- Market Loop
- Daily business and finance update 1st March 2023
Daily business and finance update 1st March 2023
Brexit deal reaction
Good morning. Elon Musk has regained his crown as the world’s richest man after a rally in Tesla’s share price boosted the Twitter owner’s net worth by nearly $7bn to $187bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Musk’s recovery of the top spot from the French luxury goods owner Bernard Arnault follows a steep drop in his wealth last year when he became the first person ever to amass and then lose $200bn.
Brexit deal reaction
The prime minister spent yesterday trying to win over political leaders and business on the merits of the landmark post-Brexit deal with the EU known as the Windsor Framework. The agreement, which sets out Northern Ireland’s trading arrangements, isn’t a done deal until it passes through the UK Parliament and parts of it get the go-ahead from the EU’s 27 member states. This process is likely to take a lot of political arm-twisting. Investors in British assets are also starting to speak out on what the deal means. Firms including BlackRock and Abrdn are of the view that the deal will only remove some of the uncertainty that has plagued the country since the vote to leave the EU in 2016.
Ocado losses balloon
The online grocery retailer reported a loss of £501m in 2022, up from a £177m loss the year before and worse than the £429m loss expected by analysts. The news sent shares in Ocado down 12% on the day. The company operates an online supermarket through a joint venture with Marks and Spencer and sells its tech to other retailers around the world to enable them to do ecommerce. Ocado blamed the widening losses on consumers cutting back amid the cost of living crisis and higher investment in international expansion. According to the Financial Times, Ocado has lost a total of £1.5bn since launching in 2000 with every £1 of revenue generated over its lifetime costing approximately £1.08.
Asking prices dip
There’s good news for homebuyers, who are seeing the best discounts in over five years as sellers cut prices, according to Zoopla. On average sellers are accepting a 4.5% discount or £14,000 to their asking price in growing signs that the housing market is cooling amid the rising cost of mortgages. The property site reported that UK house price growth slowed to 5.3% over the last 12 months, down from 8.6% the previous year. However, Zoopla says the market is still on track for a 'soft landing' with prices falling up to 5% over the rest of this year.
Goldman mulls consumer exit
At only its second-ever investor day in its 154-year history, the Wall Street banking giant suggested that it could sell its consumer arm, weeks after admitting the division had lost almost $6bn since launching three years ago. Goldman Sach's consumer banking project, called Marcus, was originally created to attract everyday retail customers, rather than its usual clientele of corporates, with the aim of competing with the likes of JPMorgan Chase. However Marcus failed to offer competitive interest rates and was hit by the uncertain macro-economic environment.
Closing down: Sainsbury's has said it plans to close two Argos depots in a move that will impact 1,400 jobs.
Electric expanding: Tesla will build a new plant in Mexico, marking a push by the electric vehicle maker to broaden operations outside the US in a deal said by a source to be worth at least $1bn.
Pay bonanza: Pay for top City lawyers surged to £740,000 as a boom in demand for legal services bolstered the sector’s profits.
On the brink: The financial regulator is on alert for an emergency restructuring of Railsr, one of the UK’s most prominent fintechs.
We have a winner: The electoral commission has declared ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu winner of Nigeria’s presidential election but faces calls for a redo from three opposition parties.
Number Of The Day
The proportion of household chores that robots will do “within a decade”, according to researchers in the UK and Japan, by fully automating everyday tasks like ordering groceries and feeding pets.