Friday newspaper round-up: UK economic growth, Elon Musk, Lukoil

by | Mar 4, 2022

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Britain’s economic growth will halve this year as a result of soaring inflation, hefty tax rises and the destabilising shock from the war in Ukraine, a leading business lobby group has warned. In the first major forecast of the UK economy since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said it expected an inflation rate of 8% to cut disposable incomes in 2022, putting the brakes on the recovery from the pandemic. – Guardian

Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, says he is inviting the United Auto Workers labor union (UAW) to hold a vote at the electric carmaker’s California factory. The announcement comes three months after the billionaire Musk criticized the Biden administration and Democrats for a proposal to give union-made, US-built electric vehicles an additional $4,500 tax incentive. – Guardian

Russia’s second-largest oil company has urged Vladimir Putin to end his invasion of Ukraine in a sign of hardening resistance against the conflict among influential oligarchs. Lukoil, led by billionaire founder Vagit Alekperov, called for an “immediate cessation of the armed conflict” and expressed concern over the “tragic events” as domestic pressure on the Kremlin mounts. – Telegraph

OneWeb, the UK-backed satellite internet company, is in discussions with its French contractor and alternative partners after suspending all launches from Russia’s cosmodrome in Kazakhstan amid a deepening stand-off with Russia’s space agency. The decision by OneWeb’s board, which includes representatives of shareholders from the government, Bharti Global, of India, SoftBank, of Japan, and Eutelsat, of France, was welcomed by Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, yesterday. – The Times

The world’s largest asset manager has barred its investors from buying any more Russian securities, after it was criticised by campaigners for its response to the invasion of Ukraine. Yesterday BlackRock said that it had “suspended the purchase of all Russian securities in [its] active and index funds”. The policy, it said, had come in on Monday. It added that it was pressing index providers to remove Russian securities from broad-based benchmarks. – The Times

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