Sunday newspaper round-up: Reopening, Ryanair, Neptune Energy

by | May 23, 2021

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Health chiefs have boosted hopes of a June 21 reopening, saying the numbers are “looking very good” with just six deaths recorded from the Indian variant. Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said experts were “increasingly confident” about the effectiveness of vaccines against the strain in preventing severe disease. – Sunday Telegraph
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has predicted a ‘very, very dramatic recovery’ in air travel starting next month – and revealed ambitious plans to turbocharge his airline’s growth for the next decade. The outspoken Irishman told The Mail on Sunday that British families are ‘ignoring’ the Government’s advice to avoid travel to countries on the amber list. He revealed that Ryanair had already taken 1.75million bookings for this summer by Friday. – Financial Mail on Sunday

The former boss of Centrica is considering a £7 billion stock market float of his oil and gas empire that would create a new FTSE 100 company – but would test investors’ appetite for another big energy stock amid pressure over carbon emissions. Neptune Energy, chaired by Sam Laidlaw, is close to appointing the Wall Street bank JP Morgan to explore a listing or sale to a rival. – Sunday Times

Small shareholders in a British lithium company are mobilising a grassroots campaign to block a takeover by a Chinese mining giant. More than 300 retail investors in Aim-listed Bacanora are calling on institutional investors to side with them, while urging the Government to back their efforts. The investors, which claim to control more than 5pc of Bacanora, have described the offer as “derisory”. – Sunday Telegraph

Marks & Spencer has increased its online share of the crucial women’s fashion market during the pandemic at the expense of its closest rivals, according to figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday. The clothing and food giant lifted its womenswear share in the second half of 2020 faster than any other fashion retailer tracked by Kantar Worldpanel data. M&S’s share of women’s clothing sales online rose 0.8 percentage points to 7 per cent in the 24 weeks to December. – Financial Mail on Sunday

The UK government was facing a backlash on Saturday over its plans for a trade deal with Australia, which have led to anger from farmers and environmentalists and calls for the Scottish secretary to resign. Farming unions said that proposals for a zero-tariff and zero-quota trade deal would drive farmers out of business, while green groups said allowing Australian hormone-treated beef would breach the Conservatives’ manifesto commitments. – Guardian

Canada is seeking to secure sweeping access to the British market for its farmers in trade talks, after UK concessions to Australia threatened to open the floodgates for food imports. Ottawa believes it can secure an ambitious deal on agriculture in negotiations later this year and hopes to take inspiration from the generous agreement set to be sealed with Australia, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal. – Sunday Telegraph

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