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Friday newspaper round-up: Brexit, HSBC, Unilever, Amazon, Uber

By Digital Look

Date: Friday 19 Oct 2018

Friday newspaper round-up: Brexit, HSBC, Unilever, Amazon, Uber

(Sharecast News) - Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit - made without cabinet approval - enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike. With confidence in No 10 ebbing away, rival blocs of Conservative MPs stepped up plotting against the prime minister. - The Times
EU leaders are preparing to back Theresa May in building a "coalition of the reasonable" in the UK parliament, in a desperate bid to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Following what has been described by diplomats as a "call for help" by the prime minister at a crunch summit in Brussels, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, stressed that the EU had to pursue "all avenues" to find a deal that can get through the Commons."I think where there is a will there is a way," she said. - Guardian

The construction of High Speed 2 will cost 25 per cent more than similar rail projects in other countries, it has been claimed, prompting further warnings that the scheme is too expensive. A report commissioned by HS2 Ltd, the government-owned company, is expected to show that costs are far higher than those for networks elsewhere because of population density, the cost of land and skills shortages. - The Times

HSBC is poised to become the first overseas firm to list in China under plans to link the London and Shanghai stock exchanges. City analysts heralded the "symbolic" move as the London-based bank finalises plans to issue depository receipts in China's financial capital. - Telegraph

MPs have urged ministers to bring forward their ban on new petrol and diesel car sales by eight years to 2032, to avoid the UK being left "in the passenger seat" in the global switch to electric vehicles. Government plans for a 2040 ban on fossil fuel-powered cars and vans across Britain were unambitious and did not even show leadership within the UK, given Scotland has set itself an earlier target, the business, energy and industrial strategy committee said. - Guardian

One of Unilever's most senior directors has conceded that the consumer goods group could ditch plans to overhaul its corporate structure as it struggles to solve its Anglo-Dutch status. Speaking for the first time publicly since Unilever this month shelved plans to move to the Netherlands, Graeme Pitkethly, finance director, said it was grappling with "trying to solve a complicated algorithm" and he could not put a deadline on when it would make a decision. - The Times

Civil servants working for Jeremy Hunt successfully lobbied the Cabinet Office to stop failing Carillion hospital projects from being overseen by an independent watchdog, an official report has disclosed. A National Audit Office report said the Department of Health intervened in 2015, which meant the Cabinet Office took responsibility for oversight of Carillion's health construction projects including the Midland Metropolitan hospital. Hunt was health secretary at the time. - Guardian

Name checks will be carried out when UK bank customers send money to other people from next year in a bid to halt a rising tide of bank transfer fraud. At the moment, anyone wanting to transfer money is asked for the recipient's account name, account number and sort code. However, the bank does not currently check if the account name is correct. - Guardian

Amazon is investing in three regional hubs across the UK, creating more than 1,000 new skilled jobs in a move UK trade secretary Liam Fox hailed as a "signal to the world that the UK is very much open for business". The internet giant will open a new office in Manchester, to house at least 600 new employees working on software development, machine learning and research and development. - Telegraph

Uber is planning to launch a division that would hire out temporary workers such as waiters and security guards for corporate functions and parties. The ride-hailing app is looking to diversify its business before an expected stock market debut next year that Wall Street investment banks think may value Uber at as much as $120 billion. - The Times

Paypal shares popped during late trading after the payments processor beat Wall Street estimates. Shares in the Silicon Valley company rose 2pc to $79.20 after reporting revenue growth of 14pc to $3.68bn, surpassing its own forecast of $3.63bn and market analysts' $3.66bn forecasts. Earnings were up 26pc.

A secretive Silicon Valley data mining company that works with American spy agencies and the Pentagon is planning a flotation that is likely to be one of the biggest in recent years. Palantir Technologies, co-created by Peter Thiel, the Paypal co-founder, analyses large volumes of data for intelligence agencies and governments and is credited with helping the United States to hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden. - The Times

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