Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Friday.
Prime Minister Theresa May will put more pressure on boardroom pay next week by forcing listed companies to publish the ratio between the total remuneration of the chief executive and their average UK worker. Under new plans, the government will also create a register of companies where more than 20% of shareholders have rebelled on executive pay.
The Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, one of the biggest events in the central banking calendar, continues on Friday. Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s Jackson Hole speech on Friday is expected to focus on “Financial Stability” — while ECB President Mario Draghi will likely discuss the beginnings of an exit from the bank’s super loose monetary policy.
Britain’s economy grew as expected in the second quarter of 2017, but continued to experience a Brexit-based struggle, according to the second estimate from the ONS released on Wednesday. GDP grew by 0.3%, the ONS said, while annual growth was 1.7%. These figures confirmed the first estimate of growth released in July.
Britain vastly overestimated the number of students outstaying their visas in recent years, new data showed on Thursday. Only 4,600 international students overstayed their visas last year, overturning previous estimates that the number was closer to 100,000, according to official figures.
Japan’s Nikkei share average rose on Friday as the dollar was steady against the yen, but activity was subdued as investors waited on speeches at the central bankers’ symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that began on Thursday. By the midday break, the Nikkei rose 0.5 per cent to 19,440.36, after falling to more than a three-month low on the previous day.
WeWork has raised $US4.4 billion in funding from SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund, the office sharing startup announced Thursday. SoftBank is investing $US3 billion in WeWork itself, and putting another $US1.4 billion into three new WeWork subsidiaries — WeWork China, WeWork Japan, and WeWork Pacific.
Spotify said on Thursday it has renewed its global licensing partnership with a third major label, Warner Music Inc, the last big music royalty deal it needs before pushing ahead with a U.S. stock market listing. “It’s taken us a while to get here, but it’s been worth it, as we’ve arrived at a balanced set of future-focused deal terms,” Warner Music Group chief digital officer Ole Obermann said in an Instagram post.
Amazon is once again sending shockwaves rippling through the retail industry. The Jeff Bezos-led juggernaut announced on Thursday that it would start cutting prices at Whole Foods, the organic grocer it acquired for $US13.7 billion in mid-June. The pricing overhaul will begin on Monday, it said, the same day the deal is expected to close.
The battle between hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman and his latest activist target is heating up. In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, ADP, a provider of payroll and benefits services, accused Ackman of threatening to use his ability to generate media coverage to “damage” the company.
A battle among shareholders over Uber Technologies Inc escalated on Thursday as some investors sought to fight a lawsuit by shareholder Benchmark Capital against ousted Chief Executive Travis Kalanick. In a letter to the Uber board of directors seen by Reuters, Shervin Pishevar, a venture capitalist with Sherpa Capital who is an Uber investor and critic of Benchmark, said he was seeking to intervene in the lawsuit filed Aug. 10.
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