• Cars

    The very opulent off-roader: Mercedes teases super-posh Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV to take on the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan

    Mercedes has taken the covers off what could be the most lavish SUV ever created.Called the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, it's an opulent offroader that suggests the German giant could soon go head-to-head with the forthcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.First shown at the Beijing Motor Show on Tuesday, the jacked-up limo surrounds rear-seat passengers with soothing waves of blue lights, refreshes them with a bespoke tea set and promises to transport them in 'an unprecedented world of luxury'.It is just the latest round to be fired in a battle between the world's high-end car makers to showcase the most luxurious SUVs, which ...

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  • Markets

    Google chief Sundar Picha set for a £274m payday as tech giant's profits soar 73%

    Google’s chief executive is in line for a £274million payday after it revealed another sales bonanza.Sundar Pichai’s stock award has soared in value after the tech giant’s share price rocketed by more than 90 per cent in just four years.In that time the shares have risen from about $520 to $1,080.It means Pichai will receive 353,939 shares worth about $382million (£274million) in total tomorrow. The award will be one of the biggest corporate payouts in recent history. Mystery man: Google boss Sundar Pichai, pictured with wife Anjali, is in line for a £274m payday after it revealed another sales bonanzaIt came ...

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  • Cars

    Up to 30 lives a year could be saved by checking for low tyre pressure and embedded nails and debris - 'alarming' new Highways England study reveals

    Up to 30 deaths and serious injuries a year could be avoided on motorways if drivers paid more attention to the alarming state their tyres, a new study revealed today.Nearly three quarters of motorway accidents linked to tyre failure could be prevented if drivers made simple checks for low pressure and prior penetration by sharp foreign objects, such as nails and screws, according to research carried out over 18 months by Highways England and tyre company Bridgestone.Nearly six out of ten tyre failures were down to punctures caused by items stuck in the tyre, while more than a quarter were ...

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  • Investing

    Neil Woodford gets Capita boost - but then star fund manager's investment trust falls 10% as US biotech firm hits the rocks

    The good news or the bad news? Neil Woodford at his offices.Star fund manager Neil Woodford barely had time to enjoy a bit of good news on one of his holdings, Capita, today before it was spoiled by bad news on another - a US biotech firm that has hit the rocks.Woodford holds Capita in his Equity income fund and would have enjoyed seeing its share price jump 13 per cent today, as investors backed a discounted cash call.In January, Woodford took a reported £40million hit when the outsourcing firm suspended its dividend.But it was not long before he suffered ...

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  • Investing

    SMALL CAP SHARE IDEAS: Video games outsourcing firm Keywords Studios expands amid growing industry

    Keywords Studios operates in the highly fragmented world of ancillary services for computer games makers and is rapidly becoming the 800lb gorilla of that sector.The company is trusted and relied upon as a partner by many of the world’s leading video game companies during the concept, development and post-publication phases of new content.Localisation is the core of the business. Essentially this means translation into local language and ensuring the audio quality, player support and so on is up to scratch.Growth recently has been rapid and global with facilities now in multiple locations across four continents. Growing industry: Keywords Studios offers ancillary ...

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  • Markets

    Clarkson shares fall more than 30% after profit warning amid tough shipping market

    Shares in Clarkson lost nearly a third of their value today after the shipping services giant issued a profit warning.Clarkson, which had recently predicted a recovery in its market, said instead that profits would be 'materially below those of last year' due to 'challenging environment in shipping and offshore capital markets'.FTSE 250 listed Clarkson saw its share price fall 31 per cent, or 982p, to 2,122p in morning trading. Profit warning: Clarkson blamed a 'challenging environment in shipping and offshore capital marketsThe profit warning comes as a contrast to a statement by Clarkson chief executive Andi Case only last month, ...

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  • Bills

    Up to 140,000 households go without heating and electricity because they can't afford to top up meters

    Around 400,000 people, or 140,000 households, have been left without gas and electricity because they didn't have enough money to top up a pre-payment meter, new research has revealed.The majority of people affected were identified as being vulnerable and may have a child living with them or someone with a long-term health condition.Of those affected, just 9 per cent had contacted their energy supplier to discuss the issue and try and find a resolution, the research from Citizens Advice showed. 140,000 households have self-disconnected an energy meter because of a lack of funds'Self-disconnection' happens when a meter loses the supply ...

