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Economy & Finances

World Bank issues warnings on interest rates and inflation

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Financial markets are complacent about the risks of sharply higher interest rates that could be triggered by better than expected growth in the global economy this year, the World Bank has warned. The Washington-based organisation said that much of the rich west was running at full capacity as a result of a broad-based upswing in activity, but were now vulnerable to a period of rising inflation that would prompt action from central banks. Launching the Bank’s global economic prospects, the lead author Franziska Ohnsorge said: “There could be fa... Read More »

France plans privatisation law in asset sale push – PM

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The government outlined last year plans to sell stakes in order to finance a 10 billion euro (£8.9 billion) innovation fund. It has since reduced its minority stakes in energy group Engie and car maker Renault, and there has been speculation that Paris airport operator ADP and national lottery firm Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) are in line to be privatised. “There have already been some (asset sales) and there will be more,” Philippe said in an interview with Sunday paper JDD. Asked if the government would present a privatisation bill, a neces... Read More »

UK companies will face huge new VAT burden after Brexit

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More than 130,000 UK firms will be forced to pay VAT upfront for the first time on all goods imported from the European Union after Brexit, under controversial legislation to be considered by MPs on Monday. The VAT changes spelled out in the taxation (cross-border trade) bill – one of a string of Brexit laws passing through parliament – are causing uproar among UK business groups, which say that they will create acute cashflow problems and huge additional bureaucracy. Labour and Tory MPs and peers said that the only way to avoid the VAT Brexit ... Read More »

Apple leads race to become world’s first $1tn company

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The race is on to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, with all eyes fixed on tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Financial commentators and investors predict 2018 will herald the first firm with a stock market valuation of $1tn (£738bn) or more, if technology share prices continue to rise as strongly as in 2017. Apple is leading the way, with a market valuation of $869bn on Tuesday, a figure arrived at by multiplying the company’s share price by the number of shares in circ... Read More »

Kensington Roof Gardens to close after more than 35 years

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Kensington Roof Gardens, one of ­London’s best-known party venues, is to close after its owner of more than 35 years, Virgin, said a challenging market meant it had struggled to make a profit.  The gardens, now a Grade II-listed site, date back to the 1930s, but the company said yesterday: “The time has come for us to close our doors. “In an ever-changing London market the roof gardens has stood the test of time but in the face of unpredictable market conditions and a challenge to remain profitable, we feel that the time has come for us to c... Read More »

Shell and Barclays ‘lose’ £2bn in US tax changes

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Barclays is facing a larger full-year loss than expected because it told investors that the tax changes would initially cost it about £1 billion. At the same time, Royal Dutch Shell said in a statement to the stock market that the tax cut would lead it to take a hit to its earnings of between $2 billion and $2.5 billion.   ... Read More »

UK bosses are richest in Europe

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Research by Vlerick Business School in Belgium found that FTSE 100 chief executives took home pay packages worth 94 times those of their average staff member, despite government attempts to crackdown on ballooning corporate compensation. The school’s analysis, reported by the Financial Times, found that top French and German company chiefs were the only ones who came close to their British peers, earning multiples of 91 and 89 times their average worker. ... Read More »

Which big names in business are 2018’s ones to watch?

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Michael O’Leary In 2011, the chief executive of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, outlined his pitch for one of the most sought-after honours in the world: “There hasn’t been a war in Europe for 50 years, because they’re all too busy flying on Ryanair. I should get the Nobel peace prize – screw Bono.” Shamefully, the Nobel committee continues to overlook O’Leary as a potential laureate, although he is increasingly being recognised in other areas. Having admitted that his company may not always have treated its passengers quite as they hoped, O... Read More »

World’s Biggest Education Market Is Opening For Business

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Successive reforms of strict prohibitions on foreign-owned schools has seen the number of students enrolled in international schools rise, with the Chinese market now the largest in the world. And the most lucrative end of the market is in line for a significant fillip in 2018 following changes introduced this year. Suspicion of western influence has been behind a historical reluctance on the part of the Chinese authorities to allow international schools to gain anything more than a toe-hold in the country. Access was generally denied to Chi... Read More »

Grosvenor Crescent rated the most expensive street in England and Wales

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The sweeping crescent, whose Grade II-listed properties are thought to have been built between 1837 and 1860, topped a list of the priciest streets published by Lloyds Bank. However, while Grosvenor Crescent’s residents are sitting pretty, with the typical price tag unchanged on last December, their wealthy neighbours in Eaton Square – which topped the bank’s table a year ago – have each typically seen more than £3m wiped off the value of their property in the space of 12 months, cutting the average price to just over £13.5m. Lloyds did n... Read More »

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