Category Archives: Financial Statements

Financial Statements

Recent Rise in the Stock of UOIP and its Relation to ChanBond

Fairfax, VA, Jul-3-2017 — /EPR FINANCIAL NEWS/ — Unified Online Inc. (UOIP) is an internet and cloud computing company. According to company materials, UOIP provides wireless and fiber broadband service, co-location space and related services. It operates a Network Access Point where clients directly interconnect with a network ecosystem of partners and customers.

The company was created after the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding stock of Computers and Tele-Comm., Inc., a Missouri corporation, and its wholly owned subsidiary, KC NAP, LLC in exchange for 23,921 shares of common stock. In 2013, UOIP announced that it would merge with Storage vendor ICE WEB. With this new business transaction, the company started to provide cloud application services, and cloud storage services that include file sharing and collaboration services.

UOIP has a market cap of $11.33 million. In addition, through the Company’s ICE-WEB Storage Corporation subsidiary, it can deliver online cloud computing application services, other managed services, such as Disaster Recovery, Archive Storage, Redundant File Storage, Redundant Broadband Services and Business Continuity Services.

The company has not put out any recent press, so the recent volatility is now quite noticeable. It is entirely possible that the company has a large order pending that has been undisclosed, or that the company is in negotiations for a buyout, but both are speculative at best.

It currently has negative earnings. It has been volatile since the attack last month by several other cable companies. UOIP’s subsidiary deals with disaster recovery, could be responsible for pushing shares higher.

The Wannacry attack has been pushing up software companies across market since the attack. The virus attacked windows systems that had not been updated and did not include a “critical” patch that had been “issued by Microsoft to remove an underlying vulnerability “. Many organizations, which were not secured, suffered the attack that spread all over the world in the following days. Experts estimate that over 200,000 victims and more than 230,000 computers were infected. The virus did not slow down its activity until late May. Hackers demanded $300 to $600 from each user to recover the encrypted files as ransom. UOIP might be riding this wave along with other sector companies, but it is unclear.

UOIP details intangible assets on the balance sheet; $5,049,383. Diving deeper into that means that the total amount of assets is approximately $5.2 million. Intangible assets could be patents or technologies that are still be developed and could be valued broadly. Above all this, UOIP is currently flagged by the OTC Markets exchange with the “Caveat Emptor” sign, which means that shareholders need to “exercise additional care and perform thorough due diligence before making an investment decision in the company”.

Unified Online Inc. (OTCMKTS: UOIP) is a volatile company with murky evidence behind the rise. Investors should be absolutely careful because the company has not released any press about business moves or investments. Following the bread crumbs leads us nowhere and UOIP could just be riding a temporary wave. This is a stock to watch but also a sector to keep an eye on as well.

On October 27, 2015, Unified Online (UOIP) acquired 100% of the membership interest Chan-Bond, LLC (Chan-Bond), a portfolio of patents that disclose a technology that allows cable companies to provide high-speed data transmission over their existing hybrid-fiber coaxial networks.

Petitioner, RPX Corporation (“RPX”), filed a petition on November 20, 2015, requesting an inter parties review of claims 1–31 of U.S. Patent No. 7,941,822 B2 (Ex. 1001, “the ’822 patent”). Paper 1 (“Pet.”). Patent Owner, Chan-Bond LLC (“Chan-Bond”), filed a Preliminary Response on March 10, 2016. Paper 6 (“Prelim. Resp.”).

Chan-Bond sued several cable company defendants alleging patent infringement of three wideband signal distribution system patents in the District of Delaware in 2015. The defendants included Atlantic Broadband Group, Bright House Networks, Cable One, Cablevision, Cequel Communications, Charter Communications, Comcast Communications, Cox Communications, Mediacom Communications, RCN Telecom Services, Time Warner Cable, Wave-Division Holdings, and Wide-open West Finance (District of Delaware case nos. 15-cv-842 to -854). Non-party Cisco filed eight IPR petitions against the three Chan-Bond patents in September 2016, and a stay was ordered on March 3, 2017 pending the PTAB’s decisions to institute IPR.

Cisco’s IPR petitions had mixed results. The day the stay was ordered the PTAB instituted inter parties review of claims 1,2, 5, 6, 19, 20, 23 and 29 from US Patent 7,941,822 (IPR2016-01744), but denied institution of claims 13 and 14 in a second IPR petition of the ‘822 patent (IPR2016-01746). (Note: RPX filed an IPR petition on claims 1-31 of the ‘822 which was instituted for trial and oral arguments were held in January 2017. A final written decision has not been issued by the PTAB yet. See IPR2016-00234.) On March 29, 2017, six IPR petitions for US Patent Nos. 8,341,679 and 8,984,565 were denied institution.

