FireChat app popular in Iraq
A new chat app designed for use on planes and trains is soaring in popularity in Iraq, as users embrace a “private internet” where they can message each other without fear of the government shutting down access to the web. Created on an island in San Francisco Bay, FireChat has been rapidly adopted in the war-torn country as the government restricts access to the internet.
Banks shift to forex automation
Banks including Barclays and UBS are accelerating a shift towards automation in foreign exchange and rates trading as they move to slash costs and reduce the risk of further price manipulation scandals. Senior bankers are aiming to minimise human intervention because traditional trading over the phone has come under an intense regulatory spotlight.
Euro firms taking on pre-crisis debt
European companies that raise finance are taking on levels of debt not seen since the financial crisis as they adjust to the prospect of low interest rates for the foreseeable future.
The ratio of debt to company earnings, or “leverage multiples”, for all European transactions were 5.1 times earnings in the first quarter of 2014, above the 10-year average (4.8 times) for the first time since 2008.
Italian investor in Club Med offer
An Italian investor who owns part of Aston Martin and Spain’s PortAventura theme park is weighing up a possible €750m offer for Club Med, the French holiday village operator. Andrea Bonomi, part of a wealthy construction family, is carrying due diligence on the company and is said to be serious about challenging an agreed deal with a Chinese-led consortium.
Bigger charges for green energy
Subsidies for wind farms and biomass plants will cost households about £7 a year extra by 2020 because the government has got its forecasts wrong over energy prices, according to a study.
The Daily Telegraph
Ghana deal casts cloud over World Cup
Ghana has been exposed as agreeing to take part in international football matches organised by match fixers. An undercover investigation by The Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme found the President of Ghana’s Football Association agreed for the team to play in international matches that others were prepared to rig.
Rates need to go up, says David Miles
Britain’s recovery has become entrenched and the Bank of England should start to raise interest rates in the coming months to reflect the stronger economy, according to MPC member David Miles.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Andreessen Invests in Cybersecurity
Venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is placing its second-biggest bet ever on an unheralded tool for corporate-technology departments. The firm, known for backing Facebook and Pinterest, among others, is investing $90m in Tanium, which helps companies pinpoint security threats .
Daimler to build plant in Mexico
Germany’s Daimler will build a Mercedes production plant in Mexico at a facility operated by its alliance partner Nissan, Germany’s Manager magazine reported yesterday.