LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Retailers kickstart Christmas countdown

November 05 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Retailers are getting into festive mode as they announce their Christmas promotions.

Hallowe’en is out of the way and as soon as they’ve taken down the cobwebs and plastic ghouls from their windows, retailers are getting in the Christmas spirit. We’ve all heard shoppers complain that Christmas comes earlier every year, but that doesn’t stop consumers from flocking to the shops – or, increasingly, getting online – to pick up their festive treats. Retailers are fully in festive mode, and they’re hoping for a bumper Christmas.

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Small business lending leaps to £1.25bn record

November 05 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

New lenders on the scene have boosted small business finance in the UK, figures show.

Access to finance for small businesses has been a key focus of economic policy in the UK. Since it’s clear that small firms are the engine of growth, comprising the vast majority of UK companies, moves such as the Funding for Lending Scheme have been targeted at putting finance at the fingertips of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

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UK manufacturing surges and hits three-month high

November 05 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

New PMI data shows that manufacturing in the UK is outstripping the eurozone, even though it remains a key export market.

It’s no secret that the eurozone hasn’t yet managed to pull itself out of an economic lull. As the single biggest export market for the UK, Europe’s fortunes have been a cause for concern to commentators worries that slack demand would hold back UK manufacturing firms in particular. However, new data reveals that even though the eurozone is a key component of UK companies’ export strategy, British manufacturers are still performing strongly.

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Demand for professional skills soars in the UK

November 04 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Professional talent is in hot demand as businesses grow in confidence, APSCo says.

By now it goes without saying that the UK economy, and the employment market, are growing. More and more positive data is emerging showing that business confidence is on the rise and trading conditions are improving. As the latest data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) shows, that is translating into higher demand for professional skills.

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UK small firms more confident in face of risk, says report

November 04 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

UK Small firms are growing in confidence about the risks they believe they face, according to a new report.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the UK are growing in confidence in the face of risk – even though some still face tough financial situations.

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From the world of business: October news highlights

November 03 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Welcome to this month’s news round-up, containing all the major stories that have kept us talking in October.

 

Virgin Money plans $2 billion flotation

Virgin Money announced plans to pursue an initial public offering, and is reportedly aiming for a valuation of around £2 billion. The company made underlying pre-tax profit of £59.7 million in the first half of the year, rocketing upwards from £13.1 million in the same period last year. It will also have to pay £50 million to the government on completion of the IPO as part of the agreement it made with the government three years ago.

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Hiring first employee is the most expensive for SMEs, says report

November 03 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

A new report has shown small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should receive more support from the government to hire staff as taking on their first employee is often the most expensive hire they make.

Getting a new business off the ground can be a difficult process, one that requires a huge amount of willpower as well as investment. For many of those firms, the next big step in their lifecycle is taking on their first employee. But as new research shows, that can also mean a significant investment.

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UK one of the best countries for doing business, says World Bank report

October 31 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

The UK has moved up the World Bank and IFC’s Doing Business index, indicating that it’s now an easier place to do business than it was just last year.

According to the survey, which was launched in 2002, the UK is now the 8th best country in which to do business, which is a two-place jump from last year’s position.

In first place was Singapore, which hung onto its top spot, followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, Norway and the United States. Finland and Australia are ninth and tenth respectively.

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Want to own a part of Ferrari? Here’s your chance!

October 31 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is to float one of the most popular, sought-after brands in the world of motoring – Ferrari, with an IPO valued to be worth $5.5 billion.

The company announced that Ferrari, which has set the benchmark in luxury high-performance vehicles, is to float the car manufacturer on the stock market, worth up to $5.5 billion.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has a massive 90 per cent stake in Ferrari, is to list ten per cent of its shares in the brand and distribute the remaining shares among its shareholders.

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UK retailers call for business rate reform to boost sector

October 30 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

The British Retail Consortium is once again urging the government to commit to overhauling business rates in the Autumn Statement.

The government needs to commit to a complete overhaul of the business rates system to give the retail industry a much-needed boost, especially in the case of small firms.

That is the view of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which has published the details of its submission to HM Treasury ahead of this year’s Autumn Statement – the second biggest financial announcement of the year after the Budget in spring.

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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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City bonuses should be linked to gender balance, report to suggest

October 30 ,2014 | by Erin O’Neill

Progress on appointing more women to senior roles should be tied in to the way bonuses for City executives are awarded.

A government-commissioned review led by Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the chief executive of Virgin Money, is expected to make the recommendations.

