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BBC News: Labour wants new customs union treaty after Brexit -...
Sunday 25th February 2018
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The Business Week from 10


1. EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall and Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter, were appointed dames in the new year honours. Insurance tycoon Clive Cowdery was knighted while Samir Desai, co-founder of Funding Circle, was appointed a CBE.

2. Saudi Arabia posted a budget deficit of £66bn and announced public spending cuts. Oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said the kingdom would take no measures to restrict crude supplies, pushing analysts to mark down their oil price forecasts for this year.

3. The Financial Conduct Authority said it had shelved an inquiry into the staff culture at banks, provoking claims that it was going soft on the City.

4. Sports Direct said it would increase pay for directly employed staff by 15p an hour, from £6.70 to £6.85.

5. Amazon said it would extend its grocery delivery service, sending shares in Ocado down sharply.

6. The acquisitive industrial group Melrose returned £2bn to shareholders and said it was optimistic about making another big deal.

7. The CBI was accused by pro-Brexit campaigners of secretly dropping demands for a renegotiation of the working-time directive.

8. The commodities trader Noble Group was slashed to junk status by the ratings agency Moody’s.

9. China ordered three unnamed foreign banks to stop foreign-exchange transactions until the end of March.

10. The competition regulator said it would investigate J Sainsbury’s sale of its chemists to Celesio, owner of the Lloyds Pharmacy chain.