|Day's range||6,314.59 - 6,402.57|
|52-week range||4,898.80 - 7,727.50|
The ECB is widely expected to announced up to €700bn in additional stimulus to support the eurozone economy.
(Bloomberg) -- As the coronavirus pandemic is reshaping the business world and boosting online retailers and streaming services, another corner of the digital economy is thriving at least as much: cybersecurity.Software maker Avast Plc expects long-lasting benefits from people around the world switching to home office as online workspace faces growing security threats, Chief Executive Officer Ondrej Vlcek said in an interview.Avast shares have rallied since mid-March, almost doubling its market value as a surge in remote working boosts sales and helps the Prague-based company recover from an earlier privacy scandal. It’s now joining the FTSE 100 Index, the first from the European Union’s eastern flank to win the blue-chip accolade in London just two years after selling shares.“There are surprisingly few technology companies in FTSE 100,” Vlcek said before the index changes were announced on Wednesday. “Not only are the tech stocks now more resilient than most other industries, but Covid-19 has also been associated with a significant increase in cyber attacks. So I don’t see it as a coincidence that we’re being added now.”Read more: FTSE Reshuffle Shows Lockdown Impact With Travel Out, DIY InCyber criminals are increasingly trying to exploit weaknesses of the new digital universe where millions of people log on to work from home. That’s boosting demand for defense against attacks like ransomware or data theft. Avast, which provides protection for individuals and small enterprises, sees such business boost lasting after the health crisis abates.“People will still be trying to avoid packed trains and other crowds,” Vlcek said. “The global pandemic will be an impulse for employers who previously didn’t encourage work from home to rethink their approach.”Read more: Danske Creates Permanent Work-From-Home Option for BankersExpectations of Avast’s promotion helped lift the share price to a four-month high of 518 pence two days ago. It has since retreated, trading at 490.2 pence on Thursday as of 12:53 p.m. in London, almost twice the price at which the company sold shares in its May 2018 IPO.While some other companies are delivering even bigger returns, among them Zoom Video Communications, Avast has outperformed the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 benchmark and some of its behemoths like Amazon.com Inc.Avast shares have now almost fully recovered from the impact of reports that its marketing subsidiary Jumpshot was selling sensitive customer data. After the scandal early this year prompted some users to uninstall the company’s software, Avast decided to wind down the unit at a cost of about $25 million and stay away from the data-analytics business.While monetizing user data is helping profits of Internet giants such as Facebook or Google, the practice is raising concerns about potential abuses and attracting more scrutiny from regulators.The Avast CEO said testing such avenue was “a mistake and gross misjudgment,” but it has helped the company realize it should focus more on services for those willing to pay for better control of their privacy.“Not only do we find that much more compatible with our core mission and our values, but we also see the data-privacy segment as having a bigger potential from the business-strategy point of view,” Vlcek said. “I see a huge opportunity for companies like Avast in that our business model no longer depends on data mining and this could help us stand out.”Floppy DisksAvast founders Eduard Kucera and Pavel Baudis created their first anti-virus program in 1980s communist Czechoslovakia, when malware was mostly spread by floppy disks. Now, the company says it has more than 400 million users worldwide, prevents about 1.5 billion attacks per month, and its market capitalization is 5 billion pounds ($6.3 billion).That makes Avast the second-biggest publicly traded Czech company, even as its home country is far from being a hotbed for startups. Ex-communist central Europe still relies overwhelmingly on traditional manufacturing with lower-paid jobs and has been struggling to embrace more advanced services and technologies that are more common in the West.Most of Avast’s more than 1,700 employees, including the CEO, are based in the Czech Republic, but its smaller offices in California and London tend to host a majority of the product managers. They create the most value by coming up with new ideas and making them commercially viable.Still, the company expects a long-term shift toward remote working, which will transform white-collar jobs around the world as more people will look for careers outside their home countries or even continents.“The increased role of remote work is an equalizer of sorts in that it makes it less relevant where you live,” said Vlcek. “It’s good for workers, who won’t need to commute, it’s good for the environment, and it could be extremely good for diversity and inclusion of, for example, women with small children.”(Updates with share price in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The banks have been accused of putting profits before people by supporting the widely condemned law.
