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Saturday Papers: Dell considers return to stock market

And Trump softens tone to say ‘America First, not America alone’ in his keynote speech at Davos.

Saturday Papers: Dell considers return to stock market

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Michael Dell is considering a return to the stock market, a little over four years after he took his PC company private in a highly contentious $25 billion buyout, followed by the $67 billion purchase of storage company EMC in the tech industry’s biggest deal.
  • The Times: President Trump took to the stage at Davos to launch a sales pitch for investment in America and softened his isolationist rhetoric; speaking to a group of the world’s political and business elite, Mr Trump declared that he had created “a brand new United States”.
  • Financial Times: Collapsed construction company Carillion ran up debts and sold assets worth £217 million to continue paying dividends to shareholders between 2012 and 2016, according to a parliamentary paper published this week.
  • The Times: Wall Street is “very likely” to suffer a sharp fall, possibly of thousands of points, in the next few weeks, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s biggest investment banks, has warned.
  • Financial Times: Several top male BBC presenters have offered to take pay cuts to bring their salaries more in line with those of their female colleagues, following an outcry over gender pay disparity at the broadcaster.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain’s economy grew faster than expected in the last three months of 2017, although its annual growth was still the lowest in five years.
  • Financial Times: US retail giant Walmart will make its biggest-ever push into online groceries in Asia through a tie-up with Japan’s Rakuten, as it steps up efforts to challenge Amazon’s rise in groceries.
  • Financial Times: A mutually proclaimed “golden era” in bilateral ties between China and the UK has been thrown into jeopardy ahead of Theresa May’s visit to Beijing next week amid disagreements over China’s overseas investment drive, according to government officials.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland appear to have been saved after plane maker Bombardier won a legal battle in the US that has overturned damaging import tariffs on its C-series aircraft.
  • The Guardian: Christine Lagarde singled out Trump’s tax reforms as one of three risks that could destabilise the current economic recovery, especially given the boom in stock markets in the past year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Swiss investment bank UBS has said it wants London to remain Europe’s financial hub and it will try to keep as many staff in the City as possible after Brexit.
  • Financial Times: AbbVie, the maker of the world’s best-selling drug, issued what analysts described as a “jaw dropping” profit forecast after Donald Trump’s reforms helped the pharma company slash its tax rate to just 9%.
  • The Times: American oil companies brought 12 more rigs into service this week, the biggest rise over a seven-day period since March.
  • Daily Mail: Budget hotel business easyHotel is boosting its portfolio with plans to open a 124-room £8.7 million hotel in Milton Keynes by mid-2019.
  • The Times: Arena Group, which provides temporary physical structures and seats for sports and entertainment clients worldwide, said yesterday that it was on track to meet the market’s profit expectations for the year.
  • The Times: A three-in-one inhaler developed by Astrazeneca for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has had an encouraging outcome in a late-stage trial.
  • The Guardian: Wetherspoons has cancelled its contract with the meat supplier Russell Hume after a food safety scare.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Starbucks' US slowdown has gone global; the coffee chain posted disappointing sales growth in all its major regions on Thursday, signaling that it now has bigger problems than an overly saturated US market.
  • Daily Mail: Hundreds of retail jobs face the chop as Sir Philip Green's Arcadia Group cuts costs amid a harsh trading environment on the High Street.
  • The Guardian: The number of people who went brankrupt in 2017 soared to the highest level since the aftermath of the financial crisis, according to official figures that reveal the devastating toll of mounting debts on British households.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Mail has reached an agreement with its main trade union in their long-fought wrangle over pensions, pay and working conditions.
  • Daily Mail: Telecoms giant BT has been slapped with a £70,000 fine by regulator Ofcom for failing to provide it with all the information it needed for a review of its broadband and telephone services.
  • Financial Times: The US division of BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to a price fixing conspiracy on Friday and agreed to pay $90 million, making it the latest bank to admit wrongdoing in the wide-ranging probe of fraud and misbehaviour in foreign exchange markets.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): Reasons to be pumped up over oil.
  • The Times: Cineworld is stepping up its efforts to win support for its audacious reverse takeover of Regal Entertainment before a shareholder vote next week by pledging a refurbishment of the American chain’s estate, thanks in part to a cash gift from President Trump.
  • The Times: On-off talks between CBS and Viacom about a $38 billion merger appear to be back on again.
  • Financial Times: GKN, the FTSE aerospace and automotive components group facing a hostile £7 billion bid from Melrose Industries, has had several approaches for individual businesses, people with knowledge of the situation have said.
  • Financial Times: Tencent, Shenzhen-based tech giant, snapped up a stake in US film production company Skydance Media, co-producer of franchises such as Mission Impossible and Star Trek.
  • The Times: Onthemarket said yesterday that it had raised £30 million from outside investors and that dealings in its shares would begin on February 9 on the junior Alternative Investment Market; based on the placing price, the business would be worth £100 million.
  • The Times: Kwek Leng Beng has suffered defeat in his attempt to take Millennium & Copthorne Hotels private after minority shareholders rejected the Singapore-based tycoon’s 620p-a-share bid.
  • Financial Times: French luxury group Kering is in talks with Stella McCartney to sell its 50% stake in the eponymous label back to the British fashion designer, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Davos: why do companies waste shareholders’ money on an expensive talking shop?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Dell: public shareholders are irritating but they bring cash.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Tencent/Skydance: Tencent’s trove of user data could help target science fiction fans effectively.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: the weak speaker launch should not be forgotten in iPhone fever.

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