United Kingdom

The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority have stepped up their rhetoric about the dangers posed by funds offering customers daily redemption rights while investing in stuff that may prove hard to sell when times get tough, a Bloomberg View reported. The problem they and their fellow regulators face is that market liquidity is an elusive, contradictory thing: It can be reliably ever-present when it isn’t needed – only to vanish as soon as it’s desperately desired. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is unequivocal in his condemnation of the status quo.

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Sports Direct International Plc shares headed toward a seven-year low after the U.K. sports-apparel retailer delayed publishing its results as auditors increase their scrutiny of its accounting, Bloomberg News reported. The U.K. retailer said Monday it needs more time to compile information as regulators review Grant Thornton’s audit of its fiscal 2018 results, and that the review may affect its financial guidance. The shares fell as much as 14% in morning trading in London.

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Shopping centre and high-street landlords have been asked to lower rents on unprofitable stores as struggling retailers seek ways to keep their businesses afloat and cut costs. But property owners have grown increasingly resistant, prompting some chains to consider an alternative approach, the Financial Times reported. Last month Philip Green was forced to tweak a plan to close or secure significantly lower rents on stores leased by his Arcadia business.

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St Helens College is at “high risk of insolvency” without action to mitigate its financial position following an underfunded merger, according to an FE Commissioner report. The college did not properly predict how much money it would need for a 2017 merger with Knowsley College to form the SK Colleges Group, which was supported by £14.1 million from the ESFA’s restructuring facility, FE Week reported. As a consequence of which, FE Commissioner Richard Atkins wrote in a report published today, the current underlying position of the college is “not sustainable”.

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Europe’s financial centre is splitting up, possibly for the better. Dublin has gained a lot of new business from London’s exodus, becoming the top choice of firms seeking higher ground post-Brexit, The Irish Times reported. Now Ireland must decide whether it wants to be a leader or a counterweight in Europe’s financial future. With the departure of the UK as the financial industry’s primary voice, the EU will have a chance to redefine how it approaches its banking and capital markets.

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UK business secretary Greg Clark has travelled to India and China over the past two weeks to meet companies viewed as potential bidders for British Steel, as efforts intensify to rescue the ailing business and save thousands of jobs, the Financial Times reported. In the past few days, the cabinet minister met JSW, one of India’s largest steel manufacturers, according to two people briefed on the matter, and other businesses. This followed a trip last week to China, whose Baowu has been linked with a move for British Steel.

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Mining company Power Resources Group (PRG) said on Friday it was buying Metalysis, a British high-tech specialist which was backed by asset manager Neil Woodford, out of administration, Reuters reported. Metalysis, which manufactures 3D printing powder, fell into administration in June, around the same time Woodford’s equity income fund, was frozen. His fund had a 1.6 million pound stake in Metalysis, which has received a total of 92 million pounds ($115 million) through numerous funding rounds, most recently in 2018.

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Countries that perform well on environmental, social and governance metrics are viewed by investors as less likely to default, a new study that examined credit default swap spreads on sovereign bonds has found, the Financial Times reported. In an analysis of 59 countries between 2009 and 2018, Hermes Investment Management found that countries with the best ESG scores tend to have the lowest CDS spreads and vice versa, suggesting a link between credit risk and ESG performance.

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