Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Please look after this bear

Written by Katie Armour, client manager
Edited by Iain Gibson, partner

1 March 2022 

Good morning,

Please look after this bear.  That’s what Paddington’s label read when he arrived in a London station, marmalade sandwich in hand, from deepest darkest Peru. Paddington Bear was the creation of British author Michael Bond and he has a small empire of books, films and fans to his name. His story was inspired by memories of evacuee children passing through stations during the blitz and Bond reminisced that, “when I was small, I had memories of children being evacuated from London with a label around their necks and all their possessions in a suitcase, and this became part of Paddington as well.” Paddington’s story is a hopeful and heart-warming one, even though it’s laced with sadness at the outset. So it’s fitting that in the Ukrainian versions of the two recent movies, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine and man of many trades, lent his voice to Paddington’s character In recent days Zelenskyy has given a nation, and a watchful worried world, hope that David and Goliath could be as much playbook as parable. His grit, resolve and social media savvy are all factors the Russian president underestimated. Now the 44-year-old comedian turned commander in chief is in the eye of the storm. Terrifyingly, news emerged yesterday that the Kremlin has tasked 400 mercenaries with assassinating him and 23 other key figures, including cabinet members and world famous boxing brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, who have joined the resistance. The assassins, from notorious private militia The Wagner Group, have reportedly been embedding themselves in Ukraine since January. They have seemingly been promised big bonuses and safe passage out of the country. They’ve also been warned of a “brief pause” in action to make it look like Putin is genuinely engaging in negotiations. This startling story, as with others detailing the assaults on Ukraine’s cities, has felt impossibly hard to keep up with. In the last day or so alone Putin has put his nuclear force on high alert and then blamed British foreign secretary Liz Truss for forcing it. The rouble dropped 30% and runs on Russian cash machines began, Fifa expelled Russia, Belarus made moves to host its nuclear weapons and even Switzerland dropped its standard neutral position. More than half a million people have fled the country since the invasion began. Poland, which has played host to fierce political debate over immigration, flung open its borders to any and all, even without ID. Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Slovakia are also welcoming people and organising shelter. Anonymous is hacking Russian institutions and Elon Musk has shipped in satellite internet. Yesterday, home secretary Priti Patel set out Britain’s contribution. The UK will establish a “new humanitarian route” for Ukrainians which will mean a further 100,000 people are eligible to enter. The fine details of the “bespoke” scheme are in short supply, but the suggestion is that the restrictive “immediate” family only criteria will be lifted. It is heartening how much the western democracies have come together and shown united resolve in recent days. Not something Putin (or perhaps even we) expected. And in many ways it’s fitting that the voice of a small, brave bear such as Paddington has become the face of resistance. Now, we watch on as the almighty Russian bear makes its way menacingly and in a 40 mile long convoy towards Kyiv.

News

Huge floods across eastern Australia have taken the lives of nine people and a rescue mission has been launched for an additional 400 who are trapped in the New South Wales city of Lismore. (£)

Former prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has suggested it is time Japan considers taking on nuclear weapons as part of the “nuclear sharing” agreement which sees NATO countries Germany, Italy and Turkey keep American nuclear weapons on their territory. (£)

The GMB union has called on Glasgow city council to sell the world-famous masterpiece by Salvador Dali – Christ of Saint John of the Cross – to fund the £500m equal pay deal for workers. The painting is currently housed in Kelvingrove art gallery and is valued at roughly £60m. (£)

Business and economy

Shell has followed BP in announcing it will end all of its joint ventures with the Russian energy company Gazprom following the invasion of Ukraine. The oil company has a 27.5% stake in a major liquefied natural gas plant which it will offload, as well as quitting the Sakhalin II facility. Similarly, Norwegian oil group Equinor and Germany’s Daimler Truck are ending their partnerships with Russian businesses and Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover said they were halting deliveries of cars to the country.

