Insurers in the UK face possible action by FCA over calculation of pandemic payouts

( via — Mon, 3rd Aug 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Insurers that do not treat customers fairly when calculating payouts for business interruption due to the coronavirus crisis will face action by Britain’s markets watchdog.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken eight insurers to court over business interruption policy wordings, which the insurers say do not cover the pandemic, with a ruling expected in mid-September.

But the case does not address how any resulting claims payments would be calculated, the FCA said on Monday.

“We may intervene and take further actions where firms do not appear to be meeting our expectations and treating their customers fairly,” the FCA said in a statement.

Some insurers were making deductions for government loans – which businesses had received as a result of the pandemic – when calculating payouts.

The FCA said this could be appropriate but insurers should not take a one-size-fits-all approach and make uniform deductions.

“Insurers are likely to need to consider individually the precise details of the policy, the claim and the use and application of the government support the policyholder received,” the FCA said.

Similar wordings to those in the test case were used by more than 60 insurers and could affect 370,000 policyholders, the FCA has said.

Insurers are already paying claims on some business interruption policies. The Association of British Insurers said its members expected to pay 900 million pounds in such claims this year due to the pandemic.

Analysts said a win for the FCA could take the size of those payments to billions of pounds.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Alexander Smith

UK Government ‘Eat out to help out” scheme the pros and cons for restaurants

( via – – Mon, 3rd Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

Restaurant owner Lubeck Sredojevic is exactly the kind of person who should be benefiting from Chancellor Rishi Sunak's “Eat out to help out” scheme.

The Serbian-born businessman has been the owner of the Boulevard restaurant in south Croydon since 1999.

He initially welcomed lockdown as a chance to take a break and refurbish his restaurant's interior, “because in 21 years I didn't have a proper holiday”, but now he is ready to serve his customers again.

He is taking part in the government's meal discount scheme – which runs between Mondays and Wednesdays throughout August – but he is “not crazy about it”.

“I have more bookings than I normally have for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” he says, “But my Friday, Saturday and Sunday are worse.

“It will definitely affect the weekend and we won't have as many people as we normally have.”

The other big problem with the scheme for Mr Sredojevic is that it only covers food, not alcohol, and that makes it confusing to administer.

“It's very complicated technically to separate them,” he says. “We've got to do it manually and I need to do it myself, because I want to check it has been done properly.

“It would have been easier to do it for everything. They should have found some way to make it simpler.”

Reduced capacity

“Eat out to help out” is the chancellor's latest move to help boost an industry that has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Sunak hopes that by offering up to £10 off a meal in August on certain days, it will encourage people to visit restaurants and cafes.

But with the offer only available on 13 days during the month, is it too little, too late to save an industry already ravaged by a devastating wave of closures and job losses?

“There are still a lot of difficulties facing our industry,” said Marcello Distefano, boss of the San Carlo chain of restaurants.

“We're running at reduced capacity and we're still suffering from no-shows. and we've still got the major question over rents which will come to fruition at the end of September,” he told the BBC's Today programme.

“We're looking forward to the autumn with a little bit of trepidation at the moment with what's happening.”

The chain has 21 restaurants across the country, but its problems are typical of an industry that has been brought to its knees during the coronavirus crisis.

Six of its branches remain closed and 130 of its 700 workers are still furloughed.

“We've still got three restaurants that are closed in London, predominantly in the Covent Garden area, which relies heavily on theatres and tourism. But even at the London branches open, sales figures are down 70-75% on last year,” Mr Distefano revealed.

“With there still being so many unknowns, we still have a sense of uncertainty about our future.”

Cautious consumers

“The hospitality sector has been hit particularly hard by the nation's lockdown,” said Will Hawkley, UK head of leisure at KPMG.

“While some restaurant doors have reopened, consumers still struggle to shake off the words of caution that previously told them – in no uncertain terms – to remain at home.

“Worries around what will happen in city centres or during the winter, when the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, still remain.”

The Covid-19 crisis has seen a number of restaurant chains in trouble, with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Byron Burger became the latest business to add to the industry's woes at the end of July, when it announced it was axing 650 jobs and closing more than half its outlets.

The owner of Cafe Rouge, the Casual Dining Group, went into administration in July and closed 91 of its 250 sites, with the loss of 2,000 jobs. The group has since been bought, saving 4,000 jobs.

