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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: Dividends, BP, Capricorn Energy

(Sharecast News) - Companies' dividend payments jumped by 8% to reach £94.3bn, led by big banks alongside a surge in payouts from oil outfits. share buybacks meanwhile reached 2% of the combined value of UK-listed companies. However, Link Group anticipates that payments will decline by 2.8% in 2023 to reach £91.7bn and believes that the economic backdrop is "decidedly gloomier" than one year ago with higher interest rates set to pressure margins further. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Multiple companies within the FTSE 100 are trading at valuations lower than those of their peers overseas, turning them into attractive bid targets says Michael Stiasny, head of UK equities at M&G Investments. In particular, Stiasny singled out BP. The oil major, in which M&G holds a stake, was trading at a 50% valuation discount versus peer Shell, against just 10% in 2018. - The Sunday Times

Capricorn Energy is under pressure to initiate a strategic review given the increasing likelihood that its takeover by Israel's NewMed Energy will flounder. The oil outfit is due to vote in new board members on Wednesday after its boss and chairwoman recently stepped down. A vote on the proposed takeover had been postponed until 22 February. Activist investor Palliser Capital, one of the shareholders opposed to a sale to NewMed, was one of those calling for a strategic review. - The Sunday Times

National Grid has stood down the coal-fired power stations that had been told to warm up as a precaution due to possible strikes in France. France's grid operator RTE had said it might require help. Drax was also employing its demand flexibility service, by which the company paid some households with smart meters for cutting their energy use. That helps to balance the grid and to avoid use of some of the dirtiest energy sources. - Guardian

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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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