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Monday newspaper round-up: PL auction, consumer spending, construction, Shell

Market Buzz

Monday newspaper round-up: PL auction, consumer spending, construction, Shell

Mon, 07 August 2017
Article viewed 1233 times
Monday newspaper round-up: PL auction, consumer spending, construction, Shell

(ShareCast News) - The executive chairman of the Premier League has indicated that the door is open for online giants to end the reign of BT and Sky and show live matches across the UK for the first time. Richard Scudamore insisted that there was "no ceiling in sight" after the pair spent £5.14 billion on three seasons of rights in 2015. The league is "technology-neutral" as it prepares to auction the next batch, he said, amid growing expectation that Amazon, Twitter and Facebook could enter the race. - The Times
Consumer spending fell for a third month running in July, highlighting how rising prices and a lack of pay rises are causing the public to tighten their purse strings. The data from Visa reflects all consumer spending and not just that on cards, giving a better picture of how Britons are being more careful with their money. - Telegraph

The number of cranes needling Britain's city skylines is often used as crude shorthand for the health of economy. Economists at the Construction Products Association (CPA) see leaner times ahead for crane spotters as it predicts industry growth will drop to a six-year low ahead of Brexit. "Construction firms are still reporting that activity remains high and there are still lots of cranes around," said Noble Francis, the CPA's economics director. - Guardian

A cliff-edge Brexit in early 2019 would pose serious dangers to the whole European financial system and will be avoided at all costs by both the British Government and EU authorities, the City of London's top financial consortium has concluded. The much greater threat to London's banking, insurance and fund industry lies further ahead, several years after the UK has left the single market and has lost its full "passporting" rights for financial services, thinks the head of newly formed mega lobby UK Finance. - Telegraph

Brexit negotiators have been accused of trying to "ram through" a £36bn divorce bill while most of the Cabinet is on holiday amid a furious backlash from ministers and senior eurosceptic Conservatives. Senior Whitehall officials have concluded that the offer is the only way to break the deadlock in negotiations and push ahead with discussions on a future trade deal.

An "ambitious" independent review of energy costs will not consider gas bills, suppliers' profits and prices, smart meters or projects such as Hinkley Point, the government has admitted. The business department said yesterday that Dieter Helm would lead the review, promised in the Conservative manifesto, which it said would "ensure energy is affordable for British households and businesses" and would recommend "ways to keep energy prices as low as possible". - The Times

Manufacturers believe that the support they get from the government lags far behind levels found in Germany and are calling on ministers to ensure that all departments are involved in the new industrial strategy. Although 82 per cent of the public told a survey that a strong manufacturing base was essential for future prosperity, only 8 per cent of manufacturers believe that Britain has supportive policies, compared with 65 per cent arguing that Germany does. - The Times

Moves by Donald Trump to confront China on trade would elicit a "very aggressive" response, a former top US trade negotiator has predicted, as Beijing said an upcoming visit from the US president would help "map out" the next half century of ties between the world's top two economies. There has been speculation since last week that Trump - who is due to travel to China this year - is preparing to launch a potentially incendiary investigation into its alleged abuse of intellectual property rights. - Guardian

Royal Dutch Shell is to launch as an electricity supplier in Britain, challenging some of Europe's biggest utilities. The oil major has applied for a licence to supply power to businesses across Britain and plans to start signing up industrial customers now to provide them with electricity early next year. - The Times

Liverpool and Manchester are to be the testbed for an ambitious £600m project aiming to solve the thorny problem of how the government cuts the carbon footprint of the gas that heats most of Britain's homes. Cadent, which runs the connections to half of the UK homes on gas, hopes to undertake a pioneering trial in the 2020s using hydrogen as a cleaner alternative to methane in pipelines across the region. - Guardian

The boss of a UK insurance giant created by the merger of Towergate and four others has said the group will discuss the possibility of an initial public offering when it is a "monster" next year. Towergate, Autonet, Chase Templeton, Ryan Direct and Price Forbes were pulled into one holding company by its US private equity owners last month in a move that bought together 5,000 staff and around £500m of annual revenues. - Telegraph

Some of the City's biggest banks have been hired by the owners of a mobile phone infrastructure operator to lead what could be a £6 billion stock market flotation. Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and JP Morgan have been appointed to prepare a London listing of Arqiva as its Australian and Canadian backers move ahead with their plans to float the company or sell it to a trade buyer. - The Times

The oil industry should welcome cash-rich private equity buyers to the North Sea with open arms, a consultancy has claimed. More than $5 billion of North Sea fields have changed hands already this year in deals backed by private equity cash and, with firms armed with billions more, others are likely to follow, a report by Wood Mackenzie has found. - The Times

Property investor Henderson Park, founded by former Goldman Sachs executive Nick Weber last year, has confirmed the acquisition of two of the UK's largest hotels in a deal thought to be worth around £500m. The deal for the Hilton London Metropole and Hilton Birmingham Metropole marks the investor's first move into UK hotels, and takes its buying spree to date to roughly $1.3bn (£1bn) of assets. - Telegraph

The UK Bed & Breakfast Association is taking on the might of the big American online travel agents. The association, which represents thousands of B&Bs and guest houses, has lodged five formal complaints with the Competition and Markets Authority. David Weston, chairman of the association, claimed that the relationship between B&Bs and global agents such as and was "unequal and unfair, at times verging on the abusive". - The Times

One of America's leading biotechs, Bluebird Bio, is in talks with UK medicine regulators about a potential launch of its pioneering range of gene therapies for rare diseases. Bluebird has a market value of over $4bn (£3bn) on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange and specialises in bone marrow transplants to cure patients with faulty immune systems. - Telegraph