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Platform recruits head of credit risk

Platform has appointed Piero Bassu as head of credit risk within the company’s risk and compliance department. Bassu was in the group’s credit scoring team.

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FSA reinforces message to industry on RDR

The FSA reinforced its message at the IFP conference in Manchester last week that the proposals in the retail distribution review are industryled initiatives.Retail intermediaries sector manager Sharon Campbell repeated the FSA’s mantra that it was members of the industry not the FSA who had constructed the paper. She said: “There is no point in […]

Economic forecast is downgraded

The economic growth forecast for 2008 has been downgraded from 2.5-3 per cent to 2-2.5 per cent. Darling blamed “increased economic uncertainty” and “turbulence in America, Asia and Europe”.

Gold standard

Commodities Will Henley gauges analysts’ views on the investment prospects for gold as it reaches a 27-year high

‘Govt set to agree compensation for pension victims’

Pension campaigner Ros Altmann believes compensation for the victims of collapsed schemes could have moved a step closer after she met with Department for Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain.Altmann says in a private meeting with several members of her Pensions Action Group on October 3, Hain and pensions minister Mike O’Brien agreed that the […]

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.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.

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