As COVID-19’s new Omicron strain is detected in more countries, the G7 is organising an emergency meeting and UK Christmas parties are curtailed, we’re finding positives in the gloom. Despite Japan and Israel banning foreign visitors, a South African doctor says patients with the Omicron variant have ‘very mild symptoms,’ while another expert believes the new variant could become a ‘blessing in the sky’ by killing off the more lethal Delta coronavirus. Investment bank Hambro Perks is giving staff almost four weeks extra holiday to tackle pandemic burnout. The FTSE All Share is recovering some of Friday’s losses.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
Corporates are providing consolation, with Nissan investing £13.2bn in electric cars and Edison client Marshall Motor Holdings recommending a £332m takeover. As a ‘race for space’ fuels the busiest UK housing market since 2007, supermarkets millionaire Lord Sainsbury is betting £337m on private equity funds. Nurdles may be the ‘worst toxic waste you’ve probably never heard of’, Patagonia is donating its $10m of Black Friday sales to help save the planet, while scientists are using a Nobel Prize-winning stock market theory and a ‘spectacular spawning event’ to help save coral reefs. Edison research director Neil Shah argues in Petroleum Economist that European oil companies are leading the decarbonisation race and our director of energy and resources Lord Ashbourne tells The Intelligent Miner about mining’s vital role in the advancement and adoption of cleantech.
TRYING TO TROUBLESHOOT
Precautions are still being taken, with the Disney+ channel omitting The Simpsons’ Tiananmen Square episode as it launches in Hong Kong, and Prince Charles travelling to Barbados to make the end of monarchy there as painless as possible.
KEEPING SOMETHING IN RESERVE
But relax. Pensioners are growing old in high style as a new crop of luxury senior housing turns retirement into a five-star resort stay. Guests at a music night at Britain’s highest pub were glad that Storm Arwen locked them in for a third night. And Quebec is releasing a ‘strategic reserve’ of maple syrup to make up for a poor harvest.