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South Africa's circular economy could be lifeline for its 25% unemployed

With unemployment at a 10 year high, hope is coming in the form of new jobs offered by the country’s burgeoning circular economy

South Africa’s economy is having a tough time. The country is struggling to escape the effects of the global financial crisis and mining companies – one of South Africa’s key economic sectors – are laying off workers in response to falling commodity prices.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

HSBC profits rise 10% boosted by bumper Hong Kong earnings

The international banking group made pre-tax profits of £8.7bn in the first six months of the year

The international banking group HSBC reported a 10% increase in earnings for the first half of the year, boosted by bumper profits in Hong Kong as the lender considers whether to move its headquarters from London to the Asian hub.

Europe’s biggest bank said on Monday that pretax profits in the six months to the end of June were £8.7bn, up from £7.87bn a year earlier and well above analysts’ expectations.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Bank lending to business forecast to rise in 2015

Annual investment could rise by 0.25% over the year despite a dip in June – the first annual increase since the pre-crisis peak in 2008

Business lending by Britain’s banks remains on track to rise in 2015, despite falling sharply in June, according to a new forecast from the EY Item Club.

Boosting business investment is seen as an essential factor in restoring Britain’s shaky productivity record and putting the economic recovery on a sustainable footing.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

RBS sale speculation gathers pace

Advisers to Chancellor George Osborne reportedly discussing whether or not to signal start of sale

The starting pistol could be fired on the government sell-off of its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland as soon as this week.

Advisers to George Osborne are still deciding whether to recommend to the chancellor that now is the right time to go ahead with the disposal.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Dr Now: the smartphone app that puts you in touch with a GP – for a fee

New health apps exploit gaps in overstretched NHS by offering subscribers virtual consultation with a GP

A UK tech firm is offering video consultations with doctors via mobile phone, in a bid to repeat the success of British startup apps such as Hailo and Just Eat in which a taxi or a meal is a phone-tap away.

With the NHS under growing strain, the Liverpool-based start-up, called Dr Now, is targeting its new mobile app at tech-savvy people who don’t want to wait for an appointment with a GP, as well as businesses looking to save sickness-related costs.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Greece braces for busy day's trading as Athens stock market reopens

Shares expected to sell off sharply when trading in Greek stocks resumes on Monday after a five-week shutdown

Greek investors expect a tumultuous day’s trading when Athens’ stock market reopens on Monday after a five-week shutdown.

The resumption of trading in Greek stocks will be the latest step back towards economic normality, after the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, struck a deal with the country’s creditors to open talks on an €86bn (£61bn) third bailout.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Interest rates: economists and homeowners brace for Super Thursday

Bank of England to reveal key interest rate decision, discussions behind it and quarterly economic forecasts on same day for first time

Britain’s mortgage borrowers will be warned this week to brace themselves for higher interest rates on what City of London traders have dubbed “Super Thursday”.

At least two, perhaps three, of the nine members of the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee are expected to cast their votes for a rate rise.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Next banks £170m in interest charges from shoppers

The huge profits made on clothing retailer’s online and Next Directory catalogue credit service were found in small print of accounts

Next, one of Britain’s biggest high street retailers, banked almost £170m in interest charges last year from shoppers using its online and catalogue credit service.

The windfall highlights how the company has used the Next Directory service to become one of the biggest players in the clothing industry. However, it could also prompt accusations of double standards against its chief executive, Lord Wolfson, a Conservative peer who earlier this year called the living wage “irrelevant” and warned of a squeeze on household incomes since the financial crisis.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

UK interest rate rises – waiting for lift-off

To gauge how high interest rates will go, and how fast, we need to understand how fiscal and monetary policy interact, writes Gavin Kelly

With prominent members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) – not least the governor – lining up in recent weeks to talk up the prospect of rate rises at some point in the coming months, this week’s meeting has already sparked another burst of speculation about when the first hike in eight years will happen.

Whatever your take on the exact timings of monetary lift-off – whether you’d opt for August or April – the far more important issue is the medium-term path of increases that follow.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS