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News Brexit - Press releases

Monday's Business and Politics round-up

11 Nov 2019

Person reading the news on their smartphone on a train

Good morning,

Today, of course, marks the anniversary of the end of the First World War.

In the annual ceremony of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London yesterday, political party leaders, members of the Royal Family, and thousands of veterans came together to commemorate lives lost in conflict. For the first time, wreaths were laid specifically in honour of Gurkha regiments and of those who worked in the intelligence services.

As such, the event provided respite from and perhaps some perspective on the ongoing election campaign, which continues to dominate the news agenda. 


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Steel going strong?

British Steel has secured a £70m rescue deal, according to a BBC report.

The firm, which employs 4,000 people, is expected to reveal that the Chinese Jingye Group has agreed in principle to buy it, with the Government providing an as yet unspecified degree of loan guarantees.

Gareth Stace, from UK Steel, said that Jingye 'are in for the longer term and therefore it isn't about keeping this site going for a year or two or a couple of years. To me, what I understand about the company, it's about looking to the future, so we're not going to be back in here in three years, five years, in 10 years' time.'

Meanwhile, statistics from the ONS being published today are expected to confirm that the UK steered clear of a recession this year.

While Q2 saw the economy contract by 0.2 per cent, some predict that growth for July to September will have been around 0.4 per cent.

Hey, big spenders 

Business leaders have raised concern at political parties' propensity for profligate pledges in the General Election campaign so far.

Sir Michael Rake, former BT chair, suggested promises entailing significant spending were being chucked around 'like confetti for political reasons', while Cawston Press chair William Kendall said, 'One is nervous about governments just hosing cash at things.'

The IoD's Chief Economist, Tej Parikh, commented that 'Many business leaders will appreciate the case for an injection of investment in the economy at this moment. But this doesn’t mean fiscal prudence can go out the window altogether. It has to be sustainable.'

The disagreement over the Conservatives' £1.2tn costing of their rivals' spending pledges continues. The Guardian has their run-down of how accurate the figure is here.

Striking oil

The (partial) public float of the world's most profitable company got a step closer over the weekend, as Saudi Aramco published its prospectus.

The oil behemoth - which made a slick $111bn profit last year - released the 650-page document on Saturday, setting it up to offer 0.5 per cent of its shares on the Saudi Tadawul stock market.

The prospectus outlined potential risks to investors, which included political unrest, the US Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, and the potential that climate change concerns could lower demand for hydrocarbons. The final price for shares has not been confirmed, but could value the firm at over $1tn, and possibly as the world's biggest company.

In other markets news, Invesco's core funds have lost $1bn per week over the past year. The FT has a write-up here.


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Contact Press Office

Euan Holmes, Press Officer

020 7451 3280


Press office