Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Solid gold binging

Written by Javier Maquieira, senior associate 
Edited by Katie Stanton, associate partner
4 February 2021

Good morning,

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that what I’ll remember most vividly about this pandemic will probably be the hours I’ve spent binge watching TV series and films during lockdown. And I couldn’t be more thankful for that. 
 
The time I couldn’t spend travelling or seeing friends in 2020, I devoted to having my heart broken by Marianne and Connell in Normal People, holding my breath during Margaret Thatcher’s audiences with Elizabeth II in The Crown, following the adventures of a ridiculously unrealistic Emily in Paris, or obsessing over chess with Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit – to name just a few of my weekend escapades.
 
The intimate relationship I built with these and other stories partly explains why I couldn’t contain my excitement at this year’s nominees to the Golden Globes awards, which have been delayed and will be broadcast from New York and Los Angeles on 28 February.
 
Two Netflix productions dominate the nominations: the film Mank (six nominations), a black-and-white ode to Hollywood starring Gary Oldman as an alcoholic screenwriter; and series four of The Crown (also six nominations), with Olivia Colman as the Queen.
 
The prominence of streaming services aside, the 78th edition of the Golden Globes will go down in history for featuring its first female majority in the best film director category with Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and Regina King (One Night in Miami) competing with multiple award-winning male directors David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin.
 
This year’s nominations are also great news for British talent. Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby, Dev Patel, Riz Ahmed, and Sir Anthony Hopkins are among the British acting nominees in the film categories, while Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jodie Comer, John Boyega, Hugh Grant, Emma Corrin, and Josh O’Connor join Colman in the television categories.
 
Of course, there is no nominations announcement without controversy. Despite critical acclaim, groundbreaking BBC series I May Destroy You, directed by Michaela Coel, has received zero nominations. A staff writer of Emily in Paris – which is itself nominated for best television series (musical or comedy) – Deborah Copaken, spoke out on Coel’s snub, thanking the director on Twitter personally “for giving us your heart, your mind, your resilience, and your humour.”
 
Be that as it may, the Globes’ reputation as an awards season indicator has been diminishing in recent years. This year is no different, especially since the eligibility period for the Oscars has been extended by two months, with the awards now scheduled to take place on 25 April.
 
So while we may have missed out on many experiences we used to share with family, friends, and colleagues, there’s still ample room for experiencing common adventures via the telly – although I’m sure you probably, definitely know that by now.

News

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, told the Downing Street press briefing yesterday that the Covid-19 infection rate in Britain is “still alarmingly high” but there are “signs of hope”, while England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty suggested the country is past the current peak. Johnson also welcomed the news that 10 million first doses have been administered across the UK.
 
The former president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has accepted a request from the president of Italy to try to assemble a parliamentary majority to avoid snap elections amid the coronavirus crisis. One of Europe’s most highly regarded public officials, Draghi said during a brief speech yesterday that he was confident that a “responsible response” would emerge for a new, national unity government. (£)
 
The secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has called for constitutional order to be re-established in Myanmar and urged the world community to ensure Monday’s coup fails. While the UN Security Council is discussing a possible statement condemning the coup, China is expected to veto it. Facebook services in the country were disrupted on Thursday after the military had ordered telecom firms to block the social media platform.

Business and economy

European Union and UK regulators will open competition investigations into Nvidia’s $40bn acquisition of UK chip designer Arms, following calls from rivals to block the deal. The UK Competition and Markets Authority has invited market players to submit their views and has pledged to open a formal probe into the transaction, which is also facing scrutiny in the US and China.
 
A company backed by footballer David Beckham that makes skincare and athletic recovery products out of biosynthetic cannabinoids has unveiled plans for a main London stock market float, and will become the first of its kind to do so. Cellular Goods will announce its intention to go public as soon as today, following changes announced last year to Financial Conduct Authority rules allowing cannabis businesses to list if they have a medical application.
 
AstraZeneca has unveiled plans to co-produce a new Covid-19 vaccine with the University of Oxford to protect against new variants which could be ready by October. The move comes after research has shown coronavirus strains with the worrying E484K mutation could render jabs less effective.

