Stocks fall as fears of coronavirus hit global markets

Stocks fall as fears of coronavirus hit global markets

Financial markets around the globe slumped on Monday as news of the Italian coronavirus outbreak wiped £62bn off the value of the FTSE 100 and shares on Wall Street tumbled. Shares came under heavy selling pressure in key markets as analysts warned that the threat of tougher quarantine measures outside China to prevent the spread of the disease would hit company profits by hitting supply chains and consumer demand. Investors rushed to buy “safe haven” investments such as gold to protect against steep losses on the stock markets, sending the…

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EU sees common space for European bank cards

EU sees common space for European bank cards

The European Commission will present this autumn a strategy on an integrated EU payments market, to facilitate the use of national payment services across Europe and reduce the dependency from international card operators such as Visa or Mastercard. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) provides for uniform credit transfers and direct debits for over 500 citizens in the EU. However, a SEPA for cards is still far from a reality, as national card schemes and banks still don’t see the business case of overcoming connectivity and interoperability barriers and setting…

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The study says that 49% of global GDP is covered by zero targets.

The study says that 49% of global GDP is covered by zero targets.

Just under half of the world’s annual GDP is now covered by nations, regions and cities that are legislating for a net-zero emissions target, a new study has revealed. The latest analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a London-based think-tank, has found that 49% of GDP, representing more than $39trn, is now covered by regions with an actual or intended net-zero target. A total of 121 nations have put mechanisms in place to deliver net-zero emissions in timeframes that are aligned to the calls of the Intergovernmental…

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Trade war cuts US whiskey sales in EU

Trade war cuts US whiskey sales in EU

Europeans have developed a taste for American whiskey over the past decade but trade disputes have slashed US exports of the booze, an American trade group said Wednesday (12 February). Washington and Brussels are in the midst of a multifaceted trade feud that included punitive US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and the EU retaliating in June 2018 by slapping a 25% tax on some US goods, notably bourbon. That took a chunk out of US whiskey exports to Europe last year, which fell by 27 percent, the Distilled…

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Member States “in the Dark” on Commission Talks with US

Member States “in the Dark” on Commission Talks with US

A group of EU member states are unhappy about the lack of information from the European Commission on the trade talks with the US and have expressed their “nervousness” about what could be in the deal, various diplomats and European officials told EURACTIV. When Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with US President Donald Trump in Davos (Switzerland) in late January, she said she would travel to Washington soon and both sides would reach an agreement to settle the trade dispute “in a few weeks”. Von der Leyen was…

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Paris strives to become Europe’s main financial center in the post-Brexit world

Paris strives to become Europe’s main financial center in the post-Brexit world

London is currently Europe’s leading financial centre but the French authorities dream of seeing Paris in the lead. However, it remains to be seen if the City will lose access to European markets after the UK-EU negotiations this year. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said this week that “Paris [was] going to become the leading financial centre” in Europe, which appears more of a statement of intent rather than fact. Financial services account for about 7% of the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) and are concentrated mainly in London,…

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Airbus to pay record 3 billion pounds for ‘endemic’ corruption fines

Airbus to pay record 3 billion pounds for ‘endemic’ corruption fines

Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace multinational, is to pay a record £3bn in penalties after admitting it had paid huge bribes on an “endemic” basis to land contracts in 20 countries. Anti-corruption investigators hailed the result as the largest ever corporate fine for bribery in the world after judges declared that the corruption was “grave, pervasive and pernicious”. The planemaker agreed to pay the penalties on Friday after reaching settlements with investigators in the UK, France and the US to end inquiries that started four years ago. In the high court…

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Europe wants a single data market to break the dominance of US technology giants

Europe wants a single data market to break the dominance of US technology giants

The European Union wants to create a single market in data aimed at challenging the dominance of tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, according to a European Commission proposal seen by Reuters. The proposal, which includes reining in big online platforms and could still be tweaked ahead of their presentation on Feb. 19, underlines the EU’s determination to break U.S. tech giants’ stranglehold on vast troves of data and better compete with Chinese rivals. “Currently a small number of big tech firms hold a large part of the…

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Ferrero CEO dividend of £ 542 million under tax obligation

Ferrero CEO dividend of £ 542 million under tax obligation

Giovanni Ferrero, scion of the Italian chocolate empire that makes Kinder Surprise, Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, is paying himself and his family a €642m (£542m) dividend in one of Europe’s biggest-ever paydays. The huge annual dividend payment comes as the company paid just £110,000 tax in the UK last year, despite selling £419m worth of chocolates and other snacks in Britain. Ferrero, who is Italy’s richest man with a €29bn (£24bn) fortune, has paid himself and his family more than €2bn in dividends over the past decade. Over the same…

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Spain announces the increase of the minimum wage by 5.5% as a “tool” to combat inequality

Spain announces the increase of the minimum wage by 5.5% as a “tool” to combat inequality

Spain’s new government on Wednesday (22 January) announced a 5.5% rise in the minimum wage retroactive to 1 January, the third major economic initiative the left-wing coalition has announced since taking office this month. The government’s move is part of a plan to boost the net minimum wage to 60% of the average monthly pay packet of €1,944 by the end of its four-year term. “I want to announce that we are a strong government, that we are heeding the mandate of a social majority that wants us to move…

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