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Camelot loses legal bid to stop National Lottery licence handover; UK petrol price at record – as it happened | Business

Time to wrap up….

Camelot’s legal fight to avoid losing its licence to operate the national lottery has failed but the Canadian-owned company will press ahead with a damages claim that could cost the government £600m.

The company launched a high court challenge in April, claiming the Gambling Commission had got its decision “badly wrong” by naming the rival firm Allwyn as its “preferred applicant” for the next 10-year licence to operate the national lottery.

The lawsuit forced a temporary suspension of the licence award, causing a delay that could have “severe consequences for the national lottery and good causes”, said the commission.

Vladimir Potanin, known as the “Nickel King” and Russia’s second richest person, has become the latest Russian oligarch to be subjected to sanctions by the UK as ministers target “Putin’s inner circle”.

The government and National Grid have played down concerns that Britain may stop supplying gas to mainland Europe if the country is hit by extreme shortages in the coming months.

There’s no relief in cost of living crisis, with petrol prices hitting records yesterday.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said:

“We can see absolutely no rhyme or reason why average forecourt prices are still going up, given that the wholesale price of both fuels has been falling for weeks.

Drivers up and down the country have a right to know why they’re having to pay what they are for fuel when the costs to retailers right now are so much less they were a few weeks ago.

Shoppers have been hit with the highest increase in prices in over 13 years:

Britons have also suffered a rise in authorised push payment fraud (APP), where victims are tricked into making a payment.

Overall, more than £1.3bn was stolen by con artists last year, figures from UK Finance reveal.

Nottingham has been named Britain’s broadband “outage capital”.

Across the UK, almost 11 million consumers have suffered a broadband blackout lasting more than three hours over the last year (no fun if you’re trying to work from home).

The chief executive of Ofgem has insisted that bills will not rise for consumers, as the regulator laid out plans to plough £20bn into upgrading Great Britain’s regional electricity networks

British defence manufacturer Meggitt has moved closer to being acquired by US industrial conglomerate Parker Hannifin, after the UK government has signalled it is likely to accept the £6.3bn deal.

Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn hotel chain, has appointed the current boss of Domino’s Pizza to replace Alison Brittain.

BT has requested an extension to the UK government’s deadline for removing Huawei equipment from its network, following a ban on using the Chinese company’s equipment because of data security concerns.

MPC-appointee Dhingra: room for very gradual appraoch to rate rises

While Jerome Powell was sounding hawkish in Sintra, the Bank of England’s next new policymaker was taking a more dovish line in parliament.

Swati Dhingra, who is due to join the Monetary Policy Committee in August, told MPs the Bank of England should move very gradually to tighten monetary policy.

Dhingra argued there was “some room for a very gradual approach here”, given signs that the economic slowdown is much closer than previously thought.

Dhingra, an associate professor of economics at the LSE, also warned that the UK faces significant challenges, citing the risk of worsening global conditions on top of the cost of of living crisis.

Dhingra will replace the hawkish Michael Saunders on the MPC. which has raised interest rates five times in a row.

She warned that inflationary pressures will continue “in the short term” due to high energy prices, global supply disruptions, and “the accumulation of growth constraints such as the shortfall in business investment and increased inactivity in the labor market.”

Dhingra also cautioned that many of the sources of the problems pushing up UK inflation and hitting consumer confidence “are expected to continue or even accelerate in the short term.”

“Now I think there is some room for a very gradual approach.”
LSE academic Swati Dhingra, who joins the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee in August, tells @CommonsTreasury that the risk of a sharp slowdown should make BoE tread carefully on rates

— David Milliken (@david_milliken) June 29, 2022

Brexit trade deal probably added 3% to UK food costs and will lower real pay by around 1.8% in medium term, Dhingra says – drawing on recent research she did with @resfoundation https://t.co/gaveGAUoKq

— David Milliken (@david_milliken) June 29, 2022

America’s top central banker has warned that the clock is ticking to bring down inflation before public expectation of higher prices become embedded.

