Industry Insights

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Airbus streamlining defence and space unit

23 September, 2014

In response to weak European military spending, Airbus Group is streamlining its defence and space division in hopes of improving profit margins. The company has announced it will sell a clutch of non-core businesses with combined revenues of around €2 billion, and focus the division on military aircraft, missiles, launchers and satellites. Airbus is also exploring “industrial alternatives” for its security and defence electronics businesses, signalling a strategic shift.


Perspectives on the upheaval of consumer finance

21 September, 2014

There is broad agreement among financial leaders in the U.S., including industry representatives, advocates, government, academia and think tanks, that consumer finance is on the verge of major disruption, on par with that experienced by the retail and publishing sectors. Some types of financial businesses, fearing unmanageable risk, could even exit the consumer finance market altogether, allowing newer, non-traditional competition to fill the void.


European banks mounting slow recovery

18 September, 2014

In the first half of 2014 Europe's 30 largest banks, including Deutsche Bank, Bank of Ireland and Spain’s Santander, moved tentatively back into growth mode following the financial crisis, adding €530 million ($685 million) in assets. The growth has come largely from lending money and making deals, while profitability remains below target. Loan losses continue to be a problem across the board; hence many euro zone businesses are still unable to obtain loans.


Alibaba and the shifting sands of e-commerce

16 September, 2014

The IPO of Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba is expected to raise over $20 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs ever and valuing the company at more than $150 billion. Alibaba dominates online shopping in China, the world’s biggest e-commerce market. It is also profitable, with revenues rising 46% in the second quarter. But the competitive landscape is shifting, as other players in the e-commerce space begin to pool their strengths.


Clouding up: The expansion of cloud computing

14 September, 2014

Research firm IDC estimates that businesses will spend $100 billion on cloud computing this year, a fraction of total IT spending, due to lingering concerns over costs and data security. But the forecast could change as competition heats up. Major players in the cloud computing industry, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft, are striving to attract more large companies to the cloud by lowering prices, enhancing security and bolstering their offerings.


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Ulf Bergström
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Katarina Brixéus
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Marie W. Corell
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Jessica Grönwall
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Per Z Haeggström
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