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Aston Martin appoints new finance chief as overhaul under Lawrence Stroll continues


The overhaul of Aston Martin Lagonda under Formula One motor racing financier Lawrence Stroll continued today with the filling of another key boardroom role.

The Canadian billionaire’s recruitment of Ken Gregor as chief financial officer for the luxury car maker comes less than a month after Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers was named as chief executive from August.

Gregor has 20 years’ experience in the car industry, most recently as finance boss at Jaguar Land Rover for 11 years from 2008. Stroll said: “He is a seasoned financial professional with a strong leadership track record during his years at Jaguar Land Rover.

“He is the right finance leader for Aston Martin as we implement our strategy for the business to achieve its full potential.”

Since listing shares at 1,900p in October 2018 Aston has been hit by weak sales and mounting debts, resulting in a string of profit warnings. Stroll put together a rescue package for the company, taking a 25% stake as part of a £536 million capital raising earlier this year. His turnaround plans include the launch of an Aston Martin F1 team from next year.

The shares have more than doubled from their low of 30p in mid-May, although they were slightly lower at 71p after today’s appointment.

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Lampard insists Chelsea won’t need to sell Kante to finance Werner move

Frank Lampard has reiterated his desire to keep N’Golo Kante at Chelsea long-term as he admitted that the only reason the midfielder hasn’t played more is due to injury this season.

The 29-year-old is Chelsea’s highest-paid player but has missed 14 games this season due to ankle, hamstring and knee problems.

The two-time Premier League winner has missed more games through injury this season than in his entire English football career, which famously included a key role at Leicester’s title-winning team.

Real Madrid have been linked with a move for the midfielder in the last few days but Lampard has refuted suggestions that Chelsea will sell their dynamic talent to raise further funds.

This comes following the £47.5 million ($59m) signing of Timo Werner this summer from RB Leipzig in addition to the previously agreed £37m deal ($43m) for Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech.

“In terms of N’Golo, I’ve seen some talk and reports about him and his future at the club. I’ve said it a lot of times about N’Golo – one of the best midfield players in the world. I would have loved to be able to play with him,” Lampard told reporters.

“The type of player he is, he has everything. Coming back to Chelsea and getting the opportunity to manage this club and having N’Golo Kante is something I really want to appreciate and work with. This season, unfortunately, because of injuries, it’s been tough for N’Golo.

“It’s nice to see him a little bit fresh. One of

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China calls on banks to give up US$212 billion in profits to finance cheap business lending

China’s government is reaching beyond its monetary policy tool box to free up capital and direct funds towards the nation’s cash-starved businesses to help the economy claw its way out of its worst slump in four decades.

The government has called on banks to sacrifice as much as 1.5 trillion yuan (US$212 billion) in profits this year to finance cheap loans, cut fees, defer loan repayments and grant more unsecured loans to help small businesses survive the downturn caused by the coronavirus lockdown.

Separately, the State Council, China’s cabinet, signalled late on Wednesday that it would cut the amount of reserves banks are required to hold at the central bank, freeing up more money to spur lending.

“We are guiding the market to lower lending rates through interest-rate reform,” Yi Gang, the governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), told the Lujiazui Forum on Thursday, confirming the move was a de facto cut in interest rates. “Financial institutions are urged to sacrifice profits to benefit corporate borrowers, helping reduce their borrowing costs.”

Yi added that the PBOC would achieve the goal by directing financial institutions to offer lower lending rates, adding fresh funds at low rates that can be accessed by borrowers directly, and slashing service fees.

The profits to be sacrificed would be equivalent to roughly 75 per cent of the entire net profit of the commercial banking industry in 2019, based on the data from China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

China’s US$41 trillion banking system

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Germany Boosts Debt by Another $70 Billion to Finance Stimulus

(Bloomberg) — The German government plans to raise a further 62.5 billion euros ($70 billion) in debt to help pay for a massive stimulus program designed to pull Europe’s largest economy out of its worst recession since World War II.

That would bring total borrowing this year to 218 billion euros and raise the debt burden to 77% of gross domestic product, according to government officials, who asked not to be identified by name in line with briefing rules.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet is due to sign off on the supplementary budget on Wednesday before it goes to parliament for approval. Earlier this month her coalition agreed to a sweeping 130 billion-euro stimulus package to spur short-term consumer spending, and get businesses to invest again.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has repeatedly said that Germany’s financing needs are manageable and that the government can also fall back on unused surplus funds. The country has slashed debt from over 80% of gross domestic product in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to around 60%, giving it room for extra borrowing.

Germany’s new borrowing requirements mark an extraordinary about-turn from years of fiscal discipline that produced balanced budgets. In March parliament had already approved extra debt of 156 billion euros as part of a supplementary budget request.

Gross domestic product is expected to contract by 6.3% this year. Following a collapse of output in March and April, activity is expected to bounce back sharply in May and June, followed by more moderate

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