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Cannabis market: Aurora Cannabis leading the market

MarketLine

Quite a few countries before Canada had legalized recreational marijuana use, or enacted laws partially allowing it. However, none of those countries created a legal market for marijuana. For a market to emerge it has to be backed by serious economic and political power; Canada is just such a country. On October 17th 2018 the Canadian parliament approved the Cannabis Act, giving the green light for using and growing marijuana and initiating the process for a market to emerge. The creation of companies specializing in producing marijuana for recreational purposes… Read more

Estonia: Only 1.3m people, but 4 unicorn start-ups

MarketLine

The former Soviet-controlled nation of Estonia, home to just 1.3m people, is one of the most tech-savvy countries in the world. It holds the world record for the number of startups in the country per capita, has one of the world’s fastest broadband speeds, and its education system teaches every child how to code. It is also leading in the development of online governance infrastructure – participating in elections by internet voting takes just 90 seconds. Its highly flexible, transparent, and hassle-free infrastructure makes it a great place for business… Read more

Argentine agricultural exports: Tax on exports not helping to initiate economic recovery

MarketLine

Even during numerous economic crises during the early 2000s Argentina routinely registered a trade surplus, but that is no longer the case. To combat biting economic conditions the government has imposed austerity alongside a plethora of policies which include higher taxation on exports. The decision to tax exports at a higher rate to lower the deficit is therefore flawed. Instead of agriculture being helped to improve the economy, higher export taxation makes key Argentine products more expensive in an industry which is notoriously price sensitive. Instead of targeting the agricultural… Read more

Vale disaster: Mining giant will survive, but repercussions will be severe

MarketLine

The collapse led to the flooding of the town of Brumadinho with 12 million cubic meters of mining waste, wreaking havoc across the landscape. This has not only caused a huge environmental disaster but also led to the deaths of an estimated 169 – a figure which is expected to rise. While Vale is a metal and mining and logistics company, it derives the bulk of its revenue from the ferrous minerals segment, which accounted for 74% of total revenue in FY2017. Vale expects that the anticipated decline in output… Read more

Weight Watchers: A poorly timed rebranding has crushed investor expectations and collapsed the share price

MarketLine

On February 26th 2019, dieting and weight-loss company Weight Watchers released its annual report for 2018. The share price settled in the week following the announcement, but not before the company suffered the second-largest share price drop in its history, dropping nearly 35% overnight. While the financial performance was remarkable – revenues and operating incomes grew more than $200m and $100m respectively – investors were primarily interested in what is perhaps Weight Watchers’ most important metric: its number of end of period subscribers. Historically Weight Watchers has found subscribers following… Read more

Nigerian e-commerce market will lead economic growth: However companies are struggling in the current market environment

MarketLine

Nigeria is seen by many investors as a gateway to the African market: the country has the highest GDP in Africa. Investment has enabled the country to develop its digital market; improving internet services and accessibility has created opportunities for digital businesses. E-commerce has become one of the most lucrative online markets in Nigeria; the rate of internet usage and purchases has continuously increased over the years. The rising amount of online retail purchases has resulted in the e-commerce market in Nigeria reaching a value of $13bn within just ten… Read more

Amazon Prime Dominating: revenue streams key to success

MarketLine

Amazon has become a phenomenon in the retail industry. Through the use of Prime, originally just a subscription to fast delivery at a fixed rate, has become a method to foster customer loyalty in an otherwise ruthless sector. Through continually pushing to add more value towards the mere $119 a year subscription, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has smashed through analysts’ forecasts, reaching an astonishing 100 million subscribers to the service. The two-day delivery feature Amazon has so boasted proudly about for many years now continues to be a… Read more

Kraft Heinz Company: What has caused this food giant’s share price to nosedive?

MarketLine

Kraft Heinz Company is a global food producing giant capable of strengthening its position as the fifth largest food producer in the world, but an overvalued 2015 merger has harmed the immediate outlook for the company. Charges as a result of the goodwill and intangible assets in its latest results capped off a terrible 2018 for the company, in which attributed to a common shareholder loss of $12.6bn and diluted loss per share of $10.34 – representing a huge write-down in a sector that seldom sees figures of that magnitude… Read more

Toshiba operational profit downgrade: Japanese company now more dependent on turnaround plan succeeding

MarketLine

The announcement of a five-year turnaround plan towards the end of 2018 was met cheerily by stock markets; even though several profit-making businesses had been sold, expectations were the company would begin to recover after being flushed with funds from the NAND sale. Yet now the company has reported results that are well down on original expectations, casting doubt over how soon the company can return to being a safe bet for investors. The stated ambition is to reach profit margins of at least 10% when the five-year plan concludes… Read more

African ports are driving economic growth: Expanding the port network will bring big benefits

MarketLine

According to SAP, 90% of imports and exports to and from Africa are transported by sea, and with the global middle-class population predicted to balloon to five billion people in just over a decade, expectations are African ports will take on greater economic significance. Problems, therefore, must be solved. Durban in South Africa is one of the more egregious examples of ports failing: the port is highly expensive and suffers from crippling congestion in the surrounding areas, causing it to only operate at 75% of the efficiency expected of an… Read more

