When referring to the electric vehicle market, the U.S. and China often get the most attention. That’s because both nations are experiencing an electric car boom right now. It’s worth noting, however, that electric vehicle adaptability is a global phenomenon as consumer tastes are changing and electric vehicles continue to gain in popularity.
For example, in 2022, four out of five cars sold in Norway were battery-powered and made by Tesla, Inc. According to the registration data, Tesla has been selling more electric vehicles in the country than any other brand—holding 12.2% of the market share. Volkswagen was second with 11.6% of the market share.
Overall, according to the Norwegian Road Federation, 79.2% of all new cars sold in Norway were electric in 2022. In 2021, this figure was just 65%. Meanwhile, a decade ago, electric vehicles consisted of just 2.9% of all new cars sold in the country.1
As cybersecurity incidents become the norm, the outlook for what’s ahead seems dire. In the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Security Outlook Report 2023, it’s highlighted that 93% of cyber leaders and 86 of cyber business leaders believe that the current geopolitical instability in the world is setting the stage for a catastrophic cybersecurity event in the next two years.
While presenting at WEF, Edi Rama, Albania’s prime minister, said that the cybercrime industry is growing significantly. It was worth $3.0 trillion in 2015 and is expected to be worth $10.5 trillion in 2025. If cybercrime was a country, it would be the third largest economy in the world just behind China and the U.S.2
On the surface, the cloud computing world seems to be going through a rough patch. Businesses that relied on cloud services during the pandemic are now trying to reduce expenses, which is affecting businesses in the cloud computing industry.
Recently, Microsoft Corporation, held by the fund and one of the leaders in cloud computing globally, said it will add OpenAI’s intelligence bot ChatGPT to its cloud-based Azure services soon. It has also been reported that Microsoft is taking a large stake in OpenAI, as well.
Microsoft announced the broad availability of its Azure OpenAI Service back in 2021, which has been available to limited customers. Adding OpenAI provides Azure’s customers with access to tools like the GPT-3.5 language system and Dall-E, a tool for generating images from text prompts. These tools can also be accessed by Azure’s customers in other applications running in the cloud.3
The video game industry is witnessing significant layoffs.
Unity Software Inc., a game engine company, recently announced that it would be slashing its workforce by 284 employees. This is the second round of layoffs at the company in less than a year. Meanwhile, Playtika Holding Corp., held by the fund, let go of 600 employees in December and Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, recently laid off employees in its publishing, recruiting, and esports departments.4
But despite all the recent bad news and layoffs, there is one giant in the industry defying the odds: Nintendo Co. The company plans to increase its production of Nintendo Switch consoles after shipping nearly 21 million units over the last year. The company has advised its suppliers and assembly partners that it plans to produce more units starting in April. In November 2022, the company lowered its sales forecast for the console to 19 million units due to component shortages.5
Verizon Communications Inc., one of the leading 5G providers in the U.S., recently reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2022. The company reported a net gain of 217,000 phone connections under post-paid billing plans, 41,000 post-paid subscribers, and added 176,000 new subscribers under its commercial division.
Verizon’s CEO, Hans Vestberg, said that, for the most part, customers are still paying on time and the company is seeing limited impact due to the macroeconomic environment.
During the quarter, Verizon also reported higher than expected spending on 5G buildout; however, the company has revealed that it expects spending to decrease over the next few years.
In terms of subscribers, Verizon is the largest U.S. cellphone carrier. But it has been losing ground to its rivals over the past few years. Companies like AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile US Inc. are making strong headway in 5G connections, as well.6
Robotics & Automation
The CES took place earlier in January in Las Vegas. After two years of relatively muted attendance, over 100,000 people attended and over 2,200 companies exhibited their products this year.
There were many noteworthy products in the field of robotics and automation, including the LG M3 Series 97-inch wireless OLED TV, a wireless TV with great picture quality, and the Samsung S95C, the first 77-inch TV by Samsung using its QD-OLED technology.
In addition, Mercedes and BMW revealed new technologies that could improve driver experiences. The BMW i Vision Dee is a concept car that doesn’t use a traditional dashboard screen. Instead, the windshield is used as the HUD and features an AR display that offers five levels of immersion. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is one of the first cars using Dolby Atmos, a sound technology focused on fully immersing users in whatever they are listening to.
Other noteworthy technologies include the Withings U-Scan pee sensor, a device that collects urine, analyzes it, and sends the data to your phone via Wi-Fi, as well as the Schneider Smart Home System, a system that allows users to save money by controlling the breakers, switcher, and outlets so they can schedule when certain outlets draw power.7
Both Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. recently reported lower than expected purchase volumes for the last three months of 2022. This could be a sign that inflation is starting to curb consumer spending.
