Economy

US Kmart hit by data breach; SMEs to earn 50% of revenues internationally in five years: Midday Roundup

Cara Waters /

Sears Holdings has revealed it was the victim of a cyberattack that likely resulted in the theft of some customer payment cards at its Kmart-branded stores in the United States.

It is the latest in a series of computer security breaches to hit major US companies and deals a fresh blow to the struggling retailer.

Fairfax reports the US Secret Service is investigating the breach, which occurred in September and compromised the systems of Kmart, which has about 1200 stores across the United States.

Sears Holdings and Kmart in the US is not affiliated with Kmart Australia, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wesfarmers.

SMEs to earn 50% of revenues internationally in five years time

SMEs expect to earn up to 50% of revenues internationally in five years’ time according to a report published last week by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The report surveyed 480 SMEs across 12 countries.

Of those surveyed 40% currently earn zero revenue from international operations, but a clear majority (72%) expect to derive between 11% and 50% of their revenues internationally in five years’ time.

Obstacles to international growth include unreliable infrastructure, prohibitive set-up costs, unstable politics and the inaccessibility of local business networks.

China is ranked as the most desirable developing market, while a clear majority of SMEs see little to no growth potential in Africa.

ASIC restrains Monarch FX Group

ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia to stop Monarch FX Group and its former director and general manager, Quinten Hunter, from carrying on a financial services business.

The Federal Court of Australia made interim orders last week restraining Monarch FX and Hunter from doing various things, including carrying on a financial service business, until 4.00 pm on 21 November 2014.

Monarch FX provides foreign exchange signals to consumers who purchase memberships with the company.

The signals are automatically executed on members’ trading accounts.

Shares down on open

The local sharemarket has had a slow start to the morning, after investors were still sell-off stocks at Friday’s close.

According to CMC Markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner, by the end of trading on Friday, the ASX200 was down 8.7% from its peak in late August.

“With selling momentum clearly the order of the day, investors are trying to decide if the conditions are right for a major downward move in world stock markets,” Spooner said.

“There have been some changes in recent weeks. The prospect of higher US interest rates has begun to crystalise, the outlook for the European and Chinese economies has softened further, commodity prices are under pressure and geopolitical risks remain elevated.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 31.5 points to 5156.8 points at 11.48am AEST. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 115.15 points lower, down 0.69% to 16544.1 points.

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Cara Waters

Cara Waters is the former editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter at the Financial Times website FT Adviser in London and she also worked for The Sunday Times in London.

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