The PTAB rejected Cisco’s assertion that multiple channels are multiplexed on the same frequency bands, and that code channels or CDMA channels could be an RF channel within the meaning of the ‘679 patent. The panel cited an inconsistent statement by Cisco’s expert which described a FDMA and CDMA hybrid system using Walsh codes: “[t]he mutual orthogonally of Walsh codes allows one particular coded channel to be isolated and decoded from all other coded channels, even though they are all broadcasting on the same RF channel.” (Italics added by the panel). The panel reasoned that this statement referred to a particular frequency band as an “RF channel” and to divisions within the RF channel as “coded channels,” and therefore gave no weight to the expert’s testimony regarding the meaning of “RF channel.”

The PTAB concluded that the term “RF channel” as used in the ‘679 patent “does not include code channels – for example data streams created by CDMA– but instead refers only to frequency bands, such as those created by FDMA.” (Final Written Decision of IPR2016-01898, p. 13.) All six of the IPR petitions of the ‘679 and ‘565 patents were denied based on the claim construction issue and because Cisco’s grounds were based CDMA prior art.

It appears that the one year window after service to file IPRs has passed, so it will be interesting to see if a request for rehearing is filed by Cisco to challenge the panel’s decision. It is not clear if the interpretations proffered by the panel will somehow pose issues for Chan-Bond to enforce its patents as planned, but it has at least avoided further review of the ‘679 and ‘565 patents for now.

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The Story of ChanBond’s Fight for its Patent Infringement

Fairfax, VA, Jun-14-2017 — /EPR FINANCIAL NEWS/ — ChanBond is currently owned by UnifiedOnline (UOIP) and it is in a legal fight with the 13 cable service providers in the country. The important point to understand is that ChanBond has patented a system of frequency distribution, which is unique and dissimilar to the way Cisco describes its RF frequency use.

This means that the company is able to present the fact that all cable service providers that are employing the DOCSIS 3.0+ technology are infringing its patents. ChanBond took it a step further when it filed against the largest cable multi-system operators (MSOs) in the country in the District Court of Delaware.

These companies use high speed transmission of data of fiber-coaxial hybrid networks using a technology which comes under the patents of ChanBond. Cisco has already attempted to deny their claims by filing to get the ChanBond patents invalidated.

However, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rejected all six petitions from Cisco that asked for reviewing of ChanBond’s patents. PTAB officials indicated that Cisco failed to show that these patents are invalid since the patent company was able to show that they are unique from other patents. Here are the details of the patents under review.

Patent 8,341,679

This patent describes the use of an intelligent system which can distribute digital signals using a wideband signal distribution setup.

Patent 8,894,565

This patent describes the supplementary setup details such as the insertion device and the driving unit. It also includes the rotating tubular member.

ChanBond Wins at PTAB

ChanBond has successfully won a favor delivered by PTAB when it declared that Cisco and different cable companies (RPX) have failed to show that UOIP’s relevant patents should be considered as redundant and invalid. The board clearly expressed that the patents are clearly distinct and there are no grounds to discuss their invalidation.

If we look at the history of this situation, we find that as ChanBond filed against the 13 major cable companies, they had to stop the court proceedings. They decided to challenge the actual patents with the governing body of PTAB. However, their hopes are now severely dented since the board has clearly ruled in favor of ChanBond/UOIP. They now face an uphill battle in any legal setting since this decision is admissible evidence in all courts of the United States.

It is important to understand that ChanBond now holds a key element in all their court cases. The current order provides a proposition for the involved parties to reach a settlement. A look at the official documents also reveal that the court has specifically mentioned that the evidences presented in the court about the technical details of the protocols employed by cable companies fully failed to present that these patents were invalid.

In fact, PTAB found that not only are these patents active, the current methods employed in the industry may be in violation of these patents since they employ their specifically defined methods.

The best way to go about it now is for the cable companies to find a settlement within the appeal which is going on to PTAB, rather than allowing the focus to shift on the court cases in Delaware, which are started by ChanBond/UOIP.

Technical Details of the Case

There are several important details of the petition in PTAB which was filed for 31 claims on November 20, 2015. The patent owner responded using the preliminary response method on March 10, 2016. The court initially found out that the RPX Corporate may have at least a single challenged claim, and proceeded further. ChanBond then filed its Patent Owner’s Response which is a detailed response that describes the details of the patent and how it maintains its originality. RPX in turn, responded with a reply.

The oral hearing on this important dispute occurred on January 30, 2017 and the hearing was also entered into the record. The court adjourned that it held the required jurisdiction and found that the evidence presented by RPX was not sufficient to demonstrate that claims 1-31 were unpatentable according to the laws of 35 USC 102(b) and 103(a).

The DOCSIS 1.1.4 was the main pillar of the claim presented by the cable companies. The court discovered that the concept of a digital stream comprising of multiple coded RF signals was similar in its definition in terms of ChanBond as well as the opposing RPX.

