Business big wig: expect Apple iPhone 5 from September - Itproportal Business big wig: expect Apple iPhone 5 from September - Itproportal

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Business big wig: expect Apple iPhone 5 from September - Itproportal

Business big wig: expect Apple iPhone 5 from September - Itproportal

Chatter amongst Apple enthusiasts appears to be increasing in response to the heavily publicised release of the latest Samsung flagship phone, the Galaxy S3, which finally hit stores in the UK and across Europe yesterday.

Speculation surrounding the launch of Cupertino's next generation offering, the iPhone 5, is now understandably hitting the fore of the rumour mill, with high-level business analysts entering the fray with their predictions as well.

Forecasting for the Royal Bank of Canada, Amit Daryanani is the latest to get the hamster wheel whirling, throwing his prediction for an autumn launch and the consumer electronics titan's continued growth into the public domain earlier this week.

Releasing an investor report, Mr Daryanani points to Apple's consistent product release cycle as all but assuring a September or October release for their latest flagship device, which is likely to be imbued with 4G/LTE technology.

"In our view, consumers are becoming aware of the product cycle and we believe this should cause increased seasonality in the product as consumers await updated and fully remade iPhones," he says.

In recent years, Apple has released a complete product remodel bi-annually - so the iPhone 4 in 2010 - with significant product updates like the 4S occurring on the off year.

Daryanani also believes Apple will continue to grow its smartphone brand and increase its share of the market due to its "loyal subscriber base," and continued adoption in developing international markets like China.

"In our view, the iPhone represents a seamlessly synched enterprise and consumer product that should continue to gain market share in the near and long term," he adds.

It is taken as almost a given by industry insiders at this stage that sales of the next iPhone will be astronomical, and an additional kick is expected in the US due to Cupertino's recent announcement that it will enter the pre-paid market in partnership with Leap Wireless' Cricket service.

Working on the assumption of a mid-autumn release this year, the iPhone 5's sales will be visible in Apple's financial records from early 2013.

In addition to the frenzy surrounding the latest release from one its biggest rivals, yesterday's appearance by new CEO Tim Cook at the D10 conference, coupled with the imminence of the company's WWDC, has given Apple fan boys a glut of speculative material.

Budget 2012: This is not a budget for jobs, says business - Daily Telegraph

But businesses were left "disappointed" that the Government did not throw in more measures to help them more hire young people.

Unemployment is expected to peak at 8.7pc, or 2.8m, this year, before falling to 6.3pc by 2016-17, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said. Its forecast for jobs is largely unchanged since November.

Businesses were hoping the Government would cut national insurance contributions for any business hiring someone aged 25 and under.

However, Mr Osborne did say the Government would test a new enterprise loans scheme for young people who wished to start their own business. The £10m loans system would work in the same way as the UK student loans scheme, widely used by young people going to university.

The Budget 2012 seemed to favour young people starting-up their own firms rather than rely solely on the private sector to create jobs.

But business leaders warned the Chancellor did not go far enough to help cut youth unemployment.

John Longworth, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "We are disappointed that the Chancellor did not announce additional measures to incentivise businesses to employ more young people.

While the freeze in the youth rate of the National Minimum Wage is a welcome step [announced on Monday], an extension of the Youth Contract would have encouraged more companies to take on and train young people seeking to break into the world of work."

The youth enterprise loan scheme was a welcome idea, he said, adding businesses up and down the country stood ready to support and mentor young people wanting to take their first leap into business.

John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD, said: "The Chancellor has redrawn the boundaries of taxation but, judging by the central forecast of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), his budget has done nothing to change the big picture outlook for growth and jobs overall, while ironically shifting the balance of the economic recovery away from business investment and toward household consumption and public spending.

"Most worryingly of all the OBR has significantly downgraded its forecast for growth in business investment between now and 2016 while raising its forecast for growth in household consumption and government spending and investment.

"If the OBR is proved right the economy doesn’t appear to be rebalancing in the way we were supposed to expect, which casts an element of doubt on the Chancellor’s claim that the budget will enable Britain to ‘earn its way’ to recovery.

“Although this is a budget that rewards work, it doesn’t on the face of things look like a budget for growth and jobs."

However, other experts were more optimistic the Budget 2012 would stimulate growth and investment.

Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said it was one of the "best ever" budgets for growth.

Changes to planning law would help create 200,000 new jobs as new homes were built by 2015, he said.

Elsewhere, the OBR said the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance is expected to fall by almost 150,000 in 2014, saving £0.9bn, but this is largely due to the way the benefits are calculated rather than the effect of any policy measure.

It also predicted that 20,000 more public sector workers would lose their jobs by 2016-17, taking the total to 730,000 as a result of the austerity measures. At the same time, the private sector would create 1.7m jobs, leading to a net 1m rise in employment over the period, the indepedent forecaster said.

Employment experts remain sceptical the private sector can absorb all the public sector job losses, however.

Money market fund assets rise to $2.572 trillion - Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK (AP) -- Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets rose by $7.87 billion to $2.572 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, the Investment Company Institute said Thursday.

Assets of the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell by $4.27 billion to $887.46 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category fell $2.93 billion to $701.97 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell $1.33 billion to $185.49 billion.

Meanwhile, assets of institutional money market funds rose $12.13 billion to $1.685 trillion. Among institutional funds, taxable money market fund assets rose $12.73 billion to $1.599 trillion; assets of tax-exempt funds fell $600 million to $86.37 billion.

The seven-day average yield on money market mutual funds was 0.03 percent in the week that ended Tuesday, unchanged from the previous week, said Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet Inc. in Westborough, Mass.

The 30-day average yield was also unchanged from last week at 0.03 percent. The seven-day compounded yield was flat at 0.03 percent. The 30-day compounded yield was unchanged at 0.03 percent, Money Fund Report said.

The average maturity of portfolios held by money market mutual funds fell to 45 day from 46 days in the previous week.

The online service said its survey of 100 leading commercial banks, savings and loan associations and savings banks in the nation's 10 largest markets showed the annual percentage yield available on money market accounts was unchanged from last week at 0.13 percent.

The North Palm Beach, Fla.-based unit of Bankrate Inc. said the annual percentage yield available on interest-bearing checking accounts was unchanged from the week before at 0.06 percent. said the annual percentage yield on six-month certificates of deposit was also unchanged at 21 percent from the previous week. The yield on one-year CDs was unchanged at 0.33 percent. It fell to 0.52 from 0.53 percent on two-and-a-half-year CDs. It was flat at 1.12 percent on five-year CDs.

Business rallies behind Wisconsin governor in recall election - The News & Observer

His opponents look at his six-figure campaign contributions from Las Vegas and Houston and call him the "rock star of the far right." Perhaps, but he also is popular with leaders of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's largest business organization, which is spending $3 million to help him survive.

"People recognize you've got to have bold and courageous people in politics to take on the status quo and say, 'This isn't working,' " said Kurt Bauer, president of the organization. "If we can't do it in Wisconsin - if we recall Gov. Walker for doing something that was difficult but necessary - it's a bad omen for the rest of the nation."

Barry Burden, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, noted that Walker was elected in the 2010 Tea Party revolt, a powerful reaction against President Barack Obama's stimulus legislation, health-care overhaul and federal deficits. After proposing, fighting for and winning passage of Act 10, a budget repair bill that greatly restricted the organizing rights of public employee unions - and facing demonstrations of up to 100,000 people - Walker became "a poster child for that new face of the Republican Party," Burden said.

Like the labor unions on the opposite side of the political divide, business leaders, fiscal conservatives and Republican activists see the June 5 recall election as a watershed event. For them, it is a test of whether a leader who took necessary actions to resolve their government's fiscal crisis can long endure.

To help Walker, business is stepping up in a way never before seen in Wisconsin.

State law suspends campaign contribution limits for candidates facing recall, opening the door to big donations for a statewide race.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who almost singlehandedly bankrolled Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, has given Walker $250,000. So has Amway founder Richard DeVos of Florida. Diane Hendricks, owner of ABC Supply Co. in Beloit, Wis. Gave $500,000, as has Bob Perry, a Houston homebuilder and backer of the "Swift Boat" attacks on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004. Checks for $100,000 have come in from donors as far away as Massachusetts and Arkansas.

The size of the individual contributions to Walker are unprecedented. So is the fact that three-fifths of all contributions reported thus far have come from outside the state, said Mike McCabe, head of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks fundraising and spending by state officials and outside groups.

