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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.

Sunday newspaper round-up: Biden, Beer, Royal Mail

(Sharecast News) - The White House clarified comments from Joe Biden who earlier had called for Russian President Vladimir Putin's ouster. In a speech delivered in Poland, Biden said: ""For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power." A spokesman for the White soon after stated that US leader was not talking about 'regime change'. "The president's point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbours or the region," the spokesman explained. - The Sunday Times Beer is set to become more expensive by Christmas as the war in Ukraine drives the cost of barley higher, possibly by 25.0-30.0%, leading brewer Adnams warned. Hence the company's plans to raise prices for its customers later in 2022. Typically, Ukraine accounts for roughly one fifth of the world's exports of barley. Adnams sources its barley from the UK but even so the war is pushing costs higher across supply chains. And while many brewers have sufficient stocks of barley, they will be purchasing more later in the year. It's when those purchases are made that prices will start rising, especially in the third and fourth quarter. - Sunday Telegraph

Short-sellers including Marshall Wace, Blackrock, Millenium Capital and Man Group have amassed a £115m bet against Royal Mail, a short interest equivalent to 3.4% of the company's shares. Their thinking is that some of the other investments of Daniel Kretinsky, the Czech billionaire who owns a 20% stake in Royal Mail, will come under pressure from the war in Ukraine, due to links with Gazprom. Kretinsky's EP Infrastructure holds a large stake in Eustream, which pipes Russian gas to central and eastern Europe. Sources at EPIF however have played down such risks, arguing that gas transmission accounts for just a third of EPIF's profits. Kretinsky also has a 10.0% stake in Sainsbury's. There had also been speculation that Kretinsky might attempt a buyout of Royal Mail or to force it to spin-off its parcel business GLS. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Shares of Rolls Royce may be wanted at the market open on Monday following a blog post from financial website Betaville according to which the engineer will soon be involved in a "significant corporate transaction" with an unidentified suitor. Previous occasions on which Rolls has been the subject of takeover chatter are after the company's 2020 cash call and in the wake of a string of profit warnings in 2015. Analysts at Jefferies however believe that the government's golden share would deter the majority of potential bidders. And for one of those, BAE Systems, a bid for Rolls would mark a huge change in strategy. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Grocery app Gorillas is looking to raise $500m of fresh capital at a valuation of over $5.0bn (£4.0bn). JP Morgan is advising on the fund raising which comes after it obtained another $1.0bn in October at a valuation of $3.1bn. It is thought that Gorilla's had originally planned to raise as much as $1.0bn but later scaled back its ambitions. There were also signs that growth in rapid delivery could be slowing and the sector is facing higher input costs such as for food, property and labour. The loss-making rapid-delivery service is backed by German tech outfit Delivery Hero and China's Tencent. In October it struck a partnership with Tesco. - The Sunday Times

Stagecoach chairman Raymond O'Toole has been accused of a conflict of interest due to his links to DWS, the German investment giant which has tabled a bid for the group. O'Toole and the remainder of the board have backed the buyout but the chairman has collected in excess of £360,000 in pay from Yorkshire Water, one of whose owners is DWS. The Stagecoach board had previously backed another bid from rival National Express. - Financial Mail on Sunday

President Joe Biden is set to unveil a tax targeting US billionaires on Monday, the Washington Post reports, saying that it would be "a tax on the richest 700 Americans for the first time". The levy would set a 20.0% minimum tax rate for all households in America worth more than $100.0m. Nevertheless, the measure to be proposed might encounter opposition from conservative Democrats, such as West Virginia senator Joe Manchin and Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema. The move comes ahead of widely expected losses at November's midterm elections. - Guardian

The Treasury stands to enjoy an extra windfall of nearly £50.5bn as revenues from from the Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax soar over the coming five years. However, tens of thousands of middle-class families will be hit by the Chancellor's wealth taxes. Critics say that Rishi Sunak's stated aim of plugging the black hole from Covid fails to take into account the cost of living so that most families will be left nursing significantly higher expenses. He also come under fire for failing to do anything to aid the poorest households, who are struggling with soaring costs, including huge jumps in energy bills. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

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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
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Pharma companies, Puig, Thames Water
(Sharecast News) - Rachel Reeves has said an incoming Labour government would launch a £5bn crackdown on tax avoiders to close a gap in its spending plans exposed by Jeremy Hunt scrapping the non-dom regime to finance tax cuts. Warning households and businesses that Labour was prepared to adopt tough measures to tackle tax fraud and non-compliance, Reeves said the funding would be used to pay for free school breakfast clubs and additional NHS appointments. - Guardian
Monday newspaper round-up: Boeing, rent rises, e-scooters, Santander UK
(Sharecast News) - US airline regulators have launched an investigation after an engine cowling on a Boeing plane fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap. The Southwest Airlines flight 3695 rose to about 10,300ft (3,140 metres) before returning safely 25 minutes after takeoff to Denver international airport at about 8.15am local time on Sunday. It was towed to the gate after landing. The Boeing aircraft with 135 passengers and six crew members aboard had been headed to Houston. No one was injured. - 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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