Fossil fuel sector, Brexit, Arcadia Group, Morrisons, Amazon: your commercial news round-up

updated on 13 June 2019

This week’s round-up from the business world covers almost as many stories as there are candidates competing to be chosen as the next prime minister by Conservative MPs and 124,000 or so party members. Let’s get straight to the important stuff:

  • Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, which manages many of the country’s assets and is one of the biggest sovereign investment funds in the world, is dumping its investments in the fossil fuel industry. Norway’s Parliament has passed a law dropping $13 billion worth of investments in eight coal companies and around 150 oil producers, as well as oil exploration and production companies. The fund will now instead focus on renewable energy.
  • In contrast, Australia has given final approval for the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland Galilee Basin, after years of delays over environmental concerns.
  • Many UK businesses are not ready for a no-deal Brexit, according to figures seen by BBC current affairs programme Newsnight. Fewer than 10% of companies that will need to sign up to HMRC’s new imports and customs scheme in the event that the UK leaves the customs union and single market abruptly have done so.
  • Retail tycoon Philip Green has narrowly convinced shareholders to back a controversial rescue plan for his troubled Arcadia Group, which owns brands such as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Enough key landlords to reach the 75% voting threshold required to pass the plan were won over by Green’s promises of further cash injections to steady the group. The plan itself involves a contentious insolvency process using seven separate company voluntary arrangements.
  • Supermarket Morrisons is expanding its partnership with Amazon to cities across the UK. The tie-up enables Amazon Prime customers to same-day deliveries for groceries bought online.

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