Bella Italia-owner Azzurri also went into administration, which meant 75 branches closing and 1,200 jobs disappearing before it, too, was bought by a new business.

Carluccio's is another chain that fell into administration, before being bought by the owner of Giraffe restaurants, although 40 of its outlets were closed with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

‘Right thing to do'

The “Eat out to help out” scheme applies to eat-in food and drink at more than 72,000 venues across the country.

Business and Industry Minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Breakfast: “People want to support great local restaurants, great independent restaurants, and of course their favourite restaurant chains as well.

“I'll be going out and helping those restaurants in Stratford-on-Avon, in London, wherever I can, of course. I think it's the right thing to do.”

Asked if you could choose to pay full price, he replied: “It's worth all of us going out and if the government is supporting the sector, why not?

“We should all absolutely make sure that we go out and enjoy that restaurant.”

Major chains taking part in the scheme include: Burger King, Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee, Franco Manca, Fullers, Greene King, McDonald's, Nando's, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, Wagamama and Wetherspoon.

By Simon Read & Robert Plummer Business reporters

Jenn Hyman The Women Who Build A Billion-Dollar Fashion Technology Business Empire

Source: Forbes

“I'm here to assure you that you can have it all,” says Jenn Hyman, co-founder and CEO of the disruptive fashion technology startup Rent the Runway. Hyman remains one of the few female founders to helm a billion-dollar empire, and the first to attain elusive unicorn status while also nine months pregnant. “You can have the life that you've always dreamed of having. And I think that it's crazy that I used to think that that was impossible.” In a landscape where outdated stereotypes are just one of the many challenges female leaders face as they rise the ranks, Hyman is busting the myth that high-achieving women must choose between a fulfilling career and achieving life ambitions beyond their professional pursuits. Since co-founding Rent the Runway in 2009 after attending Harvard Business School, Hyman has gone on to raise over $500 million in funding, growing the business to over 11 million members and revolutionizing the $2.4 trillion fashion industry along the way. Change has extended far beyond her professional life too, and Hyman stresses the importance of this in her evolution and success as a leader. “My whole life has changed. I'm married, I have kids, I have a much more balanced life than I had in the early days of Rent the Runway,” she says. “But that doesn't mean that I work fewer hours now; I still work with the same level of intensity. But I think that it's extremely important to have other things in your life that you are as obsessed with or more obsessed with than work.”

Italy’s $1 Billion Marble Mountains

Source: BI

A slab of Carrara marble can cost up to $400 per square meter. The luxury stone comes the Apuan Alps, a mountain range in northern Tuscany that stretches for 58 km and reaches 2,000 meters high. The Carrara quarries have produced more marble than any other place on Earth. The market as a whole is worth over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) and produces 4 million tons of marble every year, with 13,000 people involved.


10 BEST BUSINESSES You Can Start ONLINE in 2020

Source: Alux

This Alux video well try to answer the following questions: What kind of online business is most profitable? What is the best business to start in 2020? What are the most successful small businesses? What is the best online business to start in 2019? What are the top 10 online businesses? How can I earn fast money? What businesses are in demand? How do I decide what business to start? Which type of business is best? What's the easiest business to start? What's the easiest type of business to start? Which industry is most profitable? What is the best online business to start in 2020? Is 2020 a good time to start a business? Which business is best for students? How can I make money in 2020? How can I earn money in home? How can I make a lot of money online? How can I make $100 a day? How can I make $100 a day online without investment? How can I turn 100 dollars into 1000 a day? What kind of business can I start from home? What business will be successful in future? Which home based business is the best? Is online selling profitable? What are the top 5 most profitable businesses? How can I start my own online store? What kind of business can I do online? What are the top online businesses? How can a 2020 beginner make money online? What is the best startup business for 2019? What is the cheapest most profitable business to start? What are the worst businesses to start? What are the most successful big businesses? What is the best business for ladies? What can I sell online?

Waking Up In The Most Expensive Hotel Room In Bel-Air

Source: CNBC

See what it’s like to wake up in the most expensive hotel room at the super exclusive Hotel Bel-Air. The luxury hotel has a giant presidential suite that’s probably one of the most lavish in all of Los Angeles. The mega-suite includes a secret paparazzi-proof entrance, a giant private pool, grand piano, outdoor hot tub, and if you want the full VIP experience: Chef Wolf Gang Puck can serve you dinner for ten in your suite’s private dining room. After showing you what it’s like to wake up in the super expensive VIP suite we’ll also give you a look inside the hotel’s LEAST expensive room and reveal three things you can do here that are way less expensive and you can do them even if you’re NOT a guest.

