MarketLine Blog

Posts written in May 2014

Developments in international tax important for multinational corporations

MarketLine

Outrage in the press can cause confusion about the process of tax planning. The nuanced relationship between the spirit and the letter of the law, and wider issues such as the conflict between disparate national tax systems and competitive international trade are therefore often missed. A recent MarketLine case study gives detailed examples of tax planning involving both multinationals and private individuals as well providing insight into changes in tax policy and the debate around the morality of tax avoidance. Although tax law itself may not be the most exciting… Read more

California Love undone? Apple delays purchase of Dr.Dre’s Beats Electronics

MarketLine

Apple’s Infinite Loop offices in Cupertino appear to be getting cold feet about their embrace of Santa Monica based Beats Electronics in this perplexing California focused buy-out potentially worth $3.2bn. On the face of it, this has always looked like an odd choice of acquisition. Apple is not really in need of extra revenues, which have moved from $108bn in 2011 to $171bn in 2013. Beats Electronics makes headphones, earphones and speakers, as well as running the Beats Audio software technology and the Beats Music streaming service. Given the vast… Read more

Marks & Spencer: apparel retail dressed for success?

MarketLine

Marks and Spencer is one of the oldest names on the UK high street, with a reputation among consumers as a dependable but slightly staid retailer, ideal for those middle-aged, middle-income clothes shoppers who don’t want to embarrass their children by dressing inappropriately. But its FY2014 financials released today (May 20) show falling profits, as a core revenue stream continues to perform less strongly than hoped. The company’s two main segments are food and general merchandise, the latter largely apparel plus some homewares. Over the 2012-2014 period, its UK food… Read more

Commonalities between Japan, United Kingdom, US and the Eurozone – Fixing the Financial System but not necessarily the Economy

MarketLine

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) was the first central bank to adopt quantitative easing (QE) to fight the upsurge of a deflationary path in 2001. At that time, the feeble GDP reflected the collapse of aggregate demand following a financial crisis in the late 1990s. The most vicious side effect of a collapsing aggregate demand was a generalized decline in prices and production, which was already a reality in Japan at the beginning of the 2000‘s. In response to highly negative events, the BoJ launched the Quantitative Easing program (QE),… Read more

Swiss reject $3.5bn Saab Gripen NG fighter deal in referendum

MarketLine

A referendum in Switzerland has seen a narrow rejection of the $3.5bn acquisition deal for next generation of Saab Gripen fighters. 53.4% of voters opposed the deal for 22 planes. Switzerland’s political process permits holding a plebiscite to reconsider a recently passed law if 50,000 signatures are collected. The Gripen had been selected in 2011, but had only reached Swiss Parliament approval in November 2013. The decision may have been due to considerations of neutrality, as Switzerland hasn’t deployed its military for over 200 years. In a recent crisis where… Read more

Apple’s imminent questionable $3.2 billion acquisition

MarketLine

Tech giant, Apple, has recently been rumored to be acquiring American audio company Beats Electronics in a deal worth $3.2 billion in the very near future. Beats Electronics revenues have relied heavily on its sales of Dre Beats audio equipment, though Apple’s acquisition is speculated to be focused more-so on Beats Electronics’ catalog music streaming service Beats Music, launched in January 2014. Apple have failed to make as big of a mark as they would wish to on the digital streaming market thus far, even though iTunes Radio is said… Read more

Luxottica to make nerdy Google Glass look cool

MarketLine

Luxottica Group S.p.A. (Luxottica or ‘the group’), the world’s largest producer of eyewear, which offers a range of premium, luxury, sport and performance glasses, has signed a strategic partnership with Google over its Glass eyewear. According to the agreement, the two groups will work together to create innovative wearable devices for the Glass brand. Luxottica will put Google’s geeky device through the designer’s laboratory in an attempt to make it cool. The eyewear giant is expected to take care of the design, development and distribution of Google Glass. The company’s… Read more

Fracking in the UK- Some political players rally behind the technology

MarketLine

The hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process has allowed the use of horizontal drilling in shale rock to open up new gas reserves previously presumed to be technically unrecoverable. The process involves blasting fracking fluid into the drill well which splits the shale into fissures. The process requires a large amount of water, sand, and chemicals. Both shale and coal methane beds have become accessible through this technique. Whilst countries such as the USA, Australia and Poland have been pushing ahead with the technology, the UK has been slow and careful in… Read more

Keep on trucking; global truck market demonstrates resilience

MarketLine

The global truck market experienced strong growth during 2009-2013, fuelled by the Americas as the US’ economic recovery and South America’s dynamic economies continue to gather strength, and the Asia-Pacific region as China and India continue to show strong growth. With Western Europe also finally showing signs of sustainable recovery, the short term future for the truck market looks promising. The global truck industry (which includes light commercial vehicles, light buses and coaches, commercial vehicles, buses and coaches, heavy commercial vehicles, and heavy buses and coaches in this research) grew… Read more

Targeted products and male grooming to drive Avon’s revenues

MarketLine

Avon can use the increasing demand for targeted products (products specifically formulated and aimed at certain demographics) in the beauty industry to its advantage and to help drive the company’s revenues. The surge in consumer interest in natural personal care products around the globe has driven outstanding growth in this segment. According to MarketLine data, the global market for natural and organic beauty products was nearly $8bn in 2012, and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10% during 2012–17. The prime reason for the surge in the popularity… Read more

Barclays to cut 19,000 jobs in major shakeup

MarketLine

Barclays has today announced that it is to cut 19,000 jobs by the end of 2016 as it plans a major operational shakeup. According to the announcement, almost half the job losses (around 7,000) will be in the UK, with Barclays investment arm most heavily affected as CEO Antony Jenkins comes under pressure to increase profits at the bank. Barclays also announced plans to set-up a so-called ‘bad bank’ to manage, and then either run down or sell off £115bn (approximately $179.7bn) of non-core operations. Unsurprisingly, this includes around £90bn… Read more

Pfizer and AstraZeneca: merger of majors cancelled or just postponed?

MarketLine

Pfizer is currently the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, with 2013 revenues (excluding consumer health) of $47.9 billion. Recently, it made a bid for the UK’s AstraZeneca (2013 revenues of $25.7 billion) equivalent to £50 ($78) per share. This valued the company at more than £63 billion ($98 billion). A lot of money, you might think, but AstraZeneca lost no time in rejecting the offer. The same thing happened back in January this year, when the American company valued AstraZeneca at around £59 billion. Its CEO commented of the latest… Read more