Airbnb: Uncertain future of short-term rental platforms

MarketLine

Airbnb’s rapid expansion and takeover of the world’s home-sharing community is subsequently changing the landscape of travel accommodation. However, it is becoming clear the formerly touted benefits of posting vacation rentals on short-term rental websites are becoming more of a hassle for property owners. Several cities around the world have expressed concerns that platforms such as Airbnb stand as unfair competitors to hotels and can turn some neighborhoods into sterile, tourist-only zones. This resulted in the introduction of stricter regulations concerning short-term rentals France is Airbnb’s second-largest market after the… Read more

Huawei exerting soft power: International relations strained as Chinese giant seeks overseas expansion

MarketLine

Many governments fear, to varying degrees, the signing of contracts with Huawei will grant intimate access to the government of China – certainly that is the line being pushed by the US government. The New Zealand government gained international attention towards the end of 2018 after the Communications Security Bureau successfully banned mobile phone company Spark from using Huawei equipment in the planned 5G network upgrade. An abrupt cancelling of official Chinese representation at the launch of the much vaunted Year of Chinese Tourism campaign was a rare public statement… Read more

Future of Ford in Europe and China seems uncertain after reported losses

MarketLine

Ford has reported a 50% decline on revenues since last year in China and Europe, facing with job cuts. Investors’ behavior had a big impact on Ford’s losses due to the company’s struggle to restructure their core business and persuade the investors that they are willing to do so, making them to lose their trust in the company. Ford aims a £14bn ($18.2bn) cuts focused outside of North America region, in order to revive flagging international businesses. Bridgend and Dagenham sites in UK will face significantly more dramatic cuts than… Read more

e-rikshaws: Three-wheelers power India’s EV revolution

MarketLine

Electric vehicle (EV) revolution is gaining stronger ground in India and the country has surpassed China in terms of the number of EVs in use currently. The revolution, however, is not spearheaded by electric cars but by an electric alternative to pedal-driven rickshaws. The Indian nation is home to about 1.5 million battery-powered, three-wheeled rickshaws. This means a fleet bigger than the total number of electric passenger cars sold in China since 2011. Previous attempts to boost electric-car production in India have flopped, mainly due to the lack of clear… Read more

The $1000 iPhone: The future of Apple is in services

MarketLine

On the 3rd of October 2018, Apple’s share price hit an annual high of $232. On the 18th of January 2019, it had fallen to $156, a 33% decrease. Stagnating Chinese growth and the ongoing trade war between the US and China meant expected sales revenues fell below investor expectations. Over the previous year, the price-points of the latest iPhone and iPad had increased 20%, to around $1000. Simultaneously in their earnings call, Apple announced the company’s would move the focus of its strategy from iPhone sales to its service… Read more

No hope for HMV after second administration in six years: HMV will not be able to survive long-term due to recent difficulties

MarketLine

HMV entering administration was triggered by the current struggle of the retail industry, and now the company will find it difficult to recover in the current retail conditions. Uncertainty over Brexit has caused the value of the pound to drop, which has increased the cost of supplies from abroad. An increase in business costs and online shopping has also put HMV in jeopardy, making it harder for HMV to gain traction in the retail industry. HMV needs to find a buyer that has the resources and ability to turn around… Read more

President Trump: Twitter, crimes and misdemeanors are leading the US economy into a recession

MarketLine

Ongoing turmoil in the US surrounding the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, is reaching dramatic heights. An ongoing FBI investigation into the President, led by Special Counsel Robert Muller is reaching its end, resulting in a series of upcoming political decision points for opposing democrats. As the clock ticks, an ongoing trade war with China is resulting in severe short-term consequences to the American economy. Meanwhile, as the erosion of trust in American politics and democracy looks to be at its worst point in… Read more

Music Industry is booming: However artist’s revenue continues to decline

MarketLine

The music industry has seen resurgence over the last few years, displaying relatively strong growth after a decade of decline. Online music streaming is the major factor for this trend, with nearly 40% of the revenue being generated from streaming services. Live concerts are also providing an important boost, with millennials driving the demand for an authentic experience away from the unlimited entertainment options at the click of a button. Vinyl sales have reached the $1bn mark for the first time this century, as consumers increasingly value the tangible nature… Read more

Tesla brand image basis of strength: Brand perception lies behind recent success and high prospects for 2019

MarketLine

Tesla remains a leading player in the global electric vehicle market, and now it is one of the most globally recognisable car brands. Much of the recent success in overcoming serious problems and building a loyal clientele is attributable to the strength of brand image. No other mass-production car firm can at present rival the positive perception among investors and consumers alike in the brand. Even though Tesla will come under increasing pressure over the next few years, for the time being the company is secure as the first company… Read more

Apple’s Share Price Plummets: An end to the tech giant’s perceived monopoly on innovation?

