22 May 2018


22 May 2018

Good morning,

The manner of one’s exit is often key to ensuring a positive lasting legacy. Take the example of Arsene Wenger, whose 22-year reign as Arsenal manager ended this season.
When he assumed the role in 1996, the Spice Girls had just released their breakthrough song, John Major was prime minister, and the first Harry Potter book had not yet been published.
Wenger has since become the club’s most successful manager, winning 17 trophies and, most famously, leading the 2003-04 “invincibles” to their unbeaten Premier League season – a feat yet to be matched by anyone else.
Whilst his latter years at the club yielded less success, there is no doubt that he leaves the club in a better shape than he found it – both on the field in terms of success, and off the field, there is a relatively new stadium and something of a rarity in the English Premier League, a profit.
The Wenger years will surely be looked back on with fondness by most Arsenal fans and Unai Emery, whoseappointment was revealed late yesterday, certainly has big shoes to fill.
Contrast this dignified exit with that of Ken Livingstone, who resigned from the Labour Party over allegations of anti-Semitism following comments he made about Hitler and Zionism in a 2016 radio interview.
Whilst he has always courted controversy, Livingstone’s eight years as mayor of London were notable for the fact that he won first time around as an independent candidate, the introduction of the congestion charge and Oyster card, and his role in helping London win the right to host the 2012 Olympics.
He could have enjoyed a quiet retirement, intervening on one or two issues of personal interest. Instead, his legacy is tarnished.


Today marks the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack, which will be marked with a cathedral service, a minute’s silence and a sing-along vigil. Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds injured when a bomb was detonated as people left the Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017. Theresa May and Prince William will attend the memorial service at Manchester Cathedral and the national minute’s silence will start at 2.30pm.
Giuseppe Conte – a lawyer, academic and political novice – has been nominated as Italy’s new prime minister by the Five Star Movement-League coalition. Luigi Di Maio, leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, and Matteo Salvini, who heads up the far-right League, have told President Sergio Mattarella that Conte is their compromise candidate to lead the country. However, Mattarella is yet to confirm the appointment, suggesting he harbours doubts about the selection.
The Telegraph takes a closer look at Giuseppe Conte’s background.
New government proposals will offer police officers involved in high speed vehicle pursuits greater protection from prosecution. Fears have been expressed by officers that they could be disciplined or face criminal charges if a pursuit ends badly. The Home Office proposals will recognise the high levels of training police drivers receive and aim to debunk the myth that officers cannot chase moped or motorbike riders who are not wearing helmets.

Business & Economy

More than a hundred MPs have signed a letter criticising changes to the pay of Sainsbury’s employees, providing an unwelcome distraction as the supermarket attempts to complete its merger with Asda. The supermarket is consulting on a new deal aimed at equalising pay amongst its 130,000 strong workforce. However, critics argue that 13,000 could see their pay packets shrink, with the potential for some to be worse off by more than £3,000.
Criminal charges against Barclays over its £11.8 billion emergency financing at the height of the financial crisis weredismissed by the Crown Court yesterday. The bank had been facing two charges of conspiring to commit fraud relating to the 2008 fundraising, led by the government of Qatar, which helped Barclays avoid a state bailout. The development marks a serious setback for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) which has spent five years investigating the alleged fraud, and it is expected that it will seek to re-instate the charges.
Comcast’s £22 billion takeover bid for Sky is unlikely to be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), according to Matt Hancock, the culture secretary. The final decision is due by 4 June and Hancock said he did not believe that the proposed merger raised any public interest concerns "which would meet the threshold for intervention". The decision represents a blow for 21st Century Fox which is also attempting to buy Sky but, unlike Comcast, faces substantial political and regulatory hurdles.


What happened yesterday?
Global stocks were buoyed by an easing of tensions between the US and China. However, the Italian market continued to suffer on the back of concerns over the new populist coalition government’s economic plans.
In the US, the S&P 500 was up 0.74% to 2,733.01, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.21% to 25,013.29 and the Nasdaq climbed 0.54% to 7,394.04.
Meanwhile, on this side of The Atlantic, the FTSE 100 index surged to a fresh high, closing the day up 1.03% at 7,859.17 – surpassing the record set just days ago on 17 May.
Analysts attributed the gains to the stronger dollar and weaker pound which makes British assets cheaper for overseas buyers.
The pound was down 0.33% against the dollar at $1.3427 and fell 0.56% against the euro to €1.1387, with Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, speculating that if sterling continues to slide, fresh bids for British firms may emerge.
However, Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at markets.com warned that the investor confidence may not last due to the fact that the agreement between the US and China lacks detail and that the two sides “could return to blows quickly”.

