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In the Papers - TUI Group, BP, Fever-Tree, JP Morgan

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Newspaper Summary

The Times

Russian rebels win concession as Hambro gives up chair at miner: Peter Hambro is to step down as Executive Chairman of the Russian goldminer he co-founded in 1994 after pressure from shareholders led by the billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

Moody’s has little respect for Noble debt: Noble Group’s debt has been downgraded further into junk territory by Moody’s, which warned that the commodities trader may not have enough cash and credit to cover maturing debts this year.

Nuts and bolts of buying up rivals still appeals to Unilever: The love of adding still more to its commercial toolkit shows no sign of abating at Unilever, which has made yet another “bolt-on” acquisition by agreeing to buy a portfolio of products from Quala, a fast-growing Latin American consumer goods company.

Brexit bears give up and give sterling time to recover: Sterling is close to crossing back above $1.30 for the first time since September as investors cut their short positions amid hopes that a hard Brexit is less likely and ahead of an expected surge in inflation.

Dignity remains on acquisition trail: Dignity said that its revenue had risen by 15% to £93.3 million in the 13 weeks to March 31, while underlying profit had increased by 20% to £37.4 million.

TUI ‘ready to navigate any Brexit turbulence’: The Boss of TUI Group admitted that Brexit was “potentially concerning”, but insisted that the travel operator had the tools to navigate any turbulence.

Put pensions first, Bosses told: The pensions watchdog is to take a tougher line on companies that pay dividends to shareholders before plugging their pension deficits.

The Independent

Most British workers have stopped taking sick days, survey finds: A slightly sore throat and a bit of a sniffle won’t keep Brits out of work, new research suggests.

U.K. workers should brace for higher unemployment and falling real pay: Unemployment is set to rise and pay packets will be squeezed in the next two years as a Brexit slowdown in the economy begins to bite, according to new analysis.

British families are throwing away 1.4 million bananas every day: British families are throwing away 1.4 million bananas that are perfectly good to eat every day at cost of £80 million a year, new figures have shown.

Oil price jumps 2% as Saudi Arabia and Russia extend production cut: Oil jumped to its highest level in two weeks after the Saudi Arabian and Russian energy Ministers said they are in favour of extending a production-cut deal for nine months.

London is world’s fifth most expensive city for construction despite the pound’s Brexit slump: Despite a dramatic slump in the value of the pound since Britain’s vote to leave the EU, London remains the world’s fifth most expensive city for commercial and residential construction, according to a new study.

The Daily Telegraph

City warns Corbyn’s ‘Robin Hood’ tax will hit pensioners’ pockets: The City has hit back at Labour’s proposals to impose a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on financial transactions if it wins the General Election, warning that the tax will “inevitably” hit the savings of pensioners.

Lyft teams up with Google to develop driverless cars in blow to Uber: Google’s driverless cars division has teamed up with U.S. ride-hailing business Lyft to develop autonomous technology for vehicles.

Energy investors ‘underwhelmed’ by U.K. renewables market: Energy investors are underwhelmed by the U.K. renewable energy market due to a vacuum in policy direction for the industry’s future.

Booths ‘outsider’ Boss steps down: Booths, the upmarket Northern grocery chain, has parted ways with its first and only ‘outsider’ Chief Executive in a move that returns the leadership of the retailer to family hands.

Spencer returns to ‘laughable’ euro-clearing battle on earnings day: City veteran Michael Spencer has weighed back into the euro-clearing debate barely a month after warning Europe against its plot to take back the $1 trillion market, calling the battle “quite laughable” as his company reported its full-year results.

Johnston Press backs down over bonus boost for Bosses as debt pressures increase: The troubled newspaper owner Johnston Press has caved in to shareholder anger over plans to offer Chief Executive Ashley Highfield a bigger bonus this year, all in cash.

The Guardian

Noel Edmonds accuses Lloyds of ‘foot dragging’ over HBOS payouts: Noel Edmonds has accused Lloyds Banking Group of “foot dragging” over compensation payouts to himself and other victims of the HBOS Reading fraud.

Debt fears as county court judgments soar by more than a third: Nearly 300,000 debt judgments were filed against individuals in English and Welsh county courts in the first three months of 2017, the highest quarterly figure for more than 10 years.

Online betting firm 888 investigated by watchdog: Online gambling company 888 is being investigated by the industry regulator, which has the power to strip betting firms of their licence to do business, amid concern over the tools it uses to help problem gamblers.

BP shareholders urged to reject Chief’s £9 million pay package: BP shareholders are being urged to vote against Executive pay packages this week on the grounds they are too high and not taking climate change seriously.

Andy Murray backs more U.K. startups: Andy Murray, the number one male tennis player in the world, has backed two fledgling British companies on crowdfunding platform Seedrs, including a business behind the world’s first flat folding helmet.

French TV company behind Versailles to invest in U.K. drama: The French maker of the lavish TV period drama Versailles is launching a €50 million (£42.4 million) fund to make English-language dramas with U.K. production companies, in a move influenced by the weakening of the pound since the Brexit vote.

Daily Mail

Posh tonic maker Fever-Tree hits £2 billion after meteoric three-year rise: Since it listed on the London Stock Exchange three years ago, shares in the drinks firm have risen by more than 933% – and show little sign of slowing.

