This weeks news includes; Greece reaches a preliminary bailout deal, law firms’ three way merger goes live, Apple profits fall .
Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our twitter page and Facebook page for regular posts of important headlines. Click on the links for full stories.
Get all the important stories and insights straight into your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list here.
Opinion articles of the week:
- City A.M aks whether the UK economy stronger than many think?
- Bloomberg claims Life in the fast lane is over for Apple, and that’s just fine.
- Business Insider claims that things look terrible for Britain’s Brexit economy — but it might not be as bad as we think.
1. MACRON DEFEATS LE PEN TO BECOME FRENCH PRESIDENT
Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has decisively won the French presidential election.
Mr Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen by about 65.5% to 34.5% to become, at 39, the country’s youngest president, the results show.
Mr Macron will also become the first president from outside the two traditional main parties since the modern republic’s foundation in 1958. He said that a new page was being turned in French history.
Mr Macron said he had heard “the rage, anxiety and doubt that a lot of you have expressed” and vowed to spend his five years in office “fighting the forces of division that undermine France”. He said he would “guarantee the unity of the nation and… defend and protect Europe.
Mr Macron’s supporters gathered in their thousands to celebrate outside the Louvre museum in central Paris and their new president later joined them. (BBC News)
2. GREECE REACHES PRELIMINARY BAILOUT AGREEMENT
Greece has reached a preliminary bailout agreement with its creditors, pledging further austerity measures to release the next instalment of its bailout money. Greece intends to lower the tax threshold and cut pensions by an average 0.9% pensions.
The measures are yet to be approved by Parliament and Eurozone finance ministers will hold a meeting on the 22nd of May to finally approved the agreement. Earlier in the month, Greece agreed to make over 6 billion Euros in cuts in 2019 and 2020.
Greece must repay 6.9 billion euros to the IMF and European lenders. (BBC News)
3. LAW FIRM MEGA MERGER GOES LIVE
The merger between CMS Cameron McKenna, Nabarro and Olswang has official been completed. The merger went live on the 1st of May 2017 with all parties moving into the Cannon Place.
The combined firm will have over 4500 fee-earners and will have revenues of over £400 million in the UK. Read more at Legal Business
4. LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE TO INTRODUCE NEW IPO STRUCTURE
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is looking to form a new listing structure to make the exchange more attractive for Saudi Aramco’s $100 billion IPO.
The proposed structure, according to Reuters, would give the state-owned oil company the equivalent of a primary listing on the exchange but without facing the stringent corporate regulations.
Saudi Aramco is worth an estimated $2 trillion and plans to raise between $50 billion to $100 billion by listing 5% of the companies shares in its IPO in 2018. This will be the largest IPO in history by market capitalisation and this would require a new listing. Read more at the The Telegraph .
5. OIL PRICES THIS WEEK
Oil prices have stabilised after hitting fresh five-month lows in early trade on Friday, amid renewed concerns about a worldwide supply glut. After falling sharply on Thursday, Brent crude fell below $47 a barrel at one point, before recovering to $49.14.
Prices are still around their lowest level since November, when the Opec oil producers’ group agreed to cut output. Investors are worried that Opec nations will fail to rein in output further at their next meeting later this month. The price of US crude also dropped sharply on Friday morning, but then recovered to stand at $46.28 a barrel.
Oil prices are down by about 15% since the start of the year, despite Opec’s agreement in November which cut output by 1.8 million barrels a day. Supply is still outpacing demand, with US oil production alone up by 10% since summer 2016. It now pumps out some 9.3 million barrels a day – not far short of the two giant oil producing nations of Russia and Saudi Arabia. (BBC News)
6. JOHNSON & JOHNSON $110m COURT CASE
Pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered by a US court to pay more than $110m (£85m) to a woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after using its talcum powder.
Lois Slemp, 62, from Virginia, Missouri said she developed the cancer after four decades of using talc products. Prosecutors argued the company did not adequately warn about the cancer risks associated with the items.
Experts say links with ovarian cancer are unproven. J&J says it will appeal.
The verdict in a St Louis state court is the largest so far to arise out of about 2,400 lawsuits against J&J over its talc-based products, Reuters news agency reports.
Ms Slemp is currently undergoing chemotherapy after her ovarian cancer initially diagnosed in 2012 returned and spread to her liver.She said the products she used included J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder.