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell told the European Central Bank’s conference in Sintra that it was important to avoid persistent inflation.

Powell explained:

“The clock is kind of running on how long will you remain in a low-inflation regime …

The risk is that because of the multiplicity of shocks you start to transition into a higher inflation regime and our job is to literally prevent that from happening and we will prevent that from happening,”

That risk was more serious than the danger of slowing the economy with higher interest rates, Powell insisted:

“I would not agree that is the bigger risk. The bigger mistake would be to fail to restore price stability.”

Here are more key points:

Powell: “We hope that growth will stay positive. […] Our aim is to slow the economy so that supply can catch up with demand. […] There’s no guarantee that we can achieve that.” pic.twitter.com/6Ifvj9n2xn

— Frederik Ducrozet (@fwred) June 29, 2022

Powell: “Everything we do will always dependent on what is going to happen. Sometimes markets forget about this conditional part.”

— Frederik Ducrozet (@fwred) June 29, 2022

Powell, about recession risks: “The biggest risk to the economy would be to fail to restore price stability.”

— Frederik Ducrozet (@fwred) June 29, 2022

Allwyn has welcomed today’s High Court ruling lifting the suspension on the transfer of the National Lottery licence.

Allwyn says:

“Today’s ruling is good news for The National Lottery; it enables the Gambling Commission to move forward to award Allwyn the Fourth National Lottery Licence.

Mrs. Justice O’Farrell was clear that the public interest, and in particular the impact on good causes, was a strong factor in her judgment. Her decision paves the way for the transition to Allwyn, the winner of the Fourth Licence Competition, serving The National Lottery as its operator from February 2024; kickstarting a transformation programme that brings an enhanced games portfolio, new technologies, provisions for safer play, and a substantial increase in returns to good causes.

We look forward to the Gambling Commission moving to Award and to Camelot working constructively with us to ensure a smooth handover for the benefit of players and good causes alike.”

Morrisons sales drop in cost of living crisis, but fuel sales jump

Grocery sales at UK supermarket Morrisons have dropped in the last quarter, as the cost of living crisis hit shoppers.

But rising income from fuel sales has cushioned the blow.

In a trading update, Morrisons reported that like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, fell 6.4% year-on-year in the three months to 1 May.

The chain said the trading environment has been very challenging, due to ongoing inflationary pressure and increasingly subdued consumer sentiment (consumer confidence has hit a near 50-year low).

Morrisons did get a boost from Mother’s Day and Easter, though.

And petrol and diesel sales were up 54% year-on-year, reflecting increased demand and rising prices at the pumps.

That meant total like-for-like revenues were actually 2.5% higher than a year ago, up £115m to £4,587m.

Morrisons says:

This increase was primarily due to recovery of fuel sales, which increased by 54%, partly offset by a decline in Supermarket LFL in a normalising grocery market environment post Covid.

Morrisons Q1 trading statement: reiterates “very challenging” market conditions line from FY results

But look at sales growth with fuel (+2.5%) versus without (-6.4%) and tell me supermarkets haven’t discovered a money tree to offset margin pressure in grocery!

— Jonathan Eley (@JonathanEley) June 29, 2022

David Potts, Morrisons CEO, said it was a very fragile and difficult consumer environment”:

This quarter traded over a period of significant Covid restrictions last year when travel and hospitality were both severely limited. As those two activities returned to more normal patterns this year, we saw very strong growth in fuel sales but a step back in grocery.

“Retail like-for-like sales in the quarter were also impacted by the discounts we offered last year to NHS staff, teachers, farmers and Blue Light cardholders, as a thank-you for their amazing work on behalf of the nation through Covid.

“In April we launched one of our biggest ever price cut campaigns which included over 25% of our entry level products. But these are serious times and there is further serious work ahead of us as we help customers and colleagues face into the highest inflation for 40 years.

Over in Germany, inflation has fallen for the first time sine January as the Berlin government’s cost of living package kicked in.

German headline inflation fell to 7.6% year-on-year in June, up from 7.9% in May (which was the highest since reunification).

