Monday Update

DB Live: Business Stream’s JLR deal; Cairn’s $250m divi; Ryanair

6.30pm: Quarantine extended

The UK is now advising against all non-essential travel to the Balearic and Canary Islands after Spain recorded a rise in coronavirus cases.

Full story here

4.45pm: London close

The FTSE 100 index closed in negative territory as the travel sector took the brunt of a sell-off by traders.

It finished 18.94 points (0.31%) lower at 6,104.88.

On Wall Street, stocks were higher at midday as gold rushed to a new high on growing US-China tensions and virus concerns. 

2.15pm: Bus jobs facing axe

Bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis is expected to axe 650 jobs as a result of a significant decline in UK demand for new buses and coaches.

Full story here

12.30pm: Call to end daily briefings

The BBC has been urged to end the First Minister’s daily briefings amid claims they have become party political.

Full story here

11am: Key hire for Big Partnership

Marketing agency Big Partnership has lured a big hitter from Weber Shandwick as an associate director based in its Edinburgh office. 

Full story here

10.20am: Business Stream wins car manufacturing deal

Water retailer Business Stream has secured a supply contract with car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover.

The agreement will see the Edinburgh-based retailer supply all of its 29 water supply points in England with water and wastewater services.

Business Stream will undertake a full review of Jaguar Land Rover’s sites, as well as installing automatic water reader meters to enable the company to make greater water efficiency savings.

9.40am: Student site bought

Maven Capital Partners has acquired a site in the Haymarket area of Edinburgh, to build student accommodation.

Full story here

8.15am: London stocks hit by quarantine ruling

London shares fell back as a two-week quarantine on all travellers from Spain weighed on airline stocks.

The FTSE 100 was 32 points (0.52%) lower at 6,091.79, extending declines after registering its worst day in two weeks on Friday.

Holiday company TUI fell 8.4% after the company said it had decided to cancel all holidays to mainland Spain following the UK’s decision to quarantine travellers.

Airlines EasyJet and British Airways-owner IAG were down 9% and 7.5%, respectively, even though they do not plan to cancel flights over the coming days.

7am: Cairn sells Senegal stake

Simon Thomson

Shareholders in Cairn Energy will share a $250 million special dividend after the Edinburgh-based explorer agreed the sale of its entire 40% interest in a field off the coast of Senegal to Lukoil for $400 million.

The company said the deal enhances the group’s financial flexibility to sustain and grow a balanced and robust portfolio during the current challenging and uncertain oil market conditions.

Simon Thomson, chief executive, said: “We are proud of what Cairn has achieved in Senegal. Our discoveries were the country’s first deep-water wells and opened up a new basin play on the Atlantic Margin. What’s more, they successfully laid the foundations for Senegal’s first oil and gas development, which will deliver enduring benefits to its people.

“With a strong balance sheet, low break even production and limited capital commitments, Cairn will have enhanced financial flexibility to invest in and grow the business whilst always remaining committed to returning excess cash to shareholders.

“The planned special dividend from the sale of the Sangomar asset reflects Cairn’s long-standing strict capital allocation strategy of active portfolio management and returning cash to shareholders.

“We will work closely with the Government of Senegal, Lukoil and joint venture partners to ensure the transaction is completed as soon as possible.”

Ryanair loss


Ryanair has swung to a loss in the first quarter as a result of travel restrictions and said it could not provide a forecast for the full-year ending in March.

The Irish airline reported a €185 million (£168.6m) loss in the three months ended 30 June against a net profit of €243 million a year ago.

“Given the current uncertainty, Ryanair cannot provide any FY21 profit after tax guidance at this time,” group chief executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

It hopes to fly 60% of its normal schedule in August and 70% in September and expects to post a smaller loss in the current quarter.

6.30am: Obesity strategy ‘will force up prices’

Food and drink businesses say plans to tackle Britain’s obesity problem by banning promotions in England will see prices rise for sake of saving 17 calories a day.

The industry says the government has missed an opportunity to promote healthier lifestyles which would have been more effective.

The Food and Drink Federation points to government data showing that, on average, people would have to spend £634 a year more for the same food if promotions were banned.It also highlighted a Scottish government decision to reverse its decision to press ahead with promotional restrictions.

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Tim Rycroft, the FDF’s chief operating officer, said: “The Scottish Government recently reversed its decision to press ahead with promotional restrictions. They said the Covid crisis had rendered their impact assessments meaningless. Why are things different in England?

“Government is pulling in different directions. From August the Chancellor is paying for people to eat out whilst the Health Secretary is proposing banning promotions on the same foods in supermarkets.”

Today’s agenda

Physical distancing on ScotRail trains and at stations are reduced to a minimum of one metre 

Today’s Daily Business headlines

Spain says Covid ‘isolated’ as UK orders quarantine

Bounce back will take 18 months longer, says EY

Covid ‘should force faster action on infrastructure’

‘Tale of two economies’ revealed in FSB data

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