Sunday newspaper round-up: Vaccine supplies, Debenhams, The Queen

by | Feb 1, 2021

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The UK could help the EU and other nations with coronavirus vaccine supplies even before the domestic vaccination programme has been completed, the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, has said. As ministers sought to smooth relations with Brussels after the EU’s much-criticised and swiftly rescinded decision to impose a vaccine border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Truss sought to stress the need for international cooperation. – Guardian
A City dealmaker who once worked for Boris Johnson has held talks over an audacious rescue of the stricken Debenhams department store staff pension fund, we can reveal. In a move that could trigger a wave of similar salvage deals, Edi Truell’s Pension Superfund has held detailed discussions with the Debenhams administrator and The Pensions Regulator about a plan to snap up the £1billion scheme. – Financial Mail on Sunday

The Queen will lead a post-Brexit charm offensive by hosting Joe Biden and other world leaders at Buckingham Palace before the G7 summit in Cornwall in June. She will be joined at the “soft power” reception in June by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge under plans being drawn up by royal and government officials to cement the “special relationship” between the UK and America. – Sunday Times

Financier Rich Ricci has turned to Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames to help him revive one of Britain’s oldest stockbrokers. Mr Ricci told The Daily Telegraph that he has hired Sir Nicholas, a former Conservative minister and Winston Churchill’s grandson, to advise Panmure Gordon and help it win more clients after he became chief executive of the loss-making business last year. Bob Diamond took over Panmure in 2017 and parachuted in Mr Ricci, who was his key lieutenant at the bank, last year to turnaround the company. Its losses rose to £27.4m in 2019, according to its latest set of accounts. – Sunday Telegraph

The film financing company behind the BBC’s Small Axe series will give investors the chance to tune into the streaming boom by floating a £200 million trust. Great Point Media, based in London and chaired by Robert Halmi, the founder of the Hallmark TV channel in the US, is to list a trust that will finance films and shows on streaming platforms such as Netflix and terrestrial TV. It will be the first time City investors have been able to cash in on streaming, which has boomed in lockdown. – Sunday Times

Downing Street is studying a scathing report that blames British diplomacy in Washington under Sir Kim Darroch for the failure to achieve the prime minister’s long-promised US trade deal. Despite enthusiasm from the British government, trade negotiations with the Biden administration have hit a wall and US officials have poured cold water on the chances of a deal any time soon. – Sunday Times

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