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Sunday newspaper round-up: Stock market listings, Civil service, Inmarsat

Stock market listings have taken a big hit as a result of the war in Ukraine and the jump in energy prices. Over the first quarter of 2022, 19 firms have debuted on the London Stock Exchange, five more than in the corresponding period of the year before. But they raised just £397m, against £5.6bn in the first quarter of 2021, some 14 times more. Globally, listings halved during the same period to reach just 321 for £41.8bn in funds raised and EY expects the weakness to stretch into the second quarter. – The Financial Mail on Sunday
As many as 40,000 civil service jobs are facing the axe, in particular those created to handle the bureaucratic aspects of handling the pandemic and Brexit, as opposed to frontline staff. The two policy challenges had seen the ranks of civil servants jump by early one fifth over the previous seven years to reach 485,000. Last month, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, said he was planning to reduce the civil service headcount back to 2019/2020 levels and eventually back down to 2015/16 levels, entailing the reduction of as many as 70,000 roles. – Sunday Telegraph

A foreign takeover of Inmarsat may jeopardise Britain’s leadership in geostationary satellites, a critical skillset for marine and aerospace navigation. Hence, Viasat’s proposed takeover is the first big test for Britain’s National Security and Investment Act. It will also demonstrate Boris Johnson’s resolve to avoid the long-term economic damage from losing British brain power, research and development and patents. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Australian tycoon Andrew Forrest is ready to invest billions of pounds into Britain if the government channels more taxpayer support towards ‘green’ hydrogen. Last night, Forrest rebuked the government for its plans to instead ramp up development of so-called blue hydrogen, which uses fossil fuels to separate hydrogen from water, because it is not clean, requiring carbon capture to contain the carbon dioxide released when the fossil fuels are burned. Forrest described claims that blue hydrogen was clean as ‘bulldust’ and ‘straight out greenwashing’. – Financial Mail on Sunday

Airlines may be staring at a £100m compensation bill as a result of the travel chaos at airports, which shows no signs of abating. During the preceding week some 1,200 flights were cancelled and a similar number – perhaps more – may be cut over the next seven days. The industry has blamed a constellation of factors, in particular counter-terrorism checks for new workers, which have led to severe and widespread staff shortages. – Sunday Telegraph

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