As of Tuesday, the German capital is one year into its five-year "rent freeze," and the data collected so far has given both opponents and supporters fuel for their arguments. A survey published last week by property ad portal ImmoScout24 found that while Berlin's average rent has indeed dropped in the past year, by 7.8%, the number of new flats on the market eligible for a rent reduction had dropped too — by some 30%. That has had a major effect on the competition for new apartments, ImmoScout24 said, with an average of 214 people answering each rental advert in January 2021, compared to 128 in the same month last year. Many cities around the world have some kind of rent control measures in place, but Berlin's rent cap law, in effect since February 2020, is unique. It meant that rents for 90% of Berlin's apartments were frozen for five years at the level they were at in June 2019. New rental contracts could not be above that level, and as of November 2020, any existing rents … [Read more...] about Berlin’s revolutionary rent cap — success or flop?
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Reckitt Benckiser has reported record annual sales following high demand for its cleaning products and disinfectants during the coronavirus pandemic. Reckitt Benckiser (RB), which includes the Dettol and Cillit Bang brands in its stable, said group like-for-like sales rose by almost 12% to £14bn during 2020 as consumers sought means to protect themselves from COVID-19 . Its hygiene division saw comparable revenues rise by almost 20% while it also expanded into 40 new markets as production of disinfectant sprays and wipes was ramped up. RB pointed to market share gains for many of its brands, including Durex , and reported that 80% of consumers planned to maintain their purchases of germ protection and disinfection brands. But it predicted group revenues would be flat to slightly higher in the current year as peak demand had been reached - a factor reflected in the share price reaction from investors as the stock was only fractionally up on the day in early … [Read more...] about COVID-19: Dettol-maker cleans up as pandemic demand drives record sales
Mark Wilson, the former Aviva chief executive, is staging a return to the British insurance sector by spearheading a new venture to target a share of the £16bn motor insurance market. Sky News has learnt that Mr Wilson has teamed up with Sun Capital Partners, a London-based private equity firm, to launch Abacai Holdings, an insurance technology - insurtech - company. The business will be created by merging Abacai with Complete Cover Group (CCG), an insurance distribution and underwriting business owned by Sun Capital. Insiders said that Abacai intended to invest £50m in creating a new artificial intelligence platform, underlining the growing use of data and AI across an industry which has traditionally been slow to embrace cutting-edge technology. Sources said the details of Abacai's plans would be contained in an announcement which is scheduled to be made on Thursday morning. Advertisement It will represent a high-profile return to the UK insurance … [Read more...] about Ex-Aviva CEO Wilson returns to fray with insurance venture Abacai
Before the days of Instagram, Paris Hilton was the first celebrity to really master the art of being famous for being famous. As the loaded heiress to the Hilton hotel chain, Paris - who turns 40 today - turned up at the best parties, wore the best clothes and surrounded herself with the hottest stars of the moment including Nicole Richie, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. Using her 'ditzy' persona and obvious sex appeal, Paris made a mint launching everything from perfumes and clothing stores to books, fake tans, wines and everything in between in a business model that would later help the likes of Katie Price make millions. And it was all aided by Paris' best friend and wardrobe organiser Kim Kardashian , who reportedly worked tirelessly behind the scenes leaking stories to the media on Paris' behalf to raise her profile as she pioneered the art of turning partying into profit. "She was the ultimate package that corporate America would want to make for itself as a … [Read more...] about Paris Hilton now after Kim Kardashian butt slur, Nicole Richie truce and egg freezing
Sky News has been named News Channel of the Year at the Royal Television Society awards. It scooped a total of five prizes, including best home and international coverage, while Nick Martin was named Specialist Journalist of the Year, and John Ryley, the head of Sky News, won the Outstanding Contribution Award. The channel's special report 'A Warning From Italy' had, the judges said, "brought home the severity of the COVID pandemic early" and had demonstrated "powerful and brave journalism". Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player March 2020: Inside Italy's virus crisis wards Its UK coverage of the crisis, entitled 'COVID UK' was described as a "must watch during these difficult times" and had included reportage that had "offered insight into the lives of ordinary people". Nick Martin, they said, had "brought to life the human dramas" in his moving accounts of people in care homes, and their family struggles, through this difficult … [Read more...] about Sky News named News Channel of the Year at RTS awards