In April this year, AstraZeneca became the biggest company in the FTSE 100 index by market capitalisation. Its taking of the capitalisation crown highlighted the huge changes the pandemic has wrought in financial markets, with one of the most notable being the ending of the long reigns of Royal Dutch Shell and HSBC.
ESG (Environmental Social Governance) investing has experienced notable momentum in recent months, with companies that boast good ESG characteristics now trading on sizeable premiums to the wider market.
When was the last time you paid for something in cash? If you're struggling to remember, you're certainly not alone. The UK has been one of the fastest adopters of digital payments, so it's no surprise that the shares of banknote printer De La Rue have fallen by more than 75% over the past two years.
The UK is considered to be one of the most cashless societies in the world, and it is easy to forget that other countries are far behind. Even the US, home of Big Tech, lags behind the UK in terms of contactless payments.
Everywhere you look there is evidence that people are becoming increasingly concerned with environmental welfare. Voluntarily using a plastic straw today would be typically frowned upon, and protests have forced many major corporations to ban supplying and stocking them. Vegetarians and vegans are soon expected to make up a quarter of the global population, with 2019 being coined the ‘year of the vegan’.