The Court also observed in cases where multiple patents and conditions are under review, it is essential to follow the market practices in order to find relevance. Explicit analysis is essential in such cases, and this too, was the basis of resolving this particular dispute.

RPX suggested that the modern cable modems followed the code already described as the national standard at the time of the application of the ChanBond patents. However, ChanBond asserted that there is no record to show that any national standard was in place at the time of the patents that describe digital stream transmission.

The court summarized that RPX as claimants had to bear the burden of proof. They failed to show that any skilled artisan would have used the same technique as explained in the patents of ChanBond/UOIP. The technological perspective presented by RPX failed to establish that there was any industry practice to use the modem configuration and the set of devices described in the patents of ChanBond in a traditional manner. The court declared that if parties want to seek a judicial review, then they would have to serve the requirements of 37 CFR 90.2.

Effect on UOIP Stocks

Although it is difficult to predict the stock prices as they keep changing over time., we find that being involved in a serious lawsuit can often send the stock prices on a downward spiral. However, there are times when this does not happen, especially if the lawsuit is not well-known or comes from quarters not considered as industry specific. Nevertheless, prior experience shows that winning lawsuits more often than not, produces a positive effect on stock prices.

UnifiedOnline (UOIP) stocks are going to do well over the next few months. They have won this major case in PTAB, and they can now aggressively push the cable companies and Cisco to enter a mutual settlement worth millions of dollars.

The volume of sales of UOIP stocks has been clearly on the rise. Although we may observe some corrections over the next few weeks, it is imperative to note that the stock prices will remain on the high, as investors actively seek to make use of this winning opportunity. This is because the resolution of lawsuits in a positive manner decrease the fear factor among market investors and allow them to be more liberal with the company stocks.

They are more eager to hold on to such stocks, which ultimately provide support to the company. As this particular lawsuit and legal position suits the general position of ChanBond/UOIP, it is natural to find that the stocks will keep rising up. As the news emerges and becomes well known in investors, UOIP will continue to perform positively and reach a better financial position in the next fiscal year.

UOIP Stocks will also soar, since there is a chance now for an expensive settlement. This will provide ChanBond/UOIP with greater monetary resources. This means that they will further expand their operations and continue to excel in the near future.

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Nomura Holdings, Inc. reports its consolidated financial results for Q2 and first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015

Group-wide first-half net income at second highest level in 10 years
– Retail client assets climbed to record 99.3 trillion yen
– Net assets under management at record high of 34.8 trillion yen
– Resilient earnings in Wholesale despite challenged market conditions
– Robust financial position with total capital ratio of 14.7 percent and Tier 1 capital ratio of 12.7 percent under Basel III

TOKYO, November 3, 2014 — /EPR FINANCIAL NEWS/ — Nomura Holdings, Inc. today announced its consolidated financial results for the second quarter and first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

Net revenue for the second quarter was 373.8 billion yen (US$3.4 billion)1, up 1 percent quarter on quarter and 5 percent year on year. Income before income taxes increased 43 percent from last quarter and 1 percent compared to the second quarter last year to 74.0 billion yen (US$675 million). Net income attributable to Nomura Holdings shareholders grew 166 percent quarter on quarter and 39 percent year on year to 52.9 billion yen (US$482
million).

For the six months ended September 30, Nomura reported net revenue of 744.7 billion yen (US$6.8 billion), down 5 percent from the same period last year. Income before income taxes declined 32 percent to 125.7 billion yen (US$1.1 billion), and net income attributable to Nomura Holdings shareholders was 72.7 billion yen (US$663 million), down 30 percent year on year.

“We had a solid second quarter posting stronger results both quarter on quarter and year on year. Pretax and net income increased significantly compared to last quarter,” said Koji Nagai, Group Chief Executive Officer.

“Retail client assets reached a record 99.3 trillion yen, driven by higher inflows into investment trusts and discretionary investments. Assets under management also grew to a record level in the quarter, reflecting continued inflows into investment trusts. Our Wholesale
business reported gains in net revenue and pretax income. Global Markets revenues were resilient on a strong performance in Japan and AEJ. Mandates for high-profile Japan-related financing transactions led to firm revenues in Investment Banking.

“During the second half of the year, we will remain focused on further establishing our position as Asia’s global investment bank by seeking out opportunities for our clients in the changing environment and continuing to transform our business.” Nomura Holdings, Inc. today announced that its Board of Directors approved a resolution to set up a share buyback program, pursuant to the company’s articles of incorporation set out in accordance with Article 459-1 of the Companies Act of Japan.

