Sunday newspaper round-up: Oil, Asos, Materials’ and energy prices

The White House appears set to allow Iran and Venezuela to export more oil in response to fuel shortages in the West. With that aim in mind, the US may allow Italy’s Eni and Spain’s Repsol to send Venezuelan oil to Europe possibly by as soon as in the following month. According to an executive from oil trader Vitol, the Biden administration may also permit Tehran to export its oil even if the country does not provide more assurances regarding its nuclear programme. – The Sunday Telegraph
Asos is set to name Antonio Ramos Calamonte as a replacement for its previous boss, Nick Beighton, who left the online fashion retailer abruptly 238 days before, reports say. That was after Beighton had told the board he would not head up its expansion overseas. According to the Sunday Times, Calamonte was on a “very short” shortlist. – Financial Mail on Sunday

A survey conducted by accountants Moore UK shows that 93% of small companies are facing “acute pressure” due to higher prices for materials and energy with the pandemic’s after-effects and staff recruitment and retention next on the list. Moore UK chairman, Maureen Penfold, says spiralling costs are getting “out of control”. Penfold said: “A lot of small business owners are having sleepless nights over how they handle the shock of cost increases.” – Financial Mail on Sunday

Investors have grown warier about the prospects for sports fashion retailer JD Sports following the ouster of its boss, Peter Cowgill, one month ago. Hence the rise in short-sellers’ positions against the company to 1.29% of its outstanding shares, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. His exit prompted speculation that the Competition & Markets Authority may hand the retailer more penalties after the roughly £5m that it fined JD Sports for in February. Bridgepoint has also attracted the attention of short-sellers with US hedge fund Millennium having taken out a 0.8% short position against the private equity outfit’s shares. – The Sunday Times

Grubhub founder Matt Maloney tried to buy back the company from Just East Takeaway alongside US private equity outfit General Atlantic. That was after he sold it to Just Eat Takeaway for $7.3bn one year before. However, they finally decided not to table a bid. For its part Just Eat Takeaway had come under pressure to sell Grubhub and received unsolicited takeover approaches. It was not known whether General Atlantic was among the suitors. – Sunday Times

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