The Week That Was: Global business news update, issue 4

By Nick Lambe – Managing Director, Links International

There has been a wide and varied mix of news this week but here are my top picks of the best global business news.

Don’t show dissent in North Korea, that’s for sure…

I’m sure you all will have read the news that South Korea has confirmed the executions by Kim Jong-Un, the North Korea leader, of one of his highest ranking ministers last week. Now this isn’t news per-se, but one report that I read explained that the executions didn’t take place by hanging or even your standard firing squad, but by anti-aircraft gun –  yes anti-aircraft gun!! Perhaps a little bit of over kill going on there… but then maybe Kim Jong-un is a bit of a Tarantino fan!!

Anyway, on to more serious matters (unless you are North Korean of course!)

The European Commission has concluded that Ireland has given Apple illegal tax benefits to the tune of EURO 13bln, which is no small sum, and approximately 5-6% of the national debt, if my calculations are accurate. This raises a couple of questions:

1) Will we start to see a greater trend for the European commission looking into tax benefits to corporations of the EU members in the near future?

2) Will the UK post-Brexit be able to be a more attractive proposition for corporates and thus drive growth?

3) If decisions like this stand (the Irish are due to appeal), will member nations start thinking their very own ‘Brexit’ might be in the national interest?

Is Uber’s future uncertain?

In the last few weeks, Uber has withdrawn from the market in Macau due to legislative challenges; Taiwan Uber is facing a ban; it has sold its business in China; and this week Uber has also put its service on ‘temporary’ hold in Abu Dhabi, along with rival service Careem. Having invested heavily in the Middle East recently with the help of a $3.5bln investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, will Uber’s continued legal battles hamper its future growth outlook? Even Uber’s service in Hong Kong is now looking questionable…

Disclaimer: This column is designed to be a lighthearted weekly update on the global business news that I enjoyed reading.  We would welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions. Please feel free to contact us.

More next week…

Read previous editions of The Week That Was:
issue 1
issue 2
issue 3