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Shell Reports Quarterly Profit, Calls for One-Off Windfall Tax

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Shell Reports Quarterly ProfitShell has announced its highest quarterly profit since 2008. The oil giant’s success is largely due to soaring commodity prices, which have caused energy bills to skyrocket in the United Kingdom.

This has prompted calls for a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas companies, to help U.K. households cope with the increasing cost of heating their homes.

Shell’s quarterly earnings have been in line with expectations, but it was still a difficult period for the company as they posted an adjusted loss of $9.1 billion over three months.

The company announced that it will be increasing its dividend by around 4% to $0.25 per share for the first quarter.

The company announced that it would be buying back $8.5 billion in shares for the first half of this year.

They expect to complete all remaining outstanding stock purchases before announcing their second-quarter earnings on Thursday morning which has caused share prices rise 3%.

With Shell seeing handsome profits, the oil industry continues to be profitable despite the current turmoil in Russia.

BP announced plans to boost share buybacks after the first-quarter net profit jumped to its highest level in more than a decade. France’s Total Energies, Norway’s Equinor and U.S oil giants Chevron all reported strong earnings on soaring commodity prices as well with their own announcements this week.

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Shell’s first-quarter earnings showed that it had taken $3.9 billion in post-tax charges as a result of pulling out its operations from Russia, but those absences should not affect adjusted earnings according to the company’s statement.

The CEO of Shell has called the war in Ukraine a “human tragedy” that’s also caused significant disruption to global energy markets. In his words, this conflict shows us just how important it is for all countries have secure and reliable sources of power.

Shell reported a sharp increase in full-year profit last year on the back of rising oil and gas prices.\

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Intel’s CEO Threatens to Expand in Europe if Congress Doesn’t Act

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Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, warned Tuesday that if Congress fails to pass $52 billion in government subsidies promised under the CHIPS Act, he may expand chip manufacturing in Europe instead of the United States.

At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Gelsinger remarked, “The rest of the world is moving rapidly despite the inability of Congress to get this finished.”

It was only in 2021 that Congress finally gave CHIPS the funding it needed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Attempts by the House and Senate to overcome differences on a broader package of policies to help the United States’ tech industry compete with China have left the money for subsidies stalled.

A shortage of government funding forced Intel to postpone the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $20 billion facility in Ohio, the company announced last week. He stated Tuesday, “I hate the idea of announcing a delay,” Gelsinger said.  Although Intel “would end up investing a lot more in Europe as a result,” he cautioned. A new $18 billion plant in Germany will be built as part of a $35 billion expansion of the chipmaker’s European operations.

According to Gelsinger, the CHIPS Act’s subsidies, which are limited to $3 billion per site, would help the United States “approximately competitive with other regions of the world.” There were no “handouts” in the industry, he claimed.

There are also calls from other semiconductor companies to support American chip manufacturers.

The construction of a $12 billion facility in Arizona by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation will necessitate the U.S. government to subsidize the gap in operating expenses between Taiwan and the United States.

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Taiwanese chipmaker GlobalWafer launched a new $5 billion facility in Texas on Monday. Despite this, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNBC that the contract “will go away” if Congress does not approve subsidies for the project.

Government leaders in Taiwan are urging Congress to approve financing for the island nation. For the most part, this is because TSMC has already commenced construction in Arizona. Ming-Hsin Kung, a minister on Taiwan’s National Development Council, told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the Chips Act is expected to pass the Congress.

East Asian chipmakers “all believe they need to put more manufacturing in the U.S.” Gelsinger stated. There is no rivalry between us and TMSC or Samsung.” ‘We are not competing with TMSC or Samsung. We are competing with Taiwan and Japan and Korea,” he declared.

According to the European Chips Act, the European Union allocated $46 billion in support for chip manufacturing in February. Intel’s new factory in Germany will receive $7.3 billion of that money.

A $4.5 billion fund set up by the Japanese government to boost the country’s semiconductor industry would finance 40% of the cost of a new TSMC factory in Kumamoto.

