Tuesday newspaper round-up: BoE, Morrisons, high streets, Spire Healthcare

by | Jul 6, 2021

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The Bank of England will only require staff to work in the office one day a week from September, in contrast to many City banks that are asking workers to return to a full-time commute to the Square Mile. As the prime minister confirmed the lifting of most remaining Covid-19 restrictions from 19 July, a senior official said the central bank would trial a “hybrid” model allowing people working from home to participate in meetings at its Threadneedle Street offices. – Guardian
Britain’s largest asset manager has warned that Morrisons could be taken over by a private equity outfit for the “wrong reasons” after a third US buyout firm said it was considering a formal bid for the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain. Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) said that potential buyers should not buy Morrisons to take advantage of a possibly undervalued property portfolio, to load it up with debt, or to cut its tax bill, in comments that appeared to criticise practices commonly associated with the private equity industry. – Guardian

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s chemicals empire is getting behind the global hydrogen rush, investing £25m in a new fund that will join the main London stock market. Ineos’s energy division is buying 25m shares in HydrogenOne Capital Growth, amounting to 10pc of the £250m the fund is raising in an upcoming float. It is a relatively small sum for Ineos which makes annual revenues of $61bn (£44bn), but reflects its growing ambitions in energy beyond its oil and gas business, as well as soaring interest in hydrogen as countries try to slash their carbon emissions. – Telegraph

Ministers have admitted that footfall across Britain’s high streets may never recover to pre-pandemic levels as Boris Johnson unveiled plans to lift restrictions in shops, restaurants and pubs on England’s long-awaited freedom day later this month. Luke Hall, the minister for regional growth and local government, said Covid-19 had been the “largest, most synchronised shot to the economy, our social lives and the high street in living memory” and a full recovery could be impossible. – Telegraph

One of Spire Healthcare’s largest investors said it will reject a sweetened £1 billion takeover offer from the Australian firm Ramsay Health Care. Toscafund Asset Management, which owns 5.4 per cent of the private hospital chain, said the raider “continued to undervalue Spire substantially”. Ramsay raised its offer for Spire by £40 million yesterday and stressed that “no further increase [is] to be made”. – The Times

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