House prices bounced back in July, says Nationwide

( via – – Fri, 31st July 2020) London, Uk – –

House prices bounced back in July, climbing 1.7% during the month compared to a 1.5% fall in June, according to the Nationwide.

“The bounce back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions,” it said.

Activity has been boosted by pent-up demand and the stamp duty holiday.

But the lender warned: “There is a risk this proves to be something of a false dawn.”

The average price in July was £220,936, according to the Nationwide. However, while prices were up 1.5% from a year earlier, July's price was 1.6% lower than in April at the beginning of lockdown.

However, it was a marked change to June's prices when the market posted its first annual fall in eight years.

The rebound in prices reflected a number of factors, said Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist.

He said pent up demand was coming through, from people who had already decided to move before lockdown began. But some people were moving because of their lockdown experience, he said.

“Behavioural shifts may be boosting activity, as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown,” he said.

“Moreover, social distancing does not appear to be having as much of a chilling effect as we might have feared, at least at this stage.”

He said the upward trends look set to continue in the near term, and will be further boosted by the recently-announced stamp duty holiday.

But he added a note of caution. “Most forecasters expect labour market conditions to weaken significantly in the quarters ahead as a result of the after effects of the pandemic and as government support schemes wind down.

“If this comes to pass, it would likely dampen housing activity once again in the quarters ahead.”

Lenders cautious

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, also warned that the future may not be so positive for the housing market.

“Lenders remain keen to lend but also cautious as to borrowers' financial positions, given the impending end of the furlough scheme and a number of redundancies which have already been announced,” he said.

Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, warned: “What no one can forecast is what happens next, with some nerves among homeowners, investors and economists as to what the future may hold.”

Jonathan Hopper, chief executive of Garrington Property Finders, said lockdown would have a lasting effect on the property market.

“Like so much else that has been transformed by the pandemic, the property market map is being redrawn as people reassess what they want from their homes and when, or even if, they need to travel to work,” he said.

“Three months of being cooped up in the same four walls has led many people to consider a move.”

By Simon Read Personal finance reporter

BT sign-ups for UK’s ultra-fast broadband increase by 70% as Britons work from home

( via – – Fri, 31st July 2020) London, Uk – –

Company reports near-70% increase in upgrades as Covid-19 crisis keeps Britons at home

BT has reported a near-70% surge in customers switching to next-generation full-fibre broadband as the working-from-home revolution prompts people to upgrade to the fastest internet connection available.

The company said the number of sign-ups for full fibre broadband, which enables users to download a hi-definition TV show in 15 seconds instead of the typical three minutes or more with standard broadband, increased in June to 10,000 per week.

Prior to that, about 6,000 customers per week had been signing up for full-fibre broadband, BT said.

The company, which runs the UK’s broadband network via its Openreach subsidiary, said customers are continuing to sign up in higher numbers. Households are upgrading as more companies either continue to delay sending staff back to the office or make remote working a permanent fixture.

“We are 20% up on daytime data usage on our [broadband] network,” said Philip Jansen, BT’s chief executive. “People are using us more at home. We have had lots of people ringing us up and contacting us to get higher speeds to do things like get complete wifi and manage their connections better.

“It is part of that general trend of connectivity being seen as absolutely crucial, even more crucial than it was before because there are more people at home, kids studying online, gaming, work and all that.”

Boris Johnson has pledged to have next-generation broadband made available to every home by 2025, as the UK plays catchup rolling out the technology compared with most developed markets around the world. BT is spending £12bn rolling out full-fibre broadband to 20m homes by the late 2020s.

On Friday, BT revealed a near-£400m decline in revenue in the three months to the end of June. The company blamed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which meant it was unable to broadcast sport such as Premier League football on BT TV and in partnered pubs, as well as a drop in demand for its services from small businesses during the lockdown.

By Mark Sweney

Tour operator Tui to shut 166 high street shops in UK and Ireland

( via– Thur, 30th July 2020) London, Uk – –

Tour operator Tui is to close 166 high street stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the firm has announced.

Managing director Andrew Flintham said of the store closures: “We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it's in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.

“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.

