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Look East and pray China pulls through

Will US President Barack Obama’s massive economic rescue plan lift the world out of the slump? While the UK slides into the unknown with a programme of quantitative easing, the smart eyes are not looking to the West but the East.

FOS to name and shame

The Financial Ombudsman Service says it will publish business-specific complaint data every six months, starting from September 2009.

FSA publishes consultation paper on remuneration

The Financial Services Authority has published a consultation paper which consults on whether to incorporate its Code of practice on remuneration into the handbook and its application to large banks and broker dealers.

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.