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Saturday Papers: Shell takes on Big Six energy giants

And EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has warned that UK's intransigence is putting Brexit transition at risk.

Saturday Papers: Shell takes on Big Six energy giants

Top stories

  • The Times: Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to take on the Big Six energy suppliers include buying gas-fired power plants and building wind and solar farms in Britain; the Anglo-Dutch oil company will use its network of 1,000 petrol stations to market the venture and sign up household and business energy customers, Maarten Wetselaar, an executive director of Shell, said.
  • Financial Times: The EU’s chief Brexit Michel Barnier negotiator has warned that the UK’s goal of securing a transition period to smooth its exit from the bloc “is not a given” after three days of talks in Brussels where British negotiators fought back against key demands.
  • The Daily Telegraph: This week’s stock market volatility is not a foreshadowing of a crash like that seen in 2007, a deputy governor of the UK’s central bank has said.
  • Financial Times: Broadcom has offered to pay Qualcomm $8 billion if regulators block its $146 billion takeover bid for the company, in what would be the second biggest break-up fee in history.
  • Financial Times: Interserve, the British outsourcing company, has presented a rescue plan to banks in an attempt to secure fresh funding, with fears over its future raised by the demise of rival contractor Carillion.
  • Financial Times: Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi has apologised and agreed to pay $245 million to settle a trade secrets case brought by Google subsidiary Waymo, in the latest effort by new management to clean up the group’s tarnished image.

Business and economics

  • The Times: A late rally on Wall Street last night, in which American markets reversed yet more heavy losses, could not stop them suffering their biggest weekly percentage drop in two years.
  • Financial Times: Global trade growth slowed at the end of last year, helping push the world’s largest container shipping company AP Moller-Maersk to miss profit expectations in 2017.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s trade position with the rest of the world worsened in December as rising global oil prices pushed up the cost of importing fuel, while the continuing weak pound failed to lift sales of UK-made goods abroad.
  • Financial Times: The value of exports of Scotch whisky rose 9% to £4.36 billion in 2017, the strongest growth in six years, helped by a weak pound and demand from China and Russia.
  • The Times: The temporary closure of Britain’s most important oil and gas pipeline caused industrial production to suffer its biggest fall for five and a half years in December.
  • Financial Times: The first ever long-term contract to supply US liquefied natural gas to China has been signed by Texas-based Cheniere Energy, boosting the hopes for other companies positioning themselves to launch new export projects.
  • Financial Times: Profits at Direct Line jumped more than 50% last year after the British insurer managed to attract more customers to its own-brand policies.
  • Financial Times: Overseas investors snapped up more than half of all properties for sale in London’s most exclusive postcodes in the last half of 2017 as buyers took advantage of big discounts in areas such as Belgravia and Kensington.
  • Daily Mail: The drop in demand for rental properties triggered a profit slide at Britain’s biggest building society Nationwide to £886 million in the last nine months of 2017 – down 6% on a year earlier.
  • The Daily Telegraph: House of Fraser has appointed Rothschild to advise it as it prepares to refinance its debt package, less than a month after its Chinese owner took the unusual step of reasserting his support for the struggling department store chain.
  • Daily Mail: Investors turned their backs on company shares funds last year and flocked to the perceived 'safety' of bond funds despite paying over the odds for relatively little income.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shares in delivery companies tumbled after a reports that Amazon is set to launch its own package delivery system.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The backers of Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain have agreed to rent cuts and site closures in a move aimed at preventing the under-pressure business from collapsing entirely.
  • The Guardian: The takeover of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC, the Isle of Man-based firm behind Foxy Bingo, could trigger up to 1,600 job losses, the companies said, as they published fresh details of a deal worth up to £3.9 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: More than 430 casual workers at the Express and Star face an uncertain future after the newspapers’ owner Richard Desmond agreed to sell them to Trinity Mirror in a deal due to cost £200 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Chicken supplier 2 Sisters Food Group, the UK’s largest supplier of supermarket chicken, which was at the heart of the poultry safety scandal last year, is planning three factory closures that put 900 jobs at risk.
  • The Times: The long-awaited direct Eurostar service between London and Amsterdam will be launched in April.
  • The Guardian: Officials from the UK and EU are drawing up a plan to in effect keep Northern Ireland in the customs union and the single market after Brexit in order to avoid a hard border.
  • The Daily Telegraph: China will soon be able to trade oil using its own currency by creating a futures market to rival the international benchmark contracts which are traded exclusively in dollars.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): Tesla shows staying at the top is not easy.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): Strong BUY BP.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in British business travel agent Hogg Robinson Group soared almost 50% in early trading today after the company received a recommended offer of almost £400 million for the business from American Express Global Business Travel (GBT); separately, Hogg Robinson also said it has agreed to sell its payments technology business, Fraedom, to Visa Inc for £141.8 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: One of Britain’s largest clean energy suppliers Good Energy has teamed up with Honda to trial how electric vehicles could be used to help power homes more efficiently.
  • The Times: British Land has paid £103 million to buy Woolwich Estate from Mansford Real Estate, a private equity firm, adding to its holdings in locations such as Ealing and Paddington in west and central London along the Crossrail line.
  • The Times: Shandong Ruyi, a Chinese textiles group that already owns Aquascutum, the British coat maker, said yesterday that it would buy control of Bally International, the Swiss leather accessories company, from JAB Holding, a Luxembourg investment fund.
  • Financial Times: China’s HNA Group has cut its stake in Deutsche Bank, with a regulatory filing showing that the cash-strapped conglomerate has lent some of its shares in the German lender to raise funding.
  • Financial Times: Wigan Athletic is set to become the latest English football club to be acquired by Chinese investors, after the club agreed a deal in principle to sell to a Hong-Kong listed company.
  • The Guardian (Comment): By betting on calm, did investors worsen the stock market fall?
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): EU is wrong to obsess over fiscal union.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Asset managers: for large institutions this is a time to avoid investments that track others.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Trinity Mirror/N&S: opposing political stances will not stand in the way of cost savings.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Twitter: the improvement is real but the investors have been rewarded in advance.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Crypto-exchanges: taxation may be the most effective way to rein in speculation.

3 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Feb 10, 2018 at 09:45

wont be long before China owns the world

and the yanks are sending them gas!?

dont believe how stupid we are

report this

Michael Loveridge

Feb 10, 2018 at 19:44

Yes, it's depressing to see on just one page of news that Aquascutum and Wigan Athletic, both well-known brands (albeit at rather different ends of the market!) , and the famous Swiss firm of Bally have all fallen to Chinese economic imperialism.

And bearing in mind the vast amount of UK real estate they have acquired it won't be long before we're all paying rent to our Chinese landlords and hoping they won't kick us out of our own country!

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richard tomkin

Feb 11, 2018 at 11:19

Am I alone in being quite incapable of understanding one word of what Mark Carney comes out with ? If he is so concerned about the effect on markets of his utterances,he would be better advised to say nothing at all,rather than a plethora of incomprehensible remarks." Forward Guidance",for example,was no more meaningful to Joe Bloggs than David Cameron's " Big Society " Why do simple concepts have to be so impenetrable ?

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The Expert View: CYBG-Virgin, Cineworld & Indivior

by Michelle McGagh on Jun 19, 2018 at 05:30

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