Stock market correction of 5%-10% ‘likely before year end’, Deutsche Bank survey finds – business live

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Shares in the Chinese technology company Alibaba have fallen sharply after reports said regulators wanted to break up Alipay, the payments app with more than 1 billion users owned by Jack Ma’s Ant Group.

Beijing is seeking to create a separate app for the company’s highly profitable loans businesses, in the latest crackdown on China’s technology sector by the state’s authorities.

Chinese regulators are reportedly concerned at the financial risk building in the economy; Alipay’s loans business helped issue about 10% of the country’s non-mortgage consumer loans last year.

Regulators have already ordered Ant Group to separate the back end of its two lending businesses, Huabei and Jiebei, from the rest of its financial offerings.

Beijing wants the two businesses to be split into a separate independent app, while also requiring Ant to share user data to a new credit-scoring joint venture that would be partly state-owned, according to the Financial Times. State-owned companies in Ant’s home province, including the Zhejiang Tourism Investment Group, would hold a majority stake in the new joint venture.

The news sent shares in Alibaba down as much as 6% in trading on Monday as the wider Hang Seng Tech index, which tracks China’s biggest tech groups listed in Hong Kong, fell more than 3% over investor concerns about the latest crackdown.

Markets Today (@marketstodays)

Shares price of #Alibaba falls 5.8% in Hong Kong after the report on #Alipay to separate the back end of its two lending businesses, Huabei and Jiebei.$BABA #HongKong

September 13, 2021

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The trade barriers that made the import of Marks & Spencer’s Percy Pig sweets one of the first casualties of Brexit has added an extra £600m in costs to British importers since January, it has emerged.

Customs duties paid by UK businesses shot up from £1.6bn in the first half last year to a record £2.2bn in the same period this year, according to an analysis of HMRC data.

Percy Pig sweets were among 2,000 food product lines that were hit by “rules of origin” regulations that came into force with the Brexit trade deal on 1 January.

In January M&S raised the prospect of Percy Pigs being subject to tariffs in Northern Ireland because of the rules of origin. Although manufactured in Germany, they were first brought to the UK before being re-exported to Ireland – a journey that would now be subject to import taxes because the tariff exemption in the trade fell away as soon as they were re exported.

The scale of the impact of these complicated rules on importers is only emerging now and gives the lie to the notion that a free trade deal is cost-free to business.

Since then thousands of businesses have found they have to pay taxes if the product they are importing under the trade and cooperation deal is not sufficiently manufactured in the EU.

Trade bodies are reporting that some companies find the rules so complicated that they end up just paying the customs duties for ease of trading….

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