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Friday newspaper round-up: Trade deal, Boeing, WPP, Interserve

Fri 15 March 2019 07:44 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Britain has signed a post-Brexit trade deal with the Pacific islands of Fiji and Papua New Guinea, as the government rushes to sign as many agreements as possible before 29 March. The Department for International Trade said the agreement would maintain access to goods including sugar and fish imported from the islands 10,000 miles away. Total trade between Britain and the region is worth about £369m a year. - Guardian

Boeing's 737 Max 8 and 9 planes will remain grounded for weeks at a minimum, US politicians said on Thursday, as flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane arrived in France. After a briefing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), congressman Rick Larsen said the planes, which have been involved in two fatal crashes in the last five months, would be banned from flying "at least through April" while new software is installed and investigations continue. - Guardian

Scores of Britain's biggest businesses have been named and shamed for their failure to appoint enough women to their boards. Sir Philip Hampton, the chairman of GlaxoSmithKlein and head of the Hampton-Alexander review into diversity, wrote to scores of FTSE 350 businesses to object to male-dominance in the boardroom. - Telegraph

Sir Martin Sorrell, former WPP boss, is poised to receive a £2.1m bonus, despite leaving the firm last year. The advertising giant said the reward is part of its long-term incentive plan and that it would not challenge Sir Martin's right to benefit from the scheme. - Telegraph

Philip Hammond has ample room to end austerity this year after banking £30 billion in lower borrowing forecasts in his spring statement, leading think tanks have said. Nine years after the toughest austerity programme in generations was launched, the chancellor is in a position to increase spending on unprotected departments in line with GDP and reverse welfare cuts while keeping within his deficit and debt reduction rules. - The Times

The future of Interserve, the contractor that employs 45,000 people in the UK, is on a knife-edge before a crucial shareholder vote today. Investors will gather in the City to decide whether to back contentious restructuring plans for the troubled outsourcing company under which lenders will write off about £485 million of debts and inject £110 million into the business in return for the vast majority of the company's equity. - The Times

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