Tuesday newspaper round-up: Electric cars, Twitter, Aviva chief, Rightmove

by | May 10, 2022

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Drivers are scrambling to buy secondhand electric cars, more than doubling sales in the past year as demand for zero-emission vehicles surges. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the number of transactions for electric cars increased from 6,600 in the first three months of 2021 to almost 14,600 in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 120%. – Guardian
A US firm known for betting against companies’ share prices has said Elon Musk could submit a lower bid for Twitter, owing to a slump in tech stocks and a weak financial performance at the social media platform. Hindenburg Research said there was a “significant chance” that the Tesla chief executive will seek to pay less than the agreed bid price of $54.20 (£43.90) a share, which values Twitter at $44bn and has been accepted by the company’s board. – Guardian

Rail chiefs are on the cusp of privatising thousands of miles of trackside phone lines in a move that will pave the way for commuters to get faster on-board internet coverage. Some 10,000 miles of phone cables running next to railway lines are to be sold off under proposals also intended to boost broadband speeds for millions of households. – Telegraph

The chairman of Aviva said he was “flabbergasted” after female board members suffered a torrent of sexist abuse at the company’s annual general meeting. George Culmer hit out at “simply inappropriate” comments by shareholders including one investor who said that Amanda Blanc, chief executive, is “not the man for the job”. He said that her speech did not match with Aviva’s share price performance over the past decade. – Telegraph

It is often the case that success breeds resentment and so it has proved with Rightmove. The company’s success is undoubted. It dominates Britain’s online property search market, with its site attracting 2.5 billion visits last year. The group’s business model is also highly profitable, with an operating margin of 74 per cent last year, one of the highest in the FTSE 100. Yet it is not without its critics in the property industry. Three years ago analysts at Jefferies, the investment bank, described Rightmove’s relationship with estate agents as akin to a “psychological chokehold”. – The Times

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