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Video: ‘Great Minds’ series – LSBF interviews entrepreneur and investor Deborah Meaden

October 29 ,2014 | by LSBF Blog Staff

Business education and entrepreneurship should be embedded in the education curriculum from early on – this is the view of entrepreneur and business investor Deborah Meaden, who was interviewed in a new video released by the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) this week.

Part of the ‘Great Minds’ series of videos, the interview was led by former Education and Home Secretary Rt Hon. David Blunkett MP, who is also a visiting lecturer at the School.

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Mobile commerce startups draw billions in venture capital

October 29 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Venture capital is proving to be a great source of funding for mobile web startups, new data shows.

With mobile penetration growing worldwide, it’s hardly surprising that there’s a bustling startup scene with young companies making the most of the opportunities offered by mobile internet. The rest of the world is also catching onto these firms’ potential, and investment is flooding into the sector.

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Metro Bank focuses business lending on SMEs

October 28 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Metro Bank’s strategy of targeting SMEs is paying dividends with an increase in business lending.

Metro Bank has been at the forefront of the challenger bank charge in recent years. As the first full-service bank to launch in a century when it took off four years ago, it has blazed a trail that is now being followed by the likes of Aldermore, and even TSB as it moves further away from Lloyds’ control.

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PwC launches initiative to help small businesses

October 28 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

PricewaterhouseCoopers and invoice finance platform MarketInvoice have struck a deal that allows them both to help new small businesses.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) comprise well over 90 per cent of the UK’s companies and dictate the pace of economic growth. So it’s no surprise they represent a huge market that is being targeted by larger companies – not for acquisitions. With that in mind, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have struck a deal with MarketInvoice that will enable them both to break into that market more effectively.

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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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Rise in pay for UK workers in 2015 set to beat inflation

October 27 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Pay could finally surpass inflation next year, according to new research.

Every time new figures emerge showing that UK employment is rising, unions, businesses and consumers alike voice their concerns that pay is not picking up. Wages have risen below the rate of inflation for much of the period since the financial crisis, and they have a lot of catching up to do. Fortunately, new figures from human resources firm XpertHR show that wages may finally be due to start outpacing inflation in 2015.

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Venture capitalists see bright future for European startups

October 24 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Europe’s tech start-ups have an even brighter future ahead, according to investors.

There has been plenty of good news recently about the European tech startup scene, and London in particular. From the first property tech accelerator in the UK capital to the succession of start-ups receiving bumper investments, it’s clear that the potential of this flourishing sector is expanding like never before.

So it may not be surprising that investors are looking towards a very promising future for European start-ups. A succession of promising companies have emerged from the scene so far, and venture capitalists expect the hits to keep on coming.

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UK rated one of world’s most SME-friendly countries

October 24 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

New research from ACCA has found that the UK government is among the most positive towards SMEs in the world.

The UK has received plenty of praise recently for the welcome it extends to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). So it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s been voted one of the most business-friendly environments in the world, according to a new report from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

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Startups for GCHQ's cyber security accelerator revealed

October 24 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

New research from ACCA has found that the UK government is among the most positive towards SMEs in the world.

The UK has received plenty of praise recently for the welcome it extends to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). So it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s been voted one of the most business-friendly environments in the world, according to a new report from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

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KPMG looks to cloud-based accountancy to attract SMEs

October 23 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

KPMG is trying to attract smaller businesses with a new cloud-based accountancy service.

KPMG is well known in the professional services sector for providing support to some of the UK’s biggest companies. In fact, it serves nearly a quarter of the companies on the FTSE 100. But it sees its next stage of growth as appealing to smaller businesses, and it’s doing that by stepping into cloud-based services.

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With new arrivals, more investment pours into London startups

October 23 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

New sources of investment are setting up to serve London’s tech entrepreneurship scene.

London is rapidly solidifying its place among the world’s top startup destinations. There is a huge amount of potential within the capital’s bustling ecosystem, where firms with lots of potential can find the right support from mentors and investors alike.

TechCrunch Disrupt has highlighted just a small selection of the talent within the UK and Europe more broadly this week. There’s plenty more out there, too. Investment keeps flooding into London to make the most of the city’s potential.

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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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London is great for startups, says former adviser to UK PM

October 22 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Rohan Silva, former adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, has spoken of the benefits London offers for tech startups.

London is a great place to be a tech startup with plenty of opportunities, according to a former adviser to the prime minister.

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