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    World Economic Forum (WEF) 2024

    36 Mins Ago

    Zelenskyy decries West’s ‘weakness’ in failing to sanction Russia’s nuclear industry

    Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president, during a special address on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

    Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday decried the failure of Western allies to sanction Russia’s nuclear industry.

    In a special address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Zelenskyy said President Vladimir Putin had shown himself a “terrorist” after Russian forces seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in 2022.

    “It’s a clear weakness of the West that Russia’s nuclear industry is still not under global sanctions, even though Putin is the only terrorist in the world who took a nuclear power plant hostage,” Zelenskyy said.

    Tensions around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have persisted throughout the war with Russia and Ukraine accusing each other of endangering the safety and security of the plant during missile strikes around the facility.

    Though the European Union has largely weaned itself off Russian fossil fuels, it has found it harder to shake ties with the country’s civil nuclear industry, which is a key energy source for several eastern European countries.

    — Karen Gilchrist

    An Hour Ago

    One man has stolen at least 13 years of peace, Zelenskyy says

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has stolen years of peace and threatens not just Ukraine but the wider world, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the World Economic Forum Tuesday.

    “One man has stolen at least 13 years of peace, replacing them with pain, pain, pain and crisis that impact the entire world,” Zelenskyy told delegates in a keynote speech in Davos.

    Saying Putin “embodies war,” Zelenskyy said “he will not change.”

    Ukraine’s relationship with Russia started to deteriorate following the election of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2010. He was in office until 2014, when pro-European and anti-Russian protests swept across Ukraine, leading to his removal from power, a move that angered Moscow. Russia accused the West of orchestrating a coup in Ukraine, which it denied, and soon after invaded and annexed Crimea. Russia also supported pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine before it invaded the country in 2022.

    Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, center, is escorted by security from a bilateral meeting on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. The annual Davos gathering of political leaders, top executives and celebrities runs from January 15 to 19. Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    Zelenskyy said that anyone who believed the war would be contained to Ukraine was mistaken, warning it could easily spread beyond the country’s borders.

    The president met international investors in Davos earlier Tuesday, pressing Ukraine’s case for private investment. The forum is an opportunity for Zelenskyy to plead Ukraine’s case for continuing military and humanitarian aid in front of dozens of heads of state and government, as well as business leaders.

    The forum comes at a time when ongoing support for Kyiv looks shaky, given increasing war fatigue and forthcoming elections in the European Parliament and U.S. that could change the dial on military aid.

    — Holly Ellyatt

    58 Mins Ago

    Fed ‘got to get normalized and get out of the way,’ Bank of America CEO says

    Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 16th, 2024.

    Adam Galici | CNBC

    Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said he looked forward to seeing the shift away from a focus on Federal Reserve interest rate decisions.

    “You’re going to have 80 CEOs over the next few days, they’re going to talk about what they do and how they invest that’s what drives the U.S. economy and so the Fed’s got to get normalized and get out of the way,” Moynihan told CNBC’s Squawk Box in Davos, Switzerland.

    He said Bank of America expected there to be four interest rate cuts this year and another four in 2025, versus the six or seven cuts anticipated by markets.

    Moynihan said that it would be better for both the U.S. and countries around the world “if we can get the U.S. sort of situated with a dynamic of growth and inflation that’s much more normal.”

    “And that’s what the Fed’s trying to engineer and they’ve got to be careful that they don’t overshoot right now,” he added.

    — Vicky McKeever

    An Hour Ago

    Mideast conflict is a ‘recipe for escalation everywhere’: Qatar’s PM

    Prime Minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani — then the country’s foreign minister — during a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on July 14, 2017.

    Adem Altan | Afp | Getty Images

    The current regional conflict in the Middle East is a “recipe for escalation everywhere” that can affect broader global trade, Qatar’s prime minister said at Davos, Switzerland.

    Urging diplomacy over a military resolution, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani advised the international community not to focus “on just small conflicts, we should focus on the main conflict in Gaza. And as soon as that’s defused, I believe everything else will be defused.”

    The war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas has spilled over into neighboring countries, with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi doggedly attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea in recent weeks — and the U.S. and U.K. responding with strikes at the end of last week. Since then, Iran has launched missiles against targets in Iraq and Syria.

    The Qatari prime minister urged that the conflict situation cannot “stay hostage” of elections taking place in key powers this year and their potential ensuing regime changes.

    “We need something that, really, will make the resolution mandatory for any party who will come to power,” he said, singling out Washington’s ability to bring Israel and representatives of the Gaza Strip to the table.

    “[The] U.S. is playing a key role in this, a central role in this, and we think that they can bring the parties together,” al-Thani said.

