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COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 20.05.24

A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 20.05.24 4TH JULY GENERAL ELECTION Prime minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday 22nd May 2024  that a general election will be held on 4 July, following a day of intense speculation in Westminster. The prime minister had the flexibility to call the general election at a time of his choosing, up until 17 December 2024 – which is five years after parliament first met after the last general election. The announcement came during a statement outside Downing Street after 1700 BST, where Sunak addressed recent challenges faced by the country. He opened his speech by reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, saying the events represented some of the most challenging times since World War II. Sunak’s announcement came after consumer price inflation fell less than anticipated in April, in fresh data released earlier on Wednesday. According to the Office for National Statistics, inflation dropped to 2.3% from 3.2% in March, reaching its lowest level since July 2021 but still above the expected 2.1%. The reduction in inflation was largely attributed to lower gas and electricity prices following the energy price cap adjustment by Ofgem. Despite that, services inflation remained high at 5.9%, slightly down from March but exceeding forecasts. Core inflation, excluding energy and food, also remained elevated at 3.9%, above the predicted 3.6%. REGULATORS FINE CITIGROUP AFTER £1.1BN OF EQUITIES SOLD IN ‘FAT-FINGER’ ERROR Citigroup has been fined £61.6m by financial regulators after its internal systems failed to prevent a fat-fingered banker causing a flash crash by erroneously placing more than £1bn of orders. The trader had intended to sell equities to the value of $58m (£46m) on 2 May 2022. However, the banker made an inputting error while entering the transaction into Citigroup’s order management system, so a giant equities basket of $444bn was created – and $1.4bn was then sold into the market. According to the PRA statement The banker had planned to enter 58m into the “notional” field of the Citigroup order system, which would have created a basket of equities worth that value in dollars. Instead, they entered 58m into the “quantity” field of...

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 13.05.24

A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 13 | 05 | 24 ROYAL MAIL OWNER BACKS £3.5BN TAKEOVER OFFER BY CZECH BILLIONAIRE The owner of Royal Mail is poised to accept an improved takeover bid worth about £3.5bn from shareholder and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. International Distribution Services (IDS) said it had received a revised proposal of 370p a share from Mr Kretinsky's EP Group. It marks an improvement on the initial 320p-a-share cash bid made in April for the shares in IDS that it does not already own. IDS said Mr Kretinsky, whose investment vehicle currently owns a 27.6% stake in the firm, had agreed to offer a set of "contractual undertakings" to protect key public interest factors due to Royal Mail's major role in UK national infrastructure. Which includes commitments to Royal Mail's plans to keep six-day-a-week first class letter deliveries under the universal service, protect workers' rights as well as the Royal Mail brand, and keep its headquarters in the UK. The deal still faces a number of hurdles, but IDS said that both sides would carry on speaking about the proposal in more detail.   GAMESTOP SHARES SURGE AMID VOLATILE MARKET FRENZY Last week, GameStop's stock price skyrocketed, jumping 70% in a single day and exceeding $30 per share. This surge was sparked by a post from "Roaring Kitty," a key figure in a previous GameStop stock frenzy in 2021. Back then, Wall Street firms were betting against GameStop, expecting it to fail. However, independent investors on Reddit, led by Roaring Kitty, bought large amounts of the stock, pushing its price up to $70. Roaring Kitty had been silent since 2021, but last week, he posted a drawing of a man leaning forward in a chair, which many took as a signal to buy GameStop stock again. This led to a quick surge in the stock price, marking its highest point since 2022. However, the excitement was short-lived, and by the end of the week, the stock had dropped 70% from its peak, showing how volatile these "memestocks" can be​. A memestock is a stock that experiences dramatic price movements driven primarily by...

