LSBF Blog - Global Matters
New figures show that small businesses in the UK are at their most confident in as long as four years.
Small and medium enterprises (SME) are more confident than they have been for four years, according to new figures.
The latest version of the annual Sage Business Index shows that SME confidence about their own prospects reached a score of 66.29 – 3.74 points above the score in 2013 and the highest for four years. Since that goes back to 2010 when the effects of the financial crisis were still being felt far more keenly than they are today, that’s a very encouraging statistic.Read more >>
The UK job market is going from strength to strength, according to data from a number of recent surveys.
Employment is continuing to rise across the UK, as a fresh batch of surveys have pointed towards even better times to come for Britain’s labour market.Read more >>
The Great Tech Expedition has taken some of the UK’s best new tech businesses to showcase their achievements in the US.
The UK has been building a reputation as a leading technology hub in the past few years. Recently new figures were published indicating that London tech firms has attracted record levels of venture capital investment, as testament to the high potential of some of the nation’s most promising young firms. An ambitious trade mission has taken a few of Britain’s most promising firms to the US to show off what makes them so special.Read more >>
Europe’s boards are slowly becoming more diverse, a new study shows – and the UK is gaining ground.
The UK has been taking steps to improve female representation on company boards for years. Although progress is slow – as it often is when businesses are expected to affect cultural and practical change – the proportion of women sitting on boards is steadily rising. As a new study shows, Britain is gaining ground against the rest of Europe as a result.Read more >>
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has told young people who want to set up their own businesses to go for it.
Sir Richard Branson’s name is one of the best-known in the world. Along with the likes of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and a few others, he’s one of the most recognisable ambassadors that the business world has – so famous that he transcends his Virgin Group empire.Read more >>
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) director-general Li Yong has said the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) should work together on better support for SMEs and startups.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the engines of economic growth in most countries, and they almost always account for the vast majority of jobs. As several of the world’s major economies struggle to get back into recovery mode, and many developing nations seek opportunities for new growth, offering extra support to small businesses is likely to be an important economic tool.Read more >>
Shoe retailer Jimmy Choo could float on the London Stock Exchange at a valuation of $1.1 billion.
Jimmy Choo is one of the world’s most recognisable fashion brands, with fans around the world who clamour for its most high-end shoe designs. When it hits the stock market next week, it is hoping that investors will be every bit as excited.Read more >>
Record numbers of younger people are setting up their own companies, a new study has found.
In an era where youth unemployment remains higher than the overall jobless rate, it might not be surprising that many younger adults are losing faith in the job market. Even though employment has been rising and the UK economy is well on its way to recovery, a growing number of young people are finding new ways to make a living by taking the plunge and setting up their own businesses.Read more >>
Property tech has got its first dedicated accelerator scheme in Europe – and London is the host.
Lots of attention has been paid recently to London’s fast-growing tech sector, and financial technology (fintech) has led the pack. It makes sense, considering the fact that London remains one of the world’s leading financial centres.
But with the London property market growing rapidly, it may not be surprising that property tech is also on the rise in the capital. In fact, a new initiative aimed at giving the sector a welcome boost has just been launched.Read more >>
A new study from BCG has investigated where talent from around the world is seeking work – and London is top of the list.
Talent is becoming increasingly global in the 21st century – and the UK remains one of the most popular places in the world to seek a new career opportunity.Read more >>
New figures show that London’s tech firms are bringing unprecedented levels of venture capital.
London has always been the UK’s investment hub, attracting the eyes of businesses and individuals from around the world who want a slice of the city’s promising high-growth industries.
Finance continues to be one of the capital’s strengths, but one of the newer sectors to attract that level of interest is technology. Recent figures show just how important tech is to London’s present and future.Read more >>
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 >>