In the Papers - Britain is the easiest country in the G20 for paying business taxes


Newspaper Summary

The Times
Rio Tinto sacks two Executives over $10.5 million Guinea payment: Rio Tinto sacked two senior Executives for failing to “maintain the standards expected of them” after an internal investigation into contractual arrangements made in 2011 with a consultant who provided advisory services on the Simandou project in Guinea.

Glaxo ‘lies’ resulted in jail sentence, couple claim: A British corporate investigator and his American wife have accused GlaxoSmithKline of causing their imprisonment in China by “lying” to them about a brewing bribery scandal.

Crude falls as Russia backs production cut: The price of crude oil varied sharply as markets responded to news that Iran would not attend informal talks between OPEC members in Doha.

U.S. rates to rise faster under Trump, Barclays Boss warns: The Trump presidency will put extra pressure on the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, Jes Staley, the Chief Executive of Barclays, said amid growing speculation that American rates will rise faster and higher.

Consumers use savings to carry on spending: Households are more worried about their personal finances than they have been in three years amid fears of rising inflation and higher interest rates, according to research.

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa to launch bank: Zopa surprised the alternative finance industry by revealing that it intends to launch a bank.

Virgin Money is offloaded by billionaire: Wilbur Ross, the American billionaire, is planning to sell about half his stake in Virgin Money in a share sale worth £91 million at the bank’s current price.

Booths sunk by floods in the Lakes: Booths, the “Waitrose of the North”, has reported a steep loss after its profits were hit by flooding in the Lake District and the fierce price war.

Shale discovery in Texas could be biggest in U.S.: U.S. officials have said that a giant oil discovery in West Texas could contain 20 billion barrels of oil, making it the biggest shale deposit yet found in the U.S.

The Independent
Chocolate lovers face more ‘shrinkflation’ to add to Toblerone outrage: The public outcry that recently greeted the shrunken Toblerone may be about to reach fever pitch, as a host of other famous chocolate brands could be forced to downsize.

Unemployment rates falls to 11-year low: The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate in 11 years, but analysts warned of signs of a hiring slowdown in the wake of the 23 June Brexit vote.

Nintendo shares jump after Super Mario iPhone release date announced: Nintendo shares jumped more than 5% on Wednesday after the gaming giant announced the release date of the much-anticipated Super Mario game for the iPhone.

Amazon and Morrisons partner to launch same day delivery service: Selected Amazon Prime service customers will be able to order a full Morrisons shop via their smartphone from Wednesday, as the online retail giant and the British supermarket further expanded their partnership.

Lack of new house building not to blame for soaring house prices: Soaring house prices and plummeting home ownership rates in the U.K. have not been primarily driven by a lack of new housing construction, a Labour party-commissioned review has found, contradicting conventional wisdom on the nature of the housing crisis.

Google committed to the U.K. after Brexit as it plans new London HQ: Google has announced it is going ahead with its plan to build a headquarters in London’s King’s Cross, in a move seen as a major “vote of confidence” for U.K.’s technology sector in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

The Daily Telegraph
Heineken joins Deliveroo to create booze delivery brand: Heineken has teamed up with Deliveroo to offer home deliveries of its beers and ciders in the biggest deal of its kind by a major brewer.

Anglo American condemns violence as Chilean protesters seize parts of copper mine: Anglo American has denounced a “violent” protest in Chile that has resulted in 100 hooded protesters seizing parts of its Los Bronces copper mine.

British Land swings to loss as values drop after Brexit vote: British Land’s property values have dropped 3% in the last six months, as investors remain cautious about commercial property after the Brexit vote.

Barclays Boss: London’s ‘gravitational pull’ on finance will not wane after Brexit: Brexit is unlikely to lead to a sudden decline in London’s status as one of the leading centres for the global capital markets, the Boss of Barclays has predicted.

Icap hopes for Trump boost to City trading: Donald Trump’s election victory helped to boost trading volumes in the City, but the markets firm Icap said it is too soon to declare the quiet spell over as it reported flat trading for the past six months.

Britain is the easiest country in the G20 for paying business taxes: Britain is getting better at collecting business taxes, making life easier for companies - as well as improving the process for raising government revenues.

The Questor Column:
Inject Novo Nordisk into your portfolio for a 4% yield and low valuation: Shares in the Danish insulin maker Novo Nordisk enjoyed a boost after Donald Trump’s election last week, although the rally quickly petered out: they are now lower than their closing price last Tuesday. This latest slide caps a dismal year for the company’s investors, who have seen the share price fall from 404 Danish kroner in early January to just Dkr231.6 – a collapse of 43%. The falls reflect Novo’s downgrading of its long-term growth assumptions as a result of the pressure it faces in the U.S. market. Although Novo currently makes about 80% of its sales from diabetes treatments, it also sells drugs for obesity and haemophilia. Growth has been impressive. During the 16-year tenure of the Chief Executive, Lars Rebien Sørensen, who is due to step down at the end of the year, annual growth in sales has averaged 11%, while net profits have grown by 17% a year. With the share price close to its lowest for the past 12 months, now looks like a good time to buy this well run business. The shares are denominated in Danish kroner, a currency that broadly tracks the euro and has weakened a little recently against the pound, although it remains above pre-Brexit levels. Questor says “Buy”.

The Guardian
RBS may be fined more than $12 billion to settle U.S. mis-selling scandal: Royal Bank of Scotland could face a penalty of more than $12 billion (£9.6 billion) to settle a decades-old mis-selling scandal in the U.S., the body which controls the taxpayer stake in the bank has said.

