Andrew Bailey to be named as new Bank of England governor




Andrew Bailey, the former deputy of the Bank of England has been chosen as the institution’s new governor, to succeed Canadian Mark Carney.

The Financial Times and other newspapers said Bailey, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority regulator and former deputy of the BoE between 2013 and 2016, would replace Carney.

Canadian Carney, 54, will handover on January 31 after six years in the role, having extended his tenure twice on turmoil over Britain’s looming exit from the European Union.

A source familiar with the matter told AFP that the long-awaited appointment could take place as early as Friday, now that national elections have passed.

There had been speculation that Carney’s successor could be the institution’s first female chief.

The new governor of the BoE will have the heavy task of conducting the country’s monetary policy at the time of its exit from the European Union, promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson by January 31 at the latest.

They may also consider raising interest rates “back to more normal levels or fight the next downturn with not much ammunition” and defend the bank from “the growing risk of political interference”, said Ruth Gregory, an economist at Capital Economics.


Britain could limit pub hours to curb second COVID-19 ‘hump’ – Johnson



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said he was considering limiting pub hours and imposing more local lockdowns to flatten a second “camel hump” of new coronavirus infections.

Johnson told popular tabloid newspaper The Sun that he wanted to avoid another national lockdown, amid speculation that he could introduce one if infections continue to rise.

He said pubs could be ordered to shut early, citing the “old days” when they had to close by 11.00 p.m. local time.

“That sort of thing, we will be looking at it,’’ Johnson said.

“The crucial thing now is that I do not wish to go into some great lockdown again that stops business from functioning.’’

Johnson warned that he needed to take “tough” measures, including a limit of six people for most gatherings, to enable families to enjoy Christmas parties at the end of the year.

“So, if we can grip it now, we can stop the surge, arrest the spike, stop the second hump of the dromedary, flatten the second hump,’’ he said.

Johnson added that he was unsure if a dromedary had one or two humps.

A dromedary has one hump while a Bactrian camel has two.

Britain reported almost 4,000 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing its total since March to around 378,000.

Its official death toll linked to COVID-19 is more than 41,500, Europe’s highest total.

The national infection rate has soared over the last two weeks, fuelled by more infections among younger people.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN
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Britain not threatening to ‘tear up’ Withdrawal Agreement – UK minister



Britain is not threatening to “tear up” the Withdrawal Agreement that it signed with the EU in January, said UK Trade Policy Minister Greg Hands on Friday as the row between the two sides continues.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has refused to revoke a plan that will break the divorce treaty even though Brussels says it could sink four years of talks.

“It’s not threatening to tear up the treaty.

“We’re not looking to retreat from our protocol commitments, this is a clarification in case there’s no further negotiated outcome,” Hands told Sky News.

He said that a trade deal between the UK and Japan reached on Friday showed that the trading partners were still keen to do deals with the UK.

Similarly, the EU stepped up planning for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government refused to revoke an ultimatum on breaking the divorce treaty that Brussels says will sink four years of talks.

Britain said explicitly this week that it planned to break international law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty that it signed in January when it formally left the bloc.

Britain says the move is aimed at clarifying ambiguities, but it caused a new crisis in talks less than four months before the United Kingdom is due to complete its departure from the EU’s orbit when a transition period ends in December.

The EU has demanded that Britain scrap the plan to breach the divorce treaty by the end of this month.

Britain has refused, saying its parliament is sovereign above international law.

 “As the United Kingdom looks to what kind of future trade relationship it wants with the EU, a prerequisite for that is honouring agreements that are already in place,” said Pascal Donohoe, Chairman of Euro Zone Finance Ministers.

“It is imperative that the government of the United Kingdom respond back to the call from the (European) Commission.”

As the atmosphere soured between London and Brussels, Japan and Britain said they had reached agreement in principle on a bilateral trade deal that meant 99 per cent of the Britain’s exports to Japan would be tariff-free.


Edited By: Fatima Sule/Tajudeen.Atitebi
Source: NAN
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UK economy extends recovery from COVID crash, growth seen fading



Britain’s economy grew for a third month in a row in July as pubs, restaurants and other sectors reopened after the coronavirus lockdown.

But the recovery remained around 12 per cent smaller than its pre-pandemic level.

After crashing by a record 20 per cent in the second quarter, output expanded by 6.6 per cent in July, slower than June’s monthly rate, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected growth of 6.7 per cent.

Finance Minister, Rishi Sunak, welcomed the figures but added that people were rightly worried about the coming months.

The economy has recovered about half of its lost output but is still 11.7 per cent smaller than its level in February, before the pandemic hit Britain.

Thomas Pugh, an economist with Capital Economics, said the data suggested British GDP would show record-breaking growth in the third quarter after its unprecedented collapse in the April-June period.

“However, July was probably the last of the big step-ups in activity and a full recovery probably won’t be achieved until early 2022,’’ he said.

In response, the Bank of England was likely to ramp up its bond-buying stimulus programme by a third, or 250 billion pounds ($320.38 billion), Pugh said.

Britain’s economy suffered the sharpest second-quarter fall of any Group of Seven nation in the April-June period.

Hopes for a swift rebound have faded as businesses struggle to cope with social distancing rules and many people remain reluctant to travel on public transport or go to crowded places.

Tensions between London and Brussels over a post-Brexit trade deal are also mounting.

Furthermore, unemployment is expected to rise sharply because Sunak has ruled out extending his coronavirus job retention scheme which is due to expire at the end of October.

Parliament’s Treasury Committee on Friday urged Sunak to “carefully consider” a targeted extension of the scheme and other support measures.

The pound fell slightly against the dollar as Friday’s data showed output in Britain’s dominant services sector was a bit weaker than expected, growing by 6.1 per cent in July against expectations for growth of 7.0 per cent.

This included a 141 per cent jump in accommodation and food as lockdown measures eased, but that sector’s output was still 60 per cent lower than its February level.

Growth in the much smaller manufacturing and construction sectors exceeded forecasts.

Complicating the outlook, Brexit risks have resurfaced.

The European Union told Britain on Thursday it should scrap a plan to breach their divorce treaty, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government refused and pressed ahead with a draft law that could sink four years of talks.

“We are far from out of the woods yet,’’ Tom Stevenson, Investment Director, Personal Investing at Fidelity International said, pointing to rising COVID-19 infections, new rules on social gatherings and the end of the furlough scheme.

“Deteriorating relations with the EU make a no-deal Brexit in January more likely, adding to the UK’s economic challenges and to downward pressure on the pound.’’

($1 = 0.7803 pounds)


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN
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France records highest daily coronavirus infections with 10,000 cases



French health authorities recorded the highest daily increase in coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic, as the government considers further measures to stop the virus’ spread.

On Thursday night, 9,843 new cases were announced from the previous 24 hours, the AFP news agency reported, citing the health ministry.

The government is set to discuss further measures to contain the pandemic on Friday and the scientific advisory board has called on the government to act, according to the report.

Many doctors fear that the intensive care units could be overburdened in autumn – as they were in March. Currently, large gatherings are already prohibited.

In some cities, masks are mandatory in public places and even on the streets.

The previous daily record was around 7,500 virus cases reported in late March.

However, as in many countries, the number of tests has increased immensely.

As in other European countries, young adults in France are increasingly contracting the virus, according to the authorities.

Risk areas are predominantly the Ile de France region around the capital Paris and the Cote d’Azur region.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Source: NAN
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