On an EU-harmonised basis, it dropped to 8.2% from 8.7%.

Carsten Brzeski of ING says this shows that it is currently governments and not central banks that can bring down inflation.

Brzeski adds:

Don’t be mistaken, this is not the start of the end but rather a government-induced temporary relief.

German headline CPI number surprises to the downside, coming at 7.6% Y-o-Y!

Of note, services inflation fell from 2.9% in May to 2.1% in June.@destatis_news notes that special effects such as the impact of the €9 rail ticket & the fuel discount are included in these numbers. pic.twitter.com/RDkMkUOYcz

— Longview Economics (@Lvieweconomics) June 29, 2022

The support package include a one-off energy tax-relief payment of €300 ($330), a three-month reduction in the tax on fuel and a three-month reduction in the cost of monthly tickets for public transport.

Mark Sweney

BT has requested an extension to the UK government’s deadline for removing Huawei equipment from its network, following a ban on using the Chinese company’s equipment because of data security concerns.

BT, which has said the removal of Huawei equipment from its core network where personal data is processed would cost it £500m, has lodged a request with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

More here.

Britain breaches WTO rules by extending steel tariffs

The UK government has extended a package of tariffs and quotas on five steel products by two years to protect local steelmakers, in a move that will breach international trade rules.

Trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan told parliament the safeguards would help defend a strategic industry and that British steel producers could face “serious injury” were the measures not maintained.

Trevelyan told MPs that the decision…

“departs from our international legal obligations under the relevant WTO agreement, as relates to the five product categories.”

However, “from time to time, issues may arise where the national interest requires action to be taken”, Trevelyan added.

Trevelyan on steel: “The decision to extend the safeguards on the five product categories departs from our international legal obligations under the relevant WTO agreement.”

— William James (@WJames_Reuters) June 29, 2022

Our Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll has more:

Tariffs on steel imports from China and other countries are to be extended for another two years, the UK government has announced.

It said it was necessary to protect the domestic steel industry from a flood of cheap imports.

The move comes despite reservations expressed by Boris Johnson’s former ethics adviser Christopher Geidt that steel tariffs could put Britain at risk of breaching World Trade Organization rules.

He cited the issue as a matter of concern in his letter of resignation 12 days ago.

BREAKING: A High Court judge has lifted a stay on the transition of the UK’s National Lottery franchise from Camelot Group to Allwyn Entertainment, a move which will allow Allwyn to begin taking over one of the world’s largest lotteries. @GamblingComp https://t.co/B6TZQTyqOm

— Chris Sieroty (@sierotyfeatures) June 29, 2022

Camelot loses legal battle to keep hold of National Lottery

Camelot’s hopes of keeping running the National Lottery for the next decade have suffered a heavy blow in the High Court.

A judge has ruled that control of the draw can be passed to its rival, new operator Allwyn Entertainment, who were awarded the contract earlier this year.

The court agreed to lift the suspension preventing it from beginning the licence transfer, which was put in place when Camelot launched legal action in April, challenging the decision to pick Allwyn as the firm to run the lottery from 2024.

The Gambling Commission said:

“We made clear that disrupting the implementation of Allwyn’s plans would present potentially severe consequences for the National Lottery and good causes.

“It also risked the National Lottery not operating to its full potential at the start of the fourth licence.”

The commission added that following the court’s decision its “priority is to continue to work to implement our decision and ensure a seamless and timely transition to the next licence, for the benefit of participants and good causes”.

BREAKING: Blow for Camelot as the High Court lifts the stay on the handover of the National Lottery to Allwyn.

— Sabah Meddings (@sabahmeddings) June 29, 2022

🚨BREAKING🚨 A High Court judge has lifted the stay on the handover of the UK National Lottery from Camelot to new operator Allwyn, dashing Camelot’s hopes of having the licence decision overturned. Full trial over procurement process will now be for financial damages only.

— Oliver Barnes (@mroliverbarnes) June 29, 2022

Despite the High Court decision, Camelot’s legal challenge against the licence decision will continue. The commission said it will be “preparing for trial of the various claims”.

