This weeks news includes; Nestle loses trademark court case, Uber loses design court case, posts financial figures, Blackberry stocks rise, Vodafone posts £5bn loss.
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:
CNN claims that Laptop ban in Europe could cost airline passengers $1 billion.
Microsoft claims that governments are to blame for the recent cyber attacks. (Sky News)
City A.M looks at how the London Stock Exchange has retained its international allure after Brexit and Deutsche Boerse deal collapse.
1. UK ELECTIONS: MANIFESTOS RELEASED
All the UK’s major political parties released their manifestos last week. Theresa May’s Conservative manifesto focuses on balancing the books and making the system fairer. It includes pledges to reduce immigration, increase NHS funding but also increasing social care costs for the elderly, removing the pension triple lock . In stark contrast, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto promises unprecedented investment in infrastructure and public services as well as tax hikes for corporations and individuals earning over 80k.
Bloomberg released a comprehensive guide to the three main party’s stance on the core issues. Click on the link to read.
2. GOVERNMENT SELLS OFF FINAL LLOYDS SHARES
The UK government has sold off its last remaining shares in Lloyds Banking group. The government took ownership of 43% of Lloyds after its £20.3 billion bailout of the bank in 2009. These final shares were sold at a loss however the majority of shares were sold at a profit. The share price has been buoyed due to moves made by the CEO of Lloyds, Horotio Osoi. He has brought in major changes to turn around the misfortuned lender and is very positive about the future of the bank.
In contrast, the government still retains a 70% stake in RBS which posted a £2 billion loss last year so it is clear the clean up from the financial crisis still remains.
The Guardian looks further at the sale of the shares and how Lloyds has developed since 2009.
3. UK INFLATION FIGURES AND WAGE GROWTH
Inflation in the UK reached its highest rate since 2013, largely due to increased air travel costs, as well as the weaker pound. Inflation hit 2.7% in the last quarter according to the ONS, and the Bank of England expects it to rise further in 2017. Unfortunately, wage growth hasn’t followed suit and fell behind inflation to 2.1%. It is generally expected that as inflation increases, wages also increase but that has not occurred here
On a more positive note, unemployment hit its lowest rate for 42 years at 4.6%.
The BBC takes a closer look at wage growth and inflation.
4. NESTLE LOSES FOUR FINGER KIT KAT CASE
Nestle has lost an important legal case in which it failed to trademark its four finger chocolate bar design. The Court of Appeal rejected Nestles argument that the “Kit Kat” design was so unique that it needed to be protected. The argument was fundamentally undermined by the existence of many other similar products on the market. Nestle may appeal to the Supreme Court they believe they have sufficient grounds to do so.
Nestle and Cadbury have been in and out of court for the past decade over trademark and design disputes and the battles seem far from over.
For more information check out the Sky News’ analysis on the case .
City A.M asks if Cadbury could be one step away from launching its own version of a KitKat?
5. STERLING RISES ABOVE $1.30
Last week the pound sterling rose to its highest level since the UK voted to leave the European Union. The sterling reached $1.30 and stayed around that level for the past few days. This rise in the pound is largely attributed to weakening dollar but also growing confidence in the UK economy. UK retail figures far exceeded expectations and the immediate post-Brexit slump never materialised.
Sky News analyses the causes for this rise in greater depth.
6. UBER LOSES U.S COURT CASE AGAINST WAYMO
Uber has been ordered by a San Francisco court to return files “stolen” by a former employee back to Waymo. Waymo claims that a former employee, now an Uber engineer stole trade secrets relating to self-driving car technology that were adopted by Uber. This could have led to a complete shutdown of Uber’s self driving car unit but instead they are simply required to return the files by the end of the month. The employee is now also prohibited from working on particular projects relating to driverless car technology.
This is just one case in what is likely to be a plethora of legal battles over self-driving technology.
7. BLACKBERRY STOCKS SOAR AFTER WANNACRY ATTACK
Blackberry’s share price rose last week in the wake of the global wannacry cyber attack. Shares rose to their highest level in 2 years last week, passing the $10 a share mark. Part of this hike is attributed to Blackberry’s notable resilience to ransonware. Investors poured money into cyber security firms and companies with strong reputations, as confidence grew. This trend is likely to continue and could mark the return of Blackberry into the mainstream market.
Last year, Blackberry’s share of the smart phone market officially fell to 0%, and there were fears Blackberry would run out of money, so this recent hike in share price will certainly please investors.
For more information have a look at CNN’s analysis.
8. VODAFONE POSTS £5 BILLION LOSS
Vodafone posted a £5.2 billion loss last year but despite this its share price rose as they managed to soothe investors’ concerns. The key reason for these disappointing figures was the issues it faced in its Indian unit. Despite these losses, Vodafone shares rose by 4% as they were able to reassure investors with very positive growth forecasts.
Vodafone is the second largest operator in the world.
The Independent explores the reasons behind the losses.
9. UZAMANOV MAKES £1.3 BILLION ARSENAL TAKEOVER BID
Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov made a £1bn bid to take control of Arsenal. He currently owns 30% of Arsenal shares but he wishes to gain a majority from shareholder Stan Kroenke. Kronke has not responded and it is likely that the bid will be rejected.
This comes to the dismay of many Arsenal fans, unhappy with performance of the players over the last decade. There have been protests against the manager Arsene Wenger but also calls for a shift at board level due to their ostensible lack of ambition. Arsene Wenger has been the manager of Arsenal since 1996 and this season led to club to finish 5th place in the Premier League this season. This is the first time in his tenure that he has led to the club to miss out led the out on Champions League football for the following season.
BBC Sports looks further at the deal.
10. IKEA TO ADD OVER 1,000 UK JOBS
Ikea have announced that they will be creating new 1,300 jobs as they plan to open 3 new stores by the end of 2018. Stores will be opened in Exeter, Sheffield and Greenwich and would increase its workforce by 12.5% to over 11,500 staff.
Ikea is also going to open its first store in Hyperbad, India next year.
For a more detailed analysis of Ikea’s strategy, have a look at the Guardian’s article.