“Customer behaviours have already changed in recent years, with 70% of all Tui UK bookings taking place online.

“We believe COVID-19 has only accelerated this change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home.

“We have world-class travel advisers at Tui, so we hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”

One in three furloughed UK workers back at work in early July – ONS

( via — Thur, 30th July 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Roughly one in three furloughed workers in Britain returned to their jobs during the first two weeks of July as the hospitality industry reopened to the public, an official survey suggested on Thursday.

Some 7% of workers at businesses surveyed by the Office for National Statistics between June 29 and July 12 had returned to work within the previous two weeks, reducing the proportion who remained on furlough to 17%.

The sector with the largest number of workers returning was accommodation and food services businesses – which reopened to guests on July 4 – where 18% returned to work, though 43% remained on furlough leave.

Reporting by David Milliken

Barclays sets aside £3.7bn to cover possible loan losses

( via– Wed, 29th July, 2020) London, Uk – –

The bank says it has granted more than 600,000 payment holidays under its support for consumers and businesses during the crisis.

Barclays made provisions of £3.7bn in the first half of the year to cover possible loan losses as the coronavirus crisis took its toll on consumers and businesses.

The bank's latest financial results showed it set aside £1.6bn to cover bad debts during the second quarter – the three months to the end of June – as the lockdown in its core UK market came into full effect.

The credit impairment charges and loan loss provisions came in about £200m above the expectations of analysts.

They dented group profit before tax for the six months, which fell to £1.3bn compared to the £3bn achieved in the same period last year.

The bank's chief executive said its diversified business model – a key part of his strategy – had allowed Barclays to support its customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as income from its investment bank in particular offset weaknesses elsewhere.

The bank said: “Our consumer business income decreased by 11% in Barclays UK and 21% in CC&P (consumer, cards and payments) as a result of the lower interest rate environment, fewer interest earning balances, reduced payments activity and action to provide support for customers”.

That action, Barclays said, included more than 600,000 payment holidays up to 22 July and delivery of the government's loan schemes to support businesses through the crisis.

The bank said that since late March, it had helped deliver around £22bn of funding including 250,000 government-backed Bounce Back Loans totalling around £7.7bn.

It said it had handed out £2.5bn under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), under which the bank shares some of the risk.

Barclays' investment bank income rose 31% over the six months to £6.9bn – led by its markets business.

However, it confirmed there would be no interim dividend for shareholders.

Chief executive Jes Staley told investors a previously flagged boost to its reserves meant Barclays was in good shape despite the current challenges.

“Our CET1 (common equity tier one ratio) stands at 14.2% which underscores the strength of our balance sheet”.

But he added: “Although we will remain well capitalised and ahead of our minimum requirements, we may experience stronger capital headwinds in the second half of the year. The Board will decide on future dividends and capital returns at the year-end 2020.

“While the remainder of 2020 will be challenging, our diversified model means we can remain financially resilient and continue to support our customers and clients.”

Shares, down by more than a third in the year to date, rose initially before falling 1% in early trading.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said of the bank's charges: “Given the backdrop, a large increase in provisions for bad loans during the half was to be expected – and Barclays now expects disruption to drag well past 2020.

“For the high street business bad loan provisions are clustered in the credit card business, always a riskier area for lenders, but the bank also anticipates some large losses from its large corporate customers.”

Aston Martin Luxury car brand losses soar to £227m in first half of 2020

( via – – Wed, 29th July 2020) London, Uk – –

Luxury car brand’s sales down 41% after coronavirus pandemic shuts dealerships

Aston Martin Lagonda’s losses surged to £227m in the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic closed the embattled UK luxury carmaker’s dealerships and prompted an executive clear-out.

The carmaker was also forced to restate its income statements over two years after detecting an accounting error that led it to overstate profitability in 2018 and 2019.

Aston Martin has endured a torrid 12 months, as heavy spending on a new factory for a new car, the DBX SUV, followed by the pandemic pushed it close to bankruptcy. Its main plant, at Gaydon, Warwickshire, is only due to resume manufacturing at the end of August, later than originally planned.

In January the billionaire fashion mogul Lawrence Stroll led a consortium that in effect took control of Aston Martin in a bailout shortly before the pandemic forced a deep drop in sales. Stroll has focused on restoring profitability at the carmaker, as well as firing Andy Palmer as chief executive and in his place installing Tobias Moers, the former boss of Mercedes-Benz’s performance division, AMG.

