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Friday Papers: EU prepares Canada-style Brexit deal for UK

And jobs saved before Christmas as Toys R Us wins backing for restructuring plan.

Friday Papers: EU prepares Canada-style Brexit deal for UK

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The EU is preparing to present Britain with a skeleton, Canada-style trade deal by the early summer if the UK is unable to clarify its demands and remains in “Brexit La-La land”, according to senior European officials.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Thousands of jobs at Toys R Us have been saved after the embattled toy retailer struck a last-minute deal to pump more money into its pension fund in order to avoid toppling into administration.
  • The Times: London’s blue-chip index enjoyed its best day in five months as commodity stocks rose and investors sought out beneficiaries of the biggest US tax overhaul in three decades.
  • Financial Times: Boeing has held talks about a multibillion-dollar takeover of Brazil’s Embraer in a move which could further reshape the global aerospace industry as European rival Airbus prepares to take control of Bombardier’s C Series regional passenger jet.
  • Financial Times: A US securities regulator has warned investors against “potential scams” following a surge in stock prices of hitherto obscure companies that announce a sudden switch of strategy into cryptocurrencies.
  • Financial Times: More than 100 nations voted in favour of a UN resolution calling for the US to drop its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, defying a threat from Donald Trump to cut aid to countries that supported the motion.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Britain must raise taxes to balance the books by the middle of the next decade, the International Monetary Fund warned.
  • Daily Mail: Posh northern supermarket Booths has been plunged further into the red after poor sales figures saw its losses more than double.
  • The Times: Shares of Film Finance, an Aim-listed Hollywood film insurer’s, came under pressure yesterday after it reported that the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein had hit trading.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Rugby union team Wasps has breached its bondholder covenants as it overstated its profit by £1.1 million after classing shareholder contributions as income.
  • Financial Times: Specialist retirement homebuilder McCarthy & Stone has hit out at government plans to ban developers from selling new homes on a leasehold basis and charging ground rent to homeowners, saying they risk reducing housing supply at a time when the country already faces a shortage.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Capita has been handed an £80 million deal with Transport for London despite running up crippling costs on a previous contract for the organisation.
  • Financial Times: Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing group, announced on Thursday it had raised $4 billion in new capital, as it readies itself to push beyond China’s borders.
  • Financial Times: Chinese technology group Huawei has become the latest company to sign a patent agreement with Nokia, boosting the Finnish group in the face of doubts about its core telecoms equipment business.
  • Daily Mail: US officials have upheld plans to slap a near- 300% tax on imported Bombardier C Series jets, threatening 1,000 UK jobs.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive of Google and a key figure behind its colossal growth, is stepping down as executive chairman at the search engine's parent company Alphabet.
  • The Times: Glencore will stop paying mining royalties to an Israeli businessman in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the group’s former business partner.
  • The Guardian: Billionaire property developers the Candy brothers have won a high court battle after a judge dismissed all claims brought against them by a former friend for extortion, blackmail, intimidation and breach of data protection legislation.
  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland is refreshing its board of directors and increasing its gender diversity by appointing Lena Wilson, former head of the Scottish development agency, as a non-executive director to replace Sir Sandy Crombie.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): HOLD Apple; BUY housebuilders shares.
  • Financial Times: Nomad Foods is in talks to acquire the UK’s Goodfella’s Pizza for about £200 million in a deal that would see the frozen foods-focused vehicle add pizza to a menu that already includes Bird’s Eye fish fingers.
  • The Guardian: The Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell will soon be selling electricity and gas direct to householders in the UK for the first time after buying one of the county’s biggest energy suppliers, First Utility.
  • Financial Times: John Malone’s Liberty Global is nearing a deal to sell its Austrian business to Germany’s Deutsche Telekom for about $2 billion in a disposal that opens the door for the US company to reopen merger talks with the UK’s Vodafone.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Facebook has made its first moves to challenging music streaming rivals by sealing a deal to allow copyrighted music videos to be used across its social media sites.
  • The Times: The chairman of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels cranked up the pressure on minority shareholders yesterday in an attempt to persuade them to accept his final £2 billion bid.
  • The Daily Telegraph: GVC, the FTSE 250 group behind Bwin and Sportingbet, is set to lay out a firm offer for Ladbrokes Coral tomorrow, valuing the bookmaker at up to £3.9 billion, people close to the deal said.
  • The Times: Balfour Beatty has bagged a return of more than four times its original investment in one of the biggest and more contentious private finance initiative schemes of the last Labour government, the effective privatisation of the M25 orbital motorway round London.
  • Financial Times: New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office has blocked HNA Group from taking over a New Zealand finance company, the latest setback to befall the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate.

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