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Friday newspaper round-up: House of Fraser, Natwest/RBS, Facebook

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House of Fraser Eyes 2014 IPO; NatWest and RBS customers hit by new technical glitch; Facebook to face suit over data allegations.

Record Christmas trading at House of Fraser has laid the ground for its flotation before the end of the year, according to John King. The department store’s Chief Executive said it had showed investors that there was “robust” consumer demand for its products, with sales increasing across every category. – The Times

NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland customers have become the victims of another technical glitch that has resulted in many being unable to pay for fuel at Tesco’s petrol stations. Reports of the problems spread on social media after customers’ credit cards were declined when they tried to pay for fuel. – The Guardian

Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims the social network monitors users’ private messages to sell the data to advertisers. The plaintiffs allege Facebook systematically intercepts private messages to obtain data it shares with marketers, giving the company an advantage over other data aggregators. – Financial Times

The London Stock Exchange could see up to 100 new listings in 2014 as companies seek to capitalise on rising investor confidence in the resurgent UK economy. Of these listings, Deloitte forecasts that the LSE’s main market will attract at least 20 initial public offerings (IPOs), beating last year’s performance after companies raised £5.3bn. – The Telegraph

India’s octogenarian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday announced his imminent political retirement, saying he would not seek a third term after upcoming general elections, even if his now-ruling Congress party wins. In a rare press conference – only his third in the last decade, Mr Singh endorsed Rahul Gandhi, the 43-year-old scion of India’s historic Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, to lead the country, saying he had “outstanding credentials”. – Financial Times

British helicopter maker AgustaWestland has warned that jobs are under threat after the Indian government terminated a £465m contract amid bribery allegations. AgustaWestland, which is based in Yeovil, Somerset, and employs around 3,300 workers, revealed that it has prepared a “mitigation plan” that involves “a reduction to the workforce to readdress the company business model”. – The Telegraph

Ford plans to unveil at this month’s International CES gadget show a solar-powered concept car that offers the same performance as a plug-in hybrid but without the need for a plug. – The Guardian

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