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Friday Papers: RBS’s $4.9bn US deal clears way for reprivatisation

And BT’s cost-cutting fails to win over sceptical City as £1.7 billion wiped from group’s value.

 
Friday Papers: RBS’s $4.9bn US deal clears way for reprivatisation

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The UK government would be able to sell taxpayer-owned shares of Royal Bank of Scotland after the bailed out bank agreed to pay $4.9 billion to settle a long-running US investigation into mortgage mis-selling.
  • The Times: BT's plan to cut 13,000 jobs by 2020 and shake up its property portfolio to save £1.5 billion in costs failed to impress investors as more than £1.7 billion was wiped from the value of BT.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Bank of England has postponed interest rates hike to later in 2018 when Britain's economy will bounce back quickly from a temporary slump at the start of this year.
  • Financial Times: Any new offer for the entertainment assets of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox by Comcast will include a $2.5 billion break fee; the US cable operator included the new provision after an earlier proposal was rejected by the media mogul.
  • Financial Times: Wu Xiaohui, the former chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for financial fraud, cementing the downfall of the former car salesman who rose to the pinnacle of global high finance.
  • The Times: Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its average forecast for Brent crude, saying oil prices could rise to $100 a barrel amid the prospect of renewed sanctions on Iran.
  • Financial Times: US President Donald Trump will meet North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, on 12 June in Singapore.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Shares in fashion retailer Next jumped 6.1% after it registered a huge rise in online sales that offset a decline from shoppers going into stores; but Superdry saw £256 million wiped off its value after sales fell by 6% during the 16 weeks to 7 January.
  • The Times: ITV expects its advertising revenues to jump 15% in June during the World Cup, which ITV will broadcast in conjunction with the BBC.
  • The Times: Wm Morrison registered its 10th consecutive quarter of increasing sales and its best like-for-like sales growth in eight years thanks to its retail unit as well as its wholesale arm.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Dropbox recorded 24% increase in the number of paying subscribers of its cloud-based software in the first quarter of 2018, in what was a maiden set of results for the company since going public.
  • Financial Times: Wells Fargo has told investors that it is working to rebuild its reputation after a series of scandals and expected to make less in future from overdraft fees and other account charges.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Surge in seat prices due to the collapse of airline Monarch caused £1 million hit to holiday website On The Beach.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Unusually cold winter in Europe and Canada this year took a toll on RSA, which unveiled a £40 million hit after the icy conditions increased its number of claims.
  • The Times: African-focused Randgold Resources’ first-quarter profits fell 27% due to lower sales and higher production costs.
  • The Guardian: House of Fraser’s parent group registered nearly £44 million loss last year ahead of a deal to sell a 51% stake to the Chinese owner of Hamleys for £140 million.
  • The Guardian: The Argentine restaurant group Gaucho has appointed KPMG to assess the future of its casual dining steakhouse Cau with the potential loss of about 700 jobs.
  • Daily Mail: Aviva boss Mark Wilson faces a bonus cut after a failed attempt to cancel special high-yield shares triggered an outcry across the City.
  • The Guardian: Nearly 26% of Melrose shareholders who voted at the firm’s annual meeting on Thursday failed to back its pay report, amid disgruntlement over a decision to pay a £42 million bonus to each of four directors.
  • The Daily Telegraph: MPs have accused the Ministry of Defence of putting Britain’s national security at risk by refusing to admit to a £21 billion budget black hole.
  • Financial Times: Customers of collapsed UK stockbroker Beaufort Securities reacted angrily after administrators PwC on Thursday rejected their proposal to cap administration and legal fees at £35 million.
  • The Times: An overwhelming majority of SIG investors rejected the reappointment of Deloitte as its auditor only months after it was revealed that SIG had exaggerated its profits for years.
  • Financial Times: ZTE became the biggest casualty so far of deteriorating trade relations between Beijing and Washington after the China telecoms company “ceased operations” after being banned for seven years from doing business with US companies.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY BP; BUY Coca-Cola HBC.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY BlackRock Smaller Companies Trust.
  • Financial Times: Germany’s Daimler has joined a group of new international investors who have committed to backing Softbank’s Vision Fund by filling the last $7 billion needed to reach the fund’s $100 billion goal.
  • Daily Mail: Online estate agent Tepilo, which was founded by the television presenter Sarah Beeny in 2009 and is backed by former Daily Express owner Richard Desmond, is in merger talks with its rival Emoov.
  • Financial Times: Czech cyber security group Avast Software will be valued around £2.4 billion in one of the UK’s biggest technology listings.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Silicon Valley giant Apple and Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs are planning a tie-up to launch a joint credit card under the ‘Apple Pay’ brand next year.
  • Financial Times: Walmart is hunting for more deals in developing economies, especially in China, India and Latin America, its chief executive said, a day after the retailer sealed a $16 billion deal to take over India’s Flipkart.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Don’t rush to pin the blame on Opec for oil price surge.

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IFS says taxes need to hit historic highs to save NHS

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