The Week In Numbers: Britain Is Up For Sale

While economists and politicians are busy contemplating the after-effects of Brexit, businesses are running their slide rules over UK companies. Softbank was the one of the first to whip out its chequebook and pen. The Japanese company has splashed out US$32 billion for chip designer ARM Holdings. Life goes on.

Mastercard has offered to pay as much as US$1.1 billion for the UK’s ATM operator, Vocalink. The purchase of the company, which is owned by a number of banks, now raises the question as to whether more opportunistic predators might be waiting to capitalise on the low pound. Two sides to every story.

Staying with takeovers, Singapore’s state investor, Temasek, has offered to buy the rest of SMRT (SGX: S53) that it does not already own. Temasek said it will pay $1.2 billion for the remaining 46% stake in the subway operator. SMRT has been caught in a difficult position of offering low and affordable train fares to the public, whilst generating an acceptable return for shareholders.

The European Central Bank said growth and inflation were moving in the right direction. So, more evidence would be needed before it could make a decision about more stimuli. It kept interest rates unchanged at 0%. It pointed a finger at the UK leaving the European Union and weak emerging market growth for “great” uncertainty and risks to the economic outlook. It’s always some else’s fault.

And finally, Christmas has come early for 140 Santas from 12 countries. They have gathered in Copenhagen for the annual World Santa Claus Congress. Up for discussion during the convention are the date for Christmas Eve and weight regulations for Santa Clauses. Who ate all the mince pies?

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