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nomura-eprfinancialnews

Nomura Securities
Email: media@nomura.com
(44) 20 7102 4222
Address Nomura House, 1 St Martin’s Le-Grand, London EC1A 4NP, United Kingdom
Media: Alex Timmon

Continued Progress And Growth For The Co-operative Group

Financial and operational highlights

* Strong performance across the Group, driven by continued investment
* Balance sheet strong and cash position well managed
* Somerfield and Britannia integration processes on track and progressing well
* Root-and-branch overhaul of the business continues with ongoing investment in the brand and transformation of the entire estate
* Food business delivers strong result in tough market conditions

o Sales up 11.5% to £3.9bn
o Underlying trading profit up 12.6% to £169.7m
o Total like-for-like sales down 1%, impacted by disruption of Somerfield integration
o Like-for-like food sales in rebranded and refitted stores up 2.5%
o 2,500 food stores converted to new brand including over 50% of Somerfield stores
o Fairtrade made available to millions more shoppers at Somerfield as part of the range integration programme
o 1 billion less carrier bags given away in stores over past three years

* Financial services business produces strong result

o CFS Operating profit up 34% to £109.3m (£81.4m)
o CFS total deposits up by £1.4bn
o New general insurance policies up 32%
o Like-for-like mortgage applications up 31%
o Total impairments down 41%
o Customer funding ratio strengthened further to 110%
o Core products aligned across Co-operative and Britannia channels

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Saxo Bank Announces Half Year Results

Saxo Bank has announced its half year results, with the trading specialist reporting pre-tax profits of DKK 729 million and a net profit of DKK 551 million. The results for the first half of 2010 also revealed the company’s operating income reached DKK 1,992 million and an EBITDA of DKK 881 million. The solvency ratio for Saxo Bank Group was 19.2% (18.9%).

The results achieved in the first six months of 2010 are rooted in increased market activity as well as decisions and actions taken since shortly before the onset of the financial crisis in the autumn of 2008. Since then The Bank has:
– increased efficiency through IT investments, work process rationalisation, outsourcing and business focus;
– reduced its headcount by approximately 40% from the peak level in September 2008
– completed 10 acquisitions, all of which have lived up to expectations
– launched significant new products within FX, Equities and Commodities
– expanded the business to include asset management
– increased its geographical footprint with new offices in nine countries
– increased its deposits and funds under management significantly
– established IT development centres in India and Ukraine in addition to its Danish IT centre.

During the first six months of 2010, Saxo Bank saw positive developments in key drivers such as the number of clients, number of trades and trading volumes.

The Bank’s clients’ collateral deposits increased by approximately DKK 11 billion to DKK 26.6 billion including clients’ collateral deposits from the Nordic activities of E*Trade, which Saxo Bank acquired in April 2010. Saxo Asset Management, Saxo Bank’s legally segregated asset management division increased its assets under management from DKK 21 billion to 28.8 billion including DKK 4.2 billion from Saxo Bank A/S during the first six months of 2010.

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Saxo Bank Joins SunGard As Co-Title Sponsor In 2011

It has been announced that Saxobank, the trading and investment specialist, is to become a co-title sponsor with SunGard, one of the world’s leading software and technology services companies.

Following the announcement during the Tour de France that SunGard had agreed to become co-title sponsor for the next two years, Bjarne Riis, owner and manager of Riis Cycling A/S, revealed at a press conference in Copenhagen that Saxo Bank will be the other co-title sponsor in 2011. The Team will be called “Saxo Bank-SunGard Professional Cycling Team”.

Bjarne Riis said: “I am very happy to announce Saxo Bank and SunGard as future partners. With these two companies committed to the team, we have a solid financial foundation for the future. Saxo Bank and SunGard have ensured that the Team can continue its essential role within the world of cycling and will be able to maintain competing at the highest level. With Saxo Bank and SunGard as two strong backers, our future looks very bright. I am grateful for their commitment and I am confident that this will be mutually beneficial to all involved.”

Based on the prospects presented by the Team for 2011, Saxo Bank has taken a strategic decision to sponsor the Team for one more year. Saxo Bank has sponsored the Team since 2008 but took over as main title sponsor on 1 January 2009. According to the Bank, the sponsorship has already achieved great branding results and increased Saxo Bank’s name recognition around the world. Saxo Bank’s decision to continue the sponsorship for yet another year is based on a genuine wish to support the Team but also a commercial decision to further build on the advantages that Saxo Bank believes is extended through this additional commitment to the Team. The new, unnamed sponsor, announced during the Tour de France, was willing to step aside in order for the Team’s new plans to materialize.

In a joint statement, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, Co-CEOs and co-founders of Saxo Bank, said: “Bjarne Riis has delivered excellent results over the past couple of years and has an impressive plan for 2011.We believe it’s important to recognize an unprecedented opportunity when you see one and therefore, we have decided to continue our sponsorship for one more year. In Saxo Bank, we always aim for the top and we believe Bjarne Riis and his Team can reach that goal next year. While our past collaboration with Bjarne Riis has been fantastic, we also know and trust the new co-title sponsor, SunGard, and that has made this strategic decision an even easier one to make.”

