Bull & Bear's London Insights | WeWork v Workspace | Endless Summer

For regular Weekly readers, Bull & Bear will be familiar figures.  The duo are well known for providing regular commentary and insights on the economy, politics and the UK property market, with more than an occasional sporting prediction thrown in too.  With no immediate end in sight to the Brexit drama that has paralysed Westminster, Bull & Bear thought it was time to take a step back and show what makes London an economic powerhouse, with the reslience to weather any Brexit storm.  London's commerce, its cultural backdrop, its heritage, and its open and cosmopolitan outlook make it an international magnet.  So, over the next 100 days, Messrs Bull & Bear will be setting off to explore every nook and cranny of our rich and diverse capital. They'll be sharing some lesser known facts, engaging in their usual "friendly debate", and examining how London has cemented its place as St Bride's Number 1 World City. To accompany the furry duo on their travels, please click here to sign in and follow the St Bride's Managers Linkedin page where Bull & Bear will be posting daily updates on their exploits. 

In a week when Cushman & Wakefield highlighted the continued growth of the flexible office market in London - flexible workspace is set to account for 5.5% of London's office stock by the end of the year - The Weekly thought it was appropriate to compare the contrasting fortunes of global disruptor WeWork and the London-focused Workspace Group.  WeWork's New York flotation appears to be hanging in the balance after Japanese investment firm, Softbank, which owns about 30% of the shares, urged the company to drop its flotation plans. WeWork had been seeking a valuation of $47bn, but some reports suggest this could fall as low as $15bn.  Clearly questions about WeWork's opaque corporate structure, governance and profitability remain. By contrast, Workspace announced the disposal of two office buildings for a combined total of £35m at a 20% premium to book value.  Workspace's shares have rebounded 15% from last month's low and, in the view of analysts Stifel, "the growing pains of the noisy new arrivals in the sector do not read across into Workspace's long-proven business model."  The Weekly is inclined to agree.

It may be a dead rubber, but the final game of the Ashes series has been taking place at the Oval with English pride still very much at stake.  It is the Aussies after all!  There is, however, just one 'minor' obstacle in England's way in the form of the baggies' captain and batting robot, Steve Smith.  As one pundit dryly commented during Australia's first innings,  "I think Smith will be out when the DFS sale ends".  After all, this is a guy who has scored more than a third of Australia's runs over the series - and he missed the third test with concussion!  But as the sun shines down on the Oval this morning, at least one cricketing question has been put to bed.  Can you really play Test matches in England in mid-September?  Of course you can.  Temperatures in the capital reached 26 degrees on Thursday and, despite London being known to rain a lot, the city actually receives less rainfall in a year than Rome, Sydney and Toulouse!  Just the sought of lesser known fact about our capital that Bull & Bear will be revealing in on their travels!