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Between the lines Week 13 - April 2022

Date: 01 April 2022

Tech names lead Europe's fastest growing companies

Swappie, the Finland-based trader of refurbished smartphones, has topped an annual list of the 1,000 European companies with the highest percentage growth in revenues. The list showcases companies sufficiently resilient to survive a pandemic-induced collapse in demand, Brexit trade frictions and a long-running global supply-chain squeeze.

Countries with lowest levels of internet freedom

BoJ offers to buy unlimited bonds

On Monday (28 Mar) the Bank of Japan (BoJ) took action to defend its 0.25% bond yield cap by offering to buy an unlimited amount of 10-year Japanese government bonds (JGBs) for the first four days of this week.

Under the BoJ’s yield curve control plan, it aims to keep the yield on 10-year JGB yield around 0% in an attempt to stimulate the economy by keeping borrowing costs low. It currently allows it to move around the 0% target providing it doesn’t exceed the 0.25% upper limit.

However, pressure from a steady rise in bond yields meant the BoJ on Monday made two offers in a single day to purchase 10-year JGB in unlimited amounts at 0.25% to keep the cap intact.

The central bank then said it would make the same unlimited offer for the next three days, highlighting its resolve to keep rates ultra low.

But the move caused the yen to decline sharply against the dollar; it fell to its lowest level in six and a half years, before rebounding.

HP targets Poly for the hybrid-work trend

Tech giant HP is to acquire Poly, the audio and video products supplier, in a deal worth $3.3bn as it looks to capitalise on the growth of hybrid-work environments.

HP’s share price fell slightly in early trading on the news of the $40 per share deal, even though it claimed the acquisition would accelerate its strategy to create a more growth-oriented portfolio and position it for long-term sustainable growth and value creation.

Enrique Lores, the president and CEO of HP, said the rise of the hybrid office “creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done.” He added that combining the strengths of HP and Poly would create a leading portfolio of hybrid-work solutions across large and growing markets.

It is expected the deal will help drive the growth and scale of HP’s peripherals and workforce solutions businesses.

Peripherals represent a $110bn segment growing 9% annually, while HP’s workforce solutions represent a $120bn segment that is growing 8% annually.

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Between the lines week 13

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