Microsoft set to report earnings after the bell

… the tailwinds previously felt in the higher-margin Server & Tools and Windows OEM segments,” Morgan Stanley analysts Keith Weiss and Josh Baer, …

Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud segment, featuring Azure, Enterprise Services, GitHub and server products such as SQL Server and Windows Server, contributed $12.99 billion in revenue, up 20% year over year and more than the $12.73 billion consensus among analysts polled by FactSet.

The Productivity and Business Processes segment, which includes Dynamics, LinkedIn and Office, delivered $12.32 billion in revenue. That’s up 11% and higher than the $11.78 billion FactSet consensus. Teams, one part of the Office 365 productivity app bundle, now has over 115 million daily active users, up from 75 million in April, CEO Satya Nadella said on the call.

Revenue from the More Personal Computing segment, containing search advertising, Surface, Windows and Xbox, came to $11.85 billion. That means the segment’s revenue grew 6% year over year, and it was above the $11.18 billion consensus among analysts surveyed by FactSet. Microsoft will release the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles on Nov. 10, and Hood called for gaming revenue growth in “the high 20% range” in the fiscal second quarter, which would be up sequentially from 21.6% growth in the fiscal first quarter.

Licensing revenue from Windows device makers declined 5% in the quarter, and licensing revenue for commercial devices in particular fell some 22%, compared with the 4% decrease in the prior quarter, the worst performance in more than five years. Technology industry research company Gartner estimated that third-quarter PC shipments grew 3.7% year over year and saw the fastest growth in the U.S. in a decade.

Microsoft’s search advertising business declined 10%, and Hood said Microsoft sees a “decline in the mid to high single-digit range” in the fiscal second quarter.

The Commercial Cloud collection of products, including Azure, Dynamics 365, commercial LinkedIn and Office 365 services, added up to $15.2 billion in revenue, representing almost 41% of total revenue, up from around 38% in the prior quarter. Commercial Cloud gross margin was 71%, passing the 70% mark for. the first time.

This is the first quarter Microsoft benefits from an accounting change that extended the useful life of its server equipment from two years to four years.

In the quarter Microsoft announced the $7.5 billion acquisition of Zenimax Media, the company behind video game franchises such as Doom and Quake, and Microsoft failed to make a deal involving the video-sharing app TikTok.

In January, Microsoft announced a goal to be carbon-negative, which would involve removing more carbon than it emits, by 2030. In the fiscal first quarter Microsoft provided an update, saying it had extended an internal carbon tax to all parts of its operations and updated its code of conduct for suppliers so that suppliers will have to specify their emissions.

Excluding the after-hours move, Microsoft shares are up about 36% since the start of 2020, while the S&P 500 is up 5% over the same period.

WATCH:Microsoft partners with SpaceX to launch Azure Space—Here’s what to know about the initiative

Benzinga’s Top Upgrades, Downgrades For October 27, 2020

Morgan Stanley upgraded the previous rating for Diamondrock Hospitality Co (NYSE: DRH) from Underweight to Equal-Weight. Diamondrock …
South China Morning Post

What is Jack Ma’s Ant Group and how does it make money?

