UK manufacturing activity softens in early 2018, says new survey

The Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 55.1 in the month with the average reading for the first quarter of 2018 was the lowest in a year
Britain’s manufacturers saw activity soften in early 2018 according to the latest survey snapshot of the sector.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 55.1 in the month, above the 50 point that separates contraction from expansion and up slightly from the 55 reading registered in February.
However, the average reading for the first quarter of 2018 was the lowest in a year.
“The latest PMI survey provided further evidence that UK manufacturing has entered a softer growth phase so far this year,” said Rob Dobson of IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that manufacturing, which accounts for around 10 per cent of UK GDP, expanded by 1.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2017 and by 2.5 per cent over the year as a whole.
Exports were helped by the weakness of pound and also strong demand from the r..

De La Rue will appeal decision to give blue British passport contract to Franco-Dutch firm

Decision to award passport contract to a non-British firm provoked outcry last month
De La Rue has confirmed it will appeal the decision to award the contract for the blue British passports to a Franco-Dutch firm after Brexit.
The group’s current contract, worth £400m, comes to an end in July, and from that point on, British passports are set to be produced by Gemalto.
De La Rue said Gemalto was chosen only because it undercut the competition, but the UK company also admitted that it was not the cheapest choice in the tendering process.
Read more What the blue passport row tells us about our economy after Brexit However, a De La Rue spokesperson said: “Based on our knowledge of the market, it’s our view that ours was the highest quality and technically most secure bid.”
The group’s appeal follows a campaign by the Daily Mail, including a petition which gathered more than 227,000 signatures, to overturn the government’s decision to award Gemalto the contract.
The announcemen..

Singapore fines Airbnb hosts for unauthorised letting in first case under new rules

Under the state's new rules, private homes can only be rented to a minimum of three consecutive months
A Singapore court fined two Airbnb hosts a total of S$60,000 (£32,540) each on Tuesday for unauthorised short-term letting in the first such case under the city-state’s rules on short-term property rentals introduced last year.
The two men had pleaded guilty to letting four flats in a condominium for less than six months without permission from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
They faced a fine of up to S$200,000 per offence under Singapore law.
Read more Joanna Dai, the ex-banker taking on the world of women’s fashion Prosecutors sought fines of S$20,000 per charge for a total of S$80,000 for each of the two defendants. Defence lawyers sought fines of S$5,000 per charge.
Judge Kenneth Choo on Tuesday fined the two hosts S$15,000 per charge each. He said the fines would serve as a signal to deter others from pursuing such business to make a quick profit.
Private ..

South Africa Says Australia Retracted Claim of ‘Persecuted’ White Farmers

South Africa Says Australia Retracted Claim of ‘Persecuted’ White Farmers Photo Peter Dutton, Australia’s home affairs minister, in Canberra in February. In March, Mr. Dutton said that “persecuted” white South African farmers deserved the protection of a “civilized country” and said he would explore the possibility of fast-tracking refugee visas. Credit Michael Masters/Getty Images MELBOURNE, Australia — South Africa’s foreign minister said Monday that the Australian government had retracted comments by its home affairs minister suggesting that South Africa was not a “civilized country” because of its treatment of white farmers.
In March, the minister, Peter Dutton, said that “persecuted” South African farmers deserved the protection of a “civilized country” — alluding to Australia — and said he would explore the possibility of fast-tracking refugee visas for them. The South African government has been considering a constitutional amendment to expropriate farmland without compensation ..

What It Was Like to Finally Write My Will

Supported by Smarter Living What It Was Like to Finally Write My Will Photo Credit Alamy Did you know Prince died without a will? It’s true!
All that money, and one of the greatest performers I ever saw onstage didn’t spend a little of it on sorting out his estate? It amazes me.
Death is inevitable, but we continue to make long-term bets: We shop at Costco. My wife, Jeanne, and I might have enough economy-size jugs of Tide and gigantic packages of toilet paper rolls to survive into the next century.
Still, preparing for an eventual demise — at least by drawing up a will — is a good idea. A will smooths the way for your heirs to inherit whatever you’re going to give them, saving time and money. Wills can also help you avoid tax pitfalls and feuding heirs. (Remember: The conflict at the heart of Dickens’s “Bleak House” is a generations-long lawsuit over an inheritance. No spoilers, but the case did not end well for anyone involved, over several generations, except the lawyers.)
Will..

Sky News could be sold off to Disney early in bid to push through sale of Sky to US media giant

Sky News could be sold off to Walt Disney or ringfenced under concessions put forward by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, as part of the corporation's efforts to seize full control of the broadcaster Sky.
Fox, which is attempting to buy the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own, faces a number of regulatory hurdles after the UK's competition watchdog found the £11.7bn deal was not in the public interest.
It has proposed either a legal separation and comprehensive ringfencing of Sky News or a sale of the loss-making channel to Walt Disney, which is itself attempting to acquire 21st Century Fox.
Business news: in pictures 9 show all Business news: in pictures 1/9 Amazon's new Seattle headquarters mimics a greenhouse, with 40,000 different plants aimed at boosting workers productivity
REUTERS
2/9 Trinity Mirror, which owns the Daily Mirror, is set to incorporate the parent company of the Daily Express, Sunday Express and the Daily Star. Trinity Mirror stat..

Asian Markets Fall Modestly, Unburdened by Big Names in Tech

Asian Markets Fall Modestly, Unburdened by Big Names in Tech Photo A stock board in Tokyo on Tuesday. Markets in Asia were down less than 1 percent by midday after a sharper drop the day before in New York. Credit Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press HONG KONG — Asian markets fell on Tuesday after a tough day on Wall Street but were spared the full extent of the pain felt in the United States, thanks in part to a dearth of big technology names that trade in the region.
Market Snapshot View Full Overview Markets in Asia were down less than 1 percent by midday after a sharper drop the day before in New York, suggesting that Wall Street’s painful Monday would not turn into a global rout. Underlining that point, futures that track major United States stock indexes were modestly higher in Asian trading on Tuesday, meaning that many investors see a better day coming.
For the most part, global markets are responding to the same signals. Investors around the world have been unnerved by the prospec..