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Sunday newspaper round-up: Tesco, National Grid, Morrisons

(Sharecast News) - Tesco's pension fund lost £9bn in value and fell into a deficit after multiple safe investments went sour. In particular, the fund is heavily exposed to so-called Liability Driven Investments. Those LDIs came unstuck in 2022 following a sharp rise in interest rates that left pension funds nursing heavy losses. Yet the grocer had no plans to pay more into the pension plan with a spokesman saying that the scheme was "in a strong position", "well-funded" and employing a different measure for estimating contributions then it was in fact "in surplus". - The Financial Mail on Sunday National Grid boss John Pettigrew believes there is "no time to lose" to carry out the complete revamp that the electricity network requires in order to achieve net zero targets and cut the UK's exposure to gas prices. The planning system also required changes to speed up construction, he argued. Nearly five times as many pylons and underground lines as had been built over the past three decades needed to built by 2030. And rewiring the grid would cost "tens of billions of pounds" which meant higher household bills. - The Sunday Times

GMB national officer Gary Carter urged ministers to intervene if Macquarie went ahead and took full control of National Grid's gas transmission and meter business. The former operated over 4,000 miles of gas pipes in the UK. "Macquarie's reputation is one of maximising profits and stripping assets, often at the expense of investment as well as employees, pay and pensions. This government must not sit idly by when energy security is at stake." - Guardian

Morrisons has promised clients that they will see many "deflation dividends" over the next few months as the grocer went ahead with a fourth wave of price reductions since the start of 2023. Starting from Monday, white, wholemeal and granary rolls would cost 56% less, coffee prices were cut by 27% and those of cornflakes by 46%. A few days before industry chiefs were called to a meeting at the Treasury to explain why the cost of the weekly shop remained high and what measures they were taking to address the situation. - 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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(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
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(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
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(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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