Gazprom tries to distance itself from Putin with UK rebrand

Good morning.

Gazprom’s UK business is said to be planning a subtle rebrand as the company looks to distance itself from its Kremlin-controlled owners.

Gazprom Energy, which supplies gas to British businesses, is considering adopting the name of its UK parent – GM&T – to improve its chances of survival, the Financial Times reports.

The company was teetering on the brink of collapse in March as customers shunned contracts in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK was poised to place it into special administration if needed, but Germany stepped in by taking temporary control of parent company Gazprom Germania.

5 things to start your day 

1) Windfall tax ‘would hit your pension pot’, says minister – Cabinet splits deepen over levy on energy companies as four in ten face winter of fuel poverty

2) Britain becoming a less attractive place to do business, says Tory-leaning think tank – Business leaders last week accused Boris Johnson of squandering the post-Brexit opportunity to slash red tape and taxes

3) Pay gap between FTSE bosses and rest of the workforce narrows after Covid puts a lid of executive salaries  The average pay ratio between bosses and workers is widening, says High Pay Centre

4) Government launches £40m competition to jump-start self-driving buses and delivery vans  Autonomous vehicles could be worth £42bn to the UK economy

5) Farmers fear that supermarkets are turning to eggs from Poland – Retailers accused of seeking out cheaper foreign produce

What happened overnight 

Asian stocks traded mixed as investors assess the impact of China’s Covid policies on growth and the outlook for the world’s largest economies. The dollar and Treasuries retreated.

Equities rose modestly in Japan, but a slide in Chinese tech stocks and a virus outbreak in Beijing weighed on an MSCI  gauge of the region’s stocks.

Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 futures jumped about 1pc after the S&P 500 dropped for a seventh straight week in a stretch of weakness not seen since 2001. 

Coming up today

Corporate: Big Yellow Group, Kainos Group (full-year results); Pershing Square (interims); Kingfisher (trading statement)

Economics: World Economic Forum, Davos (EU), Rightmove house price index (UK), Chicago Fed national activity index (US)

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