King Charles' former Jaguar I-Pace, via PAKing Charles' former Jaguar I-Pace, via PA

News Round-Up

Feb 17: NatWest makes £6.2bn profit; Trump fined $364m; Charles’s former I-Pace for sale

  • Here are the headlines for Saturday, February 17

Time 6:39 am, February 17, 2024

NatWest makes biggest yearly profit since 2007

NatWest Group has reported its highest yearly profit since just before the 2008 financial crisis.

The banking group, which also includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, Coutts and Ulster Bank, reported an operating pre-tax profit for 2023 of £6.2bn – above the £6bn analysts had predicted and a fifth higher than for 2022.

It was the highest annual profit recorded since the £9.9bn made in 2007, before the global financial crisis that led to the bank being bailed out by the government. Income jumped by 10% year on year to £14.3bn.

Donald Trump fined $364m in civil fraud case

A New York judge imposed a $364m (£288m) penalty on Donald Trump, his companies and some executives yesterday, ruling that they engaged in a years-long scheme to dupe banks and others with financial statements that inflated the former president’s wealth.

Trump won’t have to pay out the money immediately as an appeals process plays out, but the verdict is still a stunning setback for the former president.

Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron concluded that Trump and his co-defendants ‘failed to accept responsibility’ for their actions and that expert witnesses who testified for the defence in the civil fraud case ‘simply denied reality’.

Telegraph suitor to buy Traitors and Fleabag maker for £1.15bn

The Abu Dhabi-backed company that is trying to take over the Telegraph has announced a £1.15bn deal to buy the production company behind Fleabag and The Traitors.

The deal will see RedBird IMI, which is headed by former CNN president Jeff Zucker, take over London-based All3Media.

It came after an agreement with All3Media’s owners Warner Bros, Discovery and Liberty Global.

Virgin Media O2 plans to create BT Openreach rival

Virgin Media O2 is to create a new dedicated fixed network company – the first of its kind to challenge BT Openreach in the UK.

The new network company will sit within Virgin Media O2 but as a subsidiary consisting of its cable and fibre assets, purely focused on its fixed network – which includes areas such as broadband.

Lutz Schuler, Virgin Media O2’s chief executive, said: ‘While nothing changes today, work is well under way and you’ll hear more from us later in the year.’

Steelworkers to vote on industrial action over Port Talbot job losses threat

Steelworkers are to be balloted for industrial action in response to the threat of job losses at Port Talbot and other Tata sites, the union Community announced.

The move was agreed at a meeting of 40 Community representatives from across the country.

Tata is consulting on plans to shut down blast furnaces at Port Talbot with the loss of thousands of jobs. A spokesperson said: ‘While our £1.25bn commitment with the UK government will ensure a long-term viable future for low CO2 steelmaking in the UK, our current business is unsustainable.’

Putin critic Alexei Navalny dies in Russian prison

Alexei Navalny, the fiercest foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin who crusaded against official corruption and staged massive anti-Kremlin protests, died in prison yesterday, Russia’s prison agency said.

The news, less than a month before an election that will give Putin another six years in power, brought renewed criticism and outrage from world leaders toward the Russian president who has suppressed opposition at home.

The federal prison service said in a statement that Navalny, who was 47, felt unwell after a walk and lost consciousness. An ambulance arrived to try to rehabilitate him but he died. Navalny was jailed for 19 years in 2021 on charges of extremism. World leaders immediately blamed his death on Putin and his government.

Madeleine McCann suspect’s rape trial in Germany is adjourned

A man suspected of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann went on trial yesterday over several unrelated sexual offences he is alleged to have committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

The 47-year-old German – known as Christian B in Germany because of the country’s strict privacy law but who has been named in the media as Christian Brueckner – faces trial at the Braunschweig state court on three counts of rape and two of sexual abuse of children.

The start of the trial was delayed because of long queues to get into the courthouse, and the proceedings were quickly adjourned until next Friday after a challenge against a lay judge who was once alleged to have spread a call on social media to kill former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. Madeleine, who was three, disappeared in Praia da Luz in 2007. Brueckner has denied any involvement.

King Charles's former Jaguar I-Pace interior, via PA

Jaguar I-Pace once owned by King Charles heads to auction

An electric Jaguar I-Pace that was once owned by King Charles is heading to auction where it could fetch up to £70,000.

The ‘Loire Blue’ I-Pace – which was the first electric vehicle used by the royal family – was bought by the then-Prince of Wales in September 2018.

It was returned to Jaguar in December 2020 having covered just 3,000 miles and is being sold at Ascot Racecourse on March 2 by Historic Auctioneers. The car now has 35,000 miles on the clock, and current owner Karen French, of Bampton, said: ‘It was only when I agreed to buy it that I discovered its extraordinary history – I was absolutely thrilled.’

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 114.18 points up yesterday to end the week on 7,711.71. The Cac 40 was 24.76 points up at 7,768.18, the Dax was 70.75 points up at 17,117.44, but the Dow Jones was down 145.13 points at 38,627.99.

Weather outlook

It’ll be mostly cloudy and dry this morning with mist and fog in places, says BBC Weather. A band of rain will move into western and northern areas through the afternoon, but it’ll stay dry in the south-east.

The south-east will still see rain tomorrow morning, gradually clearing in the afternoon. It’ll be rather cloudy with a few showers in parts of the west, and mostly dry and bright in the north-east.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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