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Shopping centre owner Hammerson paid just a third of rents

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shopping centre owner hammerson paid just a third of rents

Hammerson only collected 38 per cent of its UK rents due for the current quarter after shop tenants were hit by the pandemic.

The shopping centre owner said it collected 41 per cent of rents across the global business, as the retail sector continues to struggle.

The business, which owns Birmingham’s Bullring, said that as of Tuesday, all of its shopping destinations had reopened, with 94 per cent of its tenants allowed to trade in the UK and Ireland.

Unpaid rents: Hammerson, which owns Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre (pictured), said that as of Tuesday, all of its shopping destinations had reopened

Unpaid rents: Hammerson, which owns Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre (pictured), said that as of Tuesday, all of its shopping destinations had reopened

However, rent payments have been slow to return after the Government extended its moratorium on lease forfeiture by commercial landlords until the end of the year.

The move means that landlords will be unable to threaten to kick out tenants who do not pay their leases on time until the start of January.

The company stressed that it expects rent collection rates for the past two quarters to ‘continue to improve’.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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MARKET REPORT: FTSE 100 in worst month since March

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market report ftse 100 in worst month since march

The FTSE 100 has suffered its worst month since March as fears of a second wave shook investor confidence. 

Britain’s index of leading companies has slid by 282 points throughout October – most notably over the last week, as coronavirus cases have shot up and countries around Europe have begun to impose strict new lockdowns.

Even upbeat results from the UK’s major banks over the last week have been unable to support the blue-chip index. 

029257D400000578 6865851 image a 1 1562603221949

029257D400000578 6865851 image a 1 1562603221949

Astrazeneca, still the FTSE’s most valuable listed company, acted as a drag on the index as it slipped 1.4 per cent, or 110p, to 7766p, after selling heart failure drug Atacand in around 70 countries to German firm Cheplapharm. 

The FTSE 100 fell 0.1 per cent, or 4.48 points, to 5577.27 points yesterday, contributing to a sea of red on traders’ screens as global markets tumbled. 

In the US, the Dow Jones was down 1.4 per cent, the Nasdaq down 2.8 per cent and the S&P down 1.8 per cent as traders wrapped up a tricky week dogged by rising coronavirus cases, the breakdown of fiscal stimulus talks, and rising election tensions. Asian stocks also tumbled – Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.5 per cent, the Shanghai Composite by 1.5 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index by 2 per cent. 

And closer to home, Germany’s Dax index slipped by 0.4 per cent – although traders in France seemed to be coming to terms with new lockdown restrictions as the CAC edged up 0.5 per cent. 

David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets, said: ‘A mixture of rising Covid-19 cases and the announcement of tougher restrictions clobbered stocks. 

‘Last month, the DAX 30 and the CAC 40 hit multi month highs, while the FTSE100 reached multiweek highs. Back then, optimism was doing the rounds as economies reopened and there were hopes that US politicians would agree a coronavirus relief package. 

‘Now, dealers are bracing themselves for stricter lockdowns, and lawmakers in the US haven’t reached a compromise with respect to the stimulus package.’ 

The biggest drag on the FTSE was Ocado, which slipped 3.2 per cent, or 74p, to 2276p as investors pocketed some of their profits. 

The mid-cap FSTE 250 index just managed to pull back some gains before the end of the month, climbing 0.2 per cent or 36.7 points to 17214.38 points. 

It was boosted by a 9.9 per cent rise at Cineworld, where shares climbed 2.56p to 28.51p as investors hunted for a bargain at the closed cinema chain. And Aston Martin climbed 5.4 per cent, or 2.8p, to 54.25p, as it successfully priced its new bonds. 

However, in order to attract investors, the 007 car maker had to increase the yield on the $1.1billion (£840m) of bonds to 10.5 per cent, making it one of the highest-yielding bond issues in Europe this year. 

IT company Computacenter edged down 1 per cent, or 24p, to 2274p as it updated the market. 

Traders took the chance to sell up and take their profits after the company hit a record high earlier this month, even as the company said it was comfortable with its full-year expectations and had a strong backlog of orders. 

Mining firms, which have had a difficult time during lockdown as demand for materials has fallen, had another lacklustre day. 

Glencore, following a third-quarter update, edged up just 0.3 per cent, or 0.4p, at 155.9p, as it admitted coal production would undershoot guidance due to a strike at its Cerrejon mine in Colombia. 

And Petropavlovsk slid 2.7 per cent, or 0.75p, to 26.7p, as it lowered its expectations for full-year gold production. The firm has been continually dogged by internal disputes after a shareholder coup in August ousted the miner’s chief executive and several directors.

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ALEX BRUMMER: Heathrow needs third runway to compete

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alex brummer heathrow needs third runway to compete

BA owner IAG’s new chief executive Luis Gallego must feel like the replacement bank bosses parachuted in after the financial crisis. 

