Category: Business Breaking News

Business and Bollywood vote in India’s election

A parade of India’s business and entertainment elite –- many of them supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — went to the polls Monday as the financial capital Mumbai voted in the latest round of the country’s election.

But turnout in the fifth round of the mammoth democratic exercise fell to its lowest so far, election commission figures showed, as parts of the country sweltered under a heatwave that saw temperatures soar to 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Modi, 73, is widely expected to win a third term when the election concludes early next month, thanks in large part to his aggressive championing of India’s majority Hindu faith.

“My vote is for the BJP and Modi,” said Deepak Mahajan, 42, who works in banking. “There is no other choice if you care about the future of the economy and business.”

Big conglomerates have provided Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a campaign war chest that dwarfs its rivals, while Bollywood stars have backed its ideological commitment to more closely align the country’s majority religion and its politics.

The BJP received $730 million in five years from leading companies and wealthy businesspeople through electoral bonds, a contentious political donation tool since ruled illegal by India’s top court, making it by far the biggest single beneficiary.

Conglomerate owners support Modi’s government because it caters to the needs of India’s “existing oligarchic business elite”, Deepanshu Mohan of OP Jindal Global University told AFP. 

Lower corporate taxes, less red tape and cutting “municipal regulatory corruption” have also helped Modi win corporate titans’ affection, he said.

N. Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons, a sprawling Indian conglomerate with interests ranging from cars and software to salt and tea, cast his ballot at a polling station in an upper-class Mumbai neighbourhood.

“It’s a great privilege

Canadian B-girl finds balance between business life and sport of breaking

Canadian B-girl Tiffany Leung is among the 80 breaking athletes who will compete in the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai.

Changing her hoodie for formal business attire, Leung immediately transforms into a professional and confident employee of Deloitte, one of the world’s biggest accounting firms.

“Breaking by night and breaking ground with clients by day” is Leung’s life motto. The 28-year-old is seeking the opportunity to qualify for and compete in the Paris Olympic Games in August.

Canadian B-girl finds balance between business life and sport of breaking

Ti Gong

Canadian B-girl Tiffany Leung works hard to find a balance between her sport and her professional employment.

Having spent her childhood in Hong Kong before moving to Canada, Leung joined Deloitte Canada in 2017 as a consultant for AI strategy projects. She helps clients identify how to apply AI to their business to improve operations.

Her interest in breaking started a decade ago in university when she was 18.

“Breaking represents a large part of who I am,” Leung told Shanghai Daily. “I feel the freedom and connection to my mind, body, and soul when I break.”

Leung admitted that after becoming an consultant in a top accounting firm, the balance between work and breaking was not easy to achieve.

Canadian B-girl finds balance between business life and sport of breaking

Ti Gong

Leung works for Deloitte Canada as a consultant for AI strategy projects.

“I previously found managing my two careers quite tricky,” she said. “When focusing on work, it was challenging to dedicate sufficient time to my training. But both breaking and work are very important to me, and I wanted to find the balance between the two.”

Leung was thankful that when her colleagues and company leaders learned that she was aiming to participate in the Olympics, they showed her support.

“We agreed that I could work on a part time basis – working Monday to Wednesday. This means

London insurance market rebounds with record-breaking staff numbers



London insurance market rebounds with record-breaking staff numbers | Insurance Business UK















“Brokers tell us they are seeing more business coming to London”

London insurance market rebounds with record-breaking staff numbers

Business Resilience

By
Terry Gangcuangco

The London insurance market, staffing-wise, has seen a significant rebound from its pandemic lows, achieving the sector’s highest employment numbers in a decade.

Citing data from the London Market Group (LMG), the Financial Times reported that the workforce at commercial insurance and reinsurance firms in London reached 59,000 in 2023.

The abovementioned total marks a substantial increase from the 41,000 recorded in 2021 (when we were still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic) and is the highest level since 2013.

LMG chief executive Caroline Wagstaff (pictured) emphasized London’s status as a hub for complex policy negotiations. “The brokers tell us they are seeing more business coming to London,” the publication quoted her as saying. “They are busier. It’s where people bring the difficult stuff.”

According to LMG estimates, the London market achieved approximately US$180 billion in gross written premium last year, a figure that has doubled over the past decade due to heightened concerns about climate change and other risks driving demand for coverage.

In 2022, London increased its share of the commercial insurance and reinsurance market to 8.3%, the highest in no less than 12 years, despite Brexit and pandemic-related disruptions.

Meanwhile Wagstaff reiterated the call for reforms to foster innovation in London, stating: “People have choices [about where to buy insurance], and everyone needs to be alive to that, and think about how we can make [London] a positive choice.”

The CEO

Money blog: Gary Neville’s hotel named among best places for hospitality jobs | UK News

By Ollie Cooper, Money team

Estate agent fees are one of the big expenses in selling a house – but rule changes and the rise of private sale websites has made it more common for people to go it alone.

But how easy is it – and what do you need to know? We spoke to industry experts to find out.

Firstly, what do estate agents do for their money?

An estate agent will typically charge in the range of 1%-3.5% of the sale price. 

