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Monday Papers: Water set to become more valuable than oil

And Opec and Russia risk a lost decade as shale revolution spreads.

 
Monday Papers: Water set to become more valuable than oil

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Water will become more valuable than oil as rising demand from people, industries and agriculture puts pressure on supplies, according to the chief executive of French utility Suez.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The US shale industry has become a hydra-headed monster as before Opec and Russia have contained one threat, fresh dangers keeps popping up in new and expanding zones.
  • Financial Times: The US corporate profit outlook has dimmed in recent weeks, with analysts paring back their forecasts, in a fresh sign of the risks facing the Wall Street rally that has powered equities to record peaks.
  • The Guardian: Theresa May backs plans for an overhaul of workers’ rights to reflect 21st-century employment practices, according to the chair of Downing Street’s review into modern work.
  • The Times: Four executives at Melrose Industries are set to receive bonuses worth about £35 million each in one of the biggest City paydays in recent years as the specialist engineering group prepares to announce the results of a five-year incentive scheme.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of Vivendi has accused Italian group Mediaset of providing “misleading” information during negotiations over a tie-up last year, upping the stakes in the acrimonious stand-off between former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi and French billionaire Vincent Bolloré.
  • Financial Times: An international coalition of aluminium trade associations has called for a global forum to be created ahead of the G20 meeting in Hamburg this summer to tackle China’s soaring output.
  • Financial Times: Britain and Germany are set to sign a new defence co-operation deal after the UK launches Brexit, as Theresa May attempts to reinforce claims that she is not turning her back on Europe.

Business and economics

  • The Times: Ministers from the world’s leading economies have agreed to review banking regulations in a move that could start to unpick reforms made since the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: French prosecutors want UBS to pay a €1.1 billion fine for assisting wealthy clients to evade tax authorities, scuppering hopes that the long-running legal battle with the Swiss bank can be settled.
  • The Guardian: Unilever is drawing up plans to heal a rift among shareholders triggered by its rejection of a $143 billion (£115 billion) bid from Kraft Heinz, amid a warning that Britain could become home to “a garage sale” unless there is protection for domestic companies from foreign takeovers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The housebuilder Crest Nicholson is facing an embarrassing investor backlash over generous share awards for its top executives as the Government weighs radical reforms to rein in excessive pay.
  • The Guardian: Google executives are bracing for a two-pronged inquisition from the advertising industry and the government over the company’s plans to stop ads being placed next to extremist material.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Travelodge's largest ever hotel will form part of its next wave of expansion in yet another sign the low-cost player is putting its high-profile restructuring behind it.
  • The Times: The resilience of British industry after the Brexit vote has been underlined by a study revealing that the majority of small manufacturers grew orders over the final six months of last year.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: One of Europe’s largest activist hedge funds has stepped up its campaign to block French engine maker Safran’s €8.5 billion takeover bid for rival Zodiac Aerospace, threatening to sue every Safran board member personally if shareholders’ interests are damaged.
  • Financial Times: Rival oilfield service companies are circling Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler with the aim of picking up assets and contracts likely to be shed by the UK pair as a result of their £2.2 billion merger.
  • Financial Times: On the heels of a $5.2 billion oncology acquisition in the US, Takeda is looking for more deals to accelerate its global transition, according to the chief executive of Japan’s largest pharmaceuticals group.
  • The Guardian (Comment): We need a national interest test for the thorny issue of foreign takeovers.
  • The Times (Comment): Modi has the mandate, now he must use it to reform India’s economy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Samsonite: buying expensive luggage is paying off for the HK-listed group.

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