Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

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BoE stress tests: all you need to know

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest round of its annual banking stress tests and its semi-annual financial stability report this morning. Used to measure the resilience of a bank’s balance sheet in adverse scenarios, the stress tests measured the impact of a severe slowdown in Chinese growth, a global recession […]

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Zoopla wins back customers from online property rival

Zoopla chief executive Alex Chesterman has branded rival OnTheMarket “a failed experiment”, and said that his property site was winning back customers at a record rate. OnTheMarket was set up last year, aiming to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s two biggest property portals. It allowed estate agents to list their properties more cheaply […]

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Asia markets tentative ahead of Opec meeting

Wednesday 2.30am GMT Overview Markets across Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, following mild overnight gains for Wall Street, a weakening of the US dollar and as investors turned their attention to a meeting between Opec members later today. What to watch Oil prices are in focus ahead of Wednesday’s Opec meeting in Vienna. The […]

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Banks, Financial

RBS emerges as biggest failure in tough UK bank stress tests

Royal Bank of Scotland has emerged as the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests, forcing the state-controlled lender to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn. Barclays and Standard Chartered also failed to meet some of their minimum hurdles in the toughest stress scenario ever […]

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Categorized | Economy

Eurozone growth rate doubles, ‘Gucci’ paper handbags and China’s robot revolution

Posted on April 29, 2016

Test your knowledge with the week in news quiz.

Eurozone growth has exceeded economists’ expectations, growing 0.6 per cent quarter on quarter at the start of the year — its fastest quarterly pace since the same quarter in 2015 and a doubling of the growth rate at the end of last year. It is good news for European policymakers, who have been forced to ramp up stimulus measures to revive the economy.

In contrast, the US economy grew at its slowest pace in two years during the first three months of 2016, raising questions over the durability of its expansion at a time of global uncertainty. Gross domestic product growth of 0.5 per cent was less than half the rate set in the previous quarter due to tumbling corporate investment and lower exports. The numbers were also held back by a deceleration in consumer spending growth. (FT)

In the news

I am in forced exile: Vijay Mallya His passport has been revoked, there is a warrant out for his arrest and India’s foreign ministry has written to the UK government requesting his deportation — but the boisterous Indian beer and spirits tycoon has declared he is ready to settle hundreds of millions of pounds owed to banks after the collapse of his company, Kingfisher Airlines. (FT)

Germany eyes jobless migrant benefits ban The country is planning to ban EU migrants from most unemployment benefits for five years after their arrival, in a dramatic response to rightwing populist assaults on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal immigration policies. (FT)

Carl Icahn sells all his Apple stock The billionaire investor, who was among the company’s largest outside shareholders, said he no longer held a position, citing concerns about China’s attitude towards the tech firm. (FT)

Comcast buys DreamWorks Animation The largest US cable TV provider has agreed to pay $3.8bn for the studio behind Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. (FT)

Taiwan chipmakers worried about brain drain The companies are facing an exodus of talent as they are squeezed by competition from Chinese competitors. (NAR)

Amazon delivers good quarter for investors Amazon reported its most profitable quarter to date on Thursday as sales beat expectations, with the subsequent 12 per cent rise in its share price valuing the group at almost $280bn. Sales for the quarter were $29bn, up 28 per cent from a year earlier, representing Amazon’s highest revenue growth in nearly four years. (FT)

Gucci cracks down on fakes for the dead The Italian brand is asking Hong Kong funeral shops to stop selling paper versions of the fashion house’s handbags to be burnt as offerings for those in the afterlife. (FT)

It’s a big day for

Iranian politics A run-off parliamentary election is to take place for 68 parliamentary seats following February’s general election. Results then showed allies of President Hassan Rouhani made big gains from the conservative Islamic establishment, but neither faction has a majority, meaning the run-offs will decide who controls the 290-seat parliament. (FT)

Food for thought

Obama weighs his economic legacy GDP is growing and unemployment is at 5 per cent — but many voters feel like the US never recovered from the financial crisis. The president has a theory about why. (NYT)

The bombing of MSF The Kunduz Trauma Center run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan remained open throughout the battle for the city last year — until an American AC-130 gunship dropped a bomb on it. (The Intercept)

China’s robot revolution Across the country, factories are replacing humans with robots in a new automation-driven industrial revolution, the effects of which will be felt around the world. (FT)

Good reasons to buy gold Why did pirates wear gold earrings? So that when they came to a violent or disease-ridden end on a distant shore, they might stand a greater chance of getting a Christian burial, paid for by the jewellery on their body. That’s one historical nugget of a story from a London underground bullion store. (FT)

Can Hill thrill after you’ve felt the Bern? Hillary Clinton is on track to win the Democratic nomination but can she persuade wary supporters of rival Bernie Sanders to follow her? Sign up for our daily US politics newsletter here.

Trumpology: a masterclass A roundtable with five writers who have covered Donald Trump, and delved deep into his psyche. (Politico)

Video of the day

The US in three numbers US managing editor Gillian Tett explains the three figures that give an insight into the workings of the US economy. (FT)

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