The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have shown the UK car industry at the minute is thriving, with UK car production throughout July growing for the 12th consecutive month. YTD production is now 12.3% higher making it the best performance since 2000. Following this Stuart Apperley of Lloyds bank claimed that UK car demand was cooling, which is hard to refute considering the recent growth would be hard to maintain forever, however car manufacturers are far better equipped now as they’ve brought production numbers more in line with demand. Staying with the theme, Singapore today started its trial of self-driving taxis. This is though very much a trial in a country where taxis are the norm due to the various regulations and laws that make owning your own car very expensive. Eventually it looks like that typical drunk, deep and misinformed taxi conversation driver will only be a thing of the past. So get it in while you can. Of course, Uber is set to follow a similar trial and will begin their demo stage in the coming weeks in the US. The taxi app has also announced it is to allow advanced bookings for customers in London, with other locations presumably following. One can only assume black cabs tremendous love for Uber will only grow once this feature comes into play. Maybe ask for their opinion next time you ride in a black cab if you feel brave. But of course, you’ll struggle for the opportunity as of course, you’ll be using Uber like everyone else with a phone.
Cairn homes, the Irish housebuilder, has returned to a profit for the first half of the year, in what has been a good week for homebuilders in terms of share price performance and results. Oil prices actually climbed higher today and at the time of writing sit 1.5% higher, this protected the FTSE 100 more than the 250, eventually as they both finished down, with the main index lower by 0.28% compared to the 250’s decline of 0.82%. Irish building supplies company CRH topped the FTSE 100 for the day after a 35% rise in sales for the first half, shares closed 2.88% higher.
The FTSE 250 was hurt to some extent by Entertainment One’s shares falling over 14%. It comes after ITV announced it had walked away from a potential takeover deal. ITV reportedly offered 236p a share but it is believed EOne hoped for something closer to the £3 mark. Shares closed at 217p.
WhatsApp have announced they will share users’ numbers with Facebook (Facebook whom bought the messaging app in 2014), in order to provide more relevant friend suggestions and advertisements. They did say the two firms would remains separate when the takeover was complete but they’ve gone back on their word and it is likely the small amount of marketing will grow. It always does. Many users will feel the betrayal akin to seeing two blue ticks on your last sent Whatsapp message but with no reply…. we’ve all experienced the hurt.
The Investor Forum is a pretty influential group. They have around £14.5 trillion of investments worldwide after all so carry a large amount of respect. Well now even they’ve got involved in the Sports Direct fiasco and called for a thorough independent review. There are a long list of questions that Mike Ashley’s firm will need to answer, such as; employment pay (or lack of it). Ashley’s brother and his unusual arrangements. Corporate governance and why Newcastle haven’t sold Moussa Sissoko… Ok the last one isn’t from them but they’re likely curious. Either way, Ashley’s got 99 problems, and now the Investor Forum is one.