Digital financial services giant Ant Group is on the cusp of pulling off the world’s biggest initial public offering and could be worth over US$500 billion in the near future, riding on the digitisation of financial services in the world’s second-largest economy.Hangzhou-headquartered Ant’s coming out parade illustrates China’s lead in digital finance. Its super-slick mobile payment app, Alipay, has over 1 billion users, making it the world’s most popular app outside social-media networks.Ant’s payments network is just the gateway, funnelling small businesses and consumers into a broad financial ecosystem spanning lending, investment and insurance services.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The world’s most valuable privately owned company is also developing services to make daily life easier. Consumers can click on the Alipay app for services ranging from food deliveries to garbage collection.The system’s cogs are oiled by a trove of data gathered in China, the world’s most populous country, which makes pricing more accurate and efficient than at traditional banks.Ant plans to plough the US$34.5 billion it is raising from dual listings in Hong Kong and Shanghai into future revenue drivers, such as blockchain, growth outside China and merchant services.In this explainer, we take a look at the growth potential of Ant’s key businesses and why the company could soon be worth more than the world’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase.”We believe that if we can enable ordinary people to enjoy the same financial services as the bank CEO and help mom and pop shops to obtain growth financing as easily as big firms, then we will be a company that belongs to the future,” Eric Jing, Ant’s executive chairman, said in the company’s prospectus.What is Ant?Ant traces its origins back to 2004, when Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding created Alipay to bridge a lack of trust between buyers and sellers in the early days of online shopping in mainland China.In 2011, Alibaba, the owner of the Post, spun off Alipay, so that it could apply for a payment business licence in mainland China. That company, then known as Zhejiang Alibaba E-Commerce Company, changed its name to Ant Financial and eventually morphed into Ant Group.Ant reported revenue of 118.19 billion yuan (US$17.7 billion) in the nine months ended September, a 43 per cent increase over the same period in 2019.It dwarfs Palo Alto-based PayPal’s user base of PayPal, which had 346 million active accounts as of June 30 and is the largest digital payments platform outside China. PayPal generated revenue of US$12.8 billion in the first nine months of 2019 and US$9.88 billion in the first half of this year.Ant sees further room for growth as China’s digital payments transaction volume is expected to increase to 412 trillion yuan by 2025, from 201 trillion yuan last year, according to consultancy iResearch. The compound annual growth rate in Ant’s annual active users was 15 per cent between 2017 and 2019.Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is a controlling shareholder of Ant Group and will retain his voting rights after the company’s IPO. Photo: AP alt=Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is a controlling shareholder of Ant Group and will retain his voting rights after the company’s IPO. Photo: APWhat are Ant’s key businesses?Ant is cross-selling and upselling higher-value financial products to users of its payments network and sees engagement with its customers growing tenfold in the coming five years.Ant acts as a lending, investment and insurance products platform for individuals and underserved small businesses. Its revenue per user is just 121 yuan, still small compared with traditional financial institutions.Digital financial services contributed more than half of Ant’s overall revenues in the six months ended June 30.Its largest business is now what it has dubbed CreditTech, providing credit to consumers and small businesses, surpassing payments and generating 39.4 per cent of its revenue in the six months ended June 30.Ant is the largest online provider of microfinance services in China in terms of total outstanding credit balance originated through its platform, according to consultancy Oliver Wyman.Management likens China’s banks to the arteries of the economy, financing growth. They see Ant as the capillaries that transmit funds to the extremities of the economy, small businesses and individuals.Ant originates loans, 98 per cent of which are then underwritten by financial institutions or securitised. As of June 30, it was working with about 100 banks, including all policy banks, large national state-owned banks, all national joint-stock banks, leading city and rural commercial banks, international banks that operate in China, as well as trust companies.Its platform takes just three minutes to process a loan and 1 second to disburse the loan, with zero human intervention.The consumer credit and small business credit balance in China could swell to 50 trillion yuan by 2025, and Ant has only tapped about 4 per cent of this huge market so far.In investment services, Ant has partnered with 170 asset managers, as well as banks and insurers, to provide wealth management products to its customers. As of June 30, the so-called InvestmentTech segment had 4.1 trillion yuan in assets under management sold through Ant’s platform.The insurance business also is a growing segment, accounting for 8.4 per cent of its revenue in the six months ended June 30.Ant is the largest online insurance services platform in China in terms of premiums generated, according to Oliver Wyman. It has relationships with about 90 insurers in the mainland, representing about 52 billion yuan in premiums generated and contributions through its online mutual-aid platform Xiang Hu Bao in the twelve months ended June 30.China’s online insurance premiums will hit 1.9 trillion yuan by 2025 at a CAGR of 38.1 per cent, said Oliver Wyman. Ant’s premiums are still under 1 per cent of this fast-growing pie.QR codes for WeChat Pay (left) and Alipay, whcih dominate the mobile payments market in China. Photo: Reuters alt=QR codes for WeChat Pay (left) and Alipay, whcih dominate the mobile payments market in China. Photo: ReutersHow does Ant compare with Tencent Holdings?Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay command a virtual duopoly in China’s mobile payments, which accounted for US$15.9 trillion in transactions in the second quarter, according to the most recent data from the People’s Bank of China.There were 30.1 billion mobile transactions alone in the mainland in the second quarter, a 26.9 per cent increase over the year-earlier period.The two players had an aggregate market share of 90 per cent of third-party mobile payments in China at the end of last year, according to Mizuho Securities.It is difficult to directly compare Alipay to Tencent’s WeChat Pay as Hong Kong-listed Tencent does not break them out separately but WeChat Pay is included in its fintech and business services division.In 2019, Alipay generated a higher average transaction size – 483 yuan versus 183 yuan at Tencent’s payment affiliate Caifutong, according to Morningstar analysts. Ant also generated a gross margin nearly double that of Tencent’s fintech business last year.Other differences also remain between their payments businesses. Not least, WeChat Pay is integrated into WeChat while Alipay is a stand-alone app, linked to consumers’ bank accounts.A figurine of Ant’s mascot sits on a desk at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou. Photo: Bloomberg alt=A figurine of Ant’s mascot sits on a desk at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou. Photo: BloombergWhat are Ant’s emerging growth drivers?Future revenue drivers include Ant’s blockchain business, dubbed Antchain, as well as international expansion and merchant services.Ant started to explore blockchain’s potential around six years ago and has been investing in the technology ever since. It has taken the lead globally in terms of technical capability and developed around 50 commercial applications.In March, Simon Hu, Ant’s chief executive, released a three-year plan to open up Alipay as an online gateway for businesses ranging from retailers to hotels, working with 50,000 independent software vendors to digitally upgrade 40 million merchants.Ant’s management predicts that the 80 million small businesses it serves today will swell to 163 million by 2025.Analysts sent research to investors on Wednesday pegging Ant’s near-term valuation roughly between US$350 billion and US$450 billion on a like-for-like basis, including the money it is raising in the IPO, according to people familiar with the matter.On a different time frame, JPMorgan analysts are particularly bullish on future growth potential and estimated Ant’s market capitalisation would swell to north of US$500 billion post-money.Credit Suisse analysts peg Ant’s valuation between US$380 billion and US$461 billion, with a price/earnings to growth ratio between 1.2 times and 1.4 times. They forecast Ant’s net profit will hit 56 billion yuan (US$8.4 billion) in 2021 and 75 billion yuan in 2022.Ant Bank is a virtual banking arm of Ant in Hong Kong. Photo: Handout alt=Ant Bank is a virtual banking arm of Ant in Hong Kong. Photo: HandoutHow big is Ant outside mainland China?Mainland China accounted for 95.6 per cent of Ant’s revenue for the six months ended June 30, and most of its revenue from outside China was from cross-border payment services.But, Ant and other payment providers are seeking to expand internationally and diversify domestically as the third-party mobile payment industry has become saturated in China in terms of the number of users.”Future opportunities would lie in cross-border payment, inbound tourism and overseas markets,” said Ben Huang, an analyst at Mizuho Securities.Ant has been expanding overseas for the past decade and is now present across the Asia-Pacific region and in Chinese tourist hotspots globally.It had forged partnerships with local partners in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand as of March 31.Ant also won a virtual bank license in Hong Kong and is applying for one in Singapore.Alipay’s in-store payment service is in more than 50 markets globally. Alipay supports 27 currencies and works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas, and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites.Ant is seeking to expand into products beyond payments as part of its growth strategy. Photo: Reuters alt=Ant is seeking to expand into products beyond payments as part of its growth strategy. Photo: ReutersDo rising US-China tensions present a risk to Ant’s business?Ant’s business in the US is “negligible”, but the company warned the worsening relationship between the world’s biggest economies had raised concerns the US may impose “increased regulatory challenges or enhanced restrictions” on Chinese companies.Two years ago, Ant’s US$1.2 billion deal to acquire money transfer firm Moneygram International fell apart after a US government panel rejected the transaction over national security concerns.Bloomberg reported this month that the US was considering potential actions against Tencent and Ant over their payment apps. Reuters also reported the US State Department submitted a proposal to blacklist Ant by adding it to the so-called entity list, which restricts the sale of certain technology.Citing potential risks to its outlook, Ant said that restricted items compromise an “immaterial” portion of its technology and software, but any such restrictions could “materially and adversely” affect its ability to acquire technologies that may be critical to its business and impede its ability to access US-based cloud services or operate in the US.”In addition, these policies and measures directed at China and Chinese companies could have the effect of discouraging US persons and organizations to work for, provide services to or cooperate with Chinese companies, which could hinder our ability to hire or retain qualified personnel and find suitable partners for our business,” Ant said in its prospectus.What is the relationship between Alibaba and Ant today?Alibaba, which owns the Post, and Ant remain closely intertwined despite Alipay being spun off in 2011, a huge competitive advantage for the digital financial services group.Billionaire Jack Ma holds a controlling shareholder of Ant and the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba. Ma controls 50.52 per cent of Ant’s shares.Within Alibaba’s so-called walled garden, about 70 per cent of the gross merchandise volume generated by its marketplaces in China was settled through Alipay in the twelve months to March 31.Alibaba also pays Alipay a fee, on favourable terms to Alibaba, for payment services to its consumers and merchants. In the financial year 2020, those service fees were 8.7 billion yuan.In February 2018, Alibaba, through its subsidiaries, took a 33 per cent equity stake in Ant, which it still holds. Alibaba has subscribed to Ant shares to prevent the IPO from diluting its stake.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Global SaaS-based Business Analytics Market Expected To Reach Highest CAGR By 2026 …

