Britons can expect pay raise
British employers plan to hire more workers and raise pay more quickly next year, but they also fear that Brexit will make the country a less attractive place to do business, a survey showed yesterday. Fifty-one percent of employers expect to expand their workforce next year, the survey by the Confederation of British Industry and recruitment firm Pertemps showed, up from 41 percent in last year’s survey. Strong job creation has been a bright spot in Britain’s economy in recent years, but recent official data have shown a fall in employment, leading some economists to wonder if the labor market is about to weaken. Slightly more than half of businesses expected to raise pay next year in line with or above the rate of retail price inflation, which could mean increases of about 3 percent, up from about 2.5 percent now, the survey showed. Such an increase would be line with the Bank of England’s forecasts.
Amazon might acquire bank
Amazon.com Inc’s entry into the financial sector could come sooner rather than later. Bankers beware. CFRA bank analyst Ken Leon said that the online giant might acquire a small or mid-size bank next year to gain a footing in the industry. That is just one of his top predictions for the sector next year. “This may either be a tactical move or a broad strategic jump into banking, as Amazon seeks more stickiness with consumers and small businesses in consumer lending such as auto loans, credit cards and home mortgages,” he wrote. Amazon has already ventured well beyond its Internet roots, including establishing a physical footprint in the grocery business with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc earlier this year. The company’s shares have climbed about 60 percent this year.
Zeon to add production line
Zeon Corp, a Japanese resin, rubber and latex supplier, is adding a new production line to boost output of films used for flat-panel OLED displays, company president Kuniaki Tanaka said. Demand for large-screen televisions using organic light-emitting diodes is climbing as prices decline, he said in an interview. The Tokyo-based company is planning to spend several tens of billions of yen to add 10 percent to capacity within the next few years. A key product by the company, ZeonorFilm, is used for smartphone and tablet displays because of its durability, transparency and lighter weight, making it an attractive alternative to glass. Zeon’s stock has more than doubled in the past five years on booming demand for smartphones. Revenue is on track to rise 11 percent this fiscal year through March next year, Bloomberg data showed.
Banker banned in Singapore
Singapore yesterday banned a jailed banker from working in its financial services industry for life over his links to the international money-laundering scandal involving neighboring Malaysia’s state fund 1MDB. Financial regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore handed the punishment to Yeo Jiawei, noting he had been convicted of several 1MDB-linked charges, including money laundering, cheating and tampering with witnesses involved in the probe into the case. Yeo, a Singaporean who is a former wealth manager with Swiss bank BSI, is one of several bankers jailed over the affair. He was last year jailed for 30 months and was handed another 54-month sentence in July, which is running concurrently with his first jail term.