Morning business news - February 18

Tuesday 18 February 2014 10.31
Morning business news - February 18
Morning business news - February 18

Japanese shares surged overnight with the Nikkei in Tokyo up 3.5% after the Bank of Japan doubled the value of a loan programme aimed at stimulating the economy.

According to Paul Sommerville of Sommerville Advisory Markets, said the move was prompted by the recent “wobble” in emerging markets, which Japan has responded to by offering more cash to the economy.

“What the Japanese government is trying to do is a radical gamble; they’re changing philosophy totally and trying to create inflation,” he said.

He said that the latest move is a sign that, no matter what, they were willing to keep throwing money at the problem.

However the money being pushed forward by the Bank of Japan – and other central banks – was not going into the so-called ‘real economy’, he said, but instead into the markets.

“One of the big problems of what’s happened in the last few years is that the money is not going into the real economy, it’s going to traders,” he said, noting that asset prices and stock prices had risen in recent years because of this.

“What they are trying to do is instill confidence,” he said.

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British discount retailer Poundland plans to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange in March.

Poundland is targeting a doubling of its British stores to more than 1,000.

It's also looking to expand its Dealz business here and is planning a move into Spain in the near future.

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Cinema attendances fell across Europe last year.

Figures from the European Audiovisual Observatory show a 4% drop across Europe to 908 million admissions. That's 39 million fewer than in 2012.

In Ireland there were 14.7 million cinema visits last year, a 5% fall compared to the previous year. Audience figures here are now at their lowest level since 2000.

Industry sources cite the recession and high levels of emigration among the 18-34 demographic - the most prolific moviegoers - for the decline from a peak of more than 18 million cinema visits here in 2007.

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An American company is to install a network of ATMs across the US that will enable users of Bitcoin to exchange their bitcoin for cash and vice versa.

Robocoin plans to install its initial kiosks in Seattle, and Austin, Texas.

Bitoin was created in 2008. It's a virtual currency stored on a network of computers around the globe. Despite past controversy over its use by criminals a growing network of online and main street retailers are accepting it as payment.

A bitcoin is currently worth about $636 but it has been highly volatile. In September a bitcoin was worth $150 yet in December its value was almost $1,000.