Skrill has announced that Nilesh Pandya, former Chief Financial Officer (CFO), has taken on a newly created role as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Emerging Markets. Pandya will focus on leading Skrill’s strategic initiative, which enables consumers in high-growth markets to connect to the digital world via mobile money.
Pandya’s responsibilities will include developing and managing the team working with Mobile Network Operators and online organisations, helping to drive remittances and ecommerce transactions across several markets. The team will continue to engage and meet the needs of merchants by offering innovative payment products and solutions to emerging markets.
Pandya has worked for Skrill since October 2010 when he joined as Group CFO. Prior to joining Skrill, Pandya held the role of Group Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Powerplate International. He has also worked in various financial roles for Marks & Spencer plc, BOC Group plc, HSBC Investment Bank and KPMG, where he was a member of the Financial Sector Group focusing on auditing, due diligence and consulting on financial institutions.
David Clarke recently replaced Nilesh as Skrill’s new CFO. Clarke joined from Lebara Mobile where he held the position of Group CFO.
Siegfried Heimgaertner, CEO of Skrill, commented,
“We are delighted to see Nilesh take on the significant role of SVP of Emerging Markets. As CFO, Nilesh played a pivotal part in Skrill’s history and will now help to shape its future. Nilesh has all of the required development expertise and knowledge of the industry to lead our emerging markets and Mobile Network Operator strategic initiative from strength to strength”
Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart
By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.
Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.60 a barrel by 1212 GMT, and U.S. crude rose 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.09 a barrel.
Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier in the session.
“Vaccine news is helping oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions over the coming months on the back of vaccine rollouts should further boost the oil demand and price recovery,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said optimistic oil price forecasts issued by leading U.S. brokers had also contributed to the latest upswing in prices.
Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.
Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude to climb to $70 in the third quarter.
“New COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.
Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 per barrel in the second quarter.
Disruptions in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some U.S. shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.
Stockpiles of U.S. crude oil and refined products likely declined last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.
A weaker dollar also provided some support to oil as crude prices tend to move inversely to the U.S. currency.
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by David Evans and John Stonestreet)
UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deal with Japan settled the nerves of a lot of Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom and gives them confidence about their future prospects there, a senior Honda executive said on Tuesday.
Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has since the 1980s made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda using the country as a launchpad into Europe.
But Britain’s shock 2016 decision to leave the European Union had prompted Japan to express unusually strong public concerns. Their companies and investors warned that a disorderly exit from the EU would force them to rethink their four-decade bet on Britain.
“We welcome very much the Japanese trade agreement which as a Japanese businesses was very welcomed,” Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, told a parliamentary committee.
“On the point around confidence, that certainly amongst my peers in Japanese companies was very much welcomed, and probably settled a lot of nerves in terms of their trading prospects in the UK going forward.”
Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement in October, marking Britain’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade. It has also made a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is also a member.
(Reporting by Kate Holton)
UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says
LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales fell in the year to February as stores cut jobs at a rapid rate, with only supermarkets reporting any growth during the latest COVID-19 lockdown, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Confederation of British Industry’s gauge of retail sales stood at -45, up only slightly from January’s eight-month low of -50. The measure points to falling sales and is below the consensus forecast of -38 in a Reuters poll of economists.
Retailers’ expectations for March – when non-essential shops will remain closed to the public as part of lockdown measures – fell to -62, the lowest since the series began in 1983.
In another sign of a changing consumer habits during lockdown, the survey’s gauge of internet retail sales hit a new record high.
“With lockdown measures still in place, trading conditions remain extremely difficult for retailers,” said Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI.
“Record growth in internet shopping suggests that retailers’ investments in on-line platforms and click-and-collect services may be paying off, but the re-opening of the sector can’t come soon enough to protect jobs and breathe life back into the sector.”
Job losses among retailers accelerated according to a quarterly question in the survey. For the distribution sector as a whole, which includes wholesalers and car dealers, employment fell at a record rate, the CBI survey showed.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)
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