Lockdown fears cause shares to fall sharply in travel, hotel and pubs

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 21st Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Leading shares across Europe have fallen sharply in morning trading amid fears that a renewed rise in coronavirus cases will blight economic prospects.

In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 share index was down more than 3%, with airlines, travel firms, hotel groups and pubs leading the rout.

Worst hit was British Airways owner IAG, which slumped more than 12%.

Similar falls were seen on markets in Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid.

Banking shares were affected by an extra set of concerns as allegations of money-laundering surfaced in leaked secret files.

HSBC, the bank at the centre of the scandal, saw its share price fall more than 5% in London, but the revelations dragged down the entire sector, with Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest all dropping about the same amount.

The downward trend affected all but a handful of stocks on the UK's 100-share index. Only online delivery service Just Eat, supermarkets Tesco and Morrisons and miner Fresnillo made it into positive territory.

The FTSE 250 index, seen as a better reflection of the health of the UK economy, was down 4% by lunchtime.

One of its biggest fallers was pub and restaurant owner Mitchells & Butlers, which dropped more than 15% as concerns grow that the hospitality industry would have most to lose from a fresh lockdown.

The pound also lost ground against the dollar, falling 0.47% to $1.2863 by lunchtime. It fell marginally against the euro to €1.0910.

Why does all this matter to me?

Many people are more affected by stock market falls than they might think.

There are millions of people with a pension – either private or through work – who will see their savings (in what is known as a defined contribution pension) invested by pension schemes. The value of their savings pot is influenced by the performance of these investments.

Pension savers mostly let experts choose where to invest this money to help it grow and a proportion will be in shares.

Widespread falls in share prices are likely to be bad news for these investments, although pension investors stress these are long-term investments and are designed to ride out bouts of weakness.

Analysis: By Theo Leggett

There has certainly been an element of European unity on the markets today, with the FTSE 100 index in London, the Cac 40 in Paris, the Dax in Frankfurt and the Ibex in Madrid all suffering similar falls.

The reason behind the gloom seems pretty clear. With the number of Covid-19 cases multiplying rapidly here and in many European countries, there's a real prospect of new restrictions on daily life. In some regions – such as Madrid, for example – they're already in place.

The fear is that although these measures are unlikely to be as severe as the lockdowns in spring, they will nonetheless weigh on economic activity and could stifle the post-lockdown recovery.

Shares are down across the board, but inevitably, the companies which rely on people being able to get out and about and mingle are among the worst affected.

Airlines, tourism firms and hospitality businesses have already had a dreadful year – and investors know they can ill afford further setbacks.

‘Bitter pill'

Coronavirus cases have been surging in many European countries, as governments strive to avoid another round of national lockdowns.

In the UK, top scientists are warning that the country is at a “critical point” in the pandemic and “heading in the wrong direction”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is understood to be considering a two-week mini-lockdown in England – being referred to as a “circuit-breaker” – in an effort to stem widespread growth of the virus.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ”The FTSE 100 is worst hit among its European peers with a storm of pessimistic news swirling, affecting sectors across the board.”

She added that concerns for the travel industry had had a “domino effect”, with aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce hit, as investors saw no end to the falling demand for new planes.

At the same time, the prospect of evening coronavirus curfews, after a summer of recovering sales, was “a bitter pill to swallow” for the hospitality industry,

If you add the prospect of a no-deal Brexit into the murky mix, there is little surprise so many investors seem to have caught a severe case of the jitters today.”

Oxford vaccine trial volunteer suffers suspected serious adverse reaction

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Wed, 9th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Researchers are investigating whether the unexplained illness is linked to the vaccine.

The Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial is facing a “challenge”, the health secretary has admitted, after it was put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in one of its volunteers.

Researchers have paused the trial while they investigate the reaction in one of the participants in the UK, it was announced on Tuesday night.

“As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee,” a spokesperson for AstraZeneca – the drugmaker working with Oxford University – said.

They explained it was a “routine action” and that it is speeding up the investigation to minimise any potential impact on the trial's timeline.

“We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials,” they added.Advertisement

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News' Kay Burley programme the pause is not necessarily cause for concern and that it has already overcome one such delay.

“It is obviously a challenge to this particular vaccine,” he says.

“It's not actually the first time it has happened to the Oxford vaccine and it's a standard process in clinical trials.”

Asked if it is a setback, Mr Hancock replied: “Not necessarily, it depends on what they find when they do the investigation.

“There was a pause earlier in the summer and that was resolved without a problem.”

The nature of the adverse reaction and when it happened are not currently known.

Clinical holds usually mean there is a pause in recruiting new participants and dosing current ones.

It is not uncommon for trials to be put on hold, but scientists are under pressure to develop a vaccine to help curb the pandemic.

Most serious adverse reactions that occur after vaccination are not related to the injection and are coincidental health problems, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

When a vaccine is given to a large number of people, it is likely that a few people will experience a medical problem around the time of vaccination – but this does not prove any cause and effect.

Even so, researchers will need to investigate if there is any link.

In July, early results from the trial showed the vaccine was safe and produced strong immune responses in volunteers.

No unexpected adverse reactions were recorded at the time, although more than half of 1,000 participants reported mild or moderate side effects including fever, headaches, muscle pain and soreness at the injection site.

Phase three trials of the Oxford vaccine had recently expanded to the US, recruiting up to 30,000 adults.

Trials were also underway in South Africa and Brazil.