Global SaaS-based Business Analytics Market: Introduction. The recently added research report has been meticulously conceived and presented to …

Global SaaS-based Business Analytics Market: Introduction

The recently added research report has been meticulously conceived and presented to render a pin-point analytical review of the current market conditions. This intensive research report on Global SaaS-based Business Analytics Market has been recently added to the burgeoning repository to evaluate the market growth forces on a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted approach. This well-conceived research report presentation portrays market dynamics through the entire growth tenure, 2020-26.

Readers in the course of the study are offered decisive access to multi-faceted market forces at play to harness indomitable growth trail across high intensity competitive landscape in global SaaS-based Business Analytics market.

Key Market Player Analysis: Global SaaS-based Business Analytics Market:

Microsoft

Qlik

SAS

Salesforce.com

TIBCO Software

Birst

Oracle

GoodData

Host Analytics

IBM

SAP

Teradata

Zoomdata

This report on global SaaS-based Business Analytics market includes a detailed overview of all the prominent players in the competitive landscape, with elaborate details also of other contributing players as well as investors eying for seamless penetration in the competitive isle.

The report covers a thorough overview section inclusive of relevant details pertaining to company profiles, production and consumption ratios, production capacities, revenue generation cycles, gross pricing as well as product specificities and major growth catalysts that collectively create ample opportunities to drive million dollar growth in global SaaS-based Business Analytics market.

Regional Overview: Global SaaS-based Business Analytics Market

A thorough evaluation and assessment study of growth prospects through the forecast spam, 2020-26 has also been significantly included in this report. Proceeding beyond regional scope, country specific analysis with prime identification of production and consumption channels, logistics, investor preferences besides vendor activities have been discussed at length in this report, committed to encourage vendor specific business decisions, eying steady and strong foothold in the competition spectrum.

The report includes a dedicated section on market segmentation with veritable references on product type, usability, as well as end-use applications and versatility that collectively instigate optimistic growth scenario in global SaaS-based Business Analytics market.

Access Complete Report @ https://www.orbisresearch.com/reports/index/global-saas-based-business-analytics-market-size-status-and-forecast-2020-2026?utm_source=PM

• Segmentation by Type: Based on elaborate sections described and decoded in the report, readers are equipped with tangible insights on various product categories, inclusive of their performance and systematic improvisation to sui industry protocols and end user expectations.

On-site

Cloud

• Segmentation by Application: Through this part of the report, readers, market participants and stakeholders are offered tremendous investment guidance to identify the potential of the segment in instigating desired customer response, and eventual revenue generation tendencies.

BFSI

Retail

Telecom

Media and entertainment

Healthcare

Energy and utilities

The key regions covered in the SaaS-based Business Analytics market report are:

North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)

South America (Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, and many others.)

Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Russia, Spain, etc.)

Asia (China, India, Russia, and many other Asian nations.)

Pacific region (Indonesia, Japan, and many other Pacific nations.)

Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and many others.)

This section of the report lends exclusive focus in assessing various regional and country specific elements of the SaaS-based Business Analytics market. Besides segregating the growth hotspots, this section embodies versatile understanding concerning various growth harnessing industrial practices as well as strategic aid favoring uncompromised growth and sustainable revenue returns in global SaaS-based Business Analytics market.

Scope of the Report

The discussed SaaS-based Business Analytics market has been valued at xx million US dollars in 2020 and is further projected to grow at xx million US dollars through the forecast span till 2026, growing at a CAGR of xx% through the forecast period.

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Sonu Sood responds to netizens who raised suspicion over his philanthropic work, called it a PR gig

Sonu Sood responds to netizens who raised suspicion over his philanthropic work, called it a PR gig. Mirror Online / Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 11:29 IST.
Sonu Sood has become a messiah for hundreds of migrant workers, students and every other distressed person who has approached him for help ever since the nation went into lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sonu has left no stone unturned in forwarding a helping hand to those who needed him the most amid the crisis.

However, a recent tweet by the actor has led some netizens to believe that his work during the pandemic is only a PR gig of his team.

On Sunday, Sonu responded to a Twitter user’s cry for help as his son had to undergo an open heart surgery.

Hi Sonu SirMy son is affected with pulmonary stenosis where his body can’t take 100% of oxygen his oxygen leveldr… https://t.co/CR3nGthyXI

— Snehal Misal (@SnehalMisal8) 1603189186000

Responding to the tweet, Sonu tweeted, “Tomorrow your son will be admitted to SRCC Hospital Mumbai. Surgery will be scheduled this week.”