    Qatar has itself played a pivotal role in mediating between Israel and Hamas.

    Ruxandra Iordache

    An Hour Ago

    5G networks are still in their early stages, Ericsson CEO says

    The telecommunications sector is still in the “very, very, very early” stages of developing 5G mobile networks, Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm told CNBC.

    “I hear a lot of [people] talking we are at the end of the 5G cycle, I would say much more we are in the early phases of 5G,” he said, noting that a next-phase 6G mobile network will likely represent “more of an evolution of 5G” and is unlikely to enter commercial development before 2030.

    Ericsson gained ground late last year, after AT&T selected it as its partner in a $14 billion five-year deal to build a telecom network that will cover 70% of the U.S. telecommunications provider’s network traffic in the U.S. by late 2026.

    “The deal with AT&T, what that actually means, and it means they are on a journey to create a fully open, fully programmable network in a few years’ time. So transforming from where they are today to that type of world,” Ekholm told CNBC.

    Ruxandra Iordache

    An Hour Ago

    Ukraine’s Zelenskyy meets JPMorgan executives, other major investors in Davos

    Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., left, shakes hands with Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, center, on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024. The annual Davos gathering of political leaders, top executives and celebrities runs from January 15 to 19. Photographer: Sridhar Natarajan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with JPMorgan’s management and other international investors in Davos Tuesday.

    “It is important for us to attract private capital to the reconstruction of Ukraine. We hope that JPMorgan will help attract a large number of global investors and corporations to the Ukrainian economy,” Zelenskyy said on Telegram.

    Ukraine’s presidential office released a statement saying that the president had “met with the largest financial funds in the world” Tuesday.

    The meeting was also attended by the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, James Dimon, and other members of the management team, as well as U.S. Special Representative for Economic Recovery of Ukraine Penny Pritzker.

    The Vice Chairman of BlackRock Philip Hildebrand also attended as well as the founder of Bridgewater Associates Ray Dalio, the co-founder and co-chairman of the private investment company The Carlyle Group, David Rubinstein, founder and owner of Dell, Michael Dell, head of the investment company Blackstone Group, Stephen Schwartzman, Australian entrepreneur Andrew Forrest and the founder of ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal.

    Zelenskyy discussed “the importance of attracting private capital to projects for the reconstruction of Ukraine,” the statement said.

    He also emphasized the importance of developing and implementing “blended financing mechanisms that combine private and public capital.”

    “This is where we see your direct role right now. I know that you are actively cooperating with our team. I look forward to a concrete result,” Zelenskyy told business leaders.

    — Holly Ellyatt

    4 Hours Ago

    Zelenskyy and NATO chief meet in Davos

    Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024. 

    Denis Balibouse | Reuters

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier Tuesday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    Zelenskyy said on Telegram that “many important issues were discussed” during his meeting with the NATO chief.

    “The situation on the battlefield, the defence needs of our country, the further strengthening of the Ukrainian air defence system, the preparation of the next NATO summit in Washington, work with partners on bilateral security agreements within the framework of the G7 declaration, which will be in effect until Ukraine joins NATO,” he said, thanking the military alliance for its “steady support.”

    Ukraine is pressing NATO to speed up its accession to the organization, although the chances of membership in the near term are vanishingly slim given the active war in Ukraine and reservations of countries such as Turkey and Hungary.

    Russia predicated its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine partly on its opposition to Ukraine’s future NATO membership and the bloc’s expansion, even though Ukraine’s accession was, even then, a remote possibility. NATO refused to bow to Russia’s pre-war demands for guarantees that Ukraine would not join the alliance.

    Zelenskyy will address delegates in Davos on Tuesday and is expected to use the opportunity to plead Ukraine’s case for continuing military and humanitarian aid at a time when ongoing support for Kyiv looks shaky, given increasing war fatigue and forthcoming elections in Europe and the U.S.

    — Holly Ellyatt

    An Hour Ago

    Dubai high-end real estate market to pick up 5-10%, Damac CEO says

    The high-end sector of the Dubai property market could rise by 5-10%, according to Hussain Sajwani, founder of luxury real estate developer Damac Properties.

    “There is demand, and there is liquidity, and there is volume,” he said. “India, China, Europe … you know, Russia has slowed down, but other countries are coming in strong [with interest in Dubai realty]. Especially Chinese [customers] are coming back.”

    He described Dubai as an exception in a real estate landscape that is otherwise “in a very bad shape” in other geographical regions.

    “[The] Dubai market is still quite liquid and is not relying on mortgages a lot,” he said, noting that the city “long-term, and in the coming 10 years, is very strong.”

