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What the papers sayBack

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The Financial Times

Npower buys start-up to help business save energy

One of the biggest suppliers of power to British business is investing in a technology start-up to try and bring down its charges. Britain’s “big six” energy companies are under political pressure to reduce bills – with the opposition Labour party promising to freeze prices for two years if elected in May.

Athens offers more reforms to unlock eurozone’s €7.2bn bailout

Greece yesterday submitted a new list of economic reforms to Eurozone authorities, estimating the measures could raise as much as €6bn this year. It is the cash-strapped government’s most comprehensive effort so far to unlock €7.2bn in bailout funds before it goes bankrupt.

 

Companies and Markets

Marques, get set, go. US carmakers take on luxury brands

Carmakers launched fresh efforts to boost their profitability in the US on the first day of the New York auto show, as March sales figures showed price increases helped to depress volumes, writes Robert Wright.

Daimler to extend chief executive’s contract after turnaround in fortunes

Daimler is set to extend Dieter Zetsche’s contract until 2019, confirming a rapid turnaround in fortunes for the chief executive of the world’s third-largest premium carmaker. Two years ago, Mr Zetsche was at a low ebb. Following profit warnings in 2012 and 2013, weak sales in China and tensions with Daimler’s powerful labour representatives, his contract was renewed for only three years instead of the expected five.

Cheap fuel reduces numbers using FirstGroups’ US coaches

Lower fuel prices hit passenger numbers on FirstGroups’ Greyhound US intercity coaches in the last three months of 2014 as more people returned to their cars. Greyhound’s like-for-like dollar fourth-quarter revenues were now expected to decrease by 5.5 per cent, causing the division’s full-year revenue to be flat, the Aberdeen group said on a pre-close trading update.

 

The Times

Panic in the markets as poll jitters hit sterling

Jitters hit the markets yesterday as analysts warned investors that Britain faces the prospect of a weak and ineffective government after a dead-heat election. With the polls still tied, forecasters unanimously predicted a hung parliament on May 7.

Student killed in crash

A student was killed as she crossed the road outside Kingston University in southwest London on Tuesday. Hina Shamim, 21, from Peterborough, was hit by a BMW. A double decker was also involved. Eight people, including five children who were inside the car, were injured.

Last Top Gear episodes set record for viewers

In the aftermath of a traumatic break-up, it is always those little mementos and memories that make the heart ache most. The feeling must be especially painful for BBC bosses, as data shows record viewing figures on iPlayer in February, driven by Jeremy Clarkson and episodes of Top Gear.

 

The Independent

Tories plan to slash government support for business

The Conservatives were accused of double standards for celebrating the backing of more than 100 business figures while planning huge cuts in government support for industry after the general election.

 

The Daily Mail

Why car insurance can be cheap for a nurse…but pricey for plasterers

Young women can still get cheaper car insurance than young men despite sex equality laws, an economist warned yesterday. Insurers are dodging the rules that ban them from charging female drivers less by offering lower premiums to motorists who have jobs that are done mainly by women, he said.

The Daily Telegraph

Driver smashed up car with hockey stick

A driver went on a road rage rampage with a hockey stick after having a “bad day” after he became stuck in traffic, a court heard yesterday. David Moore, 25, became involved in a argument with Rafal Cegielka, who was trying to pick up his children from school, and punched him through his car window.

Companies and Markets

UK factories growing at fastest rate in months

Britain’s factories expanded at their fastest rate in eight months during March, driven by a rise in new business and weak inflation. The closely watched purchasing managers’ index came in at 54.4 last month, higher than analysts’ expectations of 54.3.

City Car Club bought by Enterprise amid drive towards vehicle sharing

City Car Club, the UK’s biggest independent car-sharing company, has been snapped up by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the world’s biggest car hire business.

Posted by Lois Hardy on 02/04/2015