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Friday Papers: European banks show signs of recovery

And pound jumps as Bank of England paves the way for May rate rise to combat inflation.

Friday Papers: European banks show signs of recovery

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Europe’s banking sector offered a rare glimmer of hope on Thursday after leading Italian, French and German lenders reported better than forecast results, boosted by the strengthening eurozone economy and their own cost-cutting efforts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Bank of England has laid the groundwork for another interest rate rise in May amid strengthening economic growth and persistently high inflation.
  • The Times: The global stock market rout continued unabated last night after US markets retreated further from their record highs at the start of the year, setting the scene for a fraught end to the trading week.
  • The Times: Senior officials in the Qatari government are set to challenge the evidence of Carillion directors who at parliamentary hearings this week blamed the Gulf state for the construction company’s demise.
  • Financial Times: Twitter reported its first profits ever on Thursday, sending its shares to their highest levels in two years and suggesting advertisers are beginning to spread their online spending beyond Facebook and Google.
  • Financial Times: A “technical note” prepared by the British government calls on non-EU nations to treat the UK during its post-Brexit transition period after March 2019 as if it was still covered by more than 700 treaties Brussels has struck with third countries on everything from fishing rights to data sharing.

Business and economics

  • The Times: Sales of UK authorised investment funds hit a record £63 billion last year as the total assets of the members of Britain’s leading money management association rose to an all-time high of £1.2 trillion.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s housing market got off to a subdued start in 2018, with sellers of £1 million-plus homes in London finding it toughest to find buyers in January, according to a survey of estate agents.
  • Daily Mail: Britain's biggest travel agent Thomas Cook hailed a strong start to the year as holidaymakers took a shine again to sun-soaked holidays in the Mediterranean.
  • The Times: More than £1 billion was added to the market value of Compass Group yesterday as the world’s biggest catering company served up a forecast-beating trading update.
  • Financial Times: Swiss engineering group ABB expects improving global economic conditions to power growth in profits and sales this year, despite reporting weaker than expected results for the final quarter of 2017.
  • Daily Mail: AA saw sales of motor policies soar as it looked set to recover from the scandal which embroiled its former chairman.
  • Financial Times: New York Times shares rose to their highest level in more than a decade, as the newspaper reported a surge in digital subscribers and revenues at the end of last year.
  • Financial Times: Total says it will increase its dividend 10% in the next three years and buy back up to $5 billion of shares in a sign of oil investors beginning to reap the benefits of higher crude prices.
  • Daily Mail: FTSE 250 listed telecoms firm TalkTalk has seen its share price fall over 14% this morning after the group cut its dividend for the second time in a year in a bid to drive up cash for its investment plans.
  • The Times: The chairman of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has carried out his threat to cut the dividend if his £2 billion bid to take the company private was rejected.
  • Financial Times: UK cyber security company Sophos lost almost a fifth of its value after a slowdown in orders raised fears it would miss its full-year forecasts.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical, the world’s largest generic drugmaker, fell sharply after it forecast a drop in revenue in 2018 in spite of aggressive cost-cutting that will lose as many as 14,000 workers by the end of 2019.
  • The Daily Telegraph: IQE, whose compound semiconductor technology is part of the iPhone X’s facial recognition sensors, fell 11pc on Thursday when Muddy Waters Research said the company may be deceiving investors.
  • Daily Mail: Furniture store DFS has warned of a challenging market ahead as Brits cut back on 'big ticket' furniture buys such as sofas as the squeeze on the cash in people's pockets continues.
  • The Guardian: Turnaround firms are circling the stricken Toys R Us chain as the retailer’s precarious financial position puts more than 3,000 high street jobs at risk.
  • The Guardian: Struggling department store chain Debenhams is to cut 320 jobs across the UK – one in four of its store managers.
  • Daily Mail: Drugs titan Glaxosmithkline faces a fresh bribery probe over allegations it paid doctors to prescribe its medicines to patients.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gold miner Petropavlovsk has named a new chief executive, dashing the hopes of its biggest shareholder that it might lure back its founding boss.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Outdoor football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres will be hoping for the magic touch from the former Disney and Manchester United executive, Andrew Edward Anso, it has hired as its new boss.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Revolution Bars has hired pub industry stalwart Rob Pitcher as its chief executive three months after the former boss departed amid a flurry of bids for the upmarket cocktail chain.
  • The Times: New Look has parted company with its UK and Ireland managing director as it fights to turn itself around; Danny Barrasso has left with immediate effect after five years at the fashion chain, whose performance has slumped to such an extent that this week it reported a pre-tax loss of £123.5 million for the past nine months.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Eurozone money supply figures have begun to flash early-warning signals of a sharp economic slowdown later this year, a shift that would catch markets badly off guard and revive worries about Italy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Japan has issued a stark warning to the Government over the risks Brexit poses to the county’s businesses operating in the UK.
  • The Times: The chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland has hit back at a Labour MP who accused the lender’s bosses of misleading parliament over the scandal at the bank’s restructuring unit.
  • Financial Times: George Soros, the billionaire financier, has given £400,000 to an anti-Brexit group co-founded by businesswoman Gina Miller to support its campaign against Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
  • Financial Times: China tech groups Alibaba and Tencent have been caught up in Beijing’s war on capital flight, with both being handed fines for breaches of cross-border foreign exchange payments at their financial services units.
  • Financial Times: The 76-year-old chairman of Samsung, South Korea’s largest conglomerate, is to be charged with tax evasion in the latest twist to the fortunes of the global technology-to-shipbuilding group.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Smith & Nephew; BUY Beazley.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British Land plans to transform a south east London estate which it has bought for more than £100 million as it expands its ownership of sites near the new Crossrail line.
  • Financial Times: Mergers and acquisitions involving advertising agencies and consulting or IT services companies are likely to pick up this year as the industries converge, according to the chief executive of Publicis, the world’s third-largest advertising group by revenues.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of Sibanye-Stillwater is confident shareholders and regulators will back his $285 million offer for Lonmin, the platinum producer on the brink of collapse.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of L’Oréal has said that if Nestlé wanted to sell its 23% stake in the French cosmetics company, L’Oréal would be a buyer and “we have what it takes” to do so.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Don’t write off the eight-year equity bull market just yet.

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