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Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

News | UK Economy | Inflation Rate | August 17, 2022:

 

Source: bbc.com
 
By Noor Nanji

By Noor Nanji
Business reporter, BBC News

Shopper holding a basket full of foodImage source, Getty Images

Soaring food costs have pushed UK inflation into double digits for the first time since 1982, with prices continuing to rise at their fastest rate for more than 40 years.

Inflation hit 10.1% in the 12 months to July, up from 9.4% in June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Soaring living costs are eating into household budgets, with prices rising faster than wages.

The Bank of England has said inflation could peak at more than 13% this year.

Energy, petrol and diesel costs are also contributing to inflation. But food and non-alcoholic drinks were the largest contributor to rising prices in July, according to the ONS.

The price of bread, cereals, milk, cheese and eggs rose the fastest, while the cost of vegetables, meat and chocolate were also higher.

Graph showing UK inflation

Prices also rose for other staples, such as toilet rolls, pet food and toothbrushes.

Transport costs were another big contributing factor, with air fares and international rail tickets particularly increasing. The price for package holidays also went up, as demand increased.

'Everything has gone up in price'

Shaf Islam restaurant owner

Image caption,

Restaurant owner Shaf Islam has put up his prices for the first time in five years

Restaurant owner Shaf Islam, who runs Chutney Ivy in Leicester, said the hospitality industry was facing huge cost increases.

"Everything's gone up, from salt to soft drinks, rice to oil," he told the BBC.

"My electricity bill is going up from £1,000 a month to £3,000," he added.

He is reluctantly passing some of that extra cost on to customers.

"For the first time in five years, we've put up prices. I don't like doing that because I know how tough it is for people," he said.

Rebecca BrownImage source, Rebecca Brown

Image caption,

Rebecca is worried about rising energy bills

Rebecca Brown, a full-time PhD student at the University of Nottingham, is worried about what will happen when her energy bills go up again this winter.

Her gas and electricity costs have already jumped from £80 to £140.

She tops up her student loan by working part-time and shares her living costs with her partner.

"After rent and bills plus my bus fare, phone, Netflix and Spotify bills, that leaves me around £300 to £400 a month for food, fun and necessities," she said.

"Things like the dentist and getting my hair cut are pretty much a no-no, but my parents have helped out with that when I've gotten desperate."

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Note: in the calculator, the ONS compares your personal inflation rate with CPIH, a measure of inflation that includes housing costs for those who own their home. Recently this has been slightly lower than the more widely-reported measure, called CPI, and in July 2022 it was 8.8%.

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The rise in global food commodity prices, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has been one of the factors pushing up prices at supermarket tills.

The war has disrupted supplies from the two countries, which are major exporters of goods such as sunflower oil and wheat.

Some commodities, especially grain and edible oils, have eased substantially, but there is typically a time lag of around six months before that feeds through to prices on the shelves.

Kien Tan, director of retail strategy at PwC, said: "Supermarkets have had little choice but to pass on price increases from suppliers, themselves contending with unprecedented inflation in raw material and ingredient input costs.

"This has been particularly acute in labour and utility intensive categories like dairy, with reports of the price of a pint of milk having more than doubled in some stores since the start of the year."

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Analysis box by Andy Verity, economics correspondent

While the Bank of England and others have forecast that inflation would exceed 10%, most economists didn't expect it to happen just yet - with the consensus forecast at 9.8%.

Driving up the average rise between June and July were food prices - everything from bread and cereals, up by an annual 12.4%, to milk cheese and eggs, up 19.4%, to oils and fats, up 23.4%.

The causes are familiar: the reopening of the global economy post-pandemic, which meant the supply of goods like fuel couldn't keep up with surging demand, made worse by the war in Ukraine, which further disrupted the supply of goods like gas, wheat and cooking oil.

That's led to a surge in output prices - prices of goods at the factory gate - which rose by 17.1%, faster than they have since 1977.

