Tuesday newspaper round-up: Inflation, property, RBS, Debenhams

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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Inflation, property, RBS, Debenhams

Tue, 18 April 2017
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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Inflation, property, RBS, Debenhams

(ShareCast News) - UK households should brace themselves for steeper price rises after a leading accountancy body warned that protecting customers from higher costs is now "unsustainable" for businesses. Inflation has already started to bite with prices up 2.3pc in the past year as, despite fierce competition pushing retailers to delay price hikes, the weak pound has pushed up the cost of imports. - Telegraph
Property worth more than £400bn is set to cascade down from grandparents to younger generations in the coming decades, though only a minority of those under 45 are likely to benefit. According to research by the insurers Royal London about 4 million of the 17 million people aged 25 to 44 are in the "fortunate position" of being in line to inherit from grandparents who have bought property. - Guardian

Royal Bank of Scotland's gambit to sidestep having to sell its Williams & Glyn business is under threat as smaller lenders mount a challenge, arguing that it does not go far enough to address competition concerns. Challenger banks are preparing to write to the European Commission objecting to the plan, which has the blessing of the Treasury and would enable the state-owned bank to avoid selling its 300-branch W&G operation. - The Times

One of Britain's best loved breakfast cereals is expected to be gobbled up by the American ­cereal giant Post Holdings in a £1.4bn deal. The US maker of Golden Crisp and Cocoa Pebbles was tipped as the frontrunner in the race to buy Weetabix last month, and is expected to confirm the long-awaited deal when US markets open on Tuesday. - Telegraph

Central heating systems are being turned off across the country as spring takes hold, but winter is coming for energy companies who have recently hiked bills for millions of households. Theresa May said the energy market was "manifestly" not working after a flurry of price rises by the big six companies - British Gas, e.on, EDF, npower, ScottishPower, and SSE - and dozens of smaller suppliers. - Guardian

Sky and Virgin Media are close to a landmark deal to join forces in the advertising market, in a move meant to challenge local media and tempt spending away from Google and Facebook. The pay-TV and broadband rivals are in advanced discussions over a partnership that will effectively mean Virgin Media will join Sky's Adsmart targeted advertising network, industry sources revealed. - Telegraph

The new boss of Debenhams will unveil plans this week to overhaul the retail chain's 165 shops and cull some in-house brands in a bid to lure shoppers back to its stores. Sergio Bucher, a former Inditex director who joined from Amazon's fashion arm in October, is expected to announce a significant investment to boost the number of restaurants and beauty services, such as brow grooming and blow-dry bars, in Debenhams stores. - Telegraph

Britain's biggest business groups have urged the Government to boost living standards and improve productivity in the country's poorest regions, as part of an industrial strategy with "bold, focused and specific" objectives to make life better for ordinary people. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), British Chambers of Commerce and the manufacturers' organisation EEF said industrial policies in the past have been vague and ineffective. - Telegraph

The rapid growth of the UK wine industry looks set to continue, with wine makers on track to plant one million vines this year. The new vines, covering an estimated 625 acres, will yield another two million bottles of mainly sparkling wine, worth an estimated £50 million. - The Times

Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba is taking to the new Silk Road with a search for warehouse locations along the route of the recently launched China to UK rail link. The retailer is understood to have approached property developers across the continent who have buildings in locations which are close to the new train line, which follows the historic Silk Road route. - Telegraph

China's economy grew by an annual rate of 6.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, beating expectations and marking the second straight quarter of gains. The world's second biggest economy accelerated from a 6.8 per cent growth rate in the previous quarter. Analysts said yesterday that government spending and a property boom spurred by easy credit were the main factors driving stronger demand. - The Times

Institutional landlords have promised to offer three-year tenancy agreements after pressure from the government to make renting more family friendly. The British Property Federation, the trade association for residential and commercial property companies, says that 20 of the biggest investors and developers in the build-to-rent sector have signed up to the pledge. - The Times

Care homes are charging families for weeks after the death of an elderly relative in some instances, prompting a string of complaints to the competition watchdog that is investigating the sector. The Competition and Markets Authority has received complaints about families being charged for sums that can amount to thousands of pounds to cover for the time it can take before a room can be relet. - Guardian

Hundreds of thousands of British motorists risk being fined up to £640 for speeding in Europe from this summer after the government rubber-stamped a controversial change to EU law. Ministers confirmed that a directive giving European countries the power to chase British motorists for fines by obtaining their driver details would come into force on May 6. - The Times

A round of job cuts at the disused Dounreay nuclear site has raised fears the cost of the clean-up programme may be spiralling beyond its budget. The consortium behind the plant's decommissioning surprised unions last week by laying out plans to cut 200 workers from the project. - Telegraph

The proposed merger between Tata Steel and the steel operations of Thyssenkrupp, which would secure the future of the Port Talbot steel works and a total of 8,000 UK jobs, is at risk because of complex negotiations around pensions and opposition from German trade unions. Talks between Tata Steel and German company Thyssenkrupp about combining their European steel operations have been ongoing for months but there are still major hurdles to overcome. - Guardian