LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Greek bailout deal approaches final stages

August 12 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Greek bailout deal approaches final stages

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.

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China devalues in attempt to reverse economic woes

August 12 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

China devalues in attempt to reverse economic woes

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.

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Enterprise Uganda and ACCA announce new partnership

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.

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Chinese inflation rates continue to rise

August 11 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Chinese inflation rates continue to rise

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.

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Changing consumer behaviour hits UK supermarkets

August 11 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Changing consumer behaviour hits UK supermarkets

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.

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Girls dominate admissions to leading universities

August 11 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Girls dominate admissions to leading universities

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.

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Alphabet: Google stuns markets with restructuring

August 11 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Alphabet: Google stuns markets with restructuring

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.

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Greece and lenders prepare for talks on new bailout

August 10 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Greece and lenders prepare for talks on new bailout

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.

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UK trade deficit improves as exports rise

August 10 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

UK trade deficit improves as exports rise

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.

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Low oil prices force Saudi Arabia to borrow heavily

August 10 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Low oil prices force Saudi Arabia to borrow heavily

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.

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Hedge funds receive £10m windfall from RBS share sale

August 07 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Hedge funds receive £10m windfall from RBS share sale

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.

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Battle ahead for businesses as Sunday trading law changes look likely

August 07 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Battle ahead for businesses as Sunday trading law changes look likely

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.

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Graduates from private schools get high salaries, reveals research

August 07 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Graduates from private schools get high salaries, reveals research

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.

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Rolls-Royce wins multi-billion-dollar Canadian contract

August 06 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Rolls-Royce wins multi-billion-dollar Canadian contract

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.

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More people in UK working night shifts, shows research

August 06 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

More people in UK working night shifts, shows research

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

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Netflix announces unlimited parental leave for staff

August 06 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Netflix announces unlimited parental leave for staff

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.

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

August 05 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

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

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.

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Small business investment schemes need more exposure, says IoD

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.

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US GDP growth prompts Fed interest rate hike speculation

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.

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

July 30 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

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

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.

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FTSE boosted by takeover deal news

July 29 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

FTSE boosted by takeover deal news

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.

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Chinese stocks face sell-off fears as remedial measures fail

July 28 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Chinese stocks face sell-off fears as remedial measures fail

Measures designed to provide the market a boost have failed in China, triggering renewed stock sell-off fears.

Beijing is struggling to calm the markets as China's financial woes continue.

Shares were down by more than 8% yesterday (July 27th), and this has been compounded by a 1.7% loss today. The situation has raised concerns about the potential for a market meltdown.

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PM Cameron looks to boost Asia trade as UK economy gains momentum

July 27 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

PM Cameron looks to boost Asia trade as UK economy gains momentum

UK prime minister David Cameron is in South-East Asia to boost trade links, helping to further boost a UK economy that is expected to have seen more growth in the second quarter of 2015.

The prime minister has embarked on a trade tour of South-East Asia as he looks to boost trade relations in the region.

David Cameron arrived in Indonesia today (July 27th) accompanied by a delegation of around 30 British business leaders as he looks to form relationships between UK companies and growing Asian markets.

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Amazon overtakes Walmart to become biggest in US retail market

July 24 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Amazon overtakes Walmart to become biggest in US retail market

Walmart lags behind Amazon in the US retail market after the online retailer posted surprising financial results for the second quarter.

An unexpected rise in profit means Amazon has overtaken Walmart to become the largest retailer by market capitalisation in the US.

Shares in the online retailer jumped in aftermarket trading on Wall Street yesterday (July 23rd) after it posted quarterly results that surpassed analysts' expectations.

Revenue for the second quarter rose 20 per cent year-on-year to $23.2 billion (£14.9 billion) - exceeding the $22.4 billion average forecast that has been predicted by analysts, the Financial Times reports.

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European stock markets boosted by listed companies reporting strong earnings

July 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

European stock markets boosted by listed companies reporting strong earnings

Strong results from Credit Suisse and Unilever have helped boost European stock markets.

Stock markets across Europe rose today (23 July) after several major listed companies reported strong earnings figures.

There were early-morning gains for Germany's DAX, the FTSE 100 and France's CAC, as investors reacted positively to financial results from firms such as Unilever and Credit Suisse.

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