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Thursday newspaper round-up: Rio Tinto, Goldman Sachs, London offices

Thu, 10th Sep 2020 07:27

(Sharecast News) - The number of people going back to work in offices has flatlined in the past two months despite the government push to get more workers into cities to protect Britain's biggest urban economies from collapse. According to analysis of mobile phone tracking data by the Centre for Cities thinktank, worker footfall across 63 of the UK's largest town and city centres was just 17% of pre-lockdown levels at the end of June, remained at 17% at the start of August and was still at 17% in the last full week of the month. - Guardian

The Church of England's pension board, which manages more than £2.8bn ($AU5bn) in retirement savings, has poured pressure on the board of Rio Tinto to take action against its chief executive over the global miner's decision to blow up culturally significant 46,000-year-old rock shelters in Australia. Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, the pension board's director of ethics and engagement, Adam Matthews, stopped short of calling for CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques to be sacked but said investors felt a decision by the Rio board to cut the bonuses of executives in response to the scandal was not sufficient. - Guardian

Goldman Sachs is seeking to bring its 38,000 staff worldwide back to the office part time on a rota system as the firm kicks off the next stage of plans for a return to work. Chief executive David Solomon told employees in a memo that they will be contacted by managers in coming weeks with the aim of introducing team rotations, so that everyone who wants to is able to go into their office. - Telegraph

St James's Place and Columbia Threadneedle have become the first asset managers to lift a suspension of withdrawals from frozen property funds. Funds holding nearly £12 billion of office buildings, hotels, shops and warehouses halted trading in March because an effective shutdown of the property market at the start of the pandemic meant that their assets could not be accurately valued. - The Times

London offices worth almost £5 billion are for sale ahead of what has been called a "key" few weeks that will test the resilience of the commercial property market. Knight Frank, the estate agent and property consultancy, said that in addition to the £4.9 billion of available stock, nearly £3 billion of buildings had been placed "under offer" by purchasers and were close to being sold. - The Times

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