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Sunday newspaper round-up: AstraZeneca, Boxing Day, Britain's economy

Sun, 27th Dec 2020 12:39

(Sharecast News) - The chief executive of AstraZeneca has raised hopes its vaccine with Oxford is more effective than first thought amid the rapid spread of the new UK virus strain across the globe. Pascal Soriot said he believed researchers had found the "winning formula" using two doses and promised to publish the results as reports suggested the UK regulator could approve the jab within days. - Sunday Telegraph

Footfall at the Boxing Day sales was down by more than half on last year as non-essential retail remained closed in much of the country under tightened coronavirus restrictions. While queues were seen outside shops in areas under tiers 2 and 3, high streets in the 43% of England that is under tier 4 were empty. The retail intelligence agency Springboard said Boxing Day footfall in the UK up to 10am was down 57% compared with last year. - Guardian

Britain's economy will outperform European rivals such as France over the next 15 years, according to morale-boosting forecasts published in the wake of the Government's Brexit trade deal with Brussels. A new ranking shows the UK remaining the world's 5th biggest economy next year. From 2025 it slips one place, but still performs better than many peer western economies. The UK's economy will be 23pc larger than that of France by 2035, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts. - Sunday Telegraph

The car industry is in a race against time to build giant battery gigafactories in the UK to ensure its survival and avoid damaging tariffs from the Brexit trade deal. Details of the EU deal revealed that Britain has a six-year window to build its supply of electric vehicle parts - either domestically or from the Continent - if it wants to continue selling them tariff-free to Europe. - Sunday Times

Bankers are gearing up for a surge of flotations on the London Stock Exchange next year as companies that delayed listing their shares due to the pandemic press ahead with plans to tap public markets. Dealmakers said they expect a boom in initial public offerings (IPOs) driven by pent up demand after pandemic disruption effectively halted new listings for much of 2020. Advisers predicted increased investor appetite for tech and healthcare firms that have done well in the crisis. - Sunday Telegraph

More than three-quarters of MPs are expected to dial in remotely to a debate that will consider the government's Brexit deal on Wednesday. The majority of MPs are preparing to participate online after the Commons speaker urged them to stay at home and made it clear those present in person will not be given priority to speak. Both the Commons and the Lords will sit for a single day on December 30 to pass the Future Relationship Bill implementing the government's free trade deal with the EU. - Sunday Times

Industry figures are calling on EU leaders to urgently agree a Brexit "adjustment period" after negotiators left them with just three working days to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period. While big business including manufacturers and supermarkets have made Brexit preparations costing hundreds of millions of pounds, they say there is not enough time over Christmas to implement the newly agreed trading regime. - Guardian

The Bank of England could pull the trigger on negative interest rates if strict coronavirus restrictions are extended well into the new year, leading economists have warned. Interest rates are at record lows of 0.1%, leaving rate-setters with little room to move and raising the prospect of negative rates in the UK for the first time. - Sunday Times

City veteran Keith Skeoch has been appointed by the Treasury to lead a review of banking regulations in what could be the biggest overhaul of the sector since the fallout of the financial crisis a decade ago. The former chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen will revisit the stringent rules put in place to rein in banks after several were bailed out by the Government in 2008, including Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and HBOS. - Financial Mail on Sunday

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