Experts believe finding a vaccine is the only way for the world to return to normal in the future and there are currently nine vaccine candidates in larger phase three trials.

But it is not known how well a vaccine will work, and the top US infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci recently warned the chances of it being almost 100% effective are “not great”.

“We don't know yet what the efficacy might be. We don't know if it will be 50% or 60%. I'd like it to be 75% or more,” he said.

By Emily Mee

KFC halting its “Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan amid coronavirus

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue, 25th Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

Global fast food giant KFC says it is halting its “Finger Lickin' Good” slogan given the current hygiene advice because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We find ourselves in a unique situation – having an iconic slogan that doesn't quite fit in the current environment,” the company said.

It has altered its packaging with the phrase obscured but KFC said the phrase would return when the time was right.

KFC outlets closed temporarily in March, but most have now reopened.

The company revealed its new look through a YouTube video, showing the slogan pixelated on posters and its food “buckets”, saying: “That thing we always say? Ignore it. For now.”

Some people commented on social media the slogan was not a health hazard as you were already eating with your own hands.

But the finger-lickin' message has caused concern since the pandemic began. In March, the Advertising Standards Authority received 163 complaints about a KFC TV advert which featured people licking their fingers.

The complainants considered the advert was irresponsible because they thought it encouraged behaviour that might increase the chances of Covid-19 spreading. The advert was withdrawn by KFC.

KFC, which was founded in the 1930s by Harland Saunders, opened its first franchise in the 1950s and has used the Finger Lickin' Good slogan since then.

It dropped the slogan in the late 1990s but brought it back in 2008.

KFC has 22,500 outlets around the world – 900 in the UK and Ireland. It is owned by Yum! brands, which also owns Pizza Hut.

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Gymshark former delivery boy sportswear firm now worth over £1bn

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 14th Aug 2020) London, Uk – –

A 28-year-old former pizza delivery boy has done a deal which values his sportswear company at more than £1bn.

Ben Francis started Gymshark from his parents' garage in 2012 when he was 19 years old, studying by day and working for Pizza Hut by night.

Mr Francis told the BBC he is now worth a “frightening” amount though he declined to provide details of the deal.

But based on a £1bn value, Mr Francis' stake in Gymshark is worth £700m.

US private equity firm General Atlantic is taking a 21% share in the clothing business, which is based in Solihull. It will allow Gymshark to expand internationally, especially in the US, where it has most of its customers.

Mr Francis started the firm because he couldn't find sportswear that appealed to him.

Enlisting the help of his brother, and a group of friends, he bought a sewing machine and screen printer, and started to make gym vests and t-shirts.

Embracing social media

His brother and most of those friends are still a part of the business today, which has 499 staff and offices in the UK, Hong Kong and Denver, Colorado. It manufactures all over the world.

A large part of the sportswear firm's success is due to its significant social media following. It has 4.6 million followers on Instagram.

“We were one of the first businesses in the world to sponsor influencers,” Mr Francis said. “Equally, we were one of the first businesses to really double down and invest in social media.”

But the coronavirus crisis has also helped.

“Commercially, it's been quite good in the sense that people are shopping more online and people are running, cycling and doing home workouts more than ever before,” he said.

But he acknowledged that it has been hard on his staff.

He is yet to decide what he will do with his newly-realised wealth but he does think he's earned a short break.

“I will have this weekend off,” he said.

“I cannot remember the last time I was up any later than 05:30 or 06:00 so tomorrow morning, I will have a lie in, for one, and I will walk my dog and just chill out.”

However, he remains focused on worldwide expansion.

“This is my one true passion and the thing that I've truly dedicated my life to,” he said.

“So all of my mindset right now is about continuing to develop this brand into a truly, truly global phenomenon.”

By Philippa Goodrich and Dan Ascher

UK government close to giving backing to double virus tests which ‘could cut quarantine time’

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue, 28th July 2020) London, Uk – –

People entering the UK from at-risk countries who test negative for coronavirus twice within several days might be allowed to leave quarantine early.

The UK government is close to giving its backing to a trial, according to travel industry sources.

Under current rules, those arriving in the UK from certain countries must self-isolate for 14 days.

The Department for Transport (DfT) declined to comment.

Details of the new programme are said to be still being worked out, but one key area of debate is the number of days required between tests.

The government has indicated that it is keeping all quarantine measures under review.

It is said to be considering an eight-day stretch between tests, whereas figures within the travel sector are keen for a five-day period.

The number of days required between each test is critical in reducing the possibility of “false negative” results.

A false negative result is possible if someone who has recently contracted Covid-19 is not showing symptoms.

France is about to launch a compulsory two-test regime for people arriving from 16 at-risk countries, including the United States.

The BBC understands that there are two broad options being considered.

The first would involve someone having a first test several days before they travelled to the UK, with the second test happening the day before they arrive. However, this might mean that in some cases people would need to be tested abroad.

That option could mean that people would avoid quarantine altogether.

The second possibility is that people would be tested on arrival in the UK, possibly at the airport, and then be required to have a second test several days later.

In the period between the two tests, the person would have to self-isolate at home in line with government rules.

Another question mark remains over how the trial will be funded.

Travel consultant Paul Charles believes that airports will have to foot part of the bill.

“The onus is on UK airports to invest, as restaurants and bars have done, in the measures which enable the economy to get going,” he said.

Like other figures in the travel industry, Mr Charles is frustrated by the fact that the government has still not given its backing to testing as a way of people avoiding the travel quarantine.

