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China has a “love-hate relationship” with cryptocurrency and the blockchain with many in the country seeing significant opportunities in the latter, Edith Yeung, head of 500 Startups’ China unit, told CNBC Tuesday.

The craze of cryptocurrencies has swept across the globe in the last few years as the price of digital coins, like bitcoin, soared and then fell dramatically. Many critics have poured scorn on the volatility of the currencies and their lack of government regulation.

But many have spoken favorably of the blockchain, which is the public ledger behind some of these currencies, including bitcoin. The blockchain has won plaudits because it cannot be tampered with or changed retrospectively. Advocates of the technology say this makes bitcoin transactions secure and safer than current system.

Speaking to CNBC’s Eunice Yoon at East Tech West in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China, Yeung said the Chinese government is investing in the blockchain but said “what they are not endorsing is the crypto part of things, which is challenging the fundamental of financial systems.”

She made the comments when asked what the strategy was for cryptocurrency in China, after the government banned cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) there in September 2017, marking the start of a crackdown on digital currency in the country.

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Israel’s Lebanon border operation seen as a political move by embattled Netanyahu



Meanwhile, Netanyahu has come under some scrutiny for the timing and publicity of the announcement, which his critics say stems from his desire to distract from weeks of negative press. Local newspaper Haaretz and opposition politicians have called it “Operation Netanyahu Shield.”

“I think the IDF activity on the border with Lebanon is dictated by military need, not by politics,” Shapland said. “But the extent of the media coverage of that activity is dictated by Netanyahu’s political calculations. He needs to divert attention from his domestic problems, both political and legal.”

Soon to become Israel’s longest-running head of state and well-loved by many Israelis for his aggressive stance on security, Netanyahu has come under fire for a raft of corruption allegations. On Sunday, Israeli police recommended his indictment on fraud and bribery charges in what’s now the third corruption case pending against him. He has denied the charges.

The prime minister also faced a barrage of domestic criticism after agreeing to a cease-fire with Gaza’s Hamas militants in mid-November that proved highly unpopular and prompted the resignation of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Netanyahu justified the cease-fire by stressing that there were military threats elsewhere of greater urgency than Gaza and that warranted more IDF attention, but said at the time he could not disclose what those threats were. According to Shapland, “Publicizing what the IDF is doing on the border with Lebanon is part of that PR effort.”

Eurasia made a similar assessment. “Instead of batting away concerns about Gaza and corruption, Netanyahu can focus on Hezbollah, Lebanon, and Iran, playing to his strength as the so-called Mr. Security.”

While Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party has enjoyed growing popularity and elections are scheduled for late 2019, Eurasia believes the Israeli leader will call early elections in the spring before potential indictments and while his support is still strong. Netanyahu has said that if indicted, he will still run for re-election and not step down.

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MHI Vestas to supply turbines for huge offshore wind farm in Scotland



MHI Vestas Offshore Wind will supply 100 turbines for a 950-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm in waters off the northeast coast of Scotland.

In an announcement Thursday, the business said that it would supply the facility with its V164-9.5 MW turbines. It has signed a “firm turbine supply order” for the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm, which also includes a 15-year service agreement.

The Moray East project reached a financial close Thursday. Located in the Moray Firth, its closest point to shore will be 22 kilometers, and it will generate power for the average requirements of around 950,000 U.K. homes.

In 2017, the project won a Contract for Difference (CfD) from the U.K. government to provide electricity at a price of £57.50 ($73.38) per megawatt hour. This is almost two-thirds lower than the £140 per megawatt hour for wind farms currently under construction. The CfD scheme is used by the U.K. government to support the generation of low-carbon electricity.

“Moray East is a landmark project for the offshore wind industry, delivering sustainable, renewable generation at a highly competitive power price,” Oscar Diaz, the project director for Moray East, said in a statement. The construction and operation of the facility are scheduled to take place between 2019 and 2022.

According to the Scottish government, Scotland is home to 25 percent of Europe’s offshore wind resources. More broadly, there are more than 58,000 jobs in Scotland’s low carbon and renewable energy economy.

Moray East Offshore Windfarm East is a joint venture business owned by EDP Renewables, Engie and Diamond Green Limited. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind is itself a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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Police raids were not the fault of Deutsche Bank management, CFO says



Police raids on Deutsche Bank’s offices in Frankfurt last week were not the fault of the current management team, according to the firm’s chief financial officer (CFO).

Two Deutsche Bank staff members are suspected of helping clients set up off-shore businesses to launder money gained from criminal acrivity.

The wrongdoing is alleged to have continued through to 2018 but the bank’s financial chief, James von Moltke, told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach Thursday that current executives shouldn’t shoulder the blame.

“To date, we are not aware of any wrongdoing on our part, so we will await the conclusion of the prosecutors,” Von Moltke said.

The public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt said an evaluation of data from the Panama Papers had triggered suspicion that the bank may have helped customers create offshore companies in tax havens around the world.

In 2016 alone, more than 900 customers with a business volume of 311 million euros ($353.6 million) were thought to have been cared for by a Deutsche Bank subsidiary based in the British Virgin Islands, the prosecutor said.

Von Moltke rejected the suggestion that Deutsche Bank’s present board had been weakened by the raid, adding that the current management team had made “enormous efforts” to improve controls on its system to better understand clients.

Shares of the bank slipped heavily following news of the police action and the firm’s corporate bond value also fell.

The CFO said capital markets had “struggled to get a sense of proportion” of the raid and that the affected business was a small division with revenues in the single-digit millions.

“It was (a) trust services business that in terms of revenues, customers and profits, was extremely small,” he said.

Von Moltke said there had been a “very muted” response by clients to the raid and that liquidity remained strong. The CFO added that the bank was working hard to explain the situation.

“Raids that take place with reasonable frequency in Germany, aren’t that well understood outside Germany,” he said, before adding “our focus is on working with the prosecutors.”

Since 2015, Deutsche Bank has endured a failed stress test in the U.S., several attempts to restructure, a leadership shake-up and a ratings downgrade.

Shares of the bank have tumbled over 50 percent this year, but Von Moltke said the bank’s operating health was improving.

“We have been targeting to have the first profitable year in several years and we remain on track to achieve that.”

CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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