Monday newspaper round-up: UK recovery, Philip Morris, Saudi Aramco

by | Aug 9, 2021

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A letter to Boris Johnson sent a fortnight ago by James Ramsbotham called on the prime minister to save the north-east from the “damage being done to our economy” by Brexit and urged him to give it his “most urgent and personal attention”. Two weeks later, it remains unanswered. Ramsbotham is the chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce and speaks for thousands of businesses caught by the red tape and extra costs of complying with EU rules. In a recent survey, 38% of members said sales to Europe had fallen since January. – Guardian
The relaxation of lockdown rules in July sparked a surge of hiring among UK firms, but staff shortages caused by the pandemic and Brexit could still undermine the recovery, the professional services group BDO reported on Monday. BDO’s latest business trends report found that the jobs market strengthened last month, as hospitality venues such as restaurants and bars were allowed to operate without Covid-related capacity limits. – Guardian

Sub-prime lender Amigo has hired crisis experts to assist with winding down its business. The London-listed firm is working with PJT Partners on contingency plans if it is unable to restart lending to customers, according to City sources. Amigo, which serves the estimated 15m Britons who cannot borrow from high street banks and building societies, has suspended most new lending since March 2020. – Telegraph

The takeover battle for Vectura, the respiratory drugs company, has intensified after Philip Morris International, one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, increased its offer yesterday. The owner of Marlboro cigarettes raised its cash bid to 165p per share, valuing Vectura at just over £1 billion. – The Times

Saudi Arabia’s giant state oil company almost quadrupled its profits in the second quarter as the kingdom withheld production to boost prices. Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, said that its net income had risen to $25.5 billion from $6.6 billion a year earlier, exceeding even the pre-pandemic levels of $24.7 billion in the same period of 2019. – The Times

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