Top global finance headlines: Elon Musk boosts Bitcoin’s value

Turkish lira tumbles 7.5 percent, stranded container ship causes backlog in world’s shipping channel and more.

The world’s richest person continued to back the world’s biggest digital currency, while a stuck ship caused further disruption in a global supply chain struggling to deal with deficits and downturns. Turkish politics took a toll on the country’s currency, although luxury cars and new oil developments do point to an economic upside in the making.

Suez Canal jam
A massive container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal has caused a backlog in the world’s second biggest shipping channel and further exacerbated challenges in the global supply chain.

According to Insider, several companies including Toyota, Nike, Honda, and Samsung have already been hampered by both pandemic and non-pandemic supply chain issues and the blockage of the Suez Canal will probably exacerbate matters.

Oil prices went up four percent within 24 hours of the traffic jam at the canal that connects Europe and Asia, with the stuck ship preventing hundreds of cargo ships from passing through.

“Expect the unexpected”
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann admitted that “we were surprised” by the milestone profitability recorded in 2020. This was despite a two-month shutdown of its Italian factory during the pandemic.

While sales were slightly lower than the previous year, Lamborghini sold more expensive, customised supercars last year, pushing profits higher, according to BBC News.

The carmaker, which is owned by Volkswagen, sold 7,430 cars worldwide in 2020 – fuelled by demand from China, where there is an increasing appetite for ultra-luxury SUVs.

Turkish lira tumbles
This week saw the Turkish lira tumble 7.5 percent – recording the emerging economy’s biggest single-day selloff since 2018.

This was the market’s reaction to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s abrupt dismissal of the central bank governor, who had raised interest rates in an effort to tame inflation since taking office just four months ago.

Foreign investors say the move renewed concerns that the central bank has lost its independence from political influence, diminishing policy makers’ credibility and sapping appetite for Turkish assets, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Electric currencies
South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk boosted Bitcoin’s value by more than four percent when he announced on Twitter that Tesla customers could now use bitcoin to buy its electric vehicles.

This marks a significant step forward for the cryptocurrency’s use in commerce, reports Reuters. Last month, Tesla announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion (R22,34 billion) worth of bitcoin.

Musk added that “internal and open-source software” would be used to process payments, with the cryptocurrency option becoming available outside the US later in the year.

Lift-off for Mozambique’s first onshore LNG project
Mozambique’s first onshore LNG development, the Rovuma Offshore Area-1 project, has satisfied all the conditions for its first project financing debt drawdown expected in April 2021.

This was announced by Oil India, according to a report in The Hindu Business Line. The $14.9 billion (R221.89 billion) financing comprises export credit agencies (ECAs), direct loans, ECA covered facilities, commercial bank facilities, and a loan facility with the African Development Bank.