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Monday newspaper round-up: Living wage, trade war, Restaurant Group, GE

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 05 Nov 2018

Monday newspaper round-up: Living wage, trade war, Restaurant Group, GE

(Sharecast News) - More than 180,000 workers are set for an inflation-beating pay rise, as the UK living wage rises against a backdrop of increases in transport costs, private rent and council tax. The pay rate, a voluntary measure adopted by more than 4,700 employers, including Aviva, Burberry and Ikea, will increase by 2.9% to £9 an hour across the country and by 3.4% to £10.55 in London. - Guardian
Xi Jinping has promised to lower import tariffs and improve access to the Chinese market in remarks meant to portray his country as a champion of globalisation as it remains locked in a trade war with the US. "Protectionism and unilateralism is rising. Multilateralism and the free trade system are under threat ... China will not close its door to the world and will only become more and more open", the Chinese president said on Monday at the beginning of a trade fair in Shanghai. - Guardian

Germany's nationalised train operator is locked in crisis talks with the Government as unprecedented levels of disruption cripple the finances of one of Britain's biggest rail franchises, the Telegraph can reveal. Northern, whose parent company Arriva is owned by state-backed transport titan Deutsche Bahn, has suffered at the hands of waves of strike action and a bungled timetable overhaul. - Telegraph

The Restaurant Group's blockbuster takeover of Wagamama's is under threat as concerns mount over the logic of the deal. Shares in the London-listed owner of Frankie & Benny's and Garfunkel's plunged last week after the £560m purchase of the popular noodle chain was unveiled. Investors are being tapped for £315m of funding and the chain will take on more than £400m of debt, half of which is currently sitting on Wagamama's balance sheet. - Telegraph

The chancellor has suffered his first big setback since the budget as it emerged that confidence among businesses had slumped to its lowest level since the financial crisis. Just a week after Philip Hammond announced a budget that appeared to signal the end to austerity and attempted to provide a boost to commerce, a survey has shown that corporate sentiment fell to below its lows in the wake of the Brexit referendum. - The Times

HM Revenue & Customs is pursuing General Electric for almost £800 million in tax deductions going back 14 years. The tax authority has told GE that it intended to retrospectively disallow interest deductions claimed by GE Capital, its financial services division, between 2004 and 2015. - The Times

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