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CBI reports growth in market confidence


The financial services sector saw a significant increase in confidence at the start of 1999 with 50 per cent seeing an increase in volumes of business.


The CBI/PricewaterhouseCoopers quarterly survey of the sector shows the industry shaking off fears of a major slowdown.


But not all firms are confident. Just over a fifth of those surveyed saw business falling off.


Securities traders, banks and life insurers were the most optimistic, expecting business volumes to rise over the next three months. General insurers and building societies headed up the lists of pessimists, expecting business to fall.

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Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

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