In an apparent bid to show unity amongst squabbling Tory heavyweights, Theresa May's cabinet posed for a rather awkward looking team photo this week.  As you'd expect, it was all smiles for the camera.  But the beaming smiles have so far failed to quash the persistent rumours of heated infighting. Indeed the rivalry between David Davis and Boris Johnson became so heated last weekend that their allies reportedly ended up threatening to kick each other in the unmentionables at a Westminster garden party!  We can only hope that England's female cricket stars show more team spirit at Lord's later today when they play India in the Women's World Cup Final in front of an expected 26,500 capacity crowd.

British Land announced this week that it is embarking on a £300m share buy-back programme, making it the first large UK REIT to buy back shares in almost a decade.  The move comes at a time when a strong property investment market contrasts with steep discounts on listed property companies. Ahead of the AGM statement, British Land's shares were trading at a 33% discount to NAV and the company has taken the view that "investment in the company's shares at the prevailing discount offers better value than further asset acquisitions". Analysts appear to have differing views on the move. Whilst some view the buy-back as a sensible capital recycling exercise, there are some critics warning that the gamble of running more leverage risk could see history repeating itself in a re-run of 2007. Either way it is a piece of "financial engineering" that has got the property market talking!

Poor old Chris Evans and Gary Lineker have had tough weeks. The BBC's two highest paid stars were forced to face the public and media backlash after their bosses revealed that they topped the list of BBC high earners. Lineker tweeted that he was donning his "tin hat", whilst Evans confessed he'd called his 91 year old mother for some advice! The newspapers have inevitably had a field day. The Daily Mirror headline on Friday referred to the BBC as a "Bloated Blokes Club", whilst the Daily Mail reported that up to ten female stars were "plotting legal action" over the apparent gender pay gap. The Guardian took a slightly more measured approach to the controversy admitting that ,whilst gawping at the stars enormous pay packets was "utterly fascinating", it does not "contribute much at all to the public interest". A tongue-in-cheek Gary Lineker appears to agree, tweeting "This whole BBC salary exposure is an absolute outrage....I mean how can Chris Evans be on more than me?"!

 

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