Top 10 Stories of the Week 05/09/15

Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our twitter page for regular posts of important headlines. Click on the links for full stories.

Opinion articles of the week:

  • Deutsche Bank claims that lower interest rates may actually be detrimental for consumers. Click here to found out why.
  • Emerging markets are slowing down. Click here for why the BBC thinks this is.
  • Shell claims that it sees signs of oil price recovery but admits it will take some time. Click here for more.

1. INTEREST RATES STAY AT 0.5%

The Bank of England voted to hold the key interest rate at the record low of 0.5%. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted by 8 to 1 to keep rates unchanged. (BBC News). Some traders have forecasted that interest rates won’t rise until 2017, click here to find out why.

2. TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP DEAL AGREED

The US, Japan and 10 other Pacific countries have agreed a free trade deal that covers around 40 per cent of the world’s economy.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will reduce trade barriers between member countries and introduce common standards for goods. It will effectively create a single market with more than 650m people. For a good outline of the partnership including the purpose of the partnership and the problems involved, click here.

For a more detailed analysis of the TPP, have a look at The Economist‘s article.

3. SAFE HARBOUR AGREEMENT RULED INVALID

The “safe harbour” agreement allows American tech companies such as Facebook to transfer users’ data from the EU to the US and this week the European Court of Justice has ruled that the agreement was invalid. The court said the transfer of data could be suspended because the US “… does not afford an adequate level of protection”, which was the argument of law student Max Schrems who took on Facebook in the landmark case. This decision however, may be damaging to EU-US trade as thousands of businesses rely on the safe harbour agreement as a means of transferring information. (Sky News)

For more on the business and legal implications of this ruling have a look at Lawyer2b ‘s article on the case.

4. COUNCILS TO KEEP ALL BUSINESS RATES

George Osborne announced this week that councils in England will be able to keep the proceeds from business rates raised in their area. Councils will also be able to cut the rate and some will be able to raise it. Shops, offices, factories and businesses currently pay a uniform business rate set by central government. (BBC News)

5. OIL PRICES

 Oil prices had the biggest weekly gain since August this week. Crude traded above $50 a barrel in New York Thursday for the first time since July. (Bloomberg). Some analysts have linked this rise to the commencement of Russia’s military operations in Syria. Click here for more on this.

6. DEUTSCHE BANK REVEAL 6 BILLION EURO LOSS

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank, revealed this week that it suffered a pre-tax loss of 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in the third quarter and warning investors of a possible dividend cut. Chief Executive John Cryan has announced plans to shed assets and cut roughly 23,000 jobs, almost a quarter of the workforce.  Its legal worries include investigations into possible manipulation of benchmark currency rates and dealings with Iran. (Reuters)

7. NEW RULES TO CUT COMPANY TAX DODGES

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has announced its proposals for rules that will ensure that companies pay tax in the countries where they conduct business. They found that companies shifting profits to low-tax jurisdiction, is costing higher tax jurisdictions between $100bn and $240bn is lost annually. Companies such as Starbucks have been at the forefront of criticism. In 2012, a Reuters investigation found that Starbucks paid just £8.6m in UK corporation tax over 14 years, despite making sales worth more than £3bn in UK sales since 1998. (BBC News)

8. TESCO TROUBLES

Tesco reported a decline in like-for-like value sales once more this quarter. For the six months to August 31, while UK’s group operating profit fell 69 per cent from £543m to £166m. The supermarket has started the process of making huge cost savings, and is on track to deliver £400m from its restructure. For more on the issues facing Tesco click here. (City A.M)

9. FERRARI IPO

Luxury car producer Ferrari is planning to launch its initial public offering in the U.S and could be valued at up to $9.8 billion. Ferrari’s parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is selling 10% of its stake in Ferrari and is expecting to raise rough $982 million from the floatation to fund its plan to boost global sales to 7 million cars by 2018. (Reuters)

10. SEPP BLATTER SUSPENDED 

FIFA’s ethics committee has announced this week that it has suspended president Sepp Blatter for 90 days, amid criminal investigations into Blatter’s activity by Swiss prosecutors. Last month, the Swiss attorney general announced that Blatter will face charges of “criminal mismanagement” and “misappropriation. (Business Insider)

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