Categories
World News

Marshall Wace targets $1 billion for new ESG focused fund

(Reuters) – Marshall Wace is planning to raise $1 billion for a new fund which will invest based on environmental and other ethical criteria, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The hedge fund, co-founded by British financier Paul Marshall, will rely on external analysts who focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, the source said on Saturday.

The fund will bet against stocks with poor ratings and will buy stocks with strong ESG characteristics, the source added, confirming an earlier Financial Times report.

Marshall Wace, which has a total of around $45 billion in assets, will include the new fund in its $19 billion computer-driven TOPS trading system, the source told Reuters.

This system analyses ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendations from about a thousand analysts at banks and research houses to come up with trading signals.

Founded in 1997, Marshall Wace employs more than 240 people in London, New York and Hong Kong.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Airlines end legal challenge to UK quarantine policy

LONDON (Reuters) – Three of Europe’s biggest airlines said on Friday they would end a legal challenge against the British government after it scrapped its quarantine rule for travellers coming from some of the most popular tourist destinations.

The government said the policy would be ended for English holidaymakers to countries such as France, Spain and Italy, although it would be maintained for the United States.

The policy announcement coincided with a planned court hearing for a legal challenge to the measures by British Airways (ICAG.L), easyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYA.I).

The airlines heavily criticised the government’s introduction of a blanket rule that all travellers arriving from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days on June 8, saying it jeopardised the industry’s recovery from the crisis.

However, they agreed to end the legal challenge after the government said it would publish a list of countries to which the rules would not apply.

“The blanket quarantine introduced by the UK Government on everyone entering into England was irrational and has seriously damaged the economy and the travel industry,” the airlines said in a statement.

“Today’s publication of a list of countries is a first step. We look forward to the publication of the rationale behind the decision-making and the continued lifting of the quarantine from safe countries.”

Tom Hickman, representing the airlines, had earlier argued that the restrictions on travellers were stricter than those imposed at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, and that the rate of infection in different countries should be taken into account.

The government said the policy was a crucial step to avoid a second wave of COVID-19, and their lawyers said that the measures had been justified and proportionate.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Beaches beckon as England to end quarantine for more than 50 countries

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will end coronavirus quarantines for people arriving in England from more than 50 countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy – but not the United States – the government said on Friday.

The move, effective July 10, clears the way for millions of British tourists to take summer holidays without worrying about being quarantined when they return. Those arriving from higher risk countries will still have to self-quarantine for 14 days under a rule which has angered airlines and travel companies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government had debated for days how to ease the quarantine rules. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which set their own health policies within the United Kingdom, have not announced plans to lift the measures.

“Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

As the spread of the novel coronavirus slows in Europe, countries are reopening travel after more than three months of lockdown.

The full list of countries was published here: here

Australia, New Zealand and Japan are included, as are Caribbean tourist destinations such as the Bahamas and Barbados, but popular holiday destination Portugal was not on the list. Nor were the United States, China, India or Russia.

“The U.S. from a very early stage banned flights from the UK and from Europe so there isn’t a reciprocal arrangement in place,” Shapps said.

Britain’s foreign ministry also set out exemptions from a global advisory against “all but essential” international travel, from July 4, a key to normal insurance being valid.

The government said it expected countries included on the quarantine-free list to reciprocate by relaxing their own restrictions.

The move to ditch the quarantine prompted three of Europe’s biggest airlines, British Airways (ICAG.L), Ryanair (RYA.I) and easyJet (EZJ.L) to end a legal challenge against the government.

Britain, with the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, is slowly reopening its economy. England and Northern Ireland will reopen pubs this weekend, and Scotland and Wales are expected to follow later in July.

Johnson has warned people to maintain social distancing rules and is expected to repeat that caution at a news conference on Friday.

“Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal,” he will say. [nL8N2EA1PC]

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Beaches beckon as England to end quarantine for over 50 countries – but not the U.S.

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will end coronavirus quarantines for people arriving in England from more than 50 countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy – but not the United States – the British government said on Friday.

The move, effective July 10, clears the way for millions of British tourists to take summer holidays without worrying about being quarantined when they return. Those arriving from higher risk countries will still have to self-quarantine for 14 days under a rule which has angered airlines and travel companies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government had debated for days how to ease the quarantine rules. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which set their own health policies within the United Kingdom, have not announced plans to lift the measures.

“There will be a list of 50 plus countries and if you add in the overseas territories, 60 something or other that we will publish later today,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

“Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation,” he said.

As the spread of the novel coronavirus slows in Europe, countries are reopening travel after more than three months of lockdown.

The full list of countries has not yet been published. New Zealand is included, as are the Vatican and Britain’s overseas territories such as the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar. The United States remains on the “red list”.

“The U.S. from a very early stage banned flights from the UK and from Europe so there isn’t a reciprocal arrangement in place,” Shapps said.

Britain’s foreign ministry will also set out exemptions from a global advisory against “all but essential” international travel, from July 4, a key to normal insurance being valid.

The government said it expected countries included on the quarantine-free list to reciprocate by relaxing their own restrictions.

The move to ditch the quarantine comes as England’s High Court is due to hear a legal challenge by British Airways (ICAG.L), backed by low-cost rivals Ryanair (RYA.I) and easyJet (EZJ.L). They argue the quarantine had no scientific basis and was unworkable.

Related Coverage

  • UK minister expects travel insurance policies to adapt to coronavirus rules

Britain, with the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, is slowly reopening its economy. England and Northern Ireland will reopen pubs this weekend, and Scotland and Wales are expected to follow later in July.

Johnson has warned people to maintain social distancing rules and is expected to repeat that caution at a news conference on Friday.

“Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal,” he will say.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

No official U.S. approach to quiz Prince Andrew over Epstein, UK PM says

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have not made an official approach to the British government for permission to speak to Prince Andrew about his contacts with the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday.

U.S. prosecutors want to question the British prince over his contacts with Epstein, who was awaiting trial on charges of trafficking minors when he died last August in a New York City federal prison.

However, they have said Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, had repeatedly evaded their requests for an interview and reiterated their desire to speak to him on Thursday after they arrested British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and longtime associate of Epstein.

Lawyers for Andrew, who met Epstein through his friendship with Maxwell, say he has offered his help three times this year.

Asked what the response would be if U.S. officials sought formal access to the prince, whose official title is the Duke of York, Johnson said: “No such approach has been made. It’s a matter for the royal family.”

He added: “Everybody’s sympathies are very much with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein but you wouldn’t expect me to comment on matters affecting the royal family.”

“The law must carried out and the law must be observed,” he told LBC radio.

In June, then-U.S. Attorney for Manhattan Geoffrey Berman said Andrew had “sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate” with their inquiry.

At the same time, a U.S. law enforcement official confirmed to Reuters that U.S. authorities investigating Epstein had sent the British government a formal request, known as a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) submission, asking for access to the prince.

After Maxwell was arrested and charged on Thursday with luring underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse, acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us.”

Andrew’s legal team have accused the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) of seeking publicity rather than his help, rejecting accusations he had offered “zero cooperation.”

“The Duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month, and to-date, we have had no response,” a source close to Andrew’s team said in response to Strauss’s remarks.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

UK's Sunak to make announcement on jobs support next week

LONDON (Reuters) – Finance minister Rishi Sunak will next week make an announcement on the government’s job support schemes, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday.

“You’ll be hearing more about what we’re going to do to support people next week from the chancellor Rishi Sunak,” he told LBC radio, responding to a question about what will happen when an existing furlough scheme ends later this year.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Beaches beckon as England to end quarantine for over 50 countries – but not the U.S.

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will end coronavirus quarantines for people arriving in England from more than 50 countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy – but not the United States – the British government said on Friday.

The move, effective July 10, clears the way for millions of British tourists to take summer holidays without worrying about being quarantined when they return. Those arriving from higher risk countries will still have to self-quarantine for 14 days under a rule which has angered airlines and travel companies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government had debated for days how to ease the quarantine rules. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which set their own health policies within the United Kingdom, have not announced plans to lift the measures.

“There will be a list of 50 plus countries and if you add in the overseas territories, 60 something or other that we will publish later today,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

“Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation,” he said.

As the spread of the novel coronavirus slows in Europe, countries are reopening travel after more than three months of lockdown.

The full list of countries has not yet been published. New Zealand is included, as are the Vatican and Britain’s overseas territories such as the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar. The United States remains on the “red list”.

“The U.S. from a very early stage banned flights from the UK and from Europe so there isn’t a reciprocal arrangement in place,” Shapps said.

Britain’s foreign ministry will also set out exemptions from a global advisory against “all but essential” international travel, from July 4, a key to normal insurance being valid.

The government said it expected countries included on the quarantine-free list to reciprocate by relaxing their own restrictions.

The move to ditch the quarantine comes as England’s High Court is due to hear a legal challenge by British Airways (ICAG.L), backed by low-cost rivals Ryanair (RYA.I) and easyJet (EZJ.L). They argue the quarantine had no scientific basis and was unworkable.

Related Coverage

  • UK minister expects travel insurance policies to adapt to coronavirus rules

Britain, with the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, is slowly reopening its economy. England and Northern Ireland will reopen pubs this weekend, and Scotland and Wales are expected to follow later in July.

Johnson has warned people to maintain social distancing rules and is expected to repeat that caution at a news conference on Friday.

“Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal,” he will say.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Johnson says UK 'not out of the woods' with pubs set to open

LONDON (BLOOMBERG, AFP) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday (July 3) will tell Britons to act responsibly as the country’s pubs prepare to re-open, warning he will act to shutter parts of the economy again if the coronavirus pandemic runs out of control.

Restaurants, hotels, cinemas and hairdressers will also be allowed to open their doors again Saturday after three-and-a-half months of an economic lockdown brought in to contain the outbreak.

They will join non-essential shops, which were allowed back in June.

And in a further easement, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Friday will say that from July 10, people arriving in England from countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy will no longer have to observe a two-week quarantine.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Mr Johnson will say at a press conference Friday, according to a statement emailed by his office.

“The success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly. We must not let them down.”

Mr Johnson is trying to jump-start the UK economy after the pandemic killed more than 43,000 people, pushing the country into what may be the worst recession in three centuries.

Earlier this week, the premier brought forward five billion pounds (S$8.65 billion) of spending, pledging to “build, build, build” in an effort to revive economic activity, and next week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is due to unveil more measures.

Mr Sunak is focusing on preserving as many jobs as possible so that the economy is in the best place possible to bounce back.

His statement next week is likely to steer clear of wide-scale tax cuts and focus instead on a few targeted measures to help preserve jobs. Then in the fall, he will outline a bigger package of fiscal stimulus in a budget.

‘TARGETED STRATEGY’

On Friday, Labour Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds will deliver her first major speech in the post, setting out four tests for Mr Sunak’s statement, according to an emailed statement from the party.

She’s previously called for an emergency budget rather than Mr Sunak’s planned “summer statement.”

Ms Dodds will say Mr Sunak’s package must create and protect jobs, ensure any economic bounce-back extends across the country and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The chancellor should also pledge not to raise taxes or cut support for low and middle-income people during the recovery, according to Ms Dodds.

She will also call on Mr Sunak to extend the government’s furlough program – due to end Oct 31 – in areas where local lockdowns are needed and in sectors of the economy that are struggling to restart, saying “the reward for months of sacrifice cannot be a redundancy notice.”

“As with the lifting of lockdown, what we have now is an exit without a strategy. Government must abandon its one-size-fits-all wind-down of the Job Protection and self-employed schemes,” Ms Dodds will say.

“We need a targeted strategy that acknowledges that workers in struggling sectors cannot and should not be treated the same way as workers in sectors that are already back to full capacity.”

QUARANTINE LIFTED

The government is paying 80 per cent of the wages for 9.3 million private sector jobs at a cost of 25.5 billion pounds (S$44.1 billion) under the program, which will begin to taper next month as companies take on more of the costs.

As ministers seek to reboot more of the economy and protect jobs in the tourism industry, Mr Shapps will unveil a list of countries and territories that the government considers safe enough to waive a requirement for arrivals in England to self-isolate, according to a statement from the Department for Transport.

Arrivals from Germany, France, Spain and Italy are no longer required to self-isolate from July 10.

A longer list of countries that will be exempt is expected to be published later Friday, with news reports suggesting as many as 75 countries might be on it.

The provisions don’t extend to people returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which will set their own rules.

“Safety must remain our watch word, and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with,” Mr Shapps said in the statement.

Mr Johnson’s government had been expected to announced the quarantine exemptions earlier this week, but ministers hinted at disagreements with the devolved administration in Scotland.

With the country emerging from lockdown, his government is still wary of a resurgence in coronavirus cases, and has pledged to deploy a “whack-a-mole” strategy to quash any localised outbreaks by having more targeted lockdowns.

The central English city of Leicester was placed under such provisions earlier this week.

‘WILL NOT HESITATE’

When the pubs re-open, the government is keen to avert scenes such as on the country’s beaches last week, when social distancing was abandoned as warm weather lured Britons in their thousands to the coast.

On Thursday, the Health Department published guidance for the hospitality sector to help with the government’s test and trace program.

Pubs, hotels and restaurants were told to collect the names and phone numbers of clients and retain them for 21 days so that they can be contacted if anyone at the venue is later identified as suffering from the virus.

“The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that,” Mr Johnson will say.

“If it starts running out of control again the government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.”

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Economy

PRESS DIGEST- Financial Times – July 3

July 3 (Reuters) – The following are the top stories in the Financial Times. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Headlines

– Casual Dining Group closes 91 sites and axes 1,900 jobs on.ft.com/38o1QDD

– UK government lays out plan for full return to school in September on.ft.com/38rHadV

– Downing Street to cut back Whitehall communications unit on.ft.com/3dSrgdS

– Three-quarters of UK manufacturers set to cut jobs this year on.ft.com/2NRAbBz

Overview

– Casual Dining Group, which owns the Las Iguanas and CafĂ© Rouge chains, has gone into administration closing 91 restaurants with the loss of 1,900 jobs.

– All pupils in England will be expected to return to school in September as part of government plans unveiled on Thursday, which include dividing students into separate groups to limit the spread of COVID-19.

– UK government is launching plans to dramatically reduce its communications operation and to televise daily White House-style press briefings.

– Almost three-quarters of UK manufacturers are preparing to cut jobs in the next six months according to a survey by Make UK, which represents the sector.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

UK to relax England's quarantine rules for summer travellers

(Reuters) – Britain’s government said it will lift its COVID-19 quarantine requirement for people arriving in England from countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy from July 10.

A full list of countries covered by the relaxation would be announced on Friday, the country’s transport ministry said.

Under the existing rules, travellers must self-isolate for 14 days on entering the country, something airlines and the travel industry have said will cost thousands of jobs and inflict further damage on the economy.

The government said it expected countries included on the quarantine-free list for England would reciprocate by relaxing their own travel restrictions.

Britain’s foreign ministry would set out exemptions from its global advisory against “all but essential” international travel from July 4.

“Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own powers over public health issues.

Britain said it would require all travellers, except those from the exempted countries, to provide their contact information including their travel history on arrival. People who have been in or transited through non-exempt countries will still have to self isolate for 14 days.

The Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday the government would end coronavirus quarantine rules for those arriving from 75 countries so that people can go on holiday.

The UK would also lift a ban on non-essential travel to nearly all EU destinations, the British territories including Bermuda and Gibraltar, and Turkey, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, the Telegraph added.

Britain is moving to reopen its pubs, restaurants and other businesses this weekend, signalling a gradual reopening of its economy.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned people to maintain social distancing rules and is expected to repeat that caution at a news conference on Friday.

“Anyone who flouts social distancing and COVID-Secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal,” he will say.

Source: Read Full Article