LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Superfast broadband in Britain benefits 1 million

Government officials say that one million homes and businesses have now benefited from the rollout of superfast broadband.

The UK government has announced that its rollout of superfast broadband across the UK has now benefited a total of a million businesses and homes.

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Nestle plans to buy back shares as profits take a hit

August 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Nestle is planning a major share buyback programme as it moves to reposition itself against a backdrop of lower first-half earnings.

Nestle is the world’s biggest food group in terms of sales. It casts a huge – and often controversial – shadow over the food industry worldwide and its influence is considerable. But the firm has just announced plans to reposition itself in the market alongside an ambitious share buyback plan.

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Italy back in recession as its economic woes continue

August 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

One of Europe’s biggest economies shows few signs of improvement, since Italy has gone back into recession.

Italy’s economy has been a cause for concern for years. But while its neighbours such as Spain took a hit from the global financial crisis and are beginning to emerge on the other side, the southern European nation is still stuck in the mud. If anything, it’s just slid a little deeper, according to new growth figures published on 7 August.

Gross domestic product fell by 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of this year, after slipping by 0.1 per cent in the previous three months. After two consecutive quarters of contraction, Italy is now officially classified as havingslipped back into a recession – the third in six years.

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Record trade surplus for China

August 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

China’s trade surplus hit a record high last month on the back of a surge in exports.

China’s prospects have been the subject of much discussion in the past few months, as concerns have been raised that the world’s second largest economy might be slowing down. But it has lost none of its appeal for foreign buyers, it appears, since the country posted a record trade surplus last month as a result of a surge in exports.

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Bank of England keeps interest rates flat

August 11 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Officials at the Bank of England have opted to keep interest rates the same yet again.

Debate is continuing to rage over when the right time will be to increase interest rates, but one thing is certain –it won’t happen this month.

The Bank of England (BoE) has decided to keep the base rate at 0.5 per cent yet again this month, marking 65 months in a row at this historic low. The existing quantitative easing programme is also set to stay the same at £375 billion.

This may not come as much of a surprise to commentators and analysts, but the really interesting question is whether the central bank still has a consensus on how to handle interest rates.

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UK to investigate Bitcoin role in the economy

August 08 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

George Osborne has announced that the government plans to investigate the role of digital currencies like Bitcoin in the economy.

UK chancellor George Osborne has announced that the government will explore the role that digital currencies such as Bitcoin play in the British economy, and especially in its financial system.

In a speech given in the capital’s Canary Wharf on 6 August, Mr Osborne said the Treasury will study the benefits and drawbacks of digital currency and consider whether or not they should be regulated.

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Skills shortage could hinder UK economy recovery

August 08 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

A new report from The Prince’s Trust says that the UK is perilously close to a recruitment crisis owing to a serious skills shortage.

A serious skills shortage is expected to take hold in the UK in the next few years, according to a new report from The Prince’s Trust and HSBC.

The Skills Crunch report finds that as many as 73 per cent of UK businesses believe a skills crisis is going to take hold in the country in the next three years. Worryingly, some 43 per cent even suggested that this would happen in the next 12 months, which suggests many are already feeling the pressure.

What’s more, the implications of these shortages could be serious for the UK economy.

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Lifetime ISA pitched to resolve UK pension crisis

August 07 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

An academic has claimed that a new ‘lifetime ISA’ could help to prevent a capital crisis in the UK.

As the population age and birth rates decline across many developed economies, governments are increasingly trying to determine new ways to support a rising population of elderly citizens. But with a pensions crisis potentially on the horizon, one academic has pitched a novel and highly radical new idea to the government.

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UK small manufacturers see even more growth

August 07 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

New CBI data shows that small manufacturers in the UK have seen a year of continual growth.

The past few months have seen wave after wave of data showing that the outlook for UK manufacturing is bright. Now, new figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) indicate that growth is even being felt among the smaller businesses in the sector.

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British services sector surpasses expected growth levels

August 07 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

New purchasing managers’ index data shows that the British services sector surpassed expectations in July 2014.

Lots of attention has been paid to growth in the British manufacturing sector recently, perhaps because it was hit so hard during the financial crisis. But Britain has long been an economy rooted heavily in the service industries, and new data shows that this side of the economy is performing strongly too.

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Ghana turns to IMF for bailout from financial crisis

August 06 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Ghana was once one of Africa’s most promising economies, but the country has turned to the International Monetary Fund for support to prop up its economy.

Ghana is one of the West African nations which is often thought of as having plenty of growth potential. But news emerged this weekend that the government in Accra is pursuing talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout programme that could help Ghana fix its ailing economy.

So how did Ghana get into trouble and how will it get out?

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Traditional offices could eventually disappear, claims PwC report

The way we work is going to change dramatically in the coming years, according to a new PwC report.

Technology and globalisation have already had a massive impact on the way we work in the 21st century. But anew report from PwC suggests that these changes are set to continue – and the future of work could look very different to the environment we see today.

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Wall Street eyes Perzo for new trading chat function

Wall Street investors could see startup Perzo as their first step towards a new web chat function for financial traders.

In the fast-paced world of financial trading, having channels for rapid communication is vital. As a result many traders might take for granted their access to Instant Bloomberg, a messaging platform that traders have been using to inform their work for some time. But reports suggest that some of Wall Street’s biggest investors arethinking of building an alternative.

