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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

Our roundup this week includes news of two major international deals involving Greece and Iran, while closer to home we report on strengthening retail sales in the UK in June, as well as efforts to reduce the nation's gender pay gap. 

 

Eurozone leaders agree Greece debt deal

Greece has been offered a third bailout deal following extensive talks among Eurozone leaders in Brussels. President of the European Council Donald Tusk explained that an agreement was reached on Monday after 17 hours of negotiations.

According to a statement from the European Union, Greece could be set to receive up to £61 billion of financing over the next three years. However, the deal is subject to a number of conditions, and Greece has been instructed to pass various reforms - including efforts to increase tax revenue and cut pensions - in order for the financing to be unlocked.

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister, said that although the deal is "difficult", his country has secured a growth package and averted financial strangulation and a collapse of the banking system. However, the deal has not been welcomed by everyone in Greece, with many within the country upset at the acceptance of such seemingly tough reforms.

 

Iran nuclear agreement 'finally reached' 

An agreement has been reached that will see limitations placed on Iran's nuclear programme, it has been reported. In news that will have a significant economic impact on Iran and across the world, Iran has agreed to scale back its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of various economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.

These sanctions have had serious repercussions regarding Iran's imports and oil exports, and so the new deal could lead to something of an economic boom in the country. Negotiations between Iran and the US, the UK, China, Russia, France and Germany have been ongoing for several years amid fears that the country could be looking to create a nuclear bomb.

However, Iran has always maintained that its nuclear activities have been conducted for peaceful purposes.

 

UK retail sales 'enjoyed growth in June'

June witnessed a marked increase in retail sales throughout the UK, new figures have shown. According to statistics from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), June was the strongest month for sales since January 2014, with the boost attributed to the fine weather seen across the four weeks.

The research revealed total spending in June was 2.9% up on the year, while sales on a like-for-like basis increased by 1.8%. Despite these encouraging signs, the BRC warned that the figures were helped by the weak numbers recorded for the same month a year earlier.

Helen Dickinson, Director General at BRC, commented: "We saw welcome signs of growing consumer confidence, with people more willing to 'trade-up' and spend a bit more on big-ticket purchases, likely boosted by the growth in the supply of credit and other factors such as low inflation and rising real incomes."

 

Large firms 'to disclose gender pay gap data'

Prime Minister David Cameron has set out plans to help eradicate disparities in pay between men and women in the UK. A consultation on the matter has begun, and it is hoped the move will lead to the gender pay gap being eliminated within a generation.

As part of the plans, large firms will be forced to release data about staff pay. It is anticipated that women's wages will be significantly improved as a result. The government also revealed it had now met its target - set in 2011 - of ensuring at least one-quarter of boardrooms in the UK's largest companies are comprised of women.