• Markets

    Why House of Fraser is swapping coffee for champagne: Department store chain wants to go more upmarket

    House of Fraser is looking at opening champagne and gin bars to attract shoppers.The department store chain wants to go more upmarket and has opened branches of coffee chain Caffe Nero in stores.But it is understood these have not been as successful as hoped so it is now turning to champagne and gin after launching a hit gin bar in a Glasgow shop earlier this year, where shoppers can order an afternoon tea with gin-soaked scones. House of Fraser's Belfast champagne bar has proved popular with shoppersHouse of Fraser already has a popular champagne bar in its Belfast store. It ...

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  • Markets

    Iceland bucks shopping gloom snapping up stores for its cash-and-carry style Food Warehouse chain

    Expansion plans: Iceland boss Richard WalkerIceland is to profit from retail rivals' woes by snapping up stores for its Food Warehouse chain.Richard Walker, managing director of the frozen food chain, said it had 'active and aggressive' plans for new stores. It comes as competitors shut outlets and the prospective Sainsbury's-Asda merger is expected to see both chains offload sites to appease the competition watchdog.Iceland already has 66 Food Warehouse stores, which are cash-and-carry style and around three times the size of traditional Iceland outlets, and plans to add at least 30 a year. 'Retailers are shedding space and we are looking ...

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  • Markets

    DAILY BRIEFING: Oil price falls after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they could increase supplies

    OIL FALLS After Saudi Arabia and Russia said they could increase supplies, the oil price fell again. Brent crude topped $80 a barrel in recent days, but dipped back towards $75.THANKS, MUM The bank of mum and dad will be behind more than one in four house sales in 2018. Some 27 per cent of buyers will receive help from friends or family, up from 25 per cent in 2017, according to forecasts from Legal and General and economics consultancy Cebr.This year the bank of mum and dad will help 316,600 loved ones buy a home, up from 298,300 in 2017, ...

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  • Markets

    Political turmoil sends Italian shares plunging with stock market in Milan closing more than 2% down

    Italian president Sergio Mattarella asked former IMF official Carlo Cottarelli (pictured) to be Prime MinisterShares in Italy tumbled and borrowing costs soared as the political crisis engulfing the country deepened.The stock market in Milan closed more than 2 per cent lower on a dramatic day that paved the way for fresh elections.Borrowing costs also rose, with the yield on ten-year government bonds approaching 2.7 per cent, the highest level for four years as investors fretted about the future.It came as President Sergio Mattarella asked former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli to be Prime Minister and form a government ...

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  • Markets

    Investors to snap up £3bn of RBS shares with the taxpayer set to lose billions of pounds on the sale

    Ministers are preparing to sell a £3bn stake in the Royal Bank of ScotlandMinisters are preparing to sell a £3billion stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland this week, putting it on the final path to privatisation.A sale would cut the taxpayer holding to 60 per cent of the bank, which the Government bailed out in the financial crisis with a £45.5billion lifeline.If it happens, the final hurdle for the return of all shares to private ownership will be in sight. That process could be delayed further if it is not considered that the taxpayer is getting good value ...

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  • Markets

    £1bn assault on the High Street: Shopkeepers suffer as Visa hikes fees on card payments

    Shopkeepers must pay £1billion extra a year to payments giant Visa after it hiked fees.The increase comes as shops face a boom in customers who want to pay by card for even the cheapest items.But what many don’t realise is that every transaction costs the retailer, and Visa has been accused of cashing in, by hiking its fees. Card sharks: Shops face a boom in customers who want to pay by card for even the cheapest items meaning they must pay more in feesExperts warned that some small retailers will see their bills more than double and some could even ...

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  • Markets

    UK engineer Smiths Group in talks for a £6bn medical merger with American rival

    British engineer Smiths Group is in talks to merge its medical division with an American rival in a £6billion tie-up.Smiths, which makes products such as resuscitators and airport security scanners, is looking to fight off becoming the latest target of an activist investor.Though the structure of a merger with Nasdaq-listed ICU Medical has yet to be agreed, reports suggest it could take the form of a joint venture, rather than ICU buying Smiths' medical business outright. Smiths, which makes products such as resuscitators and airport security scanners, is looking to fight off becoming the latest target of an activist investorICU, ...

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  • Markets

    Drones to deliver £42bn boost to Britain's economy by 2030, says accountancy giant PwC

    Take off: There will be more than 76,000 drones in the UK skies by 2030Drones could give a £42billion boost to Britain's economy by 2030 as the airborne devices are increasingly used for commercial activity, a report by accountancy giant PwC says.There will be more than 76,000 in the UK skies by the end of the next decade.They could be used in areas such as defence and health and education, says PwC, with the biggest boost to output in the wholesale and retail sector. PwC's Elaine Whyte said: 'The advantages of drone technology will be not only for business purposes, ...