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Saxo Bank Re-Launches ForexTrading.com

Saxo Bank, the specialist in online trading and investment, has re-launched its website www.ForexTrading.com to provide a simple entry point to anyone looking to become a forex trader and to be a useful resource for foreign exchange traders, or others, interested in the trading of currencies.

The redesigned ForexTrading.com website will focus on providing visitors with all the information necessary for traders like topical forex market information, news and analysis from Saxo Bank and third parties, and on forex education using Saxo Bank’s TradeMentor program and comprehensive financial glossary. The ever-popular free forex charting widget will also remain on the website too.

“ForexTrading.com is already a successful domain, attracting large numbers of new and returning visitors. The new version of ForexTrading.com augments the popular forex trading information and analysis of the old site with much more content from Saxo Bank and third parties,” said Hugh Taggart, head of research & analysis tools at Saxo Bank.”

“Visitors to ForexTrading.com are often there just to learn how to trade forex or to see the latest forex quotes, news and analysis. This version of the website answers those needs concisely and provides a link to opening a trial or live account with Saxo Bank,” he added.

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Saxo Bank Celebrates Success Of Its Sponsorship During Tour De France

With Andy Schleck as team leader, the Saxo Bank team won four stages, the youth competition and finished in second place overall. Saxo Bank remained front and centre as the cycling drama unfolded, from Fabian Cancellara’s time trial win in the Rotterdam prologue and Andy Schleck’s seventeenth stage victory in the Pyrenees Mountains to the finale on Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

Bringing Saxo Bank fans together to support the team during this year’s Tour de France was an important goal for Saxo Bank in its third season as sponsor of the team. The online bank organised on-site events that let fans and clients experience the race closer than ever before. In Rotterdam, Bruxelles, Avoriaz and Paris, hundreds of guests were given a chance to watch the race as VIPs, meet the riders for autographs and photos and see the mechanics working on the bikes.

Saxo Bank also provided exclusive online coverage on its website, Saxobanktakingthelead.com, including incredible behind-the-scenes looks at Team Saxo Bank’s tactics, training and, of course, the bikes. In addition to the website, Saxo Bank knit the community of cycling enthusiasts and Saxo Bank fans together with real-time race updates and the latest Tour de France developments directly on their computer or mobile phones via Twitter and other social media activities.

Saxo Bank’s Tour de France facts and figures:

– Searches for the Saxo Bank brand on Google doubled over the course of the Tour. – The saxobanktakingthelead.com website had an increase of 459.79% growth in absolute Unique Visitors during the Tour.
– The Saxobank Twitter feed received a record 4,678 followers.

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Saxo Bank Launches New Suite Of Free Forex Widgets

Saxo Bank, the specialist in online trading and investment, is launching a new Forex Content Sharing Program, with a suite of freshly-designed Forex widgets that bring real-time FX prices, charts and commentary, to any website or blog.

Saxo Bank Launches New Suite Of Free Forex Widgets

Forex Trading widgets are ‘mini web pages’ which add live, continually updating FX content to a website. Seven customisable web widgets, including a Forex Quote List, Currency Converter, Forex Ticker, real-time Forex Chart, Economic Calendar, Price Alert and Market Call videos, are now available to webmasters and bloggers who register as Content Sharing Partners. Each widget is based on Flash components, making it simple to add them to any platform, including Facebook, WordPress and Blogger.

“Widgets are becoming increasingly popular as internet tools. Ours allow users to add live Forex content to any website, whether it’s a financial site, an FX trading blog or a travel site offering its customers real-time currency conversions,” said Adrian Coxon, Saxo Bank’s head of Online Marketing.”With our Content Sharing Program, Saxo Bank is making it easier than ever for a variety of websites to add Forex information that will be relevant and useful to their visitors.”

“All of our widgets have been re-designed for today’s blogs and websites,” Coxon added, “And we’re particularly excited to be adding streaming video with Market Call, which delivers video updates from Saxo Bank’s renowned Forex analysts directly to our Partner’s websites.”

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Saxo Bank Launches Forex Education Programme On Facebook

Saxo Bank has announced the addition of a Forex Trading Education tab to its Saxo Forex fan page on Facebook, allowing traders of all experience levels to enhance their Forex trading knowledge and gain new insights into the psychology of trading.

Facebook has over 400 million users worldwide, and a growing number of companies are moving to the platform to educate and communicate with customers. The Saxo Forex Facebook page has seen a rapid growth in number of ‘fans’, Facebook’s term for users who show interest in the company and automatically receive all updates of the page. Since its launch in February the page has attracted over 5,500 fans, a large percentage of whom read new posts and follow discussions on a daily basis. The page enables users to participate in Forex trading discussions and stay informed of upcoming events, such as seminars.