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  • Markets

    DAILY BRIEFING: Lloyds and RBS set to post rising profits but Barclays to unveil loss

    Cashing in Among a series of first-quarter results this week, Lloyds is forecast to post a 9 per cent rise in profits to £2.3billion.Barclays, meanwhile, is expected to record a £500million loss on Thursday, after a £1.4billion settlement with the US Department of Justice over the sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis.Royal Bank of Scotland will report its figures on Friday, with UBS analysts pencilling in profit of £1.3billion. Lloyds is forecast to post a 9 per cent rise in profits to £2.3billion this weekBig bet A Canadian gaming company is buying Sky’s online bookmaker arm ...

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  • Markets

    American vulture hedge fund Elliott steps up raids on UK boards

    Feared American vulture hedge fund Elliott has been ramping up its power over UK business after amassing an unrivalled war chest.The firm has been snapping up stakes in the companies behind some of the UK’s best-known brands, demanding changes including break-ups, takeovers and restructuring.Founder Paul Singer raised £3.5billion in 24 hours last May after pledging to take advantage of turmoil caused by market distortion due to government policies.  Power: Paul Singer, founder and chief executive of hedge fund ElliottInvestors poured cash into the 72-year-old’s fund, which has ruthlessly taken on some of the world’s biggest companies and is notorious for ...

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  • Markets

    De La Rue has made itself vulnerable to takeover after passport 'farce', says activist shareholder

    Passport maker De La Rue has made itself vulnerable to takeover by European rivals, an activist shareholder has warned.More than £80million has been wiped off De La Rue’s value since last month when it lost the contract to produce UK passports. Boss Martin Sutherland pledged to appeal the Home Office’s decision, before backing down last week. 'Farce': De La Rue lost the contract to produce UK passports to a French company last monthRichard Bernstein, of hedge fund Crystal Amber which has a stake of about 2 per cent in De La Rue, said its handling of the contract had been ‘farcical’. He ...

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  • Markets

    Persimmon boss 'Mr £131m' to face shareholders revolt over fat cat pay

    The Persimmon boss dubbed ‘Mr £131m’ over the potential size of his bonus faces a shareholder revolt at the firm’s AGM this week in a backlash over fat cat pay.The housebuilder has faced a barrage of criticism over the incentive plan that would have seen about 130 managers, including chief executive Jeff Fairburn, share a windfall of close to £800million. Mr £131m: Persimmon chief executive Jeff FairburnInvestment advisers Glass Lewis is now urging shareholders to humiliate the board by voting against the remuneration report at the AGM on Wednesday.

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  • Comment

    ALEX BRUMMER: The global financial system seems safer... but risks have just been moved from one bucket to another

    As an addict of the US financial channel CNBC, one never fails to be impressed by the eternal optimism on display.Even now with the key equity indexes close to the peaks of last year, the pundits, many of them fund managers, cannot help themselves but be optimistic.The present view is that the Standard & Poor’s 500, the broader measure of share prices, is being driven ever higher on better than expected earnings. Peaking? A combination of Trump corporate tax cuts and the US economy expanding like a train is driving share valuesA combination of Trump corporate tax cuts and the ...

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  • Markets

    City grandee Sir Mike Rake set to be named chairman of store cards provider New Day

    City grandee Sir Mike Rake, 70, is expected to be named chairman of store cards provider New Day.The firm provides credit for shoppers at major retailers such as Arcadia and Amazon and also owns credit cards Aqua and Marbles.It was bought last year by private equity firms Cinven and CVC Capital Partners. New chair: Sir Mike RakeThe appointment of Sir Mike, the former chairman of BT and EasyJet, is likely to fuel speculation that New Day is to float on the stock market. He replaces Sir Malcolm Williamson, who has been chairman for eight years.

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