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 06.05.24

A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 06 | 05 | 24   UK NO LONGER IN RECESSION The UK got a pleasant surprise with stronger-than-expected growth at the beginning of the year, pulling itself out of recession. Between January and March, the economy expanded by 0.6%, the quickest growth in two years according to official figures. After two consecutive quarters of contraction at the end of last year, the UK slipped into recession. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed the recent growth as a positive turn, while Labour cautioned against premature celebration, saying it's not the time for a "victory lap". With interest rates currently at their highest in 16 years, (5.25%) borrowing money for things like mortgages and loans has become more expensive. However, savers are enjoying better returns on their savings. SHEIN STEAMS AHEAD WITH £53BN LONDON LISTING PLAN Shein will press ahead with a London float, Reuters reported on Friday, dodging regulatory hurdles that stemmed from a possible New York listing. The fast fashion retailer plans to tell China's securities watchdog of its intention to change its initial public offering venue to the London Stock Exchange, Reuters reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. It can file with the LSE as soon as this month. Reuters reported Shein confidentially filed for an IPO with the US securities regulator in November and approached China's watchdog to get the green light from Beijing. But Shein's possible New York listing faced opposition from US lawmakers. BRITISH STEEL NEARING MULTIBILLION-POUND TAXPAYER RESCUE British Steel, owned by Jingye, is nearing a rescue deal with the UK government that could unlock hundreds of millions of pounds in taxpayer aid. Jingye has appointed PwC to assist in finalizing a business plan and negotiations over state aid, signalling its commitment to British Steel’s long-term future. The rescue plan includes investing billions of pounds into transitioning to greener forms of production over the coming years. While the exact amount of taxpayer aid has yet to be finalized, Jingye is reportedly seeking up to £600 million in UK subsidies. British Steel, which employs 4,500 people in the UK, was acquired by Jingye out of insolvency in...

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 22.04.24

A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 22 | 04 | 24 U.S. BANS TIKTOK UNLESS IT IS SOLD The United States took one more step towards becoming the possible first country to ban the social media app TikTok over privacy concerns. On Tuesday, April 23, Congress approved legislation which would force the Chinese owner of the app ByteDance to sell the platform within nine months or face a ban. Many countries are concerned about TikTok's security and the platform's ties to China. TikTok has over 100 million US users Lawmakers and regulators have increasingly expressed concern that TikTok may be sharing data with the Chinese government China has laws allowing the Chinese government to secretly demand data from Chinese companies and citizens. TikTok has denied the charges levelled against it, The Chinese government owns 1 percent stake in ByteDance and controls one of three board members in the Beijing-based company. ANGLO AMERICAN REJECTS £31BN TAKEOVER OFFER FROM MINING RIVAL BHP The board of Anglo American, the London-listed mining company, has rejected a “highly unattractive” £31bn takeover approach from its Australian rival BHP. BHP’s all-share proposed offer for Anglo American had the potential to be one of the biggest deals in the global mining sector for a decade but has attracted criticism from Anglo’s shareholders as being too low and “highly opportunistic”. Anglo American said in a statement that its board had unanimously rejected BHP’s approach because it “significantly undervalues” the company and its future prospects. It also added that the structure of BHP’s proposal, which required Anglo American to complete two separate demergers, was “highly unattractive”. MICROSOFT AND AMAZON FACE SCRUTINY FROM UK COMPETITION WATCHDOG OVER RECENT AI DEALS The UK's competition watchdog is ramping up its examination of big tech involvement in AI startups, seeking input on three deals involving Microsoft and Amazon. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed it's investigating Microsoft's investment in the French company Mistral and the hiring of Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind, to lead Microsoft's new AI division. Additionally, the CMA is scrutinizing Amazon's substantial $4 billion investment in the US AI firm Anthropic. The CMA's move includes "invitations to comment" on these...

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 15.04.24

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 15 | 04 | 24 SAMSUNG DETHRONES APPLE TO BECOME THE WORLD’S LARGEST SMARTPHONE MAKER AGAIN Apple is no longer the biggest phone maker in the world, as South Korean owned Samsung is now officially the biggest cellular phone seller after taking the lead in the global market share. However, this news is shocking to perhaps everyone except Samsung and Apple, as the former has been the biggest seller of mobile phones for 12 years until the final stretch of 2023, when iPhone sales eclipsed Samsung…until now. Samsung’s now has a 20.8% global market share, while Apple's share has declined to 17.3%. Global shipments also saw a 10% decrease in Q1 of 2024, Apple’s ongoing antitrust case in the US, alleging monopolistic practices due to Apple's dominance, holding over 70% of the US market. Additionally, Apple faces challenges in markets like China, where domestic brands hold significant sway. For instance, Xiaomi now holds the title of the third largest smartphone maker with 14.1% of the market, which are all impacting Apple's standing. UK INFLATION SLOWED AGAIN IN MARCH – BUT A RATE CUT COULD BE SOME MONTHS AWAY In the UK, inflation has fallen once more, bringing some relief to household budgets. Average prices rose by 3.2% in the year leading up to March. Notably, meat prices dropped by 0.5%, and overall food prices saw only a modest increase. The Bank of England aims for a 2% inflation rate, so with the current downward trend, we might expect interest rates to decrease soon. In 2022, inflation hit a peak of 11.1%, primarily due to soaring energy costs resulting from the conflict in Ukraine. Food prices also surged during this period. However, there's some good news now. Prices are starting to stabilise, and inflation is on the decline. Still, it's worth noting that prices are still going up, just not as fast. DR MARTENS SUES TEMU OVER USE OF TRADEMARK Grungy British footwear brand Dr Martens has launched a lawsuit against online retailer Temu, accusing it of trademark infringement. Dr Martens alleges that Temu has used Google advertisements to promote boots...

