US internet firm Yahoo is being acquired by American telecoms giant Verizon Communications for nearly $5bn (£3.8bn) in cash.
Yahoo will be combined with AOL, another faded internet star, which Verizon bought last year.
The deal does not include Yahoo’s valuable stake in Chinese firm Alibaba.
The price tag for the deal is well below the $44bn Microsoft offered for Yahoo in 2008 or the $125bn it was worth during the dot.com boom.
Verizon said the deal for Yahoo’s core internet business, which has more than a billion active users a month, would make it a global mobile media company.
See more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36879831
The pound rallies against the dollar while stock markets are sharply higher on easing investor worries about Thursday’s EU vote.
The pound has rallied strongly against the dollar and the FTSE 100 has soared in the wake of polls suggesting Remain is ahead in the run-up to the EU referendum.
The UK’s blue chip index, like its counterparts worldwide, has endured wild recent volatility – with investors spooked last week by a series of polls which put Leave in the lead.
The latest surveys, including a Survation poll for The Mail On Sunday which had Remain back in the lead and three points ahead, fuelled further appetite for risk across Asia on Monday following a partial recovery in values on Friday.
See more at: http://news.sky.com/story/1714505/pound-and-ftse-100-soar-on-brexit-polling
The pound has fallen after two separate surveys suggested rising support for the UK leaving the EU.
Sterling hit a three-week low against the dollar, dropping 1.5 cents to $1.4358, before recovering slightly.
Against the euro, the pound was 0.46% lower at €1.2705 at midday.
A YouGov poll found 45% favoured the UK leaving the EU, with 41% wanting to stay, while a separate Observer/Opinium poll also found the Leave campaign ahead by 43% to 40%.
“It is becoming extremely worrying for the financial markets and we expect more sterling losses if polls continue to indicate a Brexit lead,” Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at global online broker FXTM said.
See more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36458933
Newport-based independent lender Henry Howard Finance has agreed a £51m asset finance facility under the British Business Bank’s Enable Funding programme.
The facility, which is 50 per cent guaranteed by the European Investment Fund, will allow Henry Howard to extend its asset finance funding to a larger portfolio of smaller UK businesses.
Henry Howard, backed by investor Cabot Square Capital and based in Newport, is the first South Wales-based lender to become a partner of the British Business Bank.
It has been providing finance to small businesses for more than 20 years and last year it saw its lending grow to more than £70m from £40m. It aims to continue its expansion throughout 2016.
One firm benefitting from HHF’s asset finance solution is Caldicot Fleet Maintenance Recovery, which over five years tripled in size following the purchase of a number of new vehicles made possible by HHF’s support. It now has 50 heavy and light recovery vehicles up from just six trucks in 2011.
See more at: http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/14518434.Henry_Howard_Finance_agrees___51m_facility_with_British_Business_Bank_to_increase_provision_of_asset_finance_for_smaller_businesses/?ref=arc
Shell will axe almost twice as many jobs as planned following its controversial takeover of BG Group by cutting a further 2,200 from its global workforce.
The latest cuts will hit British employees first with 475 workers set to lose their jobs in the oil company’s UK and Ireland upstream business as “tough times” continue for the oil sector, Shell said.
Shell has already axed 750 jobs from its North Sea business, of which two thirds were UK jobs. It has also called for voluntary redundancies from the former BG Group head office at Thames Valley Park in Reading.
The oil giant had already announced it was making 2,800 cuts following its £40bn takeover of gas giant BG earlier this year.
Prior to that deal, Shell slashed 7,500 jobs last year due to the plummeting price of oil. The total reduction in headcount is now close to 12,000 in the last 18 months.
See more at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/25/shell-cuts-a-further-2200-jobs-as-axe-swings-on-north-sea-worker/
Thomas Cook cabin crew voted in favour of a strike in a row over health and safety, the Unite union has said.
About half of union members voted, with 74% of those backing industrial action in the dispute over rest breaks.
Thomas Cook Airlines said plans were in place to make sure customers would still be able to go on holiday in the event of strikes.
The British airline flies more than six million passengers a year to the US, continental Europe, Asia and Africa.
A Unite spokesman said union bosses would hold talks with the airline and conciliation service Acas on Thursday and next Tuesday.
See more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36381827
The UK’s inflation rate fell in April for the first time since September, largely because of cheaper air fares after the Easter holidays.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, fell to 0.3%.
