Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is facing collapse within days, putting 15,000 jobs at risk and bringing the curtain down on the high street career of one of Britain’s most controversial businessmen.

It is understood that Arcadia Group – which owns TopShop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins – is preparing to appoint administrators from Deloitte as soon as next week.

One retail industry figure said Arcadia’s collapse had become inevitable after talks with a number of lenders about an emergency £30m loan ended without success.

The appointment of administrators could happen as early as Monday, although one person close to the situation said the plan had yet to be finalised and that it could yet be delayed.

If the insolvency is confirmed, it is expected to trigger a scramble among creditors to get their hands on the company’s assets.

It would involve Arcadia’s online operations and the stores which are … Read the rest

Equities in Canada’s largest centre managed gains late Friday, the second last day of a momentum November, as growth in health-care and tech stocks carried the day.

The TSX pulled out of the hole it was in early Friday and gained 45.22 points to end the session at 17,396.56. The gain for the week was 377 points, or 2.22%.

The Canadian dollar regained 0.18 cents to 76.98 cents U.S.

Health-care stocks led the field, with Aurora Cannabis showing gains of $2.18, or 18.7%, to $13.83, while Trillium Pharmaceuticals scaled $2.13, or 8.8%, to $26.31.

Among techs, Lightspeed POS surged $3.39, or 5%, to $71.89, while BlackBerry picked up 25 cents, or 3.2%, to $7.98.

In the consumer staples field, Saputo rallied 68 cents, or 1.9%, to $36.05, while Jamieson Wellness tallied 64 cents, or 1.8%, to $35.61.

Real-estate proved the biggest anchor, with Brookfield Property Partners units dropping 73 cents, … Read the rest

Gyms have been among COVID-19’s most dramatically impacted victims, due to the transmission risks of packing heavily breathing people into a confined space for hours at a time. But there’s one thing the pandemic hasn’t changed: It’s still exasperatingly difficult to get out of a gym contract.

Fitness clubs have long relied on long-term membership agreements to prevent flighty customers from abandoning their New Year’s resolutions without a financial penalty. But given the public health considerations of the coronavirus pandemic, gyms’ generally stringent membership cancelation policies—specifically, requirements that members must visit a physical location or send a certified letter to terminate their contracts—have come into relief.

Information on outbreaks linked to gyms paints a hazy picture. Since the summer, numerous COVID-19 outbreaks have been tied to fitness centers, including ones in Elmhurt, Ill., San Diego, and Hawaii’s Oahu island.

Data released by the Minnesota Department of Health … Read the rest

Spanish lender Banco Sabadell has said it will consider options for its UK bank TSB after it called off a planned merger with rival BBVA.

Sabadell and BBVA said they were in merger talks less than two weeks ago, but they failed to agree a price.

Sabadell said it would now seek “strategic alternatives for creating value with regard to the group’s international assets, including TSB”.

It did not specify if that would mean selling TSB, which it bought in 2015.

Separately, TSB said it had “good momentum” in its business growth as well as progress in “taking full control of our IT, delivering a right-sized modern branch network and reducing overall operating costs”.

In January, it signed a deal with US computing giant IBM to run its online banking, bank systems and cash machines, in an attempt to put a stop to the IT failures that have plagued the … Read the rest

Monday

U.S.

Economic Lookahead

Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (Nov.)

Pending Home Sales Index (Oct.)

Featured Earnings

Adient (NYSE: ADNT) (Q4) EPS projected for 96 cents, compared to 63 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) (Q3) EPS projected for 57 cents, compared to one cent in the prior-year quarter.

New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR) (Q4) EPS projected for 57 cents, compared to 29 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Canada

Economic Lookahead

Industrial Product Price Index (Oct.) The index edged down 0.1% in September, led by lower prices for energy and petroleum products.

Raw Materials Price Index (Oct.) The index fell 2.2%, pulled downward mainly by lower prices for crude energy products.

