LSBF Blog - Global Matters

This is how Bill Gates envisions the world in 2030

February 04 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Bill Gates reveals how he thinks the world of 2030 will look in an open letter.

Looking into the future is often reserved for the likes of astrologers, fortune tellers and tarot card readers. However, there are few other visionaries as well placed to make some educated guesses than Bill Gates, who recently revealed his predictions for the four key developments that 2030 will hold, in an open letter from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Ryanair announces €400mn share buyback as it raises profit forecast

February 03 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

A surprise €400m share buyback scheme has been unveiled by Ryanair after the airline raised profit guidance for 2015.

Ryanair, the low-cost airline, recently announced an unexpected €400 million share buyback plan that comes not long after raising its profit forecasts for the full year. The airline said that due to a rise in the number of passengers and lower fuel prices.

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Businesses to receive £66bn lending boost by 2018, says EY

February 03 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Net lending to businesses is poised to return to growth after contracting for six years following the financial crisis, claims an EY ITEM Club research.

Lending to British businesses is poised to return to growth this year following on from six years of contraction, according to the EY ITEM Club’s latest research. In fact, net lending to businesses is expected to rise up to 17 per cent by 2018, which should see UK companies gain an extra £66 billion of credit over the next four years.

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London financial services jobs hit record high

February 03 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

London’s City employs record number of financial and related professional services workers.

TheCityUK’s latest London Employment Survey showed that the number of workers in the financial and related professional services industry hit a record high in December 2014, highlighting the sector's burgeoning recovery.

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UK tech firm Mobile Streams plans emerging markets expansion

February 03 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

UK tech firm Mobile Streams announces details of its plan to push forward into Brazil, Africa and India.

The chief executive officer of Mobile Streams revealed plans to expand the reach of its mobile internet services to higher potential markets such as Brazil, India and Africa.

Shares advanced around 12 per cent on the announcement as it will provide more opportunities than attempting to penetrate the saturated core regions of the US and Europe.

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UK Google users can now transfer money through Gmail

February 02 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Gmail users in the UK will soon be able to attach money to an email to transfer funds.

Soon to be rolled out across the UK will be the Send Money in Gmail feature that will allow those with Gmail accounts to attach funds to emails and transfer it with a simple click of the button. It will work even if the recipient doesn’t have a Gmail account; you just need to link your debit card or bank account to Google Wallet.

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Startup scheme aims to turn London into cyber security hub

January 30 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Cyber London (CyLon) scheme will turn the British capital into a hub for cyber-security startups.

Europe’s first cyber-security accelerator is being launched in London and aims to create a hotbed for startups in the UK’s capital city. CyLon (Cyber London), the not-for-profit organisation, will kick off its first 13-week programme in April with a group of startups in the defence, retail, telecoms and health services industries, amongst others.

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Apple records biggest quarterly earnings in history

January 30 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

During the final three months of 2014, Apple raked in $18 billion, the largest quarterly corporate earnings in history.

Apple, the tech gadget giant, has smashed records to post the largest quarterly corporate earnings figures in global corporate history, raking in an impressive $18 billion in the fourth quarter in 2014.

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Investment in nature will support UK economy, says report

January 30 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The Natural Capital Committee’s report suggests investment in nature will encourage economic growth in the UK.

Everybody should band together to protect the UK’s “natural capital” in an effort to support economic growth in Britain, according to the final report from the Natural Capital Committee (NCC).

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PQ Awards 2015: Meet finalist David Laws, lecturer at LSBF

January 29 ,2015 | by LSBF Blog Staff

LSBF tutor David Laws has been shortlisted to receive the Private Sector Lecturer of the Year award in this year’s prestigious PQ Awards.

Held annually, the PQ Awards are organised by popular accountancy title PQ Magazine. They honour the best institutions, teachers, students and learning resources in the world of accountancy education.

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UK 2014 GDP registers fastest growth in seven years

January 29 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Last year, the UK economy grew at its fastest pace since 2007, recording a GDP growth of 2.6 per cent.

