Monday newspaper round-up: Household bills, housebuilding, NMCM creditors

Manufacturers have warned that Brexit will add to soaring costs facing British industry, amid concerns that customs delays and red tape will rank among the biggest challenges for firms this year. ake UK, the industry body representing 20,000 manufacturing firms of all sizes from across the country, said that while optimism among its members had grown, it was being undermined by the after-effects of the UK’s departure from the EU. – Guardian
Britain faces a housing crisis in the wake of the pandemic as confusion about planning rules and shortages of staff undermine government targets to build 300,000 homes a year, according to a House of Lords committee. A retreat from housebuilding by smaller companies must be tackled by ministers to reduce the shortage of homes, the cross-party group of peers said. – Guardian

Mike Ashley has launched legal action against the City investor Amanda Staveley after she oversaw a £305m takeover of Newcastle United Football Club. Mr Ashley, who controls the Sports Direct retail chain, has issued a claim via his company St James Holdings in the High Court against Ms Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi. – Telegraph

A powerful French arms company is facing allegations that it used a secret and illicit system of paying middlemen to secure lucrative international contracts. The claims against Thales, raised by a lawsuit filed in a commercial court near Paris, could jeopardise a much-needed French defence deal to India. – Telegraph

The economy will receive a much-needed boost from business investment this year with a record proportion of finance directors ready to prioritise funds for expansion, a survey says. Thirty-seven per cent of chief financial officers surveyed by Deloitte said that increasing capital expenditure, the money used to buy fixed assets such as land, machinery or buildings, was a priority for 2022. It is the highest figure recorded by the accounting firm in its quarterly survey since it first asked the question in 2009. – The Times

Unsecured creditors of NMCN are facing losses of £115 million from the collapse of the 75-year-old UK listed construction group, whose demise has triggered a regulatory investigation. Debts to unsecured creditors have almost doubled from an estimate of £60 million in October, shortly after the company appointed administrators at Grant Thornton, which has sold off NMCN’s core units in pre-pack deals. – The Times

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