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Sunday newspaper round-up: Power prices, Broadband bills, Brexit protocol

(Sharecast News) - Power prices hit a record high due to a combination of a cold snap and a dearth of wind. Power prices in the UK for a day ahead hit a record £675 per megawatt hour on the Epex Spot Exchange on Sunday as the country was blanketed with snow and temperatures fell below zero. At the peak hours between five and six o'clock power costs surged to £2,586 per megawatt hour. Furthermore, National Grid forecast that power demand would peak at nearly 46,700 megawatts on Monday, versus 43,000 MW on Sunday. Energy supply from wind meanwhile fell to about 5% of the country's demands on Sunday, against an average of 28.5% over 2022. - The Sunday Telegraph

BT came under fire over the huge hikes in broadband bills due next year. Millions of families might see their monthly bills jump by 15% come April. That was because the telecoms giant typically raised its prices in line with inflation plus 3.9 percentage points with critics saying that was too much. Prices jumped by 9.3% this year, the most possible under that pricing arrangement. Many of its sector peers were also planning to push through big increases. There was however a chance that operators might increase prices by less or apply them to fewer clients. Both BT and Vodafone responded pointing out that they too faced higher costs and the latter added that not all customers would be hit. - Financial Mail on Sunday

The Northern Ireland Brexit protocol bill was shelved by the prime minister until the new year following talks with Brussels that paved the way towards a new agreement by February. The bill had been designed to allow the UK to unilaterally suspend aspects of the protocol failing a deal with the European Union. However, any delays could raise suspicions among the hardline European Research Group's members regarding possible concessions on sovereignty by the UK. To forestall that possibility, the government had brought back former Vote Leave aide Oliver Lewis as an advisor. Senior officials said they believed the EU as ready to make some concessions. - The Sunday Times

Foreign wealth funds are attempting to scupper efforts to keep sewage-dumping water firms from distributing billions of pounds worth in dividends. Ofwat's plans were to stop companies that were illegally dumping waste into the UK's rivers and seas from making payouts to shareholders and instead invest in fixing the UK's antiquated water systems. Those dividends amounted to roughly £3bn in the first part of 2022 alone and to £20bn since 2010. According to the regulator too many companies were performing too poorly in too many areas. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

Superdry's boss and founder, Julian Dunkerton, held talks with private equity outfits regarding a possible acquisition. Dunkerton, who had become disillusioned with the fashion retailer's share price, held talks in 2022 about possibly rolling his 23.9% stake into a new private vehicle. One person close to the talks said Dunkelton believed the company was bow "super-cheap". A source near to the company however said no talks were ongoing and that no advisers had been appointed for a potential sale. Superdry posted a pre-tax profit for the year to 30 April but failed to renew an extension for its £70m asset backed facility with HSBC and BNP Paribas. - The Sunday Times

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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
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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