• US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates Link https://t.co/eSRWDHtvbc
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 18:16

    The US Federal Reserve has cut interest rates for the second meeting in a row, in a move which was largely expected by economists.

    The central bank lowered its main federal funds target rate by 25 basis points (0.25 percentage points) to between 1.75 and two per cent, slashing the cost of borrowing in the world’s largest economy.

    Officials left the door open for a third rate cut in 2019, having last cut rates earlier this summer. However, three policymakers dissented from the decision, with two pushing to leave rates unchanged and one wanting a deeper rate cut of 50 basis points.

    In its statement, the Fed said it had cut rates “in light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures”.

  • Major US law firm launches first office in ‘exciting and remarkable’ London Link https://t.co/q3RMuoDYie
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 17:16

    Petersen, who joined from the London office of US firm K&L Gates, said the firm’s aim was to “develop a seamless link between New York and London.

    “They have been growing New York as well and that was a big attraction for us, we want the finance group to have the same deep bench on both sides of the pond.”

    Petersen said the firm took Brexit into account when planning to open its office, but said: “Notwithstanding Brexit this is still a really exciting and remarkable city to do business in.”

    Petersen has been joined by fellow K&L Gates finance partner James Spencer and competition and payments partner James Ashe-Taylor who joins from US firm Constantine Cannon.

    Read more: US law firms struggling to displace UK elite in FTSE boardrooms

    The office will be led by Alston & Bird payments partner, Rich Willis, who also leads the firm’s Brussels base.

    The firm’s hometown, Atlanta, is a US payments powerhouse, responsible for processing...

  • Aircraft numbers 'to double in next two decades' Link https://t.co/rCFSBf53OF
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 16:30

    The world will have twice as many passenger jets in 2038 as are currently in the skies, Airbus forecast today, as the plane maker raised concerns over a potentially damaging tariff war between the EU and the US.

    The European plane maker has hiked its forecasts for jet plane demand to 47,680 aircraft by 2038, led by growth in Asia. There are currently 23,000 jets globally.

    Read more: Airbus warns Europe to gear up for a no-deal Brexit

    This will include more than 39,000 new planes to be delivered to airlines and leasing companies over the next two decades. The figures included both passenger and freight planes, but was mostly comprised of the former.

  • Cenkos founder leaves board as stockbroker grapples with activist investor Link https://t.co/EUQ43CHMWC
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 16:05

    Chief executive Jim Durkin said the company had had a “weak first half”.

    The London-listed stockbroker said the changes to the board would leave Cenkos with a majority of non-executive directors, bringing it “into line with current regulatory and good corporate governance practices”.

    “The Board is enormously grateful to both Paul and Joe for the significant contribution they have each made to the development and success of Cenkos,” said acting chairman Jeff Hewitt.

    Crystal Amber, an activist fund which is Cenkos’ fifth biggest shareholder, has been putting pressure on the shareholder to overhaul its leadership.

    Read more: UBS becomes first broker to upgrade Deutsche Bank after overhaul

    The head of Crystal Amber had criticised Cenkos’ board as “totally indecisive” in a letter to Hewitt in June.

    Cenkos’ shares closed up 8.99 per cent on Wednesday at 48.5p.

  • Uber rival Bolt sees surge in London demand Link https://t.co/XbTWdT6QpE
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 16:05

    “When you have one company controlling the whole market that leads to bad treatment of drivers and poor customer experience, as well as bad pricing,” Villig said.

    While Uber’s temporary London licence is due to expire next week, the 25-year-old has spent more than a year working to meet Transport for London’s (TfL) strict requirements.

    He has learned his lesson since TfL pulled Taxify’s licence after three days in 2017 after the startup simply bought a firm with an operating licence instead of applying for its own.

    Villig said his company is focusing on doing things the right way now, and, with Bolt now onboarding 1,000 drivers per month and growing the number of rides 20 per cent each week, he feels this approach is paying off.

    “This time the licensing process was very lengthy and we took the time to make sure we passed the audits with the highest grades from TfL,” he said. “It’s been a massive undertaking for the company this past year. But the first...

  • Fed injects over $100bn after key borrowing rate hits all-time high Link https://t.co/MaddFJnB8Y
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:50

    Pressure on a crucial US money market has eased after the Federal Reserve injected $75bn (£60bn) following a spike in short-term borrowing rates to record highs.

