LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s smaller banks are lining up to apply for multi-million pound grants the government hopes will help them compete in the corporate banking market. For years the government has wanted to reduce the dominance of big banks in the small-to medium-sized business (SME) banking sector. The four largest — HSBC (HSBA.L), Barclays (BARC.L), RBS (RBS.L) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) — control over 70 percent of business current accounts.

Source: Britain’s smaller banks jostle for business banking grants

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This summer the level of mortgage lending hit its highest level since 2008, driven by first-time buyers and remortgages in a climate of low rates. This amounts to a huge business opportunity for mortgage lenders. But as the number of loans for house purchase in the UK increases, banks will need to make sure their systems for approving mortgages can keep up with the pace of requests. At the moment many traditional banks, including the Big Six, rely on outdated legacy systems that are often several decades ol

Source: Mortgage lenders need automation – to make them more human

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A consortium of three Bahraini banks will establish a company dedicated to research & development note-0in the sharia-compliant fintechnote-1 sector as the Arabian Gulf state seeks to position itself as a leader in financial technology.

Source: Bahrain banks launch R&D firm to drive growth of Islamic fintech – The National

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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has inaugurated the country’s new embassy in London.Sheikh Abdullah and the UK’s Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State of the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, also unveiled a commemorative painting to mark the opening of the UAE embassy’s new headquarters.

Source: Sheikh Abdullah inaugurates new UAE embassy in London – Gulf Business

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  Dubai-based financier Amanda Staveley has made a formal offer to buy English Premier League football club Newcastle United, according to reports. UK broadcaster Sky News reports that Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners has submitted a bid of around GBP300m ($397.4m) to buy the club from sportswear tycoon Mike Ashley.

Source: Dubai financier bids $400m for Newcastle United – Gulf Business

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Four in five (80%) mortgage advisers would recommend young people follow in their footsteps, a survey conducted by education body the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF) has found. The majority (86%) find helping consumers achieve their life goals the most enjoyable and rewarding part of their job.

Source: Advisers would recommend their careers to young people | Mortgage Introducer

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) said on Monday it may sell as much as a 20 per cent stake in its fuel distribution unit, potentially raising up to $2.8bn.Analysts valued the total fuel distribution unit at between $11bn and $14bnin reports prepared by banks advising the firm on the planned listing, sources have told Reuters.

Source: ADNOC listing could raise up to $2.8bn – Gulf Business

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Deutsche Bank spends most of its time thinking about how it can be competitive with companies that are not banks, such as coffee chain Starbucks, its chief executive has said. John Cryan said Friday that the bank was not just thinking about competition with other financial institutions but other sectors like technology.

Source: Deutsche Bank CEO: Competition with tech, non-banks a prime concern

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This has been a good year for the global economy, and 2018 will follow that trend, analysts at Goldman Sachs said. Economic growth around the world has picked up steam this year. Germany — Europe’s largest economy — grew an unexpectedly strong 0.8 percent in the third quarter. In Japan, the economy has grown for seven straight quarters. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the economy grew 3 percent in the third quarter.

Source: Goldman Sachs says 2017 was surprisingly good

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Dubai’s Emaar Properties to raise $1.3bn in development unit IPO The assets of Emaar Development include 49 units in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa

Source: Dubai’s Emaar Properties to raise $1.3bn in development unit IPO – Gulf Business

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The amount of new housing stock being created has increased in the past year – but still lags behind pre-crisis levels, figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government reveal.

Source: England ups housing creation by 15% | Mortgage Introducer

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) plans to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Source: SoftBank to invest up to $25 billion in Saudi Arabia: Bloomberg

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