Monday, 23rd January: Some people’s first business day of their new job is spent completing health and safety paperwork and getting to know their new colleagues. The same can’t be said for the new US President Donald Trump who has already begun to make changes following his inauguration on Friday. His work diary is already looking busy for his first week; meetings with the Canadian PM and Mexican President have been pencilled in order for Trump to begin “renogiating” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) – of which Trump claims is the worst trade deal the US has ever signed, and has subsequently threatened to withdraw from it. On Friday Theresa May will meet with Trump to discuss the trade deals between the US and the EU departing UK.
It was reported in the Sunday Times yesterday that one of the UK housebuilder Bovis’ biggest shareholders, Schroder Investment Management, was pushing for a merger with Berkeley Group, following the former’s chief executive resigning following a shock profit warning. There has been no comment from any party regarding the story but both UBS and Jeffries have had their say, both claiming the merger is unlikely, due to the different nature in each housebuilder’s preferred regional site (Berkeley’s main market is London whereas Bovis are absent from the capital). Bovis added more than 3% at end of day trading; Berkeley climbing less so, closing +1.81%.
According to a Reuter’s poll, the Bank of England will keep interest rates at their current record low levels till at least 2019. Mark Carney cut interest rates to 0.25% following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, whilst at the same time, restarted its quantitative easing program as fears over the economy surfaced. However, the economy has so far fared well and the BoE has upgraded its forecasts on economic growth since.
Rewind back a few months, to October 2016, when Samsung had to firstly re-call its Galaxy Note 7, followed by a re-release, to then axe the whole the device, following over-heating and in some cases the device catching fire. Today Samsung has said their neither the software, nor the hardware, was to blame for the problem, but it was the fault of the battery. The abolishment of the device is thought to have cost the South Korean company £4.3bn, plus their reputation. However Samsung say they are accepting responsibility for asking the battery supplier to meet certain specifications and not planning to take legal action.
As we head home today, Trump has signed an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP), something he vowed to do during his presidential campaign. The trade pact was signed by 12 nations and covered 40% of the world’s economy but Trump claims it harmed the US manufacturing sector.