Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Alibaba’s Jack Ma to step down in September 2019

The famed business leader, and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has stated that he plans to step down from the company next year

The news was sent by Ma himself to Alibaba customers and shareholders, following conflicting reports over the weekend on the timing of his exist. Ma will hand over the reins to Daniel Zhang, who is currently the chief executive. Zhang will assume the new position on 10 September 2019, said the company in a statement. 

The one year handover period is aimed at achieving a “smooth and successful transition.”

Ma, a former English teacher, co-founded Alibaba in 1999 and has seen it become one of the world’s biggest internet companies.

“Teachers always want their students to exceed them, so the responsible thing to do for me and the company to do is to let younger, more talented people take over in leadership roles,” said Ma said in the letter, which was released on his 54th birthday.

Ma will remain a director on Alibaba’s board until its annual shareholder meeting in 2020. He is a permanent member of the Alibaba Partnership. The charismatic business leader has stated his intention to return to the education field.

“The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things,” Mr Ma said, adding he plans to continue in his role as founding partner.

“The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.” He added.

Alibaba listed in New York in 2014 in what was then the world’s biggest initial public offering of shares. It reported revenues of $39.9bn for the fiscal year ended March 2018.

Ma’s net worth is currently valuated at $36.6bn.

-GBO Correspondent


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