In the Papers – Dunelm, EasyJet, Bell Pottinger, Addison Lee

Newspaper Summary

The Times

Low interest rates are hurting workers, says Nicky Morgan: Low interest rates may be partly to blame for the economic struggles felt by many working people in Britain, the new chairwoman of the Treasury select committee suggested.

Old King Coal’s reign at Drax ‘could end as quickly as 2020’: Drax could build one of the world’s largest batteries and create Britain’s biggest gas plant under ambitious plans to transform its North Yorkshire power station.

Tesla’s Asian electric rival snubs ‘arrogant’ British: The name is Thunder Power and it is being tagged as China’s answer to Tesla. But although the Hong Kong-based company has yet to get a car on the road, it has already passed on being part of the automotive new age that British Ministers have promised.

Carmakers demand slowdown on EU emission targets: Europe’s leading carmakers are demanding that regulators on the Continent slow down the pace of rules to reduce polluting emissions because people are not buying enough electric cars and governments are not installing sufficient recharging infrastructure.

, the sick man of EU aviation: Air Berlin pilots were accused of taking the struggling airline hostage after dozens called in sick for a second day in an attempt to influence insolvency talks.

Eir has the fibre for a float after results: Eir’s full-year earnings have risen by 4% to €520 million as the company added broadband customers and continued to lay the groundwork for a potential flotation.

Shops show signs of Brexit stress with fewer openings: There has been a sharp slowdown in shop openings in the second quarter of the year as the impact of Brexit and waning confidence begin to bite.

Optimism rises in spite of staff fears: Scottish manufacturers are optimistic about growth, even though many are having problems recruiting skilled staff, according to a new report.

Good times roll for watchmaker Richemont: Rising demand in China and Hong Kong has helped to take Richemont to double-digit sales growth over the past five months.

The Independent

U.K. housing market slump continues due to Brexit uncertainty: The national housing market remains in the doldrums, weighed down by Brexit-related uncertainty and stamp duty increases, according to the latest report from surveyors.

Beer drinkers ‘being deliberately deceived by global brewers’: Britain’s beer drinkers are being deliberately deceived by global brewers who have bought up a host of well-known brands and may have changed the recipes.

British workers ‘haven’t been losing out to foreign labour’: British workers haven’t been losing out to foreign labour and are unlikely to see job prospects dramatically improve because of Brexit immigration cuts, according to a survey of U.K. companies.

Brexit uncertainty jeopardises U.K. car production, Toyota warns: Deepening uncertainties over the direction and timetable of Brexit negotiations may force Toyota to shift some U.K. production elsewhere if they are not addressed, the Japanese carmaker warned on Tuesday.

Startup using AI to diagnose cancer raises $30 million: A startup that’s using artificial intelligence to help analyse the human genome and then diagnose illnesses like cancer and metabolic disorders, has raised $30 million in a recent funding round.

Robots will replace a third of banking jobs, says ex-Citigroup Boss: Vikram Pandit, who ran Citigroup during the financial crisis, has said developments in technology could cut the number of banking jobs by 30% in the next five years.

Paris to overtake London ‘within five to 10 years’, French government Minister says: Paris will become a more prominent financial centre than London within five to 10 years because of Brexit, France’s junior economy Minister has said.

Japan’s MUFG braces for Brexit by applying for license to operate in Amsterdam: Japanese investment bank Mitsubishi UFJ Securities has announced that it is putting measures in place to move some of its European securities division from London to Amsterdam because of Brexit.

The Daily Telegraph

Government signals end to ‘tech utopia’ for Silicon Valley giants: The Government is stepping up pressure on Silicon Valley giants to take responsibility for unlawful material online and share the spoils of the internet with media companies.

Wind could make Britain an energy superpower to rival Arabia: The economic argument over wind power has been settled. Britain’s national gamble on offshore wind arrays in the North Sea and the Irish Sea has been vindicated in spectacular style.

Dunelm sales drop as it warns of difficult trading climate in the U.K.: Homewares retailer Dunelm, which abruptly parted ways with its Chief Executive two weeks ago, has added to the chorus of companies warning of trading challenges as consumers face a spending squeeze.

EasyJet makes move into long-haul with booking service providing connections to rival carriers: Low-cost airline easyJet has made a move into the long-haul market with a new service allowing passengers to book connecting flights to the U.S., South America and Asia on its website.

Deutsche Boerse agrees to €10.5 million in fines to close insider trading case: Deutsche Boerse has agreed to pay €10.5 million (£9.5 million) in fines for prosecutors to drop an investigation into both its Chief Executive and the German exchange’s role in alleged insider trading.

Just Retirement merger pays off as combined group sees profits soar: The merger of pension experts Just Retirement and Partnership last year is continuing to prove fruitful as profits at the combined company soared during the first half.

Not such sweet dreams for Eve Sleep investors as losses treble: Investors in Eve Sleep are due for another bad night’s sleep as losses have trebled at the mattress company which has lost more than a fifth of its value since floating four months ago.

