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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: 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 Aston Martin chief executive officer Amedeo Felisa has come under criticism after news that he was given £1.3m to cover his expenses for the weekly commute form Italy to the Midlands on a private jet. The row follows a major revolt among AstraZeneca shareholders over the proposed pay package for its boss. Sky-high pay packages are also expected to trigger a rebellion among shareholders at Smith & Nephew and LSE Group. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

Top defence chiefs, including the heads of Airbus and Babcock, are calling for the UK to invest more in defence due to the heightened risk of conflict across the world. The UK and other countries need to take such threats seriously and respond appropriately, Airbus head of space and defence Ben Bridge said. Babcock chief David Lockwood also called for greater spending on defence, saying now was the first time that we were not taking Western freedoms for granted. - The Sunday Telegraph

Grocers are selling and then leasing back their stores in order to free up cash with which to lower their debt piles. Asda and Morrisons led the way in 2023 with transactions to sell their stores and warehouses. Indeed, such deals made up nearly half of all property deals last during the previous year, versus just 1% in 2022. - Financial Mail on Sunday

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Monday newspaper round-up: Border checks, house prices, apprenticeships
(Sharecast News) - Post-Brexit border checks will cost UK businesses £470m a year, the government's public spending watchdog has said. Plans to bring in border checks on goods coming from the EU faced "significant issues" including critical shortages of inspectors before their introduction last month, the National Audit Office said in a report. - Guardian
Friday newspaper round-up: Bank branches, mortgages, Northern Rock
(Sharecast News) - The number of UK bank branches that have shut their doors for good over the last nine years will pass 6,000 on Friday, and by the end of the year the pace of closures may leave 33 parliamentary constituencies - including two in London - without a single branch. The tally is being published by the consumer group Which? as it seeks to make the "avalanche" of closures and the "disastrous" impact they can have on local communities an election battleground. - Guardian
Thursday newspaper round-up: JCB, M&S, smart meters
(Sharecast News) - The British digger maker JCB, owned by the billionaire Bamford family, continued to build and supply equipment for the Russian market months after saying it had stopped exports because of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the Guardian can reveal. Russian customs records show that JCB, whose owners are major donors to the Conservative party, continued to make new products available for Russian dealers well after 2 March 2022, when the company publicly stated that it had "voluntarily paused exports" to Russia. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Brexit border outages, Boeing, Stellantis
(Sharecast News) - Lorries carrying perishable food and plants from the EU are being held for up to 20 hours at the UK's busiest Brexit border post as failures with the government's IT systems delay imports entering Britain. Businesses have described the government's new border control checks as a "disaster" after IT outages led to lorries carrying meat, cheese and cut flowers being held for long periods, reducing the shelf life of their goods and prompting retailers to reject some orders. - 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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