The week’s news included; GameStop shares enjoy short lived frenzy, Towie and Love Island stars charged for unauthorised investment promotion, Graduates see job offers pulled due to new UK visa rules.

Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our X page, Facebook page, TikTok page and Instagram 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: 

  • City A.M. – Here’s how to get Gen Z interested in their pensions
  • BBC News – Is China’s bubble tea bubble about to burst?
  • Forbes – ChatGPT-4o Is Wildly Capable, But It Could Be A Privacy Nightmare
  • City A.M. – Starmer’s labour market reforms will put people out of work

1. GAMESTOP FRENZY

Video game shop GameStop saw its share price soar last week. GameStop shares breached $30, rising 70% in one day. GameStop is no stranger to frenzies and it appears another frenzy began but it was short lived. The retailer was on the brink of collapse in 2021 and Wall Street investment firms were shorting the stock expecting its collapse. Independent investors on Reddit then piled into the stock, causing the share price to hit $70 (see previous top 10). This was one of the first memestocks. Memestocks are stocks which experience large investment from individual investors who are following social media trends. The main account behind the 2021 frenzy, “Roaring Kitty” had not tweeted since 2021. Last week however, the account posted a drawing of a man leaning forward in a chair, as if ready to get up. Investors took this as a call to action and began pouring funds in GameStop stock. Last week’s frenzy saw GameStop record its highest share price since 2022. By the end of the week however, GameStop’s share price fell  70% from the week’s high showing the fragility of memestock investments. 

2. OPEN AI UNVEILS CHATGPT UPGRADE

OpenAI has unveiled its new ChatGPT AI chatbot system and has introduced major upgrades. ChatGPT-4o can translate languages in real time, and can analyse live images and provide feedback. It can also identify emotions. It can also have real time conversations with the user in a lifelike conversational tone. ChatGPT can even make jokes within conversation without any prompting. While there are still some bugs and glitches it makes a significant step forward in consumer AI technology. This is one of the most advanced chatbots on the market. ChatGPT-4o will be available to all users, including those with free accounts. 

OpenAI also struck a deal with social media site Reddit last week. Under the deal, OpenAI will get access to Reddit content, while Reddit will receive new AI-powered features for its platform.

Google also unveiled its own latest chatbot, Google IO. Google demonstrated that its tool also possesses the same capabilities as ChatGPT-4o. With AI tools becoming increasingly accessible, whether Google can retain a dominant position in the search space remains to be seen. 

3. BIDEN HIKES TARIFFS ON CHINESE GOODS 

Joe Biden has officially unveiled hikes in US tariffs on Chinese green imports. Products such as electric vehicles, batteries and solar panels from China will face these increased tariffs. Roughly $18 billion worth of imports will be affected. From later this year, electric vehicles will see tariffs increase from 25% to 100%. Solar cells will face a 50% tariff while tariffs on lithium, steel and aluminium products will triple from 7.5% to 25%. Rubber medical and surgical gloves will also see a rise in tariffs from 7.5% to 25% in 2026.

Biden has said the measures are essential to protect domestic industries and supply. He also wanted to prevent China from dominating the market by flooding the US with cheap goods. China has criticised the move but US business owners have also said this will force them to raise prices for consumers. 

4. ROYAL MAIL TO BE BOUGHT FOR £3.5BN

Royal Mail is set to be bought for £3.5 billion by current shareholder Daniel Kretinsky. Kretinsky is a Czech billionaire who currently owns 27.6% of Royal Mail’s parent, International Distribution Services (IDS). He offered IDS 370p per share for the stake he does not currently own. Kretinsky has already agreed to key conditions such as keeping the headquarters in the UK and maintaining six-day-a-week first class letter deliveries. Given the critical public service that Royal Mail provides, these contractual commitments are key for the deal to go ahead. There are however, significant regulatory hurdles ahead. Royal Mail has been struggling financially for years primarily because letter volumes have declined. It is hoped fresh ownership can turn its fortunes around.

