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Friday newspaper round-up: Betfred, Carillion, Lekoil

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 17 Jan 2020

Friday newspaper round-up: Betfred, Carillion, Lekoil

(Sharecast News) - The brothers who own the high street bookmaker Betfred are making millions from a business that treats public sector staff for health problems including gambling addiction, the Guardian can disclose. Betfred's owners, the billionaire Tory party donors Fred and Peter Done, also own Health Assured, which holds dozens of government contracts to provide health and wellbeing programmes to staff. - Guardian
The completion of two new hospitals whose construction was brought to a halt by the collapse of the government contractor Carillion has been delayed by two more years and will run hundreds of millions of pounds over budget, according to Whitehall's spending watchdog. The 646-bed Royal Liverpool, originally scheduled to open in 2017, is now forecast to be completed in the autumn of 2022 and cost more than £1bn to build and run compared with an original estimate of £746m, according to the National Audit Office. - Guardian

China's economy weakened to its slowest pace in three decades in 2019 as weaker domestic demand and trade tensions with the United States took their toll, official data shows. The world's second-largest economy grew by 6.1pc last year, its worst performance since 1990, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure is within Beijing's official target of 6.0-6.5pc. But last year's growth was down from 6.6pc in 2018. - Telegraph

One of the world's biggest law firms advised Lekoil on a supposed deal with the Qatar Investment Authority that turned out to be fake, The Times has learnt. Norton Rose Fulbright is understood to be the "retained UK legal counsel" that gave the Aim-quoted Nigerian oil explorer advice before it signed the bogus $184 million loan deal. The disclosure that such an established law firm did not spot the apparent fraud may be embarrassing for Norton Rose Fulbright but adds new intrigue to the emerging scandal. - The Times

The Bank of England has urged City firms to accelerate their efforts to abandon the scandal-ridden Libor financial benchmark and threatened to use its powers against them in an attempt to hasten the overhaul. Companies have been given until the end of next year to stop using the rate and the Bank and the Financial Conduct Authority said yesterday that "the time to act is now". - Guardian


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