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Northern Rock’s Bank of England bailout ‘should have been secret

Northern Rock

Former Bank of England governor says that the bailout of North Rock bank should have been a secret

The bailout of Northern Rock bank should have been a secret to prevent panic, a top banker has claimed. According to Mervyn King, the then Bank of England governor, he advised the deal to bail out Northern Rock bank be kept secret to prevent panic. The day after BBC revealed the bail by the Bank of England on 13 September 2007, thousands of the bank’s customers led the first run on a British bank since 1866. The following month, the Bank of England did make secret loans worth £61.2bn to RBS and HBOS.

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ForexHighlight

Dollar edges down vs yen after Trump’s govt shutdown remarks

U.S. dollar

The dollar came down against the yen after shutdown remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump

Following U.S. President’s shutdown remarks, the dollar edged down on Wednesday. Trump recalled his election vow to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border during a rally in Phoenix. Talking to his supporters, he said, “If we have to close down the government, we are building that wall.” He raised the spectre of a government shutdown to fulfil a campaign pledge. Trump also indicated the possibility of terminating the NAFTA treaty with Mexico and Canada and commented on the U.S.-North Korea crisis.

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Alternative InvestmentsHighlight

Bitcoin boss for cautious investment

Bitcoin investment

Head of Bitcoin Foundation cautions people not to invest more than they can afford

As billions lack access to formal banking, mobile money is getting increasingly popular. In Africa, more users are taking to Bitcoin. It is getting particularly popular in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. The crypto currency has lot of potential in countries with volatile economies.

However, the head of Washington-based Bitcoin Foundation, Llews Claasen sounded a note of caution, urging people not to invest more than they can afford in the crypto currency. He was speaking at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania regarding the potential of Bitcoin in Africa. Bitcoin Foundation is a non-profit organisation that promotes the use of Bitcoin around the world. The crypto currency relies on blockchain, a digital technology that records every transaction.

Mr Claasen said,

“It offers people a chance to protect their savings from government abuse of monetary policy.

“A lot of people in Zimbabwe are interested in it as an alternative financial system, but that is not an easy thing to do formally as we don’t want to be perceived as wanting to disrupt economies,”

he told in an interview.

Read More: Investors are pouring thousands into rare whisky

He said that the tokenisation of crypto-currency could also have a big impact on Africa. Under tokenisation of crypto currency, rights to an asset are converted into a digital token on a blockchain.

“It means a small business owner can tokenise shares in his business so investors do not have to go through a central intermediary or register their shares.”

He said that it would make it easier for investors to put money in and take it out of businesses. However, he agreed that Bitcoin, in its present form, is not a great alternative to cash. But added that network upgrade would make mobile-based transactions easier. The upgrade would be done in the next six to twelve months.

“Currently the network has a transactional input of three to four transactions per second, which isn’t great if you want to use it as cash.

“But once the upgrade goes live, effectively there will be no limit to the transactions the network can handle.”

Recently, the value of one Bitcoin touched 4,500 (£3,470), the highest all-time value.

“To be honest Bitcoin is not a great form of cash right now. Don’t think of it as cash, think of it as a digital form of gold that enables you to save outside of the current financial climate,”

he said.

“They read an article about it which may or may not be true and make decisions about its long-term future, and that is why we have extreme swings,”

he said.

He said that in the future, there would be two currencies for everyone – one would be the local currency and the other would be the crypto currency. He dismissed an EU report sometime back that suggested misuse of the crypto currency in the form of tax evasion and money laundering. The report had cited the potential criminal use of bitcoin because of the anonymous nature of the blockchain-based currency.

“It found that there was not a lot of large-scale criminal behaviour,”

he said.

“Bitcoin is not completely anonymous and it is fairly easy for someone, say a revenue officer, to work backwards to find who was responsible for a transaction.”

Read More: Investment trusts preferred for in demand alternatives

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HighlightPrecious Metals

Gold jewellery demand down in the UK

Gold jewellery uk

Demand for gold jewellery in the UK falls: World Gold Council

Demand for gold has decreased in Europe, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). The demand is particularly down in the UK where demand fell 10% to a three-year low of 3.8t. The council released its gold trend for Q2 2017 and reported a 4% fall in demand for gold jewellery across Europe. Globally, the demand for gold jewellery was 480.8t which was 8% higher year-on-year. In some parts, global gold demand in Q2 2017 fell 10% compared with the same period in 2016.

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CrowdfundingHighlight

What is Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding

Businesses ask for money from a crowd for their projects/creative ideas who receive rewards in return on the successful completion of the crowdfunding goal

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project, venture or specific cause by asking family, friends, customers and a crowd of people to contribute or donate a relatively small, defined amount of capital in exchange for various rewards, typically via social media and crowdfunding platforms.

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HighlightTravel

Rail travel surpasses air travel as the preferred mode of transport

Rail travel surpasses

A report by Transform Scotland reveals more people are now travelling by trains between London and Scotland

Finally, there is some good news for green enthusiasts and environmentalists! The news is coming from Transform Scotland which has reported a shift from air travel to rail travel between Scotland and London. In fact, this change in pattern is huge and historic as it surpasses figures from the last 20 years. This means, people are resorting to rail travel in a big way as compared to air travel. It is having a huge impact on the environment as can be seen from the amount of carbon emission which has come down drastically.

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HighlightInternational Investing

Hong Kong property investment pours into London

Hong Kong property investment

Investors from Hong Kong are investing in London on a big scale

Investors from Hong Kong are pouring money in London commercial property market this year. Chinese investment in London has more than trebled compare to that before the British referendum. While other investors are pulling out of London, it is the opposite with Chinese investors who have pressed the accelerator in investment. As China tightens its grip on overseas investments, property magnates are using Hong Kong as a conduit for investment. Although, there are other factors as well that are driving increasing Chinese investment in London and include sterling’s 12% drop since the brexit referendum against the dollar, higher property cost in Hong Kong compared with London and heightened political uncertainty in Hong Kong.

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HighlightProperty

Housing market speeds towards ‘crisis point’ as average price rises £10,000 in a year

Housing market

The UK property market is fast moving downhill as average prices shoot up

The UK property market will face crash, if steps are not taken to check the uncontrolled rise in property prices. Prices of properties have reached alarming levels. According to official figures, the average price rise has been £10,000 in a year. It is already having an impact on the number of first time buyers as there has been a fall of 20pc in the number of land registry indicates.

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BanksHighlight

Barclays to close dozens of branches across the country this autumn

Barclays branches

Barclays has decided to close down 30 branches in October and November

With lesser number of people visiting banks, the high street banks are cutting down on their branches across the UK. As the Internet and mobile phones play increasingly vital role in banking, the number of people visiting the banks is on sharp decline. Due to historic low interest rates, profit is a major concern for the high street banks which is driving closures of the branches across the country.

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