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Friday newspaper round-up: Self-isolation, Blackstone, Starling

Workers from 16 key sectors including health, transport and energy will not have to isolate after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, as it was revealed that more than 600,000 people in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts last week The raft of changes, after days of frantic talks with industry leaders, came amid open Conservative revolt over the so-called “pingdemic” with the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt warning the government that it was facing a crisis of public trust in the system. – Guardian
Welcome to the world of private equity, also known as the “billionaire factory”, where already super-rich firms have used low interest rates and their considerable financial firepower to embark on a multi-billion dollar buying spree this year. Mere mortals were this week given a rare glimpse inside the money-spinning and highly secretive private equity industry – which buys up companies, often using more debt than stock market investors would tolerate, then floats or sells them on again – as the London firm Bridgepoint floated on the stock market. – Guardian

Britain and France are in talks to roll out a “wallet” travel app to ensure holidaymakers have all the necessary Covid documentation before heading to the airport. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, met his French counterpart Jean-Baptiste Djebbari in Folkestone on Wednesday to discuss using an app developed by the owner of the Channel Tunnel to avoid chaos at the border. – Telegraph

The world’s largest private equity firm doubled its profits in the latest quarter. Blackstone benefited from a record increase in the value of its investments, bolstered by a string of initial public offerings. With its private equity portfolio value up by 13.8 per cent in the three months to June 30, well ahead of the S&P 500 share index, the American fund highlighted the recent listings of TaskUs, the outsourcer, and Sona Comstar, an Indian car components maker. Total net income attributable to Blackstone hit $1.31 billion, up from $568 million in the same quarter in 2020. – The Times

Starling said yesterday that its revenues were growing and that it had been profitable for ten months. Anne Boden, chief executive of the digital bank, said that the results put the financial technology group on track for a flotation either late next year or in 2023. “As soon as you get to profitability, you break free,” she said. – The Times

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