As a matter of national security, according to Gelsinger, the United States must invest in chip manufacturing, transferring production away from East Asia. As he spoke, he said, “This is the future of geopolitics.”

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Robinhood Shares Rise 16% After Report FTX is Considering a Buyout

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The trading of the no-commission trading platform Robinhood (HOOD) was briefly halted after it was reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter, that cryptocurrency exchange FTX was looking into a possible deal to acquire the company. This report caused the shares of Robinhood to rise by approximately 16 percent, and trading was halted briefly.

The article states that FTX has not yet made a formal offer, and it is possible that the company will decide against moving forward with any plans. An SEC document made public in May disclosed that Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of FTX, had acquired a 7.6 percent ownership in Robinhood through Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd., a company based in Antigua.

“We are excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them, and I have always been impressed by the business that [Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev] and his team have built,” wrote Bankman-Fried in a statement. “That being said, there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood.”

Coinbase (COIN) shares were downgraded by Goldman Sachs in a report published on Monday morning. The reduction was a result of the steep decrease in cryptocurrency prices and accompanying trading activity. Goldman Sachs raised shares of Robinhood from sell to neutral.

The price of a share of Robinhood has decreased by 47 percent so far this year. They have dropped by almost 75% since its initial public offering level in July of last year. The percentage of Robinhood’s revenue that comes from commissions earned from the trading of cryptocurrencies continues to rise.

About Robinhood (HOOD)

Robinhood is a cryptocurrency broker that not only makes trades easier but also enables users to buy stocks and alternative cryptocurrencies. You may purchase and sell a variety of cryptocurrencies within the Robinhood app, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and even Dogecoin. These cryptocurrencies are all offered by Robinhood. The absence of trading costs, which may be rather variable among traditional exchanges, is one of the primary benefits of trading cryptocurrencies on Robinhood, just as it is with the company’s other investing opportunities.

Its accessibility as an investment platform is a major lure for many users, regardless of whether they are investing in cryptocurrencies or the stock market; nevertheless, this accessibility is also what can make Robinhood risky for users. It has been criticized on the grounds that it makes trading too much like a game and that it promotes volatility through aggressive trading rather than the growth of long-term investments. If you approach an already speculative asset like cryptocurrency with such a mindset, it might make your investment an even bigger bet. This is similar to how stock transactions work. Always asses the risk involved when making investment choices and seek professional guidance to insure you make the right decision for your investment strategy.

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G7 Leaders Discuss Fossil Fuel Investments During Energy Crisis

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Some of the leaders of the rich democracies that make up the Group of Seven (G7) are pushing for an acknowledgment of the need for new financing for investments in fossil energy at a time when European states are scrambling to diversify their supply bases.

At this year’s annual G7 summit, delegates are debating whether or not such an acknowledgment can be made to comply with an agreement that some countries made at the COP26 United Nations conference to halt financing for international fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022. This agreement was made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

“(It is) possible that there will be wording in the declaration that investment for fossil energy should be possible for a certain time,” an EU diplomat said on the first day of the annual G7 summit, which this year is taking place in Germany.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, whose country is also reliant on Russian supplies, said publicly on Sunday that there is short-term need for investment in gas infrastructure “in developing countries and elsewhere.”

During a news conference regarding a G7 investment drive in developing nations, Draghi stated that converting such infrastructure to use hydrogen in the future should be viable.

As the crisis in Ukraine continues to worsen, European countries are experiencing a shortage of energy that is imported from Russia. Concerns are growing regarding the impact this will have on the industries of European countries that are particularly reliant on Moscow.

Prior to the war, Russia supplied as much as forty percent of the European Union’s gas requirements, while Germany received fifty-five percent of its gas from Russia.  The current chair of the G7, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, put the topic of new infrastructure on the agenda for the leaders, and discussions are currently taking place to determine whether or not to include it in the meeting’s final statement.

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A spokeswoman for the German government declined to comment on the most recent events.

“It’s about the question: how do we achieve the climate transition despite using gas a bridging form of energy and how can we ensure this isn’t used as an excuse to soften the climate goals?” said a German government representative on Saturday.

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