Risk & Economy » 5 things FDs need to know this week

1. FCA scrutinising ICOs

The Financial Conduct Authority has announced it is keeping an eye on initial coin offerings that are used to sell digital tokens to investors in exchange for virtual currency, like Bitcoin.

There has been a rise in ICOs as the price rise of digital tokens has stoked investor interest.

The FCA wants rules that protect investors to also apply to some ICOs and it is expected that they will publish more analysis on the subject later this year.


2. Topshop in receivership in NZ

The retail giant’s New Zealand business has been placed in receivership, just months after its Australian arm did the same.

The label has been hit by an increase in digital sales from competitors, while high prices and unpopular merchandise have pulled sales figures down.

The two stores,one in Wellington and one in Auckland, will remain open until a decision is made over their ownership.

The New Zealand and Australian branches had been operating as franchises.


3. Equifax hit by massive data breach

The American company that provides consumer credit scores, announced that as many as 143 million US customer details were accessed by hackers.

The breach is said to have taken place between May and July this year and could be one of the biggest data breaches to take place in the US.

In a statement the company released, they said: “Criminals exploited a US website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.”

The statement also goes on to say: “The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers”

UK customers may also have been affected, with the statement going on to say: “Equifax also identified unauthorize4d access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents.”


4. BlackRock Inc and CalPERS in private equity outsource talks

The US’s largest pension fund is in talks with BlackRock about managing some or all of its private equity business, according to Reuters.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is in preliminary talks thatmay not result in a deal, according to a Reuters source, as CalPERS looks to improve returns on their investments.


5. Volvo to acquire start-up Luxe

Car valet and concierge start-up, Luxe, will be acquired by Vovlvo, who will absorb its platform, technology, key staff and other assets.

The terms of acquisition have not been disclosed but according to Pitchbook, Luxe was previously valued around at least $140 million.

As part of the acquisition, Luxe’s CEO and co-founder Curtis Lee will become VP of digital for Volvo Cars.