LSBF Blog - Global Matters

UK wage growth and employment slows

August 13 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

In news that has surprised economists, the UK’s wage growth has slowed, while the levels of unemployment have risen.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that wage growth was at 2.4 per cent for the three months to June, compared to 3.2 per cent in the three months to May. While experts had predicted a slight levelling-off in the rate of increase, their prediction had been for 2.8 per cent.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Expansion in low-paid work is cause of puzzling UK productivity

August 13 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

A shift in the UK economy towards sectors such as food and accommodation could be behind the current 'productivity puzzle', according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

An expansion in the number of lower paying jobs in unskilled and low skilled market areas could explain why UK productivity has fallen while the overall economy has been growing.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Quarter of UK SMEs at risk due to late payments

A new report highlights the dangers faced by small businesses because of cash flow problems caused by late payments.

The newly published research from the Tungsten Corporation warns that as many as a quarter of UK SMEs may be at risk of insolvency.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Greek bailout deal approaches final stages

August 12 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Negotiations surrounding the latest Greek bailout deal seem to be entering their final stages as Greek ministers and EU officials began to agree on the details of the settlement.

A draft of the agreement has now been submitted to the Greek Parliament for their assent, ahead of the £2.5 billion repayment due to the European Central Bank (ECB) next week. It is hoped that the matter will proceed to a full debate and vote on Thursday. An emergency session of Parliament has been called to ensure that the deal can be voted on in time.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

China devalues in attempt to reverse economic woes

August 12 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

This week, China's central bank devalued the yuan (also known as renminbi) currency by nearly 2% against the US dollar.

The world's second-largest economy has been undergoing a reversal of fortunes as of late, and the latest surprise move shows just how much the authorities want to address the financial slowdown.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Enterprise Uganda and ACCA announce new partnership

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has signed a new agreement with Enterprise Uganda that will offer wide-ranging training, support and mentoring for the country's growing small business sector.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will allow ACCA members to volunteer to mentor small businesses and help them through challenges and encourage growth.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Chinese inflation rates continue to rise

August 11 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The consumer inflation rate in China rose to 1.6% in July from 1.4% in June, marking the highest level this year.

The government blamed rising food prices for the increase, which is still well below the target of about 3% that it had set previously.

However, economic analysts say the latest figures highlight a need for the world's second-largest economy to take measures to stimulate growth.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Changing consumer behaviour hits UK supermarkets

August 11 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Some of Britain’s top companies could see profits fall by more than a third, and it is all caused by the way consumer behaviour is affecting supermarkets according to a study of new figures.

The Share Centre compiled and analysed quarterly results that revealed like-for-like pre-tax profits for the FTSE 350 were down nearly 37% in the first quarter of the financial year.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Girls dominate admissions to leading universities

August 11 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Head of the admissions service UCAS says that there is now a significant gender gap for admissions to leading universities in the UK.

UCAS chief executive, Mary Curnock Cook, has urged action to increase the number of boys applying to go to university.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Alphabet: Google stuns markets with restructuring

August 11 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Internet search giant Google has surprised economists around the world by announcing that it will become part of a holding company called Alphabet, shared in a blog post by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

As part of the changes, Google will be rebranded as Alphabet. Control of the company’s search engine services will be handed over to Sundar Pichai, who will become the CEO of Google.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Greece and lenders prepare for talks on new bailout

August 10 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The main financial story in Europe over the last few months has been the ongoing struggle of the Greek government to find a way to manage its debts.

It has been announced that talks are underway in a bid to agree a new bailout deal that could help secure the country’s future stability. The matter is all the more pressing because Greece’s next repayment to the European Central Bank (ECB) is on August 20th, and the country does not currently have the means to pay.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

UK trade deficit improves as exports rise

August 10 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the UK's trade gap decreased by £2.7bn in the second quarter of this year.

The news from the ONS revealed that the country's trade deficit with the rest of the world dropped to £4.8bn in spite of the strength of the pound on the international money markets.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Low oil prices force Saudi Arabia to borrow heavily

August 10 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Although often seen as a country of limitless wealth, budget deficits are forcing Saudi Arabia to borrow more capital from both local and international creditors.

The situation has arisen after oil prices fell from June 2014's $107 a barrel to $50 at current levels.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Hedge funds receive £10m windfall from RBS share sale

August 07 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

It is estimated that hedge funds profited by around £10m by shorting shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), adding to the controversy surrounding the government's sell-off of the bank.

