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Sunday newspaper round-up: Sunak, UK sovereign debt, Marks & Spencer

(Sharecast News) - Rishi Sunak has confirmed he is in the running for the leadership of the Tory party, having failed to reach a deal with Boris Johnson overnight. The former Chancellor, who had won the backing of 130 Tory MPs, said: "The UK is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis. The choice our party makes now will decide whether the next generation of British people will have more opportunities than the last. That's why I am standing to be your prime minister and the leader of the conservative party. I want to fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country." - The Sunday Times Moody's lowered its outlook on the UK sovereign debt rating from 'stable' to 'negative' on account of what it said was political instability and elevated inflation. The ratings agency adduced "heightened unpredictability in policymaking amid weaker growth prospects and high inflation", as well as "risks to the UK's debt affordability from likely higher borrowing and risk of a sustained weakening in policy credibility." The country's sovereign debt rating was nonetheless unchanged at Aa3, thanks to the UK's economic resilience, in spite of the "weakening in fiscal policy predictability in recent years", together with its longstanding and strong institutional framework, which was helped by the very long average maturity of its debt of approximately 15 years and deep domestic investor base. - Guardian

Marks & Spencer's boss, Stuart Machin, is planning to accelerate the roll-out of Ocado, its food delivery business, as competition with rival grocers, including Waitrose and Sainsbury, intensifies sharply. His goal is to increase M&S's share of the UK food market in stores and online by a quarter. As part of the strategy, company executives want all of M&S's range of foods to be available through Ocado's website, up from 75% at present, including more items from its 'Remarkable' range of value products. The strategy also looks to make the most of Ocado's new distribution centres. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Labour MP, Sir Mark Hendrick, has tabled a Bill to keep mutuals from being bought out by private equity outfits and milked for their cash. The Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill is scheduled for a second reading this week. Amongst others, it would help the likes of LV, which is owned by its members, to tap external investors for cash if necessary. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Elimination of homebuilding targets will reduce economic activity in the UK economy by £17bn and cut vital tax revenues to the Treasury, according to major developers. In a letter sent to the Office for Budget, Responsibility, the spending watchdog, the annual number of new homes built will plummet by 100,000 to just 140,000 - the least since the 2008 financial crisis - as a result of dropping those targets and likely make plugging the £70bn hole in the public finances that much harder. - The Sunday Telegraph

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(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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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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