21st December 2021
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning After a series of pandemic-era flops, the latest Spider Man film has scored a huge win for Hollywood by achieving the third-biggest box office opening in history. The much-hyped Marvel film took £444m at the global box office during its opening weekend.
Record investment year for UK tech
Turkey takes action to halt currency freefall
TECHRecord investment year for UK tech
What’s going on?2021 was the best year ever for investment in the British tech sector with £26bn invested, more than double the year before.
Why is this important?
New data from the government’s Digital Economy Council shows that Britain is the European hotspot for venture capital funds. This year British startups attracted over a third of the £76bn invested in European tech.The UK now has 116 unicorns - companies valued at over $1bn - the most in Europe. 29 were created this year, including e-commerce platform Depop, car selling platform Motorway, insurance disrupter Marshmallow and banking app Starling Bank. The combined value of UK tech companies founded since 2000 is now £540bn. Outside of London, Cambridge was the top tech city receiving the most capital, closely followed by Manchester, Oxford and Edinburgh.US venture capital was the largest source of funding, accounting for 37% of UK tech investment, with most of it going into finance and health tech companies.TakeawayThe pandemic has accelerated the trend towards more of daily life, and thus economic output, becoming digital. In a fiercely competitive global economy, the government hopes attracting billions in investment into the tech sector will stop the UK falling behind other countries.
INTERNATIONALTurkey takes action to halt currency freefall
This year has seen countries around the world grapple with inflation rates not seen for years with policymakers deciding when (rather than if) interest rates will rise to cool prices.Unlike other leaders the president of Turkey has taken the unorthodox view that to tackle the country’s inflation – currently running at 21% - interest rates must go down.In the space of three months the Turkish central bank has slashed rates from 19% to 15%. This has led savers to sell their Turkish lira in favour of more stable currencies like the US dollar. This has driven the lira to record lows and it’s now lost more than half its value against the US dollar in 2021.The high inflation and depreciating lira have weakened the Turkish economy. It’s become increasingly difficult for Turks to plan, save, or spend money on everyday goods and services.Yesterday the president announced new measures to help stop the lira plummet. They include protecting savers from any losses incurred by falling interest rates to discourage them from selling lira and buying dollars.Despite protests and widespread calls from economists that inflation will only rise further if interest rates fall, the president has remained defiant. He believes his model of low interest rates when prices are rising will lead to high economic growth, contrary to conventional wisdom.
Stat of the day
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