Microsoft (MSFT) is on track to complete one of the largest mergers ever seen, taking an $69 billion stake in Activision Blizzard as part of their plan to broaden their gaming portfolio and boost profits.
Microsoft would gain ownership of some of the world’s most beloved video game franchises through this deal, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Candy Crush – among many others.
Microsoft has also laid the groundwork for their cloud gaming service, Xbox Game Pass, which would provide gamers access to games via remote servers. According to Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, this new industry trend should become increasingly commonplace over time.
But the UK Competition and Markets Authority isn’t too fond of this deal, noting it will “inhibit competition” in an emerging gaming segment. They suggest Activision’s key games franchises – like Call of Duty – may make it more difficult for other platforms to offer these games on their platform.
Rightmove’s asking rents are rising
Property website Rightmove recently reported that asking rents outside London have seen an upsurge; their average grew to PS1,190 monthly in the first quarter of this year.
According to this research paper, there remains a large imbalance between demand and supply of rental properties; however, they anticipate this gap will decrease by 2023.
Rightmove’s Director of Property Science Tim Bannister believes more choice will soon emerge as competition to find suitable rental properties has increased drastically. “We have witnessed an extraordinary spike in inquiries for homes to rent across Wales and the South West region,” said Tim.
Tenants are increasingly opting to move further out from city centers in order to save money on bills, according to Rightmove’s research. Fourty two per cent of tenants now actively seeking homes outside their current city as opposed to only 37 per cent last year.
The Bank of England’s annual report
The Bank of England recently published its annual report, detailing its work over the last year and outlining its supervisory approach for 2022/23. This reflects its focus on four areas of operational resilience, CCP resilience and recovery, payment innovation as well as recognition and supervision of cross-border CCPs and CSDs.
The Bank of England is currently considering the introduction of new resolution and pre-resolution rules for CCPs under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000’s Financial Services Markets Board (FSMB), similar to banking resolution standards that adhere to international norms, subject to prudential supervision. Furthermore, work on an operational stress testing framework for CCP supervisory stress testing is ongoing, which should be complete by 2022 and published as well. Under Section 166 of FSMA 2000 the BoE has also used its powers to require Euroclear UK and International to appoint a skilled person following an outage during settlement system outage since 2020 – using power granted under Section 166 FSMA 2000 to impose appointment of a skilled person following another outage in February 2021.
The Port of Aberdeen’s PS55m investment
The Port of Aberdeen recently unveiled a PS55m investment to become the UK’s first net zero port by 2040. This investment will include several high-profile projects to reduce emissions and promote low carbon alternative fuels, such as shore power at scale and hydrotreated vegetable oil being used within port vessels and equipment. Furthermore, Aberdeen follows in the footsteps of other notable ports like Singapore and Shanghai by working together with local authorities and companies in order to reduce waste while simultaneously improving energy efficiency.
Humza Yusaf and Just Transition Secretary Mairi McAllan recently visited Scotland’s port to gain more information on its expansion project. This expansion will expand Scotland’s offshore wind industry while simultaneously fulfilling government Just Transition goals. In order to realize this feat, partnerships were formed between multiple organizations including Scottish & Grampian Chamber of Commerce and Energy Transition Zone to accomplish it.