LSBF Blog - Global Matters
Welcome to our business news round-up for August 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.Read more >>
The British Chambers of Commerce has once again upgraded its economic forecast for the UK in 2014 and 2015.
It’s almost a cliché now to talk about the success of the UK’s economic recovery. But more encouraging data has been revealed last week that indicates Britain is doing even better than expected.
The latest Economic Forecast from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) shows that the business organisation has upgraded its growth forecasts for this year and next year. In fact, the 2014 prediction has been revised from 3.1 to 3.2 per cent – the fastest growth rate since 2007.Read more >>
Snapchat has virtually no revenue – so how has a recent round of funding valued the company as high as $10 billion?
Snapchat has had a remarkable journey over its short lifespan. Just two years after the company was founded, chief executive Evan Spiegel turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook – all at the tender age of 23. It seems like he might have been right to do so, since it appears the social messaging app firm is now worth nearly $10 billion.
That’s the valuation accepted by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, anyway. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that the company has agreed to invest in Snapchat as part of the social messaging service’s ongoing bid to gain investment from external sources.Read more >>
Global equities hit a new high this week as the S&P 500 closed above 2,000 for the first time.
Global financial markets made history this week, after a record-breaking performance from the S&P 500 Index contributed to the highest value ever recorded for international equities. Bloomberg reports that global shares had added more than $2.2 trillion in value since 7 August.Read more >>
Ryanair is known for its no-frills approach to travel, but has just launched its first business class service.
Budget airline Ryanair has been working hard to shed its no-frills image in the past few years. Now it is following rival carrier easyJet with the launch of its first business class travel service.
Read more >>
New figures from manufacturers’ organisation EEF show that pay in the manufacturing sector is ticking upwards.
The manufacturing sector has experienced a resurgence as the UK recovers from the financial crisis. Even at a time when concern is high about the cost of living and the pace of wage inflation, manufacturers have managed to buck the trend with more promising salary data published on Tuesday, 26 August.Read more >>
Twitter is expanding its revenue streams by offering its advertising service in 12 new markets across Europe.
Twitter’s failure to turn profit is now well-publicised, but the company has so far failed to turn things around. The social media giant has now opened new revenue streams by expanding its Twitter Ads service to 12 new markets across Europe.
Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, Switzerland, Portugal and Ukraine will all get access to the advertising service this year, being able to buy them from local direct sales teams for the first time. It takes the total number of markets where this is available to 35 in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) alone.Read more >>
The United Kingdom’s car manufacturing industry hit new highs during July pushing the total number of automobile exports past the five million mark.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed an output rise of 2.8 per cent to 132,570 vehicles during July. It took the total number of cars to come off UK production lines to 923,884, a 3.4 per cent compared to the same period 12 months ago. It has also meant exports have passed over five million since 2010, the best start to a decade ever.Read more >>
Mexico reported a stronger than expected rate of growth in the second quarter of the year.
Industrial activity and domestic demand improved over the period and it further shows that the Mexican economy is steadily making progress towards recovery. Data published last week showed a 1.04 per cent increase in GDP in comparison to the first three months of the year. There were also gains in services and industry, which grew at their fastest rate since the third quarter of 2013.Read more >>
India’s economy is on track to grow close to six per cent by the end of the fiscal year, according to its department of economic affairs.
Indian economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram said that as things currently stand, India is expected to have expanded by a robust 5.8 per cent at the end of March 2015.
Speaking to officials, the expert explained that the subcontinent’s economy has experienced a much welcome boost thanks to an “uptick in core sectors”. It is positive news, given that previous to this, India had experienced one of its worst slowdowns in years.Read more >>
Ten years ago saw Google venture into new territory, launching as it did on New York’s Nasdaq.
Google was always confident about its prospects – it still is – but nevertheless, with such major financial transitions, you can never be quite sure how things will unfold.
The first day of trading quickly put to bed another apprehension. At the end, its shares had jumped up by a massive 18 per cent, valuing the now public company at $27.2 billion (approximately £16.3 billion).Read more >>
Officials from the Bank of China have met with investors from Europe, as part of a wider strategy to sell shares worth billions of dollars.
The move by Bank of China to solicit European investment is seen as another indicator that Chinese lenders are eager to boost cash levels, which is also being realised through the sale of equity and debt.
The move overseas is viewed as the most logical step forward, seeing as it is anticipated that there is going to be a decided lack of demand from Asian investors over the next few years.Read more >>
Shares in Apple closed at their highest-ever level this week on 19 August, reaching $100.53.
The tech giant enjoyed a 1.4 per cent increase over the course of the day providing it with its best day on Wall Street since 13 September, 2012.
Early-morning trading in New York saw Apple pass through the $100 mark and it continued throughout the day, surpassing the previous record high of $100.27 before the closing bell.Read more >>
The Swiss National Bank could keep its cap on the value of the franc until at least mid-2016, a Bloomberg poll has found.
Switzerland’s unique financial and monetary system has kept it in a close relationship with the very different regime within the eurozone. So much so that in the depths of the debt crisis that gripped Europe, Switzerland set a minimum exchange rate to protect the franc from depreciating too far.
Yet it doesn’t seem that the eurozone is recovering quickly enough for the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to risk removing the limit. According to the Bloomberg Monthly Survey of economists, it’s more likely that it will stay in place for another two years.Read more >>
BlackBerry has announced a new business unit that will hold its key technology assets.
BlackBerry has appeared to have lost in the smartphone market when compared to market competitors such as Apple and Samsung. As for tablets, the PlayBook failed to attract the loyal customer base of Apple and Android rivals. The company has been lagging behind in many respects for a while – so the news that it is combining its technology into a single business asset marks an intriguing change of direction.Read more >>
Shares in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway surpassed $200,000 last week, a record high level for the price of one share.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been one of the best-known names in the business world for many years, but the company truly made history last week.
Class A shares in the firm hit and eye-watering $202,850 each, topping the $200,000 mark for the first time and adding a spectacular $667 million to the investment tycoon’s fortune. This means that Mr Buffett, who is the third richest man in the world, is now worth nearly $66 billion, according to Forbes.Read more >>
Chinese authorities have said that Mercedes-Benz is guilty of breaching anti-monopoly legislation.
Investigations in China’s automotive industry have taken another victim after, on 18 August, the nation’s authorities said that Mercedes-Benz had violated Chinese anti-monopoly laws.
Audi and Chrysler have already fallen foul of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) this month amid a huge enquiry into alleged price-fixing of aftersales services such as repairs, maintenance and spare parts. The authority has also suggested that up to 12 Japanese manufacturers could face severe penalties in the near future, the Financial Times reports.Read more >>
EBay’s Braintree could accept Bitcoin, after the firm was revealed to be in talks with enabling companies.
Bitcoin has been growing as a force to be reckoned with in the global economy. Just recently, UK chancellor George Osborne announced that the Treasury would be “exploring” the role the digital currency plays in the UK and whether it should be regulated. Some stores are already accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment – and soon, they could be joined by EBay’s Braintree service.Read more >>
Accountancy is a respected profession with great salaries and lots of career prospects. But where is it heading in the years to come?
Accountancy is a great profession that gives you the chance to work in any number of industries around the world. But like other sectors it’s also caught in a state of flux, as regulations change and technology plays an ever bigger role. So what might the accountancy practice of the future look like?Read more >>
A shortage of talent is pushing salaries higher, new recruitment data shows.
All the recent data has been pointing towards huge improvements in the UK labour market, with employment rising much more quickly than was expected even just a year ago.
But concerns have lingered around the nature of the jobs being created – as more people have gotten into work, wages have largely failed to match inflation and remain far below pre-recession figures.
So new data from KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is particularly encouraging.
Read more >>
The London FTSE 100 stock index rose last week to move ahead of French and German rivals.
Financial markets can change rapidly. In fact, change is really the only constant in today’s trading landscape. The UK’s top equity index the FTSE 100 has certainly seen some highs and lows in the past few months, but last week’s trading has seen it edge upwards as other European rivals have fallen.Read more >>
Chinese tech giant Lenovo’s profits have shot upwards as the firm eyes further expansion overseas.
Apple might be the best-known name in the computer manufacturing industry, but the price of the Mac range and an abiding preference among many users for different operating systems mean there are a wide range of producers selling lower-cost laptops and PCs.
One of the newer entrants on the scene – at least in the west – is Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, which has risen to become the world’s biggest maker of personal computers. But as its latest results indicate, the company has no intention of resting on its laurels.Read more >>
Amazon has waded into the mobile payment market with the launch of its new Local Register system.
Payment technology is developing quickly and as smartphone and tablet penetration grows worldwide, it seems inevitable that mobile payments will be the next great frontier after the rise of credit and debit cards.
That’s why so many companies have tried to break into the market – and now Amazon has waded in.Read more >>
Japan’s latest growth figures show that the economy is struggling to manage with a sales tax increase instituted in April.
Japan’s economy had been struggling with stagnant growth and nearly two decades of deflation when Shinzo Abe became president. Last year, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda – Mr Abe’s preferred candidate for the role – unleashed a huge round of quantitative easing measures in a bid to kickstart the economy and get the country back on the path to growth.
However, as the latest data from the Cabinet Office shows, Japan is far from out of the woods.Read more >>