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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: financial news roundup (April 21 - 24, 2014)

QFINANCE: financial news roundup (April 21 - 24, 2014)

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Each week brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.

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Thursday April 24

Facebook’s latest profit report revealed that its net revenue for the first three months of this year totaled $642m, almost triple the $219m reached during the same period last year. The Telegraph reported that these figures were boosted partly by mobile advertising revenue, and partly by an increased active user base which now amounts to 1.28bn monthly.

Related article: The Problem of Mobility and Facebook’s Battle for Revenue

The European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) President Mario Draghi has proposed the publication of “richer accounts” of monetary policy meetings, the City A.M. reported. It is hoped that this push for greater clarity would elucidate the “reasoning” behind ECB decisions and give a sense of “discussion”.

Wednesday April 23

Greece announced a primary budget surplus of about 1.5bn euros last year, amounting to 0.8% of national output, the Guardian reported. The European Commission is now paving the way for the country to begin debt relief talks with creditors, based on this “remarkable progress”.

Related article: Whatever happened to the claims of “Grecovery” for Greece?

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the UK hit its government borrowing target in the financial year to April 2014, the BBC reported. The total annual deficit amounted to £107.7bn, lower than the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) estimate of £107.8bn and significantly lower than the £115.1bn borrowed over the previous year.

Tuesday April 22

Japan’s trade deficit quadrupled in March, according to the BBC, due to a weakened yen which pushed up the cost of imports. The deficit rose to 1.45 trillion yen ($14bn; £8.4bn), up from 356.9bn yen during March last year.

Related article: What now for Abenomics and the Bank of Japan?

Top pharmaceutical firms Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline struck a deal totaling $28.5bn, in a move that Bloomberg described as an “overhaul of the pharmaceutical industry”. The agreement involves swapping assets to help the firms focus on key businesses, and combining both companies’ consumer health units.

Monday April 21

UK retailers suffered a drop in shopper numbers over the crucial Easter weekend, suggesting fragile consumer confidence in recovery. The Guardian reported that nationwide footfall in UK shops was down 1.9% on last year.

Sector Profile: Retail Industry

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Come back next week for another report on the world of business and finance.

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