• Uber doubles food delivery business as rides demand drops Link https://t.co/BsVY6hGvYU
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 20:44

    Uber posted a $1.8bn net loss between April and June, which includes charges related to the laying off of 23 per cent of its workforce worldwide.

    After coronavirus started to make a real impact on the US, the firm moved to lay off a number of staff. It also offloaded its Jump electric bike business to bike-sharing competitor Lime.

    Despite taking drastic cost-cutting measures, Uber announcced to buy Postmates, an on-demand delivery service, for $2.65bn in stock.

    The technology firm reported an adjusted loss in Ebitda of $837m in the second quarter. Ride-hailing trips, which have in the past accounted for nearly two-thirds of Uber’s revenue, increased five per cent from their low in April. However gross bookings remain down 75 per cent from last year to $10.2bn.

    Revenue at Uber Eats doubled to $1.2bn, helped by a greater demand for delivery as customers continued to stay at home. While gross bookings more than doubled, it recorded a $232 adjusted Ebitda...

  • Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas added to UK's quarantine list Link https://t.co/V6N9rfSdve
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 19:29
    The country with the highest number of deaths attributed to coronavirus compared to its population is Belgium with 85 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Tory MPs in China Research Group targeted by phishing attacks Link https://t.co/QMeX5cQrle
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 17:09

    Tugendhat said that while he could not prove Beijing was behind the attacks, researchers had been able to identify the campaign came from internet addresses in mainland China.

    “That doesn’t mean it’s the Chinese state doing it… but it does seem rather unlikely that this is not in some way connected to the state,” he said.

    Fellow Tory MP Neil O’Brien, who co-founded the China Research Group alongside Tugendhat, told City A.M. he has also been targeted by phishing attacks. 

    O’Brien said that he had referred the attacks to the relevant parliamentary authorities, but that they had not been able to identify the source of the phishing attempts.

    He added that attempted hacks on his email had managed to “get through parliamentary anti-phishing filters”.

  • Ride-hailing firms Gett and Ola sign corporate partnership Link https://t.co/KIcVY3Dk68
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 17:09

    Ola said that its new corporate service would enable users to save up to 25 per cent on travel expenses compared to other operators.

    At the end of last year, Gett announced a similar partnership with Lyft in order to expand its reach in the US.

    Chief executive Dave Waiser said: “We are delighted to be announcing this strategic partnership with Ola.

    Read more: Ride-hailing giant Gett chases $60m raise ahead of stock market debut

    “We continue in our mission to organise the world’s best mobility providers in one platform, optimising the entire experience, from booking and riding, to invoicing and analytics, so businesses can focus on what they do best.”

    Ola’s UK managing director Marc Rozendal said: “Partnering with Gett and its leading offering for corporates opens a large market for Ola’s platform as travel begins to resume in London, allowing us to further scale by meeting the clear demand from corporate users for consumer ride-hailing.

  • People must have the confidence to return to work, says PM Link https://t.co/8rbaMG7V3d
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 17:09

    “Unquestionably it will require people to have the confidence to go back to work in a Covid-secure way,” he said.

    Just over one-third of UK white-collar employees have returned to work since the lockdown. That compares to almost three-quarters of staff in Europe, according to analysis from Morgan Stanley.

    The PM changed lockdown measures this week to encourage employees to head back to the office. He also scrapped the guidance to avoid public transport unless absolutely necessary, paving the way for commuters to return to work.

    A number of London firms have started to return to work, albeit in small numbers. Social distancing measures prevent a mass return but a number of employees have returned on a voluntary basis.

    Lloyds and HSBC have indicated a return in September, while Barclays boss Jes Staley said he would like to see staff return “over time”.

  • Starling predicts 2021 profitability despite deepened losses Link https://t.co/3VHPaSm2WG
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 17:09

    Starling Bank has said it expects to break even by the end of this year and be profitable in 2021, despite more than doubling its losses in 2019.

