Monday newspaper round-up: Russian assets, Amazon, City banks

by | Jul 4, 2022

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Truss told MPs last week she was supportive of the idea that the government could seize frozen Russian assets in the UK and redistribute them to victims of Russia’s war in Ukraine. She said: “I am supportive of the concept. We are looking at it very closely. The Canadians have in fact just passed legislation This is an issue that we are working on jointly with the Home Office and the Treasury, but I certainly agree with the concept. We just need to get the specifics of it right.” – Guardian
Amazon is launching a fleet of e-cargo bikes and a team of on-foot delivery staff to replace thousands of van deliveries on London’s roads. The online retailer is opening its first “micromobility” hub in Hackney, east London, which – along with an existing fleet of electric vehicles – will contribute to 5m deliveries a year across about a 10th of the capital’s ultra low emission zone postcode districts. The bikes will be operated by a variety of partner businesses, not directly by Amazon, it is understood. – Guardian

British banks have made more profit than French rivals for the first time since 2015, despite efforts by EU officials to shift more jobs out of London and onto the continent post-Brexit. UK banks generated $55.1bn (£46bn) in pre-tax profits last year as big lenders benefited from an economic bounce back from Covid, a private equity deal-making boom and a soaring housing market. – Telegraph

Elon Musk’s Tesla is facing a $440m (£363.5m) writedown on its Bitcoin holdings after a spectacular slump in the digital currency’s value. Tesla bought $1.5bn worth of Bitcoin early last year in a radical move that made it the biggest company to move part of its cash reserves into cryptocurrency. – Telegraph


One of Europe’s largest clusters for life science companies is to be created via a joint venture between UBS Asset Management and Reef Group to invest up to £900 million to develop land at a GSK research site in Stevenage. UBS Asset Management, other unnamed investors and Reef, as development partner, have acquired 33 acres of land from GSK, the FTSE 100 drugs group, to create an estimated 1.4 million sq ft of laboratory and office facilities, providing space for up to 5,000 “highly skilled” new jobs. The Hertfordshire site hosts one of GSK’s two main global research and development facilities as well as the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, a biotechnology hub, and the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. – The Times

The Manufacturing Technology Centre, an organisation that develops and implements technology emerging from universities, is offering its 820 staff the option of a four-day week. The decision follows a two-year trial of flexible working conducted with more than 600 of its staff members, which saw half of them reporting higher productivity and morale when they were able to choose how and when they worked. – The Times

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