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  • Today's business and finance round up 24th August 2021

Today's business and finance round up 24th August 2021

📝Is Sainsbury’s on someone’s shopping list?

24th August 2021

Good morning After a couple of weeks of no Olympics or Euros, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games kick off today. The Games will award 539 gold medals across 22 sports hosted at 21 venues, featuring over 4,500 athletes, and the opening ceremony begins it all at 8pm local time,12pm BST. Channel 4 will provide record coverage with a huge 17.5 hours of planned coverage each day.

Today's stories

  • Is Sainsbury’s on someone’s shopping list?

  • PayPal brings crypto to the UK

Yesterday's market moves

FTSE 100  +0.3% 7,109 FTSE 250 0.0% 23,740

UK markets budged little in either direction as investors weighed ongoing COVID-19 concerns with positive news on vaccine developments.

RETAILIs Sainsbury’s on someone’s shopping list?

What’s going on?Yesterday Sainsbury’s share price jumped 15% to 340p – a seven-year high – as rumours swirled that it could be the latest supermarket to be bought out.

Why is this important?

Just last week Morrisons agreed to be bought by US private equity firm CD&R for £7bn after a lengthy bidding war with another takeover firm, Fortress Investments. This drew attention to the supermarket sector with analysts believing Sainsbury’s is the next potential target.According the Sunday Times, American private firm Apollo, is sniffing around Britain’s second biggest grocer after losing out in the race to buy Asda last year.Sainsbury’s is seen as an attractive asset with its large store property portfolio and added potential with the inclusion of Argos. Speaking last month, Sainsbury’s CEO did not confirm whether the board was considering any bidders seriously.It’s been a busy period of takeover activity for UK companies with 2021 so far bringing a record number of deals.The deep pockets of private equity firms combined with the relatively low valuations of UK businesses has fuelled the activity.The gap in valuations first came about after the result of the Brexit vote in 2016, when the pound fell sharply against the dollar and the euro, and then created uncertainty around UK economy, making takeover deals more attractive for overseas buyers.TakeawayIt’s not the first time Sainsbury’s has been at the centre of takeover talk, its shares have risen by 30% this year following the continuous rumours and reports of its buyout.But having missed out on Asda and also showing interest in Morrisons, Apollo could look to make it third time lucky with Sainsbury’s.

CRYPTOPayPal brings crypto to the UK

PayPal, arguably the original online payments disruptor, is moving into cryptocurrency.The US fintech giant announced that it will allow UK users to buy, hold and sell four types cryptocurrencies through the payment platform for the first time.It’s the first international expansion of the service after it launched to US customers last year. A crypto tab will be added to the platform, showing real-time prices as well as offering educational content to help answer common questions and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the potential risks, PayPal said.The 20-year-old payment firm has been relatively slow out of the blocks when it comes to embracing crypto. Rival Square have been accepting bitcoin payments since 2014.PayPal said that Covid had "accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives— including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services". PayPal is one of many large companies venturing into the mostly unregulated world of cryptocurrencies. Despite ongoing concerns about price volatility, consumer protection and criminal activity in the industry, major firms including Mastercard, Tesla and Facebook have been warming to crypto lately.The news comes on the same day that Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, reached $50,000 for the first time since May after a recent slump.

Stat of the day

54% of Brits don’t take all their annual leave

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Ian Botham appointed UK trade ambassador to Australia

  • Pfizer becomes first Covid vaccine to gain full US approval

  • Second largest US mortgage provider to accept Bitcoin

  • Prisoners to plug worker shortage in meat industry

  • Ten London postcodes join the ‘£1million house club’ after pandemic price boom

  • Why you should get a week off to avoid burnout

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