Galliford Try avoids large infrastructure projects as charge on legacy contracts hits profits: The developer and construction company Galliford Try has said it will no longer bid for large fixed-price infrastructure contracts after its profits were hit by a charge on legacy contracts.

The Questor Column:

Buy BHP Billiton: it’s not an investment trust, but it trades at a 16% discount: If we say that a share is trading at a 16% discount, readers are likely to wonder why we are covering an investment trust instead of, as is our habit. But in fact, ‘s stock is a regular company, namely BHP Billiton, the mining giant, and the discount arises from its unusual listing arrangements. The company’s shares are quoted in both London and Sydney – a legacy of its origins as Australia’s BHP and British-based Billiton – and the London-listed shares turn out to trade at a significant discount to those quoted Down Under. In essence, you are buying a stake in the same assets but paying 16% less if you invest in the London-listed shares as opposed to their Australian counterparts. “Part of this is explained by the tax treatment of Australian dividends, which attract the kind of tax credit that used to exist in Britain, but this accounts for only about half the discount,” said Job Curtis, who holds London-listed BHP Billiton shares in the investment trust he manages, City of London, a favourite among income investors for its 50-year record of annual dividend increases. He said it was reasonable to expect the discount to narrow in time, just as can happen with investment trusts. The discount is far from the only reason for his enthusiasm for the shares, however. When Questor looked at the stock in March last year at 778.4p we rated the shares a hold on the basis that further recovery was in sight – we had said sell two months previously at 709.4p. The shares have roughly doubled since then but the outlook now, following the slashing of the group’s debts, seems promising and Curtis is an investor whose views command great respect. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

may make more profit than allowed from removal centres, figures suggest: The security firm G4S appears to have been making more profit than its contract allows from the immigration removal centres (IRCs) it runs for the government, according to an internal document seen by the Guardian.

Bell Pottinger unlikely to honour payments to co-Founder Tim Bell: The Co-Founder of Bell Pottinger, Tim Bell, has emerged as one of the creditors the firm’s administrators are unlikely to be able to pay back, with a £300,000 bill outstanding from his multimillion-pound deal to leave the disgraced City PR firm last year.

U.K.’s £1 billion TV and film sales industry under threat from new regulations: The U.K.’s £1 billion industry that sells films and TV shows such as Victoria, Sherlock and Love Island across Europe is under threat from plans in Brussels that will slash their value to broadcasters on the continent, a cross-party group of MPs has warned the government.

Sky Chief Executive’s pay quadruples to £16 million: Sky’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Darroch, was paid more than £16 million in the year to the end of June, despite a hefty fall in annual profits at the broadcaster’s U.K. and Ireland business.

U.K. wage rises lag behind inflation despite lowest jobless rate since 1975: Wage rises in Britain have failed to keep pace with inflation, according to the latest official figures, despite a buoyant labour market that saw unemployment fall to its lowest level since 1975.

Tobacco company launches foundation to stub out smoking: One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies has launched the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, claiming that it wants to see a future in which people will stop smoking its cigarettes.

Brexit would not have happened without banking crisis: The U.K. would not have voted for Brexit had it not been for the banking crisis that began 10 years ago with the run on Northern Rock, according to the former Chancellor Alistair Darling.

Daily Mail

Pressure cranking up on the ’s policymakers to consider a rate rise as wages fall further behind prices: The Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney and his fellow rate setters face an unenviable task when they meet this week in the wake of a stronger than forecast climb in inflation coupled with lacklustre wage growth.

After sinking Bell Pottinger, corruption probe spreads to one of Britain’s Big Four accountants as KPMG is dragged into South African fraud scandal: In a growing scandal which has sunk disgraced PR firm Bell Pottinger, major customers of KPMG are demanding answers about its links with the controversial Gupta family whose businesses are alleged to have involved corrupt practices and money laundering.

Broker plays U.K. price comparison sites at their own game, revealing which stocks in sector are providing best value for investors: The broker identified relative newcomer Gocompare as the best bet for punters, awarding the stock a ‘buy’ rating and a price target of 130p, sending its shares up 1%, or 1p, to 99.75p.

Watch and computer chip makers see millions wiped off their share prices following launch of new iPhone by : Global stocks took a hit over fears that the latest model of the Apple Watch would eat further in to the sales of the traditional watch makers. Apple has already overtaken Swatch as the world’s leading watch firm.

Halfords poaches Boss of Dixons Carphone’s software division to serve as new Chief Executive: Graham Stapleton, head of Dixons’ software business Honeybee, will start at the car and bike parts retailer on January 15. He replaces Jill McDonald who is leaving to take over Marks and Spencer’s clothing division.

Fate of Vauxhall’s U.K. factories and jobs hangs on how the U.K. and EU ‘play the game’ over Brexit, warns new owner: The fate of Vauxhall’s two U.K. factories and their workforce is on hold until their new French Bosses receive ‘guidance’ from the U.K. and EU over what sort of trade deal will be in place post-Brexit.


