The Business: Wednesday April 23 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
The hiring of David Moyes last year will end up costing Manchester United FC more than £200m, experts have told The Guardian. The costs will be incurred by a fall in revenues caused by the club’s absence from next season's Champions League, which the accountant Deloitte predicts will be around £50m. The other major cost will be the estimated £150m-plus that Moyes' replacement will demand in order to rebuild the beleaguered team.
The UK’s leading companies have been ordered to be cautious on executive pay by business secretary Vince Cable. As businesses prepare for their annual general meetings, Cable has written to all FTSE 100 members to remind them that public anger over pay awards remains high. Singling out Barclays, which has its shareholder meeting on Thursday, he said pay levels at banks in particular have been “ridiculous”.
Lending to businesses has fallen again in recent months, reports The Guardian, but more mortgages were approved. The news adds to fears of a housing bubble and raises fresh concern over the shape of the economic recovery. Despite calls from George Osborne for businesses to boost growth by investing more, Bank of England data shows that lending to companies of all sizes fell in the three months to February.
The high-profile founder of EasyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has cut his stake in the low cost airline by a further 1.27% - the third time he and his siblings have sold shares in the carrier in just over a year. The airline announced yesterday that the family’s combined holding has been reduced to 35.68%, or 141,608,049 ordinary shares, down from 36.95% or 146,511,798 shares. He and his siblings are protesting at the airline’s decision to buy 135 new Airbus planes.
“Heard that executive ticket sales at Old Trafford were not going well. Corporate United couldn’t afford to leave Moyes in charge.” Former Manchester United winger Keith Gillespie says the sacking of David Moyes was taken for business reasons.
Tesco has fired a new salvo in the supermarket price war, making cuts to 30 products and reducing delivery charges. As the retailer tries to regain market share from discount chains Aldi and Lidl, it has slashed the costs of products including bacon, baked beans, eggs and butter. Last month, loss-makign rival Morrisons announced it would launch a three-year price war as part of its £1bn programme aimed at revitalizing its fortune.
FTSE-100: up +0.85 to 6681.76
Dow Jones: up +0.40 to 16514.37
Dax: up +2.02 to 9600.09
Cac-40: up +1.18 to 4484.21
Nikkei: up +0.80 to 14503.36
Hang Seng: down -0.86 to 22534.16
US dollar: buys €0.72290 and £0.59410
Sterling: buys $1.68300 and €1.21670
Oil: $109.46 down -0.1