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Friday Papers: Renault raids escalate emissions crisis fears

And the first signs of a thaw are emerging for the battered oil market after Russia signalled a sharp fall in exports this year.

Friday Papers: Renault raids escalate emissions crisis fears

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Shares in European carmakers fell sharply on Thursday as Renault admitted that its offices had been raided by authorities as part of a sprawling national investigation linked to the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The first signs of a thaw are emerging for the battered oil market after Russia signalled a sharp fall in exports this year, a move that may offset the long-feared surge of supply from Iran.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BHP Billiton has announced a multi-billion-dollar writedown of its US assets as the commodities giant struggles with plummeting prices.
  • Financial Times: Tumbling inflation expectations in the financial markets are becoming “worrisome”, a Federal Reserve interest-rate setter has warned, highlighting the risks to the inflation outlook posed by sliding energy prices.
  • The Guardian: HSBC is trying to prevent publication of a report on how it complies with money-laundering rules imposed on it by the US authorities in 2012, when it was fined a record $1.9 billion (£1.32 billion).
  • Financial Times: US private equity and hedge fund managers are growing concerned at an unprecedented two-pronged assault from the Republican and Democratic presidential frontrunners, who both threaten to scrap a tax break worth billions of dollars to Wall Street.
  • Financial Times: Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, has sought to ease market jitters over China, urging investors to focus on the "pretty good" US economy as well as the "winners" from a collapse in commodities.
  • Daily Mail: Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, posted an unexpected sales rise over the crucial Christmas period, but it was not enough to prevent a decline over the whole third quarter.
  • Financial Times: Seven people including five terrorists were killed as explosions and gunfire hit central Jakarta on Thursday in an attack later claimed by jihadi militant group Isis.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: BT's takeover of EE, Britain's biggest mobile operator, should be cleared by the competition watchdog on Friday amid fears a telecoms giant would stifle the market and increase customers' bills.
  • Daily Mail: Shell boss has vowed to protect dividends while defending the decision of merger with BG Group.
  • The Guardian: Goldman Sachs has said it will pay $5.06 billion to resolve civil claims related to the firm’s securitization, underwriting and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007.
  • The Guardian: The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold this month, noting volatility in global markets and highlighting a sharp fall in oil prices that is likely to keep inflation low.
  • Financial Times: Rio Tinto is freezing pay as the Anglo-Australian group forecasts that the worst mining downturn in a decade will deteriorate further this year.
  • Financial Times: Glencore has launched an early refinancing of one of its main credit facilities, bankers familiar with the process said, as the mining and trading house tries to shore up investor confidence amid the biggest commodity rout in two decades.
  • Daily Mail: Fashion chains with decent websites are outclassing rivals struggling to cope with the digital revolution as Asos revealed 22% sales boost while Primark struggled.
  • The Guardian: Romanian village where a Canadian firm Gabriel Resources is planning a controversial open-cast goldmine has been declared a site of historical interest, granting it protection from mining activity.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles fell up to 10% and were suspended twice in Milan on Thursday amid high volatility in automobile stocks and news of a US lawsuit alleging the Italian-American carmaker inflated its sales figures.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in luxury fashion brand Burberry rose more 4% this morning after sales in mainland China picked up again, despite warning of a continuing slowdown in spending at its Hong Kong and Macau stores.
  • Financial Times: Software company Anaplan has raised $90 million to become the second UK-founded company to achieve a $1 billion valuation inside a week.
  • Financial Times: Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods manufacturer, has reported that the Paris terrorist attacks in November threw growth in European sales into reverse.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK-listed travel and leisure stocks suffered their biggest daily loss in four-and-a-half years in the wake of a terrorist attack in Jakarta.
  • Financial Times: Poor Christmas trading at Argos forced owner Home Retail Group into its second profits downgrade in three months on Thursday, damping the price the company may be able to demand from suitor J Sainsbury for the business.
  • Financial Times: Infosys, India’s second-largest IT outsourcing group by revenue, beat expectations with its third-quarter results, providing a stark contrast to larger rival Tata Consultancy Services.
  • The Guardian: Booming sales of trainers have delivered a bumper Christmas for JD Sports Fashion, which said it would beat City forecasts for annual profits.
  • Financial Times: Global banking supervisors have softened new rules forcing investment banks to hold much more capital against their trading books, after heavy lobbying from the banking industry.
  • Daily Mail: Collapsed delivery firm City Link paid nearly £350,000 in fees to a consultancy firm which is also part of tycoon Jon Moulton’s business empire just months before its demise.
  • The Guardian: Uber, the on-demand ride-hailing app, has agreed to pay a California regulator more than $7 million in order to keep operating in its home state.
  • Financial Times: Alliance Trust has appointed industry veteran Robert Smith to chair its board, following a governance shake-up at the Scottish investment group.
  • Financial Times: Bookmaker William Hill has overhauled the management of its online business after problems with a key new technology launch held back growth in its fourth quarter.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Centrica, Britain’s biggest domestic energy supplier, is preparing a bid of more than €1 billion for Viridian, Northern Ireland’s biggest power company, according to people familiar with the deal.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics has started production of Qualcomm’s new smartphone processor, a contract that will help the South Korean group’s chip foundry to weather an anticipated loss of business from Apple.
  • Financial Times: Statoil has underscored its commitment to the North Sea and Arctic by buying a big stake in Lundin Petroleum, the most successful recent oil explorer in Norway.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest financial group, has unveiled plans to extend its advance across Asia by acquiring a 20% stake in Security Bank of the Philippines.
  • Financial Times: Countryside is preparing to float on the London market, as the private equity-owned housebuilder looks to capitalise on benign conditions for the sector and government enthusiasm for urban regeneration, which makes up half of its business.
  • Financial Times: WebMD, the internet’s best known consumer health publisher, is exploring a sale that may attract interest from the pharmaceuticals and media industries.
  • The Independent: Panmure Gordon scribbler Kieron Hodgson said that diamonds could rediscover their sparkle later this year, arguing that production cuts and increasing demand could provide “an inflection point” after an average 15% fall for rough diamonds prices last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sazerac snapped up Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands for $543 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hawkin's Bazaar, the toy and curiosity shop that narrowly avoided folding in 2011, has been sold off by its private equity backer Primary Capital.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Stock market's 2016 rout has tech firms reeling – and may prove fatal for some.
  • Daily Express (Comment): China to spark global financial ICE AGE with depression sending markets crashing by 75%.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sports Direct / JD Sports: the vicissitudes of the trainer trade.
  • Financial Times (Lex): JP Morgan: steady banks should be havens in unsettled times.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Statoil / Lundin: Norway’s oil group has spent $500 million to protect a fraction of its reserves — a mysterious investment.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sugar: business is getting better, but remains sour.
  • Financial Times (Lex): William Hill: bookmaker can ill-afford more slip-ups with its digital offering.

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