Highlights Of The Year 2016
Friday, January 6, 2017
Belsize Accountancy in IT Contractors, UK Markets, UK small businesses and contractors

Here are our picks of the business news and highlights of the year 2016:

Summary

- The UK vote for Brexit in 2016 referendum.

- GBP weakens against the USD from 1.48 at the beginning of the year to 1.23.

- GBP weakens against the EUR from 1.36 at the beginning of the year to 1.17.

- Donald Trump voted president of United States.

- FTSE100 ends the year at an all time high of 7,142.

 

December 2016

- Donald Trump is reported to have plans to spend over $1 Trillion on infrastructure projects in the US.

- Dow Jones hits all time high at 19,986, following market optimism over Trump presidency.

- FTSE100 reaches all time high of 7,142.

- The ECB has refused to provide funding to Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena who require a fundraise of €5m.

 

November 2016

- Donald Trump voted in to become the 45th president of the United States.

- In a bid to tackle corruption, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes would be withdrawn from circulation on that same day, 8 November 2016. Indian citizens would have a grace period to convert their cash into the brand new notes subject to strict rules and proof of identification.

- Scyscanner sold for £1.4 billion to Ctrip, China’s largest online travel business.

- Ali Baba Spin off ZTO Express raises $1.4 billion in US IPO.

- Tesco bank halted online transactions after 40,000 accounts were hacked to the cost of £2.5m.

 

October 2016

- Sterling falls to 30 year low after Theresa May announced that Article 50 would be triggered by end of March 2017. The “flash crash” resulted in Sterling falling 7% against the US dollar.

- New national minimum wage increases to £6.95 for adults aged 21-24.

- Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 model after safety concerns. The company’s shares dropped sharply on the news.

- Software company Misys cancelled it's IPO in London due to poor market conditions.

 

September 2016

- Bank of England to launch new plastic £5 bank note.

- Apple fined €13 billion tax charge by European Commission for shifting profits via Ireland.

- Global tech companies subject to scrutiny over tax payments. Facebook paid £4k tax in the UK 2014 and reported a £28m loss. Amazon paid no UK tax on £5.3bn revenue from UK shoppers which was routed through its European arm.

- Sainsbury’s acquires Argos and Habitat from Home Retail Group.

- Leading British Tech company ARM Holdings was acquired for £23 billion by Softbank of Japan.

 

August 2016

- The Bank of England announced that interest rates will be cut from 0.5% to 0.25% as a result of a reduction in its growth targets following the Brexit vote. Plans are also in place for a £60 billion Quantitative Easing program and a further £10 billion for a new corporate bond buying program.

- Japans SoftBank acquires UK chipmaker ARM for £24.3 billion ($32 billion) in UK’s largest ever tech deal.

- Hackers steal $65m from Bitcoin exchange.

- Sports Direct to reimburse thousands of workers for back pay of approx £1m after it was established that the retailer had been paying them below minimum wage for four years. The Company will also be subject to fines estimated to amount to £2m.

- 25 year old Hugh Grosvenor, inherited a £9 billion fortune following the death of the Duke of Westminster. The London property portfolio is held in Trust resulting in a very low tax bill for the new Duke.

- West Ham United kick off at their new ground at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. The ground cost £323m to convert to a football stadium following the London Olympics.

 

July 2016

- Teresa May appointed Prime Minister.

- GBP falls to 31 year low against the USD at 1.29.

- UK Loses AAA Credit Rating Following Brexit

- S&P 500 continues to rise to an all time high of 2,170

- Verizon acquires Yahoo for $4.8 billion in huge tech deal. Last year, the US behemoth paid $4.4 billion for AOL.

 

June 2016

- The UK vote to leave the EU following Brexit referendum. UK Prime Minister David Cameron resigns.

- British retailers BHS and Austin Reed fall into administration.

- Ladbrokes and Gala Coral join forces in a $3 billion merger.

- Microsoft acquired social networking brand Linkedin for $26 billion.

