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  • Daily business and finance update 8th January 2024

Daily business and finance update 8th January 2024

We're back

Good morning. Today we're talking about stories you may have missed over the holidays.

Big Stories

Man U’s new investment

After 17 years of ownership marked by protests, trophy droughts, and fan discontent, the Glazer family has finally relinquished a significant portion of their control over Manchester United. In a landmark deal, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of petrochemical giant Ineos, has acquired a 25% stake in the club, worth £1.25bn. While not a full takeover, Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, now controls footballing operations, injecting fresh expertise and resources.

X’s value plummets

Investment group Fidelity recently marked down its shares in X (formerly known as Twitter), implying that the social media platform is now worth 71.5% less than what Elon Musk paid for it. It’s been a tumultuous 14 months for X since Musk completed the $44bn acquisition in October 2022, with a new CEO, introduction of premium memberships and frequent fallouts with advertisers resulting in falling revenues.

Tesla loses top spot

The Chinese company BYD, has usurped Tesla as the world’s biggest seller of electric vehicles. The Shenzhen-based firm, which is backed by Warren Buffett, sold a record 526,000 battery-only vehicles in the final quarter of 2023, beating its American rival’s 484,500. Although most of its sales are in China, BYD is “sharpening its focus on new foreign markets”, including Europe.

Winter retail washout

One of the wettest Decembers on record could have hit UK retailers as fewer shoppers visited stores in the run-up to Christmas. The number of people going to shops, retail parks and malls fell 5% in the last five weeks of 2023, compared with the same period in 2022, according to the latest footfall data from the British Retail Consortium and Sensormatic IQ. It’s a substantial decline during the most important shopping period for British retailers.


Called off: Strikes by London Underground workers which would have crippled Tube services this week have been suspended.

Out of touch: The chairman of NatWest has been criticised for suggesting it is currently not too difficult for people to get on the housing ladder.

Postal scandal: The government is “looking at” the option of exonerating all postmasters affected by the Post Office Horizon scandal, while the Met Police have announced a probe into “potential fraud”.

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