Published: 09 March 2021
The Governor of the Bank of England has said that the long-term damage to the economy from covid is not likely to be as bad as in past economic crises. "There are reasons to believe that so-called longer-term scarring damage to the economy will be more limited than in some past recessions," Andrew Bailey told an online event on Monday, adding: “If I had to summarise the diagnosis, it’s positive but with large doses of cautionary realism."
5,000 jobs at Liberty Steel, the UK’s third largest steelmaker, are at risk following a move by Credit Suisse to freeze withdrawals for up to £10bn worth of funds at specialist bank Greensill Capital, due to the bank's heavy exposure to Sanjeev Gupta's businesses in the UK. Greesnsill has subsequently fallen into administration. Credit Suisse acted because funding requirements for Gupta's GFG Alliance make up more than 50% of Greensill's lending volumes, according to a source cited by the BBC, who said the bank lends GFG $70m (£50.6m) per day. Liberty Steel is in large part made up of former Tata Steel assets that were sold to Gupta in 2017. Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng reportedly held an emergency meeting on Sunday with the firm to discuss contingency plans in case Greensill went under, though those options were not believed to include nationalisation.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) says tour operators, online travel companies and home-based workers are still not eligible for any government support despite not trading for almost a year. ABTA is calling on the government to make support available for all travel businesses that have been forced to shut due to the pandemic.
ITV says a "majority" of the programmes it makes are now back in production after coronavirus disruption knocked 2020 profits by almost 40%. The broadcaster reported a 16% decline in group revenue for its last financial year as advertising collapsed and its independent production arm ITV studios was forced to switch off cameras. ITV reported a 39% decline in pre-tax profits to £325m although £116m of cost savings helped cushion the blow to underlying earnings.
Just as it is about to list on the London Stock Exchange, Deliveroo has flagged a £223.7m underlying loss during 2020. The disappointing bottom line comes despite a 64% surge in demand for its online food delivery platform, worth an extra £4.1bn, during the COVID-19 crisis, and underlying gross profit almost doubling to £357.5m. The company declined to put a figure on the value it was likely to seek when the share sale takes place.
Bloomberg reports that Barclays Plc is planning to cut around 60 jobs at its corporate and investment bank as part of its cost-saving measures, including some senior roles in the US and elsewhere. A spokeswoman for Barclays declined to comment.
Sainsbury's has apologised to customers after running out of dog and cat food pouches due to a "national shortage". The supermarket giant said it was trying to resolve the issue but warned it would be "ongoing" in 2021 - although tinned and dry foods are unaffected. It is blaming higher than usual demand for pouches after more pets were bought during lockdown.
Morrisons says it will be the first supermarket chain to be completely supplied by net zero carbon British farms - setting a target of 2030. The UK's fourth largest supermarket chain by market share said it was to work with suppliers of its meat, fruit and vegetable products to create a net zero model, with the findings being shared across its network of farms.
Marks & Spencer has launched 46 websites in new markets, expanding its online reach to over 100 countries, Reuters reports. The group said the expansion into countries from Argentina and Brazil to South Korea and Pakistan was part of its strategy to accelerate its online business. When M&S published first-half results in November it reported a 75% increase in international e-commerce sales, underlining the shift in online spend throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oil prices continued to rise yesterday, jumping to $70 (£51) a barrel after one of Saudi Arabia’s key oil facilities came under a missile and drone attack from hostile forces in Yemen over the weekend. The storage tank targeted at Ras Tanura is the world’s largest crude terminal, capable of exporting roughly 6.5 million barrels a day, which represents nearly 7% of oil demand.
BP Plc has told office-based staff they will be expected to spend 40% of the time, on average two days a week, working from home after lockdown restrictions ease, as a cost-cutting measure. The new "hybrid" work model will affect 25,000 BP staff, with 6,000 in the UK.
BP plc is on track to close it’s loss-making Kwinana oil refinery in Western Australia by the end of March, the company said this morning. BP announced the plan to decommission the plant last October and turn it into a fuel import terminal.
Online payments’ company PayPal has agreed to buy Tel Aviv-based Curv, a crypto-security firm offering cloud-based infrastructure for digital asset security, for an undisclosed sum. Paypal said the acquisition will accelerate and expand its initiatives to support cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
American Airlines will issue $5bn in bonds and seek a $2.5bn term loan backed by its frequent flyer program to pay back a government loan and other debts. The airline mortgaged its frequent flyer program to help cope with the plunge in revenues in 2020.
Swiss biopharmaceutical company Adienne Pharma & Biotech SA has signed an agreement with the Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine at its production site in the Milan region. It is the first European production agreement for the Russian jab.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency company founded by billionaire entrepreneurs the Winklevoss twins, has been announced as the new sponsor of the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race.
Why Media is a reputable design, marketing, digital communications and PR agency offering tailored solutions to companies on a global scale. We have extensive experience in delivering design and marketing services to a spectrum of companies including professional services, property companies, financial institutions and shopping centres.