(Bloomberg) -- De La Rue’s chairman is under fire again. Crystal Amber Fund, which owns just under 10% of the banknote printer is calling for another vote on his position, citing the company’s poor share performance and questions about it finances. Meanwhile, there’s grim news for homeowners, but slight relief for household finances.

Here’s the key business news from London this morning:

In The City

UK Economic Data: The average cost of a home fell 3.1% from a year ago in March, steeper than the 2.2% drop expected by economists.

  • UK Real Incomes rose 1.2% in the fourth quarter of last year, while GDP rose 0.1% in the fourth quarter, better than the zero growth previously recorded

Rolls Royce Holdings Plc: The engineering company has named BP’s Helen McCabe as its next chief financial officer, replacing Panos Kakoullis who will stay with the company until at least the end of August.

  • McCabe is currently Senior Vice President, Finance for the Customer & Products division of BP, and has previously been CFO of the oil giant’s downstream fuels and refining Europe & Southern Africa businesses

De La Rue Plc: The banknote printer has received a request from Crystal Amber Fund Limited, one of its largest shareholders, for a vote on removing chairman Kevin Loosemore and replacing him with Pepyn Dinandt, who has a background in private equity.

  • De La Rue held a vote on Loosemore’s position at the request of Crystal Amber in December, where he won approval from 82.9% of the shareholders who voted 

Competition and Markets Authority:  The UK’s market regulator will refer UnitedHealth Group’s acquisition of healthcare technology company EMIS Group Plc to an in-depth investigation.

  • The CMA said the company’s solutions to resolving competition issues would not achieve a solution to the issues raised to its competition concerns

Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc.: The satellite-launch company tied to British billionaire Richard Branson is ceasing operations indefinitely, succumbing to growing cash-crunch pressures that have paralysed startups in many emerging technologies. 

  • The company will cut 675 jobs, or about 85% of its workforce, with the remaining 15% of employees set to work on winding down the business

In Westminster

The UK will join an 11-nation Indo-Pacific free-trade bloc, becoming the first new member since its creation, in a bid to strengthen economic ties with new partners following divorce from the European Union. 

Rishi Sunak’s government sees membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes Australia, Japan and Canada, as a boost for economic growth and geopolitical relations. The UK expects growth of £1.8 billion each year over the long-term, a figure that could rise if other countries join the bloc. 

In Case You Missed It 

The London Metal Exchange proposed sweeping changes to its nickel operations, including allowing a new form of the metal to be delivered against its contracts and opening a new spot market in China.

Marshall Amplification Plc, the iconic maker of guitar amplifiers used for decades by musicians including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Lana Del Rey, has agreed to be acquired by Stockholm-based Zound Industries. 

Looking Ahead 

Next week’s earnings schedule is relatively light, but we’ll still see updates from the likes of meat-packing firm Hilton Food Group Plc, recruiter Robert Walters Plc and metals company Ferrexpo Plc. 

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.