Weekly Investment Update
05 July 2017 to 11 July 2017

Business News
Payment processing firm Worldpay has agreed to a £9.1bn merger with US based rival Vantiv. Publishing business Pearson has sold a 22% stake in Penguin Random House for £776m to Bertelsmann. Pearson will retain 25% stake in Penguin Random House.

Cosco, the Chinese shipping giant, is set to pay £4.9bn for its Hong Kong rival OOIL. Once completed Cosco would become the world’s third largest shipping company.

Samsung Electronics has seen its operating profit rise 72% year-on-year in Q2 to £9.3bn, as sales grew by 18% to £40bn due to increased demand for its memory chips.

Sales at Marks & Spencer’s home and clothing divisions continued to fall in Q2, however the rate of decrease slowed from Q1, down from 5.9% to 1.2%. Total sales, including international operations rose by 2.7% to £2.5bn.

Conglomerate Dalian Wanda has struck one of China’s largest ever property deals. The deal involves selling three Chinese theme parks, including 76 hotels, for £7.2bn to developer Sunac. Elsewhere, fizzy drinks maker PepsiCo reported its Q2 revenues rose 2.1% to £12.2bn, from last year, with net income of £1.6bn for the period ending 17 June.

Econominc News
UK worker productivity fell by 0.5% in Q1, according to the ONS. The fall ends a run of positive growth in production and has now fallen back to pre-financial crisis levels.

Last week saw the 10th anniversary since UK interest rates were last increased, when they went from 5.5% to 5.75%, marking the longest gap between increases since the Second World War.

Scotland’s economy expanded by 0.8% in Q1, a return to growth after contracting by 0.2% in Q4. On an annualised basis Scotland’s GDP grew by 0.7%, compared to the wider UK growth of 2%.

Germany recorded growing exports and imports in May, up by 1.4% and 1.2% respectively. Its trade surplus rose to £18bn in May.

The US economy added 222,000 new jobs in June, as the unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.4% from 4.3% in May. The estimates of jobs created in both April and May were also revised upwards.

Courtesy of Legal & General
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