Michael Bow, Evening Standard

Michael Bow

Evening Standard

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Past articles by Michael:

Business focus: London’s green rush? City financiers tune in to the cannabis industry

The crushed velvet sofas and mahogany panels of Mayfair may seem a world away from skinning up a joint in the park but London high finance and cannabis are colliding in what’s been dubbed a 21st-century green rush. → Read More

Pizza Pilgrims keep ‘heartbeat’ going with 10,000 at-home kits

Brothers Thom and James Elliot had to shut their restaurant chain Pizza Pilgrims when the crisis hit — but a snap decision to start selling home kits online has kept the tills ringing. The duo, who started dishing out Neapolitan pizzas eight years ago in Soho’s Berwick Street Market, own 12 pizzerias across the capital and had seen record weekly sales just before lockdown began in mid-March. → Read More

Newbury Racecourse to reopen 12 June for horse racing fixtures

Newbury Racecourse will reopen for racing on 12 June, the company said on Friday, with plans for a ramp up in the schedule in August. Spectators will not be permitted but the move should help the business improve revenues due to TV rights. The British Horseracing Authority banned racing on 17 March due to the Covid-19 outbreak → Read More

Nissan axes 2,800 jobs at Barcelona plant but Sunderland factory survives the chop

Nissan's car plant in Sunderland has survived a sweeping cost-cutting overhaul by the automotive giant that will see its Barcelona factory close with 2,800 job losses. The Japanese car giant was plotting a shake-up of operations in Europe leading to some reports last week that Sunderland could be a target. The company today confirmed it was closing a major plant in Barcelona → Read More

GSK promises to manufacture 1 billion doses for Covid-19 vaccine battle

DRUG giant GSK on Thursday pledged to manufacture one billion doses of its adjuvant drug to help boost the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. GSK's adjuvant technology, which was invented 20 years ago, is a substance used in the production of vaccines to make them more effective and produce higher volumes for lower cost. The company said production will start in 2021 at → Read More

Offices giant IWG entices retail investors with £315 million fundraise

Regus owner IWG unveiled a £315 million fundraise on Wednesday with a rare retail offering giving armchair investors the chance to buy shares in the deal. The offices giant, led by billionaire entrepreneur and top shareholder Mark Dixon, will raise the money by placing shares in a quick-fire book-build after markets closed on Wednesday. Retail investors will be able to buy → Read More

Government CBILS and Bounce Back loan bail-out nears £30 billion

Loans dished out by the government to Covid-19 battered companies through three emergency lending schemes hit £27.5 billion on Thursday, Treasury figures show. The Treasury's CBILS, CLBILS and Bounce Back loan schemes, unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak two months ago, have made loans to 650,000 firms. Figures released on Thursday suggest a slowdown in demand. Around £5.4 → Read More

M&G ploughs on with £410m dividend despite regulator warning insurers to hold off

M&G will go ahead with a £400 million-plus dividend for shareholders despite Bank of England caution about insurers making payouts in the crisis. The Chelsea Flower Show sponsor, spun out of Prudential last year, said it was financially strong enough to pay and its decision was the “right thing” to do for shareholders. Like others M&G has been embroiled in a debate about → Read More

Travel stocks TUI, easyJet and Ryanair lifted by Spain summer holiday reopening plan

Plans by some continental countries to to lift restrictions on tourism sent shares in TUI, easyJet and Ryanair surging on Tuesday, spelling hopes of a broader revival in battered consumer stocks. Travel stocks rose on plans to start reopening hotels and beaches in Spain in July and consumer shares were firmly in the green after a flurry of activity by governments to reopen got → Read More

BMW, Audi and Maserati car showrooms to reopen June 1 in Marshall Motors plan

BMW, Audi and Maserati car dealerships run by Marshall Motors are set to reopen on 1 June after the government eased lockdown restrictions. Marshall runs 98 car showrooms across the country on behalf of several big brands, including Jaguar. The company said it would ensure it follows health and safety guidelines to reopen. → Read More

LCF victims get £44m marked for compensation

Victims of the London Capital & Finance (LCF) bond scandal have been set aside £44 million in possible compensation in a partial boost for people hurt by the scandal. Around 11,000 people were left out of pocket from the collapse of LCF and some may be eligible for compensation. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme, led by Caroline Rainbird, has started to review → Read More

Aviva and QBE face legal threat over coronavirus business interruption insurance claims

Insurers Aviva and QBE face possible legal action from the Hospitality Insurance Group Action (HIGA) over disputed Covid-19 claims. HIGA is a collection of business owners who believe they are owed a payout on insurance policies after the government forced them to shut during the lock down. Most insurers say there are no grounds to pay out claims based on the policies. → Read More

Care home giant Four Seasons braces for £15 million hit from Covid-19 crisis

Care home operator Four Seasons on Wednesday said it expects a £15 million hit from Covid-19 after a twelve-fold increase in PPE costs and a sharp drop in occupancy rates. The healthcare operator, which looks after more than 10,000 people in the UK, has seen coronavirus cases in 60% of its care homes and recorded 490 deaths from confirmed or suspected Covid-19. → Read More

UK government sells bonds with negative yield for first time ever

UK sold gilts with a negative yield for the first time in history on today, meaning investors paid for the privilege of borrowing from the UK government. The three-year bond, which matures in 2023 and raised £3.75 billion for the government, was sold by the UK Debt Management Office with a yield of -0.003%. The bond pays investors 0.75% per year in interest. As they paid over → Read More

Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs in massive overhaul of aerospace giant

Rolls-Royce is cutting at least 9,000 jobs in a bid to cushion the hit from Covid-19. The UK aerospace giant said the job losses would come from its civil aerospace division, which makes plane engines for large passenger jets. The move will save £1.3 billion. → Read More

Rolls-Royce to cut 9,000 jobs in massive overhaul of aerospace giant

Rolls-Royce is cutting at least 9,000 jobs in a bid to cushion the hit from Covid-19. The UK aerospace giant said the job losses would come from its civil aerospace division, which makes plane engines for large passenger jets. The move will save £1.3 billion. → Read More

Record-busting £53 billion stampede for UK coronavirus bond issue

THE UK saw record breaking demand for bonds issued to pay for the government’s coronavirus rescue package on Tuesday with more than £50 billion of orders flooding in in just 60 minutes. To pay for its coronavirus stimulus measures, the Treasury is borrowing heavily from the bond markets by selling £225 billion of gilts to City investors. → Read More

Market report: Micro Focus, Homeserve, Avon Rubber and Babcock

It’s no surprise that a company created to manage creaky old IT systems should be good in a crisis (bug-prone computer systems have led to many office meltdowns and IT helpdesk calls). Micro Focus, the software giant which manages legacy computer systems, has had a bad run of late but Covid-19 proved it could still keep its own house in order when the wheels came off. → Read More

Positive coronavirus vaccine trial by Moderna helps FTSE 100 shares to soar

Stock markets soared on Monday after an upbeat Covid-19 vaccine from US company Moderna showed some patients developed antibodies against the virus. The US pharmaceutical giant said eight volunteers who had been given two doses of the Moderna vaccine developed an immunity similar to those who had recovered from the bug. The company said the vaccine was “generally safe and → Read More

Royal Mail chief executive Rico Back in shock exit from postal giant

Royal Mail plunged into chaos on Friday after chief executive Rico Back abruptly quit the postal giant from his luxury Lake Zurich home leaving the firm’s pivotal turnaround plan in tatters. Back, a 20-year veteran of the group, has left immediately and is replaced temporarily by chairman Keith Williams, the former chief executive of British Airways. Back was promoted just → Read More