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Monday Papers: Saudis sever diplomatic ties with Iran

And Shire nears $32 billion takeover of Baxalta as pharma deal frenzy tips into 2016.

 
Monday Papers: Saudis sever diplomatic ties with Iran

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Saudi Arabia on Sunday severed ties with Iran in the escalating dispute over the execution of a Shia cleric by Riyadh and the consequent storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The FTSE 100 drug maker Shire is close to agreeing a $32 billion (£21.6 billion) takeover of Baxalta after pursuing the US rare disease specialist for more than six months.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron’s claim that British membership of a reformed EU is vital to Britain’s economic security has been backed by an overwhelming majority of economists.
  • Financial Times: The new EU authority that took over the job of winding up failing banks on 1 January has budgeted enough money to wind up 10 banks over the next four years, a tender sent to financial services firms shows.
  • Financial Times: China’s slowing growth and a glut of ships have hit earnings for vessels carrying coal and other dry bulk commodities so hard that owners face forced sales, emergency capital raisings and possible bankruptcy.
  • The Guardian: Worries about the eurozone and shaky prospects for the wider global economy have dented confidence among bosses of the UK’s biggest companies, according to a survey.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: British households can look forward to another year of ultra-low interest rates, with most economists expecting a maximum 1% by the end of 2016.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s Aim stock market was hit by a slowdown in fresh issues, the loss of a number of mining companies and oil and gas explorers and the departure of Chinese companies after nominated advisers - or nomads - withdrew support.
  • Financial Times: Companies in the UK and Ireland are the most optimistic in the European Union going into 2016, despite the prospect of a referendum on Britain’s membership of the bloc later this year.
  • Financial Times: GlaxoSmithKline’s embattled chief executive is preparing to launch a big push to reset investor perceptions of the struggling UK drugmaker as it enters a crucial period in efforts to revive growth.
  • Financial Times: Debenhams, the department store chain, has held talks with former Kingfisher boss Sir Ian Cheshire about joining its boardroom.
  • Financial Times: A new entrant in the US mutual fund industry, the Bridge Builder fund family, created by the Edward Jones chain of financial advisers, attracted more money in 2015 than powerhouse brands including Fidelity, BlackRock and American Funds within months of launching seven bond and equity vehicles.
  • Financial Times: Mitsui, Japan’s second-biggest trading house by market value, is stepping up efforts to scoop up distressed oil assets, according to its chief executive, as it puts behind it a year hammered by a commodities collapse.
  • Financial Times: The head of Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank has criticised the European Central Bank for forcing its eurozone subsidiary to be supervised by officials in Frankfurt and making it raise more capital.
  • The Guardian: The rout in commodities prices that has wiped billions from the value of energy and mining companies across the world in the past 12 months will continue in 2016, according to economists, analysts and executives on the front line.
  • The Guardian: Record-breaking discounts on offer in the post-Christmas sales have so far failed to attract a rush of bargain hunters to the high street, raising fears that Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Next will be forced to report disappointing trading figures for the festive period.
  • The Guardian: Dong Energy, the biggest operator of offshore windfarms in Britain, has said it plans to spend a further £6 billion in the UK by 2020, convinced that the government is serious about supporting wind power.
  • The Independent: Marks & Spencer has parted ways with the head of its new loyalty scheme for allegedly using racist language.
  • The Daily Telegraph: European Central Bank's self-imposed rules on bond buying could trigger more tantrums in the bond market in 2016, economists have warned.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Berlin’s real estate complex at Potsdamer Platz has been bought by a subsidiary of Brookfield Property Partners and the state-owned Korea Investment Corporation in a €1.3 billion deal.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Coal: even if the climate deal slips, technology will help bury Peabody and other producers.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): UK plc needs constant, disruptive renewal.

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