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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

Monday newspaper round-up: Renewable energy, BlackRock, Frasers Group

(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 A permanent shift to higher interest rates could add billions of pounds to the UK's renewable energy transition, a leading thinktank has warned. Borrowing costs have soared since the easing of pandemic lockdowns and Russia's invasion of Ukraine as the world's leading central banks raised interest rates to tackle inflation - pushing up the costs of investment in infrastructure across advanced economies including for green power generation schemes. - Guardian

BlackRock spent nearly $800,000 (£647,000) last year on security for its chief executive Larry Fink following a backlash by activists over the company's "woke" stance on investing. The world's biggest asset manager spent $564,000 upgrading security systems at Mr Fink's home and $217,000 on bodyguards in 2023, according to a filing earlier this month that was first reported by the Financial Times. - Telegraph

Mike Ashley's Frasers Group has refused to allow the Financial Reporting Council to publish the key findings of a review into the retail group's latest annual report. Frasers, which has a history of corporate governance controversies, has withheld consent for the regulator to issue a case summary after entering into "substantive inquiries" with the company. - The Times

Only 1 per cent of local government accounts were audited on time last year and there are now almost 800 accounts awaiting an audit opinion, with the delays affecting the sign-off of the accounts of several government departments. Since 2015, when the Audit Commission which used to manage the auditing of English councils' accounts was abolished, audit appointments have been contracted out to the private sector, with every account being reviewed by either Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, Mazars or BDO. - The Times

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Thursday newspaper round-up: JCB, M&S, smart meters
(Sharecast News) - The British digger maker JCB, owned by the billionaire Bamford family, continued to build and supply equipment for the Russian market months after saying it had stopped exports because of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the Guardian can reveal. Russian customs records show that JCB, whose owners are major donors to the Conservative party, continued to make new products available for Russian dealers well after 2 March 2022, when the company publicly stated that it had "voluntarily paused exports" to Russia. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Brexit border outages, Boeing, Stellantis
(Sharecast News) - Lorries carrying perishable food and plants from the EU are being held for up to 20 hours at the UK's busiest Brexit border post as failures with the government's IT systems delay imports entering Britain. Businesses have described the government's new border control checks as a "disaster" after IT outages led to lorries carrying meat, cheese and cut flowers being held for long periods, reducing the shelf life of their goods and prompting retailers to reject some orders. - Guardian
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Tesco, OpenAI, housebuilding
(Sharecast News) - Tesco is facing criticism from "shocked" charities who say they are struggling to distribute unwanted food to homeless and hungry people after they claim the retailer brought in rules that mean unwanted food can only be collected in the evening. The supermarket group has switched to a new system which asks charities to pick up unwanted food, such as items reaching their best before date, only in the evening when a store is closing rather than the following morning, the charities have claimed. - Guardian
Monday newspaper round-up: BT, ultra-long mortgages, Fever-Tree
(Sharecast News) - BT has said it is increasingly using artificial intelligence to help it detect and neutralise threats from hackers targeting business customers amid repeated attacks on companies. The £10.5bn group is aiming to build up its business protecting customers from online criminals and has patented technology that uses AI to analyse attack data to allow companies to protect their tech infrastructure. British businesses are routinely facing hacking attempts, and some recent high-profile victims have included including the outsourcer Capita, Royal Mail and British Airways. - 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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