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Australia Catches the Demonetisation Bug: May Abolish 100 Dollar Note

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Australia is considering abolishing $100 notes in a bid to crack down on the “black economy”, reports said on Thursday.

Kelly O’Dwyer, revenue and Financial services minister, told a news website the government is considering a review of the $100 note and cash payments over certain limits to recoup billions in unpaid tax. $100 is the country’s highest-denomination banknote.

The currency could be abolished when the government announces a midyear budget update on Monday. The update will include the appointment of former KPMG global chairman Michael Andrew to oversee a black economy taskforce. Black economy accounts for 1.5% of Australia’s GDP, estimates say.

According to reports, Australia currently has 300 million $100 notes in circulation, and 92% of all currency by value is in $50 and $100 notes.

However, Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm has rejected the proposal saying “the only people who are distressed by the cash economy are the government and the public servants who want to spend taxes”.

India last month demonetised the country’s two highest-denomination banknotes in a bid to crack down on “black money”, sparking chaos across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent shockwaves through the country by announcing on November 8 all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes–some 85% of all legal tender in circulation–will be abolished in an effort to counter “black money”.

Venezuela joined suit this week, with President Nicolas Maduro said he was abolishing 100-bolivar bills, the nation’s highest currency denomination in an attempt to fight speculation and currency hoarding.

24 Hours Across Africa

Apple unveils new iPhone 11 with a triple-camera

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Apple Inc (AAPL.O) caught up with hardware rivals on Tuesday by revealing a triple-camera iPhone, and it rolled out a streaming TV service priced at $5 a month, undercutting Disney and Netflix.

The announcements came at the company’s biggest marketing event, where it unveils its top products for the year ahead, and showcased an aggressive Apple ready to battle on price.

The long-awaited Apple TV+ streaming television service will be available in over 100 countries, starting in November. The service will not be available in China when it launches, nor will the Apple Arcade video game subscription.

Buyers of an iPhone, iPad or Mac will get a free year of streaming TV, potentially drawing hundreds of millions of viewers to the service. That catapults the new service into a rarified group of companies.

“I think the pricing on the Apple TV service was definitely a positive surprise,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “That’s why you’re seeing the hammering in some of the other video service-related names like Netflix, Amazon and Roku. Clearly, that was a positive that people were happy to hear.”

There was no bundle with Apple Music or other services as some analysts had expected. But Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies, said the TV service, a $5 a month “Arcade” gaming service and the base model iPhone 11, seem designed to draw in users for the longer term.

“We weren’t expecting Apple Arcade and particularly Apple TV to be priced as aggressively as they were,” Bajarin said. “They know once consumers get into their ecosystem, they don’t leave.”

Apple said its new iPhone 11 will come with two back cameras, including an ultra wide-angle lens and the next generation of microchips, the A13. Prices start at $699, down from last year’s new iPhone that started at $749.

The more expensive iPhone 11 Pro will have three cameras on the back – wide angle, telephoto and ultra-wide. It can create videos with all three back cameras and the front camera at the same time and starts at $999. The iPhone 11 Pro Max with a bigger screen starts at $1,099. The new phones are available to order Friday and will start shipping Sept. 20.

Rivals including Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) already sell phones with three cameras on the back. While Apple once tested the upper limits of what consumers would pay for a phone, it is now giving ground on prices, even making older models available at significant discounts to the latest technology.

“Consumers absolutely still care about cameras. That’s why it was surprising over the last couple of years that Samsung and Huawei got the jump on Apple,” said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. “Apple was playing a bit of catch up, but Apple did bring their game, particularly on the video side of the camera, where I do think they’ll have the leg up.”

Analysts expect Apple will sell around 200 million iPhones in the next year, in addition to other devices, and while many of those will be in China, it ensures at least tens of millions of potential viewers for the subscription service.

Hal Eddins, chief economist for Apple shareholder Capital Investment Counsel, said Apple’s lower priced iPhones “aren’t exciting on the surface, but the low streaming price may suck in some new subscribers.” Apple shares gained 0.8%.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Oando has announced the discovery of Gas in Niger Delta

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Oando plc through its molecule subsidiary oando energy resources (OER) on wednesday said it has made a correlation gas and quantum discovery in its fields in the Niger delta

A disclosure sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange said the project is a joint venture arrangement among the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Details showed that the NNPC owns 60 per cent stake in the project, while Oando and NAOC, the operator controls 20 percent each.

The discoveries were made in the deeper sequences of the Obiafu-Obrikom fields, in OML61, onshore Niger Delta, the oil firm said.

The Obiafu-41 Deep appraisal/exploration well has reached a total depth of 4.374m encountering an important gas and condensate accumulation within the deltaic sequence of Oligocene age comprising more than 130m of high quality hydrocarbonbearing sands, it said.

The company added that the find amounts to about 1 trillion cubic feet of gas and 60 million barrels of associated condensate in the deep drilled sequences.

The discovery is part of a drilling campaign planned by the Joint Venture aimed at exploring near-field and deep pool opportunities as immediate time to market opportunities.

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