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Friday newspaper round-up: Brexit deal, WH Smith, Hargreaves Lansdown

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Friday 18 Oct 2019

(Sharecast News) - The head of the International Monetary Fund jumped for joy on hearing that Britain had struck a draft Brexit deal with the European Union as the global community swung behind efforts to get the agreement over the line. Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF managing director, and David Malpass, president of the World Bank, welcomed the end to the uncertainty that the agreement promises if it clears parliament this weekend. - The Times
Opposition parties have threatened to force a referendum on the agreement when MPs gather at Westminster tomorrow for a knife-edge vote on the deal. In a bid to help convince wavering MPs, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned there would be "no prolongation". But he was contradicted by the European Council President Donald Tusk in a blow to the Prime Minister's hopes of creating a 'deal or no-deal' showdown. Mr Johnson appealed to parliamentarians and the country to "come together" and back his compromise, saying it offered an escape from the "painful" three and a half year Brexit process. - Scotsman

The Confederation of British Industry has served Labour with a challenge to publish the full details of its nationalisation plans, in the latest twist of an increasingly bitter row. Britain's leading business group hit back amid mounting pressure over its claim that Labour's nationalisation plans would cost £196bn, releasing further details of how it came up with the price tag. - The Guardian

WH Smith has stepped up its overseas expansion with a $400m takeover of Marshall Retail Group in the United States. The buyout will broadly double the size of the stationery retailer's international travel business and follows its $198m takeover of the US business Inmotion last October. Marshalls has 170 shops in North America, 59 of them inside airports, making $84 million in sales last year. - The Times

Hargreaves Lansdown has come under fire from savers after the collapse of Neil Woodford's investment empire. Many investors say they only put their money in the fund manager's doomed funds because they were championed on Hargreaves best-buy list. The role played by the UK's biggest online funds supermarket is being examined by the Financial Conduct Authority. - The Daily Mail


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