LSBF Blog - Global Matters
Two new phones, a payment system and wearable tech: Apple pulled out all the stops on 9 September.
Brand fans and tech lovers have never stopped looking forward to Apple product announcements. But the past few years have seen the tech giant accused of losing some of its innovative streak, especially since the death of co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs in 2011. Yesterday’s new announcements, live-streamed online, were not necessarily aimed at the critics, but went a long way towards trying to prove them wrong.
Two new iPhones, a payments service and a smartwatch later, everyone’s talking about the new ideas at Apple. So what’s involved and where could it lead?Read more >>
The Confederation of British Industry has said that it now expects interest rates to go up as early as the beginning of 2015 in Q1.
Last week (September 5th) saw the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) surprise nobody with the news that interest rates would remain flat for another month.
After more than five years at the record low of 0.5 per cent as the central bank has attempted to promote and then safeguard economic growth, it is going to take compelling evidence to encourage MPC to increase the cost of borrowing.
But the attitudes of policymakers have been shifting in the past few months, and minutes from last month’s meeting indicated that for the first time in three years the decision was not unanimous. Two members of the committee had actually voted to increase interest rates, although nine consented to keep the rate flat.Read more >>
Silicon Valley might be the global hub of the tech world, but more and more new firms are looking to big cities elsewhere.
When you think of technology hotspots, the chances are that Silicon Valley springs to mind. It’s been the world leader for decades and still sees more investment than virtually anywhere else in the tech world. But the next generation of tech startups don’t seem as interested in isolation as the Apples and Facebooks – instead of famously remote locations, they’re looking more often towards big cities elsewhere.Read more >>
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has announced that it is to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5 per cent for another month, despite the fact that the UK’s economy is in robust shape.
In making the announcement, the BoE also revealed that it would be maintaining the size of its economic stimulus programme at £375 million.Read more >>
Barclays has launched a pioneering service that may transform the way people access banking and usher in a new age of state-of-the-art security.
Currently, the usual practice involves users having to type in a number of passwords and numbers, which can be a somewhat laborious process.Read more >>
The UK construction sector continues to deliver outstanding results, with the latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
The construction boom in Britain is substantial, with the rise in output between August and July – from 62.4 to 64.0 – the largest monthly increase one of the biggest ever recorded during the survey’s 17-year history.
It is also the largest monthly rise since January of this year. Attributing to these successes include another marked rise in house building, and upsurges in commercial activity and civil engineering.Read more >>
Ecuador intends to launch its own national digital currency similar to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Ecuador has revealed more details about its intentions to create what it has described as the world’s first digital currency to ever be issued by a country’s central bank.
According to President Rafael Correa, the aim of the digital currency, which has yet to be given an official name, is to help people in Ecuador who cannot afford traditional banking.Read more >>
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Lord Livingston has claimed that the negotiations between the UK and the US over a European Union trade deal could add £10 billion a year to Britain’s coffers.
UK trade minister Lord Livingston said that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has the potential to transform Britain’s economy, by adding as much as £10 billion to it annually.
Although opponents of the yet to be finalised agreement believe that it would have a detrimental effect, Lord Livingston, who was chief executive of British Telecom until last year, brushed aside such arguments, saying the opposite in most cases is true.Read more >>
The latest SME Risk Index from Zurich reports that one in seven business owners will, in effect, take no time off work this year. In short, holidays, be it a staycation or an overseas break, is off the cards.
One of the chief reasons for a lack of ‘holiday time’ for SME owners is to do with trust. Annual leave is forsaken because many SME leaders feel uncomfortable about delegating responsibilities to anyone else but themselves.Read more >>
Amazon isn’t the only firm investigating the use of drones for package delivery, since it has emerged that Google is following suit.
Amazon raised eyebrows when it emerged in November that the e-commerce giant was trialling a system that used drones to deliver packages. Not to be outdone, Google is testing a new system of its own.
Project Wing has been in the works for two years, and is being tested by Google’s X division in the Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia. Earlier this month, the remote location became the testing ground for the first trials that included personnel from outside Google, and it seems that tough terrain might be one of its core focuses.Read more >>
Apple’s latest smartphone – iPhone 6 – looks set to revolutionise mobile payments by transforming the device into a portable wallet.
Apple has been playing up to the hype surrounding the supposedly imminent launch of its new sixth generation iPhone by saying very little on the matter. The only thing the tech giant has contributed by way of comment is the following succinct message: “9.9. 2014 – Wish we could say more.”
An event has been booked on this day. It is to take place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, the very establishment where Steve Jobs introduced the Mac computer 30 years ago. It is reasonable to deduce this is where the latest iPhone will be officially unveiled to the world.
There is a lot riding on this device and needless to say, given the success of all the previous models and the way in which they have constantly set the bar in the field of smartphones and portable devices higher and higher, Apple cannot fail in delivering another landmark product.Read more >>
Video: ‘Great Minds’ series – Brompton Bicycle MD Will Butler-Adams discusses how to run a successful business
Visibility is the most essential element of a successful business. This is the mantra of Will Butler-Adams, the managing director of Brompton Bicycle, the world-famous British folding bike-maker. According to him, profit, revenue and other variables play an important role, but “what you need in order to run a business is visibility.”
An extremely successful business and a prominent example of the new generation of UK manufacturers, Brompton has gained worldwide acclaim due to the quality, resistance and flexibility of its bicycles.
Read more >>
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 >>