Find out what's happening in this UK lockdown amid covid19?

  • Apr 19, 2020 BST
  • Team Kalkine

Welcome to Kalkine Media’s daily update of the latest events in the UK financial markets, the economy and major corporate moves -

The UK government will throw £1.25bn at startups and R&D firms that are struggling to survive in the coronavirus lockdown and are willing to pay well-above-market interest rates and give away equity in exchange for a fiscal lifeline. The scheme will open in May and run until the end of September. UK-registered companies that have raised at least £250,000 in equity investment the last five years will be eligible to receive loans of £125,000 to £5 million, provided they can find matching private investment.

Asda has canceled around a quarter of clothing orders with suppliers due to plummeting demand during the coronavirus crisis. The supermarket has said it will pay 50 percent for the completed canceled orders, rising to 60 percent for Bangladeshi suppliers. Asda, which is owned by US retail giant Walmart, has agreed for suppliers to donate or resell clothes from canceled orders.

The number of UK finance professionals seeking new jobs rose by more than 40% in the first quarter compared with the last three months of 2019, even as coronavirus forced employers to pause hiring and cut salary offers by 37. According to the latest Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor, the UK financial services industry suffered a rapid slowdown in hiring in March, The number of available jobs dropped by 38%, month-on-month, in March.

Casino and gaming operator Rank Group Plc furloughed nearly 90% of its workforce in the UK as its venues remain closed due to coronavirus-led lockdowns. The company said about 7,000 of its 7,600 workers had been furloughed and would receive 80% of their salary under the government’s job retention scheme, while its directors also volunteered a 20% cut to pay. Rank’s net gaming revenue fell 4% for the third quarter, they forecast an annual underlying operating profit between 48 million pounds and 58 million pounds, assuming its venues remain closed for the rest of the financial year.

With Bank of England reducing the interest rates to a historic low level, the spotlight is back on diverse investment opportunities. 

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