This weeks news includes; Uber launches appeal against London ban, Just Eat – Hungryhouse merger gets CMA approval, Co-Op puts down £140 million to acquire Nisa stores.
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. Get all the important stories and insights straight into your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list here.
Opinion articles of the week:
- CNBC looks at the Ferrari CEO’s claim that Electric cars may not be saving the planet at all
- The Independent explores how hackers and fraudsters are causing chaos in the world of digital financial transactions.
- Lawcareers.net hosts a Bond Dickinson article ‘Why are banks choosing to partner with fintechs?’
- CNBC claims that Cash is already pretty much dead in China as the country lives the future with mobile pay.
- Bloomberg questions whether Bitcoin’s surge is a bubble or just the beginning?
1. UBER APPEALS LONDON BAN
Uber has officially launched its appeal against Transport for London (TFL)’s refusal to renew its operating license in London. Due to serious concerns about safety and security, such as their failure to properly report drivers who committed criminal offences in the course of their work, last month TfL took the decision not to renew their private hire license.
Uber has now launched an appeal and is allowed to operate as normal until the conclusion of any appeal process. Uber has and will be in talks with TfL to address the safety issues raised and so the talks have been described as “constructive”.
To find out more about Uber’s troubles read BBC News’ report.
2. IMF DOWNGRADES UK GROWTH FORECAST
The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its forecast due to growing concerns about the economic impact of Brexit. The IMF has reduced its predicting to a 1.7% in 2017 an 1.5% in 2018 despite predictions of 2% for 2017 in April. It predicts that the fall in the value of the pound will continue to hit consumer spending over the coming months and is likely to have a profound impact on the wider economy.
One of the key reason for this downgrade however, was uncertainty. The UK’s future is highly uncertain as it is contigent upon the outcome of Brexit negotiations. This uncertainty was somewhat exacerbated during the week by Theresa May’s announcement that the government was planning for the eventually that the Brexit negotiations with the EU would fail and the UK would leave the EU without a deal.
The news of the downgrade will come much to the dismay of the government who have been plagued with infighting and mounting pressure over the lack of clarity of their post-Brexit vision for Britain. For more on the IMF’s outlook read the Independent’s report.
3. BAE SYSTEMS CUTS 2000 JOBS
BAE Systems has announced that it will be cutting up to 2000 UK jobs. BAE produces a number of a different aircraft , most notably, Typhoon fighter jets. A large proportion of their aircraft jets are purchased by a number of governments across the world. Orders have slowed down in recent months prompting the company to take action.
Roughly 1400 jobs will be cut in England across their air and information business. A further 340 maritime jobs will be cut and 400 will be lost at RAF bases.
Read BBC News’ analysis for more information on BAE Systems.
4. JUST EAT MERGER GETS PROVISIONAL APPROVAL
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given the all clear to the proposed merger between Just Eat and Hungryhouse. The two food takeaway services are planning a £200 million merger but the CMA announced in May that it would be investigating the competition.
The CMA found that it would distort competition because Hungryhouse was not a large enough competitor for the merger to create a monopoly in market. This decision was provisional and a final decision will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Read Sky News’ report for more information.
5. INVESTMENT BANKS FINANCIAL FIGURES
JP Morgan and Citi Bank’s balance sheets both shrugged off natural disasters and notable downturns in the bond markets. The vast majority of investment banks have seen a significant decline in fixed income trading revenues and both Cit and JP Morgan were not spared. Revenue from fixed income trading at Citigroup example fell by 16%. Despite these slumps however, overall were were much stronger. Profits at JP Morgan were up 7% to £5.1 billion while Citigroup posted profits of £3.1 billion.
Both banks however suffered hundreds of millions of dollars worth of losses resulting from the recent natural disasters in the Americas and Caribbean’s. Read BBC News’ report for more information. JP Morgan has also announced that it may be moving up to 60 jobs out of the UK to Paris depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations. (Bloomberg)
6. SKY POSTS STRONG PROFITS
Sky posted strong revenue growth after it was helped by increased sales in its pay channels. Revenues grew by 5% to £3.3 billion while the number of pay channel users grew 10%. The company has been aided by the ever-growing popularity of Game of Thrones as it became the most watched series ever on Sky.
This news comes as Fox faces a competition probe as it seeks to complete its £12 billion acquistion of Sky. The Competition and Markets Authority must report its findings within the next six months.
Read the Independent’s report for more information.
7. EQUIFAX HACK AFFECTS OVER 600,000 UK CUSTOMERS
It has been revealed that 694,000 UK customers’ personal data was affected by the Equifax data hack. Between May and July 2017 hackers accessed details such as phone numbers, birthdays and email addresses from the credit rating company. Over 14 million UK customers’ data had been affected but the vast majority of these were only names and dates of births.
Equifax had previously denied that UK customer data had been affected. Their investigation is now complete and revealed that in total, hackers stole the data of 146 million Americans and 8000 Canadians.
Read BBC News’ report for more information.
8. CO-OP OFFERS £140 MILLION FOR NISA
The Co-operative has offered to buy Nisa stores for a total over £143 million. The offer comprises of a £137.5 million for the shareholding with an additional £5.5 million in other costs. The deal will also grant Nisa stores access to Co-op products and allow stores to become Co-op franchisees.
Nisa’s shareholders will vote on whether to accept the offer or not in November. For more details on the deal itself, read City A.M’s report.
This news comes after Sainsbury’s halted its own acquisition attempt of Nisa after concerns that competition laws could prevent the deal. Tesco’s planned £3.7 billion acquisition of Booker came under significant scrutiny and is still being examined by regulators and this prompted Sainsbury’s to halt their own plans to see the outcome of this investigation. Many wholesalers have come against the merger, telling the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that the deal must be blocked. The Retail Gazette looks closer at these concerns.
9. BURTONS & FOXS ENTER MERGER TALKS
Two giants in the biscuit industry are in talks for a merger. Burton’s, which produces Maryland Cookies and Jammie Dodgers have entered talks with Fox’s Biscuits with potential to take the combined company public soon after the merger. The combined companies would be worth an estimated £400 million and would be the UK’s 2nd largest sweet biscuit company.
With rising commodity costs and more companies resorting to “shrinkflation”, mergers and acquisitions within the confectionary industry are likely to become an increasingly common trend.
Read Sky News’ report for more about the potential merger.
10. AMAZON TO CREATE 1200 JOBS IN BOLTON
Amazon has announced that it will be hiring 1200 full time employees in Bolton next year. It will be opening a fulfilment centre where a variety of roles will be created ranging from human resources to engineering and IT specialist roles.
Amazon currently has over 3500 jobs based in the north east. In the past 7 years they have invested over £6 billion in the UK and their plans for expansion show no signs of slowing down.
To find out more about Amazon’s UK expansion read the Independent’s report.