Norway's sovereign-wealth fund, the world's biggest, topped a $1 trillion valuation after the best half-year return in its history. In the first half of 2017, the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) made 499 billion kroner ($63 billion), a 2.6% return on its investments, the best half-year return in its history, the fund announced on Tuesday.
Facebook will see a decline among teenagers in the U.S. this year, says market research firm eMarketer. Facebook usage among U.S. users between the ages of 12 and 17 is expected to decline for the first time this year, falling 3.4% from the previous year, according to the research. While this decline gives Snap Inc. a rare edge, as teens are fleeing to its platform, Facebook is still in the game as teens seem to be spending time on its other property, Instagram.
President Mario Draghi gave little indication about the next steps for monetary policy in the euro zone during a speech on Wednesday ahead of a key meeting between central bankers. The European Central Bank chief seemed to have learned from his own mistakes by avoiding commenting on how and when he might bring monetary stimulus to an end. Speaking at a conference in Lindau, Germany, Draghi praised economists' research and said that adjustments to monetary policy are "never easy." However, he made no reference to how the bank might adjust its own policy to the improving economic data across the euro zone, a highly debated issue among market participants.
Google and Walmart on Tuesday announced a partnership that would make the retailer's products available on the internet giant's online shopping mall. The two companies said that next month Google would start offering Walmart products to people who shop on Google Express, the company’s online shopping mall. It’s the first time the world’s biggest retailer has made its products available online in the United States outside of its own website.
Global dividends hit an all-time quarterly record of $447.5 billion (€380.5 billion) in the second quarter of this year as growth accelerated to the fastest rate since 2015, according to new data. The Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index revealed that the amount paid out in dividends globally increased 5.4% year-on-year on a headline basis – equivalent to an underlying rise of 7.2% once exchange rates, special dividends and other factors were taken into account. The asset manager raised its dividend forecast for the whole of 2017 to $1.208 trillion, up $50 billion since an initial forecast in January, following evidence of “more synchronised” global economic growth, an oil price rally and a revival in banking sector payouts.
Online catering marketplace, Caterwings, have conducted a study regarding the global price of basic food items, as preliminary research ahead of their expansion into foreign markets. The research highlighted in particular that the cost of meat around the world is remarkably varied. To share these insights, Caterwings have released the 2017 Meat Price Index, which details the cost of meat in over 50 countries worldwide. The study revealed that Switzerland has the highest meat prices, at 141.9% more expensive than the average cost worldwide, followed by Norway (63.7% more expensive) and Hong Kong (61% more expensive), while Ukraine has the least expensive meat prices, at 52.3% less expensive than the average cost, closely followed by Malaysia (50.3% less expensive).
The sharing of sensitive information has been at the root of many of the scandals facing the financial services industry recently, for example the LIBOR and FX rigging episodes. However, the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now marked Wall Street traders as a potential area of focus, given the use of encrypted apps to hide illicit communications. According to reports emerging in the Financial Times, the FBI is becoming increasingly concerned that Wall Street traders have found a way to turn encryption to their advantage when it comes to illegally exchanging insider information.
A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. The lawsuit was brought by a California woman, Eva Echeverria, who alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential cancer risks of talcum powder.
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