    Rental prices in expat hub Dubai soared over the course of 2023, amid a broader economic boom. Since February 2022, the number of Russian buyers of Dubai real estate picked up sharply in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Ruxandra Iordache

    An Hour Ago

    Ray Dalio: ‘Our greatest risk is not China. Our greatest risk is ourselves’

    Ray Dalio, Founder & CIO Mentor Bridgewater Associates, speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 16th, 2024.

    Adam Galici | CNBC

    This will be a “pivotal year,” according to investor Ray Dalio, who said that the U.S. presidential election and geopolitical events would have the largest effect on markets this year.

    “If we’re looking at the politics, the geopolitics, I don’t think that those risks are priced in, because it’s difficult thing to play,” he said, speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    Right now, markets are neither attractive nor unattractive, Dalio said, adding that investors “go closer to your neutral portfolio” in this environment.

    “Cash is a trashy investment over a long period of time,” he added.

    Asked whether China or U.S. politics represent a greater risk to markets, he said, “The most important thing is that we are strong, and that we work well together. Our greatest risk is not China. Our greatest risk is ourselves.”

    — Lucy Handley

    2 Hours Ago

    Trump to be a ‘transactional president’ in a second mandate, Standard Chartered says

    Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump visits a caucus site at Horizon Event Center in Clive, Iowa, U.S. January 15, 2024. 

    Sergio Flores | Reuters

    Former U.S. leader Donald Trump would be a “transactional president” if he returns for a second mandate this year, but is unlikely to compromise the U.S.’ rekindling relations with China, Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters said.

    Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Winters said that Washington and Beijing are now “pretty interlinked,” and that any president’s efforts to “aggressively disentangle” the two nations would negatively impact the U.S., Chinese and global economies.

    Trump won the Iowa caucus by around 30 points over his closest rival and is the clear favorite to secure the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

    Elliot Smith

    2 Hours Ago

    Economies ‘resilient’ in the face of high interest rates, ING CEO says

    Economies have proven “resilient” in the high interest-rate environment of 2023, as governments tackled soaring inflation, said Steven van Rijswijk, CEO of Dutch banking group ING.

    “Economies have been quite resilient over 2023 … despite the fact that the interest rates moved so quickly,” he told CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Davos. “In that sense, it has slowed down the economies a little bit, but still we’re in the twilight zone between sort of a recession, small recession [in] 2024 or small economic growth.”

    He noted that the decline in interest rates has also spurred consumer spending, estimating that inflation will likely reach 3% in the euro zone this year — just above the European Central Bank’s 2% target. It remains to be seen whether and when the ECB will begin cutting its rates, amid mixed signals from members at Davos.

    ING’s business priorities this year focus on ongoing customer growth, van Rijswijk said, along with expanding the bank’s revenue streams.

    “It’s important for us to diversify, because we, as a bank, are still quite dependent on interest income. Eighty percent of our income is linked to interest,” he noted.

    Ruxandra Iordache

    2 Hours Ago

    Banking group IIF issues warning on record levels of global debt

    The chief executive of the global banking industry’s premier trade group expects 2024 to be “a challenging year,” warning that policymakers need to urgently tackle record levels of global debt.

    “We have a debt problem globally,” Tim Adams, CEO of the Institute of International Finance, told CNBC’s Silvia Amaro at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    “We have the highest levels of debt in a non-war period in modern history, and it’s at the corporate, household, sovereign, sub-sovereign [levels],” Adams said.

    “We have a huge fiscal problem everywhere, including the U.S. We’re running [a] deficit at 7% of GDP. We need sobriety, and we need to focus on how we are going to get our fiscal house in order,” he added.

    Read the full story here.

    — Sam Meredith

    2 Hours Ago

    China’s economy grew by 5.2% in 2023, Premier Li Qiang says

    Li Qiang, China’s premier, delivers a special address on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

    Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    China’s economy grew by an estimated 5.2% last year, according to Chinese Premier Li Qiang, according to an official translation of an address at the World Economic Forum in Davos. This was higher than its 5% target, Li said.

    “In promoting economic development, we did not resort to massive stimulus, we did not seek short-term growth … rather we focused on strengthening internal drivers,” he said.

    China’s contribution to world economic growth is around 30%, he added, and he described the country as having made “steady progress.”

    “The Chinese economy can handle ups and downs in its performance. The overall trend of long-term growth will not change,” Li said.

    China GDP figures for the fourth quarter are due to be released on Wednesday.

    — Lucy Handley

    3 Hours Ago

    Russia is ‘failing’ on its strategic goals, EU chief says

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen looks on during a press conference.

    John Thys | Afp | Getty Images

    Russia is “failing” both militarily and economically, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.

