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President Trump held up Intel's plan to invest more than $7 billion in an Arizona factory as a win for his economic agenda. The mayor of Chandler simply calls it a win for his city where the plant is expected to generate thousands of jobs

Vodafone echo similar warning by BT of pressures on international corporate business


( via – – Thur, 2 Feb, 201) London, UK – –

Vodafone, the world's second-biggest mobile operator, said on Thursday that the rate of growth in its international business division had slowed, echoing a similar warning given by British rival BT last week.

BT, Britain's dominant fixed-line telecoms operator that provides networked IT and cloud services to companies and governments around the world, had said that it had seen a marked slowdown in its international order book, prompting it to take a more cautious approach to the sector.

Vodafone, reporting its third-quarter results on Thursday, said it was also seeing lower rates of growth in its global enterprise division, and said it was taking a more disciplined approach to agreeing contracts.

Neither spelled out whether the slowdown in spending was due to concerns by corporate customers for the global economy or whether it reflected competitive pressures from cloud service specialists such as Amazon Web Services.

“Global enterprise used to grow (around) 5 percent, now it's 2, so yes there is a deceleration,” Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao told reporters.

“What I hear, what I see is there is a pressure on revenues and we are a little bit stricter on the profitability of some contracts, so we don't always bid to the last penny to win.”

BT issued a major profit warning last week, with the business hit by a slowdown in British government work and an accounting scandal discovered in its Italian business.

The firm also said it had seen a drop in new work from multinational companies, forcing it to lower its growth forecasts for the unit.

“We're taking action to address this trend,” BT Finance Director Simon Lowth told analysts. “We are now more cautious on the outlook for the international markets for this year and next and we've revised downwards our expectations of future growth rates in this part of our business.”

IT research firm Gartner has predicted that spending on global communications services will rise by 1.7 percent this year, while it expects IT services to rise by 4.2 percent.

By Kate Holton and Paul Sandle

Deepening Italian accounting scandal sees BT shares plummet – corporate

UK telecoms firm BT has cut its revenue, earnings and cash flow forecasts for the next two years.

The reason for that was it had discovered that improper accounting at its Italian business went far deeper than previously thought.

Its shares slumped and on Tuesday were on track for their worst ever one-day fall, cutting its value on the stock market by almost a fifth.

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Lloyds internet banking customers struggling to access their accounts online

Elliott Brown/

Internet banking customer endure further frustration accessing accounts as bosses say they can not give a timescale for a fix.

Lloyds Banking Group says it is still working to identify a glitch that has left internet banking customers struggling to access their accounts online for a second day.

The problems – quite common within the industry – first arose on Wednesday morning, with account holders taking to social media to vent their frustrations ever since.

Lloyds said the problem appeared to be intermittent and was being seen across its network of banks including Halifax and Bank of Scotland, with both apps and online access suffering from the fault.

It is understood that some people unable to access their money have later been able to log in.

The bank said the vast majority of its customers did not seem to be impacted but the timescale for a fix was unclear.

“We have been having intermittent service issues with internet banking.

“We are working hard to restore a full service for our customers and apologise for any inconvenience caused,” a spokeswoman said.

Lloyds, as a group, has six million digital customers and they are not the first to suffer from such banking issues.

A series of industry failures – both online and in cash machine operations – has prompted a backlash from consumer groups, regulators and MPs (BSE: MPSLTD.BO – news) who have urged the sector to increase spending on their systems' resilience.

RBS (LSE: RBS.L – news) is among banks to have been fined for poor performance.

It was handed a £56m penalty over a computer outage in 2012.

Tesco Bank is the lender to have attracted regulatory interest most recently.

Sky News revealed on Wednesday how it had called in auditors to investigate the hacking attack last autumn in which customers had £2.5m fraudulently taken.

The Financial Times reported last month that the Financial Conduct Authority was exploring whether Tesco Bank had exposed its customers to fraud by issuing debit cards with sequential numbers.

Just Eat investors slim down their shareholdings as growth slows

Food Wine
aJ Gazmen/Flickr

( via – – Tue, 10 Jan, 2017) London, Uk – –

Just Eat, the takeaway app, failed to meet the City's appetite for growth over Christmas, prompting investors to slim down their shareholdings.

The company said in its annual update ahead of full-year results in March that overall orders across its territories were up 36pc in 2016, on a like-for-like basis. In the UK, the FTSE 250 company's main market, order growth was 31pc.

Analysts were disappointed by the figures, despite Just Eat's statement that it was in a “strong position to deliver full-year results in line with our previous financial guidance”.

Most analysts were expecting Just Eat to beat its guidance, however.

Barclays said the overall growth implied that Just Eat had fallen 400,000 orders short of its its expectations of 137 million. The miss was caused by a bigger than expected dip in takeaway demand over the Christmas period, the analysts claimed, and a further slowdown in the company's rapid expansion.

The non-UK takeaway business caused particular concern, with estimates suggesting orders had not grown sequentially for several quarters and that the end of 2016 was well below expectations.

Just Eat shares were trading down more than 6.5pc on the back of the update. David Buttress, its chief executive, said the board had continuing confidence in the business going into 2017.

Jefferies said that despite the disappointment there were “no real knocks” to the case for investment in Just Eat from the update. It said the company's slowing growth was “just a reality check as the guidance upgrade conveyor belt comes to a stop”.

Competition in the food delivery market has been intensifying, with venture capital-backed rivals to Just Eat – including Deliveroo and Uber – making headway.

Just Eat, which made its stock market debut nearly three years ago at 260p per share and now stands at more than double that, has responded by seeking to buy up smaller players.

Last month it announced a takeover of Hungry House, once its main challenger in the UK, for up to £240m. The deal is yet to face scrutiny from the Competition and Markets Authority.

By Christopher Williams