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eSports continues to grow in popularity: However challenges like match-fixing amplify the need for more regulatory bodies

MarketLine

eSports has grown at an impressive pace in recent years, and this rise has attracted the interest of globally recognized sponsors and sporting clubs. As the speed of internet has increased as have broadband connectivity levels, and the ease of playing games online has substantially increased. Sensing this opportunity brands like Intel and Red Bull as well as sporting clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and the Philadelphia 76ers have entered eSports as sponsors. However as the popularity of eSports has increased, so have the challenges it faces. One notable example is… Read more

Tata-ThyssenKrupp merger: Deal will have short-term impact but doubts remain over long term

MarketLine

The merger of the European steel making section of Tata and German based ThyssenKrupp will likely have useful short-term impacts upon European production, but the benefits heading into the long-term future are less clear. Soon to be the second largest steel maker in Europe, the combined company will have sufficient bulk to compete much better with Chinese producers who are under pressure from the central government to consolidate. Chances are the new company will gain substantial efficiencies and improve product quality beyond other major rivals, but this only solves some… Read more

Ginkgo Bioworks: Quest to disrupt the biotech space

MarketLine

Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based DNA writer and designer company, launched in 2008, is already one of the largest DNA writers in the world. It is expected to make over $20m in revenue in 2017. Ginkgo’s success is based on an innovative technology that uses yeast as a base to make all kinds of substances, including perfumes, cosmetics and sweeteners, from microbugs. This technology can be used across a whole host of consumer and industrial products, enabling customers to grow rather than manufacture better products. The company is currently working on… Read more

Puerto Rico Reform: Doomed before Hurricane Maria even struck, but plans to bring back prosperity begin

MarketLine

On the evening of September 16 2017, Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria. With a huge economic downturn over the last decade and a $70bn debt bill from the US, this has added greatly to the Puerto Rico’s current problems. President Trump has spoken clearly about the debt problem and has shown little empathy to the US territory. The damaged infrastructure on the island has attracted  commercial interest from the likes of Google and Tesla, with companies like these speaking about plans to help  Puerto Rico reform. The Puerto… Read more

Norwegian: The low cost airline with ambitions to fly long haul

MarketLine

Norwegian Air is a no frills fly service that is looking to shake up the long haul industry. For a number of years the rapidly growing budget airline players have been considering moving into this sector but technical problems, regulatory issues and competitors have got in their way. Norwegian Air however, has found a way and now offers a number of routes from Europe across the Atlantic using the new breed of efficient yet smaller airplanes from Boeing and Airbus. However, this transition is not without issues and availability of… Read more

Toshiba NAND business sold: Business must reform or risk becoming a ‘zombie’ company

MarketLine

Now the immediate future of Toshiba has been secured through the $18bn sale of the NAND business, the company must scale down operations to become sufficiently nimble and competitive enough to become prosperous again. With all the large profitable sections sold or bankrupt, Toshiba now mainly exists as a collection of firms which are low-growth and unlikely to yield consistent profits. To solve this problem the company must sell or close the worst performers and use any funds raised to help the company expand again. If this course of action… Read more

Monarch Airlines: Management not to blame for collapse of UK’s longest-serving airline

MarketLine

In the early hours of Monday October 2, 2017, KPMG announced that it had entered the office of Monarch Airlines and the company had officially entered administration. In the following hours the Civil Aviation Authority chartered 30 planes from across Europe to repatriate some 110,000 British citizens and customers who were then stranded abroad with no return flights. Cancellations of every flight from October 2 and onwards have affected some 300,000 bookings and likely close to a million individuals, and Monarch’s departure from the short-haul flight market will almost certainly… Read more

INEOS Automotive: Chemical giant stepping into the automotive manufacturing space

MarketLine

INEOS is a private multinational chemical company operating out of the UK, with annual revenues of over $4bn. The company grabbed headlines in 2016 when it announced a serious intention to find some way to continue to produce the iconic British vehicle, the Land Rover Defender. Land Rover had announced the winding down of the long running Defender, citing emissions regulations and the old design of the vehicle as the primary reason and is widely expected to announce a new version of the vehicle in the coming years. However, INEOS… Read more

Siemens Alstom merger: Deal necessary to compete against China state-backed CRRC

MarketLine

The merger between Siemens and Alstom will create a company able to compete against the largest train companies in the world. Previous talks between Siemens and Canada based Bombardier failed but showed the mood in the market was towards consolidation. A merger between two leading European companies is necessary if Europe is to remain relevant. The Chinese CRRC is armed with massive resources and is pressing ahead with highly advanced technology. The importance of the ability of Europe to compete was underlined by the decision of the French government sold… Read more

Boeing vs. Bombardier: Tariffs justified as Bombardier receives state aid

MarketLine

In September 2017, the US Department of Commerce announced the preliminary decision to implement import tariffs of approximately 220% on any imports of Bombardier’s C-Series jets into the US. Following a complaint by major competitor Boeing that Bombardier was dumping its jets into the US market as below cost-price, the tariff plan has met with widespread criticism across Canada – where Bombardier is based – and in the UK, where wings are built in a plant in Belfast, currently providing 4,200 jobs. In reality the tariff – which would more… Read more

Beyond the pill: Pharma gets digital push

MarketLine

The global pharmaceutical market was worth $946.1bn in 2016, growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% between 2012 and 2016. Healthy market growth and big margins in the traditional pharma industry are attracting a new generation of startup companies, who are using big data, sensors and artificial intelligence to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered and they are not afraid to compete with the incumbent Big Pharma companies. Emerging digital technologies from the new generation start-ups are reshaping the traditional pharma landscape. By collecting enough data, directly… Read more

Uber: Revoking Uber’s London license prompts consumer backlash

MarketLine

Transport for London is facing accusations that its decision to revoke Uber’s license in the British capital was politically motivated rather than based on safety concerns (concerns on which the capital’s transport regulator partly based its reasoning Uber’s). Uber’s cheap and efficient transport offering is popular worldwide and has been used on a mass scale within all of London’s major areas, including the suburbs and villages that surround it. With the black cab business taking a hard hit since Uber’s formation, the decision is music to their ears and also… Read more

KPMG South Africa involved in “Zuptagate” scandal: Senior staff fired as audits fall “short of the quality expected”

MarketLine

In May 2017, a series of emails were leaked which showed a very close relationship between the Gupta family and the incumbent South African President Jacob Zuma. Opposition parties and civil rights groups claimed that this close relationship had resulted in a whole host of government contracts being given to the Gupta family without the proper procedures being followed. In the midst of this scandal were caught major multinationals like KPMG, McKinsey, Bell Pottinger and SAP. All of them have been associated with the Gupta family’s activities in South Africa… Read more

i9 vs Threadripper: AMD is back in the processor game, launching competitive and keenly priced products

MarketLine

AMD has for a number of years been kicked into the long grass by Intel in producing processors. Whichever way it’s measured, sheer performance, market share, sales figures or reputation, Intel has controlled the desktop and laptop chip processor market. However AMD has been preparing a very significant challenge to fight back. In early 2017 AMD announced the details of its next series of chips and took the market by storm. AMD had found a way to make its chips competitive with the very best Intel chips and even better… Read more

IMAX Corporation Reducing 3D Movie Showings: 3D set to become a niche rather than the norm

MarketLine

The release of Avatar in December 2009 paved the way for an explosion of 3D movies. There was much hype surrounding the release of this movie, with director James Cameron being famous for pushing boundaries in film making technology leading to the 3D version being hotly anticipated. In its opening weekend, 70% of Avatar’s gross came from 3D viewing, leading to numerous successful 3D releases in 2010 including Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland. Despite a rise in the release of 3D movies following Avatar, demand quickly began to… Read more

Melting ice opens up Arctic shipping route for longer periods

MarketLine

As the melting of ice in the Arctic region intensifies due to increased human activity in the Arctic region, the possibility of using the region for marine transportation purposes also increases. Whereas in the past vessels would have to be escorted by heavy ice breakers, the complete disappearance of or reduction in size of ice has resulted in customized transportation vessels that can also act as moderate ice breakers to emerge. These customized vessels require no escort and have been able to cover vast distances in the Arctic region in… Read more

iPhone X: After healthy sales historically, $1,000 price tag does not justify the technological difference over previous generations

MarketLine

Apple was once known for its innovative developments and breakthroughs in the computer and music market. With the release of the iPhone in 2007, it broke records in terms of sales growth for a phone. Year on year growth for the past 10 years has been extremely impressive and this is due to a variety of quality factors associated with Apple’s brand. With strong brand loyalty associated with Apple, customers have become fans and many enjoy upgrading their phones every year seeing as there is a new iPhone released every… Read more

UTC buys Rockwell Collins, hurting Boeing: New company will lead market and make conditions harder for Boeing

MarketLine

Having left the servicing market when the 787 Dreamliner program was created, Boeing announced a return earlier this year. Yet the much vaunted return – advertised as a means to save money in a toughening commercial jet airliner market – is likely to be harmed by the purchase of Rockwell Collins by UTC. The new company formed by the takeover will provide a service no other company is able to match fully. In making very public protests over the $30bn deal, Boeing is attempting to raise the interests of regulators…. Read more

Macron labor law reforms: Overdue changes to French labor laws are much needed victory for business

MarketLine

The envisioned reforms are wide-ranging and are easily the most ambitious set of labor market reforms to have made it this far intact. Previously, all efforts have floundered under the weight of popular protest. Although productivity remains healthy in the domestic economy, business growth has been stymied by bad regulation which deters job creation, especially for small businesses nearing the 50th employee threshold which makes the employer subject to an alarmingly complex and costly set of regulations. Bodies representing small and medium businesses are pleased with the outcome, hailing them… Read more

World’s largest airport under construction in Istanbul

MarketLine

Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, has seen a strong rise in the number of passengers using air travel in recent years. This has been most evident in the case of Ataturk Airport which as the hub of the country’s national airline company Turkish Airlines, has seen its capacity limit pushed to breaking point. With the 2016 terrorist attack at the airport also showing its security vulnerabilities, the city authorities as well as the national government were therefore very keen on building a new airport which could deal with the strong… Read more

