BREXIT SPECIAL! Top 10 Stories of the Week! 20/06/16

Brexit Special! The United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU. Keep up to date with the latest news by following us here and on our Twitter and Facebook page.

1. THE REFERENDUM FACTS

The United Kingdom voted 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the EU. Scotland and Northern Ireland both overwhelming voted to remain.

The overall turnout for the election was 72.2% (BBC News)

For the full demographics of the referendum click here. Find out how people voted depending on their age, education and immigration levels.

The process of leaving can only begin once the procedure laid out in article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered. For a simplified explanation of the leaving process click here.

2. HOW THE MARKETS REACTED

The financial sector did not predict a “Leave” result so markets reacted with shock, evidenced by the figures.

The pound fell against the dollar to its lowest level in 31 years in response to the results. It is beginning steady however at around the $1.30 mark.

On Friday morning, over £100bn was wiped off the FTSE 100, with major banks such as HSBC taking the hardest hits. On Monday the FTSE 100 fell again by 2.5% while the FTSE 250 fell by 7%.

Barclays and RBS had to suspend trading on Monday due to significant losses.

In total, a record $3 trillion were wiped off global markets in the first 2 days of trading after the results. (FT)

Two key credit rating agencies, Fitch and Standard & Poor has now lowered the UK’s AAA credit rating to AA rating because the AAA rating was no longer deemed tenable. This will raise the cost of government borrowing.  (The Telegraph)

3. DAVID CAMERON RESIGNS

Just hours after the results of the referendum came through, David Cameron addressed the nation and announced his resignation. A new Prime Minister will be elected within the Conservative party by 2 September 2016. Boris Johnson is the forerunner for his position but Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt, Liam Fox and Stephen Crabb are also speculated to be potential candidates.

For David Cameron’s resignation speech, click here.

4. LABOUR PARTY TURMOIL

Jeremy Corbyn has lost 34 members of his shadow cabinet and the party is calling for another leadership election after what has been described as a “lack-lustre” campaign from Corbyn for the Remain camp.

He is facing a vote of no confidence as Mr Corbyn lost 20 of his 31 strong shadow cabinet and seen a further 13 shadow ministers resign on Monday morning. He has stated he will appoint his new shadow cabinet shortly and claims he would stand again in any new leadership election. (The Telegraph)

John Mills, the Labour party’s largest individual donor claims that the Labour Party has lost touch under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Click here for more on his comments. (City A.M)

5. INTERNATIONAL REACTION AND A LOOK TO THE FUTURE

Germany, Canada and the USA have all claimed to want to maintain a special relationship with the UK post-Brexit.

Germany however, has ruled out any informal negotiations before the UK begins formal exit process. (BBC News)

The chief executive of Deutsche Bank claimed London will not die as a financial centre but it will become weaker after the Brexit. (Reuters)

The Big Four accountancy firms are preparing for a “Brexit boom” as many companies will look to restructure. Click here for more. (FT)

HSBC has claimed that it would move up to 1,000 jobs to Paris if the UK leaves the single market. (BBC News)

Morgan Stanley however, denied claims that it would be moving 2,000 jobs away from London to Dublin and Frankfurt.

For more articles on the various reactions check out our Twitter page.

 

In other news this week…

1. TESCO SALES RESULTS

Tesco has said it is “encouraged” by its progress in a challenging market as it reported a second consecutive quarter of higher sales. In a trading statement, the supermarket said its UK like-for-like sales were up 0.3% in the 13 weeks to 28 May.

Tesco also said it had agreed to sell its Harris & Hoole coffee shop chain to Caffe Nero. In recent weeks the retailer has announced the sale of its Dobbies Garden Centres chain and restaurant chain Giraffe, so that it can focus on the main supermarket business.

Dobbies was sold to a group of investors led by Midlothian Capital Partners and Hattington Capital, while the owner of Harry Ramsden’s restaurants, Boparan, snapped up Giraffe. In April, Tesco announced its first growth in quarterly sales for three years, with UK like-for-like sales up 0.9%. (BBC News)

2. DUBAI SOLAR PLANT BIDS

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority will announce Monday the winning bidder in a contest to build an 800-megawatt solar power plant in the Persian Gulf emirate, the government-owned utility said.

State utilities generally issue tenders to attract private investors to help build and operate power plants. The power plant developers offer to build the facility and provide power at a certain price, with the lowest bid generally winning. When asked if it had been awarded the power plant contract, a Masdar spokesman referred questions to DEWA.

Developers were bidding to construct the third phase of a DEWA solar park in the sheikhdom’s desert. The solar park will generate 5,000 megawatts by 2030. Dubai is boosting solar generating capacity to diversify its energy mix and help meet growing demand for electricity. The emirate aims to get 7 percent of its power from clean energy sources by 2020. Dubai currently has 13 megawatts in operation at the solar park and a further 200 megawatts under construction. (Bloomberg)

3. TESLA – SOLARCITY MERGER

Elon Musk called the proposed marriage of Tesla Motors Inc. and SolarCity Corp. a “no brainer,” saying his $2.86 billion plan to combine the companies would benefit both.

Musk — who is chief executive officer of Tesla, chairman of solar-panel maker SolarCity and the largest shareholder of each — was upbeat. “In my personal opinion, this is obviously something that should happen,” the billionaire said on a conference call Tuesday.

Tesla investors didn’t seem so sure. While SolarCity shares rose 16 percent Wednesday in trading before U.S. exchanges opened, Tesla fell 10 percent.

Oppenheimer & Co. analysts including Colin Rusch downgraded Tesla to perform from outperform in a research note published late Tuesday, saying they expect “a robust shareholder fight over this acquisition centered on corporate governance.” (Bloomberg)

4. RETAIL SECTOR FIGURES

Job opportunities in the retail sector are expected to fall to their lowest level for five years as shop owners claw back the costs of the government’s new living wage. About a third of employers in the retail sector intend to restrict the number of new jobs as higher pay packets for the lowest-paid staff eat into profit levels and cut dividend payouts.

A survey of 2,100 employers by the recruitment firm Manpower found that retailers were the most likely to claw back the costs of the living wage, which came into effect in April, as they consider advertising new jobs over the next three months.

James Hick, a spokesman for Manpower, said the national living wage, which pays £7.20 an hour to 25-year-olds and over, has prompted retailers to register the biggest fall in optimism about their hiring intentions since 2011. Hick said the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the referendum was also deterring employers from advertising new jobs, a situation that will only get worse if the UK leaves the EU.

The report found the UK would be “critically short” of workers if EU workers were no longer able to move freely to this country. Leaving the EU would be particularly damaging for top construction firms, which traditionally rely on European workers, and have been warning for months of skills shortages, said the report. (The Guardian)

5. STEINHOFF RECONSIDERS POUNDLAND ACQUISITION

South African conglomerate Steinhoff is going off discount retailer Poundland following the unexpected Brexit vote.

Steinhoff, owner of UK furniture firm Harveys and Bensons For Beds, blamed the result of referendum results, as well as the recent falls in Poundland shares, for the decision.

Shares in the UK discount chain were down by over six per cent as part of the wider post-Brexit sell off but have lost more than half their value in recent months, falling from a high of 406p in March 2015 to a low of 139p in April this year.

Steinhoff now has a 23 per cent stake in Poundland and has been mulling a full takeover bid in recent weeks. (City A.M)

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