5. FINFLUENCERS CHARGED BY FCA

Social media influencers have been charged by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for promoting unauthorised investments. Eight influencers have been named including former Towie and Love Island stars. The individuals were allegedly paid to promote contracts for difference (CFDs), a high risk investment. The influencers collectively have 4.5 million followers but 80% of customers who invested in the CFDs lost money. Love Island’s Biggs Chris, Jamie Clayton and Rebecca Gormley are all accused of breaking financial services law. Towie’s Lauren Goodger and Yazmin Oukhellou along with Geordie Shore’s Scott Timlin are also accused. Emmanuel Nwanze and Holly Thompson are the alleged ring leaders and ran a FX trading scheme. Companies and individuals need authorisation and must provide proper risk warnings before promoting investments like CFDs. They now will appear in court and could face up to two years in prison if found guilty. This forms part of a wider crackdown on finfluencers amid growing numbers of investors who seek investment advice on social media. 

6. CHRISTIE’S CYBER ATTACK 

Luxury auction house Christie’s has been hit by a cyber attack. The auction house is famous for its high value items on offer such as rare artwork, watches and wines. It’s most expensive item ever sold was Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi which the Saudi Arabian government bought for $450 million. Last week however, the website was taken offline and bidders were unable to see items. Although bids could still be placed via telephone or in person, this still marks a notable breach. An alternative website was set up to allow bidders to view items. Christie’s says it has procedures in place to manage such incidents hence why its auctions were still able to go ahead despite the cyberattack. 

7. EPIC GAMES RECEIVES €1M DUTCH FINE 

Epic Games has been hit with a €1.125 million fine in the Netherlands. The maker of Fortnite is accused of targeting children using unfair commercial practices. The design choices in Fortnite’s online shop were found to be exploitative by the Dutch regulator. Phrases such as “get it now” or “buy now” along with countdown timers on items which remain available after the countdown were deemed “illegal” and “aggressive” in the context. The regulator felt Fortnite was unlawfully exploiting fear of missing out and putting pressure on children to buy products. Fortnite has until 10 June to address the findings. 

8. ANGLO-AMERICAN SELLING OFF DE BEERS

Mining giant Anglo-American is splitting up its business and selling off its iconic De Beers diamond and platinum operations. This follows the company’s decision to reject a £34 billion bid from major rival BHP. The offer was deemed inadequate and would have faced significant regulatory hurdles. Now, Anglo-American will focus on its core businesses of copper and iron ore. De Beers will be sold or demerged from the main business.

De Beers, founded by imperialist Cecil Rhodes, essentially created the diamond market as we know it. The company stockpiled diamonds and limited the market supply, setting an expensive price. In the 1930’s, De Beers then launched one of the most successful ad campaigns of all-time. It told women to expect a diamond ring from their husbands-to-be, worth at least two month’s salary. The more expensive the diamond, the greater their love. Thus the modern diamond industry was born and diamonds have maintained a high price since. 

9. NEW VISA RULES SEE GRADUATE OFFERS PULLED

Major UK employers are pulling their job offers for foreign graduates from UK universities due to new immigration rules. The government set new rules that require skilled workers under 26 be paid £38,700 to be allowed to remain in the country. Firms are unable to provide sponsored visas if this is not met. Given that the salaries for many roles do not meet that threshold, large employers are retracting their offers. This acutely affects foreign graduates who secured jobs outside of London. HSBC, Deloitte and KPMG have all recently taken such action. Deloitte had reportedly pulled 35 offers. Collectively they recruit over 2000 graduates each year. 

10. AMAZON AND MICROSOFT ANNOUNCE FRANCE INVESTMENTS

Amazon and Microsoft are ploughing fresh investment into France with both developing their data centres. Microsoft will invest €4 billion while Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) will invest €1.2 billion. France held its Choose France Summit which is designed to draw in foreign investment and the charm offensive has been successful. Microsoft’s investment will see a new data centre built and the development of the AI and cloud computing infrastructure in France. Similarly, Amazon’s investment will boost its cloud computing and AI infrastructure. Parcel delivery systems will also be upgraded.