Visa reported that spending on cards increased by 1.7% to $3.01 trillion. Analysts were expecting this figure to be around $3.16 trillion. Mastercard’s spending volume rose 11% to $1.73 trillion. This was also lower than expected.
Both Fintech solutions providers have said that inflation hasn’t impacted consumers. They see consumers’ spending patterns changing—spending on low-cost items or generic brands is increasing. Furthermore, Visa and Mastercard have also said that they are witnessing a boom in travel and dining spending, and this could be due to pandemic-related restrictions easing globally.8
The healthcare and biotech industries saw a large number of exciting advances in 2022. Not only did biochemists complete the sequencing of the human genome, but numerous new therapies, including a universal flu mRNA vaccine, are showing promising results.9
The outlook for 2023 is just as exciting. Both Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk are making waves with a class of drugs known as incretins. Originally developed for diabetes treatments, the injectable incretins are the first drugs found to cause dramatic weight loss, allowing patients to lose an additional 15% to 20% of their weight.10
In addition, the bioinformatics industry—the application of tools of computation and analysis to the capture and interpretation of biological data—is expected to see a robust increase in the coming years. According to a report, the global bioinformatics market is expected to grow to $34.43 billion by 2027, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 18.16% between 2022 and 2027.11
Investing in EDGE ETF
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EDGE ETF PORTFOLIO STRATEGY AND ACTIVITY
For the month, the Evolve Automobile Innovation I Hedged Unit made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Evolve Cloud Computing Index Fd Hedged ETF Unit, and Evolve E Gaming Index ETF Hedged ETF Unit. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Genmab AS., followed by Intuitive Surgical Inc. and Beigene Ltd. On the last rebalance, these securities were added to the portfolio: BeiGene Ltd.
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- Reuters, “Tesla in top spot in Norway’s race to EV goal,” Automotive News Europe, January 2, 2023; https://europe.autonews.com/automakers/tesla-top-spot-norways-race-ev-goal.
- Newcomb, T., “A Catastrophic Mutating Event Will Strike the World in 2 Years, Report Says,” Popular Mechanics, January 25, 2023; https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/security/a42660926/global-catastrophic-mutating-event-coming-in-2-years/.
- Bass, D., “Microsoft to Add ChatGPT to Azure Cloud Services ‘Soon’”, Bloomberg, January 16, 2023; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-17/microsoft-azure-to-add-chatgpt-to-cloud-services.
- D’Anastasio, C. and Papachristou, L., “Video Game Industry Feels Pain of Big Tech Job Cuts,” Bloomberg, January 20, 2023; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2023-01-20/video-game-industry-isn-t-immune-to-big-tech-job-cuts.
- Mochizuki, T., “Nintendo Plans to Boost Switch Output to Meet Resilient Demand,” BNN Bloomberg, January 19, 2023; https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/nintendo-plans-to-boost-switch-output-to-meet-resilient-demand-1.1872516.
- Feuer, W. “Verizon Adds Subscribers as Earnings Guidance Falls Short of Forecasts,” Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2023; https://www.wsj.com/articles/verizon-vz-q4-earnings-report-2022-11674564502.
- Franklin, E., “The Most Noteworthy Tech at CES 2023 We Couldn’t Ignore,” CNET, January 14, 2023; https://www.cnet.com/tech/the-most-noteworthy-tech-at-ces-2023-we-couldnt-ignore/.
- Surane, J., “Visa, Mastercard see card spending slow as inflation persists,” BNN Bloomberg, January 26, 2023; https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/mastercard-drops-as-card-spending-slows-hurting-revenue-growth-1.1875207.
- Belan, M., “Timeline: The Most Important Science headlines of 2022,” Visual Capitalist, January 5, 2023; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/science-headlines-of-2022/.
- Alpert, B., “Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk Get a Share-Price Pop From Weight-Loss Drugs,” Barron’s, January 25, 2023; https://www.barrons.com/articles/eli-lilly-weight-loss-drugs-51674601558.
- “Bioinformatics Market Size, Share, Growth Statistics By Top Key Players | Agilent Technologies, Genomatrix (Intrexon), Eurofins Scientific,” DigitalJournal, February 12, 2023; https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/news/bioinformatics-market-size-share-growth-statistics-by-top-key-players-agilent-technologies-genomatrix-intrexon-eurofins-scientific.