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Headlines

• Northern Ireland increases restrictions

• ICUs at Liverpool hospitals are at 90% capacity

• World Bank approves $12bn for developing countries

• Bars and restaurants to close in Spain’s Catalonia region

• Israel has extended its second lockdown

Company news

Leisure

Boparan Restaurant Group – has bought Gourmet Burger Kitchen out of administration. The deal includes 35 sites and 669 jobs; however, 26 restaurants and 362 jobs will be lost. The company has been in trouble since November 2018, when it entered a Company Voluntary Arrangement. Since then, the coronavirus lockdown has hit sales, Deloitte said.

Retail

ASOS – “Whilst we are well positioned for peak trading and the year ahead, we are cautious on the outlook for consumer demand, and will remain so until lifestyles and financial stability for our 20 -something customers start to normalise. Timelines for containment of the virus and a vaccine still look uncertain and a number of our major territories are facing into the prospect of a second wave of cases and increasing lockdown measures. It is clear that a normal pattern of social events is not going to resume in the short term , so whilst we have confidence in our ability to continue growing our market share globally, we are cognisant of the economic impact this crisis is having on our 20 -something customers and the pressure on their disposable incomes. ”

Technology

Just Eat – “Third quarter order growth accelerates to 46%. Order growth accelerated compared with the prior quarter, leading to a widening gap to competition in key countries, including the UK and Canada. Australia was the fastest -growing country, delivering market share gains with triple -digit order growth in the quarter.

Just Eat Takeaway.com has started an aggressive investment programme in the legacy Just Eat countries to strengthen its competitive positions, significantly increasing spending on marketing and sales. This programme has delivered accelerated growth while maintaining strong adjusted EBITDA.

The company continued to enhance its restaurant selection, driven by several new partnerships, including the roll -out of approximately 800 McDonald’s restaurants and 300 Greggs locations in the UK. ”

Other

• The World Bank has said it hopes to support the vaccination of up to 1 billion people, with $12bn of financing for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of Covid -19 vaccines, tests, and treatments. The organisation said the ‘envelope’ is part of an overall package of up to $160bn through June 2021 to help developing countries fight the pandemic.

• Singapore reported zero local cases yesterday, for the first time in nearly six months.

• Israel has extended its second lockdown until midnight on Sunday, as cases remain high despite a nearly four -week lockdown.

• Northern Ireland has outlined the new measures, including closing schools, pubs and restaurants, and limits on weddings and funerals, which will come into force on Friday.

• All bars and restaurants in the Spanish region of Catalonia must close for 15 days from Thursday. Restaurants can still offer delivery and takeaway services. Shops and markets will operate at 30% capacity, gyms, cinemas and theatres at 50%, and children’s play areas will close at 8pm.

• A US clinical trial testing monoclonal antibodies to treat Covid-19 has been paused for safety concerns. The treatment has been developed by drug company Eli Lily, and is similar to the one Donald Trump received after testing positive for coronavirus.

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