A daily overview of the top business, market, and economic stories to watch in the UK, Europe, and abroad.
Downing Street has launched a wide variety of programmes to support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis — here are all the main ones.
Michael O'Leary warned the 14-day rules will do 'untold damage' to firms, but the UK government warns imported cases risk a second peak of the coronavirus.
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EasyJet has fallen out of the blue-chip FTSE 100 index after its market value was hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The airline has lost nearly 45% of its value this year, while cruise operator Carnival is down more than 67% - both suffering from a massive fall in demand for travel during the pandemic. FTSE Russell, the global index provider, confirmed both companies would be relegated to the FTSE 250, along with British Gas owner Centrica and engineering company Meggitt.
(Bloomberg) -- The latest changes to the U.K.’s blue-chip stock benchmark demonstrate how Covid-19 has disrupted consumer spending and the business world.Airline EasyJet Plc, airplane parts-maker Meggitt Plc and cruise ship operator Carnival Plc are among four stocks exiting the FTSE 100 index following a quarterly re-balancing based on market capitalizations at Tuesday’s close, provider FTSE Russell announced Wednesday.B&Q home-improvement store owner Kingfisher Plc and household repair group HomeServe Plc earned promotion to the benchmark from the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, having prospered due to more time spent at home during lockdowns, along with cybersecurity group Avast Plc, whose business has benefited from the work-from-home trend.“This FTSE reshuffle is highly reflective of the current crisis environment,” Helal Miah, an analyst at investment broker The Share Centre, wrote in emailed comments prior to confirmation of the changes. “Out go stocks from sectors that have taken a beating and questions arise as to how and whether some of these can manage this crisis,” he said.The rejig may leave demoted stocks vulnerable to selling by funds whose aim is to mirror the performance of the FTSE 100, with new entrants benefiting as the so-called tracker funds increase their weightings.Both Homeserve and Avast enter the blue-chip gauge for the first time, while Kingfisher rejoins after its demotion to the FTSE 250 in March.Centrica, GVCThe final company leaving the FTSE 100 is Centrica Plc, in a demotion that represents a moment of historical significance for a stock that under different names has been ever-present in the gauge since 1986. That was the year the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher privatized British Gas through an initial public offering. Among Centrica’s key attractions was a stable income stream: its annual dividend over the past two decades was about 2.5 times the median payout of a FTSE 100 stock. Its median payout of 500 million pounds ($630 million) is also remarkably similar to last year’s 471 million pounds, illustrating the level of consistency.Gambling company GVC Holdings Plc heads the other way, returning to the blue-chip index for the first time since March 2019.According to guidelines from FTSE Russell, a unit of London Stock Exchange Group Plc, a stock will be removed from the FTSE 100 if its market capitalization ranks 111 or below among eligible shares at the time of the re-balancing, while any that rise to 90th position or above join the index. Changes in the final review go into effect on June 22.(Confirms changes, adds details, chart on Centrica dividend)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Lord Alistair Darling, George Osborne, and Philip Hammond all raised the alarm during a joint appearance in front of the Treasury Select Committee.
Tory MPs and business leaders united in anger at the 14-day quarantine for travellers, with some warning it suggested Britain is 'closed for business.'
Governor Andrew Bailey held a call with bank chief executives and told them to get ready for the possibility that trade talks between the EU and UK could fail.
UK workers under 25 have seen the steepest decline in work, with many working on precarious zero-hour contracts and in sectors hit hardest by the lockdown.
A daily overview of the top business, market, and economic stories to watch in the UK, Europe, and abroad.
Discounting is expected to continue over summer and retailers look to get rid of a backlog of stock built up during the lockdown.
New PMI data comes as 'non-essential' UK retailers prepare to reopen and more staff return to workplaces in Britain as coronavirus restrictions ease.
European stocks gained as strong data from China’s services sector fueled investors’ hopes of a strong global recovery.
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