Thursday September 3

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UK Perspective
US Perspective
Foreign investors own £1tn of UK firms

Foreign investors own nearly £1,000bn-worth of British companies, figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown. Overseas investors increased their share of firms from 43.4% in 2010 to 53.6% in 2012 and 53.8% by 2014. All this means that foreign ownership has jumped £167.7bn over the past five years - from £760.9bn to £928.6bn.

Net-a-Porter founder Massenet quits

The founder of Net-a-Porter has quit the online fashion empire she created just weeks before its takeover by an Italian discounter is completed. Natalie Massenet, who launched the company by shifting designer clothes from her Chelsea apartment, leaves with more than £100m cash after selling her stake in the company, according to Bloomberg.


Lego reasserts its industry dominance

The Financial Times reveals that Lego has reasserted its leadership of the toy industry, with the Danish maker of plastic figures and bricks reporting robust first-half sales and profit growth. Lego reclaimed the crown as world’s biggest toymaker by sales from rival Mattel, the US maker of Barbie, Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price. Lego’s sales increased 23% to DKr14.1bn ($2.1bn), compared with a 5% fall at Mattel to $1.9bn.


Halfords posts first cycling slump for two years

Is the biking boom losing pace? Halfords has suffered its first slowdown in bicycle sales in more than two years, notes the Daily Telegraph. The retailer posted an 11% slump in like-for-like retail sales in its cycling division in the eight weeks to August 28. This forced overall same-store sales down 1.3% during the same period. The news comes months after a new boss took over at the chain.

Nissan pumps £100m into Sunderland plant

Nissan is to invest £100m in its Sunderland plant to build the next generation Juke model, reports Sky News. In a move that secures thousands of jobs, the Japanese carmaker, which employs 6,700 at the factory directly, said the decision proved it was the "undisputed leader" in the crossover vehicle market. The Sunderland plant produces more than 500,000 cars annually.

Quote of the day… why teetotallers should raise a glass

"Almost incredibly, British drinkers pay 40% of the EU’s entire alcohol tax bill. This amounts to far more than any plausible estimate of the alcohol-related costs to public services." Writing in City AM, Chris Snowden says that when it comes to tax, drinkers are not only paying their way, they are subsidising teetotallers too.


FTSE-100: up +0.41 to 6083.31
Dow Jones: up +1.82 to 16351.38
Dax: up +0.32 to 10048.05
Cac-40: up +0.30 to 4554.92
Nikkei: up +0.89 to 18257.26
Hang Seng: down -1.18 to 20934.94
US dollar: buys €0.89060 and £0.65440
Sterling: buys $1.52840 and €1.36110
Oil: $50.67 up +2.2