Monday newspaper round-up: Business energy, Vectura, Rhodes fire, Barbenheimer, interest rates

by | Jul 24, 2023

(Sharecast News) – A coalition representing 1m small businesses is urging the energy regulator to crack down on the rogue energy brokers who rip off firms, charities, care homes and faith groups by piling billions of pounds in hidden commission fees on to bills. The business groups have written to Ofgem demanding it force gas and electricity suppliers to disclose how much they are paying the intermediaries who market deals on their behalf. – Guardian
The pharmaceuticals business bought by Philip Morris International has suffered a series of senior departures amid other setbacks to the transformation of the world’s biggest tobacco group. Michael Austwick, the chief executive of Vectura, the respiratory drugs company that Philip Morris contentiously acquired for £1 billion two years ago, is stepping down having been in the role only since he joined from Novartis in June last year. – The Times

Travel companies are scrambling to repatriate thousands of tourists from a Greek island ravaged by wildfires, as British holidaymakers spent a second night in temporary accommodation. Government officials held emergency meetings on Sunday as they called for more help for those stranded in Rhodes. – Telegraph

The success of Barbie and Oppenheimer at the box office has led to Vue International reporting its biggest weekend for UK cinema ticket sales since before the pandemic. On Sunday, the cinema chain said a fifth of its customers had bought tickets to see both films in a double bill given the moniker Barbenheimer on social media. – Guardian

Rising interest rates have prompted a leading forecaster to more than halve its expectations for economic growth next year. The latest projections from the EY Item Club predict that annual growth will amount to only 0.8 per cent in 2024, less than half the 1.9 per cent forecast it made earlier in the year. – The Times

Spain’s conservatives won the country’s general election yesterday but failed to gain enough votes to form a government after the Socialist prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, outperformed predictions. Although the Popular Party was victorious, the hung parliament was a setback for Alberto Feijóo, its leader. His party has no obvious coalition partner other than the hard-right Vox party, which lost more than a third of its seats, down to 33 from 52. – The Times

Low-traffic neighbourhoods face a ban and landlords will get longer to meet energy efficiency targets as ministers retreat on “costly and unpopular” green policies. Rishi Sunak is planning to hold firm on net-zero goals while delaying or ditching a host of measures that would impose direct costs on consumers, as he comes under pressure from the right of his party to rethink Britain’s climate commitments. – The Times

The owner of British Airways has invested in a green aviation fuel producer based in Teesside as the airline industry races to meet net zero targets. IAG, the FTSE 100 group behind the UK flag carrier, Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia, is to invest in Nova Pangaea Technologies, which is building its headquarters within the Teesside Freeport. – Telegraph

Belarus is struggling to restrain Wagner mercenaries from attacking Poland, Alexander Lukashenko has said. The Belarusian leader made the claim during a meeting with Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg, days after Warsaw accused Moscow of using Wagner and Minsk to destabilise Eastern Europe. – Telegraph

New Zealand’s justice minister resigned on Monday after police charged her with reckless driving and resisting arrest after a car crash. Kiri Allan was involved in the crash shortly after 9pm on Sunday in Wellington, said prime minister Chris Hipkins, and she was detained at the central police station before being released four hours later. – Guardian

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