Tuesday newspaper round-up: Sterling, renewables, Microsoft, fund charges
(ShareCast News) - Sterling is close to crossing back above $1.30 for the first time since September as investors cut their short positions amid hopes that a hard Brexit is less likely and ahead of an expected surge in inflation. There are now fewer short positions against the pound than at any time since July last year, a month after the Brexit vote, with sterling's rebound also making it more viable for companies to take out hedges to manage their currency risk. - The Times
Energy investors are underwhelmed by the UK renewable energy market due to a vacuum in policy direction for the industry's future. EY's latest attractiveness index has ranked the UK market in the top ten countries globally for new investment - but the advisory firm said the move up from 14th place last year follows major blows in other countries, rather than progress in the UK. - Telegraph
Microsoft should have maintained support for its Windows XP system to protect public services from cyberattacks such as the one that brought NHS hospitals to a standstill last week, a former head of GCHQ says today. In a letter to The Times Sir David Omand claims that the tech giant knew when it withdrew technical support for the system in 2014 that public and private sector bodies around the world were still heavily reliant on it.
JP Morgan has paid €125 million for an office block in Dublin's docklands that will accommodate 1,000 workers as part of its Brexit contingency plans. The American investment bank is set to recruit 500 staff to add to the 500 it employs in mostly custody and fund services. - The Times
A US fund manager has thrown down the gauntlet to high-charging rivals and financial advisers by slashing fees to less than half the UK average. Vanguard will offer the cheapest way to buy funds and investment ISAs in the UK, with fees half the level charged by Hargreaves Lansdown and Fidelity Funds Network. - Guardian
Leasehold has become the number one concern for homeowners in the UK, according to a new study, after it emerged that many new homebuyers have been trapped by spiralling ground rents. The annual survey of property owners by the HomeOwners Alliance found that 50% of UK adults see the current leasehold/freehold system (including service charges and ground rent) as a very serious or serious problem, up from 42% last year. - Guardian
Nearly 300,000 debt judgments were filed against individuals in English and Welsh county courts in the first three months of 2017, the highest quarterly figure for more than 10 years. Figures from the Registry Trust show a 35% rise compared with the first quarter of last year in county court judgments (CCJs) against borrowers who found themselves unable to pay their debts. - Guardian
Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a meeting at the White House last week, it was reported on Monday night. The US president's actions jeopardised a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed US officials.
Hackers claim to have plundered Walt Disney's upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean film and are threatening to release it unless the studio pays a ransom, it was reported on Monday. Bob Iger, the studio's CEO, told a town hall meeting of ABC employees that hackers said they had accessed the film and would release it in segments online unless paid a ransom in bitcoin, according to the Hollywood Reporter.