Shetland Islands Council has approved planning permission for the Saxavord Spaceport in Unst. Providing Scottish ministers do not present any objection, three rocket pads will be built on the Lamba Ness peninsula and could launch a meteorological satellite as soon as the end of the year.

Henry Kravis and George Roberts each received $100m in 2021 as “buoyant” markets caused their private equity group KKR’s profits to “soar”. (£)

Columns of note

Renowned international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands argues in The Financial Times that Putin’s use of military force is a “crime of aggression” and assesses the matter of personal criminality against the Russian leader. (£)

Melanie Phillips writes in The Times that girls find the modern world “a miserable place”, arguing that “fractured families and a rise in perfectionism” have taken their toll on young women in the form of depression and low self-worth. (£)

Markets

What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed in a mixed state on Monday after Western countries imposed tougher sanctions on Russia. Firms with Russian connections or suppliers felt the squeeze.

The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.42% at 7,458.25 but the FTSE 250 was up 0.83% at 21,081.05.

Sterling was in a stronger state, trading 0.05% weaker against the dollar at $1.34 and 0.46% stronger against the euro, changing hands at €1.19.

In company news:

Paper and packaging company Mondi saw its shared drop 12.03% because one of its largest operations is the massive Mondi Syktyvkar plant in Russia’s Komi region and another has suspended production as it is based in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Banks saw a universal drop, with HSBC falling 4.35%, Lloyds closing 2.51% worse, Barclays falling 3.19% and NatWest dropping 2.55%.

BP lost 3.95% after announcing it would exit its near 20% holding in oil company Rosneft.

Anglo-Russian precious metals miner Polymetal International plunged 56.01%, Russian steelmaker Evraz tumbled 29.29%, and Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk slid 15.7%.

Defence companies BAE Systems and Babcock International saw their shares jump 10.2% and 7.92% respectively.

What’s happening today?

Final Dividend Payment DateCoventry Bs12e%

Final ResultsGetbusyTravis PerkinsAbrdn PlcManIntertek GroupVitecQuartix TechRHI MagnesitaIWGCroda InternationalRotorkXp PowerUniphar PlcFlutter EntPphe Hotel

Interim ResultsRev BarsPci-palQuarterly Dividend Payment DateJp Morg.chin

International Economic Announcements(07:00) Retail Sales (GER)(08:55) PMI Manufacturing (GER)(14:45) PMI Manufacturing (US)(15:00) Construction Spending (US)

UK Economic Announcements(09:30) PMI Manufacturing(09:30) Consumer Credit(09:30) Mortgage Approvals(09:30) M4 Money Supply

did you know

Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela is the place on earth that receives the most lightning strikes. Massive thunderstorms occur on 140-160 nights per year with an average of 28 lightning strikes per minute lasting up to 10 hours at a time. (Source: Met Office)

Parliamentary highlights

Source: Financial Times

House of Commons

Oral QuestionsHealth and care

Ten Minute Rule MotionMarine Protected Areas (Bottom Trawling)

LegislationProfessional Qualifications BillConsideration of Lords amendments to the National Insurance Contributions Bill

MotionPublic health

AdjournmentPotential merits of ending the benefit cap

Westminster HallTake-up of pensions guidance and advicePlanning permission and calculation of housing need numbers for WealdenInternational Mother Language Day 2022Household Support FundShared Prosperity Fund and the devolved administrations

House of Lords 

Oral QuestionsAdapting the UK to climate change risksTransparency around lobbying of ministersEating disorders taught in medical schoolsExtending covid emergency funding for local bus services  

LegislationHealth and Care Bill  

Short debateLink between gambling advertising and gambling-related harm

Scottish parliament 

Time for reflection Parliamentary Bureau Motions Topical Questions Ministerial StatementUpdate on Scotland’s Climate Assembly Scottish Government DebateA Scottish approach to the mental health and wellbeing of our veterans in each community Committee AnnouncementFinance and public administration committee – inquiry into the National Performance Framework: ambitions into action Business Motions Parliamentary Bureau Motions Members’ Business DebateEating Disorders Awareness Week 2022

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