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Sunday newspaper round-up: Drinkflation, Bank of England, BT Group

(Sharecast News) - Brewers have cut the levels of alcohol in many beers and lagers, saving millions of pounds in tax in the process. But they haven't cut prices for consumers. Food giants and grocers have done the same through stealthy reductions in package sizes and portions. Critics however hold that so-called drinkflation is the more insidious of the two, as bottle and cans stay the same size and hold the same amount of liquid. In the case of Foster's, which is sold by Heineken in the UK, alcohol by volume has been reduced from 4.0% earlier in 2023 to only 3.7%. - Financial Mail on Sunday

The Bank of England will add to homeowners' difficulties this week with an expected 13th interest rate hike in a row. Indeed, traders even believe that Governor Andrew Bailey may opt to go with a half a percentage point increase, instead of 25 basis points. If correct, such a move would take Bank Rate to 5%, its loftiest level since the financial crisis 15 years ago. Concern that inflation was falling behind in the battle against inflation had seen the government's borrowing costs surpass the level seen since Liz Truss's mini-budget crisis, although this time Sterling was strengthening. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

BT's pension fund, one of the largest in Britain, had cut its holding in London-listed stocks to just 0.3% of its assets. That was equivalent to £100m and compared with £300m in 2022 and £3.6bn in 2010. Its decision to pare its holdings of British stocks was contrary to the Chancellor's stated ambitions to encourage retirement savings managers to invest in the country. Former pensions minister, Baroness Altmann, criticised the move, drawing attention to the fact that the pension fund was to some extent underpinned by the government. - The Sunday Telegraph

Campaigners are expectant ahead of a Supreme Court case to be heard on Wednesday against UK Oil&Gas. Their immediate aim is to kill the company's plans to expand its Horse Hill operations by drilling four new wells. But it's the future of all fossil fuel extraction in the country that's at stake. For the campaigners believe that Surrey country council was wrong to grant planning permission without taking into consideration the carbon emissions from consumers' eventual consumption of Horse Hill's product. - The Sunday Times

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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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