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Monday Papers: Rising prices put the squeeze on business

And Trump’s commerce secretary rubbishes IMF warnings of US protectionism while making new attack on trade surpluses of China, Europe and Japan.

 
Monday Papers: Rising prices put the squeeze on business

Top stories

  • The Times: Almost 22,000 companies are facing “significant” financial distress because of rising food and fuel prices, according to an analysis that predicts a serious squeeze for businesses.
  • Financial Times: Warnings of US protectionism by Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, and others are “rubbish”, Donald Trump’s top trade official has said in a new attack on the big trade surpluses of China, Europe and Japan.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The new boss of Debenhams will unveil plans this week to overhaul the retail chain’s 165 shops and cull some in-house brands in a bid to lure shoppers back to its stores.
  • Financial Times: Exchange traded funds attracted record inflows in the first three months of 2017 as investors continue to move out from traditional actively managed funds in protest against inconsistent performance and high fees.
  • Financial Times: Volatility in the euro has soared to the highest levels since the weeks before the Brexit vote as investors grapple with the risk of a populist triumph in France’s presidential election.
  • Financial Times: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory on Sunday night in Turkey’s historic referendum on a new constitution that will hand him sweeping powers.
  • Financial Times: The Trump administration has signalled it would hold back from any immediate military or diplomatic response to a failed missile launch by North Korea but warned of “other actions” if Pyongyang proceeded with a nuclear test.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Airbus is being sued by consultants and middlemen who were dismissed as part of a compliance review initiated following fraud investigations around the world.
  • The Guardian: Tesco will see the business rates bill for its biggest stores fall by £105 million over the next five years, highlighting another anomaly created by the controversial tax.
  • The Times: Tesco is facing fresh questions over the impact of its proposed £3.7 billion takeover of Booker Group after a rival wholesaler argued that it would give Britain’s biggest supermarket group “an obvious level of influence” over thousands of convenience stores.
  • The Guardian: A year after the collapse of the department store chain BHS, more than two-thirds of its former stores still lie empty, blighting the UK’s high streets and shopping centres.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The FTSE 100 paper napkin supplier Bunzl faces fresh concern over pay as it plans to increase bonus and share awards for chief executive Frank van Zanten.
  • The Times: Kreab, one of the world’s biggest public affairs and corporate communications firms, has been accused of running a dirty tricks campaign against the billionaire son of the founder of the Estée Lauder cosmetics empire.
  • The Times: A surge in British gin and whisky drinking has led to the number of new distilleries increasing by almost a fifth last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Losses at Pep & Co, the bargain fashion chain backed by South Africa’s retail billionaire Christo Wiese, quadrupled last year on the back of its rampant expansion plan.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Juicy Couture, the fashion company that rose to fame on the back of Paris Hilton’s velour tracksuit uniform ten years ago, is pulling out of the UK despite the brand recently enjoying an ironic revival.
  • Financial Times: Chile is set to capitalise on the global demand for electric vehicles with companies from South Korea, China, Japan and Europe bidding on manufacturing projects tied to the country’s vast reserves of lithium, a key component in batteries powering cars as well as cell phones and smartwatches.
  • Financial Times: Avegant, a Silicon Valley start-up that creates displays for holographic or “mixed reality” headsets, has raised $13.7 million in a new round of funding after achieving a potential breakthrough in the optics systems for what many tech leaders see as the next leap forward in personal computing.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail (Midas share tips): Central London property group Shaftesbury is West End gold.
  • Daily Mail: Housebuilder Miller Group could be sold to the private equity owner of Pret a Manger.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BrewDog’s new American investor TSG Consumer Partners has said it is on the hunt for more consumer brands after splashing more than £200 million on a stake in the brewer.
  • Financial Times: With former VW patriarch Ferdinand Piëch having recently agreed to sell the bulk of his shares in the German carmaker, two years after he resigned as chairman, most industry observers believe he will never regain influence at the company.
  • Financial Times (Comment): A bad City deal is worse than none at all.
  • Financial Times: Bezos-Musk: eccentric approaches to dealing with shareholders are working.

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

samplewriter

Apr 17, 2017 at 17:47

The High Street is in the grip of high rents .so the still empty british home stores ex buildings might never be let for the forseable future the prime bhs stores that have been let of sold where probably in class one positions on the high street .most of the unlet stores would be on the large side so only very large companies would concider taking these on .new thinking needs to be taking place to make use of valuable retail property .smaller retail buisnesses could be given small part area`s of these large empty stores .having many retail outlets together would be attractive to shoppers .this will have to be concidered because many town area`s are going into decline .

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samplewriter

Apr 17, 2017 at 18:26

The Guardian`s comment on the number of bhs unlet stores tell the story about the demise of british home stores .councils in towns and cities can break companies by development which changes shopping habits by people that come into shopping area`s. new devopment can take customers from once popular streets and focus them into new parts of the town .shops that might have been the mainstay for shoppers are forgotten and become empty streets that in some cases may be only a few yards from new development no longer attract people this could be why bhs went out of buisness .councils do not think buisness they think only of their own coffers being filled by new ratable properties .what councils need to do is have a very free small buses constantly moving people around if you look at these shopping centeres now small buses cannot be used because of the pedestrian walkways streets and shops just die .very poor planning at the moment with council`s something needs to be done to stop more companies going to the wall .

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