“Substantial investment in testing is the only solution to enable safer travel, keep corridors open to other countries and remove the disruptive need for everyone to self-isolate for 14 days.”

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport, told BBC News “the jury was still out” on having one single coronavirus test on arrival.

“Not enough work has been done on that and it may be that we need another test after five or eight days to get people out of quarantine early.

“As the UK's hub airport, I want to work with the government on some of these things – to try to find a balance to keep people safe but also to get the economy moving again and save as many jobs as possible.”

The test that would be used is the same Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-type test used by the NHS, and can cost about £150 each time.

Any trial of the double-testing scheme would likely initially be focused on one or two specific routes.

The BBC has been told that any trial would not initially be focused on people arriving from European destinations.

The aviation sector has been in discussions with Public Health England about how the testing could work.

If the scheme goes ahead, it is not expected to be implemented for several weeks.

Collinson and Swissport are the two firms spearheading the work on the trials in the UK.

Collinson chief executive David Evans said of the potential roll-out: “I would hope that the government would move and flex on their policy – I think they've got to have an armoury of tools at their disposal to do this.

“As soon as they do that, we should get this rolled out in the next couple of weeks.”

By Tom BurridgeTransport correspondent, BBC News

New face covering mandatory rules come into force on Friday

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 23rd July, 2020) London, Uk – –

Banks, post offices and airports will also be subject to new rules, government confirms

Face coverings will be compulsory in takeaways, banks and post offices as well as shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres and stations in England from Friday, the government has announced.

Coverings, such as cloth masks or bandanas, must be worn when buying food and drink to take away, but if sitting down and consuming their purchase in the same premises, a customer can remove their face covering in order to eat and drink there.

While shoppers must wear face coverings, the rules say it will not be compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear them. The government only says “we strongly recommend that employers consider their use where appropriate”.

New government guidelines, details of which were published on Thursday afternoon, confirmed that coverings must be worn in shops, banks, building societies and post offices and “travel hubs” such as train stations and airports.

It will not be compulsory for customers to wear masks or similar coverings in hairdressers, gyms, dine-in restaurants and pubs or cinemas, concert halls or theatres.

Banks, post offices and other businesses will be able to ask people to remove face coverings for identification purposes.Advertisement

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said:“As we move into the next stage of easing restrictions for the public, it is vital we continue to shop safely so that we can make the most of our fantastic retail industry this summer.

“Everyone must play their part in fighting this virus by following this new guidance. I also want to thank the British public for all the sacrifices they are making to help keep this country safe.”

However, there was some criticism over the measures, with the hospitality industry querying the timing of the news. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the UK Hospitality trade body, said: “The announcement lacked clarity around many issues affecting outlets offering both takeaway and on-premises dining. Furthermore, with the announcement at around 2.30pm the day before the measures come into effect, it left those venues a very short time to properly brief staff, prepare signage and take steps to encourage compliance.”

Police will have powers to enforce the rules and, from Friday, those who do not do so could face fines of up to £100, in line with the rules for wearing face coverings public transport. Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

Shops can refuse entry to anyone without an exemption who refuses to wear a face covering and can call the police if people refuse to comply.

Major retailers said they would not ask staff to enforce the rules and some said they would also not require that staff wear masks if they were already working behind a perspex screen or similar protective set-up.

Tom Ironside, the director of business and regulation at the British Retail Consortium, the trade body that represents most of the high street, said: “Retailers are doing all they can to support necessary safety regulations and will play their role in communicating and encouraging the government’s new policy on face coverings.

“While enforcement of this policy will be handled by the police, the ultimate responsibility remains with customers who must ensure that they wear a face covering when going into stores.”

Businesses are concerned about potential threats to staff if they try to enforce the rules too strictly. Many retailers have already reported aggressive behaviour from some customers when trying to maintain social distancing measures.

Richard Walker, the boss of the frozen food chain Iceland, tweeted: “If mandatory face masks in shops will make our customers & colleagues safer then they are welcome – but we won’t put our staff at risk by asking them to police this. The UK cannot afford a second wave, so we all need to play our part and show care and consideration for each other.”

The Co-op is introducing body cameras for workers after in-store crime soared by 140% in the past year. It said the numbers of violent incidents hit record levels with 1,350 attacks experienced by workers in its shops in the first six months of 2020.

The company said it had not asked staff to challenge shoppers who were not wearing face covering. “We are aware that there are reasons why some customers are exempt, and it is the responsibility of all non-exempt customers to ensure they are in adherence with the new legal requirements,” the Co-op said.

Other retailers said they would be increasing their use of signage to remind shoppers of the new rules, while some, including Sainsbury’s, said they would be making Tannoy announcements about the measures.

For shoppers arriving without masks, Tesco said it would offer them face coverings at the door.

The prime minister’s office said enforcement would be treated as a “last resort”.

“What I’m sure we’ll find, as we have with other aspects of the coronavirus response, is that the British public will voluntarily choose to follow the guidelines because they want to play their part in helping to slow the spread of the virus,” Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said.

By Sarah Butler and Simon Murphy

PM: Boris Johnson the government will make a further announcement on face coverings “in the next few days”

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 13th July 2020) London, Uk – –

The prime minister says the government will make a further announcement on face coverings “in the next few days”.

Britons should be wearing masks in shops, with face coverings offering a “great deal of value” in controlling the spread of coronavirus, Boris Johnson has said.

