European stocks gain despite Archegos fears; bond yields rise; gold sinks – business live

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Britain’s business secretary insisted today that the UK steel industry still has a future, after the collapse of Greensill Capital, a key backer of Liberty Steel.

Concerns for the future of Liberty Steel and its 3,000 UK workers – with a further 10,000 supply chain jobs dependent on it – have grown after the government rejected its parent company’s plea for a £170m rescue loan.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, Kwasi Kwarteng described Liberty Steel as a “really important national asset” but said it was important to distinguish between the steel business and its parent company, the Gupta Family Group. It is part of the business empire built up by the industrialist Sanjeev Gupta.

Kwarteng said:

“We are custodians of taxpayers’ money, and there were concerns over the very opaque structure of the GFG Group and we feel that if we gave the money, there is no guarantee that that money would stay in the UK and protect British jobs. It’s a multinational enterprise.”

He did not rule out the possibility of the government taking Liberty Steel into public ownership.

“All options are on the table. We think the steel industry has a future in the UK. Only two weeks ago my department published an industrial decarbonisation strategy. We want to see clean steel … of the kind Liberty Steel makes.”

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Goldman snacks: bank sends hampers to staff amid ‘inhumane’ working hours

Bosses at Goldman Sachs have been sending sympathy snack boxes to overworked junior London bankers in response to complaints over “inhumane” 100-hour weeks that have affected their physical and mental health.

The one-off hampers, full of fruit and snacks, are understood to have been paid for by managing directors out of their own pockets, since Goldman has not offered any company-wide gifts or additional bonuses after a leaked report revealed concerns about poor working conditions earlier this month.

While some junior bankers said they appreciated the small gift, it pales in comparison with perks announced by rival lenders in the weeks following the Goldman leak.

Jefferies offered 1,124 of its lowest-ranking staff free workout equipment including Peloton bikes worth nearly £2,000, while investment bankers at Credit Suisse are getting a one-time $20,000 bonus for dealing with an “unprecedented” workload during the pandemic.

UK funeral services firm Dignity has urged investors to vote against attempts by its largest shareholder to oust the chairman.

A fund managed by Phoenix Asset Management Partners, which owns 29.9% of Dignity, has asked for a shareholder meeting to vote on a proposal to remove Clive Whiley andreplace him with the chief investment officer and co-founder of Phoenix, Gary Channon.

In the letter to shareholders on Tuesday, Dignity, one of the UK’s biggest undertakers, said Phoenix was acting out of self-interest and accused it of seeking to take executive control of the company without paying a bid premium. More here: