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Friday Papers: May rejects calls for pre-Brexit Scottish referendum

And culture secretary refers 21st Century Fox's £11.7 billion bid for Sky to Ofcom and competition watchdog.

Friday Papers: May rejects calls for pre-Brexit Scottish referendum

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Theresa May’s government has faced down Nicola Sturgeon over a new Scottish independence referendum, ruling out a second vote until well after the UK leaves the EU in 2019 at the earliest.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Rupert Murdoch’s attempted £11.7 billion takeover of Sky is to be further delayed after the Culture Secretary referred it to competition regulators.
  • The Times: Bob Diamond was last night set to make a City comeback as his private equity firm prepared to mount a takeover of one of London’s most famous stockbrokers.
  • Financial Times: Shares of Canada Goose, the maker of down winter coats with coyote fur trim and a circle patch logo, soared in their New York debut on Thursday, rising 26% to $16.08 after pricing at $12.78 a piece, above the anticipated range. The debut gives the company a market value of $1.7 billion.
  • Financial Times: Ineos, the UK petrochemicals group, is in talks with BP to buy the Forties pipeline system, one of the most strategically important pieces of infrastructure in the North Sea.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Toyota is to invest £240 million into upgrading its car plant in Derbyshire in a major boost for the automotive industry after Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
  • Financial Times: Generali has promised faster delivery of its planned €200 million of cost savings as Italy’s largest insurer reported solid operating profits for the full year and said it would raise its dividend.
  • The Times: Balfour Beatty, the contractor and support services provider hauled back from the brink after two years of losses by Leo Quinn, the chief executive, returned to profit in 2016.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A strong performance by Argos failed to mask a slide in sales at Sainsbury's in the last quarter of its year, as the UK's second biggest grocer warned that rising food prices would pile more pressure on the sector.
  • Daily Mail: Struggling department store House of Fraser is to launch champagne bars, yoga studios and wellness studios in a bid to boost sales.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s accounting watchdog has recommended that PwC should pay a record fine of £6 million, after the firm admitted failings in its audit of collapsed social housing maintenance group Connaught.
  • Financial Times: Fewer than one in eight banks expect a change in the way they account for bad loans to wipe more than 0.5 percentage points off their core capital ratios when they are introduced next year, according to new research.
  • The Times: Serco has been named preferred bidder for a £1.6 billion contract to run the biggest prison in Australia - its largest contract win since 2012 and one of the most sizeable in its pipeline.
  • The Daily Telegraph: US sports giant Nike has become the latest foreign brand to be named and shamed in an annual consumer investigation show in China, its second biggest market.
  • The Times: The smallest companies and many self-employed people should be exempt from proposals to digitise tax records, a House of Lords committee has warned, as it accused the government of rushing through a poorly conceived overhaul of the tax system.
  • Financial Times: Swatch plans to develop its own operating system as the Swiss watchmaker seeks to combine smart technology with the country’s expertise in making timepieces and miniaturisation, chief executive Nick Hayek has said.
  • Financial Times: Unilever should have held talks with Kraft Heinz instead of sharply rejecting the $143 billion bid that led to the speedy withdrawal of the US food group, according to a majority of its shareholders surveyed by a brokerage.
  • The Times: The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged hours after a rise in US interest rates, maintaining its cautiously optimistic view on growth.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Balfour Beatty; BUY Emis Group; AVOID Onesavings Bank.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY Henderson Opportunities Trust.
  • The Guardian: Billionaire Philip Day, who owns Edinburgh Woollen Mill, has emerged as the front runner to acquire struggling high street chain Jaeger.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Regulators are to investigate Lloyds Banking Group’s £1.9 billion acquisition of credit card provider MBNA from Bank of America amid concerns the deal could hurt competition in the industry.
  • The Times: Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, the Hong Kong owner of the world’s largest jewellery company, has broadened its investment approach with a deal to buy Alinta Energy, the Australian firm, for about A$4 billion.
  • Financial Times: Spotify is closing in on licensing deals with the world’s largest record labels, hoping to clear a hurdle in the streaming music company’s path towards an initial public offering after months of tough negotiations.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Interest rate rise is further away than MPC vote suggests.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Why I voted for the Bank of England to increase interest rates.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Adobe: the transition from packaged software to the cloud can be done in public.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Canada Goose: it’s not about LBOs any more for private equity.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Volcan/Anglo American: some will wonder if the Indian billionaire spies an opportunity ahead.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Virtu/KCG Holdings: equities businesses face constant cost pressures.

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Mar 17, 2017 at 12:18

"Interest rate rise is further away than MPC vote suggests."

Yes indeed, all things being equal. But will they be? I am still convinced that it will not be the Bank's choice that instigates the next move, but that it will be the Markets, will. The BOE is in grave danger of seriously getting behind the curve on inflation, but they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. For reasons we are all aware of the Bank is caught fast in the headlights. No, the market will eventually determine rates, nobody is listening to the old Lady anymore.

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Mar 18, 2017 at 18:34

Interest rates will rise moderately. I follow Gary Shilling who holds a BS in Physics from Williams College in Massachusetts and an MBA and Ph. D.(Econ) from Stanford. Dr. Shilling wrote the book on deflation and his opinion is that inflation will be held in place by globalization, technology, over production, oil deflation, food deflation and productivity. I would say that the BOE is doing the right thing with being cautious. Further, most governments are in an accommodative mood which shows their concerns with deflation which is harder to control than inflation.

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Nigel Thomas to retire after 40 years in funds

by Daniel Grote on Apr 26, 2018 at 16:42

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