Back to Top

Shanghai in slow lane as market crash accelerates slump in luxury car sales

Little interest in showrooms as deep discounts fail to drive in customers

Business appears to be slow at the Mercedes-Benz showroom in the Jing’an district of Shanghai. There are no customers and the staff look bored. A family comes in to look at the cars but appears to have no intention of buying. A salesperson is tight-lipped when asked whether they are seeing fewer customers through the doors.

Car sales in China are slowing after years of rapid growth, and have slumped in the last few weeks. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, numbers sold in June fell 5.3% from May; this drop coincided with the stock market crash that saw the Shanghai Composite Index lose 14% in July. The association previously estimated that sales would grow 7% this year; now it thinks that figure will only be 3%.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Chinese shares are falling, but the real fear is that the economy itself is slowing

Disastrous losses on the Shanghai exchange are leading to concern that the era of runaway Chinese growth is faltering at a critical time in the world economy

Recent events in Shanghai’s stock markets have been all too reminiscent of the tales that have entered American folk memory from the days of the Wall Street crash in 1929: of stock-tipping shoeshine boys, exhausted traders, and ticker-tape machines spooling late into the night.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost more than 8% of its value last Monday, and shares have suffered their worst month for six years, falling by 29% since they peaked in June.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Ex-boss of MtGox bitcoin exchange arrested in Japan over lost $390m

French-born Mark Karpeles held in connection with the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the virtual currency

Mark Karpeles, the former head of defunct bitcoin exchange MtGox, has been arrested in Japan, and is reportedly to be questioned over the 2014 disappearance of nearly $390m (£250m) worth of the virtual currency.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

China's large manufacturers stall as demand weakens at home and abroad

The latest survey of the huge factory sector shows only very sluggish growth, fuelling expectations of more government stimulus

Growth at China’s big manufacturers unexpectedly stalled in July as demand at home and abroad weakened, an official survey showed on Saturday, reinforcing views that the economy needs more stimulus as it faces fresh risks from a stock market slump.

The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) stood at 50.0 in July, compared with the previous month’s 50.2. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Australia walks away from Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal talks

The trade minister, Andrew Robb, says 98% of agreement is finalised but the difficulties lie with the big four economies of US Canada, Japan and Mexico

Australia will not sign up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in the current round of talks.

A spokesman for trade minister, Andrew Robb, confirmed that a conclusion will not be reached on the $200bn deal during the latest round of negotiations in Hawaii.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

BT staff to profit from £265m share scheme bonanza

Almost 23,000 employees to benefit from 3 to 5-year saving scheme allowing staff to buy shares at old prices

More than 23,000 BT staff are to profit from a £265m employee share scheme at the company, with some employees set to make more than £50,000 each.

The staff saved between £5 and £250 a month over a period of up to five years. They will now be able to buy shares on Monday at prices from when the schemes started.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Anglo Irish Bank officials jailed for offences related to financial crash

The three ex-employees are the first bankers to be imprisoned for actions that helped turn the Celtic Tiger boom to bust

Three officials from the bank that almost bankrupted Ireland have become the first bankers to be jailed for offences related to the Republic’s financial crash.

The failure of Anglo Irish Bank, which became synonymous with the casino-style lending practices that drove Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” boom and subsequent bust, cost the state €30bn (£21bn), part of what forced the government to seek a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Ingenious film investors lose human rights challenge over upfront tax

More than 150 members of Ingenious Media scheme labelled as tax avoidance by HMRC fail in bid to overturn new rules imposed by George Osborne

More than 150 wealthy investors in controversial film investment schemes, which HMRC says amount to tax avoidance, have lost a human rights challenge to new powers tax inspectors have been deploying to demand upfront payments.

George Osborne last year granted HMRC powers to demand disputed tax, even if agreement over sums owing had not been reached. At the time he said removing from aggressive tax planners the financial benefits of drawn-out disputes would “fundamentally reduce the incentive to engage in tax avoidance”.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Is SoulCycle too snobby for America? Cycling experts weigh in

As the high-end cycling chain’s IPO approaches, other owners enter the market for $34-a-pop classes outside of New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles

Cycling is coming to Wall Street.

SoulCycle, the high-end indoor cycling chain, filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday in hopes of raising as much as $100m. The New York-based company, which has 38 studios across the US, didn’t specify how many shares it plans to offer or at what price.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Rolls-Royce may face break-up after activist hedge fund reveals stake

US-based ValueAct Capital is renowned for pushing radical changes at established firms and now has biggest stake of 5.5%

The prospect of a break-up of Rolls-Royce, one of Britain’s biggest manufacturers, is back on the agenda after a US activist hedge fund revealed it has built a 5.5% stake in the company.

ValueAct Capital, which is based in San Francisco, is renowned for pushing companies for radical change but prefers to operate behind the scenes rather than make its case through public announcements. In the past it has targeted Microsoft and mobile phone maker Motorola, often looking for the company to sell itself or hive off assets.

Continue reading…
Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS