3 July

@lyle_h_hill

3 July

Good morning, 

The row in the Gulf between Qatar and its neighbours shows no sign of abating. The deadline levied on Qatar to meet 13 obligations outlined by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other countries in the Gulf region has been extended by 48 hours, after Qatar missed the original deadline on Sunday.

Qatar stands accused of funding terrorism by its neighbours, something it firmly denies.  The demands include the closure of a Turkish military base in Qatar, curbing diplomatic relations with Iran and closing the state-owned Al-Jazeera news network.

The crisis in the region has far reaching global implications, the Gulf states involved have been the success story of the Middle East in recent years, representing prosperity and globalisation in a region filled with instability. This crisis risks undermining that image and would have a disproportionate impact on the world economy.

Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas and is scheduled to host the 2022 football World Cup (despite controversy).  The Qatar Investment Authority owns large stakes in Volkswagen and Barclays while the population is a mere 2.2 million.

The state has said it will deliver its response to the demands in a formal letter today. It is expected Qatar will reject the obligations but will seek dialogue under the right conditions. For many, this openness to dialogue will be welcome news.

NEWS

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have both put pressure on the chancellor and prime minister to increase public sector pay. Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Gove insisted taxes would not need to rise to pay for the measure. Meanwhile, sources close to Boris Johnson made clear he would like to see pay rises achieved in a "responsible way".

Theresa May's counterterrorism proposals have been criticised by her new independent reviewer of counterterrorism legislation. Max Hill QC criticised plans to fine technology companies for failing to remove extremist material posted online, warning it would push companies away from helping the government when cooperation is needed.

The United States has angered China by sailing a warship into disputed territory of the South China Sea. The USS Stethem sailed close to Triton Island, one of many islands claimed by both China and a number of other nations. China called the act "a serious political and military provocation”.

 

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

A City of London delegation, independent of government and headed by Mark Hoban, will head to Brussels with a secret blueprint to achieve a free trade deal for financial services following the Brexit process. The delegation has the unofficial support of senior officials in Whitehall.

Large British banks have slipped in a ranking of the world's largest 1000 lenders published today. HSBC remained the UK's largest bank but posted its worst performance in seven years. RBS and Lloyds also slipped in the rankings. However, further down the list, UK challenger banks have risen considerably.

John Varley, the ex-Barclays' CEO, along with three other senior colleagues, will appear at Westminster magistrates court today to face charges of fraudbrought against the group by the Serious Fraud Office. Varley is the first former CEO charged with criminal offences resulting from the financial crisis.

MARKETS

Finals
Mercia Technologies, Plastics Capital, 600 Group, Trakm8 Holdings

AGMs
Aseana Properties Ltd, Landore Resources Ltd, Polemos, Shanta Gold Ltd

Int. Economic Announcements
(10:00) Unemployment Rate (EU)
(15:00) Construction Spending (US)
(15:00) ISM Manufacturing (US)
(15:00) ISM Prices Paid (US)
(20:30) Auto Sales (US)

COLUMNS OF NOTE

Rachel Shabi, writing in The Times, argues that political centrists haven't awoken to the new political reality that we now find ourselves in. When the election result was, in her opinion, a clear rejection of the status quo, centrists cannot respond that the answer is "more static centrism".

Dominic Green, writing in CapX, believes that the American immigration system is not fit for purpose. He argues that it has not been reformed in any meaningful way since 1965 and that due to this the US is missing an opportunity to gain the best trained workers in the world.

DID YOU KNOW?

Dolphins can detect underwater sounds from 15 miles away