Feb 6, 2023
Another Cyber Incident Hits UK Plc: The London Rush
(Bloomberg) -- Yet another cyber incident has struck a London-listed company, the latest in a seemingly worrying trend at the start of this year. Today it is a materials technology company, Vesuvius, who is grappling with unauthorized access to its systems. Meanwhile, the National Grid has asked for a second coal plant to be ready to generate electricity. Elsewhere, the UK faces a record day of healthcare strikes today and mortgage lending is expected to grow at its slowest rate in more than a decade.
Here’s the key business news from London this morning:
In The City
Plus500 Ltd: The trading platform has obtained a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority, which it says gives it a “major growth opportunity” to serve customers in the United Arab Emirates.
- Plus500’s CEO David Zruia said it is part of its “strategy to enter new markets, develop new products, and deepen engagement with our customers”
Diageo Plc: The alcoholic drinks maker has started a tender offer to raise its stake in East African Breweries Plc to up to 65%.
- The brewer acts as maker for many of Diageo’s core brands, as well as making its own regional specialties like Tusker beer
Vesuvius Plc: The materials technology company reported a “cyber incident” involving unauthorized access to its systems.
- It comes after a wave of cyber security breaches, among them UK-listed companies like Royal Mail and JD Sports
Loch Lomond Group: Investment firm Hillhouse Capital is considering a sale of its stake in the Scotch whisky maker, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
- Hillhouse has been approached about a potential deal by private equity firms and companies in the sector
- A deal could value Loch Lomond at about $800 million
Britishvolt Ltd.: The company’s administrator said Australian battery startup Recharge Industries is the preferred bidder for the majority of Britishvolt’s business and assets.
- Once considered the UK’s best shot for a homegrown electric-vehicle battery supplier, Britishvolt went into bankruptcy last month after failing to identify any potential rescuers
Health care workers will walk out in record numbers this week, crippling the National Health Service and piling pressure on Rishi Sunak to resolve multiple disputes over pay for public-sector workers.
Tomorrow, Richard Sharp is set to be quizzed in Parliament about his involvement in helping arrange an £800,000 loan for then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the same time he was applying to be chairman of the BBC.
In Case You Missed It
Mortgage lending is expected to grow at its slowest rate in more than a decade amid Britain’s rising interest rates and falling house prices, according to a new report.
Microsoft Corp.’s $69 billion Activision Blizzard Inc. takeover faces a key decision in Britain as the nation’s merger watchdog marks its arrival as a global regulator with findings that could set the trajectory to the mega deal finalizing — or falling apart.
BP Plc is due to report fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow morning.
The decline in commodity prices and refining margin, combined with lower upstream production and marketing volume, likely contributed to a deceleration in profit, says Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Will Hares. While BP will probably follow peers and funnel part of its earnings back to shareholders, the amount may be more modest in scale, according to Hares. Also in focus will be the company’s progress with a strategy, unveiled a year ago, to speed up its push into renewables.
For a more considered take on the UK's economic and financial news, sign up to Money Distilled with John Stepek.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.