That means for the average house price (£284,691, from December) you could pay anywhere from £2,846 to as much as £8,540.73 in commission fees.

“When you use an estate agent, their fee includes taking professional photographs, advertising your home, conducting property viewings, and negotiating a price on your behalf,” says Jack Smithson, from the home ownership site Better.co.uk.

In addition, an estate agent will compile comprehensive details of your house, including room sizes and descriptions of fixtures and fittings. 

“They will also provide a concise write-up about the local area, highlighting amenities, schools, and transportation links,” Jack adds. 

And they’ll conduct checks on buyers for you (more on this later).

It sounds like a lot, but…

“Selling your home yourself can be a manageable process with a few key steps,” Jack says.

Preparation 

You should begin by thoroughly researching house prices in your area, using websites like Rightmove and Zoopla – but seek free valuations from local estate agents to ensure you have a realistic asking price in mind.

Next, you want to take high-quality photos of your house.

Jack advises using tutorials on YouTube to learn new shooting and editing techniques that can take you to the next level.

You then want to write down what makes your home unique.

“While browsing

Businesses decry capital gains tax hike in letter to Freeland


Forging ahead with increasing Canada’s capital gains inclusion rate “sows division,” and is a “shortsighted” way to improve the deficit, business groups are warning Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.


In a new letter sent to Canada’s chief financial steward and deputy prime minister, six of the country’s largest industry organizations are sounding off about the concerns they have that the policy change will stifle economic growth and come at the expense of future generations’ prosperity.


“Put simply, this measure will limit opportunities for all generations and make Canada a less competitive, and less innovative nation,” reads the letter.


“Whether through the diminishing (of) the creation of new companies and jobs, reducing the availability of medical practitioners, eroding hard-earned pension returns … or threatening the retirement plans of millions of Canadians who pinned their plans on the proceeds of selling a family cottage or a small business … the effects will ripple from coast to coast to coast.”


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation for Independent Business, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, the Canadian Franchise Association and the Canadian Canola Growers Association are signatories.


The 2024 federal budget included a proposal to increase the inclusion rate on capital gains from 50 per cent to 67 per cent for individuals earning more than $250,000 in capital gains in a year, and for all corporations and trusts.


Since releasing the budget, Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have faced pushback about the policy from doctors worried about their savings, and start-up-minded entrepreneurs.


The Liberals have repeatedly defended their plan to target Canada’s highest earners, and in the process rake in billions in additional revenue, as a fair way to help offset other major investments in housing and

Inside the Cannes Market as Movie Business Struggles Post-Strike

Last summer, Paul Schrader was about to start shooting “Oh, Canada,” his adaptation of Russell Banks’ novel about a troubled artist taking stock of his life, when the major actors union went on strike. For a second, it looked like all that hard work, passion and planning might be for nothing — with performers on the picket lines and major studios holding out on their contract demands, it was hard to see how cameras would ever roll on the low-budget indie.

“Everything shut down,” said Brian Beckmann, the CFO and COO of Arclight Films, which is selling international rights to the film. “We were in this position where we had spent all this money and secured all this talent and we weren’t sure we could move forward until the strikes were over.”

Because it was made outside the studio system, “Oh, Canada” was able to get a union waiver and that’s a big part of the reason that it is one of the only U.S. films shot during the strike to premiere at this year’s Cannes. Others weren’t as lucky, with one project after another abandoned or delayed indefinitely, a victim of an industry in turmoil.

And even though Hollywood’s labor issues have been resolved, it’s never been harder for the independent producers and financiers who flock to Cannes each year looking to make and then sell their movies. They’re grappling with soaring interest rates, a fading theatrical marketplace and a new spirit of downsizing that’s gripped the industry. That’s to say nothing of a hangover from the COVID era, which made it costly and logistically challenging to make movies for more than a year.

“Post-strike and post-pandemic, the business is still sorting itself out,” said John Sloss, a veteran sales agent and the founder of Cinetic Media. “It’s been

Fincantieri acquires Leonardo’s undersea armaments business worth up to $447 million

IMG-20240206-WA0003

Fincantieri’s FCx30 multirole frigate model on display at the World Defense Show (Breaking Defense)

BELFAST — Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has formally agreed to the acquisition of national counterpart Leonardo’s Underwater Armament Systems (UAS) unit in a deal which could amount to a total value of €415 ($447 million), and one largely signaling military torpedo production growth.

The two companies announced the acquisition, set to be finalized in early 2025, on Thursday, with Fincantieri sharing that it will “acquire not only the technologies related to torpedo’s production but also the control of the country’s underwater acoustic technologies,” which it considers to be a “fundamental element in the group’s growth strategy in the underwater sector.”

The UAS division was originally established as Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS), a torpedo unit that recorded revenues of €160 million ($172 million) last year.

Fincantieri holds a market share of over 40 percent in naval defense and offshore vessel markets, covering 18 shipyards in four continents, according to its 2023 annual report [PDF].

Terms of the UAS acquisition include the shipbuilder paying a fixed fee of €300 million ($323 million) and, “based on certain growth assumptions,” an additional €115 ($124 million) directly relating to performance of the underwater armaments business this year.