MarketLine

On November 1 2018, Apple announced its Q4 2018 results. The limelight was stolen, however, by the warning of poor sales over the next quarter – the crucial Christmas shopping period. This announcement scared off many investors and since the start of the month the company’s share price has fallen by more than 20% – now down to $172.29 a share as of the close of markets on Friday November 23. The sell-off has effectively wiped all of Apple’s gains since the start of 2018, with the share price currently… Read more

Netflix: Self-created growth shows no signs of stopping

MarketLine

In October 2018 Netflix Inc. announced its 2018 Q3 results, showing a continuation of its subscriber volume growth with 5% growth on the previous quarter and 25% growth year-on-year. The company has performed well historically too, with a 500% increase in subscriber volumes expected between 2011 and 2018. Netflix has performed so well for three main reasons. Firstly, the company was one of the first to make a serious commitment to online media streaming. The company has since established itself as the name in on-demand streaming and has no real… Read more

Angling Direct: Attempt to consolidate fishing industry

MarketLine

Angling Direct is the largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK. The company had humble beginnings, starting as a single tackle shop in the Norfolk Broads. As of 2018, it sells a comprehensive range of over 21,500 fishing tackle products and associated angling paraphernalia, including its successful own brand, ‘Advanta’, launched in March 2016. In July 2017, the company cast off into the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on the London Stock Exchange, entering the next stage of growth. The initial public offering raised GBP9m ($11.6m) to fund… Read more

BP back in Libya: British oil major is taking risks returning to chaotic country

MarketLine

For BP, a company which has suffered following massive bills incurred from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, entering such a market may not immediately appear to be an example of prudent business decision making. Provided BP can drill oil reliably, and the country remains sufficiently stable to enable foreign companies to operate freely, the partnership with Eni to begin exploratory drilling in the early part of 2019 could prove fruitful. Exploring for oil at this stage could prove to be a valuable strategic move when viewed… Read more

New Zealand: New efforts to curb skyrocketing house prices

MarketLine

New Zealand has the world’s most frenetic property market, with prices in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, now outstripping London. In 2017, New Zealand house prices were the most unaffordable in the world and prices in Auckland have risen by 75% over the last four years alone. Home ownership is also low. The share of owner occupied dwellings has fallen from 74% of all private dwellings in 1991 to 63% in 2018. The last five years have also witnessed a rise in homelessness. At the same time, New Zealand has… Read more

US becomes world’s leading oil producer: Expanded oil production changes global industry dynamic

MarketLine

For a long time the US has been a leading oil player, but the combined might of OPEC was sufficient to reduce the global influence the country could have. However, thawing relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia reveal a decline in the ability of Gulf oil states to shape the international oil price according to domestic wants. Under such circumstances, expanding US production over much of the last decade has gone up against comparatively steady production from both Russia and Saudi Arabia. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts the… Read more

Tesco & Carrefour – Strategic partnership protecting wafer thin margins

MarketLine

All the big traditional supermarkets are trying to cut costs and improve profitability, as they adapt to an array of pressures and changes which are reshaping the industry. Grocers in Europe have come under pressure in recent years from the expansion of Lidl and Aldi, the German discounters that offer a narrower range of products bought in huge volumes at deeply discounted prices. Additionally, traditional grocers are under increased pressure from Amazon fearing the potential disruption it could cause in the grocery sector. As efforts by traditional retailers to shore… Read more

Brandless The Procter & Gamble for millennials

MarketLine

Brandless, a startup e-commerce consumer packaged goods company, wants to set a landing point for consumers who seek quality and transparency, and want to avoid brand loyalty and choice overload typical for the majority of grocery stores. By selling its products online in no-frills packaging, Brandless claims to save consumers up to 40% by eliminating hidden costs associated with marketing, branding, and advertising for a national brand. Through the principles of its business model, Brandless is creating a direct relationship with its consumers, which most CPG brands do not actually… Read more

Vegan Pet Food: Movement has the right environmental ideas, but might be bad for animal health

MarketLine

There are big trends in motion in the global pet food market. Customers looking for foods that are healthier for their pets, less damaging to the environment or more premium have been purchasing increasing amounts of products such as raw and vegan pet food stuffs. The issue however is complicated. Much of the science on what foods are truly safe to feed your pets is ambiguous and new trends like vegan pet food are largely unproven in their long-term effects. A considerable problem for both the industry and society at… Read more

Australia Banking sector under misconduct investigation

MarketLine

Finance is Australia’s biggest industry, and its banks are some of the most profitable in the world. Australia’s “Big Four” – Commonwealth Bank (CBA), ANZ, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac – collectively hold about 80% of the country’s banking market. Despite its strong position, Australia’s banking and financial services sector has been rocked by a series of scandals over the last decade, with all “Big Four” largest banks being accused of serious misconduct. As a result, a royal commission, Australia’s highest form of public inquiry, has been called to… Read more

Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub: A crucial step for the company’s new strategy

MarketLine

Microsoft’s interest in the open-source community reveals its importance; given the company’s strategic change is some years now towards the embracing of open-source software development. Accordingly, the acquisition of GitHub does not sound surprising, at least not as much as the $7.5bn paid for that acquisition. However, the acquisition of Microsoft is of pure strategic value; the extraordinary $7.5bn paid that equals 3000% of GitHub’s estimated annual turnover means that the financial value of the company itself is not the reason for making such an acquisition. Indeed, Microsoft paid that… Read more