LSBF Blog - Global Matters
The Green Investment Bank plans to launch £1 billion to encourage private investors to support UK offshore wind farms.
The UK’s state-funded Green Investment Bank (GIB) has said that it plans to raise £1 billion for a fund that will encourage private investors to back offshore wind farms around the UK.
GIB says that it is looking for strategic investors to work with on a long-term basis to participate in the capital raising exercise, with the proceeds being used to purchase stakes in a number of operational offshore wind projects. The new fund will be managed by a subsidiary of GIB that will seek permission from the Financial Conduct Authority to be considered a regulated fund manager.Read more >>
Sainsbury’s is entering the discount grocery market in a joint venture with Danish brand Netto.
Sainsbury’s has been attracting criticism recently for not doing enough to protect its market share from the rising tide of the discount supermarkets. Under pressure from Waitrose at the top end of the market and being squeezed by discount brands at the bottom, sales have been suffering in recent months.
As part of a plan to secure its place, the supermarket is stepping into Aldi and Lidl’s territory – by teaming up with Danish discounter Netto.Read more >>
A serious lack of language skills could hinder businesses’ growth intentions, according to the Confederation of British Industry.
Businesses are looking to break into new and high-potential markets around the world, but a new study suggeststhat they may be held back by a shortage of talent with the right language skills.
The latest Education and Skills Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Pearson shows that nearly two out of three businesses that responded said there was a need for foreign language skills within their organisation.
Although the full details of the study have not been published yet, CBI says that figure could well grow as firms become more interested in exports, especially given the government’s recent moves to rebalance the economy in favour of international trade.Read more >>
The bidding war for Alstom’s energy assets appears to be over, and General Electric is the winner.
The long-running bidding war to take control of French industrial giant Alstom’s energy assets has ended – and General Electric (GE) is the winner.
On 22 June, BBC News reported that Alstom’s board had voted unanimously to accept an offer from the US firm worth as much as $16.8 billion (£9.9 billion). Although it still needs to be approved by both Alstom’s employee representatives and regulatory bodies, it certainly looks as though the bid will go through.Read more >>
Lloyds has had to sell more of its stake in TSB than anticipated in a highly successful IPO.
Lloyds Banking Group has actually had to sell a bigger stake in TSB than it originally planned after a huge wave of interest for the bank’s initial public offering (IPO) in the London Stock Exchange.
The bank’s flotation was as many as 10 times oversubscribed, as institutional investors and members of the public all sought to secure a stake in one of the UK’s newest challenger banks. Overall, Lloyds has sold a stake of 35 per cent in the bank on 20 June – despite having intended to sell off a quarter of the company. After the success of this flotation, the next share sale could even take place as early as September.Read more >>
A number of big companies are competing to take over French firm Alstom’s energy assets.
Alstom is one of France’s top industrial companies, so the idea of a foreign takeover was always going to be sensitive for both the government and large sections of the public. But as the fierce bidding war to acquire it has heated up, even president François Hollande has found himself getting more closely involved.
The French government is expected to decide on its preferred bidder at some point this weekend, and executives at the company have until Monday to decide between the competing bids of US firm General Electric (GE) and the joint bid of German giant Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.Read more >>
The tech and creative industries will be crucial to London’s future growth, according to a new CBI report.
Businesses are optimistic about London’s growth prospects over the next five years, saying that the key industries to keep the city thriving will be technology, the creative industries and the city’s ever-popular professional services and finance sectors.
The latest London Business Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) shows that nearly seven out of ten firms said the technology and creative industries would be key to the continued economic growth of the capital in the next five years. Another 65 per cent said that professional services would be an important driver of growth, while 62 per cent said the same of the financial services industry.Read more >>
China and the UK have signed trade deals worth billions during the Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Britain.
The UK has been anxious to tap into China as a crucial export market in recent years, and trade between Britain and the world’s second-largest economy has been building on its existing strengths.
During the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang to the UK this week, the two nations have signed a succession of trade deals with a collective value of more than £14 billion.Read more >>
ICAEW has published a new report which shows that slowing economic growth in China represents a period of consolidation.
Growth in China may be slowing down but it is “not something we should be too worried about”, according to a new report from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).
Economic Insights: Greater China was produced for the organisation by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), and finds that this year could be the first in which China officially misses its headline economic growth target. However, the gap will still be fairly small.Read more >>
YouTube is launching a paid music service in a move designed to challenge companies like Spotify.
YouTube has become hugely influential in the music industry, with growing numbers of hit songs from artists who established a fanbase through the video streaming site. But now, Reuters reports that the firm has finally confirmed that it will be launching its own paid music service to rival firms such as Spotify and Pandora.
The Google-owned company has announced that it is partnering with “hundreds of major and independent” labels, to put together the streaming service.Read more >>
The UK IT industry is still suffering from a serious lack of female talent, a new report has found.
The high number of budding technology companies in the UK has made it a hotbed for IT expertise – but it is also suffering from a talent shortage in a number of crucial disciplines. Now a new report has indicated that increasing the representation of women in the industry is an important way of redressing the balance.
According to the Women in IT Scorecard from the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, and e-skills UK, fewer than one in six of the UK’s 1,129,000 IT specialists are female. Interestingly, that figure actually rises slightly to 19 per cent in the devolved countries of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of more than 750,000 working specifically within the IT sector across the UK, the figure increases marginally to 20 per cent.Read more >>
General Motors has suffered huge losses in both money and reputation over technical problems with millions of vehicles – and today, another three million have been recalled.
