Sunday newspaper round-up: Warren Buffett, Unilever, Spanish homes

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Sunday newspaper round-up: Warren Buffett, Unilever, Spanish homes

Sun, 26 February 2017
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(ShareCast News) - Billionaire Warren Buffett has denounced "Wall Streeters" for charging "high fees" and urged ordinary investors to buy low-cost index funds. In his famed annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, the Oracle of Omaha said: "When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients. "Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost index funds." - The Sunday Telegraph
The City has given its blessing to a dramatic break-up of consumer goods goliath Unilever, which could see the food arm that makes Hellmann's mayonnaise and Knorr stock cubes spun off into a new £30bn-plus company. The Anglo-Dutch giant has launched a far-reaching strategic review just days after its independence was threatened by an audacious £115bn takeover approach from Kraft Heinz. - The Sunday Telegraph

Malcolm Young is jubilant - he has just got back the cash he thought he had lost forever as a victim of the 2008 Spanish property crash. His victory, a result of a landmark change in Spanish law, spells hope for thousands more casualties of the market's collapse - in particular those, like Malcolm, who had made downpayments on off-plan holiday and retirement homes on the Spanish costas. Homes that were either never built or constructed without proper planning permission. - Mail on Sunday

Alliance Trust has asked investors to approve a £620m buyback deal with the aggressive US activist investor Elliott Management, which holds nearly a fifth of its shares. Alliance aims to buy back the shares in five tranches, allowing Elliott to cash in its stake more easily and ending its running battles with the board. However, institutional investors are poised to vote against the plan at a general meeting on Tuesday, after a critical report from the voting adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). - The Sunday Telegraph

One of Unilever's top shareholders has called for the consumer goods giant to be broken up in the wake of the failed takeover attempt by US rival Kraft Heinz. The top 10 investor said the maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Lynx deodorant should sell off some or all of its £10.6bn food empire to "enhance the value" of its underperforming business. "They need a full appraisal of everything," the shareholder added. - Sunday Times

Hoover is plotting to offload its huge pension fund as the British and European arm of the once-great brand fights for survival. The household appliance maker, based in Wales but owned by Italy's Candy Group, is understood to be in "intensive" talks with the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) over its main final salary retirement scheme, which has about 7,800 members. - Sunday Times

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will definitely still be leader of the Labour party until 2020. Mr Corbyn said he takes his "share of responsibility" for Labour's historic loss in the Copeland by-election, but he said support for the party had been "falling for some time". The Labour leader told told Sky News: "It's an area that is very reliant on one industry, namely Sellafield nuclear processing. - Independent on Sunday

The biggest shake-up of immigration policy in a generation is expected to see multi-year visas handed to migrants who get jobs in key sectors of the economy but limit access to benefits for new arrivals. Under plans advocated by senior ministers the government would seek to take political heat out of immigration by getting an independent body to advise on how many visas should be issued. - Sunday Times

Too scared to ask for a pay rise? You're not alone. There are millions of people who would prefer to walk over hot coals than ask their manager to reward good work with extra cash. Last week a report found that millennials not only failed to claim a larger slice of the wages pie in their current workplace, they also moved job with less frequency, denying themselves the opportunity to negotiate a boost with a new employer. The combined effect is to make millenials much worse off than the previous generation. Across the rest of the working population, the picture is disturbingly similar. - The Guardian

An exodus of "fintech" companies from Britain has begun, the chief executive of a leading firm has said, dashing the government's hopes of building the UK into a world leader for the industry. Every reasonably-sized company in the flourishing financial technology sector - involving e-lending, money transfers and the banking markets - is now actively looking at moving staff and investment out of the country because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit, it is claimed. - The Guardian