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Monday's Business and Politics round-up

17 Jun 2019

Person reading the news on their smartphone on a train

Good morning!

An unprecedented power failure in South America over the weekend left 48 million people without electricity. 

Argentina and Uruguay were nearly entirely without power, with Paraguay and some parts of Chile also affected. 

The Argentinian government has said the blackout was caused by a failure in the transmission of electricity from a hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River, although the reason for the breakdown is not clear. 

It is reported that half of the grid in Argentina is now up and running again, as well as several cities in Uruguay.  



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No-show BoJo

Five Tory leadership contenders took to a live debate on Channel 4 last night, discussing topics ranging from Brexit to education to social care. 
 
With a sixth podium left empty, the candidates criticised frontrunner Boris Johnson for not showing up. The former Foreign Secretary had defended his decision not to take part by saying debates with many guests "can be slightly cacophonous".
 
Some of the most heated exchanges occurred when former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said he would not rule out proroguing Parliament in order to push through Brexit. The other four candidates argued against this approach. 
 
Outside of Brexit, the candidates explained their priorities. Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab chose education and young people, while Jeremy Hunt and Rory Stewart selected adult and social care. 
 
Coverage today suggests there was no clear winner in the debate last night although several outlets report Stewart garnered the most applause from the studio audience. An analysis in the Times rates the performances of Gove and Stewart at equal best, while the Guardian says Stewart and Hunt had ‘good nights’. 
 
The candidates will participate in two further ballots until the field is whittled down to just two hopefuls. The final pair will be put to a vote among Conservative party members on 22 June, with the result revealed four weeks later. 
 
A second live TV debate will be hosted by the BBC tomorrow evening. 

Give green a chance 

Investors think that environmental concerns will be more important than financial factors for investment decisions in the next five years, according to UBS Asset Management. It comes amid fears that a climate crisis could trigger a market downturn. 
 
A survey by the bank has found that a combined $19 trillion (£17 trillion) chose the environment as their top priority when it comes to making investment decisions, ahead of financial analysis and geopolitical considerations. 
 
The survey also showed that over 80% believe their investments will be at risk if they ignore environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. 
 
Michael Baldinger, UBS Asset Management’s head of sustainable and impact investing, said bigger clients are increasingly concerned with sustainable investing and that these considerations are now a “must-have”. 
 
Bloomberg points out that nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents are not signatories to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment charter and therefore ESG concerns are more prominent across the asset management industry than it would appear. 


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