22 May

@AdamDShaw

22 May

Good morning,
 

This weekend marked the beginning of Donald Trump’s first official overseas trip as president.
 
The first stop of the eight-day trip was the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh where he signed a $110 billion arms deal before addressing regional leaders, urging them to take the lead in tackling religious radicalisation. Perhaps keen to avoid any distractions following last week’s controversy surrounding the dismissal of FBI director James Comey, Trump dispensed with his usual style and stuck firmly to reading from the teleprompter.
 
He also took the opportunity to attack Iran for stoking regional instability. It appears that the re-election of the moderate Hassan Rouhani in Friday’s presidential election has not altered the administration’s view of the Persian state.
 
Air Force One is now en-route to Israel where Trump will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. The peace process will be top of the agenda although Trump has thus far offered little insight into how he will approach this key global issue.

 

NEWS

Facebook’s rules and guidelines on what can be posted by its two billion users has been revealed. The Guardian has seen more than 100 internal documents which govern how Facebook moderates certain content, including violence, hate speech, terrorism, pornography, racism and self-harm. However, concerns have been raised about inconsistency as Facebook balances its responsibility as the world’s largest publisher with the protection of free speech.

Theresa May’s plans for those with assets above £100,000 to contribute towards the receipt of care in their own home could be undermined by poorly performing local authorities. Freedom of information responses from 140 councils revealed a disparity in how they offer residents going into care homes the right to delay payments – a measure that was introduced in 2015. Some councils have entered agreements with hundreds of residents but ten said that they had failed to reach a single one.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

The UK’s largest retailers are more pessimistic about the sector’s prospects than at any time in the last five years, according to Korn Ferry Institue. A survey of 50 chairmen and women from the UK’s top 50 retailers showed that 40% were pessimistic about the coming year – a 33% increase on the previous 12 months - with Brexit and consumer confidence cited as concerns.

Former RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin will appear at the High Court in London today as part of a £520 million case that will look at the £45 billion bailout of the bank in 2008. Along with other directors, Goodwin faces accusations that investors were misled over the bank’s financial state. The case is expected to last 14 weeks.

Barclays has tightened its email security to avoid a repeat of an embarrassing episode last month. Chief executive Jes Staley replied to an email purporting to be from chairman John McFarlane, which was actually from an unhappy Barclays customer using the Gmail account john.mcfarlane.barclays@gmail.com. Barclays employees will now receive a warning message whenever they email an external address on a mobile device – previously this had only happened on desktop computers.

The Church of England’s £7.9 billion investment fund has become one of the world’s top ranking endowment funds after it made a return of 17.1% in 2016. This was more than double the 8.2% it made the previous year and was described by the Church Commissioners as a “stellar outturn”. The Church’s ethical investment policy requires that all investments should be compatible with Christian values.

 

MARKETS

Finals
Mckay Securities
 
Interims
Cerillion, Ixico

AGMs
Brady, Cloudcall Group, Gamma Communications, Integrated Diagnostics Holdings, Johnston Press, Restore, StatPro Group
 
EGMs
Glanbia, Sacoil Holdings (DI)

 

COLUMNS OF NOTE

In The Sunday Times, Kevin Pringle reflects on how we perceive winning and losing in politics, and the issues this creates.

Ahead of the voter registration deadline at midnight, Simon Sapper examines political apathy amongst young people and what can be done to drive engagement.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Whilst filming ‘Return of the Jedi’ in the forests of Oregon, Peter Mayhew – the actor who played Chewbacca – was given strict instructions not to wander off whilst wearing his costume due to fears that he would be mistaken for Big Foot and shot.

 

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY

House of Commons

In dissolution. The House will next sit on Monday 19th June.
 
House of Lords 

In dissolution. The House will next sit on Monday 19th June.

Scottish Parliament

No business scheduled

TOMORROW

Scottish Parliament


Topical Questions
 
Stage 1 Debate: Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill