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Blog Archives: Nigel Phillips

Financial Focus

China pledged to open more of its markets to U.S. companies after a two-day gathering of top officials that underscored the gap between the two nations over how fast the Chinese currency should rise. The world’s two biggest economies settled on incremental steps to improve business ties. China pledged to strengthen intellectual property rights and phase out domestic purchasing preferences by the government, while offering foreign financial firms a larger role. AUSTRALIA’S government will end 23 years of spending growth to ease inflation from a mining boom and support the return to a budget surplus, even as it plans to help companies hurt by a record high currency. The underlying cash deficit will narrow to A$22.6 billion in the 12 months to June 30, 2012, less than half the A$49.4 billion gap this fiscal year. The government plans A$22.2 billion in savings over the next four years to deliver a A$3.5 billion surplus in 2012-13. MARKETS: EUROPEAN shares are expected to extend the previous session’s…

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Breaking News

The capital's newly formed marketing agency, London & Partners, has appointed Martine Ainsworth-Wells as director of marketing and communications as part of its new executive line-up. London & Partners has placed Ainsworth-Wells at the head of its marketing arm, as the agency gears up to promote London in the run up to the Olympics. MediaCom has appointed Selina Firth as board strategy director, with specific responsibility for the GlaxoSmithKline account. Firth will be responsible for leading the GSK account across the UK consumer healthcare business. As well as heading up GSK, Firth will also help drive MediaCom’s overall planning vision. AVIVA INVESTORS The British insurer Aviva's asset management arm said it appointed Nancy Utterback and Alessandro Rovelli as senior credit analysts within the Credit Team, based in London. SAV CREDIT LTD The specialist credit card provider said it appointed Stephen Rowland to the newly created role of general counsel and chief administration officer. Rowland joins from Santander where he was the legal and compliance director…

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Financial Focus

Greece was struck by multiple ratings agencies yesterday, following the EU's admission on Friday that Athens will not be ready to return to markets for cash next year, as is required by the terms of the 110bn bailout. S&P downgraded Greek debt to B, one notch above Pakistan's bonds, warning that any voluntary debt restructuring by Athens would amount to a default. China reported a trade surplus that was more than three times larger than forecast in April as exports surged to a record, bolstering the US case for faster yuan gains. Exports climbed 30% to $156 billion while import growth slowed to 22%. The rebound in China’s surplus to its highest this year may add pressure on the world’s biggest exporter and holder of foreign exchange reserves to address imbalances and reduce inflation through steeper yaun appreciation. BERNANKE’S $600 billion strike against deflation is paying off, as stock and debt markets rise, bank lending grows and economists forecast faster growth. The S&P 500 index…

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100 not out.

Despite warnings that the UK is suffering an obesity epidemic, children play computer games, rather than sport, 10% of them cannot ride a bike and 15% cannot swim, demographic experts have warned society needs to radically re-think pensions, if it is to cope with the ever-increasing numbers of centenarians. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), says more than a quarter of today’s under-16s can expect to live beyond 100. Of the UK’s 60 million population, 11 million will become centenarians and pensions minister, Steve Webb, says the state pension system must be made "fair and sustainable for future generations", if people are going to spend more than a third of their lives in retirement. Head of policy, at the International Longevity Centre, David Sinclair, says that while the increase in longevity is a "huge success" for society, it will come at a price. He said: "The impact on service provision will be huge and society is heading towards huge fiscal service pressures." There will…

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Breaking News

Reader's Digest loses CEO Titmuss after 6 months. The chief executive of the company behind Reader's Digest, David Titmuss, has left after six months "to pursue other interests".In a statement Vivat Direct, which declined to comment on why Titmuss left, said it would appoint a successor "in due course". Digital Cinema Media, the cinema sales house, has appointed the former Mindshare chief executive Simon Rees as its new managing director. He replaces Martin Bowley, who left DCM in January. Rees will oversee all commercial and operational aspects of the DCM business, which, following the addition of the Vue cinemas contract at the end of last year, now accounts for around 80 per cent of the cinema ad sales market.   Paul Meadows, head of brand at LG, and Paul Trueman, marketing director of LG Electronics, have both left their jobs in a major shake-up of the brand's marketing department.   UBS The Swiss banking giant named Campbell Stewart as head of metals and mining for…

