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UK News ALEX BRUMMER: We must keep telecoms British

03:13  25 august  2020
03:13  25 august  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

UK start-up offering cinema-quality short films on mobiles signs deals with global telecoms giants to reach millions of new users

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ALEX BRUMMER : UK satellite firm Inmarsat must stay in UK hands - and it's Chairman Andrew Sukawaty boasts a career at the highest level in telecoms and fellow directors have dazzling It has now become a significant source of satellite communication for the British Armed Forces and US allies.

ALEX BRUMMER : Does Britain have the courage to stand up for the Hong Kong protesters despite its business interests? Chinese firm Jingye has emerged as saviour of British Steel at Scunthorpe If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it

When seasoned industrialist Jan du Plessis took the reins as chairman of BT in November 2017, he was in no doubt about priorities.

Britain's legacy telecoms group had lost its way and needed to be refurbished as a national infrastructure champion.

He wanted better relations with telecoms regulator Ofcom, a chief executive focused on ultra-fast broadband roll-out and was unenthusiastic about BT's efforts to be a broadcaster. To this end, the incumbent chief executive Gavin Patterson, who presided over a devastating accounting fraud in Italy, was jettisoned, and tech-wizard Philip Jansen drafted in.

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ALEX BRUMMER : Sir Roger must stand ready to defend Britain's interests as new BAE chairman. He comes with a respectable record having been the cheerleader for British manufacturing as CBI president, and having led Centrica, owner of British Gas, through some difficult times both in the

By Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail. One must hope those American consumers will want to buy our goods, and those firms will want to tap into the British market. In the past couple of weeks alone, the US giants Google and Facebook have reaffirmed their faith in a post-Brexit Britain by ploughing new

a close up of a painted wall: Bad sign: The removal of the dividend may have been sensible but it was all that was holding up a weak share price © Provided by This Is Money Bad sign: The removal of the dividend may have been sensible but it was all that was holding up a weak share price

Jansen had demonstrated rare alchemy at Worldpay with the help of private equity. He was recruited to drive broadband roll-out and a sagging share price.

In the midst of lockdown, Jansen unveiled a bold plan to speed up BT's broadband revolution, pledging to build out next generation 'fibre-to-the-premises' to 20m properties by the mid to late-2020s.

The five-year plan for a 'simpler and more agile' BT would partly be paid for by suspending the dividend.

Investors were unimpressed. The share price cratered and anyone who has encountered BT during lockdown will be deeply disappointed. It required a specific request to suspend the direct debit for sport, even when the Premier and Champions leagues were off the air.

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By Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail. With the pound weakening, British firms have become sitting ducks for predators, and performance-driven investment funds are often too willing to take the cash. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it

ALEX BRUMMER : The FCA's legalistic, rules-based approach is no substitute for intervening early None of this is pleasant reading for Bailey, who must regret leaving the Bank of England for a bed of If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it

In the London suburbs, even with an expensive business subscription, the signal was as erratic as ever. An engineer called to the premises suggested a costly rewiring. This was described as totally unnecessary when a second engineer came to do the work and spent the day engrossed in the green exchange box.

Acquaintances in Brighton were persuaded by a BT sales person to switch from Sky services only to find interference on the phone line and a garbled signal from the BT box. Needless to say, they have switched back to Sky.

Jansen's intentions may be good but, as with a series of previous chief executives since privatisation, the culture inside BT remains as impenetrable as before.

The removal of the dividend may have been sensible but it was all that was holding up a weak share price.

Du Plessis and Jansen, both of whom have form for selling great companies to the highest bidder, should not be allowed to defenestrate BT.

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By Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail. Published: 23:29 BST, 9 August 2016 | Updated: 23:30 BST, 9 August 2016. The clock is speeding up on Softbank's £24billion takeover of Britain's chip champion ARM and the concern must be that it will happen by default with no public venting of the arguments.

Alex Brummer : Chancellor George Osborne's response to the lack of growth has been lacklustre. The economy faces a severe demand shortfall. Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use.

The idea of Britain's national telecoms company hiding behind closed doors in private equity ownership ought to be anathema.

Anything that private equity can do, such as spinning out Openreach and selling the serially disappointing global networks, could be done in the public arena.

If the UK is to shine in the post-Covid, Brexit world it must have ultra-fast broadband as in South Korea and Spain.

The late-2020s is too late. Selling out to the big investor, Deutsche Telekom, which acquired its stake as a result of the complex purchase of mobile provider EE, should not be an option either.

The saving grace is the BT pension fund. Even though the deficit dropped sharply in the last quarter, no buyer would contemplate taking this on until the outcome of the 2020 triennial review is known and the full buy-out costs established. On a sum-of-the-parts basis, BT is clearly worth two to three times its sub-octane market value of £10.8billion.

Giving away the upside to private equity or an overseas buyer would be a betrayal of broadband investment prospects and loyal investors who have kept the faith.

Kate Garraway reveals a big first on Good Morning Britain

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ALEX BRUMMER : The Cobham debacle shows the bizarre incentives for boards to ignore the national interest and sell Britain down the river. The 1,700 British workforce at Wimborne in Dorset will be worrying about the future while the directors decide how best to spend the windfall of up to £10million

By Alex Brummer for the Daily Mail. Aviva chairman Sir Adrian Montague, a City grandee, ought to be less than happy that its investment arm is backing a Guernsey fund against a pillar of British The Bank has a history of intervening to keep Britain's banks safe and their reputation intact, and was

Bird feeder

The pandemic has led many corporate executives to make sacrifices. Not, it seems at education group Pearson, which has parachuted in former Disney boss Andy Bird as chief executive.

His total remuneration package adds up to £13.8m. That doesn’t include use of a New York apartment. After seven profit warnings over the last seven years, amiable chairman Sidney Taurel may think Bird is cheap at the price if he can stem the rot. Governance mavens may think differently.

Food fight

You have to feel sorry for M&S boss Steve Rowe. Just a week before it launches its Ocado joint venture, it learns that its main supplier of sandwiches and ready foods, Greencore, is to shut its Northampton facility at the request of Public Health England and other government bodies as a result of Covid-19 and the need for staff to self-isolate. Yikes.

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Now the British Library says it's 'reviewing' its Sloane manuscripts .
The move was revealed in a note on its website, and coincides with a wider review of Sloane's legacy that saw the British Museum - which he founded - remove his bust.The move was revealed in a note on its website, and coincides with a wider review of Sloane’s legacy that saw the British Museum - which he founded - remove his bust from a pedestal and attach the label 'slave owner'.

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This is interesting!