Weekly Investment Update
14 June 2017 to 20 June 2017

Business News
Owner of Zara, Inditex, has seen Q1 profits rise 18% to £575m as well as sales climbing 14% to £4.8bn. In the US department store Neiman Marcus revealed a Q1 loss of £20m, its fourth consecutive quarterly loss at the firm which has a £3.8bn debt mountain.

Amazon has struck a £10.7bn deal to buy grocery business Whole Foods in a move that takes it into the more traditional retail market. Meanwhile, US recipe and ingredients delivery business, Blue Apron, has announced plans to raise around £350m as it looks to float on the US market. The firm made revenues of around £630m in 2016 whilst also making a loss of £43m.

Music streaming service Spotify has reported a net loss of £472m for 2016, almost double the figure for 2015, although revenues rose by 50% to £2.6bn. The service now has 140 million active monthly users with 48 million using the premium service.

PerkinElmer, the scientific instruments maker, has agreed to acquire Germany’s Euroimmun Medical Laboratory Diagnostics in a £1bn cash deal. The 27-mile long M6 toll road has been bought by IFM, which is owned by several Australian pension funds and owns Manchester Airports Group amongst other businesses. Around £180m is expected to be returned to taxpayers following completion of the deal.

Econominc News
At its latest meeting the Bank of England decided to keep interest rates on hold at 0.25%, however the voting was 5-3
making it the closest to voting for a rise in rates since 2007.

UK retail sales fell in May as the quantity of goods sold dipped by 1.2% from April, although year-on-year volumes
grew by 0.9%. Prices rose by 2.8% over the year. Earnings have fallen by 0.6% in real terms for the three months to April.

A deal between euro ministers has been agreed which will release the latest tranche of £7.4bn in bailout funds to
Greece, as the next £6bn of loan repayments is due in July.

Employment in the eurozone reached record levels in Q1 when it rose by 0.4% with 154.8 million people in work, and a
total of 234.2 million across the wider European Union.

Iceland’s central bank has cut its interest rate again, reducing the rate by 0.25% to 4.5%.

The US Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate by 0.25% to a range of 1% to 1.25%, the second increase this year.

Courtesy of Legal & General
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