McCabe reported Thursday that spending in the governor's race is at $62 million and counting - $29 million by Walker, $4 million by all the Democratic candidates combined, and $29 million more by outside interest groups on both sides. The previous high for an election for governor was $37 million for the 2010 race between Walker and Democrat Thomas Barrett.

Dick Uihlein of Lake Forest, Ill., CEO of Uline, a shipping supplies distributor that is expanding in Wisconsin, said he views Walker as the kind of leader his own state needs to solve its deep, perennial budget woes. Uihlein gave Walker $25,000. He believes the changes the first-term governor proposed to restrain public unions are necessary, and Walker's persistence in the face of tumult only made Uihlein's admiration grow.

"If what is being done here is causing states and the country to go under, then something has to change," Uihlein said. "We're at a crossroads here."'

Walker will go anywhere to extol what he considers his good news on employment, as he did in a recent visit to a small computer firm in Hartland, east of Milwaukee.

Speaking to a gathering of workers at EmbedTek, Walker rolled out the topic of the day - revised job numbers that contradicted a series of negative federal jobs reports - and told employees that their success at adding several jobs to their firm is a "great story" that fits in with Wisconsin's upward trend.

"Since I've been in office, the unemployment rate has consistently gone down, to 6.8 percent, which is two points lower than Illinois," he said. "Revenues are up, and the state has a surplus of $154 million."

Bauer, of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, said that while former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle was supported by only 10 percent of members in the group's surveys, Walker's approval among state business owners runs in the mid-90s. His ability to deliver on a manufacturers' tax cut and regulatory and tort overhauls cemented that support, Bauer said.

Bauer sees progress at the local level from school districts freed from limits imposed by law or contract and believes Walker's strike hit unions where it hurt.

"It was like Delilah cutting off Sampson's hair," he said. "When you take away collective bargaining rights, you take away two things they hold dear - money and power. That's what this recall is about - money and power."

The governor's message, and the war chest he has amassed to deliver it, appear to be selling. Marquette University Law School's most recent poll, released on Wednesday, showed Walker with a 7-point lead over Barrett.

Butch Schultz of Hudson, retired from 3M in Maplewood, wore a Green Bay Packers sweatshirt while performing volunteer chores recently at Walker's offices in Hudson. He said he believes Walker won his support by taking decisive action in the midst of a budget crisis. "It may have been blunt, but it was what was needed," Schultz said. "Where did we quit teaching people to balance the budget, balance your checkbook?"

As business suffers, David Cameron retreats - Daily Telegraph

Taken together, these two factors deter employers from recruiting new staff and hinder businesses from developing the higher productivity on which sustainable growth depends. And far from making things better, the past decade has seen a steady increase in the level and complexity of employment law. Beecroft’s report would have reduced the amount of regulation in a comprehensive and principled way – and, by doing so, would have introduced new certainty and confidence.

That confidence matters, because businesses are far too short of it at present. British businesses collectively hold about £750 billion in cash. To reach its fiscal targets, the Government needs a steep rise in investment – the rate at which they spend that money. Speaking last week, David Cameron said that he leads “a Government resolutely committed to being on the side of enterprise, entrepreneurs, businesses large and small, wealth creation of all types and descriptions”. To many, that is clearly not the case. A full-blooded Beecroft Review would reassure such people, just as a pale imitation would reinforce their concerns.

Taking a step back, today’s news adds to a sense of unease about what the Coalition is actually trying to achieve. This is a Government that claims to have deregulation at its heart, fired by a Tory belief in free markets and a Lib Dem distrust of central direction. It has a policy to stop the growth in regulation (so-called “One In, One Out”) and to reduce the stock of it (the “Red Tape Challenge”). In general, it is supposed to have rejected an old approach based on more debt and higher state spending, and to be looking for real growth via higher productivity.

Recently, however, we have seen a weakening in the Government’s position. Last autumn, the Chancellor pushed his deficit reduction target from the end of this Parliament into the middle of the next. Last week, the Prime Minister hinted at new borrowing to finance infrastructure – exactly the way that Gordon Brown justified his record spending increases. At the same time, the retreat over the NHS has cast a long shadow over the Coalition’s commitment to public-service reform, and its changes to the planning system are taking much longer than expected.

