Wednesday newspaper round-up: Hospitality firms, Vectura takeover, Opec

by | Jul 14, 2021

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More pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants could be facing collapse, despite restrictions easing from 19 July, having built up almost £10bn in debt during the pandemic. Hospitality, retail and property business leaders told MPs on Tuesday there was an urgent need to revamp business rates, kick off arbitration on rent debts and extend payment terms for government-backed loans, as the government hands over responsibility on Covid protection measures to individual businesses. – Guardian
The number of women in senior roles at FTSE 350 companies will lag behind men until 2036, after the Covid pandemic pushed the prospect of gender parity in the boardroom back by four years, according to a new report. The Women Count 2021 report, an annual study of the number of roles held by women at executive committee level or higher, found that just 15 companies of the 350 had female chief executives. These include Emma Walmsley at GSK, Alison Rose at NatWest and Carolyn McCall at ITV. – Guardian

Ministers will unveil a new blueprint for “decarbonising” Britain’s transport system on Wednesday amid Whitehall wrangling over how to replace petrol tax after traditional cars and lorries are banned from the country’s roads. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, will pledge to ban diesel and petrol lorries from 2035 and the sale of new petrol cars from 2030 – while promising billions to encourage cycling. – Telegraph

Ministers must intervene in a planned takeover of Britain’s biggest microchip factory to a Chinese-owned technology company over national security concerns, MPs have demanded. Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee warned the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, a Dutch firm owned by Chinese investors Wingtech, risked “prioritising short-term commercial interests over the long-term security of our country”. – Telegraph

The business secretary has asked officials to monitor the proposed £927 million takeover of a listed British respiratory drugs company by tobacco giant Philip Morris International after concerns were raised with government about the deal. Kwasi Kwarteng is understood to be working with officials to better understand the plans Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, has for Vectura, the FTSE 250 company developing inhaled treatments for respiratory diseases, including Covid-19. – The Times

Oil markets face a growing supply deficit if major producers in the Opec+ alliance cannot resolve an impasse over boosting output, the International Energy Agency has said. High oil and fuel prices could accelerate the shift to electric vehicles and the energy transition but also threaten “to stoke inflation and damage a fragile economic recovery”, especially in emerging and developing countries, the agency said. – The Times

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