The pandemic meant that Aston Martin sold only 1,770 cars in the first six months of 2020, down 41% compared with 2019. It sold only one of its highly lucrative “special” cars, such as the £2.7m DB5 Goldfinger Continuation, which comes with a smokescreen emitter and fake tyre slashers and machine guns to mirror the car made famous by the James Bond film. Last year it sold 36.

The carmaker’s revenues plunged by 64% year on year to only £146m as dealerships around the world were forced to close.

Aston Martin was also forced to restate its income statements for 2018 and 2019 after overstating profits by £15.3m in 2019.

The new management found an error in the way the US region was recognising revenues that meant it counted payments to dealers and discounts for retail customers later than it should have done.

Stroll, who took the role of executive chairman, said it had been “a very intense and challenging six months” and the company pointed to more difficulties ahead. Reducing the number of cars at dealerships, a key aim of Stroll as he tries to restore Aston Martin’s air of exclusivity, will continue until 2021.

In its statement to the stock market, Aston Martin said: “Trading remains challenging in many markets and the pace of emergence from lockdown and consumer recovery varies significantly.”

UK government close to giving backing to double virus tests which ‘could cut quarantine time’

( via – – Tue, 28th July 2020) London, Uk – –

People entering the UK from at-risk countries who test negative for coronavirus twice within several days might be allowed to leave quarantine early.

The UK government is close to giving its backing to a trial, according to travel industry sources.

Under current rules, those arriving in the UK from certain countries must self-isolate for 14 days.

The Department for Transport (DfT) declined to comment.

Details of the new programme are said to be still being worked out, but one key area of debate is the number of days required between tests.

The government has indicated that it is keeping all quarantine measures under review.

It is said to be considering an eight-day stretch between tests, whereas figures within the travel sector are keen for a five-day period.

The number of days required between each test is critical in reducing the possibility of “false negative” results.

A false negative result is possible if someone who has recently contracted Covid-19 is not showing symptoms.

France is about to launch a compulsory two-test regime for people arriving from 16 at-risk countries, including the United States.

The BBC understands that there are two broad options being considered.

The first would involve someone having a first test several days before they travelled to the UK, with the second test happening the day before they arrive. However, this might mean that in some cases people would need to be tested abroad.

That option could mean that people would avoid quarantine altogether.

The second possibility is that people would be tested on arrival in the UK, possibly at the airport, and then be required to have a second test several days later.

In the period between the two tests, the person would have to self-isolate at home in line with government rules.

Another question mark remains over how the trial will be funded.

Travel consultant Paul Charles believes that airports will have to foot part of the bill.

“The onus is on UK airports to invest, as restaurants and bars have done, in the measures which enable the economy to get going,” he said.

Like other figures in the travel industry, Mr Charles is frustrated by the fact that the government has still not given its backing to testing as a way of people avoiding the travel quarantine.

“Substantial investment in testing is the only solution to enable safer travel, keep corridors open to other countries and remove the disruptive need for everyone to self-isolate for 14 days.”

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport, told BBC News “the jury was still out” on having one single coronavirus test on arrival.

“Not enough work has been done on that and it may be that we need another test after five or eight days to get people out of quarantine early.

“As the UK's hub airport, I want to work with the government on some of these things – to try to find a balance to keep people safe but also to get the economy moving again and save as many jobs as possible.”

The test that would be used is the same Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-type test used by the NHS, and can cost about £150 each time.

Any trial of the double-testing scheme would likely initially be focused on one or two specific routes.

The BBC has been told that any trial would not initially be focused on people arriving from European destinations.

The aviation sector has been in discussions with Public Health England about how the testing could work.

If the scheme goes ahead, it is not expected to be implemented for several weeks.

Collinson and Swissport are the two firms spearheading the work on the trials in the UK.

Collinson chief executive David Evans said of the potential roll-out: “I would hope that the government would move and flex on their policy – I think they've got to have an armoury of tools at their disposal to do this.

“As soon as they do that, we should get this rolled out in the next couple of weeks.”

By Tom BurridgeTransport correspondent, BBC News

UK pension scams under investigation after relaxation in rules in 2015

( via — Tue, 28th July 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – British lawmakers said on Tuesday they were launching an inquiry into pension scams following a relaxation in pension rules five years ago that has increased the scope for fraud, a problem likely to get worse during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under so-called pension freedoms introduced in 2015, over-55s have been able to choose how they spend their pension pots, rather than being forced to buy an annuity, which gives a fixed income for life.

