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Saturday Papers: Yahoo hires banks to consider options

And South African furniture retailer Steinhoff challenged Sainsbury's in Home Retail Group takeover with an offer of £1.42 billion.

Saturday Papers: Yahoo hires banks to consider options

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Yahoo has moved a step closer to a potential sale of its core internet business, after revealing that it has hired a group of Wall Street banks to examine options beyond the spin-off plan it had previously announced.
  • The Guardian: Sainsbury’s faces a potential bidding war for Home Retail Group after the Argos owner said it had received a £1.42 billion approach from Steinhoff International.
  • Daily Mail: Royal Dutch Shell has seen its credit rating slashed following its £36 billion takeover of gas giant BG Group.
  • Financial Times: Barclays paid Qatari investors a total of £346 million in secret and dishonestly characterised payments to secure their participation in the bank’s 2008 emergency fundraising, a £1 billion lawsuit brought by another key investor on the deal has alleged.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The insurance and investment group Standard Life has withstood recent market volatility to post healthy growth in profits, beating analyst forecasts.
  • Financial Times: Kering benefited from vigorous sales during the last quarter of 2015 with strong performance of its Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent brands helping the group to significantly exceed expectations.
  • Financial Times: Russia is mounting a far-reaching cyber espionage campaign against Syrian opposition groups and NGOs, as Moscow seeks to influence the flow of information on the country’s humanitarian crisis and obscure the full extent of its military operations there.

Business and economics

  • The Independent: Saudi Arabia has started taxing water for residents to try and address the soaring cost of debt as oil revenues decline.
  • Daily Mail: iPhone sales down 4.4% despite the global smartphone market growing almost 10% as customers baulked at Apple's premium prices.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UBS has brushed aside the panic arguing that none of the problems plaguing global markets are big enough to merit another financial crisis and that the current sell-off in equity markets is overblown.
  • Financial Times: Powa Technologies, once valued at $2.7 billion and seen as a darling of the UK technology scene, said Thompson Investments “is stepping forward to buy” the business, hours after the company went into administration.
  • Daily Mail: Coca-Cola HBC, the world’s second largest bottler of the fizzy drink, has bounced back with its first rise in European sales volumes in five years.
  • The Guardian: The former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine has announced plans to regenerate the site of the closed SSI steelworks at Redcar, North Yorkshire, where 1,700 people lost their jobs last year.
  • Daily Mail: Millennium & Copthorne yesterday became the latest company to cut its dividend as the hotel operator more than halved its annual payout to shareholders – reducing it from 13.59p a share to 6.42p.
  • The Guardian: Sweett Group, a stock market listed construction firm, has been ordered to pay £2.25 million in fines and other charges after pleading guilty to a criminal offence of failing to prevent bribes made to secure a contract to build a £63 million luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi.
  • The Guardian: The International Monetary Fund has appointed Christine Lagarde for a second term as managing director after she rebuilt the Washington-based organisation’s reputation following the sex scandal that engulfed her predecessor.
  • Financial Times: Revenue growth at online travel search provider Skyscanner slowed sharply in 2015, but the Edinburgh-based company said rapid expansion of users and activity on its mobile app meant its prospects remained bright.
  • Financial Times: Segro, the UK-listed property developer, has reported a 21% increase in the value of its assets as it bolstered its portfolio of warehouses and industrial properties to meet growing demand fed by e-commerce.
  • Financial Times: Shares in MTN tumbled more than 19% after the emerging markets mobile phone operator warned that its earnings fell by at least 20% last year.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: GFBiochemicals is acquiring assets and intellectual property from Minnesota-based Segentis with a view to producing green products made from biocompounds rather than oil-based plastics.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Golf: a long decline in participation may finally be slowing, benefiting equipment retailers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Standard Life: what was icing on UK insurer’s cake should become the whole confection.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Santos: Australian oil and gas producer’s best option is to cut costs, and fast.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bankia: valuation looks rich given the poor quality of its capital.

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