LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Bank of China weighs up European interest in shares

August 22 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Bank of China weighs up European interest in shares

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.

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Apple shares hit all-time high

August 22 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Apple shares hit all-time high

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.

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Switzerland to keep cap on franc until 2016

August 21 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Switzerland to keep cap on franc until 2016

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.

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Can BlackBerry’s new tech unit save the day?

Can BlackBerry’s new tech unit save the day?

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.

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock price exceeds $200,000 per share

August 20 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock price exceeds $200,000 per share

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.

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Coca-Cola buys Monster stake for over $2 billion

August 20 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Coca-Cola buys Monster stake for over $2 billion

Coca-Cola has bought a $2.15 billion stake in Monster Beverage to begin a partnership with the energy drinks firm.

Coca-Cola has announced it is purchasing a stake in energy drinks company Monster Beverage to effect the start of a new working partnership.

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Mercedes-Benz accused in China price-fix probe

August 19 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Mercedes-Benz accused in China price-fix probe

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.

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EBay considers accepting Bitcoin payments

August 19 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

EBay considers accepting Bitcoin payments

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.

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What does the future of accountancy look like?

August 18 ,2014 | by LSBF Blog Staff

What does the future of accountancy look like?

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?

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Job candidate shortage in the UK pushes salaries up

August 18 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Job candidate shortage in the UK pushes salaries up

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.

 

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London’s FTSE 100 index edges up to lead in Europe

August 18 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

London’s FTSE 100 index edges up to lead in Europe

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.

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Lenovo gains show China’s tech muscle

August 18 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Lenovo gains show China’s tech muscle

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.

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Amazon takes on Square and PayPal in mobile payments market

August 18 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Amazon takes on Square and PayPal in mobile payments market

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.

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Japan economy struggles to cope with sales tax hike

August 15 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Japan economy struggles to cope with sales tax hike

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.

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Vocational training is ‘key to fight youth unemployment’

August 15 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Vocational training is ‘key to fight youth unemployment’

Putting vocational and academic study on the same level is vital to reduce youth unemployment, according to a new report.

Youth unemployment has been one of the most serious issues stemming from the financial crisis. Though joblessness among young people is falling rapidly, as it is across the UK, unemployment figures for this age group have remained higher than they are in the UK as a whole.

According to a new report from the Institute for Public Policy and Research (IPPR), that is because the key lies in furnishing young people with the right skills to pursue their careers.

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Mobile apps can help give SME room to grow

August 14 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Mobile apps can help give SME room to grow

Using mobile apps to keep small and medium enterprise (SME) firms efficient can help them reach their growth ambitions.

Technology in all its forms has been a great enabler for entrepreneurs seeking to set up their own businesses. From small online retailers to the massive appeal of social media, startups have turned into small companies and SMEs – and many grown much further – thanks to the internet and other important advances.

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New investment to propel BuzzFeed expansion

New investment to propel BuzzFeed expansion

Buzzfeed is planning fresh expansion on the back of huge new investment.

From pictures of kittens making friends with ducks to serious coverage of global news, Buzzfeed has become a one-stop shop for a massive base of visitors since it launched. Part of its appeal is that everything from news to the most exciting viral content is found in the same place, making lunchtime reading and procrastination easier for everyone. It’s seeking to grow even further now, after it announced it had attracted a $50 million investment that will support its plans to expand.

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Finance to lead City of London hiring spree

August 13 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Finance to lead City of London hiring spree

A rise in City of London hiring is set to be driven by a boom in finance recruitment, new data shows.

The UK jobs market is continuing to improve. Successive pieces of economic data have shown more and more people getting into work. Even though wages have not yet begun to match the rate of rising employment, job-hunters still have plenty to smile about. New figures also show that the finance sector is likely to be at the forefront of this recovery.

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Superfast broadband in Britain benefits 1 million

Superfast broadband in Britain benefits 1 million

Government officials say that one million homes and businesses have now benefited from the rollout of superfast broadband.

The UK government has announced that its rollout of superfast broadband across the UK has now benefited a total of a million businesses and homes.

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Nestle plans to buy back shares as profits take a hit

August 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Nestle plans to buy back shares as profits take a hit

Nestle is planning a major share buyback programme as it moves to reposition itself against a backdrop of lower first-half earnings.

Nestle is the world’s biggest food group in terms of sales. It casts a huge – and often controversial – shadow over the food industry worldwide and its influence is considerable. But the firm has just announced plans to reposition itself in the market alongside an ambitious share buyback plan.

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Italy back in recession as its economic woes continue

August 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Italy back in recession as its economic woes continue

One of Europe’s biggest economies shows few signs of improvement, since Italy has gone back into recession.

Italy’s economy has been a cause for concern for years. But while its neighbours such as Spain took a hit from the global financial crisis and are beginning to emerge on the other side, the southern European nation is still stuck in the mud. If anything, it’s just slid a little deeper, according to new growth figures published on 7 August.

Gross domestic product fell by 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of this year, after slipping by 0.1 per cent in the previous three months. After two consecutive quarters of contraction, Italy is now officially classified as havingslipped back into a recession – the third in six years.

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Record trade surplus for China

August 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Record trade surplus for China

China’s trade surplus hit a record high last month on the back of a surge in exports.

China’s prospects have been the subject of much discussion in the past few months, as concerns have been raised that the world’s second largest economy might be slowing down. But it has lost none of its appeal for foreign buyers, it appears, since the country posted a record trade surplus last month as a result of a surge in exports.

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Bank of England keeps interest rates flat

August 11 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Bank of England keeps interest rates flat

Officials at the Bank of England have opted to keep interest rates the same yet again.

Debate is continuing to rage over when the right time will be to increase interest rates, but one thing is certain –it won’t happen this month.

The Bank of England (BoE) has decided to keep the base rate at 0.5 per cent yet again this month, marking 65 months in a row at this historic low. The existing quantitative easing programme is also set to stay the same at £375 billion.

This may not come as much of a surprise to commentators and analysts, but the really interesting question is whether the central bank still has a consensus on how to handle interest rates.

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UK to investigate Bitcoin role in the economy

August 08 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

UK to investigate Bitcoin role in the economy

George Osborne has announced that the government plans to investigate the role of digital currencies like Bitcoin in the economy.

UK chancellor George Osborne has announced that the government will explore the role that digital currencies such as Bitcoin play in the British economy, and especially in its financial system.

In a speech given in the capital’s Canary Wharf on 6 August, Mr Osborne said the Treasury will study the benefits and drawbacks of digital currency and consider whether or not they should be regulated.

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Skills shortage could hinder UK economy recovery

August 08 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Skills shortage could hinder UK economy recovery

A new report from The Prince’s Trust says that the UK is perilously close to a recruitment crisis owing to a serious skills shortage.

A serious skills shortage is expected to take hold in the UK in the next few years, according to a new report from The Prince’s Trust and HSBC.

The Skills Crunch report finds that as many as 73 per cent of UK businesses believe a skills crisis is going to take hold in the country in the next three years. Worryingly, some 43 per cent even suggested that this would happen in the next 12 months, which suggests many are already feeling the pressure.

What’s more, the implications of these shortages could be serious for the UK economy.

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