The economy will pick up speed by 2021 if headwinds from Brexit are lifted, according to the CBI’s latest forecast. It predicted that GDP could be 1.8% by 2021, after more modest expansion of 1.3% this year and 1.2% in 2020. The CBI forecasts are based on the “assumption that Britain leaves the EU by January 31 next year and has clear line of sight to an ambitious trade deal” and that such a deal must involve “alignment with EU rules where essential for frictionless trade”. In the event of prolonged uncertainty over Brexit next year followed by a no-deal the following year, the CBI said growth would be 0.4%.
American hedge funds are trying to halt one of Britain’s largest takeover deals this year. And like opponents of Brexit, their argument is that shareholders were not in possession of the full facts the first time around and deserve a second vote. The battle over Inmarsat (ISAT), the British satellite communications provider, reaches its denouement tomorrow when a court hearing begins that was supposed to rubberstamp the company’s £2.6 billion acquisition by a consortium that includes Warburg Pincus and Apax Partners. Investors approved the deal by 79% in May. However, hedge funds, including Oaktree Capital, a Los Angeles-based investor founded by billionaire Howard Marks, have objected.
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) is on course to be booted out of the FTSE 100 in the quarterly reshuffle this week. The company’s share price has fallen by 12% since the beginning of September. Last month it warned on its outlook after setting aside $165 million to cover claims arising from hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and two typhoons in Japan. Its bosses got in trouble with the Financial Conduct Authority shortly after the warning because of concerns that a select group of analysts had been given price-sensitive information as they rushed to cut their estimates.