LSBF Blog - Global Matters
The Bank of England has requested new powers to watch over the housing market.
There’s been talk of rising property prices ever since it was first suggested the UK could be seeing signs of economic recovery. But to try and prevent a cycle of boom and bust emerging, the Bank of England (BoE) is planning to take action.
The central bank has formally requested new powers to intervene in the property market. If it gets its way, it will limit the amount people can borrow to buy a property based on what it thinks people can afford depending on their financial circumstances.Read more >>
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi says bond purchases will begin later this month.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that it plans to start buying bonds in the middle of the month, but it wants to wait and gauge the success of existing plans before rolling out further stimulus.
A two-year programme is due to get underway from mid-October that will see the central bank purchase covered bonds and asset-backed securities. It is going to take an inclusive approach to the scheme – it will buy asset backed securities that are below investment grade (to BBB-), CityAM reports, to ensure that Greek and Cypriot banks can also get involved.Read more >>
Virgin Money has become the latest challenger bank to announce plans to float on the stock market.
With Lloyds Banking Group well on its way to selling off TSB in its entirety through some wildly successful share sales, it looks like the market is strong for challenger banks.
TSB has seen its shares perform strongly since its initial public offering (IPO). OneSavings Bank, controlled by the US’ JC Flowers, also listed this year and specialist lender Aldermore has announced its intention to follow suit. Now, the next challenger to say it intends to pursue an IPO is Virgin Money.Read more >>
The Co-operative Group could be moving into a new era amid a period of major changes.
The Co-operative Group has had a difficult couple of years, with sizeable losses and gaps in its finances alongside some major scandals. But this month could well see the start of a new era for the company – by focusing in on the abiding principles on which it was founded.Read more >>
Mark Zuckerberg, worth $34 billion, has become richer than the founders of fellow tech giants Amazon and Google.
Everyone who’s ever found themselves poring over their Facebook timeline will understand why the social network is such a huge business. But it’s interesting to wonder whether, in the early days of the company, Mark Zuckerberg and his friends realised just how quickly it would take off.
Now, virtually everyone and their grandmother has a Facebook profile and the value of the company is through the roof. So massive has the social network become that co-founder, chairman and chief executive Mr Zuckerberg is one of the richest tech executives in Silicon Valley. In fact, he’s now richer than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google.
The figures come from the Forbes 400, the magazine’s rankings of the 400 richest people in the US.Read more >>
Microsoft has launched the newest version of Windows – and claims it is so advanced they skipped 9 and went straight to 10.
Even though Windows is probably the most commonly used operating system (OS) in the world, and certainly within businesses, Microsoft is keen to prove that it isn’t resting on its laurels.Read more >>
Welcome to our September news round-up, with all the big business headlines from trade deals to bankers’ bonuses.
Lord Livingston said a new trade deal with the US could potentially be worth as much as £10 billion a year to the UK economy. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) seeks to remove trade barriers between the US and EU by streamlining regulations and getting rid of certain tariffs. According to the trade minister, gains in manufacturing and better growth opportunities for firms could lead to higher wages and job creation.Read more >>
US president Barack Obama and Indian PM Narendra Modi have come together for talks in the White House this week in a bid to strengthen strategic ties.
India and the US see each other as strategically important – one is among the world’s emerging economic powerhouses, the other has the planet’s largest economy.
So when the leaders of the two countries finally met in person to begin a series of talks this week, it was clear Barack Obama and Narendra Modi would be focusing on strengthening the relationship between their nations.Read more >>
Skills gaps are getting wider and wider in important sectors as employment rises, according to a new report.
Employment is rising quickly in the UK, and graduate employment in particular is performing well. However, many of the industries that are crucial to a balanced and high-performing economy are still struggling to find candidates with skills that they need – and are likely to reward those who can fill the void.Read more >>
British Telecoms will use all the energy from a new solar farm to operate its research campus.
More and more big companies are demonstrating their commitment to sustainability by adopting green energy policies and actively seeking out opportunities to move to greener ways of working. British Telecom (BT) has just said it plans to use green energy to power its huge research campus in Suffolk.Read more >>
An IMF expert has said that sustainable growth in China would be worth a slower rate of expansion.
Concern has emerged in global markets about a potential slowdown in China, and what easing demand in one of the world’s biggest economies could mean for the rest of the world. But according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), slower growth would be worthwhile to ensure that Chinese expansion is sustainable.Read more >>
France is hoping that German support will help it implement economic reforms.
Europe has faced its economic struggles since the financial crisis, and France has become seen as one of the weaker links in the eurozone chain. But its government is working hard to implement economic reforms and to do that, it’s looking to Germany for support.Read more >>
Lloyds Banking Group has continued to sell off its stake in TSB with a further divestment of 11.5 per cent.
Lloyds Banking Group has been edging closer and closer to washing its hands of challenger bank TSB for months. Today (26 September) it has emerged it has raised another £161 million from selling off a further 11.5 per cent stake in the promising lender.
It’s clear that Lloyds has wasted no time in bringing the latest sale to market, having promised it would not sell any more shares until this week.Read more >>
Graduate career prospects are improving further, after figures showed graduate unemployment is falling even further.
Graduates know they have an advantage in the labour market, but since the financial crisis employment prospects have taken something of a knock. This year has seen plenty of improvement, however, and new data shows that unemployment among UK graduates is falling at a record pace.Read more >>
Report released by Barclays claims that a huge rise in e-commerce over the next few years is expected in the UK.
E-commerce is already a growing and promising sector of the economy in the UK, but it seems there are even better times to come for online retailers. According to a new report from Barclays, there’s a boom coming in the e-commerce sector.Read more >>
Sir Richard Branson says Virgin will stop tracking annual leave for some employees as new working practices look to boost productivity.
It’s a well-established fact that the way we live and work is changing. New technology is making it easier to build greater flexibility and freedom into the working day, and a new generation of millennial workers is prioritising a good work-life balance. Businesses, too, are beginning to understand the benefits that a new approach to work could bring.Read more >>
India is launching a new campaign to encourage investment in the nation’s manufacturing sector.
India has been struggling to keep pace with growth in the economies of many of its rivals. With a current account deficit, high inflation and weak factory output, it is now considering a raft of new measures to increase foreign direct investment and get the country growing fast once more.
This week, the government will officially announce a new programme aimed at luring global industry into India’s manufacturing sector.Read more >>
John D. Rockefeller’s heirs are pulling their money out of fossil fuel investments and going green.
John D. Rockefeller’s name has passed into legend. Synonymous with his massive oil wealth, he has become an almost mythical figure in the history of the US. So it’s all the more significant and symbolic that his heirs are going green.Read more >>
A report from KPMG has highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility in adding and maintaining business value.
Businesses have often been tempted to see corporate social responsibility as little more than a public relations stunt. Intended to win over the public, activities that are aimed at adding value to communities rather than directly benefiting the companies themselves can all too easily be treated like vanity projects.
But as a recent KPMG report found, businesses need a better understanding of how they contribute to society at large in order to create corporate value of their own. So how are firm’s corporate and societal value linked?Read more >>
Dubai International Finance Centre will be issuing Islamic sukuk bonds worth $700 million next month, it has announced.
Dubai has become more and more important as a financial hub for the Gulf region. A growing number of companies are choosing to set up there and its reach is becoming increasingly global. With the announcement of a large-scale new sukuk next month, it is consolidating its position in the Islamic finance category.
Governor and executive chairman Essa Kazim of the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) announced the move last weekend, on 21 September, at the same time as the finance hub’s half-year operating review.Read more >>
Alibaba finally posted the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) this week after a lengthy build-up.
It’s been a long road to get there, but after months and months of build-up, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba finally floated on the stock market last Friday, 19 September.
Everyone who had been watching the deal had expected it to be huge, and there was talk of a record-breaker long before Alibaba had even confirmed it would list on the New York Stock Exchange. They weren’t disappointed.Read more >>
A group of business leaders have called for a higher minimum wage, and unions have welcomed the news.
The UK introduced the National Minimum Wage as a means of protecting low-paid workers and ensuring a basic minimum income for the nation’s employees. Not every business supported the move when it was first introduced, amid concerns that it would drive up operating costs and damage the fortunes of the company – but as it has become entrenched in the labour market, it’s hard to imagine Britain without it.Read more >>
Africa has seen its population grow, making it even more attractive as a market for businesses.
In recent years Africa has seen an explosion in growth in some of its major economies. Although it remains one of the poorest regions in the world, a growing population and economic development mean it is a very promising market for businesses planning to grow internationally.
Data from the Population Research Bureau shows that by 2050, Africa will see its population more than doublefrom 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion people. Nigeria alone will see its population rocket from 174 million to 440 million people. That will mean a large, young and sophisticated audience with a higher demand for a whole range of goods and services, not to mention a large workforce. Improved access to healthcare and medical advances are thought to have been the driving forces.Read more >>
The US will end its quantitative easing programme next month, but it is not yet clear when interest rates will rise.
US monetary policy has been decidedly loose since the financial crisis. The Federal Reserve has been buying bonds for the past six years and interest rates have remained low over that same period. With more than $4 trillion Treasury and mortgage bonds reportedly purchased by the Fed since 2008, it is finally due to end its asset purchase programme next month.Read more >>
Businesses and investors have reacted with confidence to Scotland’s decision to stay as part of the UK.
Scotland’s decision to remain part of the United Kingdom marked a watershed moment in the nation’s political life. But it also sent ripples throughout the business and finance landscape, as the world reacted to a vote that ended months of uncertainty. That relief has been reflected in an influx of votes of confidence in the Union this morning, although in some respects the markets are already calming down again.Read more >>