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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: Coal-fired power plants, Metro Bank, Asda

(Sharecast News) - National Grid has called on coal-fired power plants to prepare to supply power on Monday given that temperatures are expected to remain near zero even as wind speeds remain low. The notifications that they should be ready - if needed - were served to three coal units owned by Drax and EdF. The plants had been scheduled to close in September but that decision was pushed back until 2024 due to soaring gas prices in the wake of Russia's war on Ukraine. According to Bloomberg data, UK futures remain at over the twice the level typically seen at this time of the year. - The Sunday Telegraph Activist hedge fund Caius Capital has taken an £11m or 5% stake in Metro Bank. Since its flotation in 2019 shares of the lender were walloped in the wake of accounting errors linked to buy-to-let loans and commercial mortgages. Caius was founded in 2016 by former employees of Goldman Sachs and Och-Ziff Capital Management. According to sources, Metro's boss, Daniel Frumkin, was not "concerned" about its new shareholders. - The Sunday Times

Asda's owners, the Issa brothers, are studying a tie-up with UK petrol forecourts business EG Group, in a combination that could create a giant worth over £10bn. The merger talks were taking place before £7bn of EG's debt coming due in 2025. The two businesses are jointly owned by the brothers and private equity outfit TDR Capital, both of whom believe a merger would allow the debt to be refinanced on better terms. Nonetheless, a merger was one of several options being looked at by EG's owners. - The Sunday Times

Consumer goods giants including the makers of Heinz baked beans and Head & Shoulders shampoo are under fire for alleged greed and profiteering in the wake of enormous price hikes that have led to bumper profitability. Instead of passing on increased costs to consumers, the companies should use their vast profits to absorb some of those greater costs, critics contend. Over the past year, the price of Heinz tomato soup has soared by 73%, that of Hellmann's mayonnaise made by Unilever by 42% and Procter and Gamble's Head & Shoulders shampoo by 21%. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

The UK will take 15 years more than previously though to reach its target for £1.0trn in annual exports than previously thought. Based on current trends, the Department for International Trade projects that the value of UK exports would not reach £1.0trn until 2035 and that they would fall to £707bn in 2024. David Cameron was the first to make the pledge, anticipating that it would be hit by 2020, later revised to 2030 by Boris Johnson. - 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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