5 August 2019 - 11 August 2019

7th August 2019
US Federal Reserve

Managing Interest Rates in Uncertain Times

The Story Last week, the Federal Reserve announced it was reducing interest rates by a quarter-percentage point. It’s the first time the US central bank has cut rates since the 2008 financial crash. Impact on Businesses and Law firms It might seem strange that the Fed is cutting rates even though the US economy is doing well. There are two reasons for the Fed’s pivot. First, interest rates are being […]
7th August 2019
Saudi Arabia Vision 2030

Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Investing in Babylon Health

The Story Last week, it was announced that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is investing $550 million in the health start-up Babylon Health. Babylon Health is a UK based start-up, which has developed a chatbot that checks the symptoms of patients and provides a remote consultation service with doctors via text and video messaging. Its chatbot is currently being used by the National Health Service. […]
7th August 2019
Hong Kong Protests

Enduring Hong Kong Protests Begin to Add to Economic Uncertainty

The Story With Hong Kong’s protests now into their third month, the economic implications are becoming increasingly explicit. The demonstrations began in opposition to an extradition bill proposed by Carrie Lam’s government which is thought to put Hong Kong residents under the authority of the mainland Chinese courts, undermining the ‘one country, two systems’ agreement. Excessive force by the Hong Kong police, as well as violence by apparent pro-Beijing men […]
7th August 2019
London Stock Exchange

The London Stock Exchange Group’s Proposed Acquisition of Refinitiv

The Story The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) confirmed it has agreed on terms to acquire Refinitiv in a US$27 billion all-share transaction. Refinitiv, which is currently owned by Blackstone and Thomson Reuters, is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure. The deal would make the LSEG – best known for running stock exchanges and clearing derivatives – a leader in market data and analytics, […]

29 July 2019 - 4 August 2019

31st July 2019
WeWork IPO

WeWork’s earlier than expected September IPO

The Story The technology start-up providing shared workspaces is planning to go public in September, the Wall Street Journal reports. WeWork is meeting with Wall Street banks to help advise upon their IPO, after confidentially filing with US securities regulators last year. Meanwhile, WeWork is also trying to raise up to $6 billion through an asset-backed loan to ease the pressure on their IPO. There is controversy surrounding WeWork, with […]
31st July 2019
interest rate cut

The European Central Bank’s Stimulus Package

The Story At its most recent meeting on Thursday, the ECB announced that it expects interest rates to remain “at their present or lower levels” through the first half of 2020. The announcement is a change to previous statements and suggests there may be a rate cut to provide more stimulus to a region that has been experiencing weak economic growth and low inflation. Following the announcement, ECB President Mario […]
31st July 2019
SoftBank

SoftBank’s Vision Fund II

The Story SoftBank just announced the launch of its second mega fund, Vision Fund II. It comes two years after the Japanese company launched the world’s biggest tech fund, disrupting the venture capital industry as it pumped billions into fast-growing companies like Uber, WeWork and Flipkart. Impact on Businesses and Law firms It was Linklaters that was offered the job on the first fund after a specialist from the firm […]

22 July 2019 - 28 July 2019

24th July 2019
Netflix on ipad

Netflix and the Streaming Wars

The Story Netflix found itself in trouble last Wednesday as it reported its first drop in US subscribers in almost a decade. The internet giant had 130,000 fewer domestic subscribers in the second quarter of 2019, while its international subscriber growth also fell short of expectations. In response, Netflix’s shares fell 11% on Thursday morning, its largest one-day percentage loss since June 2016. Impact on Businesses and Law firms You […]
24th July 2019

Second-Quarter Reports of US Investment Banks

The Story Last week, US investment banks reported their second-quarter performance. The six largest US banks (Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America) all exceeded analysts’ profit expectations. Goldman Sachs reported higher-than expected-income from advisory work on mergers and initial public offerings (IPO), despite a sharp drop in revenue in investment banking. JPMorgan suffered in both M&A business and investment banking but managed to […]