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Sunday newspaper round-up: Tiering, Virgin Orbit, Octopus Energy

(Sharecast News) - The UK's biggest lenders may be facing a huge windfall tax as the Chancellor casts about for ways to calm financial markets, City sources said. The target may be some of the interest payments due to be paid on the hundreds of billions of pounds in deposits placed with the Bank of England, through what is known as 'tiering', mainly to the likes of Lloyds, NatWest and HSBC. That might net the Treasury approximately £10bn, at a cost of a fifth of major UK lenders' annual profits, according to estimates from Numis. Nonetheless, the Treasury itself has played down the possibility of a shift towards tiering as it "risks damaging the UK's fiscal credibility". - The Financial Mail on Sunday Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch outfit, is looking for fresh financing, according to its boss. Last year, the outfit raised less than half the $483m expected from through the listing of a so-called Spac in the US. The process is set to begin after its first ever launch from UK soil that is scheduled for November, although it first needs to clinch final clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority. A successful launch would mark a breakthrough for the UK, which gave up its own space launch capability in the 1970s. - The Sunday Times

A team of scientists from Octopus Energy are working at a £10m research and development centre in Slough to design heat pumps. Working like a refrigerator in reverse, they harness the energy in outside air to compress it and funnel it into peoples' homes. They are four times more efficient than gas boilers, six times more so than burning hydrogen for heat and potentially may lead to cheaper bills. Their objective? To become the Tesla of heat pumps. - The Sunday Telegraph

Mike Ashley may have to battle former Matalan chairman and founder John Hargreaves for control of the chain. Hargreaves has already signalled his interest and one source said Ashley "will not be able to resist a pop at Matalan" for a discount price. Another source indicated that Ashley had "unfinished business" with Matalan after he was unable to strike a deal with Hargreaves back in 2006 to sell Sports Direct goods in his stores. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

The Liberal Democrats are demanding that the cabinet secretary look into whether the Chancellor's champagne reception with hedge fund managers following the announcement of his mini-budget broke the ministerial code. Nevertheless, the Chancellor's team have labelled as "total nonsense" any suggestion that those at the gathering might have received privileged information. According to ministerial code, ministers who discuss official business at a "social occasion", when civil servants are not present, must inform their department as to the content of discussions as soon as practicable. - Guardian

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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
Friday newspaper round-up: Everton, AstraZeneca, Amazon
(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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