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LSBF Blog - Global Matters

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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Lifetime ISA pitched to resolve UK pension crisis

August 07 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Lifetime ISA pitched to resolve UK pension crisis

An academic has claimed that a new ‘lifetime ISA’ could help to prevent a capital crisis in the UK.

As the population age and birth rates decline across many developed economies, governments are increasingly trying to determine new ways to support a rising population of elderly citizens. But with a pensions crisis potentially on the horizon, one academic has pitched a novel and highly radical new idea to the government.

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UK small manufacturers see even more growth

August 07 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

UK small manufacturers see even more growth

New CBI data shows that small manufacturers in the UK have seen a year of continual growth.

The past few months have seen wave after wave of data showing that the outlook for UK manufacturing is bright. Now, new figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) indicate that growth is even being felt among the smaller businesses in the sector.

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British services sector surpasses expected growth levels

August 07 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

British services sector surpasses expected growth levels

New purchasing managers’ index data shows that the British services sector surpassed expectations in July 2014.

Lots of attention has been paid to growth in the British manufacturing sector recently, perhaps because it was hit so hard during the financial crisis. But Britain has long been an economy rooted heavily in the service industries, and new data shows that this side of the economy is performing strongly too.

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Ghana turns to IMF for bailout from financial crisis

August 06 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Ghana turns to IMF for bailout from financial crisis

Ghana was once one of Africa’s most promising economies, but the country has turned to the International Monetary Fund for support to prop up its economy.

Ghana is one of the West African nations which is often thought of as having plenty of growth potential. But news emerged this weekend that the government in Accra is pursuing talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout programme that could help Ghana fix its ailing economy.

So how did Ghana get into trouble and how will it get out?

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Traditional offices could eventually disappear, claims PwC report

Traditional offices could eventually disappear, claims PwC report

The way we work is going to change dramatically in the coming years, according to a new PwC report.

Technology and globalisation have already had a massive impact on the way we work in the 21st century. But anew report from PwC suggests that these changes are set to continue – and the future of work could look very different to the environment we see today.

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Wall Street eyes Perzo for new trading chat function

Wall Street eyes Perzo for new trading chat function

Wall Street investors could see startup Perzo as their first step towards a new web chat function for financial traders.

In the fast-paced world of financial trading, having channels for rapid communication is vital. As a result many traders might take for granted their access to Instant Bloomberg, a messaging platform that traders have been using to inform their work for some time. But reports suggest that some of Wall Street’s biggest investors arethinking of building an alternative.

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India’s Tata group eyes $35 billion global expansion

August 04 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

India’s Tata group eyes $35 billion global expansion

India’s Tata group has earmarked $35 billion (£20.7 billion) as part of its global expansion plans over the next three years.

India’s largest conglomerate by revenue, Tata, is aiming to extend its reach across the world, according to plans outlined by chairman Cyrus Mistry’s Vision 2025 report. The goal is to push Tata into new markets in India and overseas, making it a globally recognised company. Mr Mistry aims to have the firm “among the 25 most admired corporate and employer brand globally, with a market capitalisation comparable with the 25 most valuable companies in the world”.

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From the world of business: July 2014 highlights

August 01 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

From the world of business: July 2014 highlights

Here’s our guide to all the major business news from July.

Welcome to our business news round-up for July 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.

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Mayor Boris Johnson announces huge London infrastructure plans

August 01 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Mayor Boris Johnson announces huge London infrastructure plans

A huge new plan to improve London’s infrastructure has been put out to consultation by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

It’s no surprise that London continues to grow – as the centre of some of the UK’s key industries it attracts people from around the country and all over the world who come to visit, live and work. But that expansion has to be supported by the right infrastructure, and the Mayor of London clearly believes that the capital could start to lag behind its global peers without huge investment.

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‘Ramadan rush’ boosts UK retail sales

July 31 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

‘Ramadan rush’ boosts UK retail sales

Ramadan is becoming an increasingly important element of the British retail calendar with brands such as Primark and Harrods reaping rich rewards.

As religious holiday of Eid-al-Fitr comes to a close and gifts are exchanged, some UK retailers are likely to be enjoying a considerable boost from higher spending during Ramadan.

A report in the Wall Street Journal finds that the holy month has brought shoppers into high-end stores across the UK, and especially in London, for some time. Indeed, luxury stores like Harvey Nichols tell the news provider that they bring in top stylists from key markets in Islamic countries such as Dubai and Kuwait to help UK staff understand the specific needs and preferences of these customers. Harrods offers cultural training and Arabic-speaking sales assistants.

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