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Thursday newspaper round-up: Brexit, Pret A Manger, THG

(Sharecast News) - Rishi Sunak is under growing pressure to offer more help to older workers who have fallen out of the workforce due to ill health, as official figures show a sharp increase in the rates of long-term sickness in every region of the UK except London. Highlighting deep regional divisions, figures from the Office for National Statistics show economic inactivity due to long-term sickness has increased most among 50 to 64-year-olds outside the capital since the Covid pandemic. - Guardian More than three-quarters of firms say the government's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU has not helped them to expand their business in the last two years despite promises that it was an "oven-ready" deal. A survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has prompted the business lobby group to present the government with five urgent recommendations for enhancing the agreement, which has left many exporters struggling to sell into the EU under the current terms. - Guardian

Pret A Manger is axing almost all of its vegetarian-only stores as the novelty of meat-free branches wears off. The sandwich chain is to shut or rebrand 75pc of its Veggie Pret stores six years after they first launched. - Telegraph

Sir Tom Hunter, the billionaire investor and philanthropist, has reaffirmed his commitment to THG, insisting that Matt Moulding's struggling beauty-to-nutrition retailer has been a "a real success story" (Greig Cameron writes). Hunter, 61, has had a business relationship with Moulding, 50, since 2009 and been a vocal supporter even as THG - formerly The Hut Group - has stumbled. - The Times

Sharan Pasricha, the wealthy entrepreneur behind Gleneagles and the trendy Hoxton hotel chain, has collected an estimated €260 million by selling the underlying assets of the hotels in Amsterdam and Paris. The near €1 million per room paid by Schroders, the buyer of the two properties, is thought to be the biggest per-room price ever paid in Europe for a hotel without suites. - The Times

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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
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Pharma companies, Puig, Thames Water
(Sharecast News) - Rachel Reeves has said an incoming Labour government would launch a £5bn crackdown on tax avoiders to close a gap in its spending plans exposed by Jeremy Hunt scrapping the non-dom regime to finance tax cuts. Warning households and businesses that Labour was prepared to adopt tough measures to tackle tax fraud and non-compliance, Reeves said the funding would be used to pay for free school breakfast clubs and additional NHS appointments. - Guardian
Monday newspaper round-up: Boeing, rent rises, e-scooters, Santander UK
(Sharecast News) - US airline regulators have launched an investigation after an engine cowling on a Boeing plane fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap. The Southwest Airlines flight 3695 rose to about 10,300ft (3,140 metres) before returning safely 25 minutes after takeoff to Denver international airport at about 8.15am local time on Sunday. It was towed to the gate after landing. The Boeing aircraft with 135 passengers and six crew members aboard had been headed to Houston. No one was injured. - 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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