In 2014 the UK’s economy grew by 2.6 per cent, the largest expansion since 2007 and faster than the 1.7 per cent growth in 2013, according to official figures. The positive figure gave cause for government officials to reiterate that the economic recovery was “on track” due to a dominant service sector.

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Trade trip organised to China to encourage women entrepreneurs

January 29 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

ConnectChina aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs doing business with their counterparts in China.

A collaboration between ConnectChina and Maiden Voyage will bring a women-only business team on a trade trip to China and Hong Kong this year. It’s a scheme that’s designed to open up the difficult market of China to more women entrepreneurs, showing that problems such as the large geographical distance, cultural differences and language barriers are not insurmountable.

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Coinbase launches first regulated US Bitcoin exchange

January 28 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

After $75mn funding boost, Bitcoin services provider Coinbase has opened the first regulated US Bitcoin exchange.

Coinbase has opened the first-ever licensed US exchange for Bitcoin not long after netting around $75 million in funding. The company hopes to make the controversial cryptocurrency more official with the new exchange as it adds the US to its growing list of countries that offer these services.

The value of Bitcoin jumped on the news by around 20 per cent, briefly breaking above the $300 barrier versus the US dollar. However, since then the price has settled closer to the $250 level.

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UK maintains strong record on high-skilled job creation

January 28 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Employment rates near record highs as growth of UK high-skilled jobs outpaces that of Europe.

This week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron stated that Britain is the ‘jobs factory of Europe’. The latest round of employment data saw the unemployment rate fall to 5.8 per cent and the employment rate jump to 73 per cent.

 

It’s no doubt that the number of employed people in the UK remains close to record highs and unemployment continues to decline, which has the government heralding the data as proof that its economic plans are working.

The figures do showcase improvement in the economy. Furthermore, wage growth is outstripping the inflation rate and should see consumers gain more purchasing power, which would help add extra fuel to the consumer spending powered economic recovery.

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Solar energy fuels African economic revolution

January 28 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

In a world run on fossil fuels, Africa solar energy skips the mains to get its power from the sun.

The collective economy of Africa is thought to be pumped full of potential, natural resources and a rapidly expanding population that could catapult the continent to the height of the Western economies.

 

Surveys suggest that seven out of ten of the world’s fastest developing economies are found on the continent of Africa. It’s then no surprise that the combined African economies expanded around four per cent in 2013, outpacing global growth of three per cent in the same period.

But despite this fast pace of expansion, it seems that a large proportion of Africans lack essentials such as access to a supply of electricity. The International Energy Agency estimates that 585 million people have no access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, while in rural areas the electrification rate gets as low as 14.2 per cent.

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Equality key to a strong economy, say WEF 2015 Davos speakers

January 27 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Inequality leads to stagnation, according to speakers at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2015 in Davos.

The advanced economies of the West have seemingly failed to shake off the effects of the financial crisis, leading to much speculation over the root cause of this secular stagnation. Some draw parallels to the economic situation in Japan, where low growth, low inflation and low productivity runs rampant.

 

After six years of low interest rates and monetary stimulus, we could conclude that the threat of secular stagnation will not be swept away by only changing macro-economic policies – more is required.

Instead, the remedy to the ailing global economy is being cited as structural reforms. Following the financial crisis, the measures that were put in place to spark a return to growth has seen a rise in economic activity, but at the cost of equality.

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City of London well placed to boost fast-growing markets, claims study

January 27 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The City of London is well-placed to build closer ties to emerging and fast growing markets, claims a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report.

In the future, the UK’s economic clout will continue to weaken as emerging markets and fast-growing economies catch up and realise their potential. In fact, by 2050 the G7 nations will no longer account for half of the world’s economic output and instead make up less than a quarter, according to a PwC report.

It’s a figure that continued to worry the lord mayor of London, Alan Yarrow, and saw him embark upon a tour of the Gulf to build ties and highlight the wide range of skills and expertise that the UK holds. Writing in CityAM, Mayor Yarrow wrote about his recent visit to the region to re-strengthen the UK’s relationship with its bilateral trading partner.