    Read more: Donald Trump demands ‘boneheads’ at Fed slash rates to zero

    Borrowing costs in the repurchasing – or repo – market soared to as high as 10 per cent on Tuesday morning, pushing the US’s main interest rate to above the Fed’s target level of two to 2.25 per cent.

    In the repo market, institutions lend to each other overnight using US government bonds as collateral. It is vital to the working of the global financial system, helping banks to fund their daily operations. Its failure was a key part of the 2008 financial crisis.

  • UK energy suppliers could go bust after Saudi attacks say experts Link https://t.co/sHNp154vC1
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:20

    Energy suppliers often buy gas and electricity from the wholesale market in advance – so-called hedging – to avoid any shocks. However some do not hedge.

    “Suppliers who continue to sell fixed prices without fixed wholesale costs will again be placed at risk of failure,” Ian Barker, the managing partner at Bfy Consulting, told City A.M.

    Meanwhile the deadline to pay into Ofgem’s fund to finance renewable generation passed last month. All suppliers that do not source enough of their energy from renewable sources are forced to pay into the fund. They can defer payment to 31 October.

    Last year the so-called renewable obligation was a good bellwether for struggling companies. In November Ofgem said that Economy Energy and Spark Energy had not met their obligations under the scheme. Both later went bust.

    They were among around a dozen small suppliers to go out of business in less than two years.

    “When you add in the impending deadline for renewable...

  • Politicians and campaigners call for scrapping of live facial recognition surveillance Link https://t.co/5OizD7sel2
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:20

    Former Brexit secretary David Davis, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, and Green MP Caroline Lucas are among the other politicians to put their names to the letter. Technology and human rights organisations including Amnesty International and the Ada Lovelace Institute also signed.

    The letter says the signatories “hold differing views about live facial recognition surveillance”, but are united in their call for the technology to be abandoned.

    Davis said police use of facial recognition “is potentially a serious invasion of individual privacy and civil liberties”, adding: “We need a proper legal framework fit for these emerging technologies to balance policing effectiveness and privacy.”

    “There must be an immediate halt to the use of these systems to give Parliament the chance to debate it properly and establish proper rules for the police to follow,” Davis said.

    Read more: King’s Cross ditches facial recognition technology after watchdog savaged...

  • Jim Ratcliffe names £600m Ineos car after a pub Link https://t.co/ed6HkVfD0z
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:05

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe has revealed the name of his upcoming 4×4 car will be the Grenadier, after the west London pub it was dreamt up in, and hopes to create 500 jobs in south Wales where it will be manufactured.

    Ratcliffe’s chemicals firm Ineos will build the car on a new site in Bridgend, where Ford announced it was cutting 1,700 car manufacturing jobs earlier this year. The project will cost about £600m, and will see production begin in 2021.

    Read more: Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos ‘nearing deal’ to build car in Bridgend

    The model, which was first announced in 2017, was conceived in the Grenadier pub in Knightsbridge. 

  • Former Wework cleaners take to the streets to protest dismissals Link https://t.co/Z1eGG7BKHA
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:05

    The Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union (CAIWU), which organised the protest, said that five staff employed by subcontractor CCM to clean Wework offices across London had been dismissed without proper processes being followed. The union said one cleaner had subsequently been reinstated.

    Bruce Coker, a CAIWU staff member, told City A.M. there had been “a failure of process in many of the dismissals.”

    “No allegations were upheld or proper evidence produced,” he said.

    Coker said that, as is common in outsourcing arrangements, the contract between CCM and Wework allows Wework to demand the removal of any individual from their sites.

    Although this does not constitute a dismissal, it is then the responsibility of the subcontractor to provide suitable alternative employment. Coker said this often does not happen, calling the system “a way of dismissing workers by the back door.”

    “If there’s somebody you want to get rid of, you can do it by use...

  • Angry father confronts Boris Johnson in awkward hospital exchange Link
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 15:05

    Boris Johnson was confronted by an angry father during a hospital visit today, telling him “the NHS has been destroyed”.

    The Prime Minister was on a walk-about of Whipps Cross maternity ward, in East London, when the man approached him to complain about lack of resources at the hospital.

