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.


Over 50% of perfect scorers are from Singapore


Students who sat the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma exams in Singapore have performed significantly better than their global counterparts

Singapore produced 38 perfect scorers this year, more than half of the 68 worldwide, according to the Switzerland-based IB Organisation that conducts the exams.

Almost all the 2,152 students here—or 97.99%– who took the exams last November passed, as compared with the global rate of 68.73%.

The average score in Singapore was also higher than the global average: 38.49 points against 28.58 points.

Students from eight schools – including Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), the School of the Arts Singapore (Sota), St Joseph’s Institution and Hwa Chong International School (HCIS) – received their results yesterday.

There are another 17 institutions in Singapore that offer the IB diploma. Students from those schools sat the first round of exams last year in May.

At ACS(I), 357 of its 444 students obtained 40 points and above, with 268 scoring 42 to 45.

It did not release its number of perfect scorers who received the maximum score of 45. In 2017, it had 27 perfect scorers. The school’s average score was 41.5 points, which was slightly lower than the previous cohort’s average score of 41.62.

At Sota, the 146-strong International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) cohort scored 39 points on average, with 72 of them obtaining a score of 40 and above – the school’s best performance in the past five years.

Another 14 students from Sota did the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP), which requires students to take up four core subjects, two diploma subjects, and a career-related study.

HCIS’ 135 students scored 36.1 points on average, with 35 obtaining 40 to 45 points. Three students scored 44, the school’s top score this year.

Globally, 18,387 students took the exams last November and more than 180,000 exam papers were processed in 16 languages.

IB chief assessment officer Paula Wilcock congratulated students on receiving their results. “This day is the culmination of two years’ dedication to their studies and is a significant milestone for students all over the globe,” she stated.

Dr Siva Kumari, IB director-general, added to the statement: “Your IB study has given you great breadth and depth of knowledge, the ability to think critically, and the opportunity to flourish intellectually, as well as emotionally, physically and ethically, not just in your next educational step but in life.”

The IBDP is a two-year programme conducted at 25 institutions in Singapore. IB qualifications are universally recognised by global universities.

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