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London fintech startup Transferwise valued at close to $1 billion

January 27 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

London fintech startup Transferwise, founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, raised around $58 million of funding pushing its value close to $1 billion.

In a new round of funding, the London startup has managed to secure around $58 million which values the company close to the $1 billion. Transferwise is a fast-growing peer to peer money transfer startup, which is rumoured to be in talks with Facebook for remittance services.

The firm was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, with the aim to make it cheaper and easier to transfer pounds to euros. Having been built by ex-Skype and PayPal engineers, it looked like the founders had the perfect backgrounds for this to take-off.

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Facebook adds $227bn to global economy, claims study

January 26 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Deloitte & Touche study claims Facebook generated 4.5mn jobs and added $227bn to global economy in 2014.

The number of users on the social network Facebook now surpasses 1.35 billion and would rank as the second most populated nation in the world, if it were a country.

It is figures like these that have led to a new study into the impact of Facebook on the real world, where the company states it has a real economic effect.

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Global 100 index lists 2015’s most sustainable companies in the world

January 26 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

A look at some of the world’s top sustainable businesses according to Corporate Knights 2015 Global 100 index.

In today’s increasingly environmentally aware world, businesses need to do all they can to ensure they minimise their impact on the globe. It’s with this aim in mind that Corporate Knights collates data to determine which firms are making careful use of resources, to make the most of their capital and ensure employees are achieving all they can.

Corporate Knights uses publicly disclosed information from global companies, ranging from mid- to mega-sized companies that have a market cap above $2 billion dollars, to evaluate 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) for calculating their rankings. The results are then released every year at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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European Central Bank to inject €1.1 trillion in historical bonds investment

January 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The European Central Bank failed to disappoint this week as it unveiled plans to buy government bonds worth €1.1 trillion with new money.

At Thursday’s conference, Mario Draghi finally ended rampant speculation over quantitative easing plans, which had markets positioning themselves ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB) conference.

The ECB bravely took the plunge and announced plans to launch a sovereign bond-buying scheme that will amount to more than one trillion euros, which exceeded market expectations.

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Telefonica in talks to sell O2 to Hutchison Whampoa for £10bn

January 23 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Hutchison Whampoa enters talks to buy Telefonica-owned O2 for £10.25 billion.

In a move that would create the UK’s biggest mobile group, Hutchison Whampoa confirmed that it is in negotiations to buy Telefonica for £10.25 billion. However, Frank Sixt, the finance director of Hutchison, has said there is “still work to do” as they embark on several weeks’ worth of discussions.

It’s the latest buy in a spending spree by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, who owns Hutchison Whampoa. Recently, Mr Li also spent £1.1 billion on Eversholt, to put him in control of a third of the UK’s trains.

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British CEOs optimistic about UK economic growth, says report

January 22 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Chief executives in Britain are confident about UK economic growth in 2015.

The majority of UK chief executive officers (CEOs) believe there are more opportunities for their company to grow in today’s climate compared with three years ago, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) annual Global CEO Survey, which was published at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Three out of five (61 per cent) of British bosses were upbeat about their company’s growth prospects and 85 per cent of business leaders in the UK were confident about the year ahead, however, that’s slightly lower than a the 93 per cent reading from a year ago.

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UK jobs up as unemployment rate slips to new low

January 22 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The number of people out of work fell to its lowest level in the three months to November as UK jobs continued to grow.

Employment in the UK remains one of the highlights of the economic recovery and new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirms these facts. The unemployment level fell to its lowest in more than six years in three months to November, according to the report.

The number of unemployed people in the UK fell by 58,000 to 1.91 million and the unemployment rate edged lower to 5.8 per cent, its lowest reading since August 2008 and a little below expectations.

“We’re continuing to buck the European trend with strong growth and record job creation,” said Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury.

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British financial sector registers fastest growth since 1996

January 21 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The British financial sector recorded the fastest growth in Q4 of 2014 since 1996, reports CBI.

Overall business volumes in the UK’s financial sector rose at their fastest pace since 1996, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Firms in the sector also reported strong income growth and falling costs, helping to improve profitability for the second consecutive quarter.

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