U.K. housing review downplays developers’ role in crisis, critics say: A landmark review of the housing crisis in Britain backed by Labour and led by the Boss of one of the country’s biggest housebuilders has been criticised for downplaying the lack of homes being constructed by property companies.

Crackdown on whiplash claims could knock £40 off car insurance bills: Millions of motorists could see their car insurance bills cut by £40 a year, the government says, after it announced a crackdown on the “epidemic” of exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash injury claims.

Qatar wins approval to turn U.S. embassy in London into hotel: The Qatari royal family’s property company has won approval to turn the U.S. embassy in London into a luxury hotel.

Daily Mail
Investment giant Prudential pledges to boost dividends as it unveils £2 billion of profits in first nine months of 2016: Investment giant Prudential pledged to boost dividends as it unveiled £2 billion of profits in the first nine months of 2016. The insurance and pensions firm will up payouts to shareholders by 5% a year.

Banks could be ordered to clamp down on buy-to-let mortgages under sweeping new powers being handed to regulators: Banks could be ordered to clamp down on buy-to-let mortgages under sweeping new powers being handed to regulators. Treasury ministers will allow Bank of England officials to intervene by specifying how much landlords can borrow if they fear the market is overheating.

Accounting software business becomes first to get off ground by raising cash from groups of savers, to list on stock exchange: An accounting software business became the first business to get off the ground by raising cash from groups of savers, to list on the stock exchange. In July 2015 FreeAgent raised £1.2 million from 700 investors, in a venture known as crowdfunding, to help fund the growth of the business.

Daily Express
Rolls-Royce step up efficiency as they look to recover from profit warnings: Rolls-Royce has stepped up its efficiency drive and flagged a brighter long-term future as it looks to bounce back after a string of profit warnings.

Cashing in your pension will get you the low-down on a drawdown: Pension freedoms may backfire for a growing number of Britons who are putting their savings in greater danger than they realise.

Donald Trump victory gives Britons a huge boost: Donald Trump’s shock U.S. Presidential election victory last week has given an equally surprising boost to the finances of many Britons.

The Scottish Herald
Aggreko hit by U.S. oil and gas woes: Nearly £100 million was wiped off the stock market value of Aggreko last night, after the temporary power specialist said underlying revenue was hit by the continuing downturn in U.S. oil and gas activity.

Guidance on selling a company owning tenanted land: Industry bodies representing agricultural landlords and tenants from across Scotland have launched new guidance to help a situation where a company is to be sold that owns tenanted land subject to a pre-emptive right to buy (PRTB).

IGF Group stumps up an extra £5 million to lend to Scottish SMEs: Commercial finance provider IGF Group has doubled the amount of cash it has to invest in Scottish businesses after launching a base in Glasgow in the summer.

Launch of Scots B&B trade body: A trade body representing thousands of bed and breakfast, and guest house owners across Scotland has been launched.

Scottish craft brewery in six-figure Lidl supply deal: Black Wolf Brewery has won a six-figure deal to supply a whisky beer for discounter Lidl’s Scottish stores.

Bowleven says rebel investor missed deadline: Bowleven has declared the major investor behind a call for the removal of three directors failed to meet the deadline for submitting valid requisitions ahead of its annual general meeting next month.

Dobbies returns to profit in final year before Tesco sale: Dobbies Garden Centres has posted a pre-tax profit of £14.5 million in its final set of full accounts before its sale by Tesco to private investors in June.

Brexit impact leads Standard Life trust into index underperformance: The chairman of a 25-year old Standard Life investment trust has said the Brexit vote is largely to blame for the trust’s poor performance in the year to the end of September.

Speedy Hire shares soar as turnaround plan sees profits leap to £6.8 million: Shares in tool rental firm Speedy Hire soared after the company said its turnaround plan helped send half-year profits surging. The firm said underlying pre-tax profits excluding restructuring costs jumped to £6.8 million in the six months to September 30, compared with £2 million a year earlier.

The Scotsman
380 jobs at risk as Shell plans to close Glasgow office: About 380 jobs are at risk after Royal Dutch Shell said it would shut its Glasgow operation in response to the low oil price.

Edinburgh digital agency Ambergreen bought by DAC Group: Ambergreen, the Edinburgh-based digital marketing agency, has changed hands in a multi-million-pound deal.

Scots animation studio scores with Gears of War deal: A Scottish animation studio has scored an early hit for its new software package after it was used for the latest instalment in Microsoft’s Gears of War video game franchise.

Social good tech venture looks to raise thousands: An Edinburgh-based social responsibility venture is looking to raise £10,000 via crowdfunding to grow a community of supporters and take its product to market.

Promise to create 250 roles as firms grow Scottish arms: More than 250 jobs have been promised after two companies announced plans to boost their workforces north of the Border, backed by Scottish Enterprise funding.

City A.M.
Listed brick maker Forterra has reduced its debt burden since float: Britain’s second largest brick maker threw-off plenty of cash in the last three months, which the group has used to steadily reduce its lending.

Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources digs out £326 million for Gardner Aerospace: Chinese aerospace and mining firm Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources (SLMR) announced it is to buy aerospace parts manufacturer Gardner Aerospace.

JP Morgan share price down as Jamie Dimon tipped for U.S. Treasury spot again: JP Morgan shares closed down 2.5% after reports resurfaced that Donald Trump was about to offer Chief Exec Jamie Dimon the treasury secretary role.

A third of working families struggling to pay energy bills despite three-year price freeze, uSwitch finds: Almost 4 million households, or one in three working families, are already struggling to pay their energy bills this winter despite there being no major price hikes for three years, according to new research.

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