Friday newspaper round-up: Virgin Orbit, Morrisons, LME

by | Mar 31, 2023

Britain has joined the 11-member strong Asia-Pacific trade bloc that includes Japan and Australia after nearly two years of negotiations. The deal, part of a push to agree worldwide trade deals after Brexit, secures access for British exporters to 500 million people in the 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). – Guardian
NatWest and Lloyds are to axe a further 81 bank branches as both announced fresh cuts to their high street networks. Lloyds Banking Group is closing 39 branches – 26 Lloyds Bank outlets, nine Halifax branches and four Bank of Scotland outlets – between July and September this year. NatWest Group said it was shutting 42 branches. – Guardian

Morrisons has pledged to slash its costs by £700m as it grapples with a £5.9bn debt pile and tepid sales. The supermarket is preparing to make changes including cutting down the range of products it manufactures and simplifying routes taken by its delivery vans to save on fuel, all in an effort to cut spending. – Telegraph

Virgin Orbit will lay off 85 per cent of its workforce after the satellite launch business failed to find new funding in the face of a cash crunch. Shares in the group, founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2017, tumbled sharply in out-of-hours trading in New York last night after it announced it would cut 675 jobs “in order to reduce expenses in light of the company’s inability to secure meaningful funding”. – The Times

The London Metal Exchange has unveiled a wide-ranging plan to overhaul its nickel contract as it scrambles to restore trust in its wider metals market after a blow-up last year. The package of measures unveiled by the exchange include a plan to work with the Qianhai Mercantile Exchange, which, like the LME, is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, to develop a China-based spot market for lower-grade nickel. – The Times

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