The figures offer just a glimmer of hope from the petrol forecourts - where prices began to fall a little in July.

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The inflation rate is expected to rise further in October, when higher energy bills hit.

The typical household energy bill is forecast to reach £3,582 in October and £4,266 in January, when the price cap - the maximum amount suppliers can charge customers in England, Scotland and Wales for each unit of energy - goes up again.

The Bank of England has warned the UK will fall into recession later this year, with the economy forecast to shrink in the last three months of 2022 and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.

The cost of living crisis will be among the biggest challenges facing the new prime minister in the autumn and leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have clashed over what further support they would offer households.

Ms Truss, who is the favourite to win the race, has pledged to cut taxes but Mr Sunak has said this should only happen once inflation is under control.

Lord Stuart Rose, chairman of Asda and a Conservative peer, called for more action to help those most in need.

"We've been very, very slow in recognising this train coming down the tunnel. It's now here, and it's not about to run us over, it's [already] run quite a lot of people over," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

'Top priority'

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said there were "no easy options" for the government in the face of soaring inflation.

However, he said the Treasury was preparing "all the options" on additional support for households ready for the incoming prime minister.

But Labour accused the Conservatives of "ignoring the scale of this crisis".

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: "We must get a grip on rising inflation leaving families worried sick about making ends meet.

"Labour's fully-costed plan to freeze the energy price cap will bring inflation down this winter easing the burden on households and businesses."

News, by Reuters | KPMG Escapes Record Fine Over Carillion | July 25, 2022:

Source: reuters.com

KPMG escapes record fine over Carillion, Regenersis audit checks

July 25, 20223:57 AM GMT-5Last Updated 13 hours ago

July 25 (Reuters) - KPMG was fined 14.4 million pounds ($17.27 million) on Monday after the accounting firm admitted to providing false and misleading information to its regulator during spot checks on audits of construction firm Carillion and outsourcing firm Regenersis.

The Financial Reporting Council, the regulator involved, also ordered KPMG to appoint an independent reviewer into the firm's current Audit Quality Review (AQR) policies and procedures.

KPMG would have been fined 20 million pounds had it not earned a discount for self-reporting the incidents, co-operating with the FRC and admitting to the misconduct, the FRC said.

Without the discount, the fine would have been the largest FRC fine ever, eclipsing Deloitte's 15 million pound penalty in September 2020 for an audit of software company Autonomy.

KPMG, one of the world's "Big Four" auditing firms, also paid 3.95 million pounds towards the costs of the FRC and Tribunal.

Five KPMG employees had challenged FRC allegations of misconduct relating to the audits, but an independent Tribunal found against them. A sixth employee settled hours before Tribunal hearings began in January.

The FRC had told the hearing that the former KPMG employees had "forged" and "manufactured" missing documents which had been requested by the regulator.

"The seriousness of the misconduct that we have found proved scarcely needs explanation," the Tribunal said.

KPMG faced the same allegations as its employees because it is liable for their conduct.

Four of the five staff who took part in the Tribunal hearing were fined between 30,000 and 250,000 pounds, and banned from the profession for between seven and 10 years. The fifth person was severely reprimanded but escaped a fine.

"I accept the findings and sanctions of the tribunal in full," said KPMG's chief executive in the UK, Jon Holt.

Since the incidents, KPMG said it has worked hard and with complete transparency to the FRC, to assure itself that the behaviour of the individuals concerned does not reflect the wider culture of the firm, Holt said.

The FRC is still investigating KPMG's audit of Carillion, whose collapse sparked reviews on how to improve auditing standards.

($1 = 0.8356 pounds)

Additional reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Louise Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

News | The Market Sum, by Investopedia | July 18, 2022:

 

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News, by SEC: Equitable Financial To Pay $50 Million Penalty To Settle SEC Charges That It Provided Misleading Account Statements to Investors | July 18, 2022:

 

Source: sec.gov

Accounts belonged to public school teachers and staff investing for retirement

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company for providing account statements to about 1.4 million variable annuity investors that included materially misleading statements and omissions concerning investor fees. Equitable agreed to pay $50 million to harmed investors, most of whom are public school teachers and staff members, to settle the charges.

