FT - Zuber (left) & Mohsin Issa EG Group co-CEOs and founders

Mohsin Issa

Asda executives were accused of damaging the company’s brand after an “extraordinary” meeting with MPs at which they were reprimanded for not “complying” with a string of questions (Financial Times £).

Mohsin Issa, the co-owner of Asda, has been accused of wasting parliament’s time during an “extraordinary” appearance before the business and trade committee (The Times £). MPs said the session had been like “drawing teeth” as Issa was accused of failing to answer questions about the supermarket’s fuel prices, finances and treatment of staff.

Asda’s profit margins on fuel have tripled since before the pandemic, according to the competition regulator at a bad-tempered parliamentary hearing where the supermarket chain’s co-owner repeatedly refused to explain its pricing strategy (The Guardian).

Issa insisted multiple times that Asda had not changed its fuel price strategy and was the cheapest on petrol prices when asked why the competition regulator had found it was among supermarkets overcharging drivers (Telegraph). He said at one point it was for the “market to price where they price”, but later told the committee: “I control the prices.”

Campaigners have condemned government officials for ditching plans to add animal welfare labels to chicken meat and pork products (The Times £).

The UK’s inflation rate has slowed more than expected to the weakest pace in 13 months, falling to 7.9% on the back of a fall in petrol prices last month (The Times £).

Financial markets responded by betting that the Bank of England would no longer drive interest rates above 6% early next year, raising hopes of relief for some modest relief for mortgage holders amid the sharpest rise in borrowing costs for decades (The Guardian).

London’s stocks and bonds rallied yesterday as the first dose of encouraging inflation data this year generated a new optimism among investors and calmed fears about future aggressive interest rate rises (The Times £).

The Financial Times (£) asks if the UK inflation crisis is at a turning point following an unexpected drop in consumer price growth.

Cake Box Holdings, the London-listed bakery chain, has received a takeover approach from a privately owned Australian group, according to Sky News. The Cheesecake Shop has tabled a 160p-a-share proposal to buy the British company.

Andria Vidler has been appointed chief executive of Allwyn UK as the company prepares to become the operator of the National Lottery (The Times £).

Vidler, the former boss of music label EMI in the UK & Ireland and a board director at William Hill owner 888, will take over in the post on 1 October (Mail).

Sir Ivan Menezes was celebrated on Tuesday night with a reception at the Royal Institute of British Architects in central London attended by the great and the good of the business world (The Times £).

The Financial Times (£) takes a closer look at Daniel Křetínský’s Casino bet and asks “can the French retailer be revived?” The paper writes: “Billionaire edges out rivals but indebted supermarket group needs hefty investment to recover market share.”

The owner of the Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s dining chains has enjoyed “very encouraging” trading so far this year, despite the cost of living crisis (The Times £).

Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group is considering closing more Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito sites as it focuses on the pan-Asia chain (Mail).