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Thursday Papers: Foxconn seals $3.5bn Sharp takeover

And Tata's UK steel plants worth 'almost zero' as bidders weigh up rescue deals.

Thursday Papers: Foxconn seals $3.5bn Sharp takeover

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Sharp, a pioneer of the once-mighty Japanese electronics industry, has been taken over at a knockdown price by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry in a watershed moment for corporate Japan.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The race to save Tata Steel’s British operations could leave the Government temporarily owning the troubled firm’s factories, ministers suggested yesterday as potential bidders start to weigh up their chances of rescuing the ailing industry.
  • Financial Times: Premier Foