using the details of firms they authorize to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorized firm. The regulator calls this ‘a clone firm’. Fraudsters are using or giving out specific details as part of their tactics to scam people in the UK, including the name Blockchain Recovery Department – clone of FCA authorized firm by the name of Gain Capital UK Limited.
Share tips of the week

Three to buy

Kingfisher

(Mail on Sunday) B&Q and Screwfix-owner Kingfisher had an “extraordinary” 2020. The DIY group has benefited from “our desire to make the same four walls look nicer”. But the firm owes its success to more than the lockdown boom: CEO Thierry Garnier’s five-year plan has focused on improving performance in France, a key market, cutting some costs and investing in its digital presence. Turnover for the year to 31 January 2021 was up by 7.2% to £12.3bn and pre-tax profits grew from £103m in 2019 to £756m in 2020. The firm’s cash pile is “reassuring on the dividend front”, and its long- term strategy “seems to be paying off”. 325p

Ford

(Shares) Ford’s investments in electric and autonomous vehicles are yielding positive results. As activity recovers after the pandemic the car maker “should see increased sales for its cars and pickup trucks”. The group is suffering from the impact of the global semiconductor shortage, which could see earnings drop by $1bn to $2.5bn. But with a “clearer electric-vehicle strategy” the firm looks well prepared for the future. $12.85

Kenmare

(Investors’ Chronicle) Mozambique-based miner Kenmare Resources had a difficult year, but the firm has nonetheless managed to maintain its dividend. Production for the year was down by 15%, but higher ilmenite (a mineral-rich sand) prices “helped the bottom line”. Debt has risen sharply but the firm’s relocation of its WCP B plant was also the final step in a “multi-year growth programme” that should yield positive results. 407p

Three to sell

Genel Energy

(Investors’ Chronicle) Kurdistan-based oil company Genel Energy saw its sales more than halve in 2020. Cashflow slumped to $4m from $99m in 2019. Production is set to stay flat at around 32,000 barrels of oil per day. The firm has previously struggled to get paid by the Kurdistan Regional Government and is still owed around $159m of oil sales, “equal to its entire 2020 revenue”. Profits were further harmed by a $320m impairment. All this adds up to a sell. 187p

Manchester & London

(The Daily Telegraph) The Telegraph tipped Manchester & London in 2017 when it switched from “largely British shares to a growth-focused fund” containing big tech stocks such as Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet. It has performed strongly over the last three years. But now a “basket of stocks” that should have returned 32% over 2020 only yielded an 8.4% gain. This is because the trust sold call options on the shares it holds, limiting overall returns. This approach has complicated “what should be a straightforward investment rationale”. The argument for the trust “no longer holds”. 586p

In The Style

(The Sunday Times) Online fashion retailer In The Style listed on Aim this month. It made a £2m profit on sales of £35.4m in the nine months to January 2021. FounderAdam Frisby ascribes last year’s growth to the firm’s “switch from selling dresses to lockdown-friendly jogging bottoms”. But it remains to be seen whether recent growth will “outlive the pandemic… Investors should wait for evidence [that it] isn’t just a passing fad.” Avoid. 235p

…and the rest

Investors’ Chronicle

“Pent up demand” by homeowners spending their savings on improvements helped offset the lockdown-induced downturn at LED-lighting manufacturer Luceco. It looks “well positioned” for the recovery. Buy (266p). Speciality chemicals and personal care business Elementis “posted a predictably downbeat set of results after a pandemic-ravaged year”. Sales in its core divisions, personal care and coatings, fell by 9% and 7% respectively. The group also needs to reduce debt. “We remain cautious for now.” Sell (121p).

Shares

Data services group Relx has seen its shares fall behind “since the market shifted its focus to cheap value stocks”. But the share-price weakness represents an opportunity. Relx’s focus on organic growth, coupled with an “excellent track record”, make it a good investment for the long term. Buy (1,757p).

The Daily Telegraph

Record-low interest rates hit banks even before the virus. Lockdowns threatening customers’ solvency “make matters worse”. Sell Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo(€2.30).

The Motley Fool

Hydrogen fuel cells “are increasingly being made obsolete by lithium-ion batteries”, which doesn’t bode well for green-energy hydrogen companies such as Plug Power. The company has also said it will have to restate accounts for previous years. Avoid ($35). Revenue at Nokia declined by 6% last year and is set to fall again this year. Consumers are ditching Nokia’s traditional 4G network for 5G, “to which the company has yet to fully upgrade”. Avoid (€3.50).