Industry sources say the changes have encouraged investment in other financial products that offer higher returns than annuities, but have also increased the scope for scams.

“More flexibility means more potential for the unscrupulous to take advantage and scam savers out of what will very often be their largest financial asset, crippling their dreams of a comfortable retirement,” said Stephen Timms, chair of the work and pensions committee of lawmakers.

Some 180 people reported they had been the victim of a pension scam in 2018, losing on average 82,000 pounds each. Regulators believe only a minority of pension scams are reported, the committee said in a statement.

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to lead to a further increase in scams, said Andy Agathangelou, founder of Transparency Task Force, which lobbies for reform of financial services.

“People are suffering from lack of money, there’s an increasing lack of confidence in the pensions industry and scammers are getting ever more sophisticated.”

The work and pensions committee is seeking written submissions on pension scams by Sept. 9.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn

Gold hits record high as investors look for a safe place to put their money

( via – – Mon, 27th July 2020) London, Uk – –

Gold hit a record high on Monday as increasing numbers of nervous investors sought a safe place to put their money.

Rising political tensions between the US and China joined the ever-present worries over the continuing coronavirus pandemic to boost the spot price to $1,943.93 an ounce,

Covid-19 cases have risen to more then 16 million globally.

Many investors shun gold as it doesn't pay dividends or interest rates but it tends to rise in troubled times,

Interest rates are currently near zero and dividend returns from companies are uncertain at best, with so many struggling.

So far this year, gold prices have risen 28%.

Adrian Ash, director of research at precious metals trader BullionVault, said that the rising trend was likely to continue: “While gold could see this sharp spike pull back quickly, longer-term investment flows look set to stay strong.

“The permanent damage done to economic growth by the Covid catastrophe is likely to support the case for holding gold as a long-term form of financial insurance, because it will keep interest rates at or below zero while threatening mass corporate debt defaults and forcing government deficits to new peacetime records.”

A fall in the dollar is another factor that boosts the price of gold, which is quoted in the US currency. It means that buyers using other currencies can, in fact, be paying the same for their gold, as they are able to buy more dollars for their money.

In the latest development between the US and China, China took over the premises of the US consulate in the south western city of Chengdu. The move was in retaliation for the US closing down China's diplomatic base in Houston, Texas.

This sent the dollar index to its lowest since September 2018.

The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, is meeting this week to decide on monetary policy.

Mihir Kapadia, head of Sun Global Investments, thinks that could also help boost the price further: “With eyes on the upcoming Fed policy meeting later this week and more concerns over geopolitical tensions, further gains can be expected with these factors likely to weigh heavily on the stock markets for a few more weeks to come.”

Fellow precious metal silver was also higher, It rose more than 6% to $24.36, its highest since September 2013.

AstraZeneca signs cancer treatment deal worth up to £4.7bn

( via – – Mon, 27th July 2020) London, Uk – –

Pharmaceuticals company buys global rights to new technology from Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo

Drugmaker AstraZeneca could pay up to $6bn (£4.7bn) for the global rights to a new Japanese cancer treatment.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company said it would pay $1bn (£800m) up front to its partner Daiichi Sankyo.

It has also promised to pay up to $1bn if the treatment gets approval from regulators and up to $4bn (£3.1bn) more if it sells as hoped.

The treatment, DS-1062, targets the Trop2 protein, which is overproduced by most breast and lung cancers. Honing in on the cells that produce too much of the protein allows the treatment to deliver selective chemotherapy to certain areas, rather than subjecting the whole body to the treatment.

The medicine has not yet been approved for use in any country, and its safety and efficacy have not been established.

“We see significant potential in this antibody drug conjugate in lung as well as in breast and other cancers that commonly express Trop2,” said the AstraZeneca chief executive, Pascal Soriot.

The deal will give AstraZeneca a slice of the global sales of the treatment, as the two companies have agreed to partner up to develop and then commercialise DS-1062.

However, Daiichi Sankyo will keep the exclusive rights to the Japanese market.

It is not the first time the two drug giants have collaborated.
In March last year, they started a similar partnership to develop and commercialise breast cancer treatment Enhertu.

“We are delighted to enter this new collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo and to build on the successful launch of Enhertu to further expand our pipeline and leadership in oncology,” Soriot said.

