Monday Update

DB Live: Man City verdict; Unite Students Scots deal


4.45pm: London close

Stocks in London ended higher, shrugging off a rise in coronavirus infections in the US.

The FTSE 100 index closed up 80.78 points, or 1.3%, at 6,176.19.

4pm: Hong Kong reimposes social distancing

Hong Kong has reimposed social distancing measures on Monday as the financial centre copes with a ‘third wave’ of COVID-19 infections.

The government relaxed coronavirus restrictions after the city reported no new local cases for 16 consecutive days in May.

But the region has been hit with 180 cases in the past two weeks. 

3.30pm: Another restaurant closure

Vegetarian restaurant company Hendersons has become the latest Edinburgh establishment to announce that it will not be reopening after the end of lockdown.

Full story here

11.30am: City ban verdict

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has issued a ruling on Manchester City’s two-year ban from European club competitions.

Full story here

10.15am: Bank deal for distillery

The Glasgow Distillery Company has secured a £5.5m asset based lending facility from Barclays for working capital and to support its international growth plans.

In addition, Barclays has assumed full day to day banking for the distillery which re-opened in 2014 becoming the first independent single malt whisky distillery in Glasgow for over 100 years.

While Europe is currently its biggest export market, the company has seen strong growth in Asia this year. New retail contracts have been secured in Russia with distribution deals currently being developed in Belgium and Luxembourg.

8.30am: London opens higher

The FTSE 100 opened higher, following a rise in Asia, amid cautious optimism about the global economy ahead of the key US earnings season.

London’s blue-chip index was 85.4 points (1.4%) higher at 6,180.83.

7am: Heathrow hopes to test arrival scheme


Heathrow says it is ready to host the UK’s first ‘Test-on-Arrival’ procedure which could allow COVID-negative passengers arriving from higher risk countries to enter the UK without the need to quarantine.

It is also trialling a number of technologies and processes to keep the airport COVID-secure as travel resumes, including the existing temperature testing trials and exploring the use of UV sanitation to quickly and efficiently disinfect key touch points in the passenger journey.

There has been a drop in passenger numbers of over 95% compared to the start of last year’s summer season.

It said an exit plan is now “more critical than ever”, as long-haul flights remain grounded and more jobs continue to be put at risk in an industry crucial to rebuilding the UK economy.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “Travel corridors were a great first step and now we need to go further to protect jobs and kickstart the economy, by allowing healthy passengers to travel freely between the UK and the rest of the world.

“We’re ready to pilot a testing system on arrival for passengers from “red” countries as an alternative to quarantine, but even better would be to test passengers before they get on a plane. This requires a Common International Standard for testing, which the UK government could take a global lead in setting up.”

Whilst overall cargo tonnage in June was down by over 30% compared with 2019, Heathrow saw a record-breaking day for cargo-only flights on 6th June, with 140 movements in one day.

Unite acquires Edinburgh site

Student accommodation provider Unite Students has acquired a 300-bed development site in central Edinburgh, which forms part of a wider mixed-use redevelopment.

The company is targeting completion in the £24 million development for the 2023/24 academic year, though this timetable may be accelerated. The precise location was not disclosed.

It delivers a development yield in line with the company’s enhanced 8.5% target for provincial markets.

The company says Edinburgh has an undersupply of purpose-built student accommodation. The development will add to Unite’s 2,200 operational beds in the city.

Richard Smith, chief executive, said: “This acquisition represents one of three new development and forward funded schemes either contracted or under offer for a total development cost of c.£250 million.

“The scheme will be funded through the proceeds of our recent placing and delivers enhanced returns relative to pre-Covid-19 levels.”

Eos backs drugs firm

Clare Wareing and Alan Wise of Cumulus Oncology and Mark Beaumont and Andrew McNeill

Europe’s first oncology drug discovery accelerator, Cumulus Oncology, has received £1.7 million from a consortium of investors led by St Andrews-based investment firm Eos Advisory.

Full story here

Quiz ‘concern’ over cheap labour claims

Scottish fashion retailer Quiz says it is “extremely concerned” by reports linking the firm with cheap labour malpractices in Leicester.

Full story here

Deep Matter cash call

DeepMatter Group, the Glasgow-based AIM-quoted company focusing on digitising chemistry, is raising £2.3 million to support its expansion plans over the next two years.

It has announced a placing and subscription to raise gross proceeds of £2.1 million, at a price of 1.5 pence per new ordinary share. The issue price represents a discount of 18.9%. to the previous day closing share price of 1.85p per share on 10 July.

The placing is being conducted by Canaccord Genuity.

In addition, the company is raising £200,000 by way of a direct subscription.

The proceeds of the cash call will be used to strengthen the group’s balance sheet and invest in sales, marketing, distribution and support, enabling it to grow market share of its DigitalGlassware technology platform and cheminformatics product lines.

The group has a growing pipeline of sales opportunities and has seen increased interest in its DigitalGlassware platform and other products.

The company has provided the platform to a top 10 global pharmaceutical company, Novartis, with whom it is finalising a collaboration agreement, building on previously announced collaborations with AstraZeneca, the University of Nottingham, the University of Leeds and Cancer Research UK.

Mark Warne, CEO, said:  “Since the successful conclusion of our Pioneer Programme in 2019, we have seen a steady increase of interest in our DigitalGlassware platform, which has subsequently been accelerated by the new socially-distanced working practices in labs around the world.

“As we transition from the R&D phase into full commercialisation, with a clear focus on sales execution, this additional funding will enable us to invest in our operations so that we can capitalise on this opportunity and deliver long-term growth in shareholder value.”

Today’s agenda

* Non-essential shops inside shopping centres will be able to return to business.

* Family and friends can visit hospital patients

Today’s top Daily Business headlines

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Dolly marketing firm raising £50m for global food projects

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