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Subaru: Company is growing well in the US but declining heavily in Europe

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Some strange things are happening at Subaru Corp. The company famous for its boxer engines and all wheel drive vehicles is making excellent progress in the US market, but is declining in Europe, revealing the big differences between the two automotive markets and their expectations of vehicles. For Subaru though it appears to have damaged the company’s confidence in the European market and now it’s range is reduced and cautious for fear of wasting time trying to convince an audience that is not receptive to its products anymore. But really… Read more

Saudi Arabia – Wind of change in the desert kingdom will create new business opportunities

MarketLine

Saudi Arabia has for decades been one of the world’s most culturally austere and restrictive countries, not allowing gender mixing, concerts, and cinemas, amongst others. However, the government’s Vision 2030 reform program is set to return the country to a more moderate Islam, diversify the economy and reduce the country’s dependence on oil by growing sectors like entertainment, arts, tourism and culture. This liberalizing reform drive has already opened the door to concerts, comedy shows and women drivers over the past year. From June 2018 women will be allowed to… Read more

UK holidaymakers abroad: Independent holidays are taking on package holidays

MarketLine

The number of UK travelers abroad has been growing strongly in recent years, above 3% year-on-year since 2014. The steadily growing number of tourists abroad in the last two years seems even more remarkable given the fact that the value of the British Pound, which is a determinant of the cost of a holiday abroad, has fallen dramatically in that period. However, there is a new trend hidden behind this paradox; package holidays are not the main option for UK tourists abroad who now seek greater value on the tailored… Read more

Trillion dollar companies: Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet all in contention to be the first

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For many years analysts have been considering which companies might actually reach the staggering level of a trillion-dollar market capitalization company. Over the last decade the leaderboards have seen change with the big oil companies dropping out of contention for the top spots and instead the big tech giants working their way up to the top along with the entrance of new Chinese companies and global banks. These companies have new freedoms, such as being able to avoid having to post profit in favor of extreme growth. Of the top… Read more

Australian bookmakers under pressure as new legislation hits hard

MarketLine

Online gambling is incredibly popular in Australia with around 80% of Australians gambling at least once a year. Adults in Australia gamble more per capita than any other nation in the world, an average of $976.50 per adult. That is 40% higher than Singapore, the runner-up, and around double the average in other Western countries. The existing loopholes in the gambling law created a gray area allowing almost every form of online gambling. This has attracted many of the world’s top online gambling sites, as well as illegal operators to… Read more

Twitch & YouTube: Amazon and Google fight over gamers, but the former has the better business model

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The battle for the increasingly lucrative media format of gaming livestreaming is warming up. Enormously popular with millennials and generation Z, gaming livestreams have gone from a niche genre to the mainstream with the industry’s biggest stars taking millions of dollar a year and featuring in mainstream media. The king of this domain has for some time been Twitch, a gaming specific livestream platform that can host clips and videos but whose primary focus is nurturing its community of content creators and viewer base. YouTube has stepped into this arena… Read more

Consumer credit is unsustainable – Tough times lie ahead for retail and services in the UK

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There has been a boom in consumer credit in recent years, which has supported consumption as wages have been subdued and inflation has been rising. Although it may seem paradoxical, households in the UK have being increasing their consumption as their real income has been shrinking. Consumer credit has recorded the highest (double-digit) growth rates since the financial crisis of 2008, amid high consumer confidence and a low interest rate environment. Under these terms, the retail and services sector that have grown based on this credit spree are vulnerable in… Read more

Chinese regulator takes over Anbang: Massive insurer made example of in wider effort to keep money at home

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President Xi Jinping has plenty of motivation to take action on Anbang Insurance Group. Not only had the company come to symbolize debt-ridden conglomerates through a series of lavish overseas purchases, but the speed at which the company had expanded raised concerns as to the wider impact failure could have. So far it would appear policy revisions have been successful in halting the flow of money out of the country. The messages many businesses in China will have deduced very swiftly is the President, now rated among the most powerful… Read more

Jaguar I-Pace: Finally an electric vehicle that can truly compete with Tesla

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In early 2017 Jaguar Land Rover made the announcement that from 2020 it would only be building hybrid and electric drivetrains for its vehicles. A number of other significant companies have followed suit and made similar commitments and a race to market has begun. Whilst budget EVs and Hybrids have been around for some time, the real prize for the premium vehicle manufacturers was finding a way to catch up with Tesla, matching the sort of staggering performance, unrivalled range and attractive design with a similar or better product. So… Read more

The world’s first plastic-free aisle: A key moment in the war against plastic pollution

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The stark reality of the damaging nature of plastic packaging has become increasingly evident in recent years, which has placed pressure on the global community to take action. Supermarkets in particular are guilty of using layer upon layer of plastic to package perishable food items, which over time has caused irreversible damage to the environment. The introduction of Ekoplaza’s plastic-free aisle is a landmark moment in a fight against plastic pollution, showcasing to the world that the concept is possible, scalable and well received. The move to launch the world’s… Read more