    “There are not enough people on this ward, there are not enough doctors, there are not enough nurses,” he said. “The NHS has been destroyed and now you come here for a press opportunity.”

    When Johnson attempted to argue there were “no press here”, the man gestured to the cameras that recorded the exchange, saying: “What do you mean there are no press here? Who are these people? “

  • MPs urge clarity over appointment timetable for Bank of England governor Link https://t.co/rIEkDabS6D
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:55

    An influential group of MPs has demanded a timetable from the chancellor for the appointment of the next Bank of England governor.

    Following reports that the successor to Mark Carney is not likely to be decided by the current autumn deadline, the Treasury committee has today written to Sajid Javid asking him to confirm whether he will stick to the current timetable.

    Read more: Why the Bank of England will buck the trend?

    The highly-anticipated appointment of a new Bank of England governor could be delayed until after a general election, according to reports in the FT earlier this week.

  • Chris Robshaw interview: England or South Africa will win World Cup Link https://t.co/LgeyZDy4YY
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:55

    Despite his omission and belief that he could have contributed, he is convinced that Eddie Jones’s side have what it takes to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy on 2 November.

    “I think they’re going to do very well, they’re in a very good position,” Robshaw tells City A.M. at Mastercard’s “Contactless Tackle” event in central London.

    “It will be between them and South Africa. Of course New Zealand are always going to be there or thereabouts, but England are looking good.”

    They go into Sunday’s World Cup opener against Tonga buoyed by a successful summer in which they beat Wales, Ireland and Italy at home.

  • Short-term let adverts banned from Tube following outcry Link https://t.co/xutxsGVuD5
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:40

    TfL’s updated guidelines now read: “Advertising on the TfL network must not, expressly or by implication, promote the use of residential properties in London for short term ‘holiday lettings’ in a way that contravenes planning laws (i.e. granting “short term lettings” for more than 90 days a year without planning permission).”

    It said adverts may be banned if they included reference to unlimited holiday lets, ambiguity about the type of letting or for suggesting that landlords could see increased returns from non-standard lettings.

    Khan today tweeted:

  • Sirius boss buys shares after project put on review Link https://t.co/HQXJLAzipD
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:20

    The $5bn project, which promised to bring around 1,200 jobs to Yorkshire, is hanging in the balance, even as MPs called on the government to step in.

    Shares closed down 53 per cent yesterday, and the company’s misery was compounded by a nearly nine per cent drop today.

    However analysts today said that Sirius may be able to save itself if it can find a partner to take over some of the riskier parts of the business.

    “We remain firm believes in the project,” said Richard Knights, an analyst at Liberum. But his analysis had a sting in the tail as he slashed his target price for Sirius shares to 9p from 40p previously.

    “Re-presenting the same plan, even to an improved bond market where B rated bonds were being issued, isn’t going to be a palatable risk,” he said.

    The shaft of the mine is the most risk-intensive part of the project, Knights said. Bringing in a third party or a strategic investor to finance it could allow the company to go back to the...

  • Pressure on Netanyahu as Israel’s voters split (again) Link https://t.co/b3QW8TU4bp
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:10

    Israel is left without a clear winner from its second election in five months, with Benjamin Netanyahu neck and neck with his rival.

    With just over 60 per cent of votes counted, Netanyahu appears to have won 31 seats, while his opponent Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party garnered 32 seats, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

    A prime minister needs to command a 61-seat majority in the Knesset (parliament).

    The results suggest that both sides will struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller parties. Currently results place an alliance of Arab parties third, the ultra-Orthodox Shas party fourth and Yisrael Beiteinu, a nationalist party, in fifth place. 

  • BA pilots call off strike on 27 September Link https://t.co/g2lH5US9yc
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:05

    British Airways pilots have called off a strike at the end of this month, warning more action could do “irreparable damage” to the airline’s brand.

    BA pilots who are members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) threatened to strike on 27 September in a row over pay and working conditions. They had walked out earlier in the month, forcing BA to cancel nearly all of its flights.

    Read more: British Airways cancels more flights as strikes bite

    Balpa said it was “time for a period of reflection before the dispute escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand”.

  • Why the Bank of England will buck the trend and hold interest rates Link https://t.co/27BRdkBYVi
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:05

    With the clouds of political uncertainty hanging over the UK economy, they said, Britain’s central bank should keep its main interest rate on hold at 0.75 per cent until the picture clears up.