As described in the SEC’s order, since at least 2016, Equitable gave investors the false impression that their quarterly account statements listed all fees paid during the period. The SEC’s investigation found that, in reality, the statements listed only certain types of fees that investors infrequently incurred and that more often than not the statements had $0.00 listed for fees.

"When considering how to invest their hard-earned money and save for retirement, it is essential that investors not be misled about the fees they are paying," said Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. "This case should serve as an important reminder to investment firms to carefully review their statements to ensure fee information is disclosed properly."

The SEC’s order finds that Equitable violated the antifraud provisions of the Securities Act of 1933. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Equitable agreed to cease and desist from committing or causing any future violations of these provisions and to pay a $50 million civil penalty that it will distribute to affected investors. Equitable also agreed to revise how it presents fee information in its variable annuity account statements.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Michael C. Ellis of the Retail Strategy Task Force and Peter Lamore, with assistance from Alison Conn and Gwen Licardo, under the supervision of Hane L. Kim, Chief of the Retail Strategy Task Force, and Thomas P. Smith, Jr., Associate Regional Director of the New York Regional Office.

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy today issued an updated Investor Bulletin with tips to help teachers make informed investment decisions, including about retirement plans.


News | Landing The Job, by CNBC | 93% of Employers Want to See Soft Skills on Your Resume—Here Are 8 of The Most In-Demand Ones | July 18, 2022

Source: cnbc.com
 
Gili Malinsky

When applying for a job, there are many ways to optimize your resume. You can check the listing to see where the employer's priorities lie in terms of experience, and make sure to highlight what's most important to them, for example. You can include any major achievements like exceeding sales goals. And you can include a link to your LinkedIn profile.

One group of skills career experts say is crucial to include is your soft skills. An overwhelming majority ― 93% of employers ― say "soft skills play a critical role in their decision about whom they want to hire," Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter, said in the company's recent report The Job Market Outlook for Grads.

Soft skills include a wide array of abilities. "I would say, in general, communication is very high on that list right now considering how people are working in very different situations, hybrid situations," says Kristin Kelley, chief marketing officer at CareerBuilder, as an example.

ZipRecruiter compiled some of the most in-demand soft skills on its platform. Here are the top skills on that list, including the number of jobs on the site listing the skill as a requirement.

Communication skills

Number of jobs listing the skill: 6.1 million

Customer service

Number of jobs listing the skill: 5.5 million

Scheduling

Number of jobs listing the skill: 5 million

Time management skills

Number of jobs listing the skill: 3.6 million

Project management

Number of jobs listing the skill: 2.8 million

Analytical thinking

Number of jobs listing the skill: 2.7 million

Ability to work independently

Number of jobs listing the skill: 2 million

Flexibility

Number of jobs listing the skill: 1.3 million

When it comes to the importance of communication, in part, as Kelley says, that's a result of the new remote and hybrid work arrangements that rely heavily on tech. "How you respond to someone who sent you an email" matters, she says as an example. "Formally respond to them in 24 hours."

The importance of communication is also a result of various companies' recent diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

"To be a diverse and inclusive employer," says Georgene Huang, co-founder and CEO of Fairygodboss, "you have to work with all different kinds of people, which means you have to be able to communicate effectively with all different kinds of people."

When it comes to scheduling and time management, "no matter what kind of role you have, if you can't organize your time," you can't be effective, she says.

Finally, when it comes to flexibility, "people really have to be able to turn left, turn right on a dime, join the Zoom, be able to manage their own instant messages coming in," says Kelley. There's an element of ease with multitasking and being able to switch what you're doing at a moment's notice that has heightened since the pandemic and as so many people continue to work from home.

