E A Down Day

The horrible thing about Sheikh Jarrah where Jews and Arabs are battling over housing is that both sides have a valid claim to ownership of the area now home to Muslims being attacked by right-wing Israelis. The area was bought from Turkey, then the sovereign over Palestine, by Jewish charities over a century ago. The Israelis lost the area on independence and it was used to house Arabs who had been removed from the now-Jewish areas of Israel proper. When Israel won back Jerusalem and the West Bank, Jordan, which had run the Arab resettlement, was put in charge of getting them moved out but they preferred staying put. Then the Jewish charities gave their real estate to right-wing Israeli zealots at the expense of more Orthodox peaceful Jews.

The real problem is that Temple Mount sites holy to Muslims and Jews and even Christians are cheek by jowl. It was here that Solomon's Temple stood, of which only the “Wailing Wall” remains. It was here that the Prophet Mohammed flew on a carpet from Mecca on his final journey. It was here that Jesus walked to the site of his death. This holiness brings out the warriors.

We have 4 reporters.

Businessman, Internet, Continents

Insurance

*Allianz SE (ALIZY) of Munich reported revenues down 2.6% in its Q1 from the prior year, but this was mostly because of currency changes. It got euros 41.4 bn in sales. Its Q1 net profit rose 44.8% from the prior year to euros 3.3 bn, or 6.23 euros/sh, up from 3.36 euros. Net income attributable to shareholders jumped 83.4% to euros 2.6 bn. Return on equity was up 16% and Allianz forecast it would generate full-year roe at 1 or minus euros 1 bn this full year. It told today's conference call that there has been a “rebound in property and casualty insurance” and also in life and health insurance. Its solvency ratio is up 3% to 210%, making it a very safe financial company indeed.

Its combined ratio improved by 4.7% to 93%, a key marker for insurance. Allianz owns Pimco along with Pimco staff and operates as a fund manager in the USA and pretty much worldwide as an advisor.

It doesn't break out earnings by country or by entity. More on finance below.

Tech

The tech wreck continues because inflation will hurt the costly stock sector more than others. The Dow-Jones is down hugely again, by 460 points at the close.

Wednesday saw Trefis analysts picking one of our stocks. It also saw a disastrous loss for another share.

We'll start with the good news. “Nokia finally appears to be turning the corner, as it posted better-than-expected first-quarter results late last month, with sales rising 3% year-over-year to 5.08 billion Euros ($6.2 billion) and gross margins expanding to 38.2% up from 36.4% last year. For a perspective, Nokia's sales declined consecutively over 2019 and 2020.

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Comments

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William K. 1 month ago Member's comment

Sorry about the reality of the bad news. It was pointed out in another article,yesterday, that the fighting is promoted by the really rotten bad ones who would lose power if there were peace prevailing. So evil is very much active now.

The financials are quite interesting, especially the part about that "Virgin Money" group. Shortsighted management plus poor quality hardware systems is certainly a recipe for big problems. So it will only recover if the management becomes wise, (probably when the management is replaced with wise.)

Ayelet Wolf 1 month ago Member's comment

Hamas is simply using Sheikh Jarrah as an excuse to attack Israel. That place has been in litigation for over 40 years and is still in court - their fate has yet to be determined.

Here is my theory on what is really happening:

1. Hamas likes to flex their muscles once in a while, to show they are still relevant. In fact, if you look at the last several years, every May and November, they have launched similar attacks. It's probably something to do with how often their missile stockpile is resupplied by Iran.

2. They are probably testing Biden to see how supportive he is of Israel. Trump was very anti-Palestinians and pro-Israel, but Biden has expressed a greater willingness to support the Palestinians.

3. Most importantly, for the first time in history, an Arab Israeli party was going to join the Israeli government - they've always stayed in the opposition. This would have really changed Israel for the better. Real unity, and in exchange for this, Israel was going to spend millions in making sure Arab cities were modernized, with better infrastructure, etc. Creating thousands of jobs there, and making them all very prosperous. But just as it looked like they would sign the agreement, the rockets started falling. They can't possibly join a Jewish government while the Jewish state is at war with it's fellow Arabs.

Hamas just eliminated a real chance for peace and reconciliation within Israel.

Carl Schwartz 1 month ago Member's comment

I agree that Sheikh Jarrah is probably a red herring. But they are squatters. The rightful Jewish owners were chased from their homes and taken over by Arabs. For decades they've lived their rent free, even though the courts ordered them to pay rent, or to move out, the families refused and are still there. They have appealed and the court case is still pending.

For those who feel that's okay, how about I kick you out of your home, and move in and refuse to leave?

Israeli Arabs appreciate all the benefits of being citizens of Israel, but when they need to follow the actual rules and laws that they find inconvenient, many will just ignore them. Worse, if they really cared about the 4 families being evicted from Sheikh Jarrah, then why wouldn't they wait until the court case is over. Those families might win. Instead they've run rampant, burning down entire cities. It's like a pogrom, or another Kristallnacht. There is no excuse for this.