Many Facebook users with little trading background discovered the page as well, and asked for ways to improve their Forex Trading knowledge. Saxo Bank formulated an education application that is useful for traders of all experience levels. The programme consists of beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert sections. The application will soon be recieving an update, giving visitors the opportunity to test their knowledge beforehand in order to help them decide at which level to start learning. The update will also give users the option to post their progress in the education section on their wall, which will be visible to this person’s contacts.

Educating clients has always been one of Saxo Bank’s strengths. TradeMentor, its existing education programme, offers online and offline course materials on both Forex Trading and CFD Trading and the company aims to reach a broader audience with the Facebook application, giving users the opportunity to discuss the topics with other traders.

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LV= Announces Improvements To Its Protection Range

LV= has announced that it has improved its term rates for higher sums assured, re-priced its FPP Term Assurance, Family Income Benefit and Gift Inter Vivos products, as well as cut prices on its accident and sickness cover under its Mortgage & Lifestyle Protection product.

The changes to the term rates for higher sums assured, typically between £150,000 and £300,000, come soon after LV= re-priced its critical illness cover, meaning LV= is now leading the way on price for many term assurance contracts.

Mark Jones, head of protection at LV=, said: “These improvements will help us offer customers a combination of great experience, proven ability and competitive prices. We make no bones of the fact we are keen to expand our customer base for term assurance, especially at the higher sums assured end of the market.”

LV= has also improved all of its accident and sickness rates for lower risk occupations under its award winning Mortgage & Lifestyle protection product.

Mark Jones concluded: “The re-pricing of our accident and sickness rates within our Mortgage & Lifestyle Protection product for lower risk occupations is a clear demonstration of our strategy for marrying competitive pricing with market leading product innovation. We are very pleased to be able to reduce all of these premiums, as this further enhances an already top class proposition for mortgage advisers.”

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Littman Berg Reports First Quarter 2010 Results

LittmanBerg today reported its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, which ended on April 7, 2010. Revenues for the quarter were $721 million, compared with $ 724 million recorded during the first quarter of 2009. Operating income was $95.6 million in 2010, compared with the $97.1 million reported in the year-ago period.

Littman Berg Reports First Quarter 2010 Results

LittmanBerg’s net income increased to $17.6 million compared with the $14.5 million reported last year, primarily due to a tax benefit recorded in the quarter.

Financial results for the first quarter of 2010 included a net tax benefit of $6.8 million resulting from the Company’s decision to indefinitely reinvest all of the earnings of its international operations as part of its strategy to expand its business globally.

Commenting on the Company’s financial results, Martin Kobayashi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Revenues and operating income declined in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 as compared to 2009, but we remain on track to meet our financial guidance for 2010LittamnBerg’s performance during the first quarter and our outlook for the full year reflect the continued strength of the commodity sector and our success in positioning LittmanBerg in some of the fastest growing segments of these markets. While capital spending in the power and industrial and commercial sectors remains low, we continue to see signs of recovery in these markets, including increased project planning work by our clients, which should drive increased opportunities for our business. Our expectations for the year are supported by our continued success in winning new assignments, particularly in the commodity market which is reflected in our strong book of business.”

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Saxo Bank Launches New Video Channel For Forex And Equity Programmes

Saxo Bank, the specialist in online trading and investment, is launching a new one-stop video site for its market commentary, interviews and educational programmes.

Saxo Bank Launches New Video Channel For Forex And Equity Programmes

The Bank produces many hours of financial news and analysis from its own state-of-the-art studio at its head office in Copenhagen, Denmark. The studio is in daily use by Saxo Bank’s team of analysts providing comments to international and local TV stations such as CNBC and Bloomberg.

Videos for Saxo Bank’s websites have been hosted by Saxo Bank using third-party servers and are shown on several websites within Saxo Bank and sharing sites such as YouTube. The new video site uses a web-TV platform from 23Video, a Danish web start-up.

“Video is becoming increasingly important as a way of reaching investors with commentary on the markets and educational programmes for traders that are new to online markets,” said Dinis Guarda, Global Head of SEO and Social Media Strategy at Saxo.

“We have been running a weekly Forex and equities update since May last year and have produced around 250 trading strategy videos featuring interviews with Saxo Bank’s analysts for the www.tradingfloor.com website,” he added.

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LV = Recruiting For Over 300 Staff

LV=, insurance and investment group, has announced it is currently recruiting for over 300 jobs. The jobs being recruited for will be based in locations around the UK including in Bournemouth, London, Huddersfield, Hitchin and Bristol.

LV = Recruiting For Over 300 Staff

LV= offers a wide range of financial products and services including life insurance, protection, home insurance, investments, car insurance, pensions and retirement solutions, pet insurance, travel insurance and commercial general insurance products.

Many of the roles will be based in the company’s general insurance division and include positions in sales, customer services, claims and technical management. Other roles currently on offer are within various head office functions including marketing, ecommerce, finance and human resources.

