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23 June 2021

A billionaire buying bits of BT needn’t ring alarm bells | Nils Pratley

A billionaire buying bits of BT needn’t ring alarm bells | Nils Pratley

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For starters, the French-Israeli Drahi must know that a foreign-backed bid for BT (which can’t now happen anyway for six months) would provoke a political storm.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, then made life sweeter by creating “super deductions” on infrastructure spending for two years, a tax policy that could almost have been designed with BT in mind.

If he wished, Drahi could have thrown a large sum at a fibre insurgent – CityFibre, say.

If the plan to reach 25m premises by the end of 2026 is achieved, the company should emerge with control of about two-thirds of the UK’s fibre infrastructure.

Now Morrisons has a sticker of shame to add to its collection: a 70% vote against its pay report, which is about as big as rebellions come.

Without the “adjustment”, Potts’s overall pay packet would still have been about £3m, rather than the £4.2m he actually got.

At least Morrisons spared us standard guff about “engaging” with shareholders and instead expressed “sincere regret” that it couldn’t convince the voters.

Cryptocurrencies have no inherent worth and, in the sweep of financial history, have been around for about five minutes so cannot be considered a permanent store of value

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