France’s economic contraction has been amplified by the way the country measured the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on its vast public sector, according to economists and statisticians. The effect explains its underperformance compared with Germany and makes it likely to outperform in the third quarter.

The UK needs to a successor to its furlough scheme to protect jobs, according to CBI boss Carolyn Fairbairn, who warned that a large number of redundancies were expected this month as companies prepare for wage support to end in October. Dame Carolyn also cautioned against raising corporate taxes.

From virtual watch boutiques to trying out jewellery using augmented reality, ecommerce solutions deployed during lockdown are set to stay after the pandemic, the Financial Times’s latest Watches and Jewellery special report reveals. Auction houses broke their own records by switching to online bidding.

After becoming the first city to be subject to a local lockdown following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, the city of Leicester was also the first to open schools last week. Gulbanu Kader, headteacher at Rushey Mead Academy, described the preparation for reopening as a “rollercoaster ride”.

For the first time in its 120-year history, the Italian label Tod’s is being overseen by a single creative force but Walter Chiapponi has his work cut out. Even before the pandemic sent the luxury-goods industry into a tailspin, sales at Tod’s had seen four years of declines.

About a third of an H2O Asset Management fund was invested in illiquid bonds when the French regulator forced its suspension, more than three times higher than a regulatory limit. The illiquid assets held by the Natixis subsidiary became more problematic during March turmoil triggered by the pandemic.

READ ALSO  Watch: Professor Lectures Students Not To Vote For "Dictator" Trump

Virgin Atlantic warned it was still fighting for survival as it announced plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs following the completion of its £1.2bn private sector rescue deal. Shai Weiss, its chief executive, told the Financial Times that the airline was “absolutely” still in a battle to secure its future.

Shares in CaixaBank and Bankia rose sharply on Friday after the two Spanish lenders confirmed they were in merger talks, a tie-up that would create the country’s largest domestic bank with assets of more than €650bn. The talks come as the pandemic exacerbates consolidation pressure on retail banks

Via Financial Times