Friday newspaper round-up: Saudi Arabia, Marks and Spencer, Oxford Nanopore

by | Sep 17, 2021

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Ministers aim to secure a multibillion-pound investment from Saudi Arabia to fund renewable energy and infrastructure projects in the UK after yesterday’s announcement of a £10 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates. Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, visited Saudi Arabia in June for talks with its foreign minister, and negotiations are understood to be under way with Boris Johnson’s investment envoy Lord Grimstone of Boscobel. – The Times

Marks & Spencer is closing 11 of its franchised stores in France as a result of Brexit-related supply problems. The retailer said that the stores, operated with its French partner SFH, would be shuttered over the coming months because of the difficulty of supplying them with fresh and chilled products from the UK. – The Times

One of the world’s richest men has thrown his weight behind British biotechnology star Oxford Nanopore. American billionaire Larry Ellison has committed to invest £150million in the company when it floats on the stock market in London next month. The investment will be made through 77-year-old Ellison’s cloud computing business Oracle Corporation. – Daily Mail

BT is to create 1,000 jobs at its Birmingham office as part of its drive to build more regional hubs around Britain. The telecoms giant will create the positions at its 17-floor outpost in central Birmingham, which opened last month. The office will eventually host 3,500 staff from across the group, including its Openreach division, which owns BT’s network infrastructure. – The Times

Wealthy Britons paid £1.5 billion less in tax than they should have done in the year before the pandemic, according to HM Revenue and Customs. The shortfall from the richest 0.4 per cent of earners was disclosed in the government’s latest “tax gap” publication, which showed that HMRC collected a total of £35 billion less in the 2019-20 financial year than expected. – The Times

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