The ONS said the main causes were falls in the prices of air fares, vehicles, clothing and social housing rents.
The Bank of England said last week that it expected inflation to increase in the second half of the year.
By far the largest downward effect in April came from air transport, with prices falling by 14.2%, compared with a rise of 4.5% between the same two months last year.
This was influenced by the timing of the Easter holidays in March. Fare prices increased dramatically between February and March this year and then fell sharply in April.
The price of clothing and footwear also fell as retailers dropped prices to try to revive sales hit by last month’s cold weather.
See more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36311126
As any chief executive will attest to, getting the members of one FTSE 100 board to agree to anything beyond their natural comfort zone is far from easy.
So getting the boards of 36 companies in the benchmark index to agree to sign a letter in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union is nothing short of a major achievement.
Big business names not known for speaking out on such matters quite so often, such as Vittorio Colao of Vodafone and Christopher Bailey of Burberry, are on the list, along with more obvious suspects such as Conservative peer Baroness [Karren] Brady and BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, one of the letter’s main cheerleaders.
What is of more interest, perhaps, than analysing who have signed – and picking holes at the business reputation and motivation of some of those on the list – is to look at the companies that didn’t sign, and understand why.
Some will look at the letter’s signatories, and surmise that with 36 Footsie companies backing Remain, the other 64 back Leave.
That is far from the case. The rushed nature of the letter’s publication – just four days after David Cameron sealed his renegotiation deal in Brussels on Friday night – means that many Footsie board members will have not even looked at the fine print of the European Council agreement, let alone consider the implications.
See more at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/02/23/business-leaders-eu-letter-adds-little-to-in-campaign/
British manufacturing output unexpectedly shrank to hit its lowest level in three years in April, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the economy will slow further before next month’s in-out European Union membership referendum.
With uncertainty surrounding the June 23 vote, factories are also struggling with a weaker global economy and a slowdown in the oil and gas industry, a major customer.
Sterling fell and gilt futures rose after the Markit/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 49.2 from 50.7 in March, the first time since March 2013 it has fallen below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.
It was below even the lowest forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
“The sharp drop to a three-year low and another month of reported job cuts could be the clearest sign yet that referendum uncertainty is starting to weigh on the real economy,” Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, a manufacturers’ lobby, said.
See more at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-pmi-manufacturing-britain-idUKKCN0XU0KY?il=0
Banking giant HSBC has reported a 14% drop in profits for the first quarter following “extreme levels of volatility” in financial markets at the start of the year.
Profit before tax came in at $6.1bn (£4.17bn) for the three months to March, down from $7.1bn a year ago.
However, analysts had expected a far steeper fall in profits.
HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver said the bank had been “resilient in tough market conditions”.
Adjusted pre-tax profits, including currency effects and one-off items, fell 18% to $5.4bn (£3.7bn).
HSBC cut almost a thousand jobs worldwide in the quarter, leaving it with 254,212 full-time staff across 71 countries and territories.
Mr Gulliver said the bank was confident of hitting its $5bn (£3.5bn) cost-cutting target by the end of 2017.
See more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36189598
Companies which cut staff perks to compensate for the higher cost of the new minimum wage should be mindful of the risk to their reputation, chancellor George Osborne has warned.
“It’s not the spirit of the law. Companies should be much more careful about their reputation,” he told ITV.
The £7.20 hourly rate for workers aged 25 and over came into effect in April.
Many firms have cut overtime pay rates or benefits such as free lunches to fund the rise in basic pay rates.
Mr Osborne’s warning comes after a debate in the Commons on Monday on the impact of the 50p hourly increase in the National Living Wage (NLW), said profitable firms trying to “evade the spirit” of the new laws would face government pressure.
See more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36082247
Lloyds Banking Group has warned a UK vote to leave the EU would cause short term “economic uncertainty”.
However, the bank said the long term impact was “unclear” because there was no certainty over how the UK’s position outside the EU would evolve.
“The board is mindful that the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU is a matter for the UK electorate, and that for many the debate is about more than just economics,” it added.
The EU vote is on 23 June.
It’s the first bank to speak out officially on the impact of the EU referendum vote, although in October its chairman Lord Brackwell said in the Lords there weren’t “compelling arguments” for staying in the EU without “significant” reforms. He made it clear, however, that he was making the comments in a personal capacity.
See more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36048015