Bloomsbury Publishing, Big Yellow Group, Cranswick, Entertainment One, First Derivatives, Halfords Group, Homeserve, Intermediate Capital Group, JZ Capital Partners Ltd, Nex Group, Pets at Home Group, Scapa Group, 1Spatial, Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust Ltd
Greencore Group, MedicX Fund Ltd., Oxford Biodynamics, Renew Holdings, Shaftesbury, Topps Tiles, UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company, Watkin Jones

Q1 Results
MHP SE GDR (Reg S), Nostrum Oil & Gas
Trading Announcements
Close Brothers Group, Galliford Try

Accesso Technology Group, Arrow Global Group, Avesoro Resources Inc. (DI), Attraqt Group, Burford Capital, Epwin Group, Fidelity Japanese Values, Forterra, Foresight VCT, Getbusy, Gulf Marine Services, Gocompare.com Group, JSC KazMunaiGaz Explortation Production GDR (Reg S), Menhaden Capital, Marshall Motor Holdings, Royal Dutch Shell ‘A’, Riverstone Energy Limited, Sherborne Investors (Guernsey) B Limited, Sherborne Investors (Guernsey) C Limited NPV, Stock Spirits Group, Zaar

Societatea Nationala De Gaze Naturale Romgaz S.A. GDR (Reg S)

UK Economic Announcements
(09:30) Public Sector Net Borrowing

Columns of note

In his column for The Telegraph, Lord Hague argues that the euro is a bigger threat to Europe than Brexit. He points to the anger that he says is bound to come the way of Brussels when the EU steps in to prevent the new Italian coalition government from implementing some of its policies before concluding that the UK’s departure from the EU is not a one-off but rather “the beginning of a long, slow disintegration”.
Writing in the Financial Times, Janan Ganesh analyses weekend speculation that there could be yet another snap election. He contends that the window for the clean Brexit that Leavers envisage is closing, with the danger being that endless negotiations leave voters accustomed to rolling semi-membership. Ganesh suggests that the apparently favourable conditions – an economy that is still growing, Labour wanting to leave the single market and the Conservatives being in reasonable shape after the local elections – support his conclusion that the patience of voters may be tested once more.

Did you know?

Beer was only officially classified as an alcoholic drink in 2011. Until that point, anything containing less than 10% alcohol had been considered a foodstuff, with many Russians viewing beer as a soft drink.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons
Oral Questions: HM Treasury (including Topical Questions)
Ten Minute Rule Motion: Social Justice Commission – Robert Halfon
Consideration of Lords amendments
General Debate: Serious Violence Strategy
House of Lords
Oral Questions
Impact of Brexit on sheep farmers in the UK - Lord Wigley
Plans to reform sexual offence legislation - Lord Campbell-Savours
Rights of leaseholders in high-rise blocks in which cladding has failed fire safety tests - Lord Shipley
Plans to reduce the size of the House of Lords - Lord Harries of Pentregarth
Smart Meters Bill - Third reading - Lord Henley
Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill - Second reading - Lord Henley
Scottish Parliament
Topical Questions
Scottish Government Debate: A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Tackling the Employment Gap
House of Commons
Oral Questions: International Development (including Topical Questions)
Prime Minister’s Question Time
Ten Minute Rule Motion: Terminal Illness (Provision of Palliative Care and Support for Carers) - Bambos Charalambous
Consideration of Lords amendments
Opposition Day Debate
House of Lords
Oral Questions
Restoration of devolved institutions in Northern Ireland - Lord Lexden
Additional support for the tourism industry - Lord Foster of Bath
Allegations of genocide by Turkey against Kurds and Yezides of Afrin province in Syria - Lord Hylton
Direct rail services between London and Lincoln on the East Coast Main Line - Lord Cormack
Short Debate: Evacuation, search and rescue plans for large UK passenger ships operating in distant locations - Lord Berkeley
Scottish Parliament
Portfolio Questions
Economy, Jobs and Fair Work
Finance and the Constitution
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Education: Subject Choices
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Housing