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Friday newspaper round-up: Royal Mail, Hong Kong businesses, HP, Aramco

Fri 23 August 2019 07:35 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - More than 100,000 Royal Mail workers are expected to vote on whether to strike over grievances about job security, an alleged culture of bullying, and the terms and conditions of their employment. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) will begin balloting its members from 24 September unless an agreement can be reached before then, with the result expected in early October. - Guardian

Hong Kong is a free marketer's dream. The tiny island has a GDP bigger than many industrialised countries, low tax and abundant cheap labour, and is a world-class financial centre boasting a stock market with a total value of more than £2.5tn. No wonder then that the city's most powerful vested interests are showing signs of nerves after 11 weeks of street protests that have paralysed the city, sparking its biggest political crisis since the handover to China in 1997 and threatening to push it into recession. Even worse, some observers believe the standoff could destroy Hong Kong's cherished entrepot status and send it on a journey of no return into China's orbit. - Guardian

Germany is examining plans to prohibit banks from imposing negative interest rates on savers, threatening to leave lenders in an impossible position and greatly complicating the job of the European Central Bank as it prepares fresh stimulus. The outlandish move comes amid growing German irritation with the radical monetary experiments of the ECB and its policy of negative rates - currently minus 0.4pc but soon to go yet lower - deemed an assault on hard-working savers and known as "punishment rates" by the country's media. - Telegraph

The boss of computer giant HP is to step down after four years due to family health reasons. Dion Weisler will be succeeded by company veteran Enrique Lores from November 1. Mr Lores, who has worked at the printer maker for 30 years, currently heads HP's imaging printing and solutions unit. - Telegraph

London has stepped up its attempts to secure the flotation of Saudi Arabia's giant state-owned oil company as the fight to work on what will be the world's biggest initial public offering intensifies. David Schwimmer, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, visited Saudi Arabia last month as part of efforts to encourage Saudi Aramco to choose London for its listing, which could raise $100 billion. The offering is expected to include a listing in Saudi Arabia as well as a market overseas. - The Times

The financial ombudsman has upheld four in every five complaints about guarantor loans in its latest financial quarter, showing a toughening stance towards the product. The ombudsman upheld 83 per cent of complaints about the loans, which involve a family member or friend being liable to repay a debt if the borrower cannot. This was up from 32 per cent last year. - The Times

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