The drop in the pound against the euro and US dollar is bad news for anyone heading to Europe or America this summer. Back in April £1 bought you around € 1.15, or $1.43. Today it is closer to €1.11, or $1.28. It means America is now 10.4% more expensive to visit, while the cost of a European meal out will be 3.5% pricier. It’s not all bad news. Those going to Turkey won’t believe their spending power. They are getting 52% more Turkish lira to the pound than a year ago, receiving £171 more of local currency for every £500 exchanged. Buying local currency before departure Don’t buy from a high street bank - they are nearly always an expensive way to change money. And never use an airport exchange desk on a walk-up basis unless you are desperate. All airport currency is expensive and one of the worst on Thursday was the Forexchange bureau at Cardiff airport, which was offering just €0.90 for each pound or €177 for each £200. … [Read more...] about What does falling pound mean for cost of holidays in Europe and US?
Hsbc foreign transaction fee
BRITS abroad are being hit with bills of up to £13.15 in extra fees from their bank simply for using their debit cards abroad. Travellers have forked out more than £400million in bank fees on payments they made while on holiday over the past year, according to new figures from CompareTheMarket. The average Brit spends around £300 on holiday but 62 per cent of tourists don't know that they will be stung by fees for using their debit cards to make purchases and withdraw cash from a foreign ATM. The comparison site looked into how much high street banks charge for using your card to spend £300 abroad, half through cash withdrawals and half used to make purchases. M&S Bank customers are hit the hardest, incurring fees of up to £13.15, while those who bank with TSB will be slapped with a £12.74 fee. Santander customers will need to fork out £12.26 on a £300 transaction, and £11.91 for HSBC customers. How to avoid being ripped-off on your … [Read more...] about Worst banks for fees while on holiday revealed – and how to avoid getting stung
It was the moment Saudi Arabia’s reforming young prince told the world he meant business. In early 2016, Mohammed bin Salman said he planned to sell shares in the kingdom’s crown jewel: Saudi Aramco, the giant energy company that produces 10 percent of the world’s oil and finances the Saudi state. The initial public offering—planned for 2018—would be the deal to end all deals, raising more than $100 billion for a new sovereign wealth fund, creating the world’s most valuable listed company, and funneling hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to Wall Street’s elite banks. MBS, as the 32-year-old crown prince is known, said the company would be worth at least $2 trillion—more than double the current market valuation of Apple Inc.—and perhaps as much as $2.5 trillion.Two years later, things look very different. A combination of hubris on the valuation, an overambitious timetable, and indifference—if not derision—from … [Read more...] about Saudi Aramco’s $2 Trillion Zombie IPO
Deutsche Bank AG called it Project Dastan, a Persian word for the kind of ornate oral histories that are common across Central Asia, including heroic tales of resistance to Russian occupation.But in this case Dastan is a code name for an internal probe into whether executives at the embattled German lender breached anti-bribery rules by getting too cozy with Russian officials—specifically by hiring their kids to win business.The bank’s investigation into its own hiring practices was detailed for the first time in a lawsuit last week by a former executive, Nizar Al-Bassam. The revelation of the four-year-old probe, which appears to be ongoing, opens another window into Deutsche Bank’s troubled history in Russia. Last year, it paid more than $600 million in fines to U.S. and U.K. regulators over its use of so-called mirror trades to move as much as $10 billion out of the country.Scrutiny of hiring practices by global banks has intensified since JPMorgan Chase … [Read more...] about Lawsuit Reveals Deutsche Bank Probe of Ties to Russian Ministers
A billion-dollar Indonesian real estate development with ties to Donald Trump has become the latest project in China's globe-spanning Belt and Road infrastructure project -- just as Washington and Beijing are tussling over trade. A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned construction firm Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal with Indonesia's MNC Land to build a theme park outside Jakarta as part of the ambitious project, the company said in a statement Thursday. The deal is the latest to raise questions about the extent of Trump's financial exposure to Beijing. The park -- expected to be backed with up to $500 million in Chinese government loans -- is part of an "integrated lifestyle resort", known as MNC Lido City. The project includes Trump-branded hotels, residences and a golf course, as well as other hotel, shopping and residential developments. Referring to its subsidiary, MCC described the theme park as "the first culture and tourism industry project by the Central … [Read more...] about Trump Indonesia project latest stop on China’s Belt and Road