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Britain Prepares for Week of Industrial Action: The London Rush - BLOOMBERG

DECEMBER 19, 2022

Bloomberg) -- In what should be a week where most people turn their thoughts towards the Christmas break, thousands of workers across the country will instead go on strike. Nurses, ambulance drivers, the border force and postal, rail and bus workers are all set to walk out this week as they battle with employers amid the cost-of-living crisis. 

Here’s the key business news from London this morning:

In The City

Joules Group Plc: The embattled retailer’s shares have been cancelled on the AIM exchange from this morning, following its acquisition out of insolvency by its founder and Next Plc.

  • It marks the end to a torrid year for the company, that started the year with a £160 million market capitalisation but couldn’t withstand supply-chain challenges and worsening consumer sentiment 

AstraZeneca Plc: The pharmaceutical giant’s drug Imfinzi didn’t achieve statistically significant overall survival compared to chemotherapy in a key phase 3 trial on patients with lung cancer.

  • There was in improvement in overall survival in a secondary goal

James Fisher & Sons Plc: The ocean shipping company sold Prolec, Mimic and the UK operations of Strainstall in two separate transactions in what their CEO said was a demonstration of their plans to “rationalise and focus the portfolio.”

Mondi Plc: The packaging and paper manufacturer said the Science Based Targets initiative approved its net-zero ambitions. SBTi, which is a collaboration between three nonprofits and a United Nations group, is widely seen as the “gold standard” for corporate climate goal-setting. 

In Westminster

The UK government has signed an agreement with a group including the European Commission to develop offshore renewable projects in the North Sea, a deal that signals Britain is prepared to soften its stance in dealing with its former partners post-Brexit.

Later today, Rishi Sunak is set to announce a major new artillery package for Ukraine at the Joint Expeditionary Force gathering in Riga, Latvia. Under a £250 million contract, Britain will supply “hundreds of thousands” of rounds of artillery ammunition to Ukraine next year. 

Here’s a closer look at Britain’s crumbling courtrooms that show a justice system at a “breaking point” — and with austerity likely to make things worse. 

In Case You Missed It 

British retailers are drumming up new credit offers to encourage shoppers to spend more during one of the most challenging Christmas periods for business in years. 

Elsewhere, the bird flu outbreak ravaging global poultry flocks is now the worst since records began, driving a spike in the price of eggs, threatening free-range chicken and risking long-term impacts to animal health.

Finally, initial public offerings are heading for their longest drought since the global financial crisis — and bankers don’t expect a revival anytime soon.

Looking Ahead 

As the City gets ready for the holidays, there are no major company events scheduled this week. 

For a news fix when the day is done, sign up to The Readout with Allegra Stratton, to make sense of the day’s events.


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