 

May 2016

- The Bank of England once again unanimously voted to leave its base interest rate at 0.5%

 

April 2016

- From 6 April 2016 all UK Limited Companies are required to maintain a register of Persons with Significant Control (PSC) in the business. The information must be filed on the public register with Companies House. The PSC filing will replace the Annual Return.

- A new savings allowance was introduced on 6 April 2016 whereby individuals can earn interest up to £1,000 tax free every year. The savings allowance is reduced to £500 per annum for higher rate taxpayers and additional rate taxpayers receive no allowance.

- UK department store BHS falls into administration with huge debts and a £571m pension deficit. 11,000 jobs are at risk. Former CEO Philip Green has been criticised for leaving the business in a crippled state prior to selling BHS for £1. He extracted dividends of over £400m prior to his departure.

- Prime Minister David Cameron admitted to having benefited from an offshore account in Panama in the past. The PM took the unprecedented step of publishing information about his income tax to the public for the past six years.

- Barack Obama made it clear he was against the Brexit at a press conference with David Cameron in the UK. Obama stated that the US had no intention of forming a new closer relationship with post a Brexit Britain. On the contrary, the UK would be “at the back of the queue” when it came to trade treaties.

- Tech giant Apple resisted an order by the FBI to unlock one of its iPhones as part of an investigation. The tech sector rallied behind Apple as data protection for the consumer is paramount to the industry.

- Sportech plc wins £97m VAT case after long running battle with HMRC regarding the “Spot the Ball” game. Sportech argued that it is a game of chance, not skill, and hence should be exempt from VAT. The courts decided in Sportech’s favour in 2013, only for the decision to be overturned following an appeal by HMRC in 2014. The case was taken to the Court of Appeal in April 2016 where Sportech was successful at the third attempt.

- Investors vote against the £14m pay package of BP’s CEO Bob Dudley.

 

March 2016

- The ECB cut the main interest rate from 0.05% to 0.0%, expanded its quantitative easing programme from €60bn per month to €80bn from April, and reduced the deposit rate by 10bps to -0.4%. The attempts to tackle deflation has led to a drop in the Euro. EURUSD dropped to 1.08.

- The EU economy continues to suffer from the migrant crisis. Several EU states are closing their borders to further migration.

- Unknown investor in Turkey found to be placing large positions over $450 million per day in order to scare off traders. The market maker is known as the “Dude”.

- Fed chief Yellen indicated that interest rate rises will be slower than originally anticipated due to global economic uncertainty.

 

February 2016

- The Pound continued to weaken following concerns over the Brexit. Boris Johnson launched a pro Brexit campaign earlier in the month. GBP fell below $1.39 against the US dollar for the first time in 7 years.

- Slowing growth in China, along with falling commodity prices have weighed on financial markets.

- Paddy Power and Betfair completed a $6.5 billion merger to create one of the largest betting houses in the world. GVC Holdings completed its $1.7 billion purchase of bwin.party that same month.

 

January 2016

- Sterling falls to its lowest level against the US Dollar in five and a half years. The exchange rate is currently £1.491. Market turmoil in China increased risk aversion and demand for the dollar, while uncertainty over a UK referendum on European Union membership also weighed heavily on the pound.

- On 1 January 2016, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme limit was reduced from £85,000 to £75,000 to reflect the drop in the Pound against the Euro.

- Oil price falls below $28, its lowest level since 2003.

- China spends $580 billion to prop up their stockmarket following huge losses.

- FTSE 100 Falls 5% In First Week Of 2016. It has fallen below £6,000 and currently stands at £5,912.

- Market turmoil sees trading suspended in China. The DOW and the FTSE were down on the opening day of trading in 2016.

- Innovative businesses, AirBnB, Xero and Uber continue to grow from strength to strength.

- Google reached a tax deal with HMRC following an open audit of its tax returns dating back to 2005 to settle its taxes at £130m despite revenues of over £12 billion.

Article originally appeared on Belsize Accountancy (http://belsizeaccountancy.co.uk/).
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