Include your soft skills by giving concrete examples of how you've used them either in your resume intro or the bullets under your job descriptions.

Check out:

3 strategies for writing a resume that will 'instantly impress' any hiring manager, according to a recruiting expert

I've been reviewing resumes for 26 years. These are the 5 biggest mistakes that make candidates look weak

Feel behind at work? 5 soft skills you 'need to prioritize today,' says career development expert

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Business | News | Deals | Wednesday, June 1, 2022:

 

Source: reuters.com

Pfizer to sell stake in GSK's consumer health business after it lists

June 1, 202210:15 AM GMT-5Last Updated 17 min ago

  • Summary
  • Companies
  • GSK said in February Pfizer would keep Haleon stake
  • Haleon expected to list in London on July 18
  • GSK rebuffed Unilever's 50 billion pound offer for Haleon

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Pfizer (PFE.N) plans to sell its 32% stake in Haleon, its consumer health venture with British drugmaker GSK (GSK.L), after the business lists as an independent company in July, GSK said on Wednesday.

GSK is spinning off Haleon, which makes Sensodyne toothpaste and Advil painkillers, so it can focus on vaccines and prescription drugs. GSK rejected a 50 billion pound ($63 billion) offer for Haleon last year, saying it undervalued the firm.

Pfizer has previously indicated it wanted to sell its stake in Haleon but GSK, which owns 68% of the world's biggest consumer health business, said in February that the U.S. drugmaker would keep its stake after a flotation.

A Pfizer spokesperson said on Wednesday that the U.S. company had always intended to sell its Haleon stake over time.

GSK has applied to Britain's regulator to list Haleon on the London Stock Exchange on July 18 and said it expected to apply to list it on the New York Stock Exchange as well soon.

Pfizer, GSK and other current Haleon stakeholders have committed to a lock-up period until November, so as not to jeopardise the stock of the new independent company, GSK said.

Expectations for the consumer healthcare venture's market valuation are high after GSK rejected the 50 billion pound offer from Unilever (ULVR.L), which abandoned its pursuit in January.

If GSK secures valuation of 50 billion pounds or more it would be the largest listing by market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange in at least two decades, excluding joint listings made via the Shanghai London Stock Connect project.

As a comparison, mining and commodity trading company Glencore (GLEN.L) was valued at 36.7 billion pounds when it listed in London in 2011.

BOARD MEMBERS

GSK also said in February that once Haleon was listed as a separate company, Pfizer would appoint two members to its new board and the British drugmaker would relinquish its right to representation. read more

At the moment, Brian McNamara, chief executive of GSK consumer healthcare, has been designated as chief executive of Haleon once it has listed while GSK's Tobias Hestler is the designated chief financial officer.

The Pfizer spokesperson said the company was given the right to board seats when the venture was initially announced several years ago and, for now, Pfizer still had an interest in Haleon.

"We can't speculate on what happens when we divest our interest," the spokesperson said.

Haleon was poised to generate above market, medium-term annual organic revenue growth of 4% to 6%, GSK said.

Haleon's closest competitors in the non-prescription drugs, vitamins and oral care market are Procter and Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and Bayer.

Before the spinoff, the holding company for Haleon will pay dividends to GSK and Pfizer. GSK said it would receive cash proceeds of more than 7 billion pounds at separation.

After the spinoff, at least 54.5% of Haleon's total issued ordinary share capital would be held by GSK shareholders and 6% would be held by GSK, the company said.

Following the split, GSK will focus on pharmaceuticals and vaccines and can no longer rely on steady consumer health sales to offset some of the unpredictability of drug development.

Under pressure from shareholders such as activist investor Elliot, GSK has sought to shore up its drug pipeline.

