What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
Filesharing ‘costs music industry £500m’
By Robert Budden
We are downloading illegally twice as many albums in the UK than are bought on legitimate sites such as iTunes.
The findings are part of an in-depth study of illegal file-sharing activity via the internet by Musicmetric, which provides music data on the web. The study highlights the challenges facing the industry as the “digital native” generation, those who are much less in the habit of paying for online content, comes of age.
Manchester named as UK’s biggest piracy city in study
By Dave Lee, Technology Reporter
Manchester has been named the piracy capital of the UK, according to a new study.
There were more illegal downloads per person in the city than any other in the country, followed by Nottingham and Southampton, according to the report by Musicmetric.
National Security Fears May Scupper BAe deal
By David Craik
The Government is poised to derail the proposed £30billion merger between UK defence firm BAE ¬Systems and Franco-German group EADS over national security fears.
The Ministry of Defence is understood to have drawn up a list of “red line” issues surrounding the deal, where BAE and Airbus owner EADS would own 40 per cent and 60 per cent respectively of the new group. This includes assurances that details of its Trident nuclear submarine programme won’t be passed to the French or Germans.
Income levels to rise next year, says CEBR
UK households will see a rise in real income levels next year for the first time since the onset of the financial crisis, according to a new study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
Taking inflation into account, incomes are set to rise by 0.5% in 2013, but will drop by 0.2% this year.
Billionaire Sports Direct chief Mike Ashley ‘to buy ailing JJB Sports’
Embattled retailer JJB is set to be swallowed by rival Sports Direct International in a deal that could see half its stores shut and around 2,000 jobs be cut.
Billionaire Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley – who founded Sports Direct – is understood to be poised to snap up the most profitable JJB stores under a controversial ‘pre-pack’ administration.
Wonga eyes growth as profits triple
By Scott Reid
Payday loanlender Wonga has more than tripled its profits as it eyes expansion overseas.
Accounts for the firm – which charges annualised interest rates in the thousands of per cent but says its short-term loans can be cheaper than an unauthorised overdraft – are set to show a rise in earnings after tax to £45.8 million from £12.4m a year earlier.
Sir John Major: ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery are on the way as ‘darkest moment’ passed
By Rosa Prince, Online Political Editor
The former prime minister said it would be unwise for a serving minister to tempt fate by announcing the end of the downturn, but that various signs, including the recent fall in unemployment and a rising stock exchange, suggested that the worst was over.
He defended George Osborne, the Chancellor, who he admitted was unpopular with voters, saying this was not surprising given the tough measures which the Government had been forced to take after the last, Labour government left the no money to spare.
Huge iPhone sales set to boost Apple
By James Titcomb
Apple shares are close to a new record high of $700 this week, after early demand for the new iPhone 5 proved far greater than expected.
Purchases made over the weekend were accompanied by a warning that delivery would take up to three weeks to arrive, with the initial batch of devices sold out in under an hour when preorders opened on Friday.
Britain opposes MEPs seeking ban on high-frequency trading
By Alice K Ross, Will Fitzgibbon and Nick Mathiason
High-frequency trading (HFT) faces possible extinction in Europe as politicians from across the political spectrum join forces to impose restrictions as the practice is blamed for two market crashes in recent years.
Several influential MEPs are determined to clamp down on the use of sophisticated computer algorithms and fast connections to generate profits through huge numbers of high-speed trades, after seeing its role in the notorious 2010 US Flash Crash and the collapse of Knight Capital last month.
The fat cats of foreign aid: Ministers ‘to target consultants paid £500m by the taxpayer’
By James Chapman, Gerri Peev and Neil Sears
An emergency audit into revelations that ‘poverty barons’ are making millions in consultancy fees from the foreign aid budget, was opened last night.
In 2011 nearly £500million was paid out to firms that work on Third World programmes. Some give their directors seven-figure salaries.
Getting infrastructure on road is key to recovery – business chiefs
By Julian Knight
Business leaders have urged the government to “get on with it” over improvements to the UK’s infrastructure, including the highly controversial third runway at Heathrow, in order to salvage the economy.
Only 35 per cent of companies believe the coalition’s policies will boost investment in infrastructure, according to a report by the CBI and KPMG.
Zuckerberg learns value of honest chat
Since chief executive answered questions at a technology conference last week, shares have risen adding 13.8 per cent to company’s value
DIARY EVENTS TO LOOK OUT FOR TODAY …
The FSB’s ‘Voice of Small Business’ Index showed small firms’ confidence levels tumbled 5.8 points to -4.5 in the third quarter – the fourth lowest score since the start of 2010. While disappointing, it is 20 points higher than in Q4 2011 when the economy fell sharply back into recession, pointing to an economy flat-lining rather than going into reverse.
Businesses are concerned that critical infrastructure improvements are not happening quickly enough and want to see urgent Government delivery on the ground. That is the main finding of the new CBI/KPMG infrastructure survey, Better connected, better business. Responses from 568 business leaders during June and July identified transport infrastructure as the area of greatest concern. Nearly three-quarters of firms do not expect to see any improvement in transport infrastructure during the next five years.
Halifax says brokers remain bullish about the mortgage market. Mortgage brokers have become more confident about the overall outlook for the mortgage market in the first half of the year, with a rise in the proportion reporting an increase in confidence compared to the same period in 2011
The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs signals a further reduction in permanent placements in August. Temp staff billings meanwhile increased for the second month running. Demand for permanent and temporary staff slowed further.