    Chief executive Anne Boden told reporters the digital bank had benefited from participating in government schemes to provide business loans during the pandemic, gaining new loans on its balance sheet without having to consider large impairments from previous lending.

    This was despite starting 2020 in a rockier position, ending November 2019 at a £53.6m loss before tax compared to £26.9m a year earlier.

  • Petropavlovsk set for crunch vote after months of boardroom strife Link https://t.co/UuiDnzPSky
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 15:49

    Both sides have alleged foul play, referring each other to the Takeover Panel amid allegations that each is trying to seize control of the firm.

    The former has proposed reinstating Mavlovskiy and four other directors, while the latter, which has denied claims it is working with fellow investor UGC, is seeking to add two directors to the existing board.

    With one group of investors controlling nearly 40 per cent of stock, it could be a nervous wait for shareholders.

    Here’s a rundown of the events of the last six months.

    10 February – Petropavlovsk announces gold miner UGC, which is owned by Russian billionaire Konstantin Strukov, has become its largest shareholder, taking a 22 per cent stake in the company.

  • Brussels set to make face masks compulsory in public places Link
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 15:09

    According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EDDC), over the last 14 days the number of cases per 100,000 in Belgium has risen to 49.6.

    This is one of the highest rates in Europe, behind only Luxembourg (194.2), Romania (83.0) and Spain (78.0).

    Read more: Government wasted £150m on unusable face masks bought from banker

    In total, there have been over 71,000 confirmed infections in Belgium, with 9,852 people having died from the virus so far.

    Due to the the size of Belgium’s population, that means that the country has one of the highest per capita death rates from the disease in the world.

  • London hospitality firms call for free face masks at Tube stations Link https://t.co/6MzWWcsbNK
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 15:04

    Central London businesses have struggled to reach double-digit like-for-like revenues due to a sharp drop off in the number of tourists and office workers.

    Meanwhile outer London and other areas of the UK have seen sales soar. 

    Brewdog, which has echoed calls for a stimulus package for London, is trading at 26 per cent of last year’s sales in central London. Meanwhile, it has reached 66 per cent of 2019 levels in the rest of England.

    The bar chain called for a government-led “aggressive, targeted programme of stimulus, support and activity”.

    Initiatives mooted by UK Hospitality include a coordinated schedule of activities throughout August, centred around the Bank Holiday weekend and VJ Day. 

  • Fortnite creator Epic Games raises $1.78bn Link https://t.co/rQTKIuOStp
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 14:59

    Epic Games, the firm behind the popular online multiplayer game Fortnite, said today it has raised $1.78bn in its latest funding round, taking its valuation to $17.3bn.

    The latest funding round includes the $250m investment made by electronics giant Sony last month for a reported 1.4 per cent stake in the company.

    Other new investors in the round included funds managed by Blackrock, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity and and SpaceX backer Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. 

  • England's coronavirus spread slowed as lockdown eased Link https://t.co/vDg2RkxbhV
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 14:59

    “As the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in England transitioned out of its initial lockdown phase, prevalence of swab-positivity continued to decrease,” the so called Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission study found.

    Last week the Prime Minister postponed the easing of further restrictions following a spike in cases. Boris Johnson hit the brakes on opening up “at risk” settings, which include sports venues, casinos, leisure centres and weddings.

    “We should now squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control,” said Johnson last week. “I’m really sorry about that but we simply cannot take the risk.”

    The government also reimposed lockdown measures in the north of England, specifically in the regions of Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire following a rise in infection numbers.

    The Imperial College Study also found that risk of infection was higher in London than in other areas of England. Earlier this week the...

  • Property industry reacts to planning system overhaul Link https://t.co/WrGViRpOwn
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 14:59

    Every area will have a local plan in place, up from just 50 per cent of local areas that currently have a plan to build more homes.

    The existing Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy will be replaced with a new Infrastructure Levy. The new levy will be a fixed proportion of the value of the development, above a set threshold, to help deliver more affordable housing. 

    Under the new plans, land will be designated as either for growth, for renewal or for protection. 