Forcing firms to put workers’ representatives on their boards ought to be a force for good: The terrible scandals of the past year, including the fight for the restoration of the BHS pension fund and disclosure of appalling working conditions at the Sports Direct warehouse at Shirebrook in Derbyshire, badly damaged the image and reputation of free market capitalism. So, it is encouraging that Theresa May wants to calm the animal spirits. Making companies put workers’ representatives on their boards ought to be a force for good.

Shares in security firms soar after NHS hacking attack: Shares in cyber security groups soared as investors bet on a surge in spending by governments and businesses desperate to protect themselves from hacking attacks.

BMO ditches shares in fossil fuel firms after pressure from Archbishop of Canterbury: Investor BMO Asset Management is ditching £20 million of shares in fossil fuel firms due to their environmental impact following pressure from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is President of its responsible investment council.

Eve Sleep launches on stock market in £140 million flotation: Three friends who wanted to invent a bouncier mattress for sex have launched their start-up on to the stock market in a £140 million flotation.

Daily Express

Tesco, B&Q and John Lewis to launch scheme helping careers of part-time workers: A scheme is being launched to help “unblock” career progression for part-time workers in the retail industry.

Oil price rise pushes FTSE to record high as producers extend production cut: Higher oil prices propelled the FTSE 100 to a record high after leading producers signalled an extension of production cuts into next year.

Bitcoin bubble fears as online currency now more valuable than gold: Bitcoin is fuelling fears of a ‘cryptocurrency’ underground bubble as the digital currency is now more valuable than gold.

GBP/AUD down from 8-month high as British workers face pay squeeze: The pound slipped against the Australian dollar this morning following a report published suggesting that British workers’ will likely face a pay squeeze over the coming year.

The Scottish Herald

£5 billion trust takes Trump in its stride: The £5 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust has highlighted its “very small” exposure to the U.K. economy, as Brexit looms, and signalled continuing confidence in global giants such as Amazon despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s “unpredictable approach”.

Spark Energy moves into telecoms with first takeover: Spark Energy has made its first acquisition since last August’s management buyout, with Sussex-based broadband firm Home Telecom being described as “a perfect fit”.

Problems on giant Shetland field hit Premier: North Sea heavyweight Premier Oil has said the giant Solan field off Shetland achieved only around a third of the expected output in recent months amid continued challenges on what is a flagship project.

Surge in total pay for oil firm Boss: Faroe Petroleum Chief Executive Graham Stewart’s total remuneration rose by around 25% last year when the North Sea-focused oil and gas firm increased production and reserves.

Crude price rises but oil and gas firms remain cautious: Crude prices rose strongly after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to do “whatever it takes” to help rebalance the market as research showed the global industry remains very cautious.

All Change as recruitment firm is sold: Glasgow-based Change Recruitment has been sold to venture capitalist Paul Atkinson for an undisclosed sum.

Scottish capital is third most creative in the U.K.: Edinburgh has come third place in a ranking of the U.K.’s top 25 locations for the creative industries, with Glasgow not far behind in fifth.

Storage firm going from strength to strength: Brian Gifford is the first to admit his ultimate goal – to see his company Storage Vault hit the £100 million mark – might appear over-ambitious.

The Scotsman

Harris Tweed producer targets Spanish market as demand rises: The largest producer of Harris Tweed has announced plans to push into Spain, where King Felipe is said to be a fan of the brand.

JP Morgan in Dublin docklands move to address Brexit: JP Morgan has snapped up an office building in Dublin with the capacity to house 1,000 staff as it ramps up its Brexit contingency planning.

Shot in the arm for Inverness life sciences centre: Danish life sciences firm Corporate Health International (CHI) is investing £5.7 million in a new diagnostics centre at Inverness Campus.

Small firms waste ‘millions of hours’ on IT problems: Small and medium-sized businesses across the U.K. could save about five million working hours every week by fixing everyday IT problems, according to a survey of more than 600 business leaders.

U.K. plc fortunes rebound thanks to weaker sterling: U.K.-listed companies appear to have turned a corner after their collective revenues rose for the first time in four years, a report suggested.

City A.M.

Virgin Money walks away from Co-op Bank takeover talks after months of speculation: Virgin Money has walked away from a deal to buy Co-op Bank after months of speculation linking the lender with a move.

Aspen Pharmacare shares hit by European Commission probe into cancer drug price hikes: The European Commission launched an investigation into claims that Aspen Pharmacare has excessively raised the prices of five life-saving cancer drugs.

Hotel finder Trivago’s shares leap as it swings to profit: Trivago’s shares jumped more than 20% as the U.S.-listed firm swung to profit in the first quarter of 2017.

Sugar-free Coke recipes matches classic Coca-Cola sales for the first time as consumers turn to healthier options: Health-conscious consumers are driving up demand for sugar-free alternatives to Coke, as the soft drinks giant reveals that sales of Coke Zero and Diet Coke now match those of regular Coke.

Startup exercise snack company Tribe hits £1 million on Crowdcube in its first day: Tribe, a sports nutrition company, has raised £1 million in an equity crowdfunding round on the first day of its public launch.

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