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Friday newspaper round-up: UK debt, Grenfell, steak shortages

(Sharecast News) - Rishi Sunak has been accused of wasting £11bn of taxpayers' money by paying too much in interest servicing the government's debt. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said the losses were the result of the chancellor's failure to insure against interest rate rises on £900bn of reserves created through the quantitative easing (QE) programme. - Guardian Legal bills relating to the Grenfell Tower fire are on course to top a quarter of a billion pounds, according to figures obtained by the Guardian on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the disaster. The public inquiry into the causes of the fire that killed 72 people in the west London tower block has spent £149m so far with more than £60m going to lawyers working for the core participants, the inquiry revealed on Thursday. - Guardian

Supermarkets and restaurants are threatened with steak shortages as the surging cost of fertiliser and feed forces beef farmers to slaughter animals early. Meat processors warned that households will be forced to opt for cheaper cuts of meat such as mince as farmers cut back on fertiliser needed to grow grass for their cows. - Telegraph

A Swedish sex toy designer has scrapped plans to float on the London Stock Exchange. Stockholm-based Lelo has now started looking for a buyer instead after market volatility scuppered plans for a public offering. Lelo has attracted takeover interest from both corporate buyers and private equity funds, Bloomberg reported. - Telegraph

Companies would be criminally liable for fraud and computer misuse committed by senior executives under proposals laid out today by the government's law reform advisers. The Law Commission is calling for a new offence of "failure to prevent fraud by an employee or agent". The legislation would apply when a company had not ensured that appropriate measures were in place to prevent their employees or those acting on behalf of the business from committing a fraud for the benefit of the company. - The Times

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(Sharecast News) - A development company that sells off land no longer needed by Thames Water has paid out a £14m dividend despite warnings that it could become engulfed by the water group's financial woes. Accounts filed at Companies House show Kennet Properties paid out a £14.5m dividend in the year to 31 March 2023 despite the difficulties faced by the wider group, which is facing going into administration. - Guardian
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(Sharecast News) - Asset manager Redwheel told regulators they should reduce the UK postal service's legal obligations. The move followed a failed buyout attempt by Daniel Kretinsky for International Distributions Services, its parent company. The billionaire investor was said to be evaluating a possible improved bid. The company meanwhile has petitioned Ofcom to let it cut the number of days per week during which it must deliver second-class mail from six to two or three. That would save the company £300m and see it shrink its workforce by 1,000. According to Redwheel, as first reported by the Sunday Times, the enforced costs of its legal obligations left the company "vulnerable to corporate predators". - Guardian
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(Sharecast News) - "Misleading" and "inconsistent" labels make it hard for shoppers to know where their food comes from, the consumer champion Which? has said, as it found supermarket chains were selling products with "meaningless" statements on their packaging. Retailers must supply the "country of origin" for specific foods including fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed meats, fish, wine and olive oil but the rules do not generally apply to processed meat or frozen or processed fruit and vegetables. - Guardian

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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