Top 10 Stories of Last Week! 20/11/2017

Egypt suffered one of its deadliest terrorist attacks last week, leaving over 300 people dead. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.
 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.
This week’s news includes; UK Budget 2017, Uber data breach cover up, Brexit Divorce bill increase, JP Morgan’s potential Bitcoin plans and Mitsubishi data scandal.
 
Opinion articles of the week;
  • City A.M asks Was the tax hike on new diesel cars in the Budget a good move?
  • Bloomberg explains all you need to know about the political uncertainty in Germany
  • BBC News asks whether giving property rights to the world’s poor could unlock trillions?
  • Investopedia looks at Why Amazon’s Biggest Threat May Be Wal-Mart
  • Bloomberg claims Britain’s economy is already paying a high price for Brexit

  

1. UK BUDGET 2017

The Chancellor of the Exchequer revealed the Autumn budget on Wednesday. This laid out the government’s economic policy.  Here are some of the key policies;

  •         Stamp duty abolished for first-time buying homes up to £300,000.
  •         An additional £3 billion has been allocated to deal with our departure from the European.
  •         Huge changes to universal credit costing £1.5 billion which includes; scrapping of the week long waiting period for claims, repayment period for advances doubled to 12 months, and more.
  •         Tax-free personal allowance on income tax to be increased to £11,850 by April 2018
  •         Councils are now permitted to charge 100% council tax premium on empty properties.
  •         The government are putting £540 million to support growth and adoption of electric cars

BBC News summarises all the key points.

The Telegraph explores the potential impact of some of Hammond’s plans and what they mean for us.

 2. UBER CONCEALED HUGE CYBER HACK

It has been revealed that Uber covered up a hack that affected 57 million customers. The breach happened in 2016, the former chief Executive was aware of it but chose to conceal it, according to Bloomberg. The names of over half a million drivers names were accessed while the names, emails and phone numbers of 57 million customers were also hacked. The chief security officer quickly resigned when the news broke.

Uber has not revealed the full details of the hack but there is likely to be further investigation. It is also likely that there will be serious repercussions for Uber’s attempt to conceal the breach.

This isn’t the first data breach Uber has suffered a breach of this nature. It was hacked in 2014 and was fine $20,000.

BBC News explores the breach.

3. BREXIT DIVORCE BILL INCREASES

The UK Cabinet has agreed to increase the amount the UK will offer the EU for the Brexit divorce bill. The UK will now offer roughly £40 billion to settle outstanding financial obligations. The settlement figure has been a key sticking point in negotiations. It has prevented the UK from engaging in crucial trade talks as the EU hold that this figure must be agreed before such talks can begin. It is hoped that the EU will now vote to proceed at its next summit in December.

Theresa May has however, revealed that the final divorce bill figure will not be made public, even after we formally leave the EU. This has raised serious concerns that the true figure could far exceed the £40 billion proposed by the government.

Business Insider looks closer at this important issue.

4. UBER VOLVO DRIVERLESS CAR DEAL

Uber has agreed a deal with Volvo to buy 24,000 self driving cars. This is part of Uber’s plans to launch driverless taxis in the coming years. The vehicles will be supplied between 2019 and 2021. These models are estimated to cost roughly $50,000. This is the latest in a string of deals between Uber and Volvo. In 2016, they teamed up to design driverless systems in a $300m deal.

The battle to stay at the forefront of driverless technology is heating up. Many other competitors are increasing investment including Uber’s rival Lyft who teamed up with Alphabet owned Waymo.

.Sky News looks closer at the deal.

5. JP MORGAN’S POTENTIAL BITCOIN PLANS

Very few commentators are more critical of Bitcoin than JP Morgan CEO Dimon. Dimon claims that Bitcoin is “stupid” and “a fraud” and stated he would fire employees who traded it.

Despite this disparagement, it has been revealed that JP Morgan has actually been exploring opportunities in Bitcoin futures market. This came as CME, one of the world’s largest futures exchanges, announced that it would be offering Bitcoin futures. It appears that attitudes are changing and it will be interesting to see how long Dimon’s resistance will last.

Bitcoin’s price has been surging again and surpassed as staggering $9000 on Sunday.

Investopedia looks closer at JP Morgan’s potential plan.

Check out our 2 insight articles for more on Bitcoin, Bitcoin: What You Need To Know and When Will The Bitcoin Bubble Burst?

 6. YO SUSHI ACQUIRES BENTO SUSHI

YO! Sushi has bought Bento Sushi for £59 million. Canada’s Bento Sushi is the second largest in North America and the deal with will see YO!  Sushis acquire 600 branches worldwide.

The merger will create the largest Sushi chain outside of Japan with combined revenues of over £175 million.

(City A.M)  

 7. MITSUBUSHI DATA SCANDAL

Mitsubishi Materials falsified data for products is made and sold to roughly 300 companies. While this did not cover any safety issues, it will serious reputational and possibly legal consequences. They apologised for their action and have committed to improve its quality control to prevent this happening ever again. Shares in Mitsubishi fell by as much as 11% in response to the deal.

3 other major manufacturers, including Subaru and Nissan also admitted that they had manipulated data.

BBC News further explores how the scandal arose.

8. SOMPO INTERNATIONAL BREXIT PLANS

Leading Japanese insurer, Sompo International has revealed its plans to move its European Base to Luxembourg. The measure is ensure it still has a strong European base as the possibility of a hard Brexit becomes more likely.

The insurer has however, maintained its commitment to keeping its current offices in London. Many large players in the insurance and financial sectors have already finalised plans to move their bases and staff after Brexit. Lloyd’s of London has already revealed its plans to move its European base to Dublin and over 100 jobs out to Luxembourg.

Check out City A.M for more on Sompo’s move.

9. CENTRICA PROFITS

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has issued a profit warning. It revealed this after British Gas saw a sharp decline in its numbers of customers. The energy supplier lost 832,000 since June with 150,000 of them leaving in September once it raised its prices. Customers are now savvier than ever and more frequently look for better deals with other suppliers. British Gas still is still the UK’s largest gas & electricity supplier. It boasts 20% & 30% of the market share respectively, with roughly 13 million customers.

Centrica’s shares fell by 15% in response to the news. Worldwide, Centrica has been struggling with operating profits expectation reduced by roughly 60%.

BBC News looks closer at the struggles faced by Centrica.

10. JEFF BEZOS WEALTH HITS $100 BILLION

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos personal net worth has passed $100 billion. Amazon’s share price soared after strong black Friday sales, increasing Bezo’s personal wealth by $2.4 billion. This surge allowed his to pass this extraordinary mark.

Bezo’s overtook Bill Gates earlier this year, seeing over a $30 billion increase in his personal wealth in 2017 alone. Bill Gates’ is worth an estimated $86.8 billion although it is thought that without his enormous personal share sell off and philanthropy he would be worth $150 billion.

The Independent looks further at the world’s super rich.

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