Pound depreciation against euro: A short-term undervaluation trend

MarketLine

The ongoing depreciation of the pound against the euro has provoked many analysts to bet on the parity of these two currencies by the end of the year. However, even top financial firms that still advise investors to ride the tide against the pound, admit that they do so based on the prevailing uncertainty bias over Brexit. This bias is manifested through the contradictory perceptions of investors over the performance of the UK economy. Particularly, the rising inflation in the UK over the last six months has led to the… Read more

No longer too big to jail: Imprisoning heir to Samsung can create change in chaebol culture

MarketLine

Efforts to solve problems emanating from corporate governance and culture within massive chaebols have gained fresh impetus from the conviction of Lee Jae-yong for bribery in a corruption scandal which was responsible for the impeachment of President Park earlier this year. For significant change in culture to occur and for forces seeking change to stand a reasonable chance of success, Mr. Lee must remain in prison rather than be subject to the pardons previous prison sentences handed to powerful businessmen have ended in. Pushed by a sizeable chunk of public… Read more

Ezetap Quest to democratize India’s digital payments industry

MarketLine

India has recently been going through a digitalization of almost everything, and this revolution has now reached the traditional banking and finance sectors. As even large banks have realized that using time tested technology means always staying a generation behind, there is now much acceptance and demand in terms of implementing financial startup products and services in the country. Additionally, the recent and largest ever government demonetization caused a cash-crunch, hitting the remote, rural areas most, and left citizens with no choice but to go digital. With nearly 1 billion… Read more

Mega Agriculture: Three huge agriculture acquisitions creating monstrous companies that will control the food supply

MarketLine

Six of the world’s largest agricultural firms, those that control seed patents, produce pesticides and fertilizers and effectively dominate the worlds agricultural output are about to become three. Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Syngenta, Du Pont, Bayer and ChemChina have deals to absorb each other, further consolidating the industry and firming up their strangle hold on farmers and the means of production. Of great concern to regulators and the agriculture industry alike is that the industry is already very much consolidated and with these three mergers the resulting companies will control over… Read more

Takata: Exploding end to a scandalous journey

MarketLine

Takata started out as a textile manufacturer more than 80 years ago and in 1960 expanded into the car parts manufacturing business, riding the wave of industrial expansion in Japan. After teaming up with Honda it became a leader in auto safety systems that also served overseas clients. In the late 80s, the company became the subject of an official investigation due to a reported failure of its seatbelts installed in many Takata-equipped Honda vehicles. The investigation led to the second largest safety recall in US history, affecting 8.9 million… Read more

Gene Editing: Bring your genome home

MarketLine

In recent years, two new genetic technologies have started a scientific and medical revolution. One is the ability to easily decode the information in our genes and it is relatively well known. It began with the development of tests for genetic diseases. They have proven they can be quite successful, leading to a reduction of human suffering. The other, not yet clearly understood by the general public, is the newfound capacity to modify genes at will. New editing tools to create genetically defined human cell lines have come to the… Read more

Foot Locker: Share price slides on disappointing results

MarketLine

On Friday August 18, Foot Locker announced financial results for its second quarter ended July 29 and they were not what the markets had expected. In fact, they were way short of what the markets anticipated and consequently, the company’s share price plunged. There is a suggestion that product may be at least partly to blame and as Foot Locker is reliant on the goods manufactured by the likes of Nike and Under Armour, the news had a detrimental impact on their share prices too. High-priced products that have failed… Read more

Overcrowded Unlicensed Medicines Industry: The NHS wins but smaller wholesalers lose

MarketLine

Unlicensed medicines, medicines which are not licensed in the UK, are becoming more popular. The market is growing due to the increasing demand for medicines which are not available on the NHS. These medicines may be too expensive or not in enough demand to justify bringing them in; the medicines may also not have the correct UK licensing to allow them to be sold in the country. There is also the potential problem with the supply chain which can result in a medicine being taken off the market temporarily and… Read more

The Independent: Independent No More

MarketLine

On March 25, 2010 the failing Independent newspaper was bought for £1 ($1.30) by the Russian Lebedev family. Since then, father-and-son team Alexander and Evgeny have invested over $140m and the newspaper – now an online-only publication – has been revitalized while maintaining its traditional pro-free speech, left-wing approach to reporting. The recent politicization of young people in the UK – driven by their defeat in the EU membership referendum when young people voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining a member – is one of the driving forces behind the… Read more

Rapid growth in Asia-Pacific organic food market set to change global market shares

The global market in organic food expanded between 2012 and 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9%, and is forecast to accelerate to a value of $187.6 billion by 2021, representing a CAGR of 13.8%, according to research firm MarketLine. The company’s latest report states that the US will remain the largest single market, rising from $44.9 billion in 2016 to $63.4 billion by 2021 at a CAGR of 7.1%, underlining the country’s pivotal role in driving global growth. Christopher Leyman-Nicholls, Analyst for MarketLine, says: “Although the… Read more