Thursday Update

DB Live: Woodford payout; STV branding; markets

4.45pm: London close

Stocks came under pressure from a surprise rise in jobless claims in the US. The FTSE 100 index finished sharply lower, down by 98.64 points, or 1.61%, at 6,013.34.

US benchmark crude fell 1.12% on the day to $42.45 a barrel. Brent crude dropped 1.3% to $44.81.

12.23pm: Phase 3 remains

Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland will remain in phase three of the lockdown and this could still be the case at the next review in three weeks’ time.

However, gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts will re-open from 31 August.

Full list of changes and reaction

12.15pm: STV rebrand

STV Group is rebranding of its production company from STV Productions to STV Studios.  

It says the name change reflects the growing portfolio of businesses which are part of the STV production family and the diverse multi-genre output of the company, and is a statement of intent about STV’s plans for growth. 

11.30am: Woodford payout

Neil Woodford

Investors in the failed Woodford Equity Income will share a £183m payout next week following the sale of a number of assets.

Link Fund Solutions, which has overseen the suspension and liquidation of the fund, has said investors should expect to be paid “on or around 26 August 2020”.

The payout adds to the £142m paid in March and the £2.1bn in January, meaning investors have received around £2.4bn of their money back.

Woodford Equity Income fund was suspended last June after becoming overwhelmed by investor redemptions. Neil Woodford closed the business in October.

Today’s update makes no mention of when the remaining illiquid assets in the fund will be sold.

9am: Zumo hires COO

Zumo, the Edinburgh-based digital wallet and payments platform, has appointed Dagmara Aldridge as its first chief operating officer.

She has worked with Valitor, Travis Perkins and Barclaycard.  

Ms Alridge is based in London and will service Zumo’s international team from the city, Edinburgh and Slovenia. 

8am: London opens lower

The FTSE 100 was down 71 points (1.16%) at the open at 6,041.05 

7am: Frasers profits slide

House of Fraser Glasgow

Frasers Group, formerly Sports Direct, said it will invest £100 million in its digital strategy as profit before tax for the year to 26 April fell by almost 20% from £179.2m to £143.5m.

Children’s clothing and accessories company Mothercare has formally appointed Boots as its UK and Republic of Ireland franchise partner for the next 10 years.

Full story here

Today’s agenda

* First Minister announces latest verdict on easing lockdown with some indoor leisure and driving lessons expected to be allowed

* Opportunity Cromarty Firth is to hold an online launch event to outline its plans for a free port ahead of making a bid for the designation.

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