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Friday newspaper round-up: Elliott Management, John Lewis, Specsavers

(Sharecast News) - The US hedge fund and notorious activist investor Elliott Management paid its 124 UK staff a combined £160m last year, after a 10% rise in annual profits. The pay pot is higher than the £137m shared by employees the previous year, and comes after its UK operation, Elliott Advisors UK, reported pre-tax profits up by a tenth to £10m. Turnover for the firm, which made headlines after throwing its hat into the ring to buy Manchester United earlier this year, rose 16% to £225m. - Guardian John Lewis is ditching its offer of free food for workers over the Christmas period, as the retail giant embarks on another round of cost-cutting. The retailer has offered seasonal workers free Sunday roasts and cooked breakfasts for the last two years running but confirmed that Christmas staff will not get the perk this year. - Telegraph

Governments spent $800bn (£633bn) more on energy subsidies last year than in 2020 in the wake of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, as nations around the world opened the purse strings to limit the pain of higher bills. Direct subsidies for fossil fuels jumped to $1.3 trillion in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund, up from $500bn in 2020. - Telegraph

The Specsavers chain has paid out a £15 million dividend to its parent company in Guernsey as the businesses sought to limit price rises for customers amid the cost of living crisis. Accounts for Specsavers Optical Superstores - whose ultimate controlling parties are Dame Mary Perkins and her husband, Doug - show a dividend was granted after no payouts were approved in the prior year. - The Times

The Serious Fraud Office has dropped two long-running, high-profile investigations in the latest blow to the agency's credibility before the arrival of its new director. A criminal investigation into Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) launched a decade ago and a separate corruption investigation into Rio Tinto, the FTSE 100 mining giant, have ended. - The Times

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Sunday newspaper round-up: Middle East, Aston Martin, Defence
(Sharecast News) - Britons must accept that their country was now involved in the Middle East conflict, Tobias Ellwood said. The former defence minister warned that "nobody was in full control" of the growing conflict as more and more countries were sucked in. Ellwood also said that Tehran's strike had taken the conflict into a "new dangerous territory". - Sunday Telegraph
Friday newspaper round-up: Everton, AstraZeneca, Amazon
(Sharecast News) - Everton has paid about £30m in interest charges to an opaque lender associated with a tax exile, corporate records suggest. The charges appear to have reached about £438,000 a week, according to the troubled Premier League club's most recent set of accounts, a figure more than three times the reported wages of the Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. - Guardian
Thursday newspaper round-up: Border controls, McKinsey, KPMG
(Sharecast News) - New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result. With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Shoplifting, EnQuest, Klarna
(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - 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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