Sunday newspaper round-up: UK property, Treasury, Brexit, banks, Ladbrokes

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Sunday newspaper round-up: UK property, Treasury, Brexit, banks, Ladbrokes

Sun, 24 September 2017
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Sunday newspaper round-up: UK property, Treasury, Brexit, banks, Ladbrokes

(ShareCast News) - Foreign buyers will face tougher restrictions on purchasing British property under plans being worked up by the Treasury in an attempt to help first time buyers. Policies could be announced within weeks as getting younger Britons on the housing ladder becomes a major part of the Tories autumn political drive. - Sunday Telegraph
The Treasury has hit back at warnings by the credit ratings agency Moody's that the likelihood of a hard Brexit and a squeeze on the public finances would damage the UK economy's long-term health. Announcing its decision just hours after Theresa May gave her speech in Florence on the government's Brexit strategy, the ratings agency said it had cut the UK's credit rating to Aa2 from Aa1 partly in response to the looming prospect of the UK's access to the European Union's single market and customs union being reduced. - Observer

Britain must finalise a Brexit transition deal with the EU by the end of the year "at the latest" to curb an exodus of jobs from the City, according to the country's top banking trade body. Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, welcomed Theresa May's plans for a two-year buffer to allow companies to prepare for leaving the EU, outlined in her speech in Florence on Friday. However, EU and UK negotiators must act quickly to avoid "damaging impacts" on both sides of the Channel, he added. - Sunday Times

Brexit should be put to a second referendum because people who voted Leave are dying off, the former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has suggested. Mr Clegg, who was deputy prime minister in the coalition government, said the "high point" of support for Brexit had passed because "the oldest voters voted for Brexit in the largest numbers" while the young voted to remain in the EU. - Sunday Telegraph

BT Group is seeking to cut payouts for about 80,000 members of its final salary pension plan in an attempt to fill an estimated £14bn hole in the scheme. The embattled telecoms giant wants to link future payments for retired workers to a less generous inflation measure, potentially saving billions of pounds over the coming decades. - Sunday Times

The bill for public sector pensions has soared by 30% over the past year to more than £1.8 trillion - almost equal to the annual output of the entire economy. The surge has been caused by the drop in bond yields since the EU referendum - lower returns on government bonds increase the cost of future pensions, as expressed in today's money. - Sunday Times

Ladbrokes Coral has lined up City advisers to review its merger options as it braces for the impact of a damning government inquiry into the gaming industry. Britain's biggest high street bookmaker has retained Greenhill, Deutsche Bank and UBS to look at possible mergers - including a sale to suitor GVC Holdings - once the outcome of the review becomes clear next month, sources said. - Sunday Times

Aggrieved shareholders in collapsed banks should take legal action against the auditors, Lord Lawson said this weekend. 'I think it is deplorable that there has not been any litigation,' the former Chancellor said. He singled out the auditors as a target alongside 'some of the executives who were clearly culpable'. - Mail on Sunday

The former finance chief of Lloyds Bank, Tim Tookey, is expected to face the longest grilling of five former directors in a High Court case over the group's deal to rescue Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) at the height of the ­financial crisis. Around 6,000 shareholders are ­suing Lloyds and key ex-bosses - ­including former chief executive Eric Daniels and former chairman Sir Victor Blank - for more than £600m in compensation as they believe Lloyds misled them by not disclosing the parlous state of HBOS before its 2008 takeover. - Sunday Telegraph

Troubled support services company Carillion is expected to hoist the for sale sign over some of its Middle Eastern operations as new boss Keith Cochrane outlines his plan to haul the company back from the brink. The firm will publish its interim results on Friday having delayed them from last month in order to give it more time to draw together a new strategy. - Sunday Telegraph

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis is in line for an £860,000 windfall if the retail giant reintroduces its dividend payment next month. City analysts have said they expect a payment of 1p a share. This will offer reassurance to investors, who are likely to regard it as a symbolic step indicating that Lewis's turnaround is bearing fruit. The last time the company paid a dividend was in 2014 - shortly after it disclosed it had overstated profits by £263 million. - Mail on Sunday

Sir Vince Cable has called for a "proper public interest test" for overseas takeovers after the £550m acquisition of British chip designer Imagination Technologies by a Chinese-backed buyout firm. The leader of the Liberal Democrats said Theresa May needs to come good on her pledge to tighten the takeover rules, with a slew of British companies ending up in foreign hands after the Brexit vote. - Sunday Times

Small businesses that say they were mis-sold loans by Clydesdale Bank are preparing to sue the lender for up to £1 billion. Firms that took out so-called Tailored Business Loans on fixed rates are about to launch a group action through legal claims firm RGL Management Limited. - Mail on Sunday

Boeing is refusing to withdraw its claim that Canadian-owned Bombardier broke the law by selling aircraft at below cost price. The row poses a risk to jobs in Belfast where Bombardier employs 4,500 staff. A verdict from US trade regulators is expected to be made public on Tuesday. - Mail on Sunday