A spokesperson for Fincantieri told Breaking Defense the company could not provide further details about the acquisition because it has yet to be finalized.

Fincantieri CEO Pierroberto Folgiero said last month that undersea defense and commercial markets are equivalent to the early development of Space technologies “40 years ago,” with the company committed to taking advantage of such opportunity. Providing insight into the lucrative undersea market, he suggested it could be worth up to $400 billion by 2030.

The latest undersea business push builds on the company’s acquisition of Remazel, an

Money blog: My employer wants to pay me by the minute – what can I do? | UK News

‘Loud budgeting’: The money-saving trend that has nothing to do with giving up your daily coffee

By Jess Sharp, Money team 

Money saving trends are constantly popping up on social media – but one in particular has been gaining huge amounts of attention.

Created accidentally by a comedian, loud budgeting is breaking down the taboo of speaking about money.

The idea is based on being firmer/more vocal about your financial boundaries in social situations and setting out what you are happy to spend your money on, instead of “Keeping up with the Joneses”. 

On TikTok alone, videos published under the hashtag #loudbudgeting have garnered more than 30 million views – and that figure is continuing to climb. 

We spoke to Lukas Battle – the 26-year-old who unintentionally created the trend as part of a comedy sketch. 

Based in New York, he came up with the term in a skit about the “quiet luxury” hype, which had spread online in 2023 inspired by shows like Succession. 

The term was used for humble bragging about your wealth with expensive items that were subtle in their design – for example, Gwyneth Paltrow’s  £3,900 moss green wool coat from The Row, which she wore during her ski resort trial…

“I was never a big fan of the quiet luxury trend, so I just kind of switched the words and wrote ‘loud budgeting is in’. I’m tired of spending money and I don’t want to pretend to be rich,” Lukas said. 

“That’s how it started and then the TikTok comments were just obsessed with that original idea.” 

This was the first time he mentioned it…

Lukas explained that it wasn’t about “being poor” but about not being afraid of sharing your financial limits and “what’s profitable for you personally”. 

“It’s not ‘skip a coffee a

48 Surrey businesses fined collective $914K for breaking foreign worker rules

Forty-eight Surrey businesses have been fined a collective $914,000 over the past eight years for non-compliance with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program or International Mobility Program, with $473,250 in those fines listed as unpaid.

The federal programs’ purpose, under the umbrella of Immigration and Citizenship Canada, is to oversee the hiring of temporary workers and set out conditions employers must abide by. Inspections are done in an effort to ensure compliance.

Eight numbered companies are among Surrey’s 48, which includes construction, trucking, agriculture, restaurants, importing, security, a private elementary school, automotive, and labour services are among them.

All told, penalties have been levied against 865 businesses nation-wide between 2016 and 2024.

The highest penalty applied to a Surrey business – a numbered company – was a $129,000 fine plus a one-year ban. The lowest fine was $500.

The government website also indicates Surrey businesses have reaped a collective 22 years in bans on hiring temporary workers.

Ken Hardie, Liberal MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, said “predatory practices involving temporary foreign workers and students, etcetera, they’ve been talked about for a long time and it’s taken us longer than it should have to really start to grapple with this.”

He said there’s now “real discussions going on in Ottawa” about the selling Labour Market Impact Assessments for “outrageous amounts of money when they’re not to be sold. So there’s been a lot of gaming the system and my guess is the numbers that you saw in that report are low compared with what’s actually going on.”

An LMIA is a document an employer requires before hiring a foreign worker, with a positive LMIA indicating a need exists for a foreign worker to fill a job.

“This is all just the mutterings on the street you hear continuously about people abusing the

Shopify Shares Plunge 20% In Company’s Worst-Ever Trading Day After E-Commerce Giant Warns Of Sales Slowdown

Topline

Shares of Shopify were down by the most in the stock’s history in midday trading Wednesday after the e-commerce giant reported a surprising first-quarter loss and warned that last year’s sale of its logistics business could shrink revenue growth this quarter—wiping off more than a billion dollars from the net worth of billionaire CEO Tobias Lutke.

Key Facts

Shopify shares were down 20% shortly after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to $61.99, putting the company on track to record its biggest daily loss since it went public in 2015.

The stock was down as much as 21.3% to a low of $60.64 in intraday trading, but regained some lost grounds thereafter.

Despite growing revenue by 23% to $1.9 billion in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier—beating expectations—the Canada-based e-commerce company reported a net loss of $273 million after struggling to curtail expenses.

That’s not all—Shopify said it expects second-quarter revenue growth, which could have been “in the low-to-mid-twenties”, to be weaker “at a high-teens percentage rate,” following last year’s sale of its logistics unit to Flexport that would create a “revenue growth headwind” by 3% to 4% .

The company said the sale will, however, create a “tailwind” for gross margin by increasing it 2% to 3% in the second quarter from the same period last year, even though it expects the proportion of its gross profit from revenue to shrink on a quarterly basis in three months through June.

Shopify president Harley Finkelstein said the loss was fueled by expenses, including new marketing strategies, but the company is