    “Russia is failing on strategic goals,” von der Leyen said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    “It is first and foremost a military failure,” she said, noting that Ukraine has thus far retained its “freedom and independence” in its near-two year war with Moscow.

    “Russia’s failure is also economic,” she said, highlighting the impact sanctions have had in isolating the country from trade with Western allies.

    “Russia is now dependent on China,” she said. Ukraine, meanwhile, is “closer than ever” on its path toward joining the European Union, she added.

    — Karen Gilchrist

    4 Hours Ago

    China’s premier tells Davos that innovation shouldn’t be used to restrict other nations

    China’s Premier Li Qiang speaks during the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2024. 

    Denis Balibouse | Reuters

    Li Qiang said that tech innovations should not be used as a way to restrict or contain other countries.

    “To keep the competition healthy and bring out the greatest vitality, the only way is to enhance cooperation,” Li said Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    Read the full story here.

    —Evelyn Cheng

    4 Hours Ago

    China has proven that it is a country ‘worthy of trust,’ says Chinese Premier Li Qiang

    Chinese Premier Li Qiang told an audience at Davos that China has proven to be “worthy of trust” and urged countries of “all sides” to treat each other with sincerity, in an official WEF translation of his speech.

    Trust between countries has enabled globalization in the past decades, he said, but added it has more recently “been eroded.”

    Li proposed five ways to rebuild trust, with strengthening macro-economic policy co-ordination his first point. “In the face of global crises, fragmented and separate responses will only leave the world economy more fragile,” he said.

    He also called for countries to strengthen industrialization to “keep supply chains stable and smooth,” as well as co-operating on science and technology to let innovation “flow.” Green development and reducing the divide between developed and developing countries were his final points.

    Li heads China’s State Council, the country’s top executive body.

    — Lucy Handley

    4 Hours Ago

    Business outlook to improve in the latter part of the year, EY CEO says

    2024 will be a “mixed year” for investment, with the picture set to improve in the second half of the year, EY CEO Carmine Di Sibio told CNBC in Davos, Switzerland.

    “We think the latter part of the year, things will get better,” he said, stressing that “between now and June, things remain tough.”

    In that same tone, he played down a perceived burst in toward the end of 2023, noting that “some of the equity markets were a little exuberant, just before Christmas, because I do think there’s still some time to go.”

    The macroeconomic outlook remains guided by uncertainty over when central banks will begin to reduce their interest rates, following multiple months of hikes in response to soaring inflation. Di Sibio signaled that, once that the highly anticipated rate cuts become “definitive,” the company’s clients will resume higher investments, predicting that “globally things will change.”

    He also recognized that geopolitics are impacting the business landscape, including supply chain concerns.

    Ruxandra Iordache

    4 Hours Ago

    There are ‘signals’ around rate cuts, but ‘the question is when they would start,’ says Nasdaq CEO

    Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said markets have predicted that there will be interest rate cuts, and added she would be “a little concerned” about doing so too early, speaking on a CNBC-moderated panel at Davos.

    The Federal Reserve Bank is likely to want to get to a state of stability before it makes significant moves, Friedman added.

    5 Hours Ago

    UAE keeps eyes on ambitious growth target

    UAE Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touq al Marri has doubled down on Abu Dhabi’s intentions to chase economic growth of 7% of the national GDP in 2024, with a focus on expanding the country’s revenue streams.

    “On non-oil GDP we’re doing really above 5% and really diversifying our economy,” he told CNBC in Davos, Switzerland. Traditionally reliant on crude and oil product sales, the UAE has embarked on an ambitious journey to swell its economy and hit a targeted GDP of 3 trillion dirhams ($817 billion) by 2030.

    Al Marri referenced Abu Dhabi’s efforts of the past three years to deregulate company law and give a full 100% ownership to foreign stakeholders, as well as revamping the country’s visa regime to appeal to global investors.

    Ruxandra Iordache

    6 Hours Ago

    Private company valuations are ‘going nuts again,’ Cisco CEO says

    Chuck Robbins, CEO & Chairman of Cisco, speaking on Squawk Box at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 18th, 2023.

    Adam Galica | CNBC

    The valuations of some private companies are ‘going nuts again,’ according to Cisco‘s chief executive.

    Chuck Robbins said the valuations for companies focusing on new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), had returned to the heyday seen during the low interest rate environment of the pandemic.

    “When you get into [generative] AI and some of these other things, we are seeing some of the private valuations are going nuts again,” he said during a CNBC-moderated panel event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    “It is ironic to me that we’re so quickly doing this after what we experienced 48 months ago. It’s just incredible,” he said.

    — Karen Gilchrist



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