Posted By Sarah Parkin

About Sarah Parkin

Sarah Parkin used to work as News Writer for LSBF.  Sarah is specialised in finance, technology and business news.

Europe continues to lead the way in gender equality, says report

October 30 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Europe is still a world leader on tackling the gender pay gap, World Economic Forum figures show.

New figures from the World Economic Forum (WEF) show that in spite of slow progress globally, Europe is continuing to lead the world in terms of gender equality.

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Islamic Bank of Britain set to be rebranded as Al Rayan Bank

October 27 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Islamic Bank of Britain is becoming Al Rayan Bank as part of a significant rebrand.

Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) is in the middle of celebrating its 10th anniversary, and it’s become readily established as a pioneer of Islamic finance in the UK. It still boasts the widest range of Sharia-compliant retail financial products in the UK, and it seems few banks will be able to compete in the near future. In fact, IBB is actually beginning to diversify its product and service offerings to extend the sphere of Islamic banking in the UK. Soon it plans to reflect these changing conditions with a major rebrand.

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Most UK SMEs predict double-digit growth in 2015

October 22 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Small businesses are seeking fresh growth in the UK with two-thirds anticipating double-digit growth in 2015 but are also concerned about having the resources to support it, an EE survey has found.

It’s generally accepted that conditions are getting better and better for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK, and since SMEs make up the vast majority of all UK firms, they’re expected to be the engine of economic growth.

A recent study found that although this may be true, SMEs also have concerns about developing the right base from which to expand.

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Singapore and Hong Kong compete to be Asia’s top financial market

October 21 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Singapore and Hong Kong have much in common, but they are also competitors in Asia’s financial system.

When you think of finance in Asia, there are a few distinct locations that spring to mind. Tokyo and Shanghai are among the most well-known, but by far the most influential on the global and regional stages are Hong Kong and Singapore.

The two jurisdictions have a lot in common in many respects. They’re small cities that punch well above their weight in the global financial landscape, commonly used as bases for businesses looking to invest or expand into key Asian markets. Both have strong links with China, as well as with other key emerging economies across Asia-Pacific.

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Why should entrepreneurs consider going to university?

October 20 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Aspiring entrepreneurs should consider joining business societies while they are at university, says Canadian entrepreneur Emerson Csorba.

For a lot of students, the beginning of the year comes with plans to join all manner of societies. From choirs to sci-fi clubs, film societies and sports teams, there’s really no limits to the variety of extracurricular activities open to them. But for undergraduate and postgraduates alike with an interest in business, entrepreneurial societies should be at the top of the list.

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Startups: the investments keep coming

October 15 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

BSkyB is just one of the big investors injecting cash into promising startups as the outlook for tech entrepreneurship grows in optimism.

Considering the pace of growth among some of the world’s most promising startups, it’s hardly surprising that investors are looking for the next big tech phenomenon. In the past week alone, some major rounds of financing have been announced that show venture capital is still flowing into these promising firms.

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Access to finance will enhance entrepreneurship opportunities

October 14 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Entrepreneurs find that access to finance is still the biggest barrier to succeeding in business, a study has shown.

The UK has a strong base of entrepreneurs setting up new businesses every day – and small and medium-sized enterprises are the lifeblood of the nation’s economy. Yet according to a new study from EY, there are still obstacles holding them back from setting up and growing their businesses.

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UN and EU to create support network for startups and SMEs

October 09 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) director-general Li Yong has said the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) should work together on better support for SMEs and startups.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the engines of economic growth in most countries, and they almost always account for the vast majority of jobs. As several of the world’s major economies struggle to get back into recovery mode, and many developing nations seek opportunities for new growth, offering extra support to small businesses is likely to be an important economic tool.

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Jimmy Choo IPO could value luxury shoe maker at $1.1 billion

October 08 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Shoe retailer Jimmy Choo could float on the London Stock Exchange at a valuation of $1.1 billion.

Jimmy Choo is one of the world’s most recognisable fashion brands, with fans around the world who clamour for its most high-end shoe designs. When it hits the stock market next week, it is hoping that investors will be every bit as excited.

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Bank of England seeks more powers over property market to limit loan sizes

October 06 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

The Bank of England has requested new powers to watch over the housing market.

There’s been talk of rising property prices ever since it was first suggested the UK could be seeing signs of economic recovery. But to try and prevent a cycle of boom and bust emerging, the Bank of England (BoE) is planning to take action.

The central bank has formally requested new powers to intervene in the property market. If it gets its way, it will limit the amount people can borrow to buy a property based on what it thinks people can afford depending on their financial circumstances.

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New dawn for Co-op Group?

October 02 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

The Co-operative Group could be moving into a new era amid a period of major changes.

The Co-operative Group has had a difficult couple of years, with sizeable losses and gaps in its finances alongside some major scandals. But this month could well see the start of a new era for the company – by focusing in on the abiding principles on which it was founded.

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France seeks German support for economic reforms

September 29 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

France is hoping that German support will help it implement economic reforms.

Europe has faced its economic struggles since the financial crisis, and France has become seen as one of the weaker links in the eurozone chain. But its government is working hard to implement economic reforms and to do that, it’s looking to Germany for support.

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Biggest drop in UK graduate unemployment for 15 years

September 26 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Graduate career prospects are improving further, after figures showed graduate unemployment is falling even further.

Graduates know they have an advantage in the labour market, but since the financial crisis employment prospects have taken something of a knock. This year has seen plenty of improvement, however, and new data shows that unemployment among UK graduates is falling at a record pace.

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Growing population makes Africa a key market

September 22 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Africa has seen its population grow, making it even more attractive as a market for businesses.

In recent years Africa has seen an explosion in growth in some of its major economies. Although it remains one of the poorest regions in the world, a growing population and economic development mean it is a very promising market for businesses planning to grow internationally.