The government has been criticised for offering mixed messages on face coverings, with it mandatory to wear one on public transport in England but not in shops.

But the prime minister on Monday signalled the guidance could change this week after he admitted there had been “growing” evidence of their importance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “What we've said for a while now is that we do think masks have a great deal of value – obviously they're mandatory on public transport, on the Tube – but they have a great deal of value in confined spaces, where you're coming into contact with people you don't normally meet.

“What's been interesting on the face coverings issue in the last few months is the scientific evaluation of face coverings and their importance in stopping aerosol droplets, that's been growing.

“So, I do think that in shops it is very important to wear a face covering, if you're going to be in a confined space and you want to protect other people and to receive protection in turn.

“Yes, face coverings, I think, people should be wearing in shops.

“And, in terms of how we do that, whether we make it mandatory or not, we will be looking at the guidance, we'll be saying a little bit more in the next few days.”

Mr Johnson added that the government would be looking at “what tools of enforcement” might be introduced to “make progress” on the wearing of face masks.

He described the wearing of a face covering as an “extra insurance that we can all use to stop it [coronavirus] coming back and stop it getting out of control again”.

Currently, official UK government guidance states that evidence around wearing a face covering suggests it “does not protect you” from coronavirus.

But the guidance adds: “If you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.”

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, face coverings are mandatory when travelling on public transport.

Face coverings are also mandatory in Scottish shops, although that is not the case in England.

People in Wales will have to wear a face covering on public transport – as well as taxis – from 27 July, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on Monday.

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Monday to call for urgent clarity on the wearing of face masks in public places.

“The confusion around the use of face coverings and whether they will become mandatory needs to be addressed through a statement from ministers as a matter of priority,” he wrote.

Mr Ashworth added: “Conflicting advice and conflicting statements from the government only hinder our fight against the virus.

“Clear communication is vital in combating the spread of COVID-19.

“For the public to know that they are doing the right thing in shops, restaurants and other crowded places, I am asking that you urgently set out the position on face coverings.”How many cases of COVID-19 where I live?

Meanwhile, former Conservative chancellor George Osborne used a column in his Evening Standard newspaper to highlight the low levels of face mask-wearing in the UK compared with other countries.

“That's not because we're more stupid or more libertarian,” Mr Osborne wrote.

“On the contrary, we were all paying attention and doing what we were told – by ministers and scientific advisers, who said in March that wearing a mask made no difference.

“Four months later we're being told that we should wear a mask. But there's been no attempt to explain why the instructions have changed.

“No minister or scientist has had the courtesy to say ‘we got that one wrong'.”

By Greg Heffer

15 Reasons Why POOR People Hate the RICH

Source: Alux

This Alux video well try to answer the following questions: What are some dumb reasons why the poor hate the rich? Why do poor people hate the rich? Why do poor people hate rich people? Why do some poor people hate the rich? Why do people, especially the poor, hate the rich? Why can't people accept that there will always be poor and rich people in any society? What do poor people think about rich people? What are some valid reasons to hate the rich? Why are people hating billionaires? Why do normal people hate billionaires? Are rich people just hoarding resources? Are billionaires hoarding resources? Are rich people corrupt? Why do rich people have nice things? Why do poor people envy rich people? What do rich people think of poor people? Why do we hate billionaires? Why do we envy successful people? Do the rich keep poor people poor? Are rich people greedy?

UK officials in talks with a number of European countries over relaxed quarantine rules

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 19th June 2020) London, Uk – –

The government is planning to relax its travel quarantine rules in early July for some countries.

Talks are taking place between UK officials and those in a number of European countries, including Portugal.

However, the UK hopes to make an announcement on 29 June that it has secured a number of “travel corridors”.

The government had previously said that the quarantine would be reviewed every three weeks and 29 June marks the end of the first three-week period.

A travel corridor would mean that two people travelling in both directions between two countries would not have to self-isolate after they travel.

A senior aviation source has told the BBC that the quarantine could remain throughout the summer for anyone arriving from countries which do not have a travel corridor with the UK.

Portugal's foreign minister previously said that anyone in the UK thinking of going to Portugal this summer would be “most welcome” despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Augusto Santos Silva said he hoped an “air bridge” between the UK and Portugal could be secured by the end of June.

However, the broader travel quarantine is expected to remain in place.

What are the new rules?

  • People arriving in the UK should drive their own car to their destination, where possible, and once there they must not use public transport or taxis
  • Arrivals must not go to work, school, or public areas, or have visitors – except for essential support. They are also not allowed to go out to buy food, or other essentials, where they can rely on others
  • Those arriving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland could face a fine of £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate for the full 14 days, while they face a £480 fine in Scotland. The maximum fine for repeat offenders in Scotland is £5,000.

Anyone arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man does not have to complete a form or enter quarantine upon arrival in the UK.

There are also exemptions for workers in some industries such as road haulage and medical professionals who are providing essential care.

The travel industry has been vocal in its criticism of the government's quarantine rules, warning that the isolation period will deter visitors and put jobs at risk. Some airlines were in the early stages of legal action.

The manufacturing industry has also highlighted that fewer flights will restrict imports and exports, which will have a knock-on effect for the freight industry, as well as hampering the recovery of some businesses.

Despite criticism from businesses, Home Secretary Priti Patel said that the measures were “proportionate” and being implemented “at the right time” when they came into effect on 8 June.

