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ANDREW HENWOOD APPOINTED AS CEO OF FOREGENIX AHEAD OF TRANSACT14

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Information Security and Data Forensics specialists, Foregenix announced the promotion of Director of Operations Andrew Henwood to the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Andrew’s new appointment comes after an impressive period of growth for Foregenix, with the opening of both a South African and Latin American office in the past year, a 60% increase in staff and 120% growth in the sales and revenues since 2012.

A payments industry entrepreneur with over 16 years of experience in the sector, Andrew has been involved within the PCI security industry since 2001, where he assisted in developing the first versions of the card scheme security standards in Europe.

ANDREW HENWOOD APPOINTED AS CEO OF FOREGENIX AHEAD OF TRANSACT14 3Andrew will be at TRANSACT this week to share his knowledge and expertise on cybercrime and payment fraud,  looking at a real-world case study of a breach similar to the Neiman Marcus and Target breaches in more detail and advising what retailers and merchants need to do to reduce risk and fend off attacks on their payment facilities.

Prior to Foregenix, Andrew founded One-SEC in 2004, the first regional Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) in EMEA. The company was acquired and merged in August 2007.

Speaking about Andrew’s appointment, Co-Founder of Foregenix and Member of the Board of Directors, Benjamin Hosack, said: “During this time of global growth and transformation, there is no better person to lead Foregenix than Andrew Henwood. Andrew is a proven leader with unrivalled skills in data security, alongside a clear business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for the business and its future, alongside his global expertise is exactly what Foregenix needs as it enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”

Since joining the Foregenix team, Andrew has lead both the UK and South African teams in a number of high profile data breach investigations, assisting in on-boarding new innovative products and services and represented the company speaking at a number of key industry events around the world.  We have full confidence in his abilities to build and execute on the Foregenix vision and to continue to deliver customer value.”

Speaking about the appointment, Andrew Henwood said: “As Foregenix enters its next stage of growth, I am looking forward to building on the fantastic foundation we’ve already laid and expanding the teams and reporting more business success to our key stakeholders.”

Andrew will be speaking at TRANSACT14 in Las Vegas this week on the cost and effect of cyber-crime and data breaches and what EMV migration & P2PE technologies will mean for fraudsters in the region.

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Japan’s jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures – Reuters poll

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Japan's jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures - Reuters poll 4

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s jobless rate is expected to have edged up in January as service industry businesses suffered renewed restrictions on movement to fight spread of the coronavirus in some areas, including Tokyo, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.

While industrial production activity picked up in Japan, emergency curbs rolled out last month such as asking restaurants to close early and suspending the national travel campaign hurt the jobs market, analysts said.

The nation’s unemployment rate likely rose 3.0% in January, up from 2.9% in December, the poll of 15 economists found.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio, a gauge of the availability of jobs, was seen at 1.06 in January, unchanged from December, but stayed near September’s seven-year low of 1.03, the poll showed.

“As the impact from the coronavirus pandemic prolongs, it is hard for firms, especially the service sector, to expect their business profits to improve,” said Yusuke Shimoda, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.

“So, their willingness to hire employees appear to be subdued and it is difficult to see the jobs market recovering soon.”

Some analysts also said the government’s steps to support employment and existing labour shortages will likely prevent the jobless rate from worsening sharply.

The government will announce the labour market data at 8:30 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday (2330 GMT Monday).

Analysts expect the economy to contract in the current quarter due to the emergency measures to counter the spread of the disease.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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China’s economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 – central bank adviser

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China's economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 - central bank adviser 5

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.

This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.

Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.

China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.

Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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Japan’s January factory output rises for first time in three months, retail sales drop

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Japan's January factory output rises for first time in three months, retail sales drop 6

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s industrial output rose for the first time in three months in January thanks to a pickup in global demand, in a welcome sign for an economy still looking to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.

But retail sales, a key gauge of consumer spending, posted their second straight month of declines in January as emergency measures taken in response to the pandemic hit consumption.

Official data released on Friday showed factory output advanced 4.2% in January, boosted by sharp rises in production of electronic parts and general-purpose machinery, as well as a smaller increase in car output.

“Manufacturers will continue to increase output over the near term as long as there won’t be any big shock,” said Taro Saito, executive research fellow at NLI Research Institute.

While economic growth will likely be negative in the first quarter, the strength in manufacturing would offset the negative impact of a state of emergency at home, which is mainly affecting the services sector, he said.

The rise in output, which followed a 1.0% fall the previous month, was largely in line with a 4.0% gain forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expect output to grow 2.1% in February, followed by a 6.1% decline in March.

The government kept its assessment of industrial production unchanged, saying it was picking up.

Factory output fell in November and December as a rebound in car production ended on sagging global demand, but since then strong demand for tech-making equipment and electronic goods has helped turn the tide.

Still, some analysts worry that Japan’s economic recovery will remain hobbled by weaker conditions at home and as lockdown measures taken around the world to contain the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in Europe, weigh.

The government also released data on Friday showing retail sales fell 2.4% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, in a sign households tightened their purse strings as the coronavirus staged a resurgence.

The fall, which was in line with a 2.6% drop seen by economists in a Reuters poll, was largely due to sharp contractions in general merchandise and fabrics apparel spending. It followed a 0.2% fall in December.

Compared to a month earlier, retail sales in January fell 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the third straight month of declines. But the pace of decline was slower than in the previous two months.

“We think consumer spending will only fall around 1% quarter-on-quarter this quarter,” said Tom Learmouth, Japan economist at Capital Economics.

“We expect it to rise fairly strongly over the coming quarters as the recovery resumes and is soon given a shot in the arm by vaccines,” he added.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Sam Holmes and Richard Pullin)

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