Data from the Population Research Bureau shows that by 2050, Africa will see its population more than doublefrom 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion people. Nigeria alone will see its population rocket from 174 million to 440 million people. That will mean a large, young and sophisticated audience with a higher demand for a whole range of goods and services, not to mention a large workforce. Improved access to healthcare and medical advances are thought to have been the driving forces.

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Business backs Scotland’s ‘No’ vote in independence referendum

September 19 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Businesses and investors have reacted with confidence to Scotland’s decision to stay as part of the UK.

Scotland’s decision to remain part of the United Kingdom marked a watershed moment in the nation’s political life. But it also sent ripples throughout the business and finance landscape, as the world reacted to a vote that ended months of uncertainty. That relief has been reflected in an influx of votes of confidence in the Union this morning, although in some respects the markets are already calming down again.

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Malaysia growth fastest in Asia-Pacific after China

September 19 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Malaysia’s economy is the fastest-growing in its region, credit ratings agency Moody’s has said.

Malaysia has been seen as one of Asia’s highest-potential markets for some time, and its efforts to boost its economic prospects have largely borne fruit. Yesterday, credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service said that despite fiscal consolidation acting as a drag on growth, the nation is still performing strongly. In fact, it’s doing better than any other economy in the region, with real gross domestic product (GDP) having grown by 6.3 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2014.

With a rate of growth that outstrips all the major countries in Asia-Pacific except China, Malaysia is clearly taking positive steps to boost its economy.

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UK job market continues to grow as unemployment drops by 146,000

September 18 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Unemployment in the UK has fallen once again, according to new ONS figures, with 146,000 more finding jobs in the three months to July this year.

By now it’s almost dull to hear more positive news about the labour market, but the UK’s economic recovery is showing no signs of slowing down if employment is anything to go by.

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Alibaba ups share price ahead of highly anticipated IPO

September 17 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

E-commerce giant Alibaba’s share price has been increased to $66-68 ahead of its highly anticipated IPO.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been one of the dominant forces in online trading for years, so it’s no surprise that its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) in New York is among the most hotly anticipated flotations this year. That excitement is rising even further now that the firm has upped the price range of its shares ahead of the IPO.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers revenue grows to £2.8 billion

September 16 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Revenues are up five percent to £2.814 billion at PricewaterhouseCoopers as clients become more optimistic about the economic outlook.

Most recent data has pointed to a marked upturn in the UK’s economic fortunes as the business world looks forward to better trading conditions in the next few months and years. It makes sense that one of the touchstones of this success would be the professional services sector – after all, improvements in other sectors will have knock-on effects for the firms that provide services to them.

This became apparent at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) yesterday, 15 September, as the company announcedthat revenues have risen on the back of encouraging improvements in client confidence.

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UK signs more China trade deals

September 15 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

The UK moves to develop stronger links with China have continued with a new wave of trade deals.

The UK has been going out of its way to consolidate and tighten its bonds with China. Just a few months ago, deals worth more than £14 billion were signed during the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang to British shores, covering everything from oil to securities.

As China vice premier Ma Kai came to London and met chancellor George Osborne as part of the annual UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue summit, another fresh wave of trade deals are expected to be finalised.

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Japan PM Abe calls for greater female participation in workforce

September 15 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has been trying to get more women into work to boost the nation’s economy.

Japan’s working environment is known for many things, but flexibility and work-life balance are not among them. Punishing working hours and a culture of unpaid overtime have ensured that the country has a reputation for being tough on working parents.

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Bank switching rises with 7-day service

September 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

More and more people are switching bank accounts since a seven-day switching system was introduced.

Last September, moves were finally made to simplify the process of switching bank accounts. As part of a move to increase competition and make life easier for consumers, the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) was launched to ensure that customers could switch their accounts within seven days.

Direct debits and credits would also be changed over for them without any extra charges. According to new Payments Council figures published today, the scheme has been fairly successful so far.

This two-year project will see a total of £750 million invested in the design, building, testing and launch of the service by the time it ends. However, it is already being well used – in fact, the data shows that in just under a year since the launch, over 1.1 million switches have been made.

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Hong Kong raises $1 billion through Islamic bonds

September 11 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Hong Kong has reported a highly successful first foray into Islamic ‘sukuk’ bond sales by raising $1 billion in sales.

Since Islamic nations around the world have begun emerging as powerful economic forces, it is hardly surprising that so many authorities and institutions have started looking into the world of Islamic finance. Not to be outdone, Hong Kong has just announced its first successful attempt at an Islamic bond sale.

The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has published the details of its first sukuk – bonds that are structured to comply with Islamic law and investment principles.

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iPhone 6 and watch launch a new era for Apple

September 10 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Two new phones, a payment system and wearable tech: Apple pulled out all the stops on 9 September.

Brand fans and tech lovers have never stopped looking forward to Apple product announcements. But the past few years have seen the tech giant accused of losing some of its innovative streak, especially since the death of co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs in 2011. Yesterday’s new announcements, live-streamed online, were not necessarily aimed at the critics, but went a long way towards trying to prove them wrong.

Two new iPhones, a payments service and a smartwatch later, everyone’s talking about the new ideas at Apple. So what’s involved and where could it lead?

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Top 3 reasons for SME owners to take a vacation

September 03 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

The latest SME Risk Index from Zurich reports that one in seven business owners will, in effect, take no time off work this year. In short, holidays, be it a staycation or an overseas break, is off the cards.

One of the chief reasons for a lack of ‘holiday time’ for SME owners is to do with trust. Annual leave is forsaken because many SME leaders feel uncomfortable about delegating responsibilities to anyone else but themselves.

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