A spokesman for Camelot said:

“While disappointing, this judgement only addresses whether or not the Enabling Agreement can be signed while our case is heard.

The judgment on whether the Gambling Commission correctly and lawfully awarded Preferred Applicant status is being dealt with separately. We will take some time to consider our next steps and continue to believe that we have a very strong legal case.

In the meantime, we remain dedicated to maximising returns to Good Causes, building on our record performance over the past two years.”

Today’s court’s decision to allow control to pass to Allwyn will make it harder to overturn the decision.

Camelot, and the media tycoon Richard Desmond who also lost out in the bidding process, can still bring legal challenges but would effectively be suing for damages, rather than for the decision to be overturned.

One source suggested in May that the combined damages claim could cost the regulator up to £800m.

Great Britain will stop supplying gas to mainland Europe if hit by shortages

Alex Lawson

Great Britain plans to stop supplying gas to mainland Europe if the country is hit by extreme shortages in the coming months, it has emerged.

National Grid could cut off gas pipelines to the Netherlands and Belgium under emergency measures as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine puts pressure on global energy supplies.

Shutting off the pipelines – known as interconnectors – would be part of a four-step plan that would include cutting supplies to big industrial users and asking consumers to reduce their household consumption, the Financial Times reported.

Ministers have been scrambling to shore up Great Britain’s energy supplies amid a squeeze exacerbated by Russia’s invasion on Ukraine. Russia has also ramped up pressure on other European nations by cutting their gas supplies in response to a rush to fill up European storage caverns before the winter.

Nickel jumps after Potanin sanctioned

The nickel price jumped by up to 9% following the news that the UK has sanctioned Vladimir Potanin.

LME #nickel surges 9% after UK sanctions Russia’s Vladimir Potanin.

— CN Wire (@Sino_Market) June 29, 2022

Potanin is known as Russia’s “Nickel King”; he owns around a third of Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel.

UK sanctions Potanin, president of nickel producer Norilsk Nickel, which was set to be a supplier of nickel for European electric vehicles https://t.co/Jc1VQf5d2x

— Henry Sanderson (@hjesanderson) June 29, 2022

Britain has sanctioned oligarch Vladimir Potanin, in its latest round of measures over the Ukraine war.

The UK said Potanin, a former Russian deputy prime minister, was Russia’s second-richest man and a “key supporter of the Kremlin”, who has been acquiring assets since the Ukraine war began.

“Potanin continues to amass wealth as he supports Putin’s regime, acquiring Rosbank, and shares in Tinkoff Bank in the period since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Potanin helped to devise Russia’s infamous “loans for shares” programme in the 1990s, in which the Moscow government sold stakes in state industries in in return for loans to shore up its finances.

Potanin, one of the small group of of oligarchs who met with Putin as the invasion of Ukraine began, has also played a big role in American arts:

Anna Tsivileva, Vladimir Putin’s cousin, who is the president of Russian coal mining company JSC Kolmar Group, has also been sanctioned.

A UK government spokesperson said:

As long as Putin continues his abhorrent assault on Ukraine, we will use sanctions to weaken the Russian war machine. Today’s sanctions show that nothing and no one is off the table, including Putin’s inner circle.

Petrol price ‘inexplicably’ hits new record

Motoring groups have blasted fuel retailers after UK petrol prices hit fresh record highs.

The average price of a litre of petrol rose to 191.24p on Tuesday, up from 191.10 on Monday, data from Experian Catalyst shows. That means it costs over £105 to fill a typical 55-litre family car.

Diesel rose to 199.01 pence per litre, close to Saturday’s record high, as the £2 per litre mark moves closes.

The RAC says this latest rise is ‘inexplicable’, given wholesale prices have been dropping since earlier this month.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said:

“We can see absolutely no rhyme or reason why average forecourt prices are still going up, given that the wholesale price of both fuels has been falling for weeks. Drivers up and down the country have a right to know why they’re having to pay what they are for fuel when the costs to retailers right now are so much less they were a few weeks ago.