The verdict included $5.4m in compensatory damages and $105m in punitive damages against J&J. (BBC News)
7. JP MORGAN POST-BREXIT PLANS
US bank JP Morgan could move up to 1,000 jobs out of London ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
A senior executive at the Wall Street giant, Daniel Pinto, said that “hundreds” of staff may move to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.
However, it is understood that the number of people who would be relocated involves between 500 and 1,000 jobs.
Earlier, Standard Chartered bank said it was in talks with German regulators about making Frankfurt its Europe base.
However, Standard said the impact on UK staff would be “minimal”.
Several global banks have announced in recent weeks that they will move some jobs out of London as part of contingency plans for when the UK leaves the EU.
JP Morgan’s main offices in continental Europe are in Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, but it also has operations in Paris, Milan, Madrid and Stockholm. JP Morgan is widely reported to be in talks to buy a Dublin office big enough to hold more than 1,000 workers. (BBC News)
Several major tech companies have killed off their Apple Watch apps, according to Apple Insider. Google, Amazon , and eBay reportedly removed support for their standalone Apple Watch apps in software updates rolled out at the end of April. Amazon and Ebay pulled their main shopping apps, while Google killed off its Google Maps app.
None of the companies announced they were pulling the WatchOS apps in their iOS software update release notes and the removals have gone largely unnoticed, suggesting they weren’t widely used.
Apple remains committed to the Apple Watch but it has struggled to convince people that they need to buy one. Official sales figures for the device aren’t available, but analysts estimate that they’re increasingly disappointing. Last October, analysts at IDC estimated that Apple shipped 1.1 million Apple Watches in the third quarter of 2016, which was down 71.6% from the year-ago period.
Apple isn’t the only company struggling to sell wearable devices. Google’s Android Wear smartwatches, which are made by an array of manufacturers, are also struggling to take off. Google had to delay the next version of Wear until 2017, and several partners have abandoned their plans to make new Android smartwatches this year. (Business Insider)
Apple posts fall in profits
Apple posted a surprise dip in iPhone sales, suggesting customers are putting off purchases to wait for the new model of its flagship device.
The tech giant announced it had disappointed with a fall in iPhone sales during the second quarter, down to 50.8m compared to 51.19m from the same period the year before. Analysts had expected Apple to reveal sales of more than 52m. Shares of the company slipped in after hours trading, down 2.1 per cent to $144.37.
Despite the fall in sales, iPhone revenues rose 1.2 per cent for the quarter, bolstered by a higher average selling price.
To get more info click here. (City A.M)
9. BP PROFITS BOOSTED BY HIGHER OIL PRICES
The recent increase in oil prices has helped BP to record a healthy profit for the three months to March. The $1.4bn (£1.1bn) profit, on the replacement cost measure, compared with a $485m loss a year earlier.
Oil prices have been about 35% higher in the first three months of 2017 compared with a year earlier, boosting revenue from BP’s core oil and gas production division. The figures come after strong earnings from US peers ExxonMobil and Chevron last week as the oil industry benefits from a rebound in crude prices, which hit near 13-year lows in early 2016.
Royal Dutch Shell is also expected to post a leap in profits when it reports later this week.
Last month, BP slashed Mr Dudley’s 2016 pay package by 40% and cut his maximum earnings by $3.7m. (BBC News)
10. AMAZON TO CREATE 400 NEW UK JOBS
Amazon is continuing its fierce expansion in the UK, unveiling plans to hire 400 people for a new development centre due to open in Cambridge in autumn.
The retail giant said on Thursday that it was recruiting “extensively” for machine learning scientists, knowledge engineers, data scientists, mathematical modellers, speech scientists and software engineers to staff the new facilities and work on products like the Kindle, Fire tablet, Fire TV Stick, Echo, Echo Dot and the new Echo Look.
Once the new centre is open, an existing facility in Cambridge will largely be used for research and development related to Amazon’s Prime Air – a delivery system which aims to get parcels to customers in 30 minutes or less using drones.
Last week Amazon announced that it was creating 1,200 new jobs at a site in Warrington under plans announced in February to expand its UK workforce by 5,000, despite uncertainty stemming from Brexit. (The Independent)