Scottish Firm Delivers Tidal Power to the Grid in ‘World First’

Photo Credit:  Liam Byrnes

Photo Credit: Liam Byrnes

Nova Innovation says it has successfully delivered power by turbine based systems in the Shetland Isles. The group said its technology marks an advancement in harnessing the renewable source of energy. The Shetland Isles project currently consists of an array of two turbines, with three more to be constructed in a project worth £3.6m. They also claimed that the project will eventually supply enough power for 300 houses. The installation is small compared to offshore wind farms, but it is believed the predictable nature of the strong UK tides could eventually supply 12% of its electricity requirements.  Tidal power firms have previously been reliant on government subsidies, but investors are increasingly showing interest as advancements are made in the field. The government has launched a review of tidal lagoon power headed by former UK energy minister Charles Hendry, which is due to be published later this year.


China has Ausgrid Bid Rejected

Image Credit:  eutrophication&hypoxia

Image Credit: eutrophication&hypoxia

The Australian treasury has formerly rejected a bid from two Chinese firms to purchase the countries largest energy infrastructure, Ausgrid. Treasurer Scott Morrison, cited concerns over unspecified national interests as his reason for squashing the deal:

"I have decided that the acquisition by foreign investors under the current proposed structure of the lease of 50.4 percent of Ausgrid, the New South Wales electricity distribution network, would be contrary to the national interest”.

The decision comes just months after Australia and China agreed a A$100 billion free trade agreement. Morrison confirmed that Ausgrid will still be privatised, but how and when it will happen has not been specified. It is believed the rejection of Chinese investment reflects an Australian political climate that is increasingly leaning towards protectionism. 


New British energy startup receives backing from industry veterans

Moixa Technology, a manufacturer of an energy storage product for homes and businesses, has received recognition and funding from former boss of Centrica, Sam Laidlaw; the former chief executive of SSE, Ian Marchant; and the former CEO of Innogy, Brian Count. Moixa Technology’s energy storage product is called Maslow. Available in three different sizes, Maslow is a briefcase-sized device that is wall-mounted by a qualified electrician in about an hour. Maslow’s key feature is a built-in microinverter and can be used for DC backup power. So far, Moixa Technology has installed 500 units but has a goal of one million by 2020.


Shell gives startups access to funding opportunities

Photo Credit:  Mike Mozart

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

Shell has just launched a green finance database initiative called Shell Springboard’s Access to Finance Navigator. The interactive, digital database will give new companies access to 84 sources of low carbon funding worth £157 million. Through a simple set of questions, Shell Springboard’s Access to Finance Navigator helps identify the most appropriate financing sources for entrepreneurs’ and SMEs’ needs based on business stage, location, sector, amount needed and preferred type of finance. The online tool will then provide a list of relevant types of financing available from angel investment and crowdfunding to government grants, venture capital and incubation.


German 10-Year Bond Yield Turns Negative

The 10-year German government bond yield has entered into negative territory, for the first time ever. The long-term benchmark bond recorded a yield of minus 0.01% on Tuesday, as more investors are investing in safe-haven assets out of concern the UK might vote to leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June. During turbulent times, German bonds are usually considered a safe investment, due to very low risk of default. However, other forces than the British referendum are also behind the negative bond yields; low inflation, low economic growth and low interest rates have for many years contributed to declining German bond yields.



Microsoft purchases LinkedIn: In bitesize facts

Software giant Microsoft has announced it is buying the professional networking firm LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash, its biggest deal in history.

The facts

  • Microsoft said LinkedIn would retain its name and operate as a separate business unit.

  • LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner will also remain with the company.

  • The acquisition adds a big new customer base for Microsoft, which hopes it will boost sales of Microsoft’s business software.

  • The takeover price is set at $196 per share, representing a 50% premium over LinkedIn’s closing price on Friday, 10 June.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a conference call the deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, helps the firm in realizing its mission by connecting the world’s professionals.


Oil Price Climbs Above $50 Per Barrel

For the first time since November 2015, Brent crude oil has eclipsed $50 per barrel, and it has risen by approximately 80% since the start of this year. Supply disruptions due to wildfires in western Canada and increased demand for oil from China, India, and Russia have fueled the price recovery. Talks between OPEC and Russia to freeze oil output and militant attacks of crude oil pipelines in Nigeria have also supported the price increase. As a result of these developments, many banks and oil-producing companies, including Goldman Sachs and BP, have revised their oil price forecasts upwards. Goldman Sachs, for example, said earlier in May it expects the oil price to stay above $50 per barrel in the second half of 2016 and hit $60 by the end of 2017.


Monsanto Rejects Bayer's $62 Billion Offer

Monsanto has rejected the takeover offer from Bayer, arguing that it is "financially inadequate". CEO Hugh Grant said the deal significantly undervalued the company and expressed concerns whether regulators would approve it. However, Monsanto has not closed the door for potentially higher bids from Bayer. The financial markets reacted positively to the news for both companies: Monsanto shares rose 3.1% in New York trading on Tuesday, and Bayer closed 4.3% higher in Frankfurt. This is not the first time Monsanto is involved in takeover offers: in May 2015, Syngenta rejected a $45 billion offer from Monsanto in a deal that also would have created the world's largest agricultural supplier.


Bayer Acquires Monsanto In Record Deal

German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer has made an offer worth $62 billion to acquire American agrochemical company Monsanto. If approved, the deal would create the world's largest agricultural supplier, surpassing Swiss rival Syngenta. The offer is also a record-high bid by a German firm, almost twice as large as Daimler's acquisition of Chrysler in 1998. Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said the acquisition will complement Bayer's agricultural business and create operational synergies. The offer comes at a time of ongoing consolidation in the chemical industry, after ChemChina acquired Syngenta in February 2016 (pending regulatory approval), and Dow Chemical merged with DuPont in December 2015.


