(Bloomberg) -- The idea of a Brexit “big bang”, drawing on the roaring days in the City of London while Margaret Thatcher was prime minister, is something that’s been often talked about, but with scant detail. Well, it appears one of the changes could be relaxing of ring-fencing rules, the regulations that keep retail banking and investment banking services separate.
Here’s the key business news from London this morning.
In The City
Home Reit Plc: The social housing provider provided a response to a short selling report by Viceroy Research LLC, saying it is “completely confident” in the integrity of its business.
- Home Reit’s shares dropped sharply last week after Viceroy published the report
AstraZeneca Plc: The pharmaceutical giant will sell its West Chester site in Ohio to National Resilience as part of its efforts to make sure its global supply chain network is “fit for the future”.
- The sale will mean AstraZeneca medicines will still be supplied to patients, and more than 500 people will continue to be employed at the site
Pennon Group Plc: The water and waste management company will invest about £45 million in water resilience schemes following the hottest, driest year since records began.
- The investment will repurpose former quarries and mines and introduce de-salination units
Shares of UK lenders could be in focus today as the government is said to be planning a relaxation of ring-fencing rules in its efforts to deregulate the City of London and get a “Big Bang” out of Brexit. Ring-fencing requires banking groups to separate their retail banking services from their investment banking activities.
Bloomberg Opinion’s Adrian Wooldridge, meanwhile, writes about two books on the fall of Boris Johnson and the short reign of Liz Truss, which suggest the British political system is “badly broken.”
In Case You Missed It
Prices in Britain’s stores rose at their highest rate since at least 2005 in November. Food price increases hit 12.4%, with meat, eggs, dairy and coffee under particularly heavy pressure. That’s as UK businesses confidence dropped in two separate surveys, reflecting a darkening economic outlook marked by recession and persistent inflation.
The sorry state of Libyan-owned buildings in London may be a sign of things to come for sanctioned Russians. Here’s a deep dive into frozen properties in and around the capital.
Elsewhere, one of the UK’s fastest-growing startups, Revolut Ltd., is betting it can sustain its breakneck pace in Asia, even as it comes under greater scrutiny from regulators at home and abroad.
Investment platform AJ Bell Plc is expected to report full-year earnings tomorrow. Retail investors’ sentiment is key for the firm, which recently flagged that the cost of living crisis helped cause a slowdown in contributions from customers.
Nationwide Building Society’s latest UK housing market data are also due tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. The numbers will be closely watched after surging mortgage rates in October drove the largest monthly drop in house prices since the start of the pandemic.
For a news fix when the day is done, sign up to The Readout with Allegra Stratton, to make sense of the day’s events.
--With assistance from Kwaku Gyasi.
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