Sales at German discounter Aldi have soared past £8 billion for the first time after more than doubling in size in four years, the company is expected to reveal this week. The chain, which is due to publish its 2016 financial data as soon as tomorrow, increased its sales by as much as 10 per cent, according to industry forecasters. - Mail on Sunday

Microsoft is setting up a new healthcare department at its ­Cambridge research facility, as part of plans to use its artificial intelligence software to ­enter the health market. The computer giant has created the division as part of its commitment to "transform healthcare" using technologies such as machine learning and cloud computing. - Sunday Telegraph

An investment fund that promises to break the mould of City short-termism and aims to make gains of 7% a year is to open for small investors able to put in as little as £500. The People's Trust, backed by Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, is the brainchild of Daniel Godfrey, the former head of the Investment Association, which represents fund management groups. He left after some IA members were unhappy with his campaigning for lower charges and greater transparency. - Observer

Italy's populist 5-Star Movement (M5S) unveiled a Luigi di Maio, a former waiter, as its candidate for prime minister Saturday as it braces to attempt a revolutionary shift from protest to ruling party. Mr di Maio, 31, considered the reassuring face of Italy's anti-establishment insurgency, pocketed 30,936 of the 37,442 ballots cast. "I'll start work tomorrow on putting together a team for government... one the people will be proud of," he said in an emotional speech in the sea-side town of Rimini as his victory was announced.

Peace may be breaking out in the battle between Uber and Transport for London (TfL) as the ride-sharing giant signalled last night that it was prepared to make concessions on passenger safety and benefits for its drivers. Sources close to TfL, which stripped Uber of its operating licence in the capital, said the move was encouraging and suggested the possibility of talks. More than 600,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the decision to drive Uber out of London. - Sunday Times

Uber's arch-rival Lyft has paved the way for a possible move into the UK that could see it directly challenge its US counterpart on London's streets and pile more misery on the ride-hailing giant. Lyft, the $7.5bn (£5.5bn) San Francisco start-up, has held a series of high-level talks with ­officials at Transport for London and City Hall in the last year, Freedom of Information records show. - Sunday Telegraph

Thousands of Ryanair customers affected by the airline's flight cancellation crisis have been dealt another blow after it was revealed insurers may not cover some costs. The Irish airline has cancelled 2,000 flights, affecting some 315,000 passengers, after admitting it had "messed up" over its pilots' holiday roster. - Sunday Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to rule out supporting illegal strikes by union-backed workers, but the Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, has said he would not expect Labour politicians to support industrial action outside the law. The Labour leader said he viewed the Conservatives' 2016 Trade Union Act as "really unfair" and would back workers fighting for a fair pay rise. - Observer

Labour has offered to join forces with the government to slash university tuition fees, interest rates on loans and student debts. In an interview before Labour's annual conference, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, vows to back any "significant step" that cuts fees and raises the £21,000 salary threshold at which graduates start repaying their loans. - Sunday Times

Jeremy Corbyn today refused to commit Labour to staying in the single market after Brexit warning it would restrict his powers to change Britain's economic policies if elected. Mr Corbyn was responding to calls, on the eve of his party's conference, by 30 senior Labour figures to do whatever it takes to keep Britain in the single market and the customs union. - Sunday Times

Mining giant BHP Billiton has cut its chairman's annual pay and clamped down on perks that allowed the spouses of non- executive board members to go on business trips. The company has reduced incoming chairman Ken MacKenzie's salary by 8 per cent from $960,000 (£710,000) to $880,000 (£651,000). - Mail on Sunday

The heavily loss-making takeaway food app Deliveroo has raised £285m of additional funding - valuing the business at £1.5bn. Investors from the giant American funds Fidelity and T Rowe Price bankrolled the fundraising, viewed by many as a prelude to a stock market float. - Sunday Times

Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to open Britain's first "no-petrol" service station in the capital next year as part of its drive towards cleaner motoring. The forecourt is expected to offer motorists biofuels, electric vehicle charge points and hydrogen cell refuelling instead of traditional petrol and diesel pumps. - Sunday Telegraph

NASDAQ 100 Top Risers

Name Last Chg.% Time
Baidu Inc. 272.82 3.86 22:58
Wynn Resorts Ltd. 146.81 3.15 22:50
Micron Technology Inc. 41.49 2.70 23:09
JD.com, Inc. 39.67 2.45 23:05
Applied Materials Inc. 55.04 2.04 23:03

NASDAQ 100 Top Fallers

Name Last Chg.% Time
Mercadolibre Inc. 233.00 -4.86 23:02
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. 193.70 -2.46 22:58
Intuitive Surgical Inc. 353.55 -2.41 22:58
Liberty Global Plc Lilac Class A 22.77 -2.40 22:28
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. 101.64 -2.28 22:28