It has also made acquisitions, agreeing to purchase cancer drug developer Sierra Oncology (SRRA.O) in a $1.9 billion deal and unveiling plans to pay up to $3.3 billion for vaccine developer Affinivax. read more

($1 = 0.7933 pounds)

Reporting by Natalie Grover in London and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Additional reporting by Lucy Raitano in London; Editing by Josephine Mason, Edmund Blair and David Clarke


News | Business | Thursday, May 5, 2022:

 Source: bloomberg.com

Where Exactly Will Elon Musk Get the Cash to Buy Twitter?

Kurt Wagner

What to know in techWhat to know in techWhat to know in tech

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Elon Musk appears to still be trying to secure the funding for his Twitter deal. But first...

Today’s must-reads:

• Uber did better than Lyft last quarter
• Turbo Tax paid a $141 settlement over not-quite-free tax filing
• The Bored Ape thefts show crypto scammers are getting more creative

“Please help me buy Twitter!”

Elon Musk has agreed to buy Twitter Inc. for $44 billion, but it seems that the world’s richest man is still on the hunt for some of that money.

As part of the deal, Musk is on the hook for $21 billion in equity financing—a reality that led him to sell $8.5 billion in Tesla Inc. stock over a span of just three days last week. But that still leaves Musk well short of the $21 billion needed, and he has already tweeted that he has “no further Tesla sales planned,” meaning the money must come from somewhere else.

Finding that “somewhere else” may be proving harder than expected, although early on Thursday an SEC filing showed Musk has secured about $7.1 billion more of it. Investors named in the filing include Binance, Brookfield, Fidelity Management & Research, Lawrence J. Ellison Revocable Trust and Qatar Holding.

At the Met Gala on Monday, Musk joked that he was planning to ask attendees to “‘Please! Please! Please help me buy Twitter!’” and has already said he wants to let existing Twitter shareholders roll over their investment into the new, privately held company, which would reduce his own investment.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk has been telling potential investors that he plans to take Twitter public again in a few years—dangling a carrot in front of those who may otherwise worry about getting their money back—and on Wednesday the New York Post reported that Musk is now pitching some of the same investors who backed his other company, SpaceX, after running into trouble landing investments from private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

In short, it seems Musk is struggling to get the money he needs to make this Twitter deal a reality. Of course, this is Elon Musk we’re talking about, and he could surprise us all and announce the remaining funding before you finish reading this newsletter.

But the hitch in Musk’s Twitter plan was always whether he could produce the $44 billion necessary, especially considering much of his own wealth is tied up in Tesla and has already been used as collateral to secure loans. It’s a reality that means his deal for Twitter could still fall apart if he’s unable to find the funding.

Twitter and its employees, meanwhile, have been left hovering in a state of total uncertainty. On Wednesday, executives opened a companywide all-hands meeting with a slide titled, “Why bother?” and spent time encouraging employees to stay motivated to show up to work. Twitter will also need to assuage advertisers that its service is still a worthwhile destination, given that Musk’s plan to prioritize “free speech” could mean ads appear alongside some unsavory tweets.

It’s an uncertainty that won’t go away until Musk takes control, and Musk won’t take control until he has the money needed to do so. That outcome isn’t guaranteed. This is the same man, after all, who said he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private a few years ago. We all know how that one worked out.

The big story

Peter Thiel and Donald Trump win one for JD Vance in Ohio. The author of Hillbilly Elegy earned a victory in a Senate primary that put Trump’s endorsement—and Thiel’s political aspirations—to the test.

What else you need to know

Facebook parent Meta is slowing or pausing hiring for some mid- to senior-level positions, part of a  broader plan to cut costs.

Lyft lost nearly a third of its market value on Wednesday, after Wall Street balked at its second-quarter outlook and plan to increase spending on driver incentives.

EBay shares tanked in extended trading Wednesday as it disclosed less-than-hoped for post-pandemic prospects

At a staff meeting Wednesday, Twitter tried to reassure staff wondering: “ Why Bother?” 

(Updates with details of SEC filing in third story paragraph.)

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