By Tom Burridge, Transport correspondent

Unilever pledge to invest €1bn in green projects over the next 10 years

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 15th June 2020) London, Uk – –

Multinational’s 10-year plan puts focus on plastics and greener transport and production

Unilever has pledged to invest €1bn (£900m) over the next decade in environmental projects that will improve the “health of the planet”.

Alan Jope, Unilever’s chief executive, said that while the world was rightly focused on the devastating coronavirus outbreak and serious issues of inequality raised by the Black Lives Matter protests, the climate emergency should not be overlooked. “We can’t let ourselves forget that the climate crisis is still a threat to all of us,” he said.

The consumer goods giant, which owns more than 400 brands including Marmite, Dove, Comfort and Sure, said that in response to the “scale and urgency of the climate crisis”, it was also setting a target of net-zero emissions from all its products by 2039.

The company has already promised to reduce the mountain of plastic rubbish that its products generate, but Jope said it was just as important to look at the “impact they have on the planet at the start of their life” – in the sourcing of materials, as well as in their manufacture and transport.

Unilever said its €1bn “Climate & Nature Fund” would be used to fund projects ranging from landscape restoration and carbon capture to wildlife protection and water preservation. It also pledges to have a “deforestation-free” supply chain within three years, and to harness emerging digital technologies – such as satellite monitoring and geolocation tracking – to increase traceability and transparency.

Jope has warned that the company would sell off brands that could not meet its own sustainability targets. It was no longer enough for consumer goods companies to sell washing powders that made shirts whiter or shampoos that make hair shinier, because consumers wanted brands that had a “purpose” too, he said.

Last week, the FTSE 100-listed company announced that it had picked London as its home in an about-face on the company’s 2018 decision to opt for Rotterdam, which was abandoned after a revolt by British shareholders. If investors back the plan, it will bring an end to the company’s complex dual structure, a hangover from Unilever’s formation through the merger of a Dutch margarine producer and a British soapmaker 91 years ago.

By Zoe Wood

10 BILLIONAIRES That Are Stepping Up During the Pandemic

Source: Alux

This Alux video we'll try to answer the following questions: Which rich are donating the most? How much did Bill Gates donated? How does Jack Dorsey's donation work? How much of a donation actually goes to the charity? What kind of people donate to nonprofits? How do I know what charities to donate to? How are rich people handling the corona virus epidemic? How are rich people handling self-isolation? How did Italy respond to covi19? What did Giorgio Armani do to help Italy? How did LVMH contribute to society during covid 19? How did Hong Kong react to the virus? What are the biggest donations during corona virus epidemic? Why was Mukesh Ambani ridiculed in the media? Why did Mukesh Ambani donate 66.7 million dollars? How did Jeff Bezos donate? Where do donations go to? How do foundations handle donations?

BA, easyJet and Ryanair fight British quarantine with legal action

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 12th June 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways, easyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYA.I) said on Friday they have begun legal action against the British government’s quarantine policy in a bid to overturn what they see as overly strict rules.

All three airlines had hoped to resume regular flights after air travel came to a total standstill during the coronavirus pandemic, leading to almost 20,000 job losses between them.

But Britain’s 14-day quarantine, introduced on June 8 for arrivals from abroad, is deterring bookings at a time when other European countries are beginning to open their borders.

The airlines said in a statement issued by BA’s parent company IAG (ICAG.L) they had lodged their complaint with the High Court, asking for a judicial review as soon as possible.

If judges agree, lawyers have said the government would have to show the scientific evidence that underpinned the rule.

There was no immediate response from the British government, which has previously defended quarantine as necessary to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus.

Britain’s chief scientist said earlier in June that politicians decided the policy, adding quarantines worked best for restricting travel from countries with high infection rates.Slideshow (3 Images)

The airlines said there was no scientific evidence for the policy and there had been no consultation with the industry on the new rules.

Their legal action escalates tensions with the British government, and the relationship is in contrast to France and Germany where governments have bailed out their carriers.

The airlines said they wanted the government to re-adopt its previous quarantine policy introduced on March 10 which applied only to passengers arriving from countries deemed as high risk.

They also dismissed “air bridges”, bilateral deals between countries with low infection rates, which the government has presented as a potential alternative to the quarantine, saying they had not yet seen any evidence of how these would work.

Reporting by Sarah Young

UK likely to be the hardest-hit by Covid-19, among major economies says OECD

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 10th June 2020) London, Uk – –

The UK is likely to be the hardest-hit by Covid-19 among major economies, a leading agency has warned.

Britain's economy is likely to slump by 11.5% in 2020, slightly outstripping falls in countries such as Germany, France, Spain and Italy, it said.

If there were a second peak in the pandemic, the UK economy could contract by 14%.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development described the impact as “dire” everywhere.

It said that in what it called a “single-hit scenario”, with no second peak, there could be contractions of 11.4% in France, 11.1% in Spain, 11.3% in Italy and 6.6% in Germany.

In its latest assessment, the OECD found that the trade, tourism, and hospitality sectors, which make up large parts of the UK's service-based economy, have suffered under lockdown restrictions introduced by the government.

In response to the think tank's report, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the UK was not the only one to suffer: “In common with many other economies around the world, we're seeing the significant impact of coronavirus on our country and our economy.

“The unprecedented action we've taken to provide lifelines that help people and businesses through the economic disruption will ensure our economic recovery is as strong and as swift as possible.”

