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Markets Today: Travel industry criticises summer holiday plans

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Markets Today: Travel industry criticises summer holiday plans
  • Tests for all international travellers in government’s 'traffic light' plan 
  • Amazon takes lead in unionisation proposal 
  • What to look out for next week

Welcome to the Investors’ Chronicle daily news round up. This morning, Brits continue to face uncertainty about the outlook for their travel plans - the government has proposed a traffic light system for assessing the safety of countries for foreign travel and has confirmed that passengers will have to take a covid test on leaving and before returning. Another boon for testing companies, but a blow for travel operators who are crying out for more clarity as soon as possible. Would be holiday-makers might be right to feel miffed. Reports suggest that roughly 8,000 tourists have arrived in the UK every day since mid-February. 

And the restricted return to summer holidays isn’t the only thing troubling airline, which also have to worry about shifting consumer habits and the growing pressure limit their impact on the environment, as explained in our recent article.

Sports fans are also calling for more clarity on the plans for covid passports for attending big events. Will there be fans at Wimbledon this year? Or the FA Cup final? Or the British Grand Prix? It comes as Japanese citizens criticise their government for suggesting athletes should be given a vaccine as a priority. Many Japanese people do not want the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead this summer, amid fears that the event will spark another wave of coronavirus, without providing any benefit to the country. 

Talking of vaccines, Moderna jabs have arrived on British soil and will be administered from today. It comes as more countries shun the Astra vaccine amid ongoing concerns about blood clotting. 

Retailers remain in the spotlight

A quiet day on the company’s front, but some announcements should capture retail investors’ attention. 

For those following the ongoing challenges in the retail industry, this morning’s announcement from Frasers (FRAS: Buy, Dec 2020) is perhaps the most eye-catching. After ongoing talks with the government on the fact that a return to normality may be “some way off”, management says it expects to take material impairments “which could be in excess of £200m”. 

This comes after Asos (ASC: Buy, April 2021) revealed the benefits of being an online only retailer in a strong set of financial results (read our analysis here) and Next (NXT: Buy, April 2021) proved why it is in a stronger position to thrive than many of its bricks and mortar peers. 

There are more retailers announcing results in the coming week, including JD Sports (JD.: Hold, Mar 2021) and Tesco (TSCO: Hold, Dec 2020). It will be interesting to see how the former is coping given the shift to direct-to-consumer seen at some of its biggest suppliers. Find out which companies are announcing results next week here. MB

“Hi David”

The Treasury has released two text messages sent from Rishi Sunak to David Cameron amid a lobbying row which centre’s on the former prime minister’s role in collapsed lender Greensill Capital. Could government lobbying have been one of the innovative methods of winning new business which Algy Hall warns against in this week’s lesson from history. MB

More violence in Northern Ireland 

Riots in Belfast have escalated to levels not seen in Northern Ireland for many years. Tensions are being blamed on Brexit and the continued fragility in the region. The ongoing cost of the troubles serves as a stark reminder of the financial fallout from major events, as Emily Boxall explains here. MB

AJ Bell customers get access to Aquis stock exchange

AJ Bell (AJB) announced yesterday that its customers can now buy shares in companies listed on the burgeoning Aquis Exchange (AQX), after the Investors’ Chronicle revealed last month that the investment platform giant was considering introducing trading on the SME-focused market.

As Alex Newman reported in March, AJ Bell is not the only retail trading platform in talks with UK-based Aquis, which has recently been mounting a challenge to the decades-old Alternative Investment Market. OT

You can read more from our writers on the latest news in the blog below.