21. Weekly Newsletter

G7 in Japan

The Hiroshima G7 summit marked continued support and cooperation between the members following rounds of meetings in Japan over the weekend. US President Biden confirmed on Friday (19th May) that the US will support a joint effort to train Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighter jets. The G7 also took a united position on China with its strongest condemnation yet on the superpower in a joint communique.

PM Sunak also signed a new deal on defence cooperation with Japan prior to the G7 opening summit. The ‘Hiroshima Accord’ works to boost collaborations with the Japanese armed forces and also to launch a new “semi-conductor” partnership to bolster chip supply chains. This measure was aimed at protecting Western supplies in the event of Chinese advances on the semi-conductor hub of Taiwan.

Newspapers & Northern Ireland Local Elections

The UK’s front page news cycle over the last seven days covered a wide range of topics with no single issue dominating headlines. Newspapers have discussed the fall in energy prices which the government hopes will dampen current inflation rates. Furthermore, Britain’s largest telecoms business (BT) announced that it will cut up to 55,000 jobs (out of 130,000) by 2030 with a fifth of these roles being replaced by AI. Some of the newspaper front pages over the last week were:

  • The Sunday Telegraph: Migration tsar backs student visa curbs
  • i Weekend: UK inflation set to fall sharply next week- with lower energy bills to follow
  • The Telegraph: UK ‘talking itself into economic decline’
  • The Times: AI ‘is clear and present danger to education’
  • Daily Mail: Energy Bills To Fall £450 As Cap Is Slashed
  • The Times: UK reliance on foreign nurses at critical level
  • The Guardian: Fresh sanctions against Russia as PM seeks to rally support for Kyiv
  • The Daily Telegraph: Net zero drive will add £120 to energy bills
  • Financial Times: BT plans to cull 55,000 jobs this decade in most radical cuts since privatisation
  • The Times: Water firms’ £10bn plan to prevent sewage spills
  • Financial Times: German carmakers press for delay in Brexit rules on tariff-free access to UK
  • The Times: Starmer- I’ll allow more homes on green belt

The nationalist Sinn Féin achieved a better-than-expected victory (30.9% of first preference votes) local council elections on Thursday (18th May). The party leader, O’Neill, stated that “historic change is happening and Sinn Féin is leading that change right across Ireland”. The unionist DUP maintained their seat share with 23.3% (down 0.8% from 2019) following their demands for further changes to post-Brexit trading arrangements which they believe undermine Northern Ireland’s place within the UK.

UK Rich List

Last week, The Sunday Times unveiled their annual UK ‘rich list’ which featured 171 billionaires (down from 177 in 2022) in the UK. The London-based Hinduja brothers, Sri and Gopi, topped the list following a £6.5bn increase in their wealth since last year. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of Ineos, saw a £23.6bn increase in his net worth following a successful year for the expanding chemicals business. Furthermore, the billionaire is looking to acquire Manchester United football club after the American owners announced their intention to sell the New York listed business. Additionally, members of Sweden’s Rausing family featured on the list following another year of stable wealth accumulation. The top 20 entries are listed below:

Rank

2023

(2022)   Worth      Name                                 Source of Wealth

1 (1)       £35.0bn  Gopi Hinduja & Family – Industry & Finance: Hinduja Group

2 (27)     £29.7bn  Sir Jim Ratcliffe – Chemicals: Ineos

3 (4)       £28.6bn  Sir Leonard Blavatnik – Investment, Music & Media: Access Industries

4 (3)       £24.4bn  David & Simon Reuben & Family – Property & Internet: Reuben Brothers

5 (2)       £23.0bn  Sir James Dyson & Family – Technology: Dyson Group

6 (6)       £16.0bn  Lakshmi Mittal & Family – Steel: ArcelorMittal

7 (7)       £14.5bn  Guy, George, Alannah & Galen Weston & Family – Retail: Primark

8 (9)       £13.1bn  Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken & Michel de Carvalho – Banking & Brewing: Heineken

9 (8)       £12.0bn  Kirsten & Jorn Rausing – Inheritance & Investment: Tetra Laval

10 (10)   £11.5bn  Michael Platt – Hedge fund: BlueCrest Capital

11 (12)   £9.9bn    The Duke of Westminster & the Grosvenor Family – Property: Grosvenor Group

12 (14)   £9.3bn    Marit, Lisbet, Sigrid & Hans Rausing – Inheritance: Tetra Laval

13 (82)   £9.2bn    Andy Currie – Chemicals: Ineos

14 (83)   £9.1bn    John Reece – Chemicals: Ineos

15 (89)   £9.1bn    Alex Gerko – Finance: XTX Markets

16 (16)   £8.8bn    Denise, John & Peter Coates & Family – Gambling: Bet365

17 (23)   £8.5bn    Anders Holch Povlsen – Fashion: Bestseller & Asos

18 (13)   £8.4bn    Barnaby & Merlin Swire & Family – Industry, Transport & Property: Swire Group

19 (17)   £8.3bn    John Fredriksen & Family – Shipping & Oil Services

20 (19)   £8.2bn    Mikhail Fridman – Industry: Alfa Group & Letter One

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