China cracks down on North Korea: Banks reject customers from rogue state: China’s biggest state-owned banks will stop providing services to new clients from North Korea as Beijing bows to pressure from the U.S. as tensions on the Korean peninsula escalate.

Pound rises against euro and could jump after interest rate update from Bank of England: The pound lifted against the euro ahead of a key interest rate decision from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Bitcoin plunges amid China shutdown and JP Morgan fraud attack: Bitcoin’s price has tumbled below $4,000 amid speculation China is closing down local cryptocurrency exchanges, and after JP Morgan Boss Jamie Dimon savaged the digital money.

Brussels won’t be able to use Brexit to target City, Hammond warns: The European Union will not be allowed to use Brexit to bring in “protectionist” measures aimed at pinching business from the City of London, the Chancellor told finance Chiefs in a major speech this evening.

‘Bitcoin is a fraud’: JP Morgan Boss Jamie Dimon says he will fire staff trading bitcoin: Bitcoin is a dangerous fraud and any employee at JP Morgan found trading the cryptocurrency will be fired, according to Boss Jamie Dimon.

The Scottish Herald

Skyscanner parent Ctrip in push to create 200 Scottish jobs: The Chinese company that paid £1.4 billion for Edinburgh travel search business Skyscanner last year has made a further investment in the Scottish capital that is expected to lead to the creation of up to 200 jobs.

Pay squeeze seen reducing rate rise case: Households in Great Britain are being squeezed by a continuing year-on-year fall in pay in real terms because of the inflation surge triggered by sterling’s post-Brexit vote tumble, official figures show.

More than one in five Scots firms see Brexit threat to growth: More than one in five Scottish manufacturers view Brexit concerns and uncertainty over future trading tariffs as a barrier to growth, and 72% have difficulty in recruiting employees with relevant skills, a survey has shown.

Media exposure proves a drag on performance for Murray Income: The Murray Income Trust put in a markedly better performance in the year to the end of June than it did in the previous 12-month period although thanks to the performance of some of its holdings the fund failed to match the growth of its benchmark, the FTSE All-Share.

Loganair puts itself in global shop window with easyJet deal: Loganair has declared it has put itself in “very big shop window” as it was unveiled as a founding partner in easyJet’s new global airline connections service.

Tidal energy hopeful enjoys testing success off Orkney: The company behind what is billed as the world’s most powerful tidal turbine has said it has completed successful testing days after a flagship project in the sector suffered a big setback.

Oil and gas jobs task force wound up after meeting objectives: The Energy Jobs Task Force that was established by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as the oil and gas downturn triggered thousands of layoffs in the North Sea has been wound up.

The Scotsman

North Coast 500 tourists drive £10 million Highlands boost: It has already been hailed as “possibly the world’s best road trip”, and now it has emerged that the North Coast 500 has helped to deliver a £10 million boost for the Highlands economy.

Oil and gas production in Scotland rises by 2.9%: The beleaguered sector received a welcome boost after official figures revealed oil and gas production in Scotland rose by 2.9% between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Hunterston B reactor achieves electricity generation record: One of Scotland’s two remaining nuclear power stations has achieved its longest uninterrupted period of electricity generation in four decades.

recalls biscuits due to allergy fears: Tesco has recalled its own brand of Cookie and Cream biscuits because of allergy fears.

‘Aparthotel’ firm targets Edinburgh with Wilde venue: Edinburgh’s hotel market has received a fresh boost after a Dublin-based operator of upmarket serviced apartments unveiled plans to open in the city.

Rettie builds up private rented team with senior hire: Property specialist Rettie & Co has hired industry veteran Hazel Sharp Webb to head up its private rented sector (PRS) and build-to-rent (BTR) team.

City A.M.

MPs demand answers from over Hermes delivery drivers: MPs comprising two influential select committees are writing to Sports Direct about how it treats its delivery drivers, City A.M. can reveal.

Addison Lee acquires Tandem Technologies to fuel New York launch: Addison Lee has acquired a New York-based taxi platform in the latest U.S. expansion plans for the minicab firm beyond its home turf of London.

European airport growth keeps soaring as Turkey passenger traffic rebounds: Passenger traffic at Europe’s airports continues to grow at a healthy pace, according to the latest figures from trade body ACI Europe.

Oil prices rise as global inventories decline on stronger than expected demand: Oil prices were bolstered following figures that showed the global oil surplus declined as European and U.S. demand rose more than expected in the second quarter.

shares rocket after £150 million takeover agreed by Clinigen: British pharmaceuticals firm Clinigen agreed to buy smaller Aim-listed rival Quantum Pharma for £150.3 million.

Network Rail passengers keep retailers on track in London: Retailers in Network Rail stations cashed in on a substantial sales rise this spring as 64 million passengers visited shopping outlets over the period.

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