Global impactThe Paris-based organisation says that five years or more of income growth could be lost in many countries as a result of the pandemic.

The OECD has looked at two scenarios for how the pandemic might unfold.

In the more severe case, the global economy could shrink by 7.6% over this year.

Although the report says that the pandemic has started to recede in many countries, and activity has begun to pick up, it does not expect a convincing recovery. It sees the outlook for public health as extremely uncertain and that is reflected in the decision to assess two alternative scenarios.

In the more moderate scenario, the virus continues to gradually recede. In the alternative, there is a second wave of contagion which erupts later in 2020.

The report describes both outlooks as sobering. In neither can economic activity return to normal within the period the OECD considers. The deep recession now underway will be followed by a slow recovery.

In the gloomier of the two possibilities, the decline this year could be very severe.

In that scenario two countries – France and Spain – would suffer even deeper declines in economic activity than the UK this year.

That 7.6% global forecast is significantly worse than what was foreseen by other agencies – such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank – who have warned about the high level of uncertainty attached to their forecasts.

By the end of 2021, the report says that five or more years of income growth could be lost in many countries. It says the impact on livelihoods will be especially severe among the most vulnerable groups.

The OECD also says the pandemic has accelerated the shift from what it calls “great integration” to “great fragmentation”. That is essentially a setback for globalisation, reflected in additional trade and investment restrictions and many borders that are closed at least while the health crisis persists.

Travellers arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days from today

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 8th June 2020) London, Uk – –

The home secretary insists the measures are “backed by the science” and is “essential” to save lives.

Travellers arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days from today under new rules being described by some airlines as “unlawful” and “ineffective”.

British Airways has begun legal proceedings after sending a pre-action letter, which is the first stage in a judicial review, to ministers on Friday.

Backed by Ryanair and EasyJet, a statement released by all three airlines said: “These measures are disproportionate and unfair on British citizens as well as international visitors arriving in the UK.

“We urge the UK govt to remove this ineffective visitor quarantine which will have a devastating effect on UK's tourism industry and will destroy (even more) thousands of jobs in this unprecedented crisis.”

The quarantine rules mean all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – will have to fill out an online locator form giving their contact and travel details and the address of where they will isolate.

Regulations for England include fixed penalty notices of £1,000 or prosecution for anyone who breaches the rules, with police being allowed to use “reasonable force” to make sure people comply.

Border Force officers will carry out checks at the border and may refuse entry to a non-resident foreign national who refuses to comply with the regulations.

But the airlines argue the measures are more stringent than the guidelines applied to people who actually have COVID-19, if you live in Scotland to date the rules will not apply, and it will affect people from countries with lower R rates than the UK.Controversial border plans are ‘essential' to save lives, Patel says

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA's owner IAG told Sky News on Friday: “We do believe it is an irrational piece of legislation.”

And the letter, seen by The Sunday Times, argues the restrictions are disproportionate.

It said: “In our view, the government has failed to identify a valid justification for the blanket nature of the regulations, especially given the extremely severe nature of the self-isolation provisions that apply.”How the UK's 14-day travel quarantine will work

Meanwhile, Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said the quarantine rules put a third of the airport's 75,000 workforce at risk.

“I don't want to see that happen. But we'll have to make that decision, within the next couple of weeks.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel has insisted the rule is “backed by the science” and is “essential” to save lives.

“We know they will present difficulties for the tourism industry, but that's why we have an unprecedented package of support, the most comprehensive in the world, for both employees and businesses,” she said.

“But we will all suffer if we get this wrong. That's why it's crucial that we introduce these measures now.”

Ms Patel confirmed the first review of the quarantine measures would take place in the week beginning 28 June, with the government considering “international travel corridors” to allow future quarantine-free travel from destinations deemed safe.

They could be in place for a year, when the legislation expires, unless the government decides to scrap it sooner.

By Ian Collier

UK virus cost soars in April as borrowing hits record high

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 22nd May 2020) London, Uk – –

Government borrowing surged to £62bn in April, the highest monthly figure on record, after heavy spending to ease the coronavirus crisis.

It means the deficit – the difference between spending and tax income – was larger last month than forecast for the whole year at the time of the Budget.

The data from the Office for National Statistics revealed the soaring cost of support, such as furlough schemes.

But Chancellor Rishi Sunak said things would be worse without government aid.

The government's independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), has predicted that borrowing for the whole year could reach £298bn, more than five times the estimate at the time of the March Budget.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, described April's figure as “pretty much unprecedented”. It said the cost of furlough schemes alone was £14bn in April.

“Borrowing now is about six times what it was [in April] last year, so we are talking about some really significant changes in the government finances,” Mr Athow told the BBC.

He added it was impossible to forecast the current year's public finances because of the “high amounts of uncertainty”. Tax receipts have fallen heavily, as the Treasury has allowed companies to defer some payments. The amount received from VAT in April was negative, with the government collecting less than was handed back in repayments.

How much does the government spend?

  • More than £880bn was spent on services such as defence, policing, the NHS, schools and welfare benefits in the last financial year
  • Most of this comes from taxes, which totalled about £840bn last year
  • Usually the government spends more money than it has. It borrows money by selling bonds – a promise to repay the money with interest
  • The total debt has increased over time. It is currently £1.9 trillion – about £28,000 per person in the UK
  • Although the debt in cash terms has gone up, money raised from taxes has risen too, which means the debt can be manageable

Meanwhile, borrowing by the state in March 2020 has been revised up by £11.7bn to £14.7bn, the ONS said.

