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From GM to PSA: Why the sale of Vauxhall Opel is good for shareholders but bad for workers

MarketLine

US-based General Motors is the world’s third largest automobile manufacturer by sales, and second largest by revenues. French-owned Groupe PSA, which sold nearly 3.2 million vehicles and had revenues of €54bn ($57bn), is a fairly small player in comparison. GM’s ownership and continued management of Vauxhall Opel is at odds with the rest of its portfolio – the company primarily operates in the US and Asia, selling brands including Chevrolet, Buick, Holden and Wuling – while PSA operate Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles primarily out of Europe. The sale of… Read more

Piracy: The social acceptability of theft and its effect on the movie industry

MarketLine

Internet piracy has been around almost as long as the internet itself. Communities exist, consisting of millions of web users, which are dedicated to sourcing, converting and sharing valuable copyrighted material. Some – The Pirate Bay – were the inspiration for political parties. Others – Megaupload – were responsible for accelerating the fortunes of a small group into the billions of dollars. But all major sites have been in the spotlight for a decade, coming and going, constantly switching web hosts from Sweden to Somalia to Costa Rica, managing to… Read more

Toshiba $6.3bn write-down

MarketLine

Originally the board of Toshiba wanted to sell just 19.9% of the semiconductor making business, which was expected to raise $2bn, maybe more. In hanging on to the majority of the business Toshiba would be able to maintain control over the business from which 80% of operating profit is derived. Yet the banks saw the matter differently. Whilst the sale of the majority of the business solves many problems, it creates a fresh set. The more the ‘crown jewels’ of Toshiba are sold off, the harder making a profit becomes…. Read more

Tesco-Booker: The Squeeze on Small Businesses

MarketLine

Tesco, one of the largest retailers in the world, is the most dominant supermarket in the UK market. Its recent announcement to merge with Booker was a surprise to all. Booker occupies a very different area of the market, primarily offering bulk-purchase supply to small retailers, both independent and franchised stores under brands it owns, such as Londis and Budgens. At first glance then, this seems an odd target for Tesco; to merge operations with a company whose target market is so different to its own. Indeed, no one considers… Read more

School Holiday Price Hikes: Families exploited by unfair system

MarketLine

UK holiday companies are renowned for raising prices in school holiday periods. Significantly raising prices during these times allows prices to remain low for the rest of the year. As such, while certain consumers bear the brunt of this with prices rising by as much as 115%, others can reap the benefits. The travel industry in the UK is intensely competitive. The traditional model of a high-street operator selling holidays face-to-face at a heavily marked up price is no longer feasible. The surge of online travel companies offering package holidays… Read more

Sky high golf equipment prices counter-productive

MarketLine

Sales of golf equipment have fallen noticeably in recent years, with the sport’s traditional markets of the US, Europe, and Japan particularly affected. Falling participation levels are driving a fall in equipment sales as people baulk at the price of golf and slow play issues make a sport for which many simply do not have time in a society that demands people spread themselves thinly hard to access. This has impacted manufacturers with TaylorMade-adidas in particular experiencing severe problems. A constant churn of new equipment has led to a need… Read more

Sequencing Quinoa: Food for thought

MarketLine

The pharmaceutical industry has been growing at a strong rate in recent years. One aspect of this market is that of the food supplement. The growing trend especially amongst the older populace and with the hectic lifestyles that are led in developed countries lends support to the supplement industry. The ability of scientists to understand the functions of different genes have assisted in the growth of specific markets and also in the changes to specific plant species. When looking at some of the historic plant species and how they have… Read more

KFC China: New facial recognition software is more offending than ground-breaking

MarketLine

Poor industry performance due to bad food ratings and hygiene issues has been severely damaging for the KFC brand over recent years in China. With a significant share in the Chinese market, KFC’s parent owner Yum! have some important decisions to make in order to build back growth for the franchises once again. It is clear that the technological vanguards are forefront to many industries who wish to make their services more efficient, cost saving and increase its customer satisfaction ratings, while of course keeping consistency across its brand. With… Read more

Nintendo Switch: The Wii U version 2.0

MarketLine

Historically, Nintendo has been the primary supplier of handheld consoles, a tradition it is hoping to carry forward with its new release, the Nintendo Switch, in March 2017. The ideology of Nintendo focuses primarily on its franchises, with Zelda and Mario being two of its best known titles. The Nintendo Switch is up against very fierce competition with mobile gaming, but with the nostalgia value for parents, the Switch is potentially going to profit from this factor and recuperate some of the losses from the Wii U. The advanced technology… Read more

Bernie Ecclestone departs F1

MarketLine

The business model utilized in Formula One under the regime of Bernie Ecclestone and the ownership of CVC served the purpose of making shareholders rich. Yet, this was achieved at the expense of the sport. TV audiences have been in decline for a long time, several teams are struggling to survive, races are leaving traditional areas of support and the fans are unhappy. New owner, Liberty Media, must address these problems if Formula One is to regain impetus and become sustainable for all interested parties in the long term. For… Read more