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Financial Focus

The Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report on Wednesday could offer insights on when the monetary policy committee will raise the cost of borrowing from historic lows of 0.5%. Analysts expect the report to complicate the bank’s dilemma, raising forecasts for inflation while lowering growth estimates, after the disappointing 0.5% GDP expansion in the first quarter. CHINESE producer price inflation for April is expected to moderate to a year-on-year rise of 6.9%, down from 7.3% in March, when data is released on Wednesday. Headline consumer price inflation data, however, looks set to remain around a 32-month high of 5.4%. China’s retail sales growth is expected to rise to 17.8%, up from 17.4% in the previous month. THE US TRADE deficit is forecast to grow from $45.8bn in February to $48bn in March, in data published on Wednesday, with both imports and exports rebounding since the last set of data. GERMAN first-quarter GDP data is expected to show that the country doubled its growth to 0.8%…

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Breaking News

Reckitt Benckiser has appointed Heather Allen as executive vice-president for category development, taking the post vacated by Rakesh Kapoor, who was recently appointed chief executive designate. Kapoor is taking the reins from Bart Becht, who announced in April he would retire in September. Innocent marketing executive Jo Goyder has left the company after just over a year to join consultancy Brand Development. Goyder left his role as consumer insights manager for innovation and juice at Innocent within the past two weeks. The National Magazine Company has promoted Jessica Myers to the role of group ad director for its weeklies division. Myers, currently ad director for NatMag's celebrity weekly Reveal, will take over display advertising responsibility across the weeklies portfolio from next Monday. Dave Chase, the head of brand partnerships at specialist music consultancy BrandAmp, is to join Interpublic's integrated and experiential agency Momentum to manage its relationship with American Express and Live Nation. UBS The Swiss banking giant named Campbell Stewart as head of metals…

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Breaking News

DDB UK's head of planning, Sarah Watson, is leaving the agency to move to New York with her husband, Tom Morton, the chief strategy officer of Publicis Group UK. Watson is joining Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York in the newly created role of chief strategy officer. Morton does not have a job to go to in the US but has quit Publicis to make the move with Watson. Beattie McGuinness Bungay creative directors Ben Walker and Matt Gooden have resigned from the agency to join Crispin Porter & Bogusky's London office as joint executive creative directors. The creative team resigned on Wednesday and leave BMB after just over a year at the shop. They will work across CP&B’s accounts, including the agency’s pan-European Milka business. Digital Cinema Media, the cinema sales house, has appointed the former Mindshare chief executive Simon Rees as its new managing director. He replaces Martin Bowley, who left DCM in January. Rees will oversee all commercial and operational aspects of…

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Breaking News

David Beckham to front Samsung's Olympic sponsorship. Samsung has signed David Beckham as the face of its sponsorship of next year's London Olympic Games. The Korean electronics giant is the official worldwide partner for wireless communications equipment. The former England football captain will now appear in various ads and PR campaigns in the run-up to the Games. Glam Media, the women's publishing network, has appointed Warner Brother's media strategist Malcolm Attwells as its new commercial director. Attwells will drive revenue opportunities, build new commercial partnerships and manage new product launches using audience insight, branding, video and mobile for Glam Media UK. Simon Thompson, one of Apple's top European marketers, has left the technology company after less than two years. It is not clear if Thompson, Apple EMEA online store director, has another job to go to. His tenure at Apple covered the launch of the iPad and iPad 2, as well as the release of the iPhone 4. The company's range was boosted further this…

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Financial Focus

UK manufacturing expanded at its slowest pace in seven months in April and a slowdown in new orders dimmed hopes that the UK economy would pick up after a weak recovery at the start of the year. The PMI headline index fell to 54.6, well below even the most bearish analyst's forecast, suggesting the recent strong performance by manufacturers is starting to weaken as domestic demand wanes. The slowdown supported views that the Bank of England will delay even further raising interest rates from the record 0.5% low, as it waits for the economy to pick up after making a sluggish recovery from a shock decline at the endof 2010. Portugal last night struck a deal with the ECB, EU and IMF for an international bailout worth 78bn, to ease its debt burden for a three-year period. In a televised address, the country'scaretaker prime minister, JoseSocrates, said he had got a good deal, although few details of the loan were given. US employment increased by…

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