The funds apparently took advantage of information leaks about the sale of the government's stake in the bank, according to data from analysts Markit.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Battle ahead for businesses as Sunday trading law changes look likely

August 07 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

For the past twenty years, trading laws in the UK have meant that larger stores can only open during restricted hours on Sundays for a maximum of 6 hours.

The measures were introduced to safeguard shop workers' leisure time, but now new changes look likely to change the face of weekend shopping for many Britons.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Graduates from private schools get high salaries, reveals research

August 07 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

A new report has revealed that privately-educated graduates earn more than their state-educated peers do only six months after leaving university, and the gap continues to increase up to three-and-a-half years after leaving.

The research from the Sutton Trust and upReach found that fee-paying school students who achieved a degree soon took home almost £4,500 more than other graduates.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Bank of England keeps interest rate at 0.5 per cent

August 06 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

As part of its much-anticipated “Super Thursday” raft of announcements, the Bank of England has voted to keep interest rates at the record low of 0.5 per cent.

The UK’s bond-buying programme is also set to remain frozen at £375 billion.

Ian McCafferty was the only member of the nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee who voted in favour of higher interest rates. This is the 78th consecutive month that the bank has chosen to keep interest rates low. Rates were first cut in a bid to limit the effects of the recession, but the economy has been judged too fragile to raise them ever since.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Rolls-Royce wins multi-billion-dollar Canadian contract

August 06 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Iconic British firm Rolls-Royce is taking a leading role in a nuclear decommissioning contract in Canada worth billions of dollars.

Now industry insiders believe the company may be set for a similar bid for lucrative business in the UK.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

More people in UK working night shifts, shows research

August 06 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

New research from the TUC reveals that the number of people working night shifts in the UK is rising.

The new report comes as London Underground workers are set to take strike action over proposals to introduce all-night services

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Netflix announces unlimited parental leave for staff

August 06 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Online streaming service Netflix is not just shaking up the film and TV industries with its business model, it is also taking a fresh look at working practices for employees too.

The company has announced plans to let parents take “unlimited” parental leave for the first year following a new addition to the family.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

British confidence in economic growth at 5 year high, shows study

August 05 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

A new poll from Ipsos Mori has revealed that British people have more confidence in the economy than at any point in the last five years.

Currently, half of the respondents said they felt positive about the state of the UK's finance. This is a dramatic rise compared to two and a half years ago, when only 13 per cent felt the same way.

Based on the 24 countries covered by the survey, it was found that 40 per cent of citizens had confidence in their nation’s economy. This means the UK is performing above the average in this area. The global average has also risen significantly since November 2012, when only 25 per cent said they were confident about their country’s finances.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

Small business investment schemes need more exposure, says IoD

More people are using investment schemes like SEIS and EIS to invest in small businesses, but there is potential for further growth.

A growing number of small and medium-size enterprises are taking advantage of government schemes designed to make it easier to attract investors, but there is still a lot of untapped potential that firms are missing out on.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

US GDP growth prompts Fed interest rate hike speculation

Strong gross domestic product figures have prompted suggestions that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year.

The likelihood of interest rates in the US rising later this year has increased following the release of upbeat economic data.

Figures released by the Commerce Department revealed gross domestic product expanded at 2.3 per cent annual rate, with weak business spending on equipment offset by strong consumer spending.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

PM Cameron backs fintech manifesto that promises 100,000 jobs by 2020

July 30 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

UK prime minister David Cameron has backed a new manifesto for the fintech industry from Innovate Finance, which, among other things, promises 100,000 new jobs in the sector by 2020.

David Cameron has given his backing to a new manifesto from Innovate Finance, detailing how it intends to bring the UK to the forefront of the financial services technology industry.

Innovate Finance, which is the trade body for the fintech industry, wants the UK to become the most investment-friendly environment for fintech worldwide by 2020.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1

FTSE boosted by takeover deal news

July 29 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

News of confirmed and potential takeover deals have boosted the FTSE 100.

Takeover deals are back at the forefront of investors' minds today (July 29th), following news that acquisitions are set to take place involving UK firms.

Hikma, the pharmaceutical group, has purchased a US drugs company for £1.7 billion, while manufacturing business acquisition specialist Melrose revealed it is to sell portfolio company Elster for £3.3 billion.

Read more >>

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn +1