MarketLine Blog

Posts written in August 2016

EU before Brexit – looking underneath the headlines

MarketLine

Data from eurostat puts the number of unemployment in the Euro area at 16 million in 2016, close to 10% of its population aged between 18 and 74 years of age. This is equivalent to the entire population of the Netherlands or 8 times the population of Paris. Clearly, the number of Europeans struggling on a daily basis is much higher than the official figure coming from the eurostat. This is because any person that works at least one hour per week is considered to be employed. The failure to consistently reduce… Read more

UK Bookmakers hedge bets with consolidation

MarketLine

July 25 2016 saw the latest move towards consolidation in the UK gambling industry as online bookmaker 888 Holdings Plc (888) and casino operator The Rank Group Plc (Rank) approached longtime incumbent William Hill Plc (William Hill) about a potential merger. The merger would create one of the largest gambling groups in the world and the share prices of all three protagonists responded well to the announcement. UK takeover rules dictate that 888 and Rank now have until August 21 2016 to submit a formal offer. This is somewhat of… Read more

Williams & Glyn: RBS abandons spin-off IPO plan

MarketLine

To comply with European Commission State Aid requirements, RBS agreed in 2009 to a series of restructuring measures that were to be implemented over a four year period. One of these measures was the divestment of the RBS branch network in England and Wales and the NatWest branches in Scotland. This was scheduled to be completed by 2013, but an extension was granted after the original bidder, Santander, pulled out. A consortium known as Corsair stepped into the breach and invested, facilitating a later sale or, more likely, an IPO…. Read more

China continues to dominate the global agricultural products market, says MarketLine

MarketLine

The global agricultural products market reached a value of just over $2.2 trillion in 2015, with Asia-Pacific accounting for well over half of the world’s agricultural production, with 64.2% of the total market in 2015, says research firm MarketLine. China continues to be the dominant country in the agricultural products market, despite shrinking overall in value terms in 2015. In China, the market was worth approximately $830 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow by 11.2% through to 2020. MarketLine’s latest report states that the production of cereal crops… Read more

Global utilities industry value hit $4.2 trillion in 2015, says MarketLine

MarketLine

The global utilities industry grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4% during the years 2011-2015, propelling it to a value of $4.2 trillion, according to the latest Utilities Global Industry Guide published by research firm MarketLine. This figure is the total revenue that electricity, gas, and water utility companies generate from sales of their products to end-users, ranging from households to heavy industry. MarketLine’s latest report states that the global growth rate is moderate, but masks a great deal of variation from region to region. Asia-Pacific accounts… Read more

Trouble at Twitter: Profit still elusive

MarketLine

Twitter, the micro-blogging social media platform, is struggling. In a week that reminded us of the cost of missing the boat in the tech world, as Yahoo is sold for $5 billion, a mere 25th of its peak value, Twitter released its Q2 results. What they showed was a platform hampered by virtually stagnant growth, and a company that has yet to make a profit, despite being well on its way to ten years old. Twitter makes its money by charging advertisers to boost the visibility of tweets and videos…. Read more

IKEA use solar offering to reinforce green credentials

MarketLine

IKEA have made a headline grabbing return to the domestic solar panel market, only months after ending the relationship with their original partner, the Hong Kong firm Hanergy Thin Film Power Group. This time round, they have teamed up with one of the most established names in the market, Solar Century, to offer an affordable solar energy package. This will initially be available in three stores and online, with this being extending to all of their UK stores by the end of the summer. While IKEA takes pride in its… Read more

Uber & Didi Chuxing: Uber gives app in China

MarketLine

Uber’s once seemingly irresistible march to world domination has suffered a setback as it agreed to merge its business operations in China with local competitor Didi Chuxing. Uber had been employing the practices that served it well elsewhere, by engaging in subsidizing of rides and drivers’ income to gain market share. However, in China a domestic ride sharing incumbent made from the merger of Didi and Kuadi in February 2015 (later renamed Didi Chuxing) could match Uber’s financial power, as it drew backing from Chinese internet companies and Apple. The… Read more

Sports Direct: Working conditions scandal fallout must be managed to minimize damage

MarketLine

Recent revelations about Sports Direct’s working practices have been largely made via exposé reporting from The Guardian. Secret filming in the company’s Shirebrook warehouse led to claims of a culture of fear, pay of less than the national minimum wage, unpaid after-hours work, and questionable punitive practices. This was then followed by written reporting and interviews with workers, both from the warehouse and from stores. Although terminology like ‘Victorian workhouse’ and ‘Gulag’ is sensationalist and unwarranted, Sports Direct was forced to respond to the claims in a bid to limit… Read more

UK Bookmakers hedge bets with consolidation

MarketLine

July 25 2016 saw the latest move towards consolidation in the UK gambling industry as online bookmaker 888 Holdings Plc (888) and casino operator The Rank Group Plc (Rank) approached longtime incumbent William Hill Plc (William Hill) about a potential merger. The merger would create one of the largest gambling groups in the world and the share prices of all three protagonists responded well to the announcement. UK takeover rules dictate that 888 and Rank now have until August 21 2016 to submit a formal offer. This is somewhat of… Read more