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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Rail strikes, Binance, Asos

(Sharecast News) - The price of a fresh turkey centrepiece for Christmas dinner has increased by as much as 45% because of shortages caused by the bird flu outbreak, which has wiped out 1.6 million of the birds in the UK. Not only are prices up but the choice of fresh turkey is more limited in the major supermarkets, with the number of whole bird and crown options falling by about a third this year. - Guardian Passengers around Britain are set for another day of disrupted trains and curtailed services on the railway as a 48-hour RMT strike continues on Wednesday. The two-day strike, the first in a wave of industrial action that will affect the railway for four weeks around Christmas, involves about 40,000 members of the RMT union in Network Rail and at 14 train operators. - Guardian

New natural gas-only boilers are facing a ban within four years under net zero proposals for the grid to use hydrogen instead. All boilers installed after 2026 would have to be hydrogen-ready under the plan, which the Government announced in a consultation on Tuesday. - Telegraph

Binance has registered $1.9 billion of withdrawals in the past 24 hours, according to the blockchain data firm Nansen, as the world's biggest crypto exchange said it had "temporarily paused" withdrawals of the USDC stablecoin. How crypto exchanges such as Binance and its now-bankrupt former rival FTX handle customer deposits is under close scrutiny from users and regulators. The FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday with defrauding investors. - The Times

The squeeze from rising inventory levels has been sorely felt at Asos, the fast-fashion retailer whose shareholders include Mike Ashley's Frasers Group. The owner of the Topshop and Miss Selfridge brands has moved to overhaul its operations after posting a full-year loss in October. Asos, which is scaling back discounts, plans to write off between £100 million and £130 million of out-of-fashion inventory to help refresh its brand for twentysomethings. Inventories rose to almost £1.1 billion at the end of August, its year end, from £807 million. - The Times

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(Sharecast News) - A development company that sells off land no longer needed by Thames Water has paid out a £14m dividend despite warnings that it could become engulfed by the water group's financial woes. Accounts filed at Companies House show Kennet Properties paid out a £14.5m dividend in the year to 31 March 2023 despite the difficulties faced by the wider group, which is facing going into administration. - Guardian
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(Sharecast News) - Asset manager Redwheel told regulators they should reduce the UK postal service's legal obligations. The move followed a failed buyout attempt by Daniel Kretinsky for International Distributions Services, its parent company. The billionaire investor was said to be evaluating a possible improved bid. The company meanwhile has petitioned Ofcom to let it cut the number of days per week during which it must deliver second-class mail from six to two or three. That would save the company £300m and see it shrink its workforce by 1,000. According to Redwheel, as first reported by the Sunday Times, the enforced costs of its legal obligations left the company "vulnerable to corporate predators". - Guardian
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(Sharecast News) - "Misleading" and "inconsistent" labels make it hard for shoppers to know where their food comes from, the consumer champion Which? has said, as it found supermarket chains were selling products with "meaningless" statements on their packaging. Retailers must supply the "country of origin" for specific foods including fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed meats, fish, wine and olive oil but the rules do not generally apply to processed meat or frozen or processed fruit and vegetables. - 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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