Thu. Jan 20th, 2022


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The City stalwart and chairman of Ted Baker, John Barton, is dead, the retailer said this morning.

He took the chair at the fashion brand in July last year after a period of turmoil at the retailer following the departure of founder Ray Kelvin in the wake of a “forced embrace” scandal. He also served as chairman of airline easyJet until last week, when he handed over to former RBS boss Stephen Hester nine years in the role.

Prior to that, Barton spent more than a decade as chairman of Following, where he presided over a doubling profit.

Ted Baker said his senior independent director Helena Feltham will take on the role of interim chairman.

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Briefly

We will find out soon how Charlie Nunn, the new-like boss of Lloyds Banking Group, plans to spend his £ 4bn war chest. Our banking team reports that Nunn is preparing a strategy that will expand the lender’s ambitions in real estate, wealth, commercial and investment banking. Feel free to visit this section of mine from Budget Week in October where I argued we should prepare for Lloyds to spend it like Sunak.

The London Stock Exchange Group entered into a small agreement (according to its standards), and agreed to pay up to £ 274m for Quantum, a company that provides derivative portfolio services. LSEG should know the company well – one of Quantile’s minority shareholders was an LSEG board member until August this year.

Franco Manca owner Fulham Coast is the latest hospitality company to set an upbeat tone in its half-year report. Revenue doubled in the six months to September compared to the same period in 2020, but was also 10 percent higher than the 2019 equivalent, while October and November trading was also higher than 2019 – even in office and theater districts. Fulham Shore reported a pre-tax profit of £ 3.1 million, compared to a loss of £ 4.3 million a year ago. Even if Omicron leads to further disruption, a shift to delivery and takeaways should support earnings and positive cash generation, he added.

Also out today is an update of Thungela Resources, separated the coal business Anglo American.

Beyond the square mile

SoftBank’s shares fell 8 percent on Monday in a seventh consecutive day of losses, our team from Tokyo reported, as problems with portfolio companies, including the slide designer Arm and ride group Didi Chuxing revive concern on the Japanese technology conglomerate’s business model.

That of Alibaba longtime chief financial officer is stepping down as part of a broad-based upheaval of the e-commerce company to reverse slowing growth and halt its share price decline, Ryan McMorrow reported of Beijing. The Chinese group founded by Jack Ma has been hit by Beijing’s suppression of technology groups as well as increasing competition.

And share China Evergrande, the world’s developer with the most debt, fell to an 11-year low after the company said on Friday it had received a claim involving a $ 260 million burden, William Langley reported of Hong Kong. Its shares fell as much as 12 percent because the company said it would become “actively involved” in formulating a restructuring plan and the group’s chairman was summoned by regulators.

Sorry for the poor car driver (no, really). Leo Lewis, our business editor in Asia, addresses the dilemma we face Makoto Uchida, NissanCEO since 2019. Because while Uchida is trying to get Elon Musk on the electric motors of the future, its “promise of impending technological magic can lead the customer to the conclusion that nothing currently in Nissan’s showrooms is truly the cutting edge”. And it does not make the sale of the car manufacturer’s current range easy.

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