After running up an eye popping £5.6billion loss in the first nine months of the current financial year, it may seem like it can only get better for IAG from here. 

The scale of the deficit places in some perspective the bonkers description of BA as ‘national disgrace’ by the Commons Transport Select Committee, which appeared to have no grip on the existential crisis facing the UK’s flagship carrier. 

Planning ahead: The UK needs the infrastructure in place for a third runway at Heathrow to compete

Planning ahead: The UK needs the infrastructure in place for a third runway at Heathrow to compete

Planning ahead: The UK needs the infrastructure in place for a third runway at Heathrow to compete

If BA and IAG’s other global airlines Iberia and Aer Lingus continue to fly at capacity – down 78.6 per cent in the third quarter – the 10,000 jobs that already have been sacrificed at BA could multiply several times over. It is hard to imagine now that less than a year ago BA was at war with cantankerous unions after it has the temerity to produce annual profits of £2billion, and workers demanded a share of the loot. 

No one could have seen the pandemic coming, but it has always been the case that the aviation sector is highly cyclical and good times are followed by bad, so it is useful to have decent reserves. IAG has taken action to conserve cash, raise new equity and put in place borrowing. 

But net debt has rocketed to £10billion, from £6.8billion at the same stage last year. In the small print of the nine-month statement, the group warns that if its scenarios for an end to Covid-19 turn out to be too upbeat, then it will have to look for new finance. 

Large swathes of Europe are back in variations of lockdowns and there is the strong possibility of a new US president, Joe Biden, who has campaigned on a more forceful response to the pandemic. So a greatly worsening outlook cannot be ruled out. 

The most frustrating aspect of the BA crisis has been the impervious response of the UK authorities to demands for airport testing. IAG issued a clarion call for affordable pre-departure testing and the option of post-flight testing to release passengers from the burden of quarantine, lost wages and entrepreneurship. 

As the carrier notes, such simple steps would ‘open routes, stimulate economies and get people travelling with confidence’. 

The scarring caused by failure to recognise this is immeasurable. 

Rolls-Royce and UK aerospace are tottering on the brink. Income and cash flow at Rolls is directly correlated to flying hours. 

As a services dominated economy, the UK’s core creative, finance and life sciences require global travel. 

Businesses do not sign up clients that easily when their principals are holed up in back bedrooms. 

The UK runs a big trade surplus with the country’s single biggest market, the US. 

As fond as Americans may be of shopping at Fortnum’s, or buying stylish Burberry trench coats, it is financial services which offer the greatest opportunity. 

New mandates don’t often come knocking on the door, they have to be earned. 

The wider impact of failing to address testing at UK airports was seen this week when Charles de Gaulle, which has four runways, overtook Heathrow as Europe’s busiest hub. 

That cannot be good for the UK’s role as financial, exhibition and commercial entre pot. The terminals may be empty, but when the virus nightmare is over the UK cannot justifiably compete with Frankfurt or Schiphol in Amsterdam without putting in the infrastructure for a third runway. 

Be prepared.

Rose tinted 

All of us as taxpayers own a chunk of Natwest. So it is encouraging that under the guidance of chief executive Alison Rose, it is back in the black. 

Rose deserves plaudits for strengthening the bank during lockdown. 

She has watched the number of clients on mortgage holidays plunge from 22 per cent of the home loan book to 4 per cent. 

She is comfortable with exposures to property, which have come down from 120 per cent loan-to-value in the Fred Goodwin era to 46 per cent now. 

The bank is rising to the digital challenge with 9.3m customers accessing banking via mobile devices.

It is using video links for clients’ visits and processing bounce back and other government-backed loans speedily. 

Ideally, Natwest would like to use some its surplus reserves to pay a dividend. That, in turn, could unlock some of the government 62 per cent stake. 

Are you listening Andrew Bailey? 

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De La Rue extends its contract with the Bank of England

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de la rue extends its contract with the bank of england

De La Rue has extended its contract with the Bank of England as it prepares to release the Alan Turing £50 note next year. 

The Basingstoke-based bank-note maker will maintain its exclusive right to print Bank of England notes, and operate the Bank’s printing facility in Essex, until 2028. 

Cashing in: De La Rue will maintain its exclusive right to print Bank of England notes

Cashing in: De La Rue will maintain its exclusive right to print Bank of England notes

Cashing in: De La Rue will maintain its exclusive right to print Bank of England notes

The contract had been due to expire in 2025, but will stretch on for at least another three years. 

Turing was a mathematician who worked as a codebreaker during the Second World War. 

Despite playing a vital role in cracking German codes, he was persecuted, and prosecuted, for his homosexuality in the fifties. 

The Queen pardoned him in 2013.

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