UK Business Press Review

Today we look at BHS, EMI, Neil Woodford, Provident Financial and the European Court of Justice.

Anyone who thought that “star” fund manager Neil Woodford was getting a little too Hollywood at the beginning of this year will have enjoyed schadenfreude in spades in recent months. The latest company to get the Woodford curse is Provident Financial. The Times highlights the profits warning, the CEO and the dividend doing a runner, and of course the regulator nosing in after the horse has bolted.

The embarrassing climbdown and dialback from the Brexit vote continues in drip-drip form, whereby today we read in EU rag the Financial Times that the European Court of “Justice” will still be allowed to meddle in UK matters. This will mean that HM Government reserves the right to call in its friends at the ECJ if and when it gets in a sticky situation – for instance, with a pesky terrorist who would like to be paid to stay in the UK, or for employees to have mid life crisis leave. The play here is that “direct jurisdiction” will end after Brexit. But of course who knows what the difference between direct and indirect is when it comes to lawyers / judiciary?

It is with interest we read in The Daily Telegraph that the Pensions Regulator is to prosecute Dominic Chappell, the man who bought BHS for £1. A more logical target would have been Sir Philip Green, but of course he paid £363m to the BHS pension fund and has better lawyers than the hapless Mr Chapell.

The Times cheers us with news from Antofagasta, the Chile centred Copper miner who yesterday announced a dividend hike, one which coincides with Copper hitting a three year high.

The Daily Mail reported on how investors in Rathbone Brothers do not seem to be keen on the planned £2bn merger with Smith & Williamson, with shares in Rathbone falling against a rising market yesterday.
The Financial Times tells us that investors in Guy “EMI” Hands wishfully named vehicle Terra Firma have asked for restrictions to be put in place so that one investment does not have undue weight in the Portfolio as the Abbey Road based group did 10 years ago with disastrous results.
Finally, a happy story from Questor in the Daily Telegraph where we hear how the dividend at Card Factory has squeezed up to 7.6%.