China agrees to pay for Russian gas in rubles and yuan: Gazprom | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russia is pushing to scale back reliace on the US greenback and increase financial ties with China amid Western sanctions.

Russia’s power large Gazprom says it has signed an settlement with China to start out funds for gasoline provides to China in yuan and roubles as a substitute of US {dollars}, in an indication of warming relations between Beijing and Moscow, which is beneath Western sanctions.

“The brand new cost mechanism is a mutually helpful, well timed, dependable and sensible resolution,” Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller was quoted as saying in an announcement following a video convention assembly with the pinnacle of China’s oil group CNPC, Dai Houliang.

Miller added that it’s going to “simplify calculations” and “grow to be a superb instance for different corporations”.

Miller knowledgeable his Chinese language counterpart of the “standing of labor on the venture for gasoline provides by way of ‘the jap route’ – the ‘Energy of Siberia’ gasoline pipeline” which connects the Russian and Chinese language gasoline networks, the Gazprom assertion mentioned.

Gazprom didn’t present additional particulars on the scheme or say when funds would change from {dollars} into roubles and yuan.

The change is a part of a push to scale back Russia’s reliance on the US greenback, euro and different laborious currencies, which was accelerated by Western sanctions in response to the battle in Ukraine.

Not too long ago, Russia has been engaged on constructing nearer financial ties with China and different non-Western international locations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this 12 months pressured European clients to open rouble financial institution accounts with Gazprombank and pay in Russian foreign money in the event that they needed to proceed receiving Russian gasoline. Provides had been lower off to some corporations and international locations that refused the phrases of the deal, inflicting power costs to soar.

The Kremlin has mentioned that Russian gasoline provides to Europe won’t resume till Western sanctions in opposition to Moscow are lifted.

Russia signed a landmark $37.5bn extension to its deal to provide gasoline to China on the eve of the invasion.

It began pumping gasoline to China by way of the three,000-km (1,865-mile) Energy of Siberia gasoline pipeline in late 2019. Putin hailed the transfer as a “genuinely historic occasion, not just for the worldwide power market, however above all for us, for Russia and China”.

The power large mentioned gasoline from the under-developed Kovykta discipline will begin flowing by way of the Energy of Siberia pipeline “earlier than the tip of the 12 months”, permitting for the “enhance [in] the amount of gasoline deliveries to China in 2023”.

In Indonesia, ‘pay later’ services leave some drowning in debt | Debt News

Ubud, Indonesia – Nadhea Putri’s mounting debt started with a single cell phone buy.

Putri, who lives in Kuala Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, about 1,600km from Jakarta, had dreamed of upgrading to a more moderen mannequin for months however didn’t have sufficient money.

Then, earlier this yr, the 21-year-old college pupil seen an choice to purchase now, pay later (BNPL) supplied on the checkout web page of her favorite on-line buying app. It took her lower than 24 hours to activate the cost technique, and the cellphone – which price almost 5 instances her month-to-month earnings – was lastly hers in February.

Greater than 4 months later, Putri continues to be struggling to pay again the steadiness, together with mounting curiosity.

“I’m too scared to even use my new cellphone now,” Putri informed Al Jazeera, asking to make use of a pseudonym to guard her anonymity. “Daily, debt collectors name me greater than 20 instances. I really feel terrorised, however I can’t inform my dad and mom. I don’t need to burden them.”

BNPL, which lets clients pay for items in instalments at various charges of curiosity, has helped to plug a big lending hole in Indonesia. Bank card penetration within the nation is notoriously low, sitting at a meagre 6 % in 2021, with almost 65 % of Indonesia’s 275 million inhabitants remaining unbanked.

Because the nation’s inhabitants has moved more and more on-line lately, digital cost strategies like BNPL have skilled a surge in utilization. Indonesia’s cell web penetration, at 68 % in 2021, is now among the many highest within the area and is projected to hit 79 % by 2025.

Smartphone customers like Putri have been drawn to BNPL as a fast and straightforward strategy to buy objects they may in any other case not be capable of afford.