The company has undergone a transformation since 2007 when a new board led by CEO Mike Rogers, was appointed. As well as a new brand image, the company has opened new offices around the UK and made a number of corporate acquisitions including Highway Insurance and the former GE Life business ‘Tomorrow’.

David Smith, HR director of LV=, said: “LV= is going through a period of significant growth so it’s a very exciting time to join us. Our general insurance operation is a particular hotspot for growth and we are looking for people both with experience in this field but also for individuals who are looking to move into this sector from other careers. When many other financial companies are making cut-backs we are actually expanding so this not only means that there is the opportunity to join us but also lots of great career prospects.”

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LV= Announces Income Protection Enhancements

LV=, protection and retirement specialist, has announced that it has made enhancements to its income protection policy, resulting in another coveted Defaqto 5 Star Rating.

LV=’s income protection policy (which forms part of the protection menu, the Flexible Protection Plan) now includes Guaranteed Increase Options, which means policyholders can increase their cover without any medical or financial underwriting if they:
– Increase their mortgage
– Get married or register a civil partnership
– Have or adopt a child
– Have an increase in basic salary as a result of promotion, changing employer or gaining qualifications.

The policy now also includes Back to Work Support, meaning LV= may provide financial support and advice to help policyholders return to work with confidence.

Plus, LV= has added a Career Break Option where policyholders will be covered (for up to a maximum of £1,500 a month) if they decide to take a break from work. If they then return to the same job within 24 months they’ll be able to go back to their original amount of cover and premium without the need for any medical questions (provided they haven’t made a claim during this period).

Mark Jones, LV= head of protection, said: “These new enhancements further improve our already strong income protection proposition, and will help advisers offer greater flexibility and support to their clients.

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LV= Finds Dodgy DIY Improvements Damage House Values

New research by home insurer LV= has revealed that in the last few years as many as 4.05m homeowners have undertaken electrical jobs without professional help, 3.3m have attempted plumbing work and 1.35m have carried out structural work such as removing walls. 900,000 have undertaken major building works, such as loft conversions, and 450,000 have tackled potentially dangerous gas repairs.

According to the LV= survey, many homeowners admitted undertaking these works in an attempt to improve the resale value of their homes. However, the effects of doing these jobs badly can reduce the sale price of a property by more than 5% in some cases.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: “With house prices falling or stagnating in some parts of the UK, it’s understandable that many homeowners should try to bump up the value of their properties through DIY home improvements.

“But although nine out of ten people in our survey (88%) recognised that jobs like gas work should only be left to the professionals, nearly 0.5m Brits are still prepared to give it a go. Not only could bungling these jobs be dangerous, and costly to put right, but if they caused a serious problem with the property it could invalidate the home insurance cover.”

The LV= report surveyed both homeowners and estate agents, and reveals a myriad of conflicting opinions when it comes to the impact of DIY improvements. 21% of home owners believe that redecorating adds the most value to a house, followed by kitchen refurbishment (14%), garden work (12%), and bathroom replacement (6%).

Meanwhile 69% of estate agents believe decorating will make no difference at all to the asking price of a property. 64% responded that garden landscaping won’t add value; whilst 22% said even a new kitchen won’t improve the price. Estate agents also believe that the sale price of a property could decrease by more than 5% in some cases, if ‘improvement’ work was done poorly.

Despite popular opinion, estate agents say that some of the most costly jobs are likely to have only a minimal impact on the asking price of a home. Those agents who believe that improvement work usually or always adds value reported that a new kitchen, if done well, can add around 2.5% to the price, while a good new bathroom or garden landscaping can each add 2.2%.

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LV= Reveals That Today’s Kids Have Less Freedom Than Previous Generation

According to new research from LV= Streetwise, a charity which educates children about safety, today’s parents don’t allow their kids the same liberties as they enjoyed when they were growing up.

24% of children aged 15 and under said they aren’t allowed to sleep over at a friend’s house, 60% are forbidden to use public transport on their own, and 43% can’t visit their closest park without a parent by their side. In contrast, just 4% of adults were banned from sleeping-over, 2% were forbidden to use public transport or go out on their own in familiar surroundings, like their local town or park.

The restriction on children’s outside activities appears to be a direct result of parents’ growing fears and anxieties. 65% of mums and 63% of dads believe the world is more dangerous now than it was when they were growing up. ‘Stranger danger’ is the biggest worry for 54% of parents, followed by bullying (47%), mugging (47%) and road danger (34%).

On average, children today can look forward to walking to school on their own by the age of 11, use public transport on their own at 12, and babysit their brother or sister by the time they’re 14, compared with the respective 9, 11 and 12 years of age of their parents generation. However many parents know they’re being tougher on their children with 36% feeling uneasy that their kids don’t get the same opportunities as they did to experience freedom as a youngster.