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 08.04.24

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 08 | 04 | 24 Tesco declares soaring profits of £2.3 billion Tesco has reported a huge boost in profits for the past year. The UK’s largest supermarket posted £2.3 billion in pre-tax profit last year, up from £882 million in 2022. Sales also rose to £68.2 billion. This comes in spite of moves by Tesco to cut prices. Around 4000 products were cheaper at the end of the year than at the start. Tesco boasts a 27.3% market share and has 330,000 employees. The supermarket recently lost its battle against Lidl to use its Clubcard Prices logo Barclays launches challenge against car finance mis-selling claim Barclays is in a bit of a legal tangle. They're contesting a ruling about a £1600 commission they paid to a car finance broker without informing a customer. The court ruled it unfair, saying Barclays didn't play fair or act reasonably. Now Barclays is feeling the pressure. They're worried this could open the door to a flood of similar claims. They're insisting it was a one-off mistake, but deep down, they're sweating over the possibility that this could snowball into a bigger compensation mess for the whole industry. They're standing on shaky ground, hoping to patch things up before it gets worse. Apple loses bid to throw out £785m UK lawsuit over App Store fees Apple has failed to have a £785m class action lawsuit thrown out of court, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled in favour of UK app developers. Over 1500 UK app developers are crying foul, claiming Apple's holds an unfair monopoly over the market. Apple's hefty 15-30% commission on in-app purchases and othe restrictions constitute, anti-competitive behaviour according to the developers Apple has faced mounting pressure from regulators in the US and Europe over the fees it charges third-party developers distributing via the App Store. The Competition Appeal Tribunal considered that the claim had a “realistic prospect” of success. Charlotte Tilbury owner Puig seeks £2.1bn Spanish IPO Puig, the owner of Charlotte Tilbury, is stepping into the spotlight with a big move – they're launching their IPO and aiming to raise a hefty €2.5...

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 01.04.24

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 01 | 04 | 24   Vodafone-Three merger to face full-blown investigation by competition watchdog The future of the Vodafone and Three merger hangs in the balance, facing a serious threat as the Competition and Markets Authority steps in with a comprehensive Phase 2 investigation. There's growing worry that the proposed £15 billion merger might lead to reduced competition in the telecommunications industry, potentially resulting in higher prices for consumers. If the merger goes through, the combined entity would boast a massive customer base of 27 million, positioning itself as the largest mobile network in the UK. Moreover, it would significantly shrink the number of major network providers from four to three. Back in March, the CMA gave Vodafone and Three an opportunity to propose "meaningful solutions" to alleviate concerns or face further scrutiny. Unfortunately, neither company presented any viable solutions, prompting the launch of this in-depth investigation. The investigation process is expected to stretch over at least six months, during which the fate of the merger hangs in the balance, with the possibility of it being ultimately blocked. AI Safety: UK and US sign landmark agreement The US and the UK have shaken hands on a new partnership aimed at making sure artificial intelligence (AI) is as safe as can be. They're teaming up to carefully examine AI tools, making sure they're not only safe but also diving deep into how they actually work. They're tackling some pretty hot topics too, like chatbots that can generate conversations, the tricky issue of deep fakes, and of course, safeguarding people's personal data. Together, they're going to figure out what risks AI might pose and put measures in place to keep everything under control. This is the first time the US and the UK have joined forces like this specifically for AI. It's a big step forward in making sure that as AI technology keeps advancing, it's doing so in a way that's safe and responsible. The EU has also recently jumped on board with its own set of rules and guidelines for AI. Looks like everyone's really taking...

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 25.03.24

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 25 | 03 | 24 EU launches Digital Markets Act probes into Apple, Google and Meta The EU is really cracking down on big tech companies lately, like Apple, Alphabet (Google), and Meta (Facebook). They've launched new investigations into these companies for possibly breaking the rules laid out in the Digital Markets Act (DMA). This act puts a lot of pressure on the biggest tech players and can slap them with hefty fines if they're found guilty of wrongdoing. Interestingly, out of all the big names in tech, only Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and even TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, have to follow these strict rules. And now, the EU is turning its investigative spotlight on three of them. It's like a high-stakes game of tech regulation.  Amazon invests further $2.75bn in AI company Amazon is really doubling down on the future of AI by pouring a whopping $2.75 billion into a startup called Anthropic. This is actually Amazon's biggest investment ever outside of its own projects. It's like Amazon saying, 'Hey, we're putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to AI.' They've already tossed $1.25 billion into Anthropic's pot, and just last week, they decided to go all-in with another $2.75 billion. Why all the fuss? Well, Amazon's hoping this hefty investment will solidify its spot as a major player in the AI game. Anthropic, the startup they're backing, has cooked up its very own AI chatbot called Claude. Think of it as Amazon's answer to OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard. It's like they're all competing in this high-stakes race to create the most impressive AI, and Amazon's not sitting on the sidelines. They're diving headfirst into the action. Thames Water left in the lurch by shareholders Thames Water is trying to keep its head above water in a stormy sea of financial troubles. Last year, they managed to secure a lifeline of £750 million from shareholders to stay afloat. But it's been tough sailing with a massive £18 billion debt weighing them down. To turn things around, they announced a £4 billion plan...

“CΛN YOU TΞLL MΞ ΛBOUT Λ TIMΞ WHΞN YOU FΛCΞD Λ CHΛLLΞNGΞ, OЯ SOMΞTHING DIDN’T GO ΛS PLΛNNΞD?”

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] This question is quite common in interviews, and let's break it down to make it more relatable: What, Why, and How. What happened? When you're sharing your experience, it's okay to talk about a time when things didn't go perfectly. It's all about showing your ability to handle tough situations. For instance, you might chat about a project you worked on at school or a job, or even a personal goal like trying to complete a marathon but not quite making it. Remember | the idea isn't just to focus on the setback itself; the interviewer wants to know how you dealt with it and what you learned.  Why did you see this as a setback? Explain not just what went wrong, but also how you felt and what you were thinking at the time. Describe how you managed your feelings and made decisions. Maybe you put a lot of time and energy into a project, so when it didn't turn out the way you hoped, it was disappointing. Keep in mind, seeing something as a setback can be a personal thing. Your response should help the interviewer understand your point of view and experience. Remember | Your response should allow the interviewer to grasp your personal experience and viewpoint. How did you handle the situation? No doubt, there were lessons you took away from the experience. Talk about how the setback taught you something valuable, and how you adjusted your approach for future challenges. Perhaps you changed the way you plan things, learned new skills, or thought differently when working with a team. Explaining how you turned a setback into a chance for growth can really highlight your ability to bounce back and make the best of tough situations. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

MUST-DO CHΞCKS BΞFOЯΞ YOU SΞND YOUЯ CV

Okay, let's break this down. Your CV isn't just a piece of paper—it's like your own personal spotlight. It shows who you are, and more importantly, why you're the perfect fit for this opportunity. But here's the thing: Sending your CV out into the world isn't a one-way ticket to landing that opportunity. There's a bit more to it than that. Here are four things you should always double-check before you hit that "send" button: Polished and Presentable: Think of your CV like a work of art. It should be clean, easy to read, and completely error-free. Typos and messy formatting? Nah, we don't want those. If you're not sure, no harm in asking a friend or lecturer to give it a once-over. It's the little things that can make or break your chances. The little details matter, and employers won't hesitate to toss aside a CV if it's not on point. Show Your True Colours: Imagine your CV as an extension of your personal brand. You're unique, right? So, skip the boring stuff and let your personality shine. Ditch those cliché hobbies (we all love going to the gym, right?), and focus on what really sets you apart. Layout with a Purpose: Your CV isn't just a random assortment of facts—it's a story about you. And every good story has a flow. Make sure your CV is organised and tailored to the role.   It needs to flow seamlessly and highlight your strengths. A quick tip: Tailor it to match the job description. Your CV should scream, "I'm a perfect fit!" Connect the Dots: Sending a CV doesn't guarantee you an interview. Ask yourself, "Does my CV align with this role?" If the answer is a confident "Yes!" then hooray! But don't stop there—figure out how to showcase those skills, achievements and experience in a way that'll make recruiters go, "We need this person in for an interview. “ So, there you have it—four things you've got to nail down before you launch your CV into the world. Remember, your CV isn't just a piece of paper; it's your chance to stand out and make a lasting impression that'll get you that interview.   ΛЯΞ...