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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Amec Foster Wheeler, British economy, Cashless society

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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Amec Foster Wheeler, British economy, Cashless society

Wed, 12 July 2017
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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Amec Foster Wheeler, British economy, Cashless society
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(ShareCast News) - Amec Foster Wheeler has been put under formal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office as part of a bribery and corruption investigation casting fresh doubts over its proposed £2.2 billion merger with Wood Group. In a statement to investors after the market had closed, Amec said that it had been told by the SFO that an investigation had been opened into the "past use of third parties and possible bribery and corruption and related offences". - The Times
Britain's economy will lose momentum this year amid squeezed living standards and uncertainty over Brexit and the inconclusive election result, leading ratings agencies have predicted. Moody's said the qualms about talks in Brussels and the minority government have increased the UK's political and financial risks. - The Guardian

The prospect of a cashless society moved a step closer after cards were used for more than half of retail purchases in the UK for the first time last year and debit cards finally surpassed physical money to become the most popular payment method. Debit, credit and charge cards were used for 10.3bn transactions in 2016, a rise of 5pc on 2015 that gave plastic a 54pc share of all retail payments by volume, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). - The Daily Telegraph

One of London's fastest-growing law firms is set to list on the Alternative Investment Market after announcing a £20 million reverse takeover. Gordon Dadds yesterday said that it was in "very advanced" talks with Work Group, a London-listed shell company, over a deal that would make the law firm the focus for what would be only the second British flotation of a legal business. - The Times

Energy networks have been accused of exploiting UK consumers to enjoy a £7.5bn windfall of unjustified "sky high" profits, and urged to return the money in the form of a one-off £285 rebate to every household. Citizen's Advice said the companies that transmit electricity and gas around the UK, including National Grid, were reaping "eye-watering" average profit margins of 19% from their monopolies. That compares with the 4% margin that big six suppliers, such as British Gas, make selling power and gas to householders. - The Guardian

About half a million rail passengers could face higher fares after a decision to award one of Britain's biggest franchises to First Group, the competition watchdog has claimed. The Competition and Markets Authority said that ticket prices may rise on trains between London Waterloo and Exeter after the transport operator gained control of South West Trains. - The Times