The next head of the World Trade Organization needs recent experience of steering through the coronavirus pandemic, argues Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s candidate to head the body. She is one of eight contenders to succeed the Brazilian Roberto Azevêdo as WTO director-general.

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa is facing increased pressure to accelerate reforms of the power and telecoms sectors in the continent’s most industrialised economy after the pandemic erased more than a decade of fragile growth. Gross domestic product in the second quarter fell almost a fifth year on year.

As executives in the $600bn reinsurance industry log on to video calls this weekend, they might be forgiven for thinking wistfully about Monaco. They should have been gathering in the glitz of the principality on the French coast, but the pandemic has put the future of the annual Rendez-Vous de Septembre in jeopardy.

In Scoreboard, the return of the US National Football League starts the clock ticking on a crucial renegotiation of its $5bn media rights deals, wonder about the true value of English Premier League clubs following Leeds United’s promotion and explain the rationale behind David Beckham’s bet on an esports team.

UK fashion retailer New Look is set for another clash with its landlords next week as it prepares to ask for further big cuts in rents with a warning that it could go bust without them. The company has almost 500 stores and employs more than 12,000 people.

Gilead Sciences — in the spotlight for remdesivir, a medicine that received emergency approval for treating Covid-19 — is close to buying Immunomedics for $20bn, as the pharmaceutical group tries to outbid rivals competing to snap up the cancer drug developer. Gilead’s offer is close to double Immunomedics’ value.

Gojek and Grab, south-east Asia’s biggest start-ups, have resumed talks on a merger at the behest of shareholders including SoftBank, after the Japanese group’s founder Masayoshi Son threw his weight behind a deal. The discussions restart as the lossmaking rivals haemorrhage money due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca are to resume the international clinical trial of their proposed coronavirus vaccine candidate. Speculation that there might be a significant delay in the much-watched study turns out to have been unjustified. The trial was paused last Sunday when a participant fell ill in the UK.


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