Building Permits (Sept.) The total value of building permits rose 1.7% to $8.1 billion in August, driven by an increase in the residential sector in Ontario and Quebec.

Featured Earnings

1933 Industries Inc. (C.TGIF) (Q4) Read the rest

New York-based businesswoman Ruth Harrigan usually sells her honey and beeswax products in souvenir shops. But with Covid-19 pausing tourism, she’s been almost entirely dependent on Facebook ads to drive online sales. On Nov. 11, this new financial lifeline was abruptly cut when the social media company blocked her HoneyGramz ad account for violating its policies. She couldn’t imagine what about her tiny honey-filled gifts would have triggered the problem.

Friends told Harrigan to just wait a couple of days and the problem might resolve itself. She waited, until she lost an estimated $5,000 in revenue.

“I was getting a little anxious thinking, ‘Oh my God, Black Friday is around the corner, most of my sales for the year happen in November and December and that’s it,’” she explained. “I said, ‘If I’m shut down any longer than this, it’ll cripple me.’”

Harrigan is one of millions of small business … Read the rest

The electric vehicle boom has been one of the few bright spots for investors in 2020.

Tesla has seen its stock price climb by more than 445% this year.

NIO stock has soared by more than 1070%.

And even charging companies like PLUG have seen their stock price rise by more than 630%.

In what has been a perfect storm for this nascent sector, traditional companies have seen their value destroyed, the world’s biggest hedge funds have started to redirect their investments towards ESG stocks and multiple governments are preparing for a clean energy transition as the COVID recovery begins.

But amidst all this good news – and what seems to be an irreversible shift in sentiment in global markets – one of the most impressive EV developments of the decade seems to have gone under the radar.

The EV industry has finally solved its most pressing problem: accessibility.

Electric … Read the rest

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For decades, Switzerland has been a favorite headquarters for global corporations, and for good reason: It transformed its tiny Alpine country into an economic powerhouse, in good part by keeping business secrets and asking few questions.

But that could be about to change—as soon as this weekend.

In a nationwide referendum on Sunday, Swiss voters will decide whether companies headquartered there should be held legally liable for whatever environment wreckage and human rights abuses occur as a result of their operations, no matter where. The so-called Business Responsibility Initiative, or BRI as the Swiss call it, has been nearly a decade in the making, and would compel companies to report on non-financial aspects involved in every part of their global supply chain—a potentially mammoth undertaking for giants like … Read the rest

Another 1,300 pub sector job cuts were announced today as Mitchells & Butlers became the latest operator to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

M&B, which owns brands including All Bar One and Harvester, said it had made 1,300 workers redundant and closed a small number of sites owing to reduced trade.

It said that the cuts had come “despite our best efforts to protect as many jobs as we can”, and represented only 3 per cent of its total workforce of 43,000.

News of the cuts came as Fuller, Smith & Turner confirmed its previously announced decision to cut about 350 jobs, although it said it had managed to redeploy about 250 workers whose jobs were at risk of redundancy. Most of the big pub groups have laid off staff: Greene King cutting 800 jobs, Marston’s cutting 2,150 and JD Wetherspoon losing about 550.

The M&B job cuts came as … Read the rest

The Canadian dollar continued to consolidate this week’s gains in an uneventful and quiet overnight session. USD/CAD traded narrowly in a $1.2993-$1.3012 range and is trading in Toronto in the middle of that band.

The Canadian dollar is benefiting from widespread, positive risk sentiment, which has led to substantial gains in AUD/USD and NZD/USD. The news of successful coronavirus vaccine tests unleashed a torrent of demand for the so-called “risk assets,” and helped to send crude oil prices skyrocketing.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) the North American crude oil benchmark price touched $46.20 yesterday, a 37% increase from where it was at the start of November. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countires and friends played a large role in the price surge after they leaked plans to extend existing production levels until March 2021.

AUD/USD and NZD/USD led the move higher because of their close trade relationship with China and … Read the rest