Market Loop - Does Davos still deliver?

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24th May 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning Forgot your wallet? In Brazil, you can now use your face. Mastercard is currently testing a biometric payment system for retail stores, using facial recognition rather than contactless cards, smartphones or PINs. What could possibly go wrong?
Today's stories
  • Does Davos still deliver?
  • Moonpig snaps up £124m gift
Does Davos still deliver?

What happened?
Davos is back. On Sunday the annual gathering of the global elite in a Swiss Alpine resort, by the World Economic Forum returned for the first time since January 2020. 

But against a backdrop of a cost of living crisis for millions, many are asking whether a champagne fuelled retreat for the 1% is still relevant.

Some background
For 51 years leaders from the world of finance, business and government along with the rich and famous have been gathering to talk about critical issues facing the global economy.

But it has drawn criticism for being more style over substance
“It has become ridiculous,” a former UK government minister vented, anonymously, to The Guardian. “You have executives flying to Switzerland in private jets, then pledging to plant millions of trees as a carbon offset.”

There have been some wins over the years 
The New Development Bank — launched in 2015 with $100bn in capital from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to fund infrastructure and development projects — was conceived at Davos 2011.

Gavi, a global vaccine alliance launched at Davos 2000, has administered some 900m vaccines against 17 infectious diseases to children worldwide. In 2020, Gavi established Covax, a global Covid-19 vaccine program that shipped 1bn vaccines to 144 participating countries.

This year will be different than the ones before
Notably because major world figures will not be in attendance. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, and French President Emmanuel Macron will be absent, understandable given the poor optics of hobnobbing with billionaires while voters are struggling to make ends meet back home.

There are signs that some Davos attendees are in tune with the growing economic inequality. A group of millionaires protested on the first day of the event, calling on world leaders to tackle the cost of living crisis by increasing taxes on the wealthy.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
  • UK house prices hit new record high as mortgages outpace rents
  • UK on brink of beer bottle shortage amid rising costs, warns wholesaler
  • Uber offers discounts up to 50% to celebrate opening of Elizabeth line
  • Elon Musk wants a 25% discount on his Twitter bid if 25% of Twitter's users are spam bots 
  • The Very Group revives IPO plans
  • Clifford Chance increases pay for newly qualified lawyers to £125,000
  • Airbnb to quit China as lockdowns restrict tourism
Moonpig snaps up £124m gift

What happened?
Yesterday online card retailer Moonpig announced that it had agreed to buy gift experience group Buyagift for £124m. Investors welcomed the news with Moonpig shares surging by 11% on the day.

What’s behind the move
Moonpig and Buyagift products and services go hand in hand. Moonpig plans to cross sell Buygift experiences to its customer base while they are shopping for personalised greeting cards. The UK gift experience market is worth £6bn and growing quickly as people turn to gifting activities rather than physical products.

Buyagift has a strong track record
The company has over 3m customers under its two brands, Buyagift and Red Letter and has consistently recorded double-digit revenue growth over the last ten years. It works with more than 4,000 partners to offer experiences from spa days to hot air balloon rides. 

Buyagift is Moonpig’s first acquisition since becoming a public company
Moonpig listed on the London Stock Exchange in February 2021 valuing the business at £1.2bn and was one of the biggest tech IPOs of the year. 
Stat of the day

According to the Office for National Statistics, only 10% of Brits forced to work at home during pandemic say they plan to return to the office five days a week
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