    In “renewal” areas, councils will look more favourably on new developments, and new homes, hospitals and schools will be given the green light automatically in “growth” areas. 

    The government also confirmed that its First Homes ownership scheme will prove a 30 per cent discount to first-time buyers, key workers and local people. 

  • What does steak have in common with trading? Find out in our blog @ItsTradeNation #steak #trading #Sponsored Link
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 14:29
  • Meggitt shares sink over reports firm mulling equity raise Link https://t.co/iO9GcqFxWO
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 14:09

    The group added that it had liquidity of £856m and access to additional cash through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Finance Facility (CCFF).

    Meggitt has already announced that it will cut 1,800 jobs this year as part of a major cost-cutting programme necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The cuts, which represent 15 per cent of the engineer’s workforce, are part of a number of measures to be implemented in order to reduce expenditure by £400-£450m this year.

    Read more: British Airways owner IAG seeks €2.75bn raise after €3.8bn loss

    In recent weeks, a number of firms in the aviation sector have announced equity raises in a bid to firm up their finances as the disease continues to batter to industry.

    Last week it was reported that engine maker Rolls-Royce was mulling a $1.5bn raise, while earlier in June airlines group IAG said it was looking to raise $2.75bn. 

  • Edward Bramson resumes activist campaign against Barclays Link https://t.co/nf1WYCPaJd
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 13:04

    In April Bramson called a temporary truce in his battle with Barclays boss Jes Staley due to the pandemic. It withheld its vote for Staley’s reappointment at the bank’s shareholder meeting the following month.

    But this week the activist investor has called again for Barclays to cut its trading division to boost profitability.

    Barclays recorded a 106 per cent annual rise in fixed income trading in the first quarter and a 60 per cent rise in the second quarter. Trading in equities and fixed income has proved popular in recent months, as clients adjust their portfolios amid market volatility.

    In a letter seen by the Financial Times, Bramson said: “In the real world, investors continually show that they just do not care very much about the trading business… If Barclays sincerely intends to prioritise shareholder value, this is something that, like [Deutsche] it will need to understand.”

    Prior to the pandemic, the activist investor said chief executive Staley...

  • Pompeo pushes to ban Tiktok, Wechat and other ‘untrusted’ Chinese apps Link https://t.co/TqDOQaneou
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 13:04

    Pompeo said apps said apps linked to the Chinese government “threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation”.

    Bytedance-owned Tiktok and other Chinese apps have been accused by US officials of harvesting user data and sharing it with Beijing for state spying. Tiktok denies the claims.

    Pompeo said yesterday: “With parent companies based in China, apps like Tiktok, Wechat and others are significant threats to personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for Chinese Communist Party [CCP] content censorship.”

    “The United States calls on our allies and partners in government and industry around the world to join the growing tide to secure our data from the CCP’s surveillance state and other malign entities. Building a ‘clean fortress’ around our citizens’ data will ensure all of our nations’ security.”

    Tiktok faces a deadline of 15 September to either sell its US operations to Microsoft or face an outright...

  • US jobless claims beat expectations and drop to 1.2m Link
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 12:39

    Slightly less than 1.2m Americans made new jobless claims last week, a better-than-expected figure that will fuel hopes that the US economy’s recovery will not be derailed by coronavirus cases.

    Initial jobless claims came in at 1.19m last week, down from 1.44m a year earlier. It was much better than the 1.42m figures economists were expecting.

    Claims peaked at a record 6.87m in late March. They dropped off in June but have remained stubbornly high in recent weeks.

    More to follow.

  • BoE governor: Some parts of economy no longer 'viable' Link https://t.co/bP98eYaCPN
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 12:34

    Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has warned that “some parts of the economy” will not be “viable” after the coronavirus pandemic.

    The governor said: “It’s reasonable to think there will be what I might call structural change in the economy coming out of the Covid experience.”

    Bailey was speaking after the Bank kept interest rates on hold at 0.1 per cent, a record low. 

