Value stocks — unloved and cheap companies in often unfashionable industries — are in a slump. Last week AJO Partners, a $10bn value-focused hedge fund, said it would shut down. But Peter Oppenheimer, Goldman Sachs’ chief global equity strategist, thinks a comeback is due if a coronavirus vaccine emerges and kicks bond yields higher.

UK privacy and public health figures have reacted with alarm to the UK government move to share with police the contact details of those instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate. The data sharing deal was reached in an agreement between the Department of Health and Social Care and the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

An “unprecedented” number of UK companies are attempting to reduce their business rates bills as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic looks set to last far longer than first anticipated. According to property company Colliers, 170,000 businesses have taken the first step towards appealing against their rates.

The UK government is seeking to ride out calls by Andy Burnham, Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, for the state to pay 80 per cent of the pay of workers at hospitality businesses forced to close because of new coronavirus restrictions. Mr Burnham has rejected a plan to pay two-thirds of their wages.

Ashmore has suffered a heavy shareholder revolt over a new executive pay policy that could give bosses large and unwarranted bonuses. The UK fund manager was hit hard by the coronavirus-related sell-off in emerging markets, with its assets falling from $98.4bn at the end of 2019 to $83.6bn in June.

Yosuke Matsuda, chief executive of Square Enix, the Japanese games group behind the hit Final Fantasy series has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic has frozen production of new titles, threatening to undermine the boost the $145bn industry enjoyed from people spending more time at home due to coronavirus lockdowns.

Carlsberg is to expand its range of non-alcoholic drinks and flavoured alcoholic sparkling waters, as the Danish brewer looks beyond beer for growth and taps consumers’ renewed focus on health in the pandemic. Cees ‘t Hart, chief executive, said sales of alcohol-free beer were increasing by 20-25 per cent in major markets.

Deloitte is planning to close four of its 50 UK offices in coming months as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the accounting group to cut costs and remote working has reduced its need for expensive property leases. About 500 employees who work at Deloitte’s offices in Gatwick, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton will be offered full-time remote working.


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