Columns of note

Writing in the Financial Times, Philip Stephens argues that the Conservative Party needs to choose between its leader, Boris Johnson, or the Union. Given the outcome of the Brexit referendum and the prime minister’s refusal to submit to SNP demands for a second independence vote, Johnson has become the nationalists’ not-so-secret weapon, slipping into the narrative of a Scotland trapped in English vassalage. Faced with this situation, Stephen concludes it is too late for the Conservative leader to reinvent himself. (€)
 
Captain Tom Moore showed us all what heroes really look like, writes Matthew Dancona in the Evening Standard. Having lived so long and done so much before dying of Covid-19 at the age of 100 on Monday, he was also the right person to deliver a message of hope during the pandemic: building resilience through optimism. Dancona remembers Captain Tom as the absolute opposite of a stern nostalgic who embraced the new and reminded us by example that a society exists in time as well as space.

Cartoon source: The Telegraph

Markets

What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed in a mixed state on Wednesday, with the FTSE 100 ending the session down 0.14% at 6,507.82, while the FTSE 250 was 0.3% higher at 20,752.44. Sterling was 0.11% weaker against the dollar at $1.36 but firmer on the euro by 0.05% at €1.13.
 
In the US, the S&P 500 finished 0.1% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite closed flat, as volatility on Wall Street subsided.
 
In company news:
 
Shell has reported a $19.9bn (£14.4bn) loss in full-year profit in 2020 after an “extraordinary year” in which oil and gas prices have slumped amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Vodafone rallied 5.87% as the telecom operator said it was confident about the full-year outlook after its German business drove a return to organic growth in the third quarter.
 
Wizz Air advanced 3.73% even as the low-cost airline said January passenger numbers plunged 81.8% year-on-year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Unite Group fell 5.54% after the real estate trust announced a three-week extension to its 50% student discount in a move that would cost it £6m in lost revenue.
 
GlaxoSmithKline closed down 6.29% after the pharmaceutical company and CureVac announced a new €150m collaboration to develop a vaccine to combat emerging coronavirus variants.

What’s happening today?

Finals
Nokia Ord
Omv
Royal Dutch Shell A
Royal Dutch Shell B
Unilever

Interims
Alumasc Group
Barratt Developments
Ncc
Renishaw

AGMs
Compass Group
Hargreave
Sage Group
Stock Spirit
Ten Life
Unicorn Asset Management

UK economic announcements
(09:30) PMI Construction
(12:00) BoE Interest Rate Decision

Int. economic announcements
(10:00) Retail Sales (EU)
(13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US)
(13:30) Continuing Claims (US)
(15:00) Factory Orders (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

The odds of a coin flip are not 50-50, but closer to 51-49. If the coin is tossed and caught, it has about a 51% chance of landing on the same side it was launched. (source: @UberFacts)

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
 
Attorney General
 
Urgent question
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs if he will make a statement on the treatment of Uyghur women in Xinjiang detention camps – Ms Nusrat Ghani
 
Business Statement
Business Questions to the Leader of the House – Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg
 
Ministerial statement
Covid-19 Update – Nadhim Zahawi
 
Backbench Business
Debate on the future of the UK Space Industry – Owen Thompson
 
Debate on the Towns Fund – Paul Bristow
 
Adjournment
Driving tests in High Wycombe – Mr Steve Baker

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Role of remittances from citizens living elsewhere in the economies of developing countries – Lord Alton of Liverpool
 
Trialling flexi-season tickets and other marketing initiatives to encourage rail travel as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted – Lord Berkeley
 
Reversion to physical proceedings in the House of Lords once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted – Lord Farmer
 
The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, published on 2 February. – Baroness Boycott
 
Private Notice Question
Impact on the Northern Ireland Protocol of withdrawal of local and EU officials from Border Control Posts, and the suspension of inspections on goods entering at the Ports of Belfast and Larne – Lord Caine
 
Statement
Covid-19 Update – Lord Bethell
 
Legislation
National Security and Investment Bill – second reading – Lord Callanan
 
Statement
Health Measures at the Border – Baroness Williams of Trafford

Scottish Parliament 

Portfolio Questions
Health and Sport
 
Communities and Local Government
 
Social Security and Older People
 
Ministerial Statement
Infrastructure Investment Plan and Capital Spending Review 2021-22 to 2025-26
 
Stage 1 Debate
European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill
 
Members’ Business
S5M-23310 Alasdair Allan: Plantation Slavery and Landownership in the West Highlands and Islands: Legacies and Lessons
 
S5M-23806 Miles Briggs: Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion

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