Investment & Business News Headlines

HMV confirms bid

Imagine a dog chasing a cat chasing a mouse. The latest takeover talk reminds us of that scenario, not that the company at the bottom of the chain is a mouse, in fact we rather like Ottakar’s.

Yesterday, HMV confirmed it has received a bid. The rumour mill was grinding away long before the HMV announcement, and it seems certain the suitor is private equity group Permira.

HMV is facing challenging times. It faces competition from the supermarkets and electronic music stores such as iTunes. As for its subsidiary,...Read More

Arcelor launches long planned defence for surprise bid

Imagine the scene, you are having a nice lunch with the boss of a rival company, and just in passing, while you are taking a sip of your aperitif, your companion lets it slip that he is thinking of buying you out. “How’s £13bn?” Why, what an affront! It must...Read More

Posted Jan 31, 2006

Blackberry loses right to appeal

Wander around Liverpool Street Station during a busy working day, and you may notice executive looking types immersed in a little gadget they are holding in the palm of their hands. We are of course talking Blackberry, the mobile phone, which has proven so popular, thanks to its ability to...Read More

Posted Jan 24, 2006

02 and Vodafone beat the rap

The two top British mobile phone companies, one the largest in the world, the other soon to be swallowed up by Spain’s Telefónica, were at the opposite ends of press analysis this morning. O2, in its swan song before takeover, posted an impressive set of results. Customer numbers in the...Read More

Posted Jan 24, 2006

Exxon Mobil: biggest corporate profit ever

The record has gone. The largest ever annual corporate profit was made by Exxon Mobil last year.

For much of the year, and frankly, at the tail end of 2004 too, many were saying the high price of oil is just a temporary phenomenon, that there’s a $10 terror premium built...Read More

Posted Jan 31, 2006

Pensions and the risk of doing nothing

Is investing in equities really that risky? Providing your portfolio of investment is sufficiently diverse, it could be argued that in the long term, equity investments are less risky than bonds. The yield from bonds can after all be reduced to next to nothing, after taking into account inflation.

And yet,...Read More

Posted Jan 23, 2006

Crash in sterling is what the UK needs

If you ever had the misfortune to study Economics at A Level you would have been told that the rate of interest going up leads to an improvement in our balance of trade.

And yet, the real world is more complicated than that. A high rate of interest also attracts money...Read More

Posted Jan 23, 2006

US inflation settles at modest level

The US CPI index fell by 0.1% last month, following a 0.6% fall the month before. But there’s no reason to panic about a resurging threat of deflation. Strip out volatile food and energy and the index was up 0.2%.

For the year as a whole, CPI was up...Read More

Posted Jan 19, 2006

New generation of consumer tech products catapults Dixons forward

The good old fashioned cathode ray TV is set to join VHS video recorders, and 35mm film cameras in that great dustbin of history, said John Clare, chief executive of DSG International, the company which owns Dixons, PC World and Currys yesterday.

He was speaking at the unveiling of...Read More

Posted Jan 19, 2006

Auction company’s results: you couldn’t find better on eBay

A year ago, there were signs things were peaking at eBay. Profits and sales were still heading north, but the crucial US and German markets appeared to have levelled out, and shares fell.

A year on, and growth in Germany and the US is accelerating again, net income in its fourth...Read More

Posted Jan 19, 2006

Apple dazzles again

Investors and analysts could be forgiven for using words like golden and delicious yesterday, when describing the latest set of results from Apple.

It really has been an extraordinary few years for the company, and there is a real danger of running out of hyperbole in describing the growth.

A year ago,...Read More

Posted Jan 19, 2006

US consumers spend more than they save - crisis number one for new fed boss

Do you remember the Autumn of 1987? Blightey got hit by a hurricane and the stock market crashed. No doubt Alan Greenspan remembers that time well too. He hadn’t been governor of the US Federal Bank for five minutes when shares went a tumble.

In fact, a change over at the...Read More

Posted Jan 31, 2006

Google and Apple topped the latest poll from brandchannnel for the brand with the most impact, in 2005

Google and Apple topped the latest poll from brandchannnel for the brand with the most impact, in 2005. Surprisingly, Skype, the VoIP company recently bought by eBay, came in at third place, ahead of Starbucks and Ikea.

In Europe Nokia topped the poll, with Ikea in second place and Skype third.

Sony...Read More

Posted Jan 24, 2006

Internet shopping soars again

It will come as no surprise to learn that Internet shopping boomed this Christmas. Anecdotal evidence from the High Street had made this obvious. Even so, the latest statistics from IMRG made startling reading.

In its latest report, IMRG says that in the ten weeks to Christmas shoppers spent...Read More

Posted Jan 23, 2006

UK works harder for less gain

In its recent report, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, in addition to looking at Gordon Brown’s golden rule, uncovered some interesting facts on productivity. And alas, it was bad news for the UK. After giving the UK a score of 100, the report found that productivity in the US per...Read More

Posted Jan 30, 2006

UK set for recovery

According to the latest report from Ernst and Young’s Item Club, the UK is set for recovery. And, just as we outlined above, it’s exports that will lead the way.

The Item club report, published this morning, predicts UK growth picking up to 2.3% this year, not brilliant, but better than...Read More

Posted Jan 23, 2006

AMD grows while Intel stutters

Yesterday we brought news of disappointing figures from Intel. We said some feared AMD was eating into the giant chipmaker’s bottom line. And sure enough, the results from AMD last night appear to back that up. Intel’s smaller rival saw profits of $95.6mn in its latest quarter, from...Read More

Posted Jan 19, 2006

Maverick Japanese entrepreneur get his “come uppance”

Maybe the panic is over. After three days of decline, culminating in an Enron style corporate scandal, shares in Japan jumped 2.3% yesterday, alleviating fears of meltdown.

Panic hit crescendo the night before last, when in the full glare of the media, Japanese authorities launched a probe into internet company Livedoor....Read More

Posted Jan 19, 2006

Shoppers fasten their purses and wallets

All of a sudden, Britain’s shoppers seemed to have said “enough.” For months there have been signs that retail was seeing a gradual improvement, culminating in a positive Christmas. But since then consumers have been reining back, and according to Footfall, during the week 9 January to 15, the High...Read More

Posted Jan 18, 2006

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