Richard Branson: Virgin lost a third of its value, cancelled contract worth 3,000 jobs because of leave victory

The Virgin founder called for a strong politician to 'find a way out of it'

Hazel Sheffield
Tuesday 28 June 2016 16:00 BST
Richard Branson: 'Virgin has lost a third of its value'

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group, has said that his company has lost about a third of its value because of the plunging stock market caused by the Brexit vote on Friday.

Virgin has pulled out of a "very big deal" that would have brought 3,000 jobs to the UK because of uncertainty following the vote, he said.

Sir Richard told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "We're not any worse than anyone else but I suspect we've lost a third of our value, which is dreadful for people in the workplace.

“We were about to do a very big deal and we cancelled that deal that would have involved 3,000 jobs and that's happening all over the country," he added.

The Virgin Group is not publicly traded, making it difficult to work out how much value has been lost. But shares in Virgin Money, a challenger bank part-owned by the group, have lost more than 20 per cent of their value since Friday.

"This country is going to go into recession," Sir Richard said.

Stock markets have suffered the worst losses on record, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones.

Mr Silverblatt said that global stocks have lost a record $3 trillion (£2.25 trillion) since Friday, the largest two-day loss on the S&P's Global Broad Market Index, which measures 11,000 global stocks in 52 different countries.

Sir Richard has urged the UK government to consider a second referendum because of the "very damaging" effects of the vote to leave.

"We're heading towards a disaster," Sir Richard said, noting that people that had voted to leave were given false information about how much money could be directed to the NHS and how much immigration could be reduced.

"In a business, if you have made a bad decision, you change it. We're not saying overrule it, but we're saying give those people who voted another chance," he said.

He has also called for the voting age to be lowered to 16, arguing in a blog post shared on Tuesday morning that young people should have greater power to influence their future with votes, because they are the leaders of the future.

The results of the referendum was clinched by grey vote, or those over the age of 65, 60 per cent of whom voted to leave. Young Britons aged 18-24 voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU.

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