Top 10 Stories of the Week! 19/10/15

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:

  • Is the 5p charge per carrier bag a bad idea? Click here for the debate.
  • Mark Carney claims the EU makes Britain’s economy “more dynamic”. Click here for more.
  • Labour peer Norman Warner resigned as Labour Whip this week claiming Labour was “no longer credible.” Click here for more.

1. BRITISH STEEL TROUBLES

 Caparo steel has announced it has gone into partial administration putting 1,700 jobs in the British steel industry at risk. Accountancy giant PwC has been appointed as administrator to Caparo Industries, and is trying to seek buyers for the 16 different businesses placed into administration as a result of the filing. (Telegraph)

Britain’s biggest steelmaker, Tata Steel, has confirmed 1,200 job cuts at sites in Scotland and Scunthorpe, blaming a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China. The news will add to mounting concerns that the UK steel industry is crumbling at the hands of Chinese manufacturers, as Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a four-day state visit to the UK. (City A.M)

On Friday, the Department for Business alongside Tata Steel’s regeneration arm announced a £9 million package to support Scunthorpe steelworkers and the local community. (City A.M.)

For a summary of what is going wrong in the British steel industry click here.

 2. UK-CHINA NUCLEAR DEAL

China vowed Wednesday to take a one-third stake in Britain’s first nuclear power plant in decades and the project is being led by French energy giant EDF. The agreement for the gigantic nuclear project, whose construction costs total £18 billion, is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks. (Business Insider)

David Cameron has defended the UK’s involvement with China after controversy over President Xi’s recent visit to the UK largely due to China’s poor human rights records. Click here for more.

3. TRIDENT COSTS REVEALED

Trident, the UK’s nuclear defence system, has been a political battle ground for decades on both a financial and moral basis. Official figures released this week show that the overall cost of replacing Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system would be £167bn, double previous credible estimates. (The Independent)

4. CHINA CUTS INTEREST RATE AS ECONOMY SLOWS

China has cut its key interest rate by 0.25% to 4.35%. The move follows official data earlier this week showing that economic growth in the latest quarter fell to a six-year low of 6.9%. A decline in exports was one of the biggest factors, blamed partly by analysts on the high value of China’s currency, the yuan. (The Guardian)

For more about the impact of China’s slowing economy on other North Asian countries, click here.

5. AMAZON, GOOGLE AND MICROSOFT SHARES UP PROFITS UP

Amazon, Google (aka Alphabet) and Microsoft’s share prices all rose as US markets opened today, reacting to strong results posted on Thursday. Amazon reported a rise in net sales 23 per cent to $25.4bn (£16.5bn) in the three months to the end of September and its share price opened nine per cent up in response. Google’s stock soared 11.7 per cent after posting a revenue increase of 13 per cent to $18.7bn in the same period. Microsoft also posted encouraging results, with revenue of $20.4bn in the third quarter and its share price rose 10.2 per cent. (City A.M)

6. CREDIT SUISSE LONDON JOB CUTS

Swiss Bank Credit Suisse has announced plans to cut up to 30% of its London workforce. The Zurich-based lender will separate trading from its underwriting and advisory businesses and eliminate as many as 2,000 positions in London as it boosts its focus on Switzerland and wealth management, according to statements Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

For a more in depth analysis of Credit Suisse’s new strategy and an insight into wider trends in the banking sector click here. (E-Financial Careers)

7. LLOYD’S PPI CHARGE

The UK’s largest mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group Plc will probably take a further 1 billion-pound ($1.6 billion) charge for wrongly sold loan insurance in the year’s second half. If this is the case that would push total PPI provisions to about 14.4 billion pounds, more than any other lender, in Britain’s biggest banking scandal since the financial crisis. (Bloomberg)

The FCA however recently announced that they are considering to impose put a 2 year deadline on making PPI claims. Therefore customers wrongly sold PPI may have until 2018 to bring their claim forward or else lose their chance to be compensated. (The Guardian)

8. MONSOON FAILS TO PAY STAFF MINIMUM WAGE

Fashion retailer Monsoon has been exposed this week for not paying some of it’s staff the minimum wage. HM Revenues and Customs found that Monsoon had short-changed 1,438 workers a total of £104,507.83. Monsoon is just one of 115 companies caught in the latest swoop by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which oversees implementation of the pay regulations. (The Guardian)

9. SONY HACKING LAWSUIT

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc has agreed to pay up to $8 million to resolve a lawsuit where employees claimed their personal data was stolen in a hacking related to the studio’s release of the comedy “The Interview”. The settlement was filed on Monday and Sony will pay $10,000 per person to reimburse employees for identity theft losses.  (Reuters)

10. FERARRI IPO LAUNCHED THIS WEEK

Ferrari’s shares jumped 15 percent to $60 on its Wall Street debut on Wednesday after the Italian supercar maker priced its share offering at the top of the range amid heavy investor demand.  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which sold shares in Ferrari at $52 each, could raise up to $982 million if a “greenshoe” option is exercised, giving the sportscar business a stock market value of $9.8 billion. A “greenshoe” option gives issuers of shares the right to sell investors more shares than originally planned. (Reuters)

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