Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

Market bears still waiting for pullback

Category : Business, Stocks

Stocks were flat on Thursday, but this hardly looks like the beginning of a massive market correction.

View post: Market bears still waiting for pullback

Post to Twitter

Discovered in 1863 by Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymus Theodor Richter in Freiberg, Germany:

Category : Stocks

150 Years Later, Indium Is a Highly Sought After and Expensive Metal Used in Touch Pads, Thin Film Solar Cells, Flat Screens and LED Lights

Here is the original post: Discovered in 1863 by Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymus Theodor Richter in Freiberg, Germany:

Post to Twitter

Concerns over women’s pension rights

Category : Business

Concerns have been highlighted to MPs about the rights of many women to a new “simpler” flat-rate state pension.

Here is the original post: Concerns over women’s pension rights

Post to Twitter

New workers hit by pension plans

Category : Business

Plans for a “simple” flat-rate state pension have been unveiled, but many of those entering the workforce now will be worse off than under current rules.

See original here: New workers hit by pension plans

Post to Twitter

New state pension ‘to be simpler’

Category : World News

Details of a flat-rate state pension probably starting in April 2017 and thought to be around the equivalent of £144 today will be announced on Monday.

Follow this link: New state pension ‘to be simpler’

Post to Twitter

AUDIO: What is next for flat screen TVs?

Category : Business, World News

The Today programme’s business presenter Simon Jack investigates the future of the of the flat screen television market.

See original here: AUDIO: What is next for flat screen TVs?

Post to Twitter

Flat-rate pensions plan revealed

Category : Business, World News

Details of the government’s plans to introduce a flat-rate pension by 2017 emerge, ahead of an official announcement next week.

Read the original post: Flat-rate pensions plan revealed

Post to Twitter

Stocks rise for 2nd week in a row

Category : Business

The market finished the week flat even though Wells Fargo reported better-than-expected earnings. Investors are worried the mortgage refinancing boom could be coming to an end, and brace for more earnings next week.

Excerpt from: Stocks rise for 2nd week in a row

Post to Twitter

Festive sales disappoint as UK retailers rue ‘flat end to flat year’

Category : Business

Buoyant online sales fail to mask high street slump after BRC figures show total growth for December failed to beat inflation

The troubled UK high street took a further battering in December, when store sales fell once healthier online sales were stripped out – the first Christmas since 2008 that this has happened.

In what was described by retail analysts as “a flat end to a flat year”, industry figures reveal that sales in the key trading month edged up only 0.3% on a like-for-like basis from December 2011, when they had risen 2.2% on the preceding year despite the challenges of the snowy weather.

Total sales across food and non-food rose by 1.5%, against a 4.1% rise in December 2011. But in-store sales “turned negative” and fell once online sales were stripped out, the British Retail Consortium said.

Online sales shot up by 17.8% – the fastest rate for a year – as shoppers with smartphones and tablets took advantage of more sophisticated websites and increasingly popular “click-and-collect” services.

The closely scrutinised figures are being published by the industry on Tuesday in the British Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for December 2012, based on core data supplied by BRC members, which comprise some 80% of the UK retail sector.

So-called Cyber Monday, the first Monday in December, kickstarted the Christmas trading period, and John Lewis, House of Fraser and Next, the first to provide Christmas trading updates, reported a surge in online sales.

Helen Dickinson, the incoming director general of the BRC, said: “Against the relentlessly tough economic backdrop and low expectations, these results are not a cause for celebration, but not a disaster either. Total growth for December hasn’t beaten inflation and is only on a par with December 2010, when severe weather put sales volumes on ice for much of the month.”

She said online was “the standout performer, showing its highest rate of growth this year. Shoppers are increasingly taking advantage of the convenience that online shopping offers at every stage of the customer journey, from comparing prices to reserving and collecting in-store.”

But despite the sharp growth in internet sales, as a standalone sector, they account for an estimated 10 to 12% of total retail sales, Dickinson pointed out. The timing of Christmas meant that after a “sluggish start” the final few days leading up to 25 December saw a last-minute sales boost. Footfall was disappointingly low, but when people did make shopping trips they bought a lot in one go.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KMPG, said: “A flat end to a flat year is perhaps the best way to describe the Christmas trading for 2012. Despite mild, albeit wet, weather for the whole of the last quarter and an extra full weekend immediately prior to Christmas, the final quarter saw total sales rise only 1.5% on the previous year and like-for-likes rise by only 0.2% – both rises lower than inflation.

“January will be a tough month for retailers as consumers face up to their credit card bills after Christmas, and it’s likely 2013 will bring more of the same challenges. There will be no boom and it is likely more than a few will go bust.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “The focus on eating and drinking over the festive period helped retain the week leading up to Christmas as the biggest of the year, in terms of food and grocery sales. But taken as a whole, December’s performance was relatively flat. Yet again shoppers left it even later than the previous year to do their Christmas grocery shopping, with a strong final two weeks offsetting a slow start to the month.”

