Hargreaves Lansdown

Sunday newspaper round-up: Monarch, Tesco, 2 Sisters, Bank of Scotland, John Laing

Sun 01 October 2017 17:45 | A A A

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(ShareCast News) - Budget holiday airline Monarch was last night locked in talks in a bid to avoid collapse, after fears grew that it may have its tour operator licence revoked. The aviation watchdog was yesterday chartering planes to cover the risk that up to 100,000 passengers may be stranded abroad, with KPMG on standby to handle a potential administration. Ministers have held meetings over the fate of the airline in recent days, amid fears that its stretched finances and tough trading will push it over the brink. - The Sunday Times

Tesco chief Dave Lewis will this week attempt to confirm the supermarket 'giant's comeback by restoring its dividend, even as the alleged "colossal fraud" that blew a hole in its finances is laid bare in court. Mr Lewis, who was drafted in to lead a salvage operation at Tesco three years ago after investigators uncovered hundreds of millions of pounds of missing profits, scrapped the dividend months into his reign to help repair the balance sheet. - Sunday Telegraph

Three of the UK's biggest supermarket chains have halted deliveries of chicken from a factory belonging to the country's biggest poultry supplier after undercover filming revealed poor hygiene standards and food safety records being altered. The 2 Sisters Food Group, which owns the site, is also facing a "short, sharp" parliamentary inquiry in the wake of evidence uncovered by a joint investigation by the Guardian and ITV News, which showed footage of workers altering the source and slaughter date of poultry being processed at the plant in West Bromwich. - Observer

Landlords with several properties are bracing themselves for changes to mortgage rules that will make it far more difficult for them to finance their investments. The move comes after a testing couple of years for landlords, who have been hit with stamp duty and tax rises, and a plethora of new regulations. At the same time, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised last week to reintroduce rent controls if elected, after an absence of 30 years. - Mail on Sunday

John Cryan, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, has been warned that he faces the axe unless he can turn round the colossal German lender in just six months. Union Investment, a top 20 shareholder, said efforts to restore profits at Deutsche's once-towering investment bank were taking too long. - The Sunday Times

Bank of Scotland, the Lloyds Banking Group subsidiary, is facing allegations it defrauded a property group out of millions of pounds at the height of the 'financial crisis. The bank is alleged to have made millions by selling and then re-selling £100m of interest rate swaps over a few months in 2008 and 2009. - Sunday Telegraph

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson will invest in a Red Sea project that aims to turn 50 Saudi Arabian islands into luxury tourism destinations, the Saudi government announced on Sunday. Branson is the first international investor to commit to the project, Saudi Arabia's information ministry said, in what officials called "a clear sign that Saudi Arabia is opening its doors to international tourism". - Observer

The chief executive of one of the UK's biggest banks has given his backing to Financial Mail's campaign for an independent forum to resolve disputes between small firms and their lenders. Paul Pester, the boss of TSB, has added his voice to that of Britain's top City regulator Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority. - Mail on Sunday

The co-owner of an £8bn PFI deal to build high-speed trains is considering cashing in at a huge profit - before the trains have hit the tracks. John Laing is understood to be seeking bidders for its two stakes of 24% and 30% in the Intercity Express Programme. - The Sunday Times

Boden, the online clothing brand loved by Britain's middle-classes, paid out £9.3m to nine directors last year following a successful overseas push. The payout came after international sales helped the chain, popular with Samantha Cameron and Michelle Obama, to offset the effect of the falling pound on costs. Two-fifths of revenues are now generated in the US. - Sunday Telegraph

A transatlantic salvage operation will put to sea on Monday to recover some of the estimated £125bn worth of gold and other precious metals sunk by German U-boats while being shipped to pay for Britain's first and second world war efforts. Britannia Gold, a UK firm that has spent 25 years analysing cargo lost at sea, will set sail in secret from an unannounced port to explore the first cluster of shipwrecks it hopes will yield treasure. - Observer

Fed-up bank customers who take to social media websites such as Twitter to complain could leave themselves exposed to fraudsters, a recent case shows. Two readers have got in touch with This is Money after losing £4,000 through a scam that all started when they sent a simple tweet to their bank Metro Bank - which did not contain any personal or banking details. - Mail on Sunday

Exports to the EU from key sectors of the British economy will drop by 40% without a Brexit trade deal, a new report by one of the world's top law firms shows. The automotive, consumer products, healthcare and technology sectors will collectively lose £17bn in European sales if Britain defaults to World Trade Organisation rules to govern its trade with the Continent, says the research by Baker McKenzie and consultancy Oxford Economics. - The Sunday Times

Brazil hopes to begin free trade 'negotiations with the UK as soon as possible, the country's finance minister said on a visit to Britain, as the South American nation seeks to open up to the world. "We are ready to open discussions with the British Government," said Henrique Meirelle. "They have already shown an interest in bilateral negotiations for a possible trade agreement. We do think that is a good idea." - Sunday Telegraph

Comic Relief and Fairtrade have joined forces with the Dutch government to back a $15m (£11m) scheme to support ethical gold mining in east Africa after a successful pilot project in Uganda. - Observer

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