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British companies exposed to fallout from China's market turmoil

Fears over a Chinese economic meltdown have been keenly felt in the UK’s boardrooms

If the fluctuations of the Shanghai stock market seem somewhat removed to some, those on the boards of five of the UK’s largest companies must be feeling every share sell-off, every rumour as if it was in their own back yard.

According to a recent analysis by Citigroup, five FTSE 100 companies – ARM Holdings, Burberry, HSBC, Intertek and Standard Chartered – all generate more than 20% of their sales from China and the far east, and as a result fears over an economic meltdown there have been keenly felt in the boardrooms here.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Poundland launches online delivery – for £4

As well as branded goods, shoppers will be able to buy own-range products – but items will take up to five days to deliver

Poundland, which has built a near-£900m business from selling goods with a single price tag of £1, has started an online shopping service in a bid to deepen its appeal to bargain-conscious shoppers – with a delivery charge of £4.

Launched on Tuesday, the website sells more than 2,000 items across Poundland’s traditional range of food and drink, homeware, toys and stationery.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Man Group's China chair in talks with authorities over shares turmoil

Li Yifei’s husband denies she has been taken into custody and says his high-profile wife is in a confidential meeting with the authorities

The chair of Man Group’s business in China is said to have been called to a meeting between foreign financial firms and market authorities as Beijing puts pressure on prominent figures in the financial industry over recent heavy falls in share prices.

After Bloomberg News reported that Li Yifei, who runs the UK hedge fund group’s Chinese operation, had been taken into custody to help with a police investigation into market volatility, Li’s husband, Wang Chaoyong, told the Financial Times (paywall) the Bloomberg article was not accurate.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Global stock markets begin September with more losses

Europe follows Wall Street and Asia in sell-offs amid worries over Chinese slowdown and looming US interest rate rise

Global stock markets staged a dramatic start to September as rising worries about China’s economic slowdown sparked fresh sell-offs in Asia, Europe and on Wall Street.

After suffering their worst month in three years in August, US shares tumbled after Tuesday’s opening bell. In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 2.2% and the S&P 500 had sold off 1.9%. News that US manufacturing activity slowed in August added to pressure on share prices.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Farmed fish could bring us cheaper food, but is it ethical?

US food company Cargill wants to use expertise from the farmed salmon sector to help it produce more efficient and sustainable fish and chicken

It is difficult to know which is moving faster: the debate around the ethics of farmed fish, or the growth in how much of it we are eating. By 2030, aquaculture is predicted to account for 60% of fish destined for our plates and it’s already more than half.

Its rapid growth has led some to predict its success in producing cheaper fish could rub off on the meat sector, giving us a more efficient, but not necessarily more ethical, form of protein.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Park Resorts merges with rival to create Britain's biggest holiday park firm

Tie-up with Parkdean Holidays will create caravan operator with annual profits of more than £100m and an enterprise value of nearly £1bn

Two caravan park firms are to merge, creating a £1bn company that will be Britain’s biggest holiday home park operator, with 73 sites across the country.

Park Resorts owner, private equity firm Electra, said the merger with rival Parkdean Holidays would create a company with annual profits of more than £100m, and an enterprise value of £960m. The deal will bring together Electra’s Park Resorts, which also owns South Lakeland Parks, South View and Manor Parks, with Parkdean, which is owned by rival private equity firm Alchemy Partners.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Bruce Billson embroiled in cabinet split over tougher competition laws

Small business minister trying to convince colleagues to change laws which Business Council of Australia says would raise prices and damage the economy

The small business minister, Bruce Billson, is trying to convince cabinet he can change competition laws to stop big business “abusing” market power, while “appeasing” the powerful Business Council of Australia (BCA) which is implacably opposed and says the move would raise prices and hurt the economy.

Cabinet is deeply divided on the issue which pits the biggest companies in the country against the small business “engine room” the government courted with its “have a go” 2015 budget.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Oliver Bonas becomes first UK high street chain to pay living wage

Campaigners say pledge by retailer to pay at least £7.85 an hour is step toward ending high-street’s low-wage culture

Campaigners against low pay are claiming a breakthrough victory as Oliver Bonas, the fashion and gift retailer, has become the first high street chain in Britain to promise its staff an independently calculated living wage.

Employees aged 18 and over will from Tuesday receive at least £7.85 an hour, or £9.15 in London – figures calculated based on the cost of living. This compares with the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour for over-21s and £5.30 for workers between 18 and 21.

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12 apps to get your startup off the ground

There are thousands of apps geared toward businesses and startups, but only a handful you should care about

For startups, it’s a tough road to success: about 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years, and tech startups fail at a rate that’s estimated to be as high as 90%. But, for hopeful entrepreneurs trying to get their companies off the ground, there’s a bright side: a growing number of inexpensive, innovative apps are available to fight those figures. From handling transactions and scheduling meetings to creating brand awareness and keeping track of receipts, there’s an almost unlimited array of online tools emerging every day to ease the path to business success.

To cut through the noise, we asked entrepreneurs for some of their favorites and put together a list of the essentials. Here are 12 tools you should download before you open your doors for business.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Tesco rescue: has Dave Lewis's first year been a success?

Former marketing man took charge of supermarket with ‘urgent issues’ to address. We assess his performance

On Dave Lewis’s first day in charge at Tesco he sent an email to the retailer’s 500,000 staff warning it had “urgent issues” to deal with. However, the supermarket boss could never have imagined the scale of the problems he would face at Britain’s biggest retailer. The discovery of a £326m black hole in its accounts and a continuing downturn in sales and profits transformed his task from a turnaround job to a rescue mission.

On the first anniversary of Lewis becoming chief executive, we examine how he has performed against five key criteria identified when he was appointed boss and after the accounting scandal at the company was revealed.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS