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COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 06.05.24

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 2020. Concerns have persisted about its long-term plans, particularly regarding the state of its finances and the need to invest in its blast furnaces.

  • FTX CUSTOMERS WILL RECOVER ALL FUNDS LOST BY COLLAPSED CRYPTO EXCHANGE

Collapsed crypto exchange FTX has announced that customers will recover all of their funds lost following the company’s implosion two years ago.

Creditors will receive $11.2 billion (£9bn) after chief executive John Ray III unveiled a bankruptcy plan that will raise between $14.5bn and $16.3bn from selling off assets.

The repayments, which will include interest for some FTX users, will align to the value of bitcoin at the time of the exchange’s collapse.

The price of the cryptocurrency has more than tripled in value since then, meaning the creditors will not benefit from bitcoin’s higher prices, however most will benefit from an interest rate of 9 per cent.

  • BRITISH SELF-DRIVING TECH START-UP WAYVE RAISES MORE THAN $1BN

UK start-up, Wayve, has secured £841 million ($1.05 billion) in funding led by Japanese investment firm SoftBank, to advance artificial intelligence (AI) supported car development and production.

Wayve is preparing to expand globally by leveraging its Embodied AI approach, which allows vehicles to learn from human behaviours in real-world settings.

Founded in 2017, the UK firm previously raised £160 million ($200 million) in early 2022 during its Series B round, led by Eclipse Ventures.

The latest Series C investment saw tech giant Microsoft and AI computing company NVIDIA join SoftBank.

Co-founder and CEO of Wayve, Alex Kendall, said the collaboration will help advance Wayve’s mission to redefine driving with AI at its core.

  • LVMH SUES VISA AND MASTERCARD OVER INTERCHANGE FEES

Luxury brand company LVMH is taking legal action against Visa and Mastercard, as reported by The Telegraph. Owned by Bernard Arnault, the company has filed lawsuits against the payment processors in the High Court. Although details of the case haven’t been made public, it’s believed to be related to a long-standing dispute over interchange fees.

These interchange fees are what retailers pay to banks when they accept card payments through Visa and Mastercard. Many companies argue that these fees are unfair and drive-up prices for consumers.

Since 2015, interchange fees have been capped at 0.2% for debit cards and 0.3% for credit cards. LVMH isn’t alone in its complaints; other companies like Vodafone and Ocado have also raised concerns.

Visa and Mastercard are facing legal battles from multiple angles, including a consumer class action claim estimated at £10 billion. However, they defend their fees, stating that they are regulated and recognized by financial authorities who understand the value of their services.

 

 

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