Property 

UK property agents at gloomiest for 10 years in latest monthly Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors snapshot

Brexit uncertainty and a lack of affordability in some areas continue to stifle the UK housing market, leaving Britain’s property agents with their gloomiest view of property values in 10 years.The latest monthly snapshot from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) shows a further weakening of the market, with demand, prices and sales expectations all down.The industry survey came as the latest government figures showed annual house price growth across the UK had slowed to its… Source link

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China 

Brexit deadline looms for Asia-bound ships as slow boats to China set sail from the UK

Dozens of cargo ships will set sail on Friday from the United Kingdom on journeys that will see them enter Asian ports after the United Kingdom has left the European Union. The status of these container ships is causing headaches among officials at the British Consulate General in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post understands, ahead of the planned Brexit on March 29, with some journeys lasting as long as 48 days. The officials are concerned that ships could be “stranded at sea” in the case of a no…

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Home 

Ant Financial acquires UK payments firm WorldFirst to advance its global expansion

Ant Financial Services, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, has agreed to buy UK-based payments company WorldFirst to bolster its global expansion, marking the Chinese start-up’s biggest deal since a major US acquisition fell through last year. “Alipay and WorldFirst’s capabilities and international footprints are highly complementary, and together, we will be able to better serve small businesses and promote financial inclusion around the world,” said an Ant Financial spokeswoman in a statement on Thursday. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Ant Financial-backed mobile payment firm Mynt seeks Philippine…

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Former UK surveillance head says calls to freeze Chinese companies out of telecoms in Western countries are “short on technical understanding”

Britain’s former surveillance chief has characterised the “chorus of voices” calling for a blanket ban on Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies from telecommunication networks in Western countries amid perceived cyber threats as being “short on technical understanding” of cybersecurity and the complexities of 5G networks. While the Government Communications Headquarters’s National Cyber Security Centre “has been blunt about Huawei’s shortcomings in security engineering and in its general attitude to cybersecurity,” it has “never found evidence of malicious Chinese state cyber activity through Huawei,” Robert Hannigan, who was director of GCHQ…

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Brexit: How influential is it on the UK property market?

[Sponsored Article] Brexit may be dominating headlines ahead of the UK’s historic exit from the EU on March 29, but overseas property investors have no reason to be worried. Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, their impact on residential markets will be negligible at worst, with a strong likelihood of being very favorable to international buyers. Foreign investors have largely been undeterred by the Brexit drama. According to figures from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), around half of all UK property acquisitions in 2018 were made by overseas investors, totaling…

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UK vacuum giant James Dyson is moving headquarters to Singapore, citing Chinese market and Asian production

James Dyson, the billionaire Brexit supporter who revolutionised vacuum cleaners with his bagless technology, is moving his head office to Singapore from Britain to be closer to his company’s fastest-growing markets. Dyson’s company said the move to Singapore, where the firm had already announced it would build its new electric car, was not driven by Britain’s looming departure from the European Union or tax implications, with much of its product development remaining in south west England. The 71-year-old inventor has become one of Britain’s best-known entrepreneurs, creating a multibillion-dollar company…

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As Brexit debate begins, Hong Kong financial firms seek to avoid being tripped up by UK divorce from EU

The ongoing drama surrounding the acrimonious break-up between Britain and the European Union could affect thousands of businesses that use London as a base for their European operations. Though the drama is playing out more than 9,000 kilometres away, some of Hong Kong’s biggest financial institutions are trying to avoid being caught in the middle. HSBC and Standard Chartered – two of the three lenders that issue bank notes in Hong Kong and important drivers of the city’s economy – are among those that have been planning for Brexit since…

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Standard Chartered spins off private-equity arm, sells investment portfolio to UK asset manager Intermediate Capital

Standard Chartered said on Monday that it would spin off its private-equity business in a management-led buyout and sell most of its private-equity investment portfolio to funds managed by a unit of British asset manager Intermediate Capital Group. The bank, which is based in London but generates much of its revenue in Asia, has been reducing the size of its private-equity business since 2016, with an eye towards an eventual exit. Terms of the deal were not released. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of…

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Huawei agrees to UK security steps to avoid 5G ban: report

Embattled Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies has agreed to British intelligence demands to address risks in its equipment and software, as the company seeks to be part of the United Kingdom’s 5G mobile network plans, according to a Financial Times report on Friday. Huawei executives met with senior officials from Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), where they accepted a range of technical requirements to ease security fears, according to sources cited by the report. The NCSC said in a statement that it was “committed to the security of UK…

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China 

PBOC renews currency backup from UK and Japan to defend yuan

China and Britain renewed their bilateral local currency swap scheme for another three years on Monday, two weeks after Beijing signed a similar deal with Japan, in a sign that Beijing is securing backup in defending its depreciating currency. These bilateral arrangements allow the People’s Bank of China to use its own currency as collateral to borrow the currency of the other country within agreed limits. In the renewed deal with the UK, for instance, China’s central bank can obtain up to 40 billion pounds (US$64.51 billion) from the Bank…

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