We’ve summarised the top stories of the last week into an easily digestible briefing, so that you can stay up to date on what’s happening around the world. You can subscribe to receive the briefing in your inbox each week.
UK Economics and Business
- The UK economy grew by 0.1% compared to the previous quarter, making it the worst performing country in the G7.
- The Bank of England raised interest rates for the twelfth consecutive time to 4.5%, amid rampant and persistent yearly inflation of 10.1%.
- USS, the UK’s biggest private pension plan, claimed that personal data of 470,000 of its clients may have been stolen during a cyber attack on outsourcing group Capita.
- Skipton Building society last week began offering an 100% mortgage, a product that is heavily associated with the the easy credit conditions that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis. The Bank of England warned that lenders and borrowers had to be ‘very careful’ offering these products, especially with a volatile housing market.
- JD Sports has proposed buying the French company Courir, which owns 313 stores in 6 European countries, for €520 million.
World Economics and Business
- Linda Yaccarino will become the new CEO of Twitter, as Elon Musk stepped down from the position to focus more on Tesla. The electric vehicle company’s stock price rose by 2% after the announcement.
- Google’s latest search engine will now use PaLM2, its large-language model, and will first launch in America, in a bid to rival Microsoft’s new AI driven iteration of Bing.
- Ryanair reported a significant increase in demand for seats. Last week, they ordered 150 737 Max aircraft from Boeing to cope with this, with an option to buy 150 more.
- Net profit at Saudi Aramco fell by 20% in the first quarter, year on year, as it doubles down on production of oil and gas instead of transitioning to renewables.
- At a conference, only 20% of HSBC’s shareholders supported Ping An’s long-standing proposal for the bank to spin off its Asian business. The Chinese investment firm is currently the bank’s largest shareholder.
- Rishi Sunak’s struggle to unite the Conservative Party continued this week, as he convened his cabinet on Tuesday to deal with unrest from big local election losses. Iain Duncan-Smith, a former leader of the Conservative Party, launched a strong attack on his decision to send his investment minister to Hong Kong, the first visit in 5 years by a British minster. He also faces difficulties over his party’s failure to meet housebuilding targets across the UK.
- Business and Trade secretary Kemi Badenoch was rebuked by Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle for failing to deliver news directly to parliament that the government would be unable to proceed with a bill imposing a deadline of December 31st for all retained EU law to be rewritten or lost. She instead presented this in a written statement, a tactic that has previously been used by governments to avoid controversial debates on policy changes.
- This Monday morning, Ukraine’s President Zelensky is visiting the UK in a surprise visit on his European tour in order to hold ‘substantive negotiations’, after last Thursday’s announcement that the UK would supply Ukraine with Storm Shadow long range missiles.
- The home secretary will later today tell the National Conservatism conference that there is ‘no good reason why we can’t train up HGV drivers or fruit pickers…for ourselves’, as she aims to reduce net migration to below 100,000 from the current 700,000.
- Counting is under way in Turkey’s presidential election. President Erdogan faces a tough challenge after 20 years in power from the combined forces of 6 opposition parties. Both sides claim to be ahead, and the result looks set to go to a runoff in two weeks time.
- During a conference in Berlin held to celebrate a large new defence aid package on Sunday, Volodymyr Zelensky stated clearly that Ukraine was not looking to hit targets in Russia, but was solely looking for aid to ‘de-occupy the illegitimately conquered territories’.
- Serbia last week put plans on hold that would have offered foreign nationals passports after only one year of residency, down from 5 years. This was after the EU warned it might remove Serbia’s visa-free status on the basis of fears over Russian nationals emigrating and picking up third country citizenship quickly.
- The US and China met last week in an attempt to stabilise relations between the countries, as US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met China’s top diplomat Wang Yi in Vienna. The White House called the discussions “candid, substantive and constructive”. Meanwhile, the US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen called for co-ordinated action by the G7 against Beijing’s policies of ”economic coercion’ and widespread use of sanctions.
- Joe Biden continues talks this week as legislation is sought to raise the current $34.1tn borrowing limit, or the country risks a default on US debt and other government payments. This situation would likely wreak havoc on the economy, but congressional republicans have sought to tie a rise in the ceiling to sharp spending cuts.
Written by Sean Tan and Angus McIntyre