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Monday Papers: UK dividends to fall as groups struggle

And Saudis ‘will not destroy the US shale industry’ as rich investors have $60 billion war chest to buy up distressed fracking assets.

Monday Papers: UK dividends to fall as groups struggle

Top stories

  • Financial Times: UK company dividends are forecast to fall this year for the first time since 2010 as oil groups, miners and retailers struggle against a backdrop of low commodity prices and tough competition on the high street.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hedge funds and private equity groups armed with $60 billion of ready cash are poised to snap up the assets of bankrupt US shale drillers, almost guaranteeing that America’s tight oil production will rebound as soon as prices start to recover.
  • Financial Times: The value of debt issued by junk-rated US energy companies has plummeted to the lowest level for more than two decades, sending a warning signal about the outlook for the North American oil industry.
  • Financial Times: A British exit from the EU would isolate the country’s scientists and reduce its influence in medicine, global pharmaceuticals executives have warned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HSBC could decide this week whether to stay in UK following concern over rises in bank levy.
  • The Guardian: Iran plans to buy 114 aircraft from the European company Airbus by March, and is looking for other deals, as the country emerges from sanctions and international isolation.
  • Financial Times: American International Group is weighing up a plan to ringfence troubled assets from the rest of the insurer as executives defy a break-up call from powerful rebel shareholders Carl Icahn and John Paulson.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: A week after the lifting of sanctions against Iran, major European banks are still reluctant to handle Iranian payments as they remain wary of being the first to test the reaction of US authorities.
  • Daily Mail: The cost of producing oil is threatening to overtake what it can be sold for as crude fell to a 12-year low last week amid fears for global growth, particularly in China, and as excess supply continues to flood the market.
  • Financial Times: Airbnb is pinning its hopes on China’s booming $120 billion tourism industry as the Silicon Valley accommodation-rental service aims to become profitable for the first time this year.
  • The Guardian: Unilever, the consumer goods group behind Persil and Magnum ice-creams, has said it will not scale back its UK operations if Britain votes to leave the EU.
  • Financial Times: Libya has forgone more than $68 billion in potential oil revenues since 2013 amid a power struggle between rival factions that has brought the energy industry to a near standstill and wrecked the economy.
  • Financial Times: The financial grief inflicted by plunging oil prices has been laid bare by new research showing a sharp jump in the number of UK oil and gas service companies going insolvent.
  • Financial Times: G4S is considering an exit from contentious work looking after young offenders in the UK and the US after a series of scandals.
  • Financial Times: Shareholders in China’s rural commercial banks have been offloading their stakes on Taobao, the biggest online Chinese auction site, in a sign of the increasingly desperate steps being taken by cash-strapped investors.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The oil services sector is braced for a wave of M&A activity in the coming months as firms scramble to respond to a low oil price reality.
  • Financial Times: Third Avenue Management’s assets have fallen by more than $1 billion this year, six weeks after the company froze redemptions from its troubled junk bond mutual fund, in the latest sign of credit market distress.
  • Financial Times: The level of stressed debt in emerging markets has hit a new high, passing the previous peak reached at the height of the global financial crisis, in the latest sign of trouble for developing countries.
  • Financial Times: De Beers is to break with decades of secrecy over the state of the diamond trade as it prepares to divulge details of sales for the first time.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Express: Royal Dutch Shell’s £47 billion takeover of fellow FTSE 100 resources giant BG Group is set to be approved by investors this week, despite their misgivings about the deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The boss of Ariadne Capital has launched a new £150 million fund, which wraps in a consultancy service to help technology start-ups generate sustainable revenue from for large corporates, to prevent the creation of further “subprime unicorns”.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Are oil and miners too cheap to ignore?
  • Financial Times (Comment): Unicorns point out financing flaws to unwary and unwise.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): EU monetary policy failure offers a lesson on migration.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Cathay Pacific: Hong Kong’s airline has paid a high price for its hedging policy.

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