Top global headlines: Investors are looking towards new opportunities

Cryptocurrencies continue their darling status, ecommerce giants go head to head and more.

Local and foreign finance companies in New Zealand are likely to be affected by new legislation regarding climate change, while traditional investors show their appetite for cryptocurrencies in the US. Billionaire Elon Musk continues his stellar equity financing performance with SpaceX, and the battle rages on for ecommerce revenue. Also, the world bids farewell to Ponzi scheme aficionado Bernie Madoff.

Carbon neutral finance
New Zealand is to become the world's first country to bring in a law forcing its financial firms to report on the effects of climate change, reports the BBC.

The island country plans to be carbon neutral by 2050 and expects the financial sector to play its part. Banks, insurers and fund managers can do this by knowing the environmental effect of their investments, according to its Climate Change Minister, James Shaw.

Under the jurisdiction of the draft legislation, about 200 of the country's biggest companies and several foreign firms with assets of more than NZ$1billion (R10,128.79 billion) will be affected.

New currency
Coinbase hit a market value of nearly $100 billion (R1,441 billion) in its Nasdaq debut at a share price of $381 (R5,489).

The initial valuation put the cryptocurrency firm, which runs a top exchange for digital currency trading including a top exchange for Bitcoin, ahead of many well-known firms, such as oil giant BP, according to the BBC.

The listing was seen as another indicator that cryptocurrencies are gaining wider acceptance among traditional investors.

Retail giants battle for ecommerce revenue
Multinational retail corporation Walmart is making strides in its battle against multinational technology company Amazon Inc for advertising and ecommerce revenue.

Between 2009 and 2014, Walmart’s Marketplace business, which allows third-party sellers to list their items on Walmart’s website, had six sellers. But last year that grew to an estimated 70,000 sellers. This was largely due to the surge in online shopping due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a series of investments in technology and vendor relationships, according to Reuters.

Rocketing value
Private rocket company SpaceX has raised about $1.16 billion (R16.71 billion) in equity financing over the last two months, at a valuation of about $74 billion (R1,066.19 billion).

The company, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, held a second close of about $314 million (R4,524.10 million), adding to the $850 million (R12,246.76 million) that CNBC reported the company raised in February. Strong demand for the company’s shares arise from its ambitious Starship and Starlink projects, with the former focused on the next-generation rocket and the latter being a global satellite network.

Ponzi kingpin dies
The man behind the largest Ponzi scheme in history, Bernard Madoff, has died. The 82-year-old, who for decades masqueraded as a successful and trustworthy Wall Street kingpin, was serving a 150-year prison sentence for engineering a fraud estimated to be as high as $64.8 billion (R933.64 billion). Multiple recessions and the 9/11 attacks in the US helped Madoff to conceal his fraud, but the 2008 financial crisis brought matters to a head when investors demanded he redeem $7 billion (R100.86 billion) he did not have, reports Reuters.