The Business: Tuesday July 8 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Network Rail’s punctuality fine is to be used to fund free superfast wifi for rail commuters, says Sky News. The operator has been ordered to return £53.1m to the Treasury after it "failed to deliver" on major routes, with punctuality of 86.9% falling "significantly short" of the average target of 92%. The penalty will be used to part-fund a pledge to spend up to £90m improving free wifi access on routes across England and Wales.
The general election, EU referendum and Scottish independence vote are the main risks to business, according to a new survey of executives. While these issues are concerning business leaders, the poll of 112 chief financial officers by consultants Deloitte also shows that overall concerns over economic and financial risk continue to fall. “UK corporates have shifted from balance-sheet repair to growth and business spending is emerging as a driver of the UK recovery,” said a Deloitte spokesman.
Samsung Electronics has forecast a 25% drop in profit for the second quarter, reports the BBC this morning. A slowdown in the smartphone market and a strong Korean currency are being cited as the reasons for the slump. Its operating profit has now fallen for three successive quarters. The firm expects to make an operating profit of 7.2 trillion won ($7.1bn; £4.2bn) in the April-to-June period, down from 9.5 trillion won a year ago.
Would you like to set up a bank? You can now do so for the price of a semi-detached house in Surbiton, thanks to changes made by the Bank of England. The minimum capital requirement for an entrepreneur seeking a licence to take deposits has been slashed from £5m to £1m. Other restrictions have also been relaxed. Metro bank co-founder Anthony Thomson, who is now trying to launch another UK bank, said of the process: “It used to feel like a heavy headwind. Now it feels like a tailwind.”
“She of course famously sprang to her father’s defence after he was ousted from the UK bank in the summer of 2012, when she posted on Twitter: ‘George Osborne and Ed Miliband you can go ahead and #HMD’. I can’t imagine what she meant.” As daughter Nell is the first person followed by Twitter newbie Bob Diamond, Marcus Leroux recalls a past tweet from her.
Want to get one over on your neighbouring town? A new website allows you to see how much your region contributes to the economy compared with the rest of the UK. The interactive map from the Office for National Statistics uses the latest numbers on gross value added (GVA) per head as a measure of what is generated by economic activity in an area. The website shows that London adds the most to the UK economy per person and Wales the least.
FTSE-100: down -0.62 to 6823.51
Dow Jones: down -0.26 to 17024.21
Dax: down -1.03 to 9906.07
Cac-40: down -1.41 to 4405.76
Nikkei: down -0.02 to 15376.75
Hang Seng: down -0.14 to 23507.31
US dollar: buys €0.73500 and £0.58380
Sterling: buys $1.71290 and €1.25920
Oil: $110.03 down -0.6