“I took an image of my identification card and uploaded it on Shopee to activate my SPaylater,” Putri stated, referring to the BNPL service supplied by e-commerce platform Shopee.

“It’s quite simple. After it acquired verified, I may use the credit score to make funds on the platform.”

Obstacles to credit score

Bank card candidates in Indonesia are usually required to supply proof of month-to-month earnings together with a wholesome credit score rating, excluding many low-earners reminiscent of Putri, who, in between finding out, earns $95-$300 a month writing for a content material supplier web site.

Singapore-headquartered Shopee, the place Putri retailers usually, is considered one of Indonesia’s most visited e-commerce platforms. The platform positioned second after homegrown Tokopedia final yr, clocking in 126 million month-to-month visits within the third quarter of 2021.

Shopee’s in-app BNPL service SPaylater is among the many hottest of quite a few BNPL choices within the nation, rating as probably the most searched deferred payment-related question matter on Google between 2018-2021, based on DSInnovate’s Indonesia Paylater Ecosystem Report 2021. The service presents a 2.95 % mounted rate of interest, with mortgage durations of 1, two, three and 6 months.

Whereas there’s no publicly out there knowledge on the socioeconomic make-up of SPaylater’s customers, the service’s branding has been firmly geared toward decrease and middle-income Indonesians.

In February, Shopee Indonesia launched a sequence of commercials that includes Nassar Sungkar, often known as King Nassar, a famous person within the dangdut folks music style who is particularly fashionable amongst decrease socioeconomic courses.

In a single commercial, a lady is seen standing in entrance of a family-owned meals stall promoting meals, taking a look at her cellphone with a frightened expression on her face. “I need to store, however I’m broke,” she says.

A cut up second later, Sungkar, carrying a vibrant, superhero-like cape, seems, earlier than breaking into music and dance. “Let’s use SPaylater. Purchase now, pay later!”

Shopee declined to remark when contacted by Al Jazeera.

SPlaylater
Shopee has used folks singer Nassar Sungkar, or King Nassar, to advertise its BNPL service [Courtesy of Risyiana Muthia}

“I saw the commercial almost every day on television,”  Maisaroh, a Spaylater user, told Al Jazeera. “My 16-month-old likes it so much that she copies the dance whenever it is on.”

Like Putri, Maisaroh, who lives in Subang, West Java, is neck-deep in BNPL debt.

“I used the Shopee app very regularly,” Maisaroh, 30, said. “We live far away from the city, so online shopping makes it easier for me. I don’t even need to go outside to shop; the products will be delivered to my doorstep.”

Hoping to make extra money, Maisaroh then began using BNPL to purchase goods to resell to her neighbours.

“In the beginning, everything went well, and I could even make a little profit,” she said. “Then, a family member fell ill, and the money that was meant to pay for our monthly debt had to be used to pay for the medical treatment.”

When her husband’s monthly salary of about $200 proved inadequate to keep the family afloat and meet the BNPL repayments, Maisaroh purchased more items to resell in the hope of making enough money to pay back their debts, only to make the problem worse.

“We can’t even make ends meet,” Maisaroh said. “How could we pay for those? Then we downloaded many lending apps to try to borrow more money, to buy us some time. But it’s been almost six months since the whole thing started, and now I have more than 30 million Indonesian rupiah [$2,024] in debt.”

Whereas Indonesia is increasing entry to monetary providers, the vast majority of the inhabitants nonetheless suffers from low monetary literacy. A 2019 survey by the Indonesian Monetary Companies Authority discovered that the nation scored 38.03 % on the monetary literacy index and 76.19 % on the monetary inclusion index, highlighting a noticeable hole within the public’s understanding of the monetary providers made out there to them.

Ligwina Hananto, founder and CEO of QM Financials, which gives monetary literacy applications throughout the area, stated the lack of information is placing individuals in danger.

“When not accompanied by correct monetary training, monetary inclusion can lead to predatory inclusion,” Hananto informed Al Jazeera. “The dearth of economic literacy amongst Indonesians, particularly these residing in rural areas, might put many in susceptible positions. Notably in the case of unsecured loans with excessive rates of interest.”

