Biafra Activist - Biafra Or Dead. No Going Back

Goldman Sachs smashes expectations with 27% profit growth in first quarter

Bank's CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently said UK economy had done surprisingly well since Brexit vote
Goldman Sachs profits rose 27 per cent to $2.74bn (£1.91bn) in the first quarter of the year, up from $2.16bn last year, smashing through analysts’ expectations.
The group’s profit translated to income of $6.95 per share, much higher than expected earnings of $5.58 per share.
Read more Goldman Sachs reveals 56% UK gender pay gap and bonus gap of 72% Net revenues rose 25 per cent to $10.04bn, compared with $8.03bn in the first quarter of last year, and net interest income was up 78 per cent year-on-year, jumping from $516m to $918m.
Shares in the bank rose 0.7 per cent in pre-market trading.
Goldman boss Lloyd Blankfein said: “Solid performance across our businesses produced strong returns in the first quarter. We are well positioned to serve our clients as the global economy continues to show strength and central banks unwind certain aspects of policy stimulus.
“We are also ..

Legal & General steps up pressure on firms to tackle gender diversity and climate change

Fund manager says it had voted for 95% of climate-related proposals at companies it invests in last year
One of the UK’s biggest investors has ramped up its efforts to make companies do more on gender balance, executive pay and climate change.
Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), which manages more than £1 trillion for its clients, said that it had voted against 215 UK pay deals in 2017 – 40 per cent more than in the year before.
The fund manager said it had voted for 95 per cent of climate-related proposals last year compared to just 21 per cent on average among a group of its peers.
Read more Why your bank could hold the key to closing gender pay gap ​LGIM also promised to vote against the appointment of male chairs to large UK companies’ boards if women did not make up at least a quarter of members.
The report from LGIM comes as companies approach the annual general meeting season, which gives shareholders a chance to express their concerns. Huge fund managers suc..

AA Group says legal battle with former boss Bob Mackenzie will cost it £1m

Former boss sacked over physical altercation with director is suing company for £225m in damages
The AA revealed on Tuesday that it expects its legal battle with former executive chairman Bob Mackenzie to cost it up to £1m.
Mr Mackenzie was sacked last August, with the company citing “gross misconduct” as the reason for his dismissal. It later emerged he had been in a physical altercation with Michael Lloyd, the head of AA’s insurance division, at a hotel bar in July 2017.
The former chairman has filed a claim with the high court seeking an injunction to retain his management value participation shares and up to £225m in damages from the company.
AA said it “has not made a provision for these amounts as the group expects to be successful in rigorously defending these claims.
“However, the group will incur legal costs of approximately £1m to defend these claims during the next two financial years which it would seek to recover from Bob Mackenzie when the litigation concludes,” t..

Millions of millennials will never own homes so it's time to make renting work better

The rules on renting are tilted too far towards landlords and date from a time when living in private rented accommodation was likely to be a temporary state of affairs
Theresa May’s ‘British dream’ of home ownership is an impossible one for millions of millennials.
According to the Resolution Foundation's 'Home Improvements' report, on current trends up to half could be renting into their 40s and a third by the time they claim their pensions. So, permanently.
Even now, 40 per cent are renting privately at age thirty, double the rate for Generation X, and four times that of the baby boomers.
Read more Generation Rent: London to become a city of renters by 2025, says PwC Meet generation rent: they'd like to hire a new wardrobe every day Can generation rent make their accommodation feel like home without It isn’t just that the cost of a deposit for a new home has spiralled as prices have headed skywards: access to social housing has fallen sharply at the sam..

Vauxhall could close more than 100 UK dealerships amid falling car sales

Company is renegotiating franchise agreements with dealerships in bid to improve profits
Vauxhall will cut back its dealership network amid rapidly falling UK car sales and changing consumer behaviour.
The company will terminate contracts with all of its 326 dealerships and renegotiate them in order to make its network more profitable. Vauxhall’s European sister company Opel is carrying out a similar exercise across the Continent.
The exact number of Vauxhall dealerships that will survive in the UK is not known but is likely to be between 200 and its current figure, the company said.
Read more Vauxhall 'could shut dealerships', threatening thousands of jobs Vauxhall’s sales plunged by more than a fifth last year and were down 18 per cent in the first three months of this year. Across the industry, UK car sales as a whole slipped 5.6 per cent in 2017.
Consumers now do far more of their research into making a new car purchase online, lessening the demand for dealerships..

UK wages rise faster than inflation for first time in a year

Wages grew faster than inflation for the first time in almost a year in February and the jobless rate fell to just 4.2 per cent according to the latest official data.
The Office for National Statistics reported that wages were up 2.8 per cent in the three months to February on a year earlier, higher than the 2.7 per cent rate of consumer price inflation over that period.
Real wages turned negative in April 2017 as inflation – due to the plunge in the pound in the wake of the Brexit vote – jumped.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in February ticked down to 4.2 per cent, from 4.3 per cent previously.
However, the wages data was weaker than the 3 per cent growth that many City of London analysts had anticipated, sending sterling down to $1.4338.
More follows…
Reuse content

Pound sterling hits post-Brexit referendum high as UK prepares for next round of EU talks

Strong pound pushed FTSE 100 down on Tuesday morning
The pound hit its highest level against the dollar since the Brexit vote in June 2016, rising to $1.4364 by mid-morning.
Sterling’s surge has been attributed to optimism ahead of wages and unemployment data, released on Tuesday morning, weakness in the dollar, and reduced concerns around the possibility of a hard Brexit as the UK and EU get ready for the next round of negotiations.
Read more Sterling rises as Mark Carney signals hawkish stance on rates The strong pound pushed the FTSE 100 down by three points at the open.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, said: “Traders have pushed the currency higher ahead of the important upcoming wages and unemployment data, perhaps there is a real optimism amidst them.
“We do think it is a bold move because most of the bets are based on the hopes that the health of the job market would permit the Bank of England to adopt a more aggressive stance towards their monetar..

Huawei, Failing to Crack U.S. Market, Signals a Change in Tactics

Huawei, Failing to Crack U.S. Market, Signals a Change in Tactics Photo As the Chinese telecom giant Huawei roars ahead in the rest of the world, roadblocks in Washington have thwarted its attempts to build a presence in the United States. Credit David Paul Morris/Bloomberg SHANGHAI — For Huawei’s longstanding efforts to crack the United States market, it’s the end of an era.
Last week, the Chinese telecom giant laid off five American employees, including its top liaison to the United States government, William Plummer, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Plummer, who was with the company for almost eight years, became the face of Huawei’s Sisyphean efforts to win over Washington.
Bedeviled by concerns about its close relationship to the Chinese government, Huawei has spent much of the last decade lobbying to be allowed to sell its communications equipment to American telecom carriers. Mr. Plummer emerged as a highly visible representative during a series of congressional..