- REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Good morning! Here’s what you need to know on Wednesday.
1. Odeon, Britain’s biggest cinema chain, is preparing to hire bankers to oversee a blockbuster summer flotation on the London Stock Exchange, Sky News reports. Sources said that AMC was likely to try to raise well over £500m by selling shares in Odeon, which also owns the Nordic cinema business in Scandinavia.
2. Lenders to Carillion, the construction giant which collapsed into liquidation on Monday, are facing losses of up to £2bn, making it one of the costliest corporate insolvencies for years, Sky News reports. Sky said a complex series of financing arrangements for subsidiaries of Carillion mean that the total exposure of its banking syndicate is far higher than the £900m headline debt figure carried by the listed construction group.
3. The bill facing BP for the Deepwater Horizon disaster will top $65 billion after higher compensation settlements than had been expected forced it to book a fresh $1.7 billion charge, the Times reports. The oil major said that the average value of compensation payments being awarded to businesses affected by the disaster had soared sevenfold in the fourth quarter.
4. The accounting watchdog has warned that it may launch an investigation into KPMG over its audit of Carillion, the construction and services group that has collapsed into liquidation putting thousands of jobs at risk, the Times reported. The Financial Reporting Council said that it would “follow due process and will make a further statement on this matter shortly.”
5. Boris Johnson has warned Theresa May that the Government must make a public commitment to giving the NHS an extra £100million a week after Brexit if the Tories are to beat Jeremy Corbyn at the next election, the Telegraph reports. The Foreign Secretary believes that the Government must adopt the flagship Vote Leave pledge and spend £5.2billion a year that would have been paid into Brussels on the health service instead.
6. The 10 biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation plunged on Tuesday, with all suffering double-digit percentage losses. Bitcoin fell more than 25%, crashing through $13,000, $12,000, and $11,000 levels, and is still falling as of writing. The decline appears to have spooked the market, with other coins selling off at the same time. Ethereum dropped 31% to $871.
7. Nearly a decade after a merger attempt collapsed, the trade show organisers Informa and UBM are again in talks about a combination, investors were told this evening according to the Telegraph. The pair were forced to reveal their rekindled romance at the end of trading on the stock exchange, after rumours filtered through the market during the day and drove 5.2pc increase in UBM’s shares.
8. A group of UK nationals living in the Netherlands are going to court to challenge the right of the British government and the European commission to negotiate away their rights as EU citizens in the Brexit talks. The claimants will argue that the rights of UK citizens are independent of the country’s EU membership, according to legal documents seen by the Guardian.
9. Uber has introduced a cap on how many hours its drivers in the UK can work after criticism that long shifts are putting passengers at risk, the Telegraph reports. Drivers who work for 10 hours will be locked out of the app for a six-hour break, the ride-hailing app said. However the limit still allows drivers to work for far more than 60 hours a week.
10. And finally… Consumers are calling on Tesco to backtrack on changes it has introduced to its Clubcard scheme, labelling them as unfair and saying that they will disadvantage thousands of loyal customers, the Independent reports. The UK’s biggest retailer’s popular Clubcard scheme offers shoppers the chance to collect points for money they spend in store and online. These points can then be changed into vouchers, redeemable on things such as restaurant meals at Pizza Express, Prezzo and Zizzi.