Thursday newspaper round-up: Brexit, Provident Financial, Amazon/Whole Foods

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Thursday newspaper round-up: Brexit, Provident Financial, Amazon/Whole Foods

Thu, 24 August 2017
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Thursday newspaper round-up: Brexit, Provident Financial, Amazon/Whole Foods

(ShareCast News) - The food and drink industry has issued a warning of significant disruption and economic damage if the government fails to stem the flow of EU nationals leaving the UK. Nearly a third of British food and drink businesses have had non-UK EU workers leave their employment since last summer's Brexit vote, according to a survey of more than 600 businesses representing nearly a quarter of the food chain's 4 million workforce. Almost half said more planned to leave because of uncertainty about their future. - Guardian
The troubled doorstep lender Provident Financial is racing to fix its technical problems in time to stop staff leaving for rival firms, taking its most lucrative customers with them. Concerns of an exodus came as the company's lead financial adviser, JP Morgan, wrote down its estimated value of Provident's home credit business to nothing. Shares in Provident had plunged 66% on Tuesday, wiping £1.7bn off its stock market value, after it issued a shock profit warning and longstanding chief executive, Peter Crook, resigned. The share price recovered 12% on Wednesday to 661p, still far below Monday's close of about £17.40. - Guardian

The US Federal Trade Commission has said it will not stand in the way of Amazon's planned $13.7bn (£10.7bn) takeover of upmarket grocer Whole Foods, signing off on the deal hours after it was backed by the supermarket chain's shareholders. The regulator checked to see if the deal could seriously hamper competition in the market but has decided not to investigate further, its acting competition chief Bruce Hoffman said on Wednesday. - Telegraph

Uber's bookings continued to rise in the second quarter despite the American ride-hailing company being embroiled in a string of scandals. The company saw its bookings double on last year to $8.7bn during the period, according to Uber's latest results published by US website Axios, suggesting customers are not being put off recent controversies. - Telegraph

The corporate broker to Provident Financial has told investors that the subprime lender's troubled home credit business is worthless. In the latest blow to Provident, analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove, which acts as the company's broker and adviser, said in its sum-of-the-parts valuation of the group that "we give zero value to HC", Provident's doorstep lending business, which is in the midst of a botched and costly restructuring. - The Times

The world's biggest advertising group heightened stock market concerns over the strength of the advertising market, putting pressure on the shares prices of European media companies. WPP's shares fell 11 per cent to £14.20, its lowest level since February last year, after it blamed weaker revenue growth for a cut in its full-year sales target. It helped to send ITV stock down 2 per cent amid fears that Britain's largest commercial broadcaster could also be hit by a prolonged slowdown. - The Times