In recent days, the Prime Minister has urged his European counterparts to take action by saying that the eurozone is “at a crossroads”. He should hold his own Government to account in the same terms. Given the challenges facing the country, it is surprising that he needed an independent report to propose changes to employment law at all. Now that he has it, it will be remarkable if he does not implement it – and then keep up the pressure.

Mr Cameron is right that the country’s basic economic problems are due to poor productivity rather than lack of government action. He will know, however, that the contrary view is growing in popularity (and, indeed, capable of winning elections in other countries). The more his policies focus rigorously and consistently on improving the efficiency of the economy, the more successful they will be.

Andrew Haldenby is director of the independent think tank Reform

Bankia SA : Money flies out of Spain, regions pressured - 4-traders (press release)
05/31/2012 | 10:34pmA Spanish flag flutters in the wind near a statue of Columbus in Madrid

Spaniards alarmed by the dire state of their banks are squirreling money abroad at the fastest rate since records began, figures showed on Thursday, and the credit ratings of eight regions were cut.

Spain is the next country in the firing line of the euro zone's debt crisis, with spendthrift regions and shaky banks threatening to blow a hole in state finances and pushing funding costs towards levels that signal the need for a bailout.

The European Commission gave new help on Wednesday, offering direct aid from a euro zone rescue fund to recapitalize Spanish banks and more time for Madrid to reduce its budget deficit.

That helped lower the risk premium investors demand to hold Spanish 10-year debt rather than the German benchmark on Thursday, but it remained close to the euro-era record, at 520 basis points.

Bank of Spain data showed a net 66.2 billion euros ($82.0 billion) was sent abroad in March, the most since records began in 1990. The figure compares to a 5.4 billion net entry of funds during the same month one year ago.

Spaniards are worried about the health of their banks, hit by their exposure to a 2008 property crash, and have been sending money to deposit accounts in stronger economies of northern Europe.

Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos however said the data was more a reflection of the troubles of the banking sector to fund itself externally than deposits flying abroad.

The capital flight data predates the nationalization of Spain's fourth biggest lender Bankia in May when it became clear the bank could not handle losses from bad real estate investments, compounded by a recession.

Spain's centre-right government has contracted independent auditors to assess the health of its financial system in an effort to restore faith in its banks.

Spain must lay out its restructuring plans for Bankia to the European Commission (EC), a spokesman for the EU executive arm said on Thursday. He added that a domestic solution to the country's bank crisis would be better than a European rescue.

The government said on Wednesday it would finance a 23.5 billion euro rescue of the bank through the bank fund, FROB but senior debt bankers said that the syndicated bond market is currently closed for Spanish agencies.


The prospect that Spain might not be able to handle losses at its banks has pummeled shares and the euro, although both regained some stability on Thursday.

De Guindos said that the future of the euro would be at stake in the next few weeks in Spain and Italy, adding that the rumors that Spain was negotiating financial assistance with the International Monetary Fund were "complete nonsense."

"The battle of the euro is being fought right now in Spain and Italy," he said at an event in Sitges, in the north-eastern region of Catalonia.

He also said Germany should help correct imbalances in the euro zone created by a loose monetary policy over the last decade and by the non-respect by Berlin of the stability and growth pact in 2003.

"We need to correct decisions which favored Germany... Germany has to assume its part," he said, adding that decisions in this respect would be taken in the next few days.

The Spanish government also hopes to clear doubts on Friday about how it plans to ease financing problems among its 17 autonomous regions.

Treasury ministry sources said a mechanism to back the regions' debt would be agreed at the weekly cabinet meeting and figures showing they were on track to meet their spending cuts targets would be released.

Fitch Ratings downgraded eight regions on Thursday, warning that a failure from the government to adopt new measures would result in further ratings cuts.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria was meeting U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and International Monetary Fund Director General Christine Lagarde in Washington on Thursday.

The deputy PM will outline Spain's measures to tackle its crisis during the meetings, which were scheduled before Spain's situation reached boiling point, a government spokesman said. ($1 = 0.8069 euros)

(This version of the story has been corrected in the fifth paragraph to say data was for March not last month)

(Writing by Julien Toyer; Editing by Diana Abdallah)

By Nigel Davies and Sonya Dowsett

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