Wednesday 6 April: Today marks the start of the new state pension system. The change for new, rather than existing pensioners looks to improve equality amongst recipients and also make it cheaper for the government in the long run, whilst simultaneously simplifying the whole contribution process. Naturally there will be winners and losers; those who are self-employed and women are set to be the biggest beneficiaries. It is estimated that those who have been self employed for over 10 years will gain on average £7.50 per week.
Business secretary Sajid Javid is travelling to India today, meeting with the Tata Steel chairman Cyrus Mistry in order to discuss talks regarding the sale of their UK plants. The Government will no doubt be looking for a long term solution; Javid has said there should be a ‘responsible sales process’ for the UK plants. The worry from the steelworkers’ union is that the sale will be rushed.
If you’re a fan of Whatsapp, you may have noticed a strange message pop-up yesterday or today. This is because the messaging service has introduced end-to-end encryption, meaning if messages are intercepted they will be unreadable. With encryption being the hot topic as a result of the recent Apple and FBI case, the move is welcomed by users and security professionals whilst adding fuel to the fire in the security debate.
Twitter has won a deal to broadcast Thursday night NFL games for free, across the world online. The social media giant fought off bids from the likes of Amazon, Yahoo and Verizon. Twitter will live stream 10 games to its 800 million users and they’ll incorporate Periscope for pre-game feature broadcasts.
As the fallout from the ‘Panama Papers’ continues, a British banker has been found to be allegedly behind an offshore company created to help North Korea fund its nuclear programme and to sell weapons. Nigel Cowie was head of Daedong Credit Bank, later blacklisted for transactions with North Korean companies linked with their nuclear and missile programmes. We wait to see who makes the headlines tomorrow.
As Apple prepares renewed efforts into India, Samsung have regained market share from a revamped product line. They increased their market share from 27.4% to 30% just over the last quarter. Mid to low segment sales have driven performance in the price conscious economy, Apple’s IPhone SE one product in particular that may rival the more price-savvy offerings from Samsung and others domestic competitors.
The FTSE managed to hold onto gains made from a boost in the oil price on Wednesday as well as decent PMI readings from India and China. The index closed the day +1.16% as oil currently trades up over 5% for the session. Pharmaceutical stocks Shire (+5.16%) and AstraZeneca (+4.47%) topped the index after US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer pulled out of a deal to buy Allergan. Analysts still believe Pfizer may look to merge or acquire another company.