General Motors (GM) has had a bad few weeks to say the least. Millions of the US manufacturer’s vehicles have been recalled so far this year – and yesterday (17 June), the financial and reputational losses have grown even further with news that another three million cars will have to be recalled.Read more >>
Kenya has broken African records by raising $2 billion from global investors in its debut bond sale.
Kenya has raised as much as $2 billion (£1.18 billion) from institutional investors on its debut in the sovereign bond market, the Financial Times reports – the biggest ever debut for an African nation.
High levels of demand from investors such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies all came together to propel Kenya to its success – and with investors having placed orders for over four times more than the government eventually raised, it seems that risk appetite in the world’s markets is bouncing back.Read more >>
London has become the world’s premier financial technology hub. What makes the city so attractive for the sector?
London has been an established centre of information and knowledge for hundreds of years, and its bustling finance centre is an established feature in global markets. In recent years, its blossoming technology sector has begun to make an even greater impression on the global scene, as well as making a huge contribution to the economy.
Perhaps then it is no surprise that a new report shows it is also the financial technology (fintech) centre of the world.Read more >>
In this week’s StartUp Spotlight, we speak with Alya Marquardt, MD of Harley Street Health Centre group, which provides affordable private medical service with all tests and examinations done onsite for the patients’ convenience.
Harley Street Health Centre provides affordable private healthcare including immediate access to experienced GP and medical testing as well as a range of corporate services.Read more >>
New figures from Morgan McKinley show that salaries are rising in the City due to a talent shortage.
Several new studies have recently shown that hiring is picking up across the UK, and the finance sector is performing particularly strongly. But now, a new study from recruiter Morgan McKinley has found that the employment market is becoming even more favourable for finance professionals.
In its latest London Employment Monitor the company found that the number of financial services jobs in London rose by a substantial 15 per cent in May compared to the same month last year.Read more >>
A new study has found that London’s booming digital tech sector could contribute billions to the capital’s economy.
London has long been known as a major finance centre, but in recent years another industry has taken root there to give the capital’s economy a considerable boost.
According to a new report by Oxford Economics for promotional body London and Partners, the sector could make a massive contribution in terms of both economic activity and jobs. Details of the study have not yet been released, with only one page of key findings having been published so far.Read more >>
Bank of England governor Mark Carney suggested last week that interest rates might rise earlier than expected.
12 June’s Mansion House event was not exactly full of surprises, with much of the content of UK Chancellor George Osborne’s speech published beforehand laying out new laws for the finance sector.
But one statement from Bank of England governor Mark Carney did raise a few eyebrows, after he warned that interest rates may rise earlier than most analysts expect.Read more >>
Electric car manufacturer Tesla has taken the major step of making its patents freely available to anyone who wants to use the firm’s technology.
Tesla Motors has been blazing a trail recently with developments in its electric car technology. But on 12 June, chief executive Elon Musk made a huge declaration that could have huge implications for the future development of eco-friendly transport.Read more >>
The Confederation of British Industry has called on the government to introduce a target for cutting the gender pay gap.
The gender pay gap has been the subject of fierce debate in the past few years, especially as wages have come under additional pressure as a result of the economic downturn.
Much has been written about how to reach a state where women’s average earnings are equal with those of men, and the latest contribution has come from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).Read more >>
George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury, is set to announce a new set of measures to clamp down on bad behaviour in the finance sector.
The UK’s financial sector has suffered from a flurry of scandals in recent years, which have often left the public unaware of the amount of good practice that still goes on. In a bid to prevent problems such as the Libor-fixing fiasco from cropping up in future, George Osborne is due to announce a new set of measures to stamp out malpractice in the industry.
One of the most significant changes will be an extension of the new legislation that was put in place to regulate Libor rates.Read more >>
Ghana’s central bank has attracted criticism for funding the government’s entire budget deficit.
Ghana’s central bank has drawn criticism from analysts by making the controversial decision to fund the government’s entire budget deficit.
Bloomberg reports that Bank of Ghana has confirmed it made use of its right to give a “short-term advance” to the government to make up the deficit. Grace Akofi, head of research at the central bank, told the source that the bailout became necessary due to “shortfalling government revenue”.Read more >>
Britain’s economic recovery has been underlined today by another increase in employment.
There’s been a stream of positive news on the UK’s economic recovery recently, and figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that employment is continuing to perform strongly.
Over 30.5 million people were in work between February and April – 345,000 more than in the previous three months and up by an impressive 780,000 from the same period last year. That was the single biggest leap since records began.Read more >>
Nigeria is working to consolidate its status at the head of the global oil market by pushing for its oil minister to lead Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Nigeria recently overtook South Africa as the biggest economy in Africa, and Nigeria appears to be set on consolidating its position on the global stage.
Now, it appears the next step is to develop its reputation using its plentiful natural resources, as news has emerged the country is pushing its own oil minister for a leadership role in the world’s major oil organisation.Read more >>
Manufacturing in the UK is still showing signs of recovery, after ONS figures shows industrial production on the rise again.
The UK economic outlook has been improving of late, with a series of reports showing that activity is firmly on the rise. New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published yesterday, 10 June, show that April was yet another positive month for the manufacturing sector in particular.
According to the latest Index of Production estimates, manufacturing output rose by 0.4 per cent in April from the previous month, marking the fifth month of expansion in a row. But the annual rate of growth was even more impressive at 4.4 per cent.Read more >>