Angel Gurría warns of trade war without deal on digital tax

The head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said there is a risk a widespread trade war if countries cannot agree on an approach for taxing tech giants. Angel Gurría told the BBC that a trade war between “dozens and dozens of countries” is the last thing we need as the world struggles with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The OECD has been overseeing talks aimed at reaching a multilateral deal for over a year and they are due to conclude at the end of 2020.

BBC News


Quiz places its property arm in administration

Glasgow-headquartered fashion retailer Quiz has placed its stores division, Kast Retail Limited, into administration under a restructuring that sees the loss of more than 90 jobs. Quiz said it would then buy the business back for £1.3m through another subsidiary called Zandra, in a pre-pack deal. Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and head of restructuring for KPMG said: “A combination of a highly challenging environment for bricks-and-mortar retailers during recent years and the COVID-19 lockdown have proven impossible for [Quiz subsidiary] KRL to overcome.” The Times’ Alistair Osborne dissects Quiz’s pre-pack, suggesting instead of dumping £6m of liabilities boss Tarak Ramzan could have put some of the £90m he extracted from the float back into the company. The paper’s Alex Ralph notes that of several pre-packs announced yesterday only Everest, which was sold back to Jon Moulton’s private equity firm Better Capital, was referred to the Pre-Pack Pool. Ralph says there are growing calls for referrals to be made mandatory.

The I, Page: 39 Yorkshire Post, Page: 6 The Times, Page: 35 The Times, Page: 40

Blackmore Bond administrators say issues require further investigation

Administrators for collapsed property investment company Blackmore Bond have said investors may only receive a maximum of £5m back from the £47m they invested. Duff & Phelps reported that in addition to the £44m bonds bought by nearly 2000 UK investors in nearly 3000 bonds, Blackmore had also sold a further £2.3m abroad. The administrator commented: “During our preliminary investigations we have identified a significant number of matters relating to the company and the wider group that require investigation.”

Evening Standard

Simon buys back Monsoon and Accessorize chain

Peter Simon, the founder of Monsoon and Accessorize has bought back the fashion and accessories chain out of administration in a pre-pack deal that will see 35 stores permanently closed and 545 immediate redundancies. Some 450 jobs have been transferred to another vehicle, Adena Brands. Mr Simon said that both Monsoon and Accessorize had been “trading well” before the pandemic, but could not withstand the impact of the lockdown forcing the closure of all its shops for the past three months.

The Times, Page: 40 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2

Restaurant Group in cost-cutting move as 125 sites shut

Some 125 sites operated by the Restaurant Group are to close with around 3,000 jobs affected. The Italian-American-themed Frankie & Benny’s chain will be most severely affected by the move. The firm has launched a company voluntary arrangement which will be run by Alix Partners, and if approved, will leave it with 160 sites in its so-called leisure estate.

The Times, Page: 35 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2 Evening Standard


Government gives tech start-ups support to expand overseas

The Department for International Trade and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have announced new measures to help UK tech start-ups expand overseas. The scheme includes a trade network to help small businesses break into the Asian market and a tech exporting academy to advise firms on issues around expansion.

The Independent, Page: 54


Barnier wants end to City’s financial and legal services dominance

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has said London should lose its status as a European centre for financial and legal services after Brexit. Michel Barnier told representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee that the UK should not be allowed to become a stepping stone into the EU market or a manufacturing hub for the bloc after the end of the transition period this year.

The Daily Telegraph


Triple lock could push state pension up by 21.3% by 2022

New analysis by Willis Towers Watson senior consultant David Robbins, has suggested that triple locked state pensions could rise by as much as 21.3% over a two-year period if there is a V-shaped economic recovery. He warned that lockdown lifting could see a significant pension rise in 2022 under the current uprating policy, if average earnings growth was negative in 2020 and strongly positive in 2021.

Pensions Age


Premier League faces £1bn virus loss

Premier League clubs are set for a loss of £1bn in revenue in their 2019-20 accounts owing to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Deloitte. Top-flight sides will face a permanent loss of £500m due to rebates to broadcasters and the loss of matchday revenue. A further £500m will be deferred and recouped in 2020-21 if the competition is able to complete this season and next. Deloitte also found that chasing greater riches in the Premier League saw Championship clubs lose a combined total of £300m on record revenues of £785m. Dan Jones, the head of Deloitte’s sports business group, said a salary cap could solve the problem in a stroke. “If Formula One can do it, if Premiership Rugby can do it, I don’t see why the Championship can’t do it. The need is more urgent and more long-standing in the Championship than it is even in those other sports.”

Financial Times, Page: 7 The Times, Page: 63 The Guardian, Page: 36 Daily Mirror, Page: 54 Daily Express, Page: 57 The I, Page: 45 The Sun, Page: 53 The Scotsman, Page: 65


OECD issues UK warning on economy

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has cautioned that the UK will suffer the largest economic effect from the coronavirus crisis among major nations this year, with the economy at risk of contracting between 11.5% and 14%. OECD chief economist Laurence Boone stated: “By the end of 2021, the loss of income exceeds that of any previous recession over the last 100 years outside wartime, with dire and long-lasting consequences for people, firms and governments. As long as no vaccine or treatment is widely available, policymakers around the world will continue to walk on a tightrope.”

The Daily Telegraph Daily Mail, Page: 2 The Guardian The I, Page: 7 Yorkshire Post, Page: 1


EU urged to tackle insolvency laws for unified capital market

An official expert group has urged Brussels to reform the EU’s fragmented insolvency laws and create more uniform shareholder rights in order to deepen its capital markets.

Financial Times


CBI appoints business productivity chief as next director-general

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn will hand over as director-general of the CBI to Tony Danker at the end of the year. Mr Danker is CEO of Be the Business, a charity working with businesses to boost UK productivity, and a former McKinsey consultant. Speaking with the BBC, Dame Carolyn warned that the “resilience of British business is absolutely on the floor” and they couldn’t cope with a no-deal Brexit as well as recovering from the coronavirus.

Financial Times The Daily Telegraph BBC News

Moody’s warns of no-deal damage

Credit ratings agency Moody’s has warned that a no-deal Brexit is becoming increasingly likely and if it transpires it would “significantly damage the UK’s potentially fragile recovery from its deepest recession in almost a century”.

The Guardian

Contact Paul Southward

Paul Southward