Vero: 3 reasons why it won’t replace Instagram

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In recent years Instagram users have become increasingly irritated with a number of features of the application. The huge amount of advertisements and changes to the algorithm that Instagram uses to order content, has meant that posts are not featured in chronological order, which has proved to be unpopular amongst the majority of users. Social app Vero appears to answer the demands of users and has been described as ‘the new Instagram’, however in reality it is likely that this is not the case and Instagram will remain a staple… Read more

UK sugar tax – Attempts to curb rising levels of obesity

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The UK is the most obese country in Western Europe, and the sixth most obese country in the world. Around 26.9% of the British population has a body mass index of 30 and above, according to the OECD report and the cost of treating ill health caused by obesity and related issues is rising fast, threatening the NHS budget. The government, long criticized for taking no action to tackle this issue, decided to introduce a Soft Drinks Industry Levy, in the hope that the increased cost will stop people from… Read more

Saudi Arabia and Russia oil alliance: Desert kingdom requires Russian co-operation to solve economic problems

MarketLine

Petrostates have historically been wasteful in regard to spending the wealth generated by large-scale fossil fuel extraction. The desert kingdom of Saudi Arabia is no different, spending vast sums on subsidizing fuel and extensive social programs; most of the workforce is employed by the state, funded by oil. Now the country is undergoing significant reform to correct economic imbalances and diversify the economy. The Aramco IPO is driving Saudi Arabian policy, which in turn is likely to be directing the nature of OPEC policy. Oil futures for March 2019 are… Read more

Tablet market decline continues: Strong demand for substitutes and low innovation resulting in falling sales

MarketLine

The tablet market has undergone consecutive years of decline in recent years, and the market is expected to continue declining in the coming years as well. This has put intense pressure on players operating in this market, and many such as Dell and HTC have decided to pull out. Overall the market is dominated by Apple, Samsung and Amazon. Several reasons have been given to explain why the tablets market after such a promising start has succumbed to this pattern of decline. An important reason is the way in which… Read more

Nissan $9.5bn China investment: Scale of spending required to stay relevant in world’s largest car market

MarketLine

Whilst Nissan is not regarded as being a member of the top-tier car manufacturers – the likes of Volkswagen Group and Mercedes Benz are much larger – that has not stopped the company from pumping $9.5bn into car manufacturing in China. Such investments are now essential, particularly for the less popular global brands. The move represents significant ambition from the Japanese car maker: Toyota, recently the second largest player in the Chinese market, is declining in China and an opportunity exists for Nissan to climb up the hierarchy. Large investments… Read more

Amazon’s latest financials: Growth potential lies in advertising and web services

MarketLine

Amazon’s latest financials have once again demonstrated exponential growth, as the company continued to increase its advantage over its rivals in the online retail sector. The largest part of its revenues may come from these retail operations, but profitability and growth potential lies in other “overlooked” income streams, such as the web-based services and advertising. This becomes obvious form the fact that Amazon continued to incur operating losses from its retail business, which are the price paid for the growth of revenue. Moreover, these losses mainly come from emerging markets,… Read more

Daniel Wellington: The fastest growing private European company in 2017

MarketLine

Daniel Wellington is a Swedish watch making company that has been placed at the top of the “Fastest Growing European Companies” list. Started by Filip Tysander in 2011 using his own money, the company has since witnessed impressive growth thanks to a very successful social media marketing strategy campaign. Rather than engaging in traditional marketing in a rather congested market where giants like Rolex and Tag Heuer exist, Daniel Wellington instead has sought to utilize the power of social media in order to boost its brand awareness. It has done… Read more

Post-Christmas Results: Discounters achieve massive sales growth over the festive period compared to last year

MarketLine

December is the most prolific season in the UK and in many other areas worldwide for retailers and consumers and this is demonstrated by shopping behavior during this time. Retailers are in the process of revealing their Christmas sales over a period where we can compare results to last year, and understand why certain areas have achieved, and why some others have not. For Christmas 2017, discounters have enjoyed great growth, despite consumer spending remaining weak overall. Department stores and luxury food retailers on the other hand, have experienced the… Read more

UK Rail Service: Fed up consumers overwhelmingly back train re-nationalization after another price hike

MarketLine

In the first week of 2018, UK rail passengers were made aware of another price hike that hit both season tickets and single ticket fares. The cost rose by 3.4% on average nationally in a country where fares are already close to the worst in Europe, levels of service equally bad and bailouts of failing operators protecting train companies. This has effectively exacerbated the already low levels of confidence in the crucial public transport service causing users to speculate whether only complete nationalization and restructuring of the service might get… Read more

Honda: Company finally makes a serious move into the electric vehicle market

MarketLine

Falling in line with other manufacturers, Honda has announced its own vision for the electric power train future that it sees on the horizon. At the Frankfurt and Tokyo motor shows two new concept cars were shown off that indicate Honda has decided to conform to the path that many other manufacturers are following, that of the complete adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles. Honda doesn’t expect to drop its conventional engine vehicles entirely; indeed Honda is believed to be the biggest maker of engines in the world, but it… Read more