Sunday Times Rich List 2016 - TOP 25

The Sunday Times rich list has now been revealed. The top 25 names on the list are as follows... 

25. Baroness Howard de Walden and family - Net worth: £3.63 billion ($5.22 billion) - Age: 80

The family controls 90 acres of central London land.

24. Denise, John, and Peter Coates - Net worth: £3.765 billion ($5.422 billion) - Age: 48, 46, 68

Britain's richest self-made woman, owner of  betting shop - Bet365, worth around £3.5 billion.

23. Bruno Schroder - Net worth: £4.06 billion ($5.84 billion) - Age: 83

Great-great-grandson of John Henry Schroder, cofounder of Schroders (founded 1804).

22. Christo Wiese - Net worth: £4.33 billion ($6.23 billion) - Age: 74

Owner of New Look fashion chain in Britain.

21. Nathan Kirsc - Net worth: £4.37 billion ($6.29 billion) - Age: 84

Founder of Swaziland, a  corn-milling business (founded in 1958). 

20. John Grayken - Net worth: £4.415 billion ($6.35 billion) - Age: 59

Holds stakes in UK property operation Quintain.

19. Sir Richard Branson - Net worth: £4.52 billion ($6.51 billion) - Age: 65

18. Nicky Oppenheimer - Net worth: £4.83 billion ($6.95 billion) - Age: 70

17. Sir James Dyson - Net worth: £5 billion ($7.2 billion) - Age: 68

Owns more land in England than the queen.

16. Earl Cadogan - Net worth: £5.7 billion ($8.21billion) - Age: 79

The Cadogan Group owns 93 acres in Chelsea.

15. Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and family - Net worth: £5.84 billion ($8.411 billion) - Age: 57

Runs MBI International Holding Group. Once accused Barclays Bank of engaging in corrupt Saudi Arabian deals. 

14. John Fredriksen - Net worth: £6.3 billion ($9.07 billion) - Age: 71

Also Norway's richest man. Made his riches during the Iran and Iraq war of 1980 to 1988. His tankers managed to pick up oil from the regions during the fight. 

13. Roman Abramovich - Net worth: £6.4 billion ($9.21billion) - Age: 49

12. Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay - Net worth: £7 billion ($10.08 billion) - Ages: 81

Owners of The Telegraph newspaper. Ex stake holders in Maybourne hotel group, owners of Claridge's, the Berkeley, and the Connaught. Their stake was purchased by Qatari's at £2.4 billion. 

11. Lakshmi Mittal - Net worth: £7.12 billion ($10.26 billion) - Age: 66

Steel tycoon

10. Alisher Usmanov - Net worth: £7.58 billion ($10.92 billion) - Age: 62

The Russian oligarch made his money through steel and iron-ore mines

9. Hans Rausing and family - Net worth: £8.6 billion ($12.39 billion) - Age: 90

The Rausing family are owners of Swiss packaging company Tetra Pak, later renamed Tetra Laval.  

8. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing - Net worth: £8.7 billion ($13.3 billion) - Ages: 63, 56

Inherited shareholders of packaging group Tetra Laval.

7. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho - Net worth: £9.15 billion ($13.18 billion) - Age: 61, 71

Inherited Dutch brewer Heineken

5. The Duke of Westminster - Net worth: £9.35 billion ($13.32 billion) - Age: 64

Owns the Grosvenor family estate. 

5. Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli - Net worth: £9.78 billion ($14.48 billion) - Ages: 50, 44

 Own the largest yacht ever built in the UK — the Vava II, worth £100 million. Built for Kirsty's 40th birthday.

4. Galen and George Weston - Net worth: £11 billion ($16.8 billion) - Ages: 75, 52

3. Len Blavatnik - Net Worth: £11.59 billion ($16.69 billion) - Age: 58

Built his wealth through oil producer TNK, partner of BP. In 2011, he bought Warner Music. 

2. Sri and Gopi Hinduja - Net worth: £13 billion ($19.9 billion) - Ages: 80, 76

Property development, car manufacturing, and recently, the old War Office in London's Whitehall for £300 million. 

1. David and Simon Reuben - Net worth: £13.1 billion ($18.9 billion) - Ages: 77, 74

Famous for being wary of debt. Wealthy through property deals such as the Millbank Tower, the John Lewis Partnership HQ in Victoria, and the sale of certain shops in Sloane Street


Immigrants are a key component in creating new fast - growing start ups

A paper by the National Foundation for American Policy has discovered immigrants are a key component in creating new fast - growing start ups valued over a billion dollars. 51% of American start ups have one or more immigrant founders and 71% have at least one immigrant helping towards the development and growth of the company. Founders have created an average of approximately 760 jobs per start up. The collective value of the 44 immigrant founded companies is $168 billion. The leading companies for immigrant employment include Space X by Elon Musk, Mu Sigma, Palantir Technologies and Uber, Co - Founded by a Canadian immigrant.

The data has been collected from 87 U.S, startups (as of January 1, 2016) valued over $1 billion dollars, yet to be traded on the U.S. stock market. 


Moody's Downgrades Hong Kong Outlook

Credit rating agency Moody's has cut its outlook on Hong Kong's long-term rating from 'stable' to 'negative', arguing the credit profile of the autonomous territory will continue to track that of mainland China. The downgrade follows a similar outlook change on Chinese government debt, which was cut to 'negative' on March 2, primarily due to a weakening fiscal position, concerns over growing debt levels, and institutional challenges related to maintaining economic growth and implementing reform. Moody's estimates Chinese government debt has risen from 32.5% of GDP in 2012 to 40.6% at the end of 2015, and the rating agency expects that figure to increase to 43% by 2017.