Top 10 Stories of the Week! 02/11/15

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:

JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon claims that bitcoin is unlikely to survive in the long term. Click here for more.

Some analysts believe that the UK is being left behind in the innovation race.  Click here for more.

Would a Brexit make Britain a safe haven for European fugitives? Click here for the debate.

Click here what analysts believe the global economy will look like in 2016.

1. UK INTEREST RATES

On Thursday, the Bank of England voted to leave interest rates at the record low of 0.5%. The Bank of England have said that if market conditions stay as they are, there may not be an interest rate rise until 2017. (City A.M)

Some analysts claim that the Bank of England must stop “twiddling their thumbs” and raise interest rates (City A.M). Robert Peston however, claims that an interest rate rise would be “bonkers” (BBC News).

2. CHINA’S IMPORTS FALL BY 19%

China saw imports drop for the twelfth month in a row in October giving further cause for concern over the Chinese economy. Imports by the world’s biggest trader of goods fell 18.8% from a year earlier to $130.8bn, a slight improvement on September’s 20.4% decline. (BBC News)

3. OBAMA REJECTS KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE PROJECT

President Barack Obama announced the rejection of TransCanada’s proposal to build the $8bn (£5.2bn) Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL project would have linked existing pipeline networks in Canada and the US to bring crude oil from Alberta, and also some from North Dakota, to refineries in Illinois. Speaking at the White House, the President said the $8bn (£5.2bn) project would not reduce fuel prices for drivers, nor would it boost US energy security. (Sky News)

4. EXXON MOBIL CLIMATE CHANGE COVER UP

Oil giant Exxon Mobil is being investigated for misleading the public about the impact of climate change. The New York attorney general has sent a request for emails and financial records to the company. Allegations surfaced last month that the company’s own scientists raised concerns about global warming decades ago and that Exxon had worked to suppress that information (BBC News). For more on this issue, click here.

NY Times claims that more oil companies may face the fate as Exxon Mobil. Click here for more.

5. CHEAP OIL CAUSING BOEING TROUBLES

Boeing was looking to downplay the concerns about falling demand for its latest fuel-saving jets due to cheap oil prices. In the past when oil prices were high, airlines were under significant pressure to reduce their expenditure on fuel and looked to new fuel-saving planes in order to do so. The drastic fall in oil prices has resulted in falling demand for the latest planes as continuing the use of existing plans remains more cost effective.  (Business Insider)

6. VISA ACQUIRES VISA EUROPE

Visa Inc., the world’s largest credit and debit card company, said on Monday it would buy former subsidiary Visa Europe Ltd in a deal valued at up to 21.2 billion euros (£15.09 billion). They claim this will put them in a stronger position to compete with MasterCard Inc. Visa Inc and Visa Europe, a cooperative of European banks with over 500 million cards, were part of a global bank-owned network until 2007. Most of the units merged to form Visa Inc, which went public in 2008, leaving Visa Europe as a separate entity.  (Business Insider)

7. STANDARD CHARTERED JOB CUTS

Standard Chartered Plc announced plans to eliminate 17 percent of its workforce, scrap the dividend and tap investors for $5.1 billion after posting an unexpected third-quarter loss of $139 million, compared with a profit of $1.5 billion a year earlier. The lender plans to cut 15,000 jobs to help save $2.9 billion by 2018 and will restructure or exit $100 billion worth of assets. Standard Chartered shares fell as much as 11.3 percent.

The third-quarter loss reflects “challenging conditions in the group’s key markets” as well as “depressed commodity prices and the broader impact of the slowdown in China,” the bank said in the statement. For more on Standard Chartered’s loss and wider issues, check out Bloomberg ‘s article.

8. ACTIVISION ACQUIRES MAKERS OF CANDY CRUSH

US computer game company Activision Blizzard, which produces World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, is buying King Digital Entertainment, the creator of Candy Crush Saga in a deal worth £3.8 billion. Activision Blizzard is offering $18 (£11.66) in cash for each King share, and the deal is expected to boost Activision’s earnings by about 30%. Activision said the acquisition would make it a global leader in interactive entertainment across mobile, console and PC platforms. (BBC News)

9. EXPEDIA ACQUISITION

Travel booking site Expedia says it’s buying short-term rental marketplace HomeAway for $3.9 billion to boost its presence in the vacation rental market. HomeAway says it has more than 1 million paid listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries. Both companies’ boards have approved the deal, which they expect to close next year. (CNBC)

10. QUICK QUID REFUND

CashEuroNet has agreed to refund £1.7 million to thousands of customers who took out loans they could not afford. Up to 4,000 customers of loan sites Quick Quid and Pounds to Pocket will be refunded an average of £425 each. FCA regulations state that lenders must carry out sufficient affordability checks before lending. The company has now made changes to its lending criteria. (BBC News)

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