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6 days ago

China's internet finance revolution - East Asia Forum

Author: Editors, East Asia Forum

Internet finance may be a new development in China but its impact is now everywhere. Peking University has developed an index which measures the growth and structure of internet finance across China. It records that the industry grew almost four times over the year to December 2015 and, on one measure, the market was then valued at US$1.8 trillion (RMB12.4 trillion). According to McKinsey, the internet economy is estimated to account for 7 per cent of GDP in China, compared with 4 to 5 per cent in the United States, Germany or Japan.

6 months ago

Stocks rally as Brexit fears fade - Yahoo Finance

Wall Street is finally seeing green arrows after last week's slump. All three major averages(^DJI, ^GSPC,^IXIC) were up more than 1% in early tradingfollowing a rally in global markets after the latest polls showed a big swing in voter sentiment against Britain exiting the European Union.

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Walt Disney(DIS) shares are up slightly after "Finding Dory" made a big splash over the weekend. The Pixar Animation Studios sequel raked in an estimated $136.2 million dollars in North America, setting a box-office record for an animated film in its weekend debut.

Anthem(ANTM) andCigna(CI) shares are on investors' radars. The Wall Street Journal reported that antitrust regulators have expressed concerns about the proposed $48 billion dollar merger and aren't sure the two health insurers can offer concessions that would fully preserve competition in the industry.

Costco(COST) customers can leave home without their Amex (AXP) cards. The box store chain is switching to accepting only Visa (V)starting this morning.

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Federal Mogul(FDML) is in the spotlight after Carl Icahn's Icahn Enterprises disclosed in an SEC filing that it raised its bid to buy the auto parts maker by a dollar to $8 dollars a share.

Facebook(FB) shareholders get set to decide if CEO Mark Zuckerberg will keep majority voting controleven if he's no longer at the helm in the futureat their annual meeting today. The market is also watching to see whether Zuck will let controversial board member Peter Thiel keep his seat after bankrolling Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker.

Gun control vote

The Senate is getting ready to vote on four gun control measures. The amendments would improve or expand background checks and make it harder for anyone to buy a gun who is on the terrorist watch list. A Reuters poll found that 71% of Americans favor at least moderate regulations and restrictions on gun sales. Thats up from 60% as of two years ago.

Big blow to Indias economic policy

Indias Central Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan is stepping down in September. Rajan is not only credited for turning Indias economy around and making it successful, he is also a highly respected member of the global central banking community. No word on who will succeed him.

Housing headache

Real estate is bouncing back after the housing bubble burst ten years ago. But now renters are struggling, while homeowners are thriving, according to analysis by The Associated Press. Homeowners are benefiting from growing equity and reduced payments from ultra-low rates. Unfortunately, renters are dealing with surging costs, stagnant pay and rising home values.

Historical comeback

LeBron James delivered on his promise, leading the Cavaliers to the NBA title. James, who was also named the unanimous MVP, led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 93 to 89 victory in game seven against the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers are the first team in NBA history to come back from a three-to-one deficit to win the NBA Finals.

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8 months ago

How The 2016 Budget Will Impact UK's Insurance Industry - Huffington Post

UK's recent budget has seen an increase in insurance premium tax (IPT) by 0.5%, taking the current rate to 10% in order to raise over 700 million for much needed flood defence in the UK. The tax on sugary drinks is equally supposed to raise an additional 520. This is the second increase in a year after the rate was hiked up from 6% to 9.5% in July last year. This plans to raise 8 billion over 5 years for the UK government.

The changes will result in higher costs to insure all vehicles, homes, medical, pets and business policies. But it excludes insurance for aircrafts, mortgages and life policies as these already come with VAT.

How many people will this affect?

The Association of British Insurers states that this tax increase will impact the following:

26.5 million car policies

20 million household policies

3 million pet policies

3 million private medical insurance and cash plan policies

How much will the average consumer pay?

With the average car insurance policy in the UK costing 747 for middle-aged drivers, there will be a cost of 74.70, which would have been 48.55 before July 2015.

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Young drivers will be hit hard by the rise in tax, as they are accustomed to higher premiums due to the greater risk of being involved in a claim. With the average young driver under 25 spending 1,743 on insurance, they will be required to pay 174.30 in tax which would have been 113.30 this time last year. (Source: Moneywise)

Other demographics that will feel the squeeze are those that already pays more for insurance such as those living in areas with a greater risk of flood, homes with older pets and those with ongoing medical conditions.

What this means for the insurance industry

Economically, an increase in tax will see a fall in demand for insurance and lower profits for insurance companies. Consumers may become more price-sensitive and selective on their policies when presented with a much higher quote. The role of comparison sites might become even more pivotal when shopping for insurance.

To save on cost, some policyholders may decide to take out less cover such as opting for third party only instead of a fully comprehensive car policy. However, this could lead to higher costs to pay if the individual ever needs to make a claim.

A spokesman from insurance broker Call Wiser explained: "The constant increase in tax on insurance is going to make cover for some unaffordable, especially young drivers in their first set of wheels. For us, we need to help motorists save as much as possible on their insurance because it's a compulsory requirement and we suspect the rate will keep going up to match the 20% in other European countries. We must endeavour to offer add-ons wherever possible such as free breakdown or legal expenses cover or help motorists save by increasing the safety features in their cars."

1 year ago

Stop Your Financial Fight With These Expert Tips!

Managing your finances can be one of the most difficult tasks we must do on a daily basis. Some suggestions can make managing our personal finances easier, though the self control that financial management requires can be difficult for many to muster up. This article contains a number of tips relating to personal finance.

One job is a Forex money manager. These people charge a fixed percentage of the profit. A Forex money manager will be able to keep his eye on the market for you, and make all the financial decisions. If you are really not sure how the trading world works, and don't feel like learning it, hiring a manager would be a good idea.

Write down numbers for contactin

1 year ago

Make Sure You Learn What You Need To Know About Personal Finances With This Advice

You need to actively be involved with and manage your personal finances. Being financially responsible is an important life skill. The tips in this article will allow you to gain control of your finances, decide on a personal financial goal, and use your money wisely.

Repairing your credit can lead to paying less money in interest. A lower credit score means higher interest rate on your credit cards and other loans, which means you end up paying more in finance charges and interest. Repair your score and drop these rates in order to save more money.

Shop around before committing to a specific lender for financing. Talk to several loan officers, and always get terms on paper.