Nude Makeup: Makeup is the new natural look

MarketLine

Historically, makeup was seen as a thing only used by grownups, however makeup being used by younger demographics is a growing trend. Trends now focus on teaching younger individuals how to use makeup with a recent quote suggesting that ‘nude makeup is the new natural’. Children are now being brought up to believe that makeup is natural and needed in order for them to look good. TV shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras further glamorize the use of makeup on children. Younger individuals using makeup has stimulated the appearance of… Read more

May’s Brexit: Twelve steps to recovery

MarketLine

Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the British population has been going through an uncertain period. In order to help protect the British economy and strengthen businesses following the Brexit talks, Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined a twelve point negotiation plan for the discussions with the EU. The focus of this insight is to look at the potential huge benefits to the British economy following the Brexit talks, with a look at how the talks could also be construed as detrimental and could lead to a divided Britain…. Read more

Next alone in its Christmas disappointment

MarketLine

The Christmas trading period is the most important time of the year for retailers, accounting for a significant proportion of a company’s sales and profit. In January 2017, numerous UK retailers revealed their Christmas 2016 trading results, with many high street retailers hailing the festive period a success. A notable exception to this was Next PLC, which revealed it had faced a difficult Christmas trading period and warned of a problematic retail environment in the UK as a whole. On 4th January 2017, Next was the first high street retailer… Read more

GM & Ford: Trump threats to enforce higher border tax to car manufacturers

MarketLine

During Trump’s campaign, there was definite tension alongside his controversial expression towards Mexico and his immigration policies that led to talk of a Mexican wall at the border. Well as it turns out, it is not just Mexican immigrants he is attempting to restrict from entering the US, but also vehicles that are manufactured in the neighbouring country, unless the manufacturer pays high border tax. Trump’s intentions were clear during his campaign, and any possibility to build and retain jobs in America seemed to be an important aim of his,… Read more

Verizon purchase of Yahoo: Data breach puts deal at risk, but purchase still likely

MarketLine

The theft of confidential information from Yahoo in 2013, although only recently announced, has heaped doubt over the proposed purchase of Yahoo by Verizon. Many predict the final bill will be substantial and worse could follow – the FBI are investigating and could yet cause more problems. A reduced share price caused Verizon to reappraise the sale. For both parties the realization that damage occurring from the data theft has yet to be fully felt is a serious problem, making revaluing Yahoo much harder. Regardless of which route Verizon chooses… Read more

Star Wars Franchise: Skyrocketing into the future

MarketLine

Historically hundreds of films have been produced with a range of missions or storylines. Star Wars is a huge franchise which first graced screens in 1977 with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. This Space Opera was written and directed by George Lucas. This was then followed by episodes V and VI before then returning to episodes I, II and III which are widely deemed as inferior to the original three films. These films however are each a part of a massive immersive world with a number of characters… Read more

Amazon Go: Newfound technology will give Amazon a major chance in the food & grocery industry, at the cost of future jobs

MarketLine

Late 2015, Amazon Fresh rolled out across the USA in several states and similarly was introduced in the UK mid-2016. Now with the launch of Amazon Go, it is clear that Amazon wants a proportion of the share of the food & grocery market, one of the largest industries in the world it is not being quiet about it. Innovation and technological advances will give Amazon a significant advantage over its competitors emphasizing convenience for the customer. Amazon Go is the tangible version of its online store. A 1,800 square… Read more

2M Alliance: Hyundai Merchant Marine deal is not a long-term solution

MarketLine

The agreement with the 2M Alliance marks an important step for Hyundai Merchant Marine. Despite the deal not meeting creditor demands, Hyundai M.M will have access to better business conditions than is possible under the soon to be defunct G6 alliance. Full membership, once the present agreement expires, has not been ruled out. Were the financial health of Hyundai to recover sufficiently the risk which deterred 2M customers would lesson, providing full access. The deal is not perfect and does not meet the memorandum of understanding signed earlier in the… Read more

Global air freight market growth rate will rise through to 2021, says MarketLine

MarketLine

The global air freight sector has shown varied growth and declines between 2012 and 2016, registering an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.7% between 2012 and 2016 to reach a value of $101.3 billion, according to data from research company MarketLine. MarketLine’s latest report shows that the air freight sector’s growth is primarily driven by the Middle East and Asia-Pacific (APAC) as a result of increased manufacturing. With an under-developed internal market, opportunity for future growth is also possible, particularly in larger countries like China and India. Paul… Read more

OPEC: Supply restriction amid global oil glut

MarketLine

OPEC, consisting of 13 oil-rich governments, is the only true cartel allowed, albeit grudgingly, to operate in today’s global economy and it wields considerable power. In 1973 Arab members imposed an oil embargo on the US during the Arab-Israeli war which tripled prices in a matter of months. Three times in recent history OPEC has stepped in to shore up the oil market, and each time prices rallied within days of action being taken. It is fair to say, therefore, that OPEC is a force to be reckoned with. Or… Read more

Chinese Foreign Direct Investment Liberalization

MarketLine

Reducing the number of markets foreign investors are prevented from entering – down to 62 from 93 – marks a useful step in the right direction and should encourage investment into China, reducing the gap to the outflow. Investors should become more comfortable with China given the proposed new rules, but there is much to be done and reasons for pessimism. The proposals appear to be hobbled by caution and need to go much further to create a lasting impact. More worryingly, the problems that the changes aim to tackle… Read more

Brexit – the meaning of a messy divorce for the Euro area.

