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Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit, retailers, Amazon, May, Interserve

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Monday 10 Dec 2018

Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit, retailers, Amazon, May, Interserve

(Sharecast News) - A pair of hedge funds owned by prominent Brexit supporters have made significant bets against companies exposed to the British consumer including big high street names. Odey Asset Management, part-owned by Crispin Odey, and Marshall Wace, part-owned by Sir Paul Marshall, have declared short positions against consumer-exposed companies, including retailers, estate agents and banks, equivalent to £149m and £572m respectively - as rising political uncertainty threatens the economy. - Guardian
The crisis on Britain's high streets is to intensify this Christmas, with shopkeepers preparing themselves for the quietest festive period since the credit crunch, according to forecasts. A combination of low consumer confidence because of Brexit, more agile online competitors and Christmas shoppers increasingly buying experiences such as concert tickets instead of products, will combine to ruin the season for more high-street stores, said the retail research group Springboard. - Guardian

Amazon plans to open a futuristic checkout-free store near Oxford Circus in London, The Sunday Telegraph has learned, in a sign its efforts to bring the "Amazon Go" concept to the UK are accelerating. Industry sources said the push to open the store in the West End, Europe's busiest shopping area, was being orchestrated by Amazon's US team, and not out of the UK. - Telegraph

Directors of Britain's biggest private companies are under pressure to clean up their act with a new set of "principles" aimed at preventing another BHS-style collapse. A series of scandals has pushed the accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council, to issue the new guidelines for bosses. - Telegraph

Theresa May is facing the prospect of a leadership battle with the 48 letters from MPs that would trigger a contest likely to be submitted this week, The Times has been told. Tory challengers broke cover to set out their leadership pitchesyesterday before the most difficult week of Mrs May's troubled premiership. Boris Johnson tried to put himself at the head of a jockeying pack by outlining plans for another negotiation with Brussels. Other former ministers refused to rule themselves out of a contest. - The Times

Interserve is braced for another chaotic day of share dealing today after it emerged that it was in talks to restructure its finances. Any deal agreed could result in significant losses for its lenders and may virtually wipe out the investments of existing shareholders. In a statement issued last night, Interserve, one of the government's biggest outsourced services contractors, sought to allay market fears that it was heading towards the precipice, a year on from the collapse of its erstwhile rival Carillion. - The Times


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