“Now, individuals can get loans from numerous fintech functions. With out understanding the precise dangers and penalties, the cultural disgrace related to having money owed can rapidly put on off,” Hananto added.

 Ligwina Hananto
Ligwina Hananto, founder and CEO of QM Financials, believes a scarcity of economic literacy is placing Indonesians in danger [Courtesy of Ligwina Hananto]

Sekar Putih Djarot, a spokesperson for the Indonesian Monetary Companies Authority, stated that though the poor monetary literacy hole is an issue, debt within the nation stays underneath management.

“The danger profile of economic service establishments in April 2022 was nonetheless comparatively well-maintained, with the gross non-performing mortgage ratio of banks recorded at 3 %, and the gross non-performing financing of economic corporations at 2.7 %,” Djarot informed Al Jazeera.

“That stated, individuals want to grasp that BNPL is a type of debt, so they have to be capable of measure their monetary capacity earlier than deciding to make use of it.”

Requested if mortgage restructuring or different help is accessible for closely indebted debtors, Djarot stated: “They will contact the lenders first, and if there’s a dispute within the course of, they will report it to us, and we are able to facilitate a mediation.”

For struggling debtors like Maisaroh, it’s troublesome to see a lot hope.

“I usually have suicidal ideas,” she stated. “They’re on us day-after-day. Inform me, what is going to occur to us if we are able to’t discover a strategy to pay?”

Uber to pay $19m for misleading riders with fee warning | Business and Economy News

Between at the least December 2017 and September 2021, greater than two million Australian prospects who tried to cancel inside a five-minute window had been warned: ‘Chances are you’ll be charged a small charge since your driver is already on the way in which.’

Uber agreed to pay a 26 million Australian greenback ($19m) superb for deceptive riders by falsely warning they may very well be charged a cancellation charge and for inflating estimates of comparable taxi rides, the rideshare firm and Australia’s client watchdog stated Tuesday.

Uber BV, a Netherlands subsidiary of San Francisco-based Uber Applied sciences Inc, admitted to breaching Australian Shopper Legislation by making false or deceptive statements in its app, the Australian Competitors and Shopper Fee stated in a press release.

The primary offence stems from a free cancellation coverage that enables a buyer to cancel a reserving for free of charge as much as 5 minutes after a driver has accepted the journey.

Between at the least December 2017 and September 2021, greater than two million Australian prospects who tried to cancel inside that five-minute window had been warned: “Chances are you’ll be charged a small charge since your driver is already on the way in which.”

The cancellation message has since modified to: “You gained’t be charged a cancellation charge.”

“Uber admits it misled Australian customers for plenty of years and should have brought about a few of them to determine to not cancel their trip after receiving the cancellation warning,” Fee Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb stated.

Uber stated in a press release that the majority riders selected to cancel their journeys regardless of the warnings.

The second offence associated to estimated taxi fares offered by the app to Sydney prospects between June 2018 and August 2020, when the taxi-ride possibility was deserted.

The algorithm used to calculate the fare ranges inflated the taxi estimates. The precise taxi fare was nearly all the time cheaper than Uber’s lowest estimate. Uber had not ensured the algorithm was correct, the fee stated.

Uber apologised for the taxi fare estimate “being increased than it ought to have”.

Uber stated it cooperated with the fee and made adjustments to its platform based mostly on considerations raised by investigators.

“We’re dedicated to repeatedly elevating the bar — for ourselves, our trade and most significantly for the individuals who use our providers,” Uber stated.

Uber and the fee agreed to collectively ask the Federal Court docket to order the superb of $26 million Australian {dollars} ($18.5m).

The utmost superb Uber may have confronted is tough to calculate as a result of the penalties rose sharply throughout the time in query.

The utmost monetary penalties beneath Shopper Legislation had been $1.1 million Australian {dollars} ($780,000) per breach.

They’re now $10 million Australian {dollars} ($7.1m) — 3 times the worth of the profit acquired or 10 % of annual turnover.