It said this was driven by a reduction in previous estimates of tax receipts and National Insurance contributions.

The surge in borrowing comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak stepped up financial support for businesses and employees after vast areas of the economy were forced to halt due to the coronavirus lockdown.

After publication of the figures, Mr Sunak said that if the government had not provided financial support, the cost to the economy and people's livelihoods would be much worse.

“Our top priority is to support people, jobs and businesses through this crisis and ensure our economic recovery is as strong and as swift as possible,” he said.

“That's why we've taken unprecedented steps to provide lifelines to people and businesses with our furlough scheme, grants, loans and tax cuts.”

Analysis By Dharshini David

Buy now – worry later?

For the past decade, the government had been trying to practise strict financial housekeeping, aiming for position where it could cover day-to-day spending with the money form our taxes and eliminate the deficit.

But then the crisis hit – and as the chancellor claims, the schemes put in place have provided a lifeline to tide millions over, to prevent an even bigger economic disaster. It was worth ripping up the rulebook for, he said.

However the bills are mounting, just as the amount received from taxpayers slumped.

This year's deficit could be the equivalent of the biggest slice of our income since the Second World War – and that hole needs plugging

For the moment, the government has increased its borrowing on financial markets, through bonds, effectively IOUs – but there is a limit to how much it can do so.

Ultimately, economists say taxes will have to rise, or spending cut – the emergency raft will have a price tag which we can't escape

But the chancellor will have to impose those carefully to avoid jeopardising a recovery. And if he opts for tax hikes, he'll risk breaking some election promises

‘Britain is poorer'

The scale of the economic consequences was underlined on Friday in separate retail sales data from the ONS. These showed that High Street sales crashed last month as shops closed for the lockdown.

It was also announced on Friday that a mortgage payment holiday scheme for homeowners in financial difficulty during the pandemic has been extended for another three months.

As a result of the jump in borrowing, total public sector debt rose to £1,888bn at the end of April – £118.4bn higher than April 2019.

Former chancellor George Osborne told the BBC: “We have to come to terms with the fact that Britain is poorer and the economy is smaller than it would have been.”

Asked if the economy would bounce back, he said: “Bounce is the wrong word, but it will recover.”

Ruth Gregory, an economist at Capital Economics, described April's borrowing as “alarmingly high”, but added that a small easing of the lockdown from 13 May probably meant the government would not have to borrow as much this month.

And despite the pressure on public finances, Charlie McCurdy, a researcher at the Resolution Foundation, said there were no signs the government was struggling to raise money on the financial markets.

“Record low interest rates mean the UK's higher debt burden should remain more than manageable,” he said.

EasyJet announces cautious restart on some routes from 15 June with strict face mask rule

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 21st May 2020) London, Uk –

The airline announces a cautious restart on some routes from 15 June ahead of an investor vote that could see its CEO forced out.

EasyJet says it plans to resume a small number of flights next month with strict safety protocols for passengers and crew alike.

Top of the measures, the no-frills carrier said, would be the wearing of face masks for all those aboard its aircraft.

The company said it would likely operate domestic flights within the UK and France from 15 June with the only international service being Gatwick to Nice initially.

The UK airports to see the limited domestic services return will be Bristol, Birmingham, Gatwick, Liverpool, Newcastle,
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Belfast, easyJet added.

Shares were more than 2.5% up in early trading after a plunge of 60% in the year to date.

The airline made its announcement as it faces a series of headaches away from flight operations – largely grounded by COVID-19 since March.

It revealed on Tuesday a hacking of its digital systems that exposed personal details of nine million customers.

The easyJet chief executive and chairman are also facing a fight for their futures as the airline's founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, bids to have them removed from their posts in a shareholder vote due on Friday.

Easyjet has furloughed thousands of staff and borrowed £600m under a government-backed financing scheme as it seeks to shield itself from the effects of the coronavirus crisis that has hit the industry hard, with BA, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic collectively planning 18,000 job losses.

It said that the cautious commencement of flights would only go ahead with a series of measures agreed with regulators and in-line with the advice of national governments.

These steps include:

:: Customers, cabin and ground crew will be required to wear masks

:: Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of easyJet aircraft

:: Availability of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser onboard

EasyJet said there would be no onboard food service.

The Luton-based airline looks set to be the second operator to resume flights after Wizz Air restarted services from the town's airport earlier this month.

BA and Ryanair are targeting July.

Johan Lundgren, the easyJet chief executive, said of its plans: “These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to gradually resume operations.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation across Europe so that when more restrictions are lifted the schedule will continue to build over time to match demand, while also ensuring we are operating efficiently and on routes that our customers want.”

By James Sillars

Lloyd’s of London set to pay out up to £3.5bn over pandemic

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 14th May 2020) London, Uk – –

The insurance market expects that the cost of the crisis will ultimately be “far in excess” of other disasters such as 9/11.

Lloyd's of London is set to pay out up to £3.5bn to customers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The insurance market said it was on a par with the impact of 9/11 but that it expects the eventual overall cost of COVID-19 to the industry to be “far in excess” of that and other catastrophes.

Lloyd's estimates that overall, when taking into account falling investment values as well as the cost of paying claims, the global insurance industry stands to lose £164bn this year.

Chief executive John Neal said: “The global insurance industry is paying out on a very wide range of policies to support businesses and people affected by COVID-19.

