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Remaining in EU backed by 8 out of 10 executives
More than eight in 10 business executives in Europe want the UK to stay in the EU while more than seven in 10 say an exit would hurt the country’s economy, according to a survey. With less than a month to go before the general election, UK businesses have stepped up warnings that a populist debate about immigration could to a ‘Brexit’ that would damage both the UK’s reputation as financial centre and its trade relations with Europe.
Companies & Markets
Volkswagen leadership crisis escalates
The power struggle at Volkswagen escalated over the weekend, as a rift emerged between the families that control the carmaker and its chief executive signalled that he does not intend to surrender his position.
EU red tape creating energy ‘zombie industry’
The EU’s dysfunctional political system is turning clean energy companies into a “zombie industry” of the living dead, the head of one of the bloc’s biggest green power groups has warned.
Shell soothes fears over dividend yield
Royal Dutch Shell is expected to maintain its status as the UK-listed company with the highest dividend yield this year as it seeks to finalise its £47bn takeover of smaller rival BG Group, according to Markit, the data provider.
Driving your new Prius on holiday? Time to meet the mother ship
Within a decade, you could be driving to Dover for the summer getaway in a hybrid car – and when you get there, you could board a plug-in electric ferry. According to ABB, the European engineering giant, hybrid electric vessels are coming on stream and plug-in hybrid technology could begin to rule the waves.
Oil prices threaten to put dividend payouts on slide
Falling oil prices pose the greatest risk to dividend payments, Markit has warned. Because oil and gas companies account for more than 15 per cent of expected payouts from large and midcap UK stocks, with BP and Shell among the top five payers, “continued low oil prices pose the greatest risk to dividend payments”, the research group says in its latest quarterly dividend outlook report.
White van man back on the road as new vehicle sales accelerate
More businesses registered new trucks and vans in the last three months than in any quarter for the last 27 years, in a sign that the white van man, much maligned for his unruly driving, is far from dead. Motoring experts hailed the figures as a sign that the UK’s economy was recovering and businesses were more willing to make long-term investments.
Fewer switching energy supplier despite shake-up
Big energy companies are still bamboozling customers out of accessing the best-value tariffs, despite a tidal wave of regulatory and political pressure, a think-tank warns today.
Labour and Tory tax plans ‘risk long-tern harm’
Tax proposals being put forward by both main parties risk having a ‘long term malign influence’ on the economy, a respected independent think-tank has warned. The Institute for Fiscal Studies was particularly scathing about rival Conservative and Labour plans to cut pensions tax relief for those with incomes above £150,000.
Top Gear contender Kidd attacks caravans
She has been tipped to present Top Gear and it appears Jodie Kidd already has one important credential: a hatred of caravans. Asked what she would do if granted the power to pass any law, Kidd, a model and broadcaster, said she would “ban caravans from single track roads”.
Election uncertainty risks sterling ‘dropping like a stone’
The pound faces a month of uncertainty that could see sterling plunge to levels not seen since the depths of the financial crisis, analysts have warned. Official data tomorrow could show the UK entered deflation in March for the first time in at least a quarter of a century.
Cheap energy and supermarket price war could push UK into deflation this week
Britain could fall into deflation this week for the first time in more than half a century, the result of an escalating supermarket price war and falling energy prices.