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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: Dividend payments, Beijing, Dow Jones

(Sharecast News) - AJ Bell believes that dividend payments by FTSE 100 companies will hit a record £85.8bn in 2023, for an 8% increase in comparison to 2022 and far above the £61.8bn low plumbed during Covid-19. According to analysts cited by the broker, that was in spite of estimates for slower profit growth, which was expected to come to a halt in 2024. In fact, dividends of £90.9bn were projected for 2024. Nonetheless, just 20 names would account would account for 72% of the total in 2022 with Shell, Glencore, Rio Tinto and British American Tobacco at the top of the leaderboard for payouts. - Financial Mail on Sunday Beijing's crematoriums are busy around the clock with horses queued outside amid piles of body bags in metal recipients, even as hospital wards are saturated with the severely ill from Covid-19, while chemists have run out of cough treatments. Some predictive models point to as many as 280m infections and at least 1m deaths with the catastrophe potentially crippling the economy as the country attempts to reopen. According to Paul Hunter, a medical professor at the University of East Anglia: "The problem they have is that a lot of the benefit they gained from vaccines has now gone, even against severe disease." - The Sunday Telegraph

Bloomberg owner, Michael Bloomberg, is interested in the acquisition of either Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal's parent company, or the Washington Post, Axios reported. According to Axios, Bloomberg would rather buy Dow Jones, but would purchase the Post if its owner, Jeff Bezos, were willing to entertain a bid. Some analysts however consider it highly unlikely that News Corp's Rupert Murdoch might sell the Wall Street Journal. - Guardian

Royal Mail boss Simon Thompson and senior managers have warned staff that the parcel delivery company is now fighting for its life. The warning comes as workers prepare for further strikes and City analysts say the 506-year old outfit is is "terminal decline". Royal Mail has also cautioned that neither government nor Ofcom could be expected to come galloping to the rescue. Investment manager Rob Burgeman at Brewin Dolphin believed Royal Mail needed to staunch the haemorrhaging of cash and seriously consider splitting the business into separate parcel and mail delivery units. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

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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
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(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
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(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
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(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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