“The Lloyd's market alone is currently expected to pay claims amounting to some $4.3bn (£3.5bn), making it one of the market's largest pay-outs ever.

“What makes COVID-19 unique is the not just the devastating continuing human and social impact, but also the economic shock.

“Taking all those factors together will challenge the industry as never before, but we will keep focused on supporting our customers and continuing to pay claims over the weeks and months ahead.”

Lloyd's said its preliminary pay-out estimate was in the range of £2.4bn-£3.5bn based on the assumption of “material social distancing rules and restrictions” lasting until the end of June, and that this could rise further if the current lockdown continues into another quarter.

It said 15% of the pay-outs covered the UK with the remainder covering the rest of the world.

Nearly a third of the claims (31%) were for cancellations of major events such as the Olympics with others covering areas such as property insurance and trade credit.

The level of total pay-outs expected by Lloyd's compares to a $4.8bn (£3.9bn) total following hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017 and $4.7bn (£3.8bn) resulting from the terror attacks of 11 September 2001.

“Lloyd's believes that once the scale and complexity of the social and economic impact of COVID-19 is fully understood, the overall cost to the global insurance non-life industry is likely to be far in excess of those historical events,” it said.

For the insurance market as a whole, Lloyd's estimates losses on claims totalling £86bn, plus an additional £77bn hit as the value of investments collapses.

In the UK, small businesses are challenging insurers who they say have denied them payments for disruption.

The insurers say most small business policies do not cover the pandemic.

Among those under scrutiny is Lloyd's of London insurer Hiscox.

Mr Neal said the UK domestic property sector accounted for less than 2% of the Lloyd's market, adding that “any valid claims should be paid”.

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

Estate agents report rise in Homebuyers ‘plotting move to country’ amid increased home working

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri, 8th May 2020) London, Uk – –


Homebuyers ‘plotting move to country' amid increased home working

Estate agents report rise in buyer registrations around Winchester and Berkshire

After the lockdown, the exodus. Estate agents are reporting a surge in the numbers of would-be homebuyers plotting a move out of the city to a rural area or smaller town as people conclude that home working is here to stay.

Firms said that during the last few weeks they had seen a big increase in enquiries about well-connected countryside and “out of city” locations – ranging from English market towns to Scottish fishing villages – where people could split their working week between home and office once life starts to return to normal.

The upmarket estate agent Savills said locations that had seen a rise in buyer registrations included the areas in and around Winchester in Hampshire, Newbury in Berkshire, Canford Cliffs in Dorset and the East Neuk of Fife on the east coast of Scotland.

Lockdown appears to be prompting many people to reassess what is important to them, whether that is a desire to continue working from home for part of the week once normal service resumes or wanting a bigger garden for their children to play in.

The pandemic has effectively pushed the UK housing market into a temporary deep freeze, with people being told by the government to postpone moving until a later date, and there have been claims that several hundred thousand home sales will be abandoned this year.Advertisement

However, Rightmove has revealed that visits to its site during the last three days of April were up more than 20% compared with the first few days of lockdown, as more people stuck at home started to think about a new life in the country.

Andrew Perratt, the head of country residential at Savills, said it might be easy to dismiss an increase in web visits as largely being down to “bored dreamers” sitting at home surfing the internet, but he added: “What is most significant for me is the jump in new buyer registrations.”

Perratt said the big demand was for properties in “the country markets around the major cities,” which included villages and market towns.

The mass switch to working from home had proved that “you don’t need to be in London, or another city, five days a week,” he said. “I think there are lessons to be learned for all of us in terms of the number of times we need to visit a city during a working week.”

Savills surveyed nearly 700 registered buyers and sellers in the so-called prime property market between 21 April and 27 April to find out how their attitudes to moving had changed during the coronavirus crisis. It found 49% expected increased home working to continue post-lockdown, while about four in 10 said they would now find a village or countryside location more appealing than previously, with the latter figure higher for those with school-age children.

This prompted the firm to talk about a potential “rural renaissance”. Winchester has reasonably good rail links with London, with a journey time of just over an hour, and lies at the western end of the South Downs national park. The average house price there is £419,000, compared with £477,000 in London, according to the most recent official Land Registry data.

Newbury is well known for its strong transport links, lies on the edge of the Berkshire Downs and is surrounded by attractive villages such as Highclere and Hermitage.

Perratt said his theory was that Canford Cliffs, an affluent suburb of Poole in Dorset, was an area where some wealthy Londoners were lucky enough to already own a bolthole to escape to, and that some may be looking to “flip” their life so that this becomes their principal residence instead of London.

Similarly with the East Neuk of Fife, which includes picturesque fishing towns such as Anstruther, people might be looking to swap their Edinburgh townhouse for a smaller flat and use the proceeds to buy a bigger home on the coast, he added.

At the Douglas Allen branch in Brentwood, Essex, manager Reece Giles said interest from potential buyers in nearby London boroughs looking to relocate to the area “has kind of gone through the roof”. The Brentwood area includes villages such as Navestock that offer the benefits of rural life but are within an easy commute of London.

The Savills research also found that one in six respondents were ready for a longer commute, with the firm saying it believed some people would be prepared to put up with a two-hour journey to work if they were only going into the office for a couple of days a week.

The latest Rightmove data, meanwhile, named Inverness in the Scottish Highlands as the location seeing the biggest year-on-year increase in searches – up 167%.

Reporting by Rupert Jones