However, some netizens raised a suspicion as Sonu’s official Twitter handle wasn’t tagged nor did the user mention her location. Besides, netizens pointed out that the account was created in October and has only one tweet and the user had only 2-3 followers.

After receiving backlash on Twitter, Sonu responded to one of the users who had slammed the actor and said that he finds the needy and somehow even they manage to find him.

“That’s the best part brother. I find a needy & they somehow find me. It’s about INTENTIONS, but u won’t understand. Tom patient will be in SRCC Hospital kindly do ur bit. Send some fruits for him. Someone with 2-3 followers will be happy to get some love from a man with followers,” he wrote.

Defending his actions, Sonu also shared excel sheets and other documents showing he reached out to the user.

That’s the best part brother.I find a needy & they somehow find me. It’s about“INTENTIONS”, but u won’t understand… https://t.co/hwb7ZGTJwJ

— sonu sood (@SonuSood) 1603653390000

On Saturday, Sonu shared a picture of the letters he receives on an everyday basis. Along with it, he wrote, “HELP” mails that I receive every day. I wish I could reach out to everyone, which looks impossible. Will wait for the day when these letters will reduce in numbers and we will have more prosperity everywhere.”

In September, Sonu was conferred with the coveted SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for his philanthropic work.

On receiving the award, Sood had said, “I have done whatever little I have done, in my own humble way, for my fellow countrymen without any expectations. However, to be recognised and awarded feels good.”

Untitled Carousel

Fan worships Sonu Sood’s picture; requests PM Modi to honour him with Bharat Ratna

Ever since the nation went into lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Sonu Sood has become a real-life hero for migrant workers, students and every other person who has approached him for help.

Did a rock star spark coronavirus chaos in New Zealand? Tool frontman admits he played a gig just …

Tool frontman admits he played a gig just days before testing positive … The rocker was later diagnosed with COVID-19 in Hawaii and revealed he is …

Did a rock star spark coronavirus chaos in New Zealand? Tool frontman admits he played a gig just days before testing positive – before a major outbreak exploded

  • Maynard James Keenan played a show in Auckland days before covid diagnosis
  • The Tool frontman said he began feeling sick in Australia during the band’s tour
  • He rallied to play the shows, but admitted that he was not performing at his best

By Jackson Barron For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 21:51 EDT, 24 October 2020 | Updated: 21:53 EDT, 24 October 2020

Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan has admitted he performed a show in Auckland just days before he tested positive for coronavirus.

The 56-year-old told The Joe Rogan Experience podcast he began feeling sick in Australia before the band’s highly anticipated headline tour in February.

‘I was in Australia, we went out to dinner and immediately, food didn’t taste right, I didn’t feel right,’ he said.

‘We didn’t know at the time that these are the things you’re looking for. If I’d have known how bad it could have been I would have been freaking out.’

Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan (pictured performing with A Perfect Circle in Berlin in 2018) played a show in Auckland days before his covid diagnosis

Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan (pictured performing with A Perfect Circle in Berlin in 2018) played a show in Auckland days before his covid diagnosis

Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan (pictured performing with A Perfect Circle in Berlin in 2018) played a show in Auckland days before his covid diagnosis

Keenan said he saw a doctor on arrival in New Zealand, who cleared him of having the deadly disease.

‘I asked the doctor, “Do you think this could be covid?” And he said “Did you have a fever?”.

‘”(I said) I don’t remember if I had a fever”… “then (he said) you don’t have covid”.

Keenan said he spent four days self-isolating in a hotel in New Zealand trying to recover.

He rallied to play the shows, which received glowing reviews, but Keenan admitted he was not performing at his best.

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment tests a driver for COVID-19 in Auckland in August

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment tests a driver for COVID-19 in Auckland in August

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment tests a driver for COVID-19 in Auckland in August

‘The singing was tough. We had to kind of adjust the set around a little – don’t put the hard ones in,’ he said.

The rocker was later diagnosed with COVID-19 in Hawaii and revealed he is still feeling the effects of the disease months after being cleared of the disease.

‘Every other day I’ll have a coughing fit for 10 minutes, coughing up stuff, so I have lung damage from it still,’ he said.

New Zealand recorded one new case of coronavirus on Saturday, all from managed isolation with no new cases in the community.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 70, with 1,579 overall cases.

Two women wearing face masks walk in Wellington amid the coronavirus pandemic on August 15

Two women wearing face masks walk in Wellington amid the coronavirus pandemic on August 15

Two women wearing face masks walk in Wellington amid the coronavirus pandemic on August 15

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