Each week QFINANCE will endeavor to bring you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days in finance and business, as well as some of the most fascinating websites and links that have crossed our path. We hope you'll enjoy reading it and you'll come back each Thursday to brush up on your finance and business knowledge.
Friday January 27
In the UK, the week ended on a note that launched polemics and debate across the country for the whole weekend. Royal Bank of Scotland was highly criticized on Friday for granting £963,000 bonus in shares to chief executive Stephen Hester. RBS justified the action by saying it "reflects progress in the categories agreed with [our] shareholders as set out in the remuneration report"
More on the Guardian
Monday January 30
In France President Sarkozy announced on television that his right wing government was about to launch new reforms on the country. One of the changes is a significant rise of the value-added sales tax rate by 1.6% to finance a reduction of social charges on companies. In the UK RBS Stephen Hester rejected his £1m bonus after being the subject of intense political and public pressure over the weekend.
More on Reuters
Tuesday January 31
The polemic around RBS goes on in Britain where former head of the bank Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood on Tuesday, reported by the tabloids as “Fred the Shred”. Finance Minister George Osborne supported the action saying that: "RBS came to symbolize everything that went wrong with the British economy over the last decade and under Fred Goodwin that's when it happened and I think it's appropriate therefore that he loses his knighthood."
More on Reuters
Wednesday February 01
Wednesday brought good news in the world of finance as it seems equities were having the best start in 18 years as the US economy growth is still increasing fast. Investors had the best January returns as it seems the EU is moving closer to a solution for the debt crisis. According to Bloomberg data, the MSCI All-Country World Index increased 5.8 percent including dividends.
More on Bloomberg Businessweek
Thursday February 02
After long predictions and discussions around it, Facebook is finally going public as it has confirmed on Thursday filing for a $5bn (£3.16bn) initial public offering (IPO). Although the amount sounds impressive, it represents about half the amount many analysts were expecting coming from the world’s largest social media site.
More on BBC
Tags: banking , central banks , EU , European Central Bank , financial crisis , regulation , sovereign debt , UK , US , US economy