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Tuesday's Business and Politics round-up

29 Oct 2019

Person reading a daily news round up on their tablet


Good morning, 

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic made its stock market debut in New York yesterday, with the company’s shares rising by 9.5%, giving it market capitalisation of around $2.5bn. 

Branson also announced yesterday that the UK government has shortlisted five sites for the first Virgin Galactic spaceports in Britain. The company was founded in 2004 and aims to take passengers into space on sub-orbital rides. The experience, which will cost $250,000, will give passengers weightlessness experience and opportunity to witness the curve of the Earth. 

It's fair to say that going to space may soon prove to be easier than delivering Brexit. 

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All I want for Christmas is an election


Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a fresh bid for a December general election, after MPs rejected his initial plan to push it through yesterday. Johnson will publish a bill proposing an election on 12 December today which would need a majority to succeed, not two-third of votes which were required last night. 

This comes after Johnson officially accepted the EU’s offer for Brexit extension until 31 January. The Prime Minister has now committed to keep pushing for an election to break the current deadlock. 

In other Brexit news, the Government has paused the Get Ready for Brexit on 31 October ad campaign, which has reportedly cost £100m. The Government’s contingency plan for no deal Brexit, known as Operation Yellowhammer, has also been stood down according to reports. The National Audit Office said last week that the advertising campaign had “limited impact” because it was launched too close to the 31 October Brexit date. 

Don't bank on it 


HSBC is set to make thousands of redundancies and will reduce its business in Europe and the US after poor financial performance. The decision had been made by the newly appointed interim chief executive Noel Quinn, who pledged yesterday to “remodel the organisational structure” of the bank.

HSBC’s profit had fallen by 18% to $4.8bn in the three months to the end of September compared with last year, which led to shares dropping by almost 4%. The reported plan is to shift capital away from Europe and the US to Asia, where the bank’s operations are growing. 

The news comes after it was announced earlier that 4,700 jobs would be cut. Quinn has not commented on reports that further jobs could go. 

Breakfast at Tiffany's


LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods group, has put in a $14.5bn all-cash takeover bid to US jeweller Tiffany, it was revealed yesterday. Tiffany has confirmed that its board was “carefully reviewing the proposal”, adding that it was “not in discussions with LVMH”.

LVMH is led by chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault and owns luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Moët Hennessy. The deal would expand the group’s footprint in the US, which is its second-largest market by sales after Asia.

The news led to Tiffany’s shares increasing by almost 30% yesterday morning, the company’s highest level in 14 months.


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Contact Press Office

Euan Holmes, Press Officer

020 7451 3280

Press office