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30 St Mary Axe, also known as "the Gherkin," stands in this view from the 22 Bishopsgate office tower construction project in the City of London, U.K., on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Axa SA's real estate unit and development partner Lipton Rogers Developments LLP are building the 278-meter (912 foot) Bishopsgate tower, which will become the tallest in the City of London financial district. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Sajid Javid wants “permanent equivalence” for the City — in essence, permanent access to EU markets for the UK’s financial services industry for decades to come. As well he might. The EU’s current equivalence system allows the bloc to revoke access unilaterally on 30 days notice. Banks struggle to do anything on 30 days notice. Let alone adapt all of their systems if EU access is abruptly withdrawn.

We’ve written before about how equivalence isn’t fit for purpose — or at least the UK’s purposes (see Lombard here). But that doesn’t mean the EU will give in easily. The Treasury knows that too. Instead, it reckons the UK could end up in one of two “landing zones”. For more on those, read the full story here.


Ocado made a pre-tax loss of £215m in its latest financial year, up from £44m the previous year. Its finances have been hit by a fire at its Andover facility which reduced capacity. That is having knock-on effects on growth, too: earnings for the UK solutions and logistics bit of the business will decline in the year ahead because of a “holiday” Ocado had to grant Morrisons from another facility to free up capacity. But earnings from the retail arm are expected to increase by at least 10-15 per cent, after Ocado’s retail joint venture with M&S.

The competition watchdog may force JD Sports to sell Footasylum, the trainer chain it bought last year. The Competition and Markets Authority said that after an in-depth probe, its view was that a sale might be the only way to ensure shoppers didn’t lose out because of less competition. JD Sports’ executive chairman Peter Cowgill called the CMA’s findings “fundamentally flawed”.

Thomas Cook’s collapse is helping to soften the blow of 737 Max delays for Tui, the London-listed tour operator. Summer bookings are up 14 per cent on last year. Revenues for the three months to December were up 7 per cent to €3.9bn (using constant exchange rates), but underlying earnings dropped 76 per cent to €147m. The decline was partly due to Tui’s investment in its holiday experience business, but also because of €45m in costs linked to the 737 Max grounding.

Job moves

Kantar, the private equity-owned data business, has appointed former ITV boss Adam Crozier as no-executive chairman. He is a busy man: he also holds the chairmanships of Whitbread, Asos and Vue International.

M&S has a new finance director. Eoin Tonge, currently CFO at Greencore group, will join in June.

Beyond the Square Mile

FILE PHOTO: A smartphones with Sprint logo are seen in front of a screen projection of T-mobile logo, in this picture illustration taken April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

A federal judge is set to approve T-Mobile USA’s $59bn takeover of its rival Sprint, paving the way for further consolidation in the American telecommunications market. The decision will be a victory for John Legere, T-Mobile’s flamboyant chief executive, on the eve of his departure after eight years running the company. News of the ruling, which will be handed down on Tuesday, sent shares in Sprint surging almost 70 per cent in after-hours trading on Monday.

Daimler’s profits fell by more than 60 per cent in 2019, marking the worst annual drop for the German carmaker in several decades, as it battles to fund a late foray into electric vehicles and struggles to comply with strict new EU emissions regulations. Elsewhere in the auto sector, Volvo Cars and Geely Automobile are planning to merge in a move that would bring the Swedish company back to public markets and create China’s first global carmaker.

Sony, NTT DoCoMo and Amazon were among the companies on Monday to cancel their appearance at Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest smartphone trade fair in Barcelona, because of coronavirus. The high-profile no-shows is putting huge pressure on GSMA, the industry body, to cancel the conference later this month, which draws 110,000 people in a normal year, including at least 6,000 people directly from China and thousands more from other parts of Asia.

Closing quote — essential comment before you go

ONLINE FEE OF £60 AGREED - ONE TIME USE ONLY. PLEASE CONTACT SANGITA AT MIRRORPIX IF YOU WANT TO USE IT AGAIN: sangita@mirrorpix.com Cosmetic surgeon Ian Paterson Cosmetic surgeon on trial at Crown Court, Nottingham Feb 2017

Michael Skapinker
There are lessons for managers everywhere in the case of Ian Paterson, the disgraced breast surgeon who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for intentionally wounding his patients.

There were already reasons enough to steer clear of the Middle Eastern healthcare operator NMC without Monday’s disclosure debacle.

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