  • BREAKING: Balpa cancel 27 September British Airways strike Link
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:05

    British Airways pilots have called off a strike at the end of this month, warning more action could do “irreparable damage” to the airline’s brand.

    BA pilots who are members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) threatened to strike on 27 September in a row over pay and working conditions. They had walked out earlier in the month, forcing BA to cancel nearly all of its flights.

    Read more: British Airways cancels more flights as strikes bite

    Balpa said it was “time for a period of reflection before the dispute escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand”.

  • UK must adapt to #AI and automation, say MPs Link
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:00

    MPs have warned that British businesses could lose out to foreign competitors if the country fails to quickly adopt new technologies such as automation, and have called on the government to take action.

    Read more: Robot rollout: Number of businesses using automation doubles in 2019

    Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said the government should launch a robot and artificial intelligence (AI) strategy by the end of 2020 and introduce a new tax incentive to encourage investment in new technology.

    In a report on automation and the future of work, the committee said the UK’s slow pace in moving to automation – the UK ranks 22nd worldwide in number of robots per person – “has allowed other countries to steal a march” in what they call a new “industrial revolution”.

  • Sports Direct notifies business department as it continues auditor hunt Link https://t.co/FfcvRpTUxu
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:55

    Shareholder advisory group Pirc last week said that according to the Companies Act an auditor must be appointed by the end of the meeting where the accounts are laid.

    It said that if this did not happen, the business secretary may appoint one, and a company must let them know within a week if that power needs to be exercised.

    However, Sports Direct said today that this does not apply as it is running a tender process to appoint a new auditor.

    A spokesperson said: “Sports Direct is currently in a tender process for a new auditor, as noted at the annual general meeting on 11 September 2019. The company will announce the appointment in due course, following the successful conclusion of that process. 

    Read more: Sports Direct trying to ‘drive Debenhams into administration’

    “Any formal procedures, particularly in relation to the Companies Act, are being adhered to and Sports Direct can confirm it has written to the Department of BEIS under the...

  • President Trump names Bolton replacement Link https://t.co/Gg7t9asXUb
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:55

    Donald Trump has named Robert O’Brien, the country’s chief hostage negotiator, as his new national security adviser.

    O’Brien replaces John Bolton, who the US President sacked last week after the pair fell out over Iran and other tactics.

    Trump announced the news by tweet, telling his followers: “I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!”

  • President Trump names new national security adviser Link
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:50

    Donald Trump has named Robert O’Brien, the country’s chief hostage negotiator, as his new national security adviser.

    O’Brien replaces John Bolton, who the US President sacked last week after the pair fell out over Iran and other tactics.

    Trump announced the news by tweet, telling his followers: “I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!”

  • Apple accuses EU of misunderstanding its business in €13bn court case Link https://t.co/FSkFl1ncfJ
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:40

    Apple lawyer Daniel Beard argued today that the company’s Irish operations were not as crucial to its business as suggested by the Commission’s case.

    “Yes, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said there were decisions taken in Ireland, but not strategic decisions,” Reuters quoted Beard as saying. Beard was referring to testimony given by Cook to a US Senate hearing in 2013, which forms a key part of the Commission’s case.

    Addressing the court, Paul-John Loewenthal, a lawyer for the Commission, rejected criticism that EU executives had declined an offer to visit Apple’s facilities in Cork.

    Loewenthal said such a visit was not necessary. “What would a site visit accomplish?,” he asked.

    Read more: How Apple will fight its Irish tax bill

    The case is a key test for European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has spearheaded a drive to cut down on sweetheart tax deals been given to multinational companies.

    Vestager had cited the 0.005 per...

  • Lloyd's of London calls sexual misconduct claims 'sobering' Link
    City A.M. Wed 18 Sep 2019 13:30

    Top bosses at Lloyd’s of London have expressed deep regret over a swathe of sexual misconduct allegations that have blighted the historic insurance market’s reputation.

    The chairman and chief executive of Lloyd’s both said this morning that revelations of sexual harassment and assault against women at the firm had been devastating.

    Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown told City A.M. that reports in Bloomberg on misconduct at the 330-year old specialist marketplace were “sobering”.

    Read more: Lloyd’s of London ramps up modernisation drive

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