Morning Beat: HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (HSBC), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK)

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HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) is no longer hiring and has also initiated pay freezes as part of cost saving measures announced last year. According to Reuters, an email was sent to staff detailing the cost saving plan. The latest push is part of a $5 billion cost saving drive.

Last year, the bank reiterated plans to slash one in five jobs. It also reiterated plans to shrink its investment bank unit as it moves to shield itself from the effects of sluggish economic growth. In October, it initiated a 10% cut targeting contractors working in its investment banking unit.

A string of changes are expected in the coming weeks the board having met to discuss the bank’s long-term strategy. There are already reports HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) could shift its headquarters to Hong Kong.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is looking to locate its data centers under the sea, in the future. The tech giant has already tested the concept as it tries to reduce data latency, especially for users living close to the sea. Locating data centers under the ocean surface according to initial estimates could allow for rapid deployment in future.

The software giant began testing underwater data centers in 2014 as part of Project Natick experiment. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) warns that the project is still in its early days to evaluate its viability on being deployed on a large scale.

Having data centers undersea comes with its own advantages such as ready access to cooling as well as accessibility to renewable power sources.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) expects a patent settlement with Samsung to boost its patent sales by hundreds of millions. The two entered into a binding arbitration in 2013 to settle additional compensations associated with the Finish Company’s phone patents.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) expects the settlement to lift sales in its patent unit Nokia Technologies to $1.1 billion from €578 million for 2015. Patent revenue should rise to 1.3 billion euros for 2016 to 2018 fiscal years. It is also looking to reach a similar agreement with LG Electronics.

Nokia Corporation has been reduced to selling telecom network equipment. It currently holds the largest portfolio of phone patents, which is spearheading its efforts on the licensing front.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is making it possible the ability to create ASCII art with photos on its photo sharing app, Instagram. Any photo that is publicly available on the app can now be viewed as either black and white or colored ASCII art.

All you need to do to see the feature  is open an image shared and right click on it, to copy the image address. Paste the address in the bar and simply add .txt or .html at the end to create ASCII art. It is still unclear why Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is adding the feature. Speculation is already rife that this could part of a yet unknown app or service.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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