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India’s Tata group eyes $35 billion global expansion

August 04 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

India’s Tata group has earmarked $35 billion (£20.7 billion) as part of its global expansion plans over the next three years.

India’s largest conglomerate by revenue, Tata, is aiming to extend its reach across the world, according to plans outlined by chairman Cyrus Mistry’s Vision 2025 report. The goal is to push Tata into new markets in India and overseas, making it a globally recognised company. Mr Mistry aims to have the firm “among the 25 most admired corporate and employer brand globally, with a market capitalisation comparable with the 25 most valuable companies in the world”.

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From the world of business: July 2014 highlights

August 01 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Here’s our guide to all the major business news from July.

Welcome to our business news round-up for July 2014. In this round-up of the most important business news stories from around the world, we point you to some of the biggest news stories that have had people talking during the past month.

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Mayor Boris Johnson announces huge London infrastructure plans

August 01 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

A huge new plan to improve London’s infrastructure has been put out to consultation by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

It’s no surprise that London continues to grow – as the centre of some of the UK’s key industries it attracts people from around the country and all over the world who come to visit, live and work. But that expansion has to be supported by the right infrastructure, and the Mayor of London clearly believes that the capital could start to lag behind its global peers without huge investment.

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‘Ramadan rush’ boosts UK retail sales

July 31 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Ramadan is becoming an increasingly important element of the British retail calendar with brands such as Primark and Harrods reaping rich rewards.

As religious holiday of Eid-al-Fitr comes to a close and gifts are exchanged, some UK retailers are likely to be enjoying a considerable boost from higher spending during Ramadan.

report in the Wall Street Journal finds that the holy month has brought shoppers into high-end stores across the UK, and especially in London, for some time. Indeed, luxury stores like Harvey Nichols tell the news provider that they bring in top stylists from key markets in Islamic countries such as Dubai and Kuwait to help UK staff understand the specific needs and preferences of these customers. Harrods offers cultural training and Arabic-speaking sales assistants.

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Could Google search predict a market crash?

July 30 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Popular Google search queries could potentially be used to predict falling stocks, new research has found.

Every analyst and trader on Wall Street wants to stay ahead of the game and avoid the next great crash. But researchers at Warwick Business School and Boston University say they have developed a method that could potentially use one of the world’s biggest data sources – Google.

 

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Oil and gas skills shortage means employees can earn £1500 per day

Management consultancy Von Essen has identified a top class of oil and gas contractors earning as much as £1,500 per day.

Oil and gas is a sector suffering from serious skills shortages. Although that causes problems for businesses, it’s also good news for skilled professionals who can command higher pay to fill that void. According to consultancy firm Von Essen, some contractors have exploited this opportunity so successfully that they can now earn as much as £1,500 for a day’s work.

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UK leads developed world on growth, reveals IMF report

July 28 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

International Monetary Fund data puts Britain ahead of the rest of the developed world in terms of economic growth.

Positive news continues to flood in for Britain’s economy, and businesses and households are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, the UK’s economic growth is ahead of every other country in the developed world, according to new calculations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In an update to the World Economic Outlook it published in April, the IMF revised its projections for UK growth by 0.4 percentage points. That takes the total up to 3.2 per cent this year – faster growth than in any other developed nation.

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Accountancy careers in sports: mixing fun with success!

July 25 ,2014 | by LSBF Blog Staff

Accounting is a profession that can lead to all kinds of opportunities. But did you know it could be your ticket into the sports industry?

When you think of accountancy, chances are that finance springs to mind. Of course, that’s the bread and butter of what accountants do – making sure that businesses and individuals can handle their income legally and effectively.

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Facebook mobile advertising profit rockets to an eye-watering $791 million!

Facebook’s second quarter results show it has seen a surge in mobile advertising revenue to $791 million.

Facebook once attracted criticism for failing to make the most of the potential of mobile advertising. But as its most recent financial results for the second quarter of the year indicate, the social media giant has definitely worked out how to capitalise on a booming market.

“We had a good second quarter,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive. “Our community has continued to grow, and we see a lot of opportunity ahead as we connect the rest of the world.”

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Is Islamic banking here to stay?

Islamic banking has been growing fast, but could it break out of its niche position in the market?

As economies across Asia, Africa and the Middle East have grown, it is not surprising that demand for financial services in these markets has risen in the past few years.

But at the same time, the high proportion of Muslims living in these countries and other global economies has created the need for a different approach to financial services. Islamic banking, which is administered so that it complies with sharia law, has boomed as a result.

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UK manufacturing witnesses boom as orders continue to rise

July 24 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

New Confederation of British Industry statistics show that manufacturers are continuing to feel positive about their performance.

Manufacturing in the UK had something of a poor reputation for many years and was especially hard-hit by the financial crisis. Since then, the government has been attempting to rebalance the economy towards production and exports rather than importing from abroad.

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Record foreign investment pours into UK

July 24 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Foreign investment into the UK hit record levels in the last financial year, new figures show.

The UK has long been competitive place to do business, and as the economy recovers more and more companies are considering the nation as a destination for investment. In fact, according to new figures published by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the nation has managed to attract the highest number of investment projects since the government began recording data in the 1980s.

In the 2013-14 financial year, the data shows that the UK attracted 1,773 new investment projects – 14 per cent more than it did in the previous 12 months. The economic impact was also clear – 66,390 new jobs came from foreign investment, representing the highest figure since 2001.

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