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Friday newspaper round-up: Bradford&Bingley, BT Group, Armed forces

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Friday newspaper round-up: Bradford&Bingley, BT Group, Armed forces

Fri, 31 March 2017
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Friday newspaper round-up: Bradford&Bingley, BT Group, Armed forces
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(ShareCast News) - Chancellor Philip Hammond has triggered the sale of £11.8bn worth of Bradford & Bingley loans bought during the financial crisis. The Government said the funds would be sold to Prudential and Blackstone and delivered "value for money" for the taxpayer. Mr Hammond said: "The sale of these Bradford & Bingley assets for £11.8bn marks another major milestone in our plan to get taxpayers' money back following the financial crisis. We are determined to return the financial assets we own to the private sector and today's sale is further proof of the confidence investors have in the UK economy." - The Daily Telegraph
Three BT employees raised the alarm about its £531m Italian fraud problems a year before the scandal was made public, it is claimed. Staff at its Italian arm were said to have warned their supervisor in Madrid long before the telecoms giant told investors about the irregularities. The reports raised questions over how promptly BT started investigating the fraud, which wiped almost £8bn off its value when it was made public. And it piles fresh pressure on BT chief executive Gavin Patterson over how the firm responded to the scandal. - The Daily Mail

The armed forces face a £10bn funding shortfall amid escalating costs for new ships and jets. Military chiefs have quietly begun a review to find at least £1bn a year in additional savings over the next decade from budgets that are already stretched. This includes a plan to reduce the size of the Royal Marines and remove the frontline role of one of its three commando units, while overseas training is about to be suspended. - The Times

The boss of the London Stock Exchange will receive a £5m boost from the collapse of the merger with Deutsche Börse because he will not waive share options that he agreed to give up if the deal went through. The news could anger shareholders who face having to pay tens of millions of pounds to advisers hired by the exchange in its latest doomed attempt to merge with its Frankfurt-based rival. - The Times

The Trump administration is getting tough on Iran and reinforcing America's long-established military ties with its Gulf allies despite protests by human rights activists abroad. Rex Tillerson was yesterday revealed to have made his first big decision as secretary of state: resuming sales of fighter jets to Bahrain which were suspended by President Obama last year because the island nation had failed to upgrade its human rights record in line with US demands. - The Times

The boss of one of Britain's biggest energy companies has hit out at the prospect of a price cap on bills after Theresa May promised to step in to fix a market that is "manifestly not working for all consumers". Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said that it was disappointing that the retail energy market was still facing intervention having just undergone an 18-month investigation by the competition watchdog. - The Guardian