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  • Markets

    Medicinal Cannabis firm Ananda Developments to list in London aiming to raise £750,000

    Ananda Developments wants to raise £750,000 to plough into companies working on medicinal cannabisA firm investing in the medicinal cannabis sector is set to list in London next month.Ananda Developments wants to raise £750,000 to plough into companies working on research, and commercialising the pain relief drug being legalised by a growing number of countries.The investment company will become a second route for UK investors to get into the sector after its shares join the Nex Exchange, an alternative to the London Stock Exchange for small companies.Rival Sativa Investments joined Nex last month and raised £1.1million.Ananda’s executive director Melissa ...

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  • Markets

    Sainsbury’s to slash management jobs after £14.1bn merger with Asda

    Sainsbury’s has admitted it will slash management jobs as part of its £14.1 billion merger with Asda.In a letter to MPs, Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe confessed that ‘a very small number of well-paid managerial roles will be duplicated across the group’.It is not known how many jobs are at risk but they are likely to be in head offices where two of the same roles exist. Promise: Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe has said that no shop-floor jobs will be lost as part of its tie-up with AsdaSo far, Coupe has promised that no shop-floor jobs will be lost as ...

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  • Markets

    Ocado poised to enter FTSE 100 for first time after share price more than trebles in just six months

    On the up: Tim Steiner with model  Patrycja PykaOcado is poised to enter the FTSE 100 for the first time this week after its share price more than trebled in just six months.The online grocer is worth £5.8 billion, making it valuable enough to join the ranks of the UK’s biggest listed companies in a FTSE 100 reshuffle on Wednesday.Its share price has soared from around 240p per share to 887p in the last six months after it was boosted by deals in France, Sweden, Canada and the US to provide supermarkets with its pioneering robotic technology.Despite trading at a ...

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  • Markets

    Sir Richard Branson warns Labour plot to renationalise industry is mistake that would drag Britain back to chaos of 1970s

    Labour's plot to renationalise industry is a mistake that would drag Britain back to the chaos of the 1970s, Sir Richard Branson has warned.The billionaire entrepreneur said that young voters only support public ownership because they never lived through the strikes, power cuts and inefficiency the country suffered before Margaret Thatcher’s wave of privatisation. Warning: Sir Richard Branson said that young voters only support public ownership because they never lived through the strikes, power cuts and inefficiency of the 1970sThe 67-year-old, who now lives in the British Virgin Islands, said: ‘I’m old enough to remember when we had British Gas, ...

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  • Markets

    House of Fraser facing backlash from landlords over proposals to shut around a third of stores and get rent reductions across others

    House of Fraser is facing a backlash from a group of major landlords over proposals to shut around a third of stores and get rent reductions across others.Property titans including Legal & General and Westfield are expected to pile the pressure on House of Fraser, which wants to implement a restructuring process called a company voluntary arrangement. Backlash: Property titans including Legal & General and Westfield are expected to pile the pressure on House of FraserAround a dozen landlords could threaten to vote against the insolvency procedure if the struggling department store fails to provide assurances over future financial performance. It is ...

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  • Markets

    DAILY BRIEFING: UK economy could grow faster than expected in second quarter

    Growth spurt Growth of Britain’s economy is expected to be faster than expected in the second quarter of the year, claims Goldman Sachs. GDP growth could reach 0.5 per cent from April to June, compared with a fall of 0.1 per cent earlier this year.Cash boost DIY chain Homebase is expected to receive a £75million cash injection following the disastrous takeover by Australian firm Wesfarmers. Homebase’s new owner Hilco Capital bought the retailer for £1 last week. GDP growth could reach 0.5 per cent from April to June, Goldman Sachs saysGrowth spurt Growth of Britain’s economy is expected to be faster than expected in ...

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  • Markets

    BIG SHOT OF THE WEEK: Beware a banking boss whose golf handicap is lower than their shirt size, they say, but Santander's Ana Botin might just be the exception to the rule

    Still a champion: Santander's Ana BotinBeware a banking boss whose golf handicap is lower than their shirt size, they say. However, Ana Botin might just be the exception to the rule.Santander’s £9m-a-year executive chairman knows her way around a balance sheet almost as well as she does the golf links.Twice a junior champion and a member of America’s hallowed Augusta National, home of the US Masters, to this day she maintains an impressive eight handicap.But then what would you expect from someone who received one-to-one coaching from her late brother-in-law, Spanish golfing genius Severiano Ballesteros?Fragrant Ana, or Ana Patricia ...

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Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999