  • Wirecard business partner reported dead in Philippines amid investigation Link https://t.co/l8wIUwKivR
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 12:09

    Philippines Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra today said his office was trying to secure a certificate for the death of Bauer, which he said had been recorded in a civil registry in Manila last month.

    Filipino authorities last month said they were investigating Bauer and his wife Belinda Bauer in a wide-scale probe into Wirecard and its affiliated businesses.

    Wirecard filed for insolvency in June after auditors discovered that €1.9bn of stated profits reportedly held in in the Philippines were “missing”.

    Bauer and his wife were the owners of Payeasy Solutions, a Philippines-based payments processor that was a key business partner for Wirecard.

    Payeasy Solutions accounted for €291.4m of the German fintech’s reported revenue of €2bn in 2018 and more than a fifth of its operating profit. 

  • Central London hospitality firms call for urgent support Link https://t.co/TgYA74xA7h
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 12:04

    Central London businesses have struggled to reach double-digit like-for-like revenues due to a sharp drop off in the number of tourists and office workers.

    Meanwhile outer London and other areas of the UK have seen sales soar. 

    Brewdog, which has echoed calls for a stimulus package for London, is trading at 26 per cent of last year’s sales in central London. Meanwhile, it has reached 66 per cent of 2019 levels in the rest of England.

    The bar chain called for a government-led “aggressive, targeted programme of stimulus, support and activity”.

    Initiatives set out by UK Hospitality included a co-ordinated schedule of activities throughout August, centred around the Bank Holiday weekend and VJ Day. 

  • Government wasted £150m on unusable face masks bought from banker Link https://t.co/WkkmjZW8f3
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 11:39

    The contract included 50m high-strength FFP2 medical masks costing an estimated £150m to £180m, as well as 150m cheaper IIR masks, the Times first reported.

    Of these, the 44m Chinese-made masks delivered so far do not meet NHS safety standards because they have elastic ear loops instead of straps that tie around the back of the head, according to legal papers seen by City A.M.

    Moreover, none of the cheaper IIR masks supplied by Ayanda have been released for use by the NHS.

    London-based Ayanda Capital specialises in “currency trading, offshore property, private equity and trade financing” and has no history of PPE procurement or government contracts.

    The £252m deal was brokered by Andrew Mills, an adviser to Ayanda’s board, who is also an adviser to Liz Truss and the Department for International Trade.

  • Uber snaps up UK taxi tech firm Autocab Link https://t.co/zc1oOP4ccv
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 11:39

    Uber has acquired taxi tech firm Autocab, in a move that will allow it to operate in areas it has yet to launch in.

    The Stockport-based company sells booking and dispatch software to private hire firms, and will allow Uber to link people who open its app in locations where it does not run with other providers.

    Uber said the taxi technology will be launched in the UK at first, before expanding the service to other countries. Autocab currently has operations in 20 countries.

  • Economists question BoE’s ‘optimistic’ forecast Link https://t.co/MvV2IjFGLi
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 11:29

    The Bank said the UK economy was likely to shrink by 9.5 per cent this year. It predicted it would grow nine per cent in 2021. In May, it said GDP could shrink by 14 per cent this year and grow by 15 per cent in 2021.

    The Bank unanimously left interest rates on hold at their record low levels. It also added negative interest rates to its ‘toolbox’ of possible measures for the first time.

    Here’s what economists made of the Bank’s pronouncements.

  • Ryanair increases services to 60 per cent of pre-Covid levels in August Link https://t.co/UAm3KptnQS
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 11:04
  • City firms eye September return, but with much lower levels of staff Link https://t.co/3Z0Rf0izOY
    City A.M. Thu 06 Aug 2020 10:59

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson had hoped that droves of people would return to offices up and down the country at the start of this week in what some had dubbed “back to work Monday”.

    But footfall data and surveys of London businesses suggest firms have adopted a more cautious approach since the government ended work from home guidance at the start of August.

    Three-quarters of London firms have already welcomed staff back to the office, albeit in small numbers, a study has found.

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