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Monday newspaper round-up: Opec, RBS, aerospace, council tax

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Monday newspaper round-up: Opec, RBS, aerospace, council tax

Mon, 27 March 2017
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Monday newspaper round-up: Opec, RBS, aerospace, council tax

(ShareCast News) - Opec ministers are to consider extending their agreement to curb supplies for a further six months, the cartel said yesterday as it reported high levels of compliance with the deal to date. A committee of Opec and non-Opec ministers met in Kuwait to monitor compliance with the November accord, under which the cartel and other countries, including Russia, agreed to cut output by a combined 1.8 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2017. - The Times
Theresa May will make it clear to Nicola Sturgeon that Britain will become "a more united nation" outside the EU as the two women meet two days before the formal Brexit process is triggered. The Prime Minister will describe the Union as an "unstoppable force" whose strength will be "even more important" during the Brexit negotiations. - Telegraph

The men running the biggest public companies in the UK earn almost twice what their female counterparts are paid, analysis by The Times found. The total pay packages of male FTSE 100 chief executives was a median £3.45 million compared with £1.98 million for women, based on the latest available company annual reports, some of which straddle the 2015-16 and 2014-15 years. - The Times

Nine out of ten local authorities in England will increase council tax next month, with some residents in line for a 5 per cent rise. Councils are taking full advantage of new powers to increase their rates, with the money raised being ring-fenced for social care. - The Times

Royal Bank of Scotland has been accused of watering down a compensation scheme for companies mistreated by its restructuring division. Any offer of a payout related to the activities of the Global Restructuring Group (GRG) will be withdrawn if companies make an appeal to the retired high court judge who is overseeing the process. - The Times

The benchmark house price index from the Office for National Statistics overstates growth and is unreliable, property experts have warned. The index, which the ONS describes as "experimental", revised down the previous two months' house price growth significantly last week. - Telegraph

The global aerospace industry enjoyed a surge in aircraft orders in February, putting it on track for another record year of deliveries and boosting the UK economy. The number of commercial aircraft ordered by airlines jumped to 43 last month from just four in February 2016, according to ADS, the industry trade association. - Guardian

Emma Walmsley is understood to have decided against a spin-off of Glaxosmithkline's consumer healthcare division as she prepares to take formal charge of the pharmaceutical giant next week. A break up of GSK had been championed by Neil Woodford, the veteran investor, but became less likely when Ms Walmsley was promoted from head of the consumer division to group chief executive in September. - The Times

Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral could be facing better odds this year ­as the profits from a less punter-friendly Cheltenham Festival emerge. The landmark horse-racing event hit bookies hard in 2016. As so many favourites crossed the line first, many companies, including Ladbrokes, dubbed the meeting "the worst on record". - Telegraph

Hurricane Energy has made another oil discovery near the Shetland Islands, bolstering hopes that it may have the biggest find in British waters this century. The Surrey-based oil company is expected to announce today that surveys of its Halifax well in an area off the west of the Shetland Islands have identified a "kilometre-deep oil column" linked to its existing Lancaster find. - The Times

The government's new £3bn apprenticeship levy threatens to deepen Britain's north-south divide, according to a new analysis, with London and the south-east benefiting most from the government's shakeup of staff training. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has warned that the apprenticeship levy, which comes into force next month, will raise less money and have a smaller impact in the areas that need it most. - Guardian

Several parts of Britain that voted to leave the European Union are among the most vulnerable to the economic impact of Brexit, according to new research published as the government prepares to trigger article 50. Researchers at the thinktank Demos studied regional differences in the reliance on exports to the EU, use of European workers and receipt of support grants. It found that Wales, the north-east and east Midlands all showed relatively heavy dependence despite being home to a preponderance of leave voters. - Guardian

Government plans to force private companies to be more transparent will harm Britain's competitiveness and impose unfair and expensive burdens on the most innovative businesses, Sir James Dyson has said. In a scathing attack on plans by Greg Clark, the business secretary, to extend the governance code for listed companies to large privately owned businesses, Sir James said that the existing disclosures required of private companies were already too burdensome. - The Times

Britain's leading energy providers are under fire again after missing a deadline to help households with smart meters avoid being hit with unexpected bills. Electricity and gas suppliers, including the big six and smaller providers, had pledged that by the end of 2016 they would cut back on sending backdated or catchup bills to customers whose smart meters inaccurately measured their energy usage. - Guardian

A plan to extract millions of litres of water out of a Unesco world heritage site, send it by pipe to the coast and ship it to foreign markets for bottling has ignited a campaign over water resources in New Zealand. An export company is proposing to collect 800m litres a month of the "untapped" glacial waters of Lake Greaney and Lake Minim Mere, mountainous dams that are fed by rainfall on the Southern Alps. - Guardian