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Sunday newspaper round-up: Freeports, UK equities, Trump

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Sunday 12 Jul 2020

Sunday newspaper round-up: Freeports, UK equities, Trump

(Sharecast News) - Taxes and red tape will be slashed in towns and cities across the country next year, under government plans for a post-Brexit and post-coronavirus ­economic revolution. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is preparing to introduce sweeping tax cuts and an overhaul of planning laws in up to 10 new "freeports" within a year of the UK becoming fully independent from the European Union in December, The Telegraph can reveal. - Sunday Telegraph
Investors who have flown the Union Flag over their portfolios this year have endured some stomach-churning turbulence as the UK stock market has fallen sharply and then recovered quickly. But some leading experts argue it will pay investors to hold tight. Among them is Nick Train, of investment house Lindsell Train, one of the country's leading fund managers. He strongly supports the view that the future for UK equities is a rosy one. - Mail on Sunday

Donald Trump appears to have yielded to public health concerns over the coronavirus by finally wearing a mask in public, despite months of insisting that it was not necessary. The US president was pictured yesterday in a dark face covering with the presidential seal as he paid a visit to wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington. - Sunday Times

Wearing face coverings in shops will not become mandatory in England, Michael Gove has suggested, sparking confusion over plans to stem the spread of coronavirus as the country emerges from lockdown. On Friday the prime minister indicated he was considering making masks compulsory in shops and other enclosed spaces, but Gove, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said instead that people could use their common sense. - Guardian

Primark is set to reject a £30m bonus payment unveiled by the chancellor last week, a decision that piles pressure on other big companies not to cash in at taxpayers' expense. The high-street clothing giant has said it will not claim the £1,000 Treasury handout for every worker it brings back from furlough. - Sunday Times

Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to strip British Airways of prized airport landing slots over its 'fire and rehire' jobs plan. More than 100 MPs from across political parties have urged the Prime Minister to review BA's right to slots at airports such as Heathrow as it embarks on a huge restructuring that will axe 12,000 staff. The airline is struggling after flights around the world were grounded for several months and travel is only just starting to pick up again. - Mail on Sunday

The rail industry is bracing for full nationalisation as private forecasts show passenger numbers will not return to pre-pandemic levels for at least five years. The predictions, circulated among train operators last week, make it almost impossible for the railways to remain in private hands without continued significant taxpayer support. - Sunday Telegraph

The chairman of JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, sold £5million of shares in his pub chain days after the Government announced its £4billion boost for firms in the hospitality sector. The 65-year-old sold 510,725 shares at a price of £9.84 per share, according to a statement released on Friday evening after the stock market had closed for the weekend. The sale reduces his stake in the FTSE250 pub chain he founded in 1979 to 27.4 per cent. - Mail on Sunday

Ted Baker is facing a revolt over a contentious plan to ramp up executive pay as it fights for survival. Influential advisory group ISS has recommended that investors vote down the retailer's remuneration policy at its annual meeting next week, claiming the board's decision to boost executive salaries and bonuses is unjustified. - Sunday Times

Virgin Atlantic is set to announce a £1bn rescue deal to prop up the struggling airline - without an injection of taxpayers' money. The transatlantic airline, founded 36 years ago by Sir Richard Branson, is finalising a deal to release tens of millions of pounds in credit-card cash that was being withheld. Last night, Sky News reported that Virgin was racing to resolve a demand for collateral from card merchant First Data. A solution would pave the way for American hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management to pump almost £200m of debt into the airline. - Sunday Times


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