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Monday newspaper round-up: Lords Brexit debate, Budget, RBS, defence spending

Market Buzz

Monday newspaper round-up: Lords Brexit debate, Budget, RBS, defence spending

Mon, 20 February 2017
Article viewed 708 times
Monday newspaper round-up: Lords Brexit debate, Budget, RBS, defence spending

(ShareCast News) - Allies of Tony Blair will attempt to frustrate Brexit in the House of Lords on Monday by urging peers to rally against the Government. The former Labour prime minister, last week urged people to "rise up" against Brexit and support a new movement to keep Britain in the European Union. - Telegraph
Sustained economic growth is putting extra money into the public coffers and easing the pressure on Philip Hammond to cut spending or hike taxes in his first budget, according to economists at the EY Item Club. Britain's economy should grow at 1.7pc this year, the analysts believe, predicting that the Office for Budget Responsibility will hike its forecast from the 1.4pc estimate given in November at the time of the Autumn Statement.

A leading employers' group has attacked a plan to allow Royal Bank of Scotland to abandon the sale of Williams & Glyn, calling it a "hammer blow" to hopes of improving competition in business banking. The Federation of Small Businesses said that Treasury proposals to make RBS provide £750m worth of backing for challenger banks and new finance providers instead would not produce a "proper restructuring" of the market. - The Times

The global transfer of major weapons systems rose over the past five years to the highest volume since the end of the cold war as the Middle East nearly doubled its imports, according to an annual report on arms sales. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday that more weapons were delivered between 2012 and 2016 than any other five-year period since 1990. - Guardian

Amazon will announce plans today to hire another 5,000 people in the UK, taking its workforce to more than 24,000. The American retail giant, which has faced heavy criticism for the amount of tax it pays in Britain, said that there would be full-time opportunities for people with a variety of experience, education and skill levels, from software developers, engineers and technicians to those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training. - The Times

Last year was a disappointing one for dividend payments, with a total global increase of only 0.1 per cent against 2015. According to the Henderson Global Dividend Index, the fourth quarter was especially weak, with the total falling by 0.4 per cent year on year. - The Times

Nearly every council in the country is planning inflation-busting tax rises to fund social care but the extra money will be "swallowed up" by the cost of the Government's National Living Wage. A survey by the Local Government Association found that 147 of England's 151 local authorities or have already approved a "social care precept" which enables them to hike bills by an extra 3 per cent. - Telegraph

Jaguar Land Rover is to launch a fourth Range Rover model, with expectation building that the vehicle will be assembled at the group's Solihull plant in the Midlands. In what will be a boost for the British car industry, when a shadow has been cast over the future of the Vauxhall plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton, it is understood that soon Jaguar Land Rover will be launching a Range Rover aimed at younger families, building on the success of the Solihull-assembled Jaguar F-Pace. - The Times

A gaming company in New Zealand is luring employees from around the world by offering unlimited paid annual leave, a share in the company's profits and no set work hours. Founder Dean Hall became famous in international gaming circles for being the lead designer on the popular zombie apocalypse video game DayZ. - Guardian

The Hong Kong-based operator of the Aqua Shard and Hutong restaurants in London's tallest building may seek outside investment to back its expansion plans. Aqua Restaurant Group, which has 18 venues in London, Hong Kong and Beijing, is understood to be assessing its options. - The Times

One of Britain's biggest waste collection firms has backed calls for a deposit scheme for plastic bottles. Suez UK, know as SITA, has challenged objections from councils, the packaging industry and drinks giants such as Coca-Cola. - Daily Mail

Oxford University might break with 700 years of tradition by establishing its first foreign campus in response to Brexit. French officials met senior staff at Oxford last week and revealed new proposals that they hope would guarantee future European Union funding for a "satellite" base in Paris. - The Telegraph