The challenging conditions would continue into this year, she added: “Our ShopperVista research shows that over half of shoppers (51%) are aiming to save money on their grocery shopping over the next six months. This figures rises to 67% of families with teenagers.”

Dickinson added: “Retailers will be hoping that a continuing boost from post-Christmas sales events strengthens January’s figures but, unfortunately, there are few signs that their sense of ‘running fast to stand still’ is likely to ease off any time soon.”

Tijuana leads the way as Mexico heads for the big league

Category : Business

City that was once notorious for drug violence is now the world hub for flat-screen television production

Not so long ago it made headlines as the centre of the drug war, a city in which hundreds were slain every year.

Nowadays, Tijuana is earning a reputation for something altogether more productive. It has transformed itself into the world’s premier hub for making flat-screen televisions, and a site for aerospace and medical equipment manufacturing. Expensive bars and restaurants have followed, putting the city at the crest of a wave of optimism about Mexico’s economic future.

“Tijuana is above and ahead of the rest of the country,” says Noé Fuentes, an economist from the College of the Northern Frontier. “We can’t call it a boom, but we are putting conditions in place for what we hope will be a boom later.”

Few made such rosy predictions in Mexico back in 2009, when plummeting exports led the country into one of the worst recessions in the world with GDP shrinking by 6%. Still fewer thought that just three years later international financial experts would be saying the country was on the brink of making the leap into the big economic league that its size and resources have promised for so long.

“You hear it everywhere,” says Mexico City economist Rogelio Ramírez de la O. “Right now we are in a sweet spot, but the challenge is to make it sustainable.”

Part of the enthusiasm comes from markets finding glimmers of hope amid the global gloom in Mexico’s projected fiscal deficit of about 2% this year, with inflation at about 4% and projected growth just under 4%. This follows 3.9% growth in 2011 and 5.5% in 2010.

At the same time Brazil’s status as a darling of the emerging markets is beginning to look like a bubble on the point of bursting, leaving Mexico to fill its place as regional favourite.

The buoyant economy has resulted in stronger consumer confidence, even if the trickle-down effect is still limited. A range of statistics show that over the past 15 years ever more Mexican families have acquired the trappings of middle-class life such as cars, fridges, and washing machines, but about half of the population still lives in poverty and inequality rates are among the worst in the world.

“Oh no, we’re not thinking of buying it,” says Aidee Chaparo as she stares at an LG flat-screen TV in a electronics store with her husband. “We just came to have a look on our day off.” The couple, with their combined monthly income of about £260, nevertheless consider themselves middle class because so many others are worse off.

Flat-screen TVs may be beyond reach for people like the Chaparos, but a surge in demand has been reported for other, more affordable products. “In the last few months we get people coming in here who you can tell aren’t rich and they will blow a lot of money on these beers to show off to their girlfriends,” says David Gómez, who sells expensive speciality craft beers.

Many economists give former president Felipe Calderón, who left office in November, much of the credit for the relative solidity and nascent signs of dynamism which, they say, is rooted in his dedication to fiscal prudence even during the recession. “Fortunately he resisted the sirens’ call to overspend or close the economy,” says Carlos Elizondo of the CIDE thinktank.

Elizondo also stresses that kickstarting the wider modernisation of the internal economy is a far more complex business than merely maintaining that discipline.

There is widespread agreement that generating the kind of jobs that would allow people such as Chaparo to start actually buying, rather than dreaming, requires forcing competition on the monopolies and oligopolies that keep prices for even basic goods and services higher in Mexico than they are in many developed countries. It also is accepted that the atrophied state-owned oil company must be reformed, sub-standard state education improved, corruption tackled and a strategy found to bring drug-related violence under control.

Part of today’s optimism is based on the hope that the new president, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary party, the PRI, is more likely to provide the bold political leadership necessary to do this than Calderón. Aside from his ill-fated offensive against the cartels, the former president was politically timid and almost never adroit.

The new government gained kudos from left and right last week with an education reform proposal that undercuts the power of the teachers’ union leader, Elba Esther Gordillo, who had become a symbol of the way entrenched interests have gained more power in recent years.

Peña Nieto’s ability to construct a honeymoon period – after an election mired in accusations of dirty tricks – is telling. He still faces determined opposition from the more radical left, but his apparent determination to make the most of the opportunity he inherited appears to be convincing even some of those who are uncomfortable with the return to power of the PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000.

“They seem to be pretty serious to me and their authoritarian tendencies may even help them get things done,” says Ramírez de la O, who was once floated as a possible finance minister in the event of a leftwing victory. “I think they have two, maybe three years. But if things aren’t on track by then there will be a real problem of unfulfilled expectations.”