Sunday newspaper round-up: Ryanair, China’s central bank, IAG

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has warned that airfares will be “dramatically higher” next summer as passengers rush to return to Europe for their holidays. The outspoken airline chief executive said huge demand for holidays would coincide with fewer flights, which would mean a spike in prices for holidaymakers – not just for flights, but also for hotels. – Sunday Times
China’s central bank has muscled in on the London stock market to grab a bigger stake in Britain even as economic tensions between Beijing and the West rise. The People’s Bank of China now owns UK shares worth $17.1bn, including stakes in most of the FTSE 100, analysis by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed. It has dramatically increased its exposure in the past few weeks: the total value of its holdings in the second quarter of the year was less than $2bn. The Bank owns more than 1.5pc of BP and Royal Dutch Shell, where it is the fourth-largest holder of the “A” class of shares. It also owns more than 1pc of Vodafone, BHP and Anglo American, according to data from Bloomberg. – Sunday Telegraph

British Airways owner IAG could raise more cash from shareholders within weeks to shore up its battered finances. City sources said a fundraising from investors would help IAG to slash its £10.3billion debt pile after a fraught summer of travel restrictions and the continued closure of key long-haul routes from Europe to the US. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Pret a Manger boss Pano Christou is optimistic about trading in city centres after employees returning to offices last week drove a 15 per cent sales uplift in just seven days. He said the first full week after the school holidays had been the ‘acid test’ to gauge the scale of workers returning to areas such as the City of London after a switch to remote working over the pandemic. Christou said sales at his sandwich shops in city centres had now returned to about 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Jeff Bezos has brought his battle with Elon Musk to Britain, as Amazon hires a phalanx of lawyers and lobbyists for its upcoming satellite internet service. The company has hired legal and ­regulatory executives from satellite companies OneWeb, Eutelsat and Inmarsat in the UK, France and Luxembourg as it gears up to launch its Kuiper broadband service. It comes as Amazon is locked in a ­bitter war of words with Mr Musk’s SpaceX over proposals for Starlink, the rocket company’s own satellite internet network. – Sunday Telegraph

The activist investor pushing for a board shake-up at Rolls-Royce has amassed a £178 million stake in WH Smith as the stricken high street chain tries to clamber back to its feet after the pandemic. This month, Los Angeles-based Causeway Capital boosted its stake in WH Smith to 9.05 per cent, making it the retailer’s largest shareholder. – Sunday Times

A former editor of Glamour magazine is hoping to cash in on her scented candles and diffusers empire with a multimillion-pound float. Harrogate-based NEOM Organics, founded by former journalist Nicola Elliott and her business partner, former investment analyst Oliver Mennell, has hired Rothschild to advise on a possible listing that could value it at up to £100 million. – Sunday Times

Barely one in four Scots want an early independence referendum and even a majority of SNP voters oppose the move, according to an opinion poll that prompted claims Nicola Sturgeon is “out of touch”. The survey, published to coincide with this weekend’s SNP conference, found backing for another separation vote being staged this year or next has fallen since February from 35 per cent to 27 per cent. – Sunday Telegraph

If Apple is to become the world’s first three-trillion-dollar company, the iPhone will play a key role in that feat. The tech firm unveils the latest iteration of its signature product on Tuesday, and the success of the iPhone 13 will determine how quickly Apple goes from its current market capitalisation of just under $2.5tn (£1.8tn) to $3tn. – Guardian

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