MarketLine

The lending channel between many industries and banks in the Euro area has been far from normal since 2008. This factor puts Britain in a better position to negotiate Brexit next year. The Euro area will embark on a period of further unprecedented slowdown by detaching itself from the world’s fourth largest economy. Credit to industries coming from the banking sector is key for the region to grow as the single currency area has a bank-based model as opposed to a capital market model. Debt financing to companies is largely… Read more

Remastered games: the price of nostalgia

MarketLine

Historically hundreds of games have been produced with a range of missions or goals to be achieved. It is a shame when these games are forgotten or when a game disk breaks or is scratched and can no longer be played. This has led to games appearing on later consoles, being able to buy the original games for a discount price. The focus of this article is on the recent announcement of the remastering of the original Crash Bandicoot games for PS4, the continuation of games such as Spyro the… Read more

Global hotels and motels industry saw strong growth in 2015, exceeding $719 billion, says MarketLine

MarketLine

The global hotels and motels industry grew to a value of just over $719.1 billion in 2015, with Europe emerging as the largest regional market, and accounting for more than 34% of global market value, according to research firm MarketLine. The company’s latest report shows that the US and the UK form the two largest national hotel and motel industry markets, valued at $189.6 billion and $59.8 billion, respectively. China follows as a close third, with a value of $59.6 billion. Mohammad Hamza Iqbal, Analyst for MarketLine, comments: “While the… Read more

Global paints and coatings market value surpassed $141 billion in 2015, says MarketLine

MarketLine

The global paints and coatings market grew to a value of $141.5 billion in 2015, with Asia-Pacific (APAC) emerging as the largest regional market, and accounting for more than 55% of global market value, according to research firm MarketLine. The company’s report shows that China and the US form the two largest paints and coatings markets, valued at $53.3 billion and $21.3 billion, respectively. China, however, is expected to continue growing at a fast pace, while growth in the US is forecast to be moderate. Mohammad Hamza Iqbal, Analyst for… Read more

Samsung purchase of Harman signals the future

MarketLine

The takeover of Harman has placed Samsung among the leading players in the connected car industry; the Korean technology company has access to a raft of deals with major car manufacturers, expertise from a range of companies acquired by Harman and a huge $24bn order backlog. Infotainment, acoustics, display and other systems are all due to expand in value in the coming years, and Harman has systems already installed in over 30 million cars worldwide. Taking over the company presents Samsung with a highly valuable market position. CarPlay (the system… Read more

Global healthcare expenditure to hit $9.17 trillion by 2020 as US market burgeons, says MarketLine

MarketLine

Global healthcare expenditure is set to grow from just over $7.2 trillion in 2015 to around $9.17 trillion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%, according to research firm MarketLine. The company’s report states that growth will primarily be driven by the US, which dominates the global market and accounts for nearly 50% of total expenditure. The country also has a good forecast CAGR of 4.6%, exceeding that of Europe and Asia-Pacific, indicating that its share of the healthcare market will rise by 2020. Kate Moody,… Read more

Brexit and Trump’s disastrous effect on science

MarketLine

2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year with regards to political incidences. With the UK voting in favor of leaving the EU in June 2016 and then a follow up of the US voting for President-elect Donald Trump in November of the same year, this has led to a degree of uncertainty in the scientific field. With funding at the forefront of scientific research and the advancement of scientific breakthroughs, the future has been thrown into turmoil as the individuals working in both countries, the US and the UK,… Read more

Once Upon A Time At Christmas… The John Lewis Formula

MarketLine

Advertising has been an increasingly important aspect in modern day business with companies spending millions on advertising campaigns. Every now and then, an advertising campaign can capture the imagination of the people watching which helps to increase the profile of a brand substantially. In the UK, one such example is that of the John Lewis Christmas advertisement. From 2007 onwards, John Lewis has evolved its Christmas adverts into something of a Christmas tradition. Every year, people anticipate the release of the new advert speculating on what it may contain with… Read more

Donald Trump: Incoming president likely to create bigger mess than his hair

MarketLine

Donald Trump’s policy detail is rather thin, but based on multiple and contradictory things he has said on the campaign trail, shrinking of the state via both reduced tax income and federal spending while promising to build a border wall and renovate infrastructure, protectionist stances on international trade agreements while promising a Brexit Britain a comprehensive deal, an expansion of dirty industries at the expense of environmental regulation, and undermined central bank independence. Donald Trump’s election to the Oval Office was considered one of the most divisive and bitter elections… Read more