He added: “We now have six potential blockbusters in oncology with more to come in our early and late pipelines.”

The Daiichi Sankyo chief executive, Sunao Manabe, said the new treatment could become “best in class” for targeting and treating multiple tumours, including breast and lung cancers.Advertisement

“This new strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca, a company with extensive experience and significant expertise in the global oncology business, will enable us to deliver DS-1062 to more patients around the world as quickly as possible,” he said.

Press Association

The Rise And Fall Of The Mall

Source: BI

Starting with the opening of the Southland Mall in 1956 malls have been a vaulted piece of Americana for decades. Thousands were built across the country and for a while it seemed they would dominate the American landscape forever, but in recent years they’ve rapidly lost their value. So how did malls go from being a mainstay in American society to a quickly vanishing memory?

10 BEST Countries To Start A BUSINESS

Source: Alux

This Alux video will try to answer the following questions:

What's the best country to get an business opportunity? What are the 10 BEST Countries To Start A BUSINESS? What are the best countries to start a business in 2020? What is the procedure to start a new startup around the world? What is the best country in the world to start a business? What is the best country to start a business and live peacefully? What country is it easiest to start a business? Which country is best for business? What is the most profitable country in the world? Which country has the most small businesses? Which country has most entrepreneurs? Which country offers the most business opportunity? Which country is No 1 in ease of doing business? Which European country is best for business? Which country is the easiest to start a business?

Why RV Sales Are Booming

Source: CNBC

In the years that followed the financial crisis, sales of RVs began booming. Once considered a pretty dowdy way to travel, RVs have benefited from slick industry ad campaigns, low gas prices, and a renewed interest among Americans of all ages. Data indicate first-time buyers are pouring into RV dealerships and shows, looking for their own happy home on the road. But long-timers say new buyers need to do their research before buying, and understand what the RV life is really about.

Digital giant Revolut to announce additional funding of £63m from further share sale

( via– Fri, 24th July 2020) London, Uk – –

The UK-based digital bank has raised additional funding at a $5.5bn (£4.3bn) valuation, Sky News understands.

The British-based digital payments and banking app Revolut is raising tens of millions of pounds from a further share sale just months after crystallising its status as one of the UK's most valuable technology “unicorns”.

Sky News has learnt that Revolut will announce in the coming days that it has secured an $80m (£63m) investment from US-based private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners.

The share sale will take place at the same $5.5bn valuation at which it sold a $500m stake in February, an insider said on Friday.

Since then, the global coronavirus pandemic has buffeted both traditional banks and a number of digital lenders amid expectations of rising loan impairments amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.

Sources suggested that Revolut's ability to raise new funding at the same valuation underlined its resilience, even as the cross-border travel on which its revenues partly depend faces a protracted recovery.

Founded by Nik Storonsky, Revolut has grown from a standing start little more than five years ago to have more than 2,000 employees and more than 10 million customers in well over 30 countries.

In February, it unveiled TCV – an early-stage backer of Spotify, Airbnb and Netflix – as a major new investor.

The mammoth funding round came soon after Revolut appointed the City veteran Martin Gilbert as its chairman.

Michael Sherwood, former boss of Goldman Sachs in Europe‎ and one of the City's most prominent bank executives, has also joined the company as a non-executive director.

The board changes came as Revolut was forced to respond to a series of reputational challenges including alleged links to the Kremlin – which it has strenuously denied.

Revolut said last year it was opening 12,000 accounts every day – equating to four million each year – and has received financial backing from some of the biggest names in the venture capital industry, including Balderton Capital, DST Global and Index Ventures.

Mr Storonsky added in 2019 that he would like Revolut to be worth between $20bn (£15.8bn) and $40bn (£31.6bn) before it contemplates a stock market listing, which is likely to be some years away.

Despite its multibillion pound valuation, Revolut continues to be lossmaking, although that hardly makes it an anomaly among prominent technology companies.

In results published last autumn, Revolut said it had made a pre-tax loss of £33m in 2018, compared with £15m the previous year.

However, revenues grew more than fourfold from £13m to £58m, with the company saying it was on course to triple revenues again this year.

The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority has challenged faster-growing firms under its auspices to adopt more rigorous stress-testing and evidence of greater challenge by board members.

Revolut declined to comment on Friday.

By Mark Kleinman