British Banks Will Have to Cut Ties to Sanctioned Oligarchs, U.S. Says

British Banks Will Have to Cut Ties to Sanctioned Oligarchs, U.S. Says Photo London has for decades served as a haven for Russia’s wealthiest families. Russian investors own swaths of high-end real estate there. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times LONDON — The United States on Tuesday ratcheted up its efforts to block Kremlin-linked industrialists from doing business in the West, warning that British banks will have to sever their relationships with the tycoons if they want continued access to American financial institutions.
Sigal P. Mandelker, a top American Treasury official in London to meet with her counterparts, said British banks could face “consequences” if they continued to carry out significant transactions on behalf of the 24 influential Russians sanctioned by Washington on Friday. The list includes the industrialists Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, along with Kirill Shamalov, who American officials have identified as President Vladimir V. Putin’s son-in-law.
“T..

Airbus warns hard Brexit will cause business to 'grind to a halt'

Tom Enders says the lack of clarity on Brexit is 'damaging and hard to bear'
Airbus has warned the UK government that it must provide a clearer vision of the country’s post-Brexit relationship with the European Union or risk a decline in investment in the aviation industry.
Writing in the Financial Times, Airbus chief executive Tom Enders called the lack of clarity on Brexit a situation that is “damaging and hard to bear”.
“A transition arrangement for the UK’s departure will be a positive step, once it is signed. But this is a temporary solution – it does not solve all the issues that need to be addressed,” Mr Enders told the FT on Wednesday.
Read more Sticking to EU law 'vastly' better than making our own, say businesses “We must have more clarity on the UK’s long-term relationships, not just for the next 20 months.”
The manufacturer's CEO called for the UK to remain within the EU aviation safety certification agency to ensure new planes gain the nec..

Oil giant ConocoPhillips to axe 450 UK jobs over next two years

The US company is stopping production at a gas terminal on the Lincolnshire coast
Oil giant ConocoPhillips is cutting 450 roles in the UK after it stops production at its Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal in the North Sea later this year.
The firm currently employs 1,300 staff and contractors across its UK operations, both onshore and offshore. The Theddlethorpe terminal, located on the Lincolnshire coast in England, was earmarked for closure by the company last year.
Read more Shell to start new North Sea oil drilling project in Penguins field A spokesperson for ConocoPhillips said the job cuts will be made between 1 October 2018 and April 2020, following a voluntary redundancy programme.
The US company swung back to profit in the fourth quarter of last year, helped by the rising price of crude oil, with the bulk of that profit coming from its operations in Alaska.
The North Sea oil and gas industry has been under pressure in recent years, with several platforms shutting down due ..

UK construction output suffers worst annual fall since 2013, survey finds

Sector is lacking in confidence and bad weather can;t be blamed for all of the downturn, say experts
Construction sector output was 3 per cent lower in February than a year earlier, marking the largest annual fall since March 2013, an official survey found.
On a quarterly basis, construction output fell 0.8 per cent in the three months to February 2018, driven predominantly by the continued decline in repair and maintenance work, the Office for National Statistics said.
The ONS said it had received “some anecdotal information” from a small number of survey respondents regarding the effect of bad weather on their businesses in the final week of February 2018.
Read more Construction suffers biggest drop in activity since Brexit vote Output contracted by 1.6 per cent in the month as infrastructure spending decreased 9.4 per cent, the latest monthly ONS survey of the sector found.
Adverse weather conditions across the UK could have potentially contributed to the decline in constru..

Tesco and Morrisons fastest growing big supermarkets but cut-price Aldi and Lidl continue to challenge, data shows

Aldi increased market share by 13.9 per cent over three months to the end of February
Tesco and Morrisons were the fastest growing of the big four supermarkets in the three months to the end of February, but the fierce expansion of cut-price challenger brands continues to threaten their market dominance.
According to the analytics group Kantar Worldpanel both Tesco and Morrisons clocked sales growth of 2.7 per cent in the 12 weeks to 25 February, outpacing peers Sainsbury’s and Asda which recorded an increase of 1.1 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively. The four retailers continue to dominate in the UK market, collectively accounting for around 70 per cent of market share, but the rapid expansion of low-cost rivals like Germany’s Aldi and Lidl continues to bite.
Aldi managed to increase its market share by 13.9 per cent over the three-month period, taking it to 7 per cent. Lidl grew its share by 13.3 per cent to 5.1 per cent. Elsewhere Ocado was the only other supermarket to recor..

Tesco roars but will the beast now get its claws into the discounters?

The company offered no update on the hottest rumour in retail: The potential launch of a competitor to Aldi and Lidl
Is Tesco going to go head to head with Aldi and Lidl by launching its own discounter?
Those hoping for some meat on the bones of one the hottest rumours in retail alongside the supermarket chain’s latest results were left disappointed.
That’s understandable on a day when bosses had other things to talk about, namely a set of numbers that dazzled the City and sent Tesco shares shooting up the boards.
Read more Tesco share price surges after it unveils 800% profit rise The glaring fault that Tesco and Arsene Wenger have in common Tesco removes 'appalling' fox-hunting fancy dress costume for children Pre tax profits of £1.3bn in 2017 were up from just £145m the previous year. Sales grew for the ninth consecutive three month quarter. More than 260,000 extra shoppers visited Tesco.
We’ve known for a while that the beast is back under David Lewis. Results ..

Ofgem opens investigation into gas network company Cadent

Energy network companies have previously come under fire for making 'unjustified profits' and adding hundreds of pounds to household bills
The energy market regulator Ofgem has launched an investigation into a UK gas distributor over concerns about whether it maintains an efficient pipeline system.
Gas and electricity network companies are largely unknown by consumers but they provide a vital role in transporting energy around the country.
They have come under fire from consumer groups for making billions in “unjustified” profits for shareholders and adding hundreds of pounds to household bills.
Read more Ofgem temporarily bans energy company from taking on new customers Ofgem said on Wednesday that it is investigating whether Cadent kept and maintained records for all of its gas pipes (known as risers), whether it has the appropriate systems in place to do so and, as a consequence, whether its system is “economical and efficient”.
The announcement comes a day after..

Drop in UK manufacturing and mining output casts doubt on May interest rate hike, warns economist

Energy output got a boost from the unusually cold weather in February
UK manufacturing dipped by 0.2 per cent in February, according to the Office for National Statistics, the first time output in the sector has dropped since March last year.
Overall industrial output increased by 0.1 per cent in February, boosted by a 3.7 per cent jump in output from the energy supply sector due to the unusually cold weather.
Read more UK construction output falls at fastest rate in six years However, output in the mining and quarrying sector fell by 2.7 per cent month-on-month in February, mainly because of the closure of two of the six major oil refineries and the one-day closure of the Forties oil pipeline.
The decline in manufacturing reflects a general trend that shows growth has slowed over the past year, said Samuel Tombs, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“The modest stimulus to growth from sterling’s 2016 depreciation has begun to fade, while the global trade upswing has l..