Chinese ban on waste imports: End to off-shoring dirt

MarketLine

Introduction of the ban on imported solid waste, coming to force in China as of January 1, 2018, means the country will be importing a lot less of foreign waste material, and replacing it with recycled material collected in its own domestic market instead. China’s dominance in manufacturing means that for years it has been the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials. The country’s hunger for plastic, the most difficult waste material to dispose of, has spawned a lucrative industry where plastic waste was purchased from the international market and… Read more

Norway & Drugs: Scandinavian country moves to decriminalize illicit drugs, rest of Europe likely to follow eventually

MarketLine

In a first for Scandinavian countries, but unlikely to be the last, Norway has moved to decriminalize the use of illicit drugs. Whilst this is just the starting point for the process of decriminalization and the government still needs to implement the directives from parliament with coherent public policy, the vote represents the current wind of change. In Europe the move towards decriminalization of illicit drugs is an awkward topic; many different countries view this change as a backwards step and even those countries which have pioneered new ways of… Read more

Toys R Us: Collapse Inevitable as Company Fails to Utilize the Power of the Internet

MarketLine

In recent months, well-established toy retailer Toys R Us has given repeated indications of the state of its finances. In September the US-based parent company announced that it entered into bankruptcy protection proceedings and is planning to close more than ten percent of its US stores in the near future. More recently the UK division made similar announcements, to close nearly a quarter of its stores soon after the New Year. So the recent news that the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), one of the company’s largest creditors in the UK,… Read more

AeroFarms: High-Rise Greens

MarketLine

AeroFarms’ food growing method, called aeroponics, requires no dirt, no sun and needs about 95% less water than traditional farming. It also applies 40% less fertilizer, and no pesticides. The company uses rehabilitated buildings, such as warehouses or old industrial plants, instead of constructing sophisticated massive, modern facilities from scratch, which dramatically reduces the property costs. While about ten years ago, indoor farming was associated with high costs and visions of people in lab coats walking around plants in soil many stories up in the air, the reality today is… Read more

Persimmon: Unjustified Criticism Forces Resignation of Valuable Senior Management

MarketLine

In February 2012 Persimmon, the UK-based homebuilding firm, announced ambitious plans to make dividend payments to investors totaling nearly £2bn ($2.67bn) over a ten year period. Eight months later the company’s Long Term Incentive Plan was approved by the board and shareholders, providing rewards for management pegged to dividend payout amounts. Fast-forward five-and-a-half years and the goal has almost been reached. During that time annual revenues have nearly doubled and the share price has increased by a factor of more than three-and-a-half. In the coming weeks the company’s CEO is… Read more

CRISPR Gene Editing: Now the technology is being used on humans, we can and should change the nature of our species

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CRISPR technology is a simple yet incredibly powerful tool for editing genomes, the fundamental building blocks of any organism. It allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function potentially with no limits or boundaries to what can be done to alter the physical attributes of animals and human beings. The process uses enzymes to cut through sections of DNA allowing new sequences to be added or parts removed. The result is that we can now completely alter genes, therefore the actual structure of an organism itself. Perfected… Read more

YouTube TV expands its presence in the US: Changing consumption patterns reduce demand for cable TV

MarketLine

A major shift is currently underway as an increasing number of consumers switch over from cable/satellite TV to online streaming. 61% of young adults for example today watch TV online, as compared to around 10% of the 50-64 age group. YouTube therefore in April 2017 launched its live online streaming service in five major urban areas in the United States. The service has seemingly been a success as by the end of the year, it has been expanded to more than 80 urban areas across the US. YouTube TV provides… Read more

Qatar Eurofighter Typhoon deal: BAE sale should not distract from harsh reality of lost markets

MarketLine

The decision of the Qatari government to buy 24 Eurofighter jet aircraft built by BAE is useful but should not disguise a stark reality: at present the jet is losing out badly to the French made Rafale, especially in what were formerly highly productive markets in the Arabian Gulf. The danger in placing too much faith, or emphasis, in attempting to turn around sales is that very few nations have the available resources to buy in the numbers BAE would ideally like. The current geopolitical problems in the Gulf suggest… Read more

Bitcoin: Bitcoin to reach a value of $100,000 per coin over the next five years

MarketLine

The term cryptocurrency has become widely spread amongst the investment news world in recent times due to its increasingly fast growth in value. Although the phenomenon began in 2008 with the release of Bitcoin, more and more cryptocurrencies have now established their presence in the market, reaching massive market values already, with thousands of investors purchasing coins on a daily basis. With large growth forecasted by analysts worldwide, regulations in this ‘currency’ market are not to be seen, but the UK treasury is working with the EU to tighten up… Read more

Huawei second bestselling smartphone brand in mid-2017

MarketLine

In June and July 2017, Huawei was found to be the second bestselling smartphone brand globally. Whilst the race to become the top smartphone brand has usually been a two way race between Samsung and Apple, the inclusion of Huawei into this race at least temporarily is indicative of future trends. The company’s fast growth in the most populous parts of the world, namely China and the wider Asia-Pacific region suggests that Huawei is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. The strong growth potential in… Read more