Yesterday, chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to consider another cut to fuel duty, on top of the 5p/litre cut in the Spring Statement.

Williams welcomes the suggestion of more support for hard-pressed drivers:

A cut to the price of forecourt fuel really can’t come soon enough.

If it’s a further fuel duty cut that the Chancellor decides on, it’s absolutely vital that this is passed on in full immediately by retailers to give drivers some respite from these historic high prices. It’s also vital the Government monitors the wholesale market and closely scrutinises retailer margins.”

The Competition and Markets Authority has been conducting a “swift, high-level review” of the fuel sector, and should report back on July 7th.

Petrol retailers have denied accusations of profiteering, saying they have just been passing on higher prices charged by refineries.

The AA says drivers are being “taken for fools” by retailers, and continues to push for a larger cut to fuel duty.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, says:

“With the Prime Minister and the Chancellor talking openly about the prospect of cutting fuel duty further, drivers need hear less talk and see more action.

“An additional 10p cut in duty, which the AA called for weeks ago, will not only help ease the pressure at the pumps but keep prices in supermarket aisles down too. Until this happens, household budgets across the country will continue being squeezed.”

Whitbread names Domino’s boss as next CEO

Just in: hospitality group Whitbread has appointed the UK boss of pizza firm Domino’s as its new chief executive.

Whitbread has announced that Dominic Paul will succeed Alison Brittain, who has “decided to retire from full time executive life at the end of the financial year 2023” after a seven-year stint as CEO.

Whitbread says:

Dominic is an experienced senior executive, with a very strong operational and commercial record in the travel, leisure, and hospitality sector, and most recently served as CEO of Domino’s Pizza Group plc.

Whitbread must wait until January 2023, though — with Domino’s holding Paul to his six-months’ contractual notice.

Paul was previously the boss of Costa Coffee, which Whitbread owned until it was sold to Coca-Cola for £3.9bn in 2019.

Domino’s Pizza CEO Dominic Paul to return to Whitbread as the new boss. He used to run Costa.

Has only been in the Domino’s job for two years.

Current Whitbread CEO Alison Brittain retiring from full time executive life

— Dan Coatsworth (@Dan_Coatsworth) June 29, 2022

He says:

Returning to Whitbread as CEO is the only job I would have left for at this stage, and in the meantime, I’m looking forward to working closely with everyone at Domino’s over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition.

Jasper Jolly

Jasper Jolly

The UK government has signalled it is likely to accept the £6.3bn takeover of the British defence manufacturer Meggitt, the second deal by a US buyer to receive a green light in a week.

The American industrial conglomerate Parker Hannifin told the City this morning it expected to complete the takeover within the next two months after receiving assent from the UK business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Meggitt, based near Coventry, makes wheels, materials and electronics for the F-35 fighter jet and the A400M transporter, both used by the UK military, as well as civilian aircraft made by Airbus and Boeing. Meggitt employs about 2,300 workers in the UK and 9,000 globally.

The cost of living crisis in Spain has deepened, with inflation hitting its highest in decades.

Spanish 12-month inflation rose to 10.2% in June, the first time it has surpassed 10% since April 1985.

That’s up from 8.7% in the previous month, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed, and rather higher than the 9% forecast.

This is going to hurt…

Spanish inflation unexpectedly surges to a record, signaling intensifying price pressure as the ECB gears up to raise rates https://t.co/0Nkf6YwRsu a través de @markets

— Irene García Pérez (@irenegperez) June 29, 2022

On an EU-harmonised basis, Spanish inflation hit 10%, a record.

Economy Minister Nadia Calvino told parliament on Wednesday.

“The news of the last few weeks is not positive … Russia’s gas and oil export cuts are accelerating rising energy prices.”



Camelot loses legal bid to stop National Lottery licence handover; UK petrol price at record – as it happened | Business Source link Camelot loses legal bid to stop National Lottery licence handover; UK petrol price at record – as it happened | Business

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