Investment & Business News Headlines

Profits fall at regional newspaper publisher as online rush continues

The move away from print to online advertising continues to take its toll at Johnston Press. The second biggest publisher of regional newspapers in the UK, with journals such as the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post in its stable, saw profits in the six months to June fall to £79.8 million from £82.2 million in the same period last year.

Revenue was up 18 percent, but only because of the acquisition of the Scotsman. Like for like sales were down 7.5 percent.

The real killer, of course, was the fall in ad revenue....Read More

SEC drops investigation into former Shell chief

It’s hard to believe it was over two years ago now. You may recall, the start of 2004 saw the revelation that Shell had overstated its oil reserves. Bad announcement followed bad announcement, resignations followed, and ultimately the crisis claimed the head of chairman, Sir Philip Watts. Before the dust...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2006

The world in 2050

We have been staring into our crystal ball, or to be more precise, PricewaterhouseCoopers have been getting their slide rules out to predict what the global economy will be like in 2050. The conclusions: over the next 45 years India will be the fastest growing economy, and by one measure...Read More

Posted Aug 25, 2006

Million individuals face insolvency

The conclusion of a new report, is so staggering that it
needs time for the true ramifications to sink in. According to debt advisors and solution
providers, Thomas Charles, there are 1.7 million adults in the UK with debt problems,
and no less than one million of them are “quite...Read More

Posted Aug 28, 2006

Mortgage spending soars - healthy consumers, or something else?

According to the latest data from the Bank of England, mortgage borrowing has soared. In fact July saw mortgage borrowing leap by £9.79 billion. That’s the biggest monthly rise for three years.

So does that complement the findings of the CBI in the retail sector, and show the British consumer...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2006

Personal debt or personal wealth: which one is it?

How can you reconcile these two pieces of information? The number of individual insolvencies has soared, more than doubling over the last two years, and yet average disposable wealth is rising rapidly too, (although admittedly not quite as fast as debt) seeing a 7% jump in the...Read More

Posted Aug 28, 2006

Commentators count the cost of terror alert

Here’s a good variation on an old joke:” I used to be an economist, now I just can’t make up my mind.”

Those two rivals of the Sunday Broadsheet world, the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph both chose to run articles on the cost of last week’s security alert. Here’s...Read More

Posted Aug 14, 2006

UK plc needs more Einsteins and less shopping

scienceWhen, in 1988, the Government made it compulsory to study Science to GCSE level, it was assumed this would lead to an increase in the number of Britain’s scientists. And yet, 18 years on, the shortage of scientists in the UK is creating a crisis that could...Read More

Posted Aug 14, 2006

Company warnings surge

So the rate of interest is up, and will probably continue to rise. Now news in from KPMG has found that just as conditions are about to get tougher, they are already pretty bad anyway.
In a new report, KPMG, with figures compiled by Mandis Information Services Ltd,...Read More

Posted Aug 11, 2006

The young move away from TV

Wireless is such an old fashioned word. It brings back memories of a British family huddled around a device in the living room, listening to BBC Light, before the TV became the mass medium it is today.

Quite ironic then, that wireless today is associated with the future, wireless broadband,...Read More

Posted Aug 11, 2006

Markets settle, as relief sets in

It was like a mass sell off for a while yesterday, with the FTSE rapidly falling by 100 points. But if there is a terror premium built into shares, and a terrorism plot has been thwarted, you would, if anything, expect shares to move the other way, and eventually,...Read More

Posted Aug 11, 2006

Fed dissenter explains hawk posture

Stateside, the debate over whether the Fed has permanently put interest rate rise on hold, or has merely paused for breath, rages on.

When the minutes of the last meeting, in which the Fed chose to end the run of upping rates for 17 successive meetings, were unveiled, there was one...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2006

House prices: are they in danger from Bank of Japan move?

And so the butterfly flapped its wings and set off a chain of events that would affect the weather on the other side of the globe. The butterfly effect is the idea that in a system a small localised change results in an unpredictable and disproportionate disturbance across the entire...Read More

Posted Aug 24, 2006

The gap between the rich and poor is shrinking

They criticize Gordon Brown for making things complicated. Means testing is held out as an example of a measure that costs too much to administer – or so some say, and the flat taxation brigade site these costs of administration as one of the big benefits of imposing a one...Read More

Posted Aug 28, 2006

Is the retail boom back on?

The High street posted its best year on year growth since December 2004 in the 12 months to August, said the CBI yesterday. Maybe, at last, the High Street slowdown is well and truly over.

Every month the CBI asks its retail members whether sales are up or down....Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2006

Lack of Competition amongst the auditors: it’s all PWC’s fault says rival

Last week we told how the Association of British Insurers thinks we need more competition amongst our auditors. The big four, that’s Deloitte Touche, Ernst Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit the accounts of 97 percent of all FTSE 350 companies, and the ABI said :“There...Read More

Posted Aug 14, 2006

Oil set to pass $80

Maybe it’s the calm before the storm – literally. The price of oil has fallen over the weekend. It’s now $4 a barrel down on the prices seen in the middle of last week, but economists fear a new surge with black gold breaching the $80 level and hitting new...Read More

Posted Aug 14, 2006

Apple is no fashion accessory

Above we told how the 16 to 24s are listening to less radio – perhaps the iPod generation are listening to their downloaded music files instead. Now the BEEB is working on an idea for turning MP3 players into digital radios. Apparently it’s in talks with a major player...Read More

Posted Aug 11, 2006

Inflation set to soar?

From up high the hawk looks down upon the poor unsuspecting doves, preparing to swoop down, and ruffle a lot more than just feathers. Yesterday, the Bank of England governor Mervyn King sounded like an arch hawk, as he said we are “ready to take whatever action” is necessary to...Read More

Posted Aug 10, 2006

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