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Economy & Finances

Major Europe-wide VAT fraud network busted with the support of Eurojust and Europol


The size and scope of this coordinated action, initiated by the Prosecution Office for Serious Fraud and Environmental Crime in Zwolle and the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service in Almelo in the Netherlands, in close cooperation with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Augsburg and the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office in Germany, were extraordinary. In total, 11 territories were involved, including nine Member States. During the action day, law enforcement and prosecution authorities from the Member States involved, together wit... Read More »

MasterCard works with Samsung to deliver Samsung Pay


MasterCard built the foundation for secure digital transactions, so consumers can use their cards when, where and how they want. Samsung Pay delivers a seamless and secure mobile payment experience that will work at both contactless-enabled and most traditional point of sale terminals. For consumers and merchants alike, that means that every purchase made with a MasterCard using a Samsung Galaxy S6 will offer the enhanced security, benefits and guarantees of a digital MasterCard transaction including the latest tokenization technology. Owners o... Read More »

GfK forecasts 51 million wearables will be bought globally in 2015


17.6 million smartwatches and health and fitness trackers (HFT) bought worldwide last year HFT accounted for 77 percent of overall volume sold GfK predicts smartwatch sales will overtake HFT sales in 2015 ​Sales units (million) ​2014 ​2015 ​Smartwatch ​4.0 ​26.1 ​Health & Fitness Tracker (HFT) ​13.5 ​25.0 ​Total ​17.6 ​51.2 [Table 1: GfK estimated global sales by volume2] Last year, actual sales of health and fitness trackers (HFT) easily outstripped smartwatches. This was driven, in part, by th... Read More »

Bank of Scotland: Today here, tomorrow the world, but it’s Edinburgh where scots want to buy their retirement home


In a recent survey over 3000 Scots were asked to name where they would like to retire, even if this was many years away. The capital topped the list on 8%, very closely followed in second place by Glasgow, the Highlands and abroad who all tied on 7%. Future ‘Last Time Buyers’ – when you are looking to buy your last property for retirement - aspire to living in the capital’s Stockbridge area (13%) over any other part. Known for its architecture and coveted colony houses, Stockbridge’s close proximity to the green open spaces of the Royal Bota... Read More »

McDonald’s accused of avoiding €1bn in taxes


The report, published by the European Federation of Public Service Unions, its US-Counterpart and the charity War on Want, accuses McDonald’s of “aggressive and potentially abusive optimisation of its structure which has led to the avoidance of significant amounts of tax across the continent". It concludes that “it is likely that the company reached a secret tax deal with Luxembourg”. In July 2009, the Happy-Meal maker restructured its business by moving its headquarters from London to the Swiss city Geneva. It also created McD Europe Fra... Read More »

Allianz raises target for real asset based financing to 110 billion euros


Target previously at 80 billion euros Maximilian Zimmerer: “Our customers benefit from attractive returns.” Real asset based financing includes debt and equity investments in real estate, infrastructure and renewable energy. The total investment portfolio of Allianz was approximately 615 billion euros at the end of 2014. The lion’s share of investments is allocated in debt instruments. With this decision, Allianz Group continues the expansion of its investments in real assets. Recent transactions in infrastructure and real estate includ... Read More »

GfK: Western Europe: Growing Technical Consumer Goods market


In the fourth quarter of 2014, the Western European Technical Consumer Goods (TCG) market generated sales growth of 3.5 percent to reach approximately €60.5 billion. The whole of 2014 was also successful with a sales increase of 2.1 percent, and a total volume of nearly €201.2 billion. These are findings of the GfK TEMAX® Western Europe. In terms of growth, the front runner was the Telecommunications sector. Smartphones remained the driving force of the market and accounted for double-digit growth rates in Q4 2014. However, this growth partl... Read More »

GfK: Shoppers bringing online competition inside bricks and mortar stores


Four in ten shoppers worldwide are using their mobile phones while shopping inside a store to compare prices Four in ten are contacting friends or family for advice Over a third take pictures of products they might buy Online shoppers are famous for having instant access to price comparisons at the very moment of making a purchase – but now ‘bricks and mortar’ shoppers are bringing this behavior in-store. GfK asked mobile phone users in 23 countries what activities they regularly do on their mobile phones while they are inside a store.... Read More »

AXA to acquire 7% of Africa Re, the leading reinsurer in Africa


Africa Re is the #1 reinsurer in Africa, operating across the continent. It was founded in 1976 by the member states of the African Union and the African Development Bank (ADB). Africa Re’s current shareholding comprises 41 member states, the ADB and more than 100 African insurance and reinsurance companies, together holding a 75% stake in the company, as well as other development finance institutions and strategic partners. Africa Re is a growing and profitable company, with gross written premiums of Euro 505 million and net income of Euro 64 ... Read More »

Changing Consumer and Digital Trends may force modernization of compliance functions at financial institutions, according to Accenture Report


The report, titled “Be the Disruptor, not the Disrupted: Accenture 2015 Compliance Risk Study,” follows up on Accenture’s 2014 Compliance study and is based on a survey of compliance officers at 150 banking, insurance and capital markets firms across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The 2015 study found that investment in the compliance function continues to accelerate, with 76 percent of respondents expecting a total increase of at least 10 percent in the next two years. The results of the survey call into question the strategy and l... Read More »

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