The new research findings mark the launch of the unique LV= Streetwise safety roadshow, which helps to educate children about safety in the home and outdoors using a converted ‘bendy bus’ featuring a life-size kitchen, lounge, and road and rail hazard simulators. The roadshow will be travelling round county fairs and other outdoor events across the UK this summer.

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OnlineFX Announce Relaunch Of Website

OnlineFX has announced the launch of its website which has recently been completely rebuilt and relaunched, offering customers even greater ease of use and more enhanced security features. The new site now features on a dot com domain which appeals to a wider market including the USA.

The OnlineFX website offers a convenient, secure and cost effective way to transfer money to bank accounts across 70 countries worldwide. The website now offers unique services to make ordering travel money even easier. Money transfers are carried out using the same systems as major banks, and OnlineFX dealers are committed to obtaining advantageous exchange rates for all transfers.

To celebrate the launch of the new site, OnlineFX, which was the first company to offer currency delivery online, is running special promotional offers including free international money transfers for all new customers and a free international money transfer for all existing customers who refer a friend.

The company has also just announced an exclusive new free same day travel moneydelivery service to all customers in Central London. This unique same day delivery service guarantees customers’ travel money will be delivered before 6.30pm if ordered for anywhere within the Zone 1 area of London. Orders for this new faster service must be between £3000 and £7000 – OnlineFX is the only UK company to offer this service.

OnlineFX has also introduced a more secure online Buyback Service, allowing customers wishing to sell leftover foreign currency to receive a buyback exchange rate upon receipt of foreign currency notes which is based on the very latest buy back rates.

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LV=’s Annual Results For 2009 Shows Strong Growth Despite A Difficult Year

The latest figures show that LV= achieved a rise in its underlying profit across the year from £41.9m to £44.2m (2008: £2.3m) and a loss in 2006, with the general insurance business making a profit of £7.0m (2008: loss of £30.1m), meaning it went into profit one year ahead of plan.

LV='s Annual Results For 2009 Shows Strong Growth Despite A Difficult Year

Mike Rogers, LV= Group Chief Executive, said: “Despite another difficult year of continued recession and market turbulence, the turnaround of the LV= business continues according to plan. Our core mission of helping our members and customers to look after what they love has enabled us to do more business with more customers.”

LV= customer satisfaction results for 2009 increased to 96% overall compared with 2008 and the number of customers and members grew by 12% to over 3.8m (2008: 3.4m). LV=’s financial strength demonstrated across the year enabled significant holdings in long term growth assets (around 74% of the fund at the year end), should also benefit members’ returns in the longer term.

Additionally LV= policyholders with a £50 a month 25 year savings endowment with-profits policy maturing on 1 March 2010 were at least 39% better-off than equivalent policyholders with four major proprietary companies. In fact the with-profits fund investment achieved a return of 15.4%, 2% above benchmark.

Mike observed, “Our strong investment performance underpins solid returns for our with-profits policyholders, ahead of most of the market, and we also remain strongly capitalised. In 2010, trading has begun strongly, with sales in the first quarter significantly up on the same period last year.

“A strong growth in underlying profit reflects our efforts in re-shaping the business and improving our organisational fitness. Improved awareness of the LV= brand, thanks to our distinctive marketing campaigns, has helped to support a strong sales performance across our life & pensions and general insurance businesses.”

2009 also provided LV with widespread industry award recognition for product quality across life & pensions, general insurance and asset management. These include a Moneywise ‘Most Trusted’ award for home insurance, several Which? recommendations and Defaqto 5 Star awards, plus a Best Lifetime Mortgage Lender award from What Mortgage?

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UK Pre-Election Budget – More Political Than Economic?

The 2010 budget has been met with minimal reaction and is very much regarded as a pre-election buffer budget designed not to rock the boat and consequently lose votes. The last budget before the general election has come and gone – a budget, which it must be said, has generally left businesses with more questions than answers.

UK Pre-Election Budget – More Political Than Economic?

The overarching aim seems to be to increase borrowing, provide small businesses the best possible platform to maintain business and reduce anti-social behaviour through alcohol/tobacco tax increases.

Unsurprisingly, the budget – as they tend to be just prior to an election – contained a great deal of political rhetoric and not a great deal of financial detail.

As a result, businesses are left wondering how exactly the government – should it be re-elected – will tackle the UK’s massive deficit. Businesses are left wanting greater clarity on what public sector spending cuts are to come.

A strong indication of stability was required from the budget, so businesses can make decisions without worrying whether the rules are going to change. Businesses would also have been looking for signs of fiscal competitiveness for the UK.

Industry commentator Alex Miller shares his views on how this budget will affect your UK businesses.

For more information on finance recruitment and jobs offered by Reed Specialist Recruitment, please visit their website reedglobal.com.

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