Following Opec production cut and Brexit Fuel prices surged in UK

According to reports the petrol and diesel rate in the UK has surged to its highest since July 2015, after a three-pence-a-litre rise in December alone.

The average rate of unleaded petrol hit 117.23p at the end of December, with diesel reaching 119.63p, the RAC said.

Meanwhile the wholesale price of both fuels has increased significantly, following the production cuts declared by Opec.

Brent crude surged by 10% on 30 November, the day the cartel publicized a cut of 1.2 million barrels a day.

Consequently, the oil price is now twice more than what it was a year ago, rising from a bottom of $27.88 in January 2016 to more than $55 this month.

Furthermore the drop in the price of sterling since the Brexit vote has also helped in increasing UK fuel prices, as oil is priced in dollars.

Over the fortnight, the RAC predicts the price of unleaded to go up to 118p, with diesel going up to 121p a litre.

Subsequently, the price will be mostly determined by the cost of oil and whether Russia in specific will follow the production cuts it agreed with Opec.

Russia vowed to cut 600,000 barrels a day from January, but in the past it has been unwilling to co-operate with such deals.

“So far the price rises we’ve seen are purely down to the announcement at the end of November that Opec and non-Opec countries would be cutting oil production this month,” said Simon Williams, a fuel spokesperson for the RAC.

In near future, the price of fuel will also be determined by political measures, such as strategies announced by President Donald Trump, and the success of Brexit talks, which are due to begin in March. Both these major events could influence the value of sterling against the dollar.

According to experts the price of oil could also go up to $60 a barrel or more by the end of 2017.

Dixons Carphone raised dividends after posting significant growth

LONDON-based Dixons Carphone PLC Wednesday announced its half-year earnings as the company showed sign of growth and said it remains positive about its capacity to continue to gain market share in all its crucial markets.

Meanwhile Dixons Carphone pretax profit rose 33% to 104 million pounds or $132.4 million from GBP78 million during the 6 months period ended Oct. 29, boosted by revenue which rose to GBP4.9 billion from GBP4.4 billion year over year.

Moreover Dixons Carphone posted to raise its interim dividend by 8% to 3.5 pence from 3.25 pence year over year.

“Looking forward, we remain optimistic about our ability to continue to gain market share in all our key markets, and, while we have still not seen any effect on consumer demand as a consequence of Brexit, we have been planning for the possibility of more uncertain times ahead,” Chief Executive Seb James said.

Furthermore  the electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company has been focusing on cutting fixed cost base, recognizing areas of potential market share growth if the world becomes a harder place for the company’s rivals, and generally preparing for all eventualities – just in case, he added.

“We are also planning our offer so that potential currency impacts are minimized for the customer, and are ensuring that next year, as always, everybody can be absolutely sure that they won’t get a better deal anywhere,” Mr James said.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) decide to shift non-US tax base to Brexit-hit UK

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) announced in a statement that it plans to shift its non-US tax base from Luxembourg to the UK.

The fast-food giant said in a statement on Thursday December 8, 2016 that McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) aims to create a new international holding firm based in the country, which have polled in June to quit the EU. The new firm will be accountable for most of the royalties established from licensing McDonald’s intellectual property rights outside the U.S. It will pay U.K. corporation tax, according to an e-mailed statement.

“The reasons for changing the location of the corporate structure to the U.K. were sound before Brexit and remain so beyond it,” the company said. “These strengths are unlikely to change as the U.K. negotiates leaving the European Union.” The Big Mac maker cited the “significant number of staff based in London working on our international business, language, and connections to other markets.”

In the past McDonald’s is entangled in a prolonged EU investigation over claims that it profited dishonestly from super-sized tax breaks in Luxembourg. Trade unions and consumer groups suspected the firm avoided more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in taxes in Europe between 2009 and 2013. An EU official said earlier this year that the McDonald’s case shows “just how far some companies push tax authorities to avoid paying any taxes.”

Even after flood of criticism, McDonald’s completely denied the claims and insisted that it hasn’t fragmented any rules and said Thursday it “pays a significant amount of corporate taxes.” From 2011 to 2015, “we paid more than $2.5 billion in corporate taxes in the EU, with an average tax rate approaching 27 percent,” it said.

Moreover McDonald’s (MCD) yields about two-thirds of its revenue outside the U.S.

 

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) aims to expand its presence in UK despite Brexit worries

Social media giant Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) said in a statement that it plans to expand presence in the UK by 50% with the start of its new London headquarters in 2017.

The U.S tech giant said that it plans to recruit 500 new employees, including engineers, marketers, project managers and sales staff.

“The UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company,” said its London-based executive, Nicola Mendelsohn.

The company’s new HQs will be in Fitzrovia at a location that is currently undergoing revamping. Majority of the new staff will be based in that site.

Meanwhile Ms Mendelsohn is set to announce the expansion at the Confederation of British Industry conference later.

“Many of those new roles will be high-skilled engineering jobs as the UK is home to our largest engineering base outside of the US,” said Ms Mendelsohn, who is vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Facebook.

Furthermore Facebook said some of its most important novelties had been established in the UK, including Aquila, a solar-powered, unmanned plane that provides internet connectivity to remote regions. That project is placed at Facebook’s only UK site outside London, in Somerset.

Moreover Engineers at Facebook’s London office are working on the development of Workplace, a platform invented to increase communications between workers within a business, unveiled last month.

However it is not clarified if the new HQ will shadow the tech trend for uncommon office facilities.

Following the UK referendum vote to leave the EU, there were rumors that international companies may review capitalizing in the UK.

But Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) statement followed another U.S giant Google revelation of a £1bn investment in a new London HQs and the creation of 3,000 new jobs by 2020.

UK seeks Nissan tariff free Trading access to Motor Industry: Greg Clark

As the UK ministers remained under pressure to explain government’s stance on the ‘ assurance and support”it received for Nissan as part of Brexit talks and that it should to explain it to the Parliament what it wants to achieve from its Brexit talks before they formally begin.

And speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Mr Clark was asked how he had persuaded Nissan to build the new Qashqai and the X-Trail SUV at its Sunderland base.

Media spokesman of Nissan, Mr. Greg Clark has said that ‘the timely pursuance and assurance of the government in making tariff free access to auto-industry to EU market would return great prospects for investment boost in UK economy and help job creation.’

Since the announcement of Nissan’s investment on Thursday, Labour has been calling for details of the promises made to the company and for similar assurances to apply to other industries.

Media caption Greg Clark said the UK aimed to have “continued access to the markets in Europe and vice versa”

However Labour Party is more proactive than MPs to explain the Brexit strategy to Nissan. Nissan – the biggest car manufacturer in UK – remained under the shadow of doubts after Brexit referendum as to whether Nissan will continue with its commitment of investment in UK after the exit of UK from European Union Membership. Mr Clark said he had assured Nissan that Britain would be “a great place to do business in the future”.

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said it was “extraordinary” that Mr Clark had revealed more about the government’s Brexit plan than it had disclosed to Parliament.

Nissan’s announcement has protected thousands of manufacturing jobs in Sunderland.

He told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “”Businesses are talking to me all of the time and they are very worried about what happens to them.They want to trade on the same terms and if there is a deal that’s good enough for Nissan they are saying, and it’s quite understandable, ‘well, we want broadly the same deal for us’.”