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  • Daily business and finance update 21st March 2023

Daily business and finance update 21st March 2023

Markets rally after banking turbulence

Good morning. Yesterday TV and newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch announced he is set to marry for the fifth time, aged 92, eight months after he divorced wife number four. Commenting on the engagement Murdoch, who has an estimated fortune of $17bn, said that “I knew this would be my last. It better be.”

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Markets rally after banking turbulence

UK and US stock markets jumped yesterday as investors digested the dramatic weekend takeover of Credit Suisse by rival UBS. The deal is one of the most significant banking events in years, marking the first merger between two systemically-important global banks since the 2008 global financial crisis. Financial regulators are trying to convince investors that it does not mark the start of a wider banking crisis. All eyes now turn to the interest rates decisions from the US Federal Reserve tomorrow and the Bank of England on Thursday. Both are contemplating over whether to push forwards with interest rate rises given recent events. There are concerns that economies will now be more sensitive to hikes and central banks may not want to risk falling back into a potential recessionary outlook and further market chaos.

Property market remains robust

The average asking price for houses in the UK edged 0.8% higher between February and March, according to Rightmove, as the property market continues to defy predictions that that the lacklustre economy will hit prices hard this year. Economists had predicted that property prices would fall driven by the rising mortgage rates and reduced affordability - the government’s official budget forecasters said last week that prices would drop by 10% in 2023. Rightmove said that the typical asking price had increased by nearly £3,000 to £365,357 in the year to mid-March, as the market showed 'cautious signs of recovery' following turbulence in late 2022 in the wake of the ill-fated mini-Budget. 

More Amazon cuts

Yesterday the ecommerce giant announced it was laying off 9,000 employees in the latest sign that a tech slump is deepening. The decision adds to the 18,000 cuts done in January in what was already the largest round of firings in the company’s history. CEO Andy Jassy said that the redundancies will impact those in its AWS cloud unit, Twitch gaming division and advertising team. There was no word on how many of the company’s 75,000 UK staff would be affected. With a 1.5m workforce, Amazon is one of the world’s largest private sector employers.


Deal done: Members of the RMT in Network Rail have voted overwhelmingly to accept an offer to end the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

Rescue plan: Sri Lanka has secured a $2.9bn bailout from the International Monetary Fund as it faces its worst economic crisis since independence.

Rail extension: The government have given a six month contract extension to Avanti West Coast, saying the poorly performing rail operator had made improvements to services, despite persistent problems.

New destination: London navigation app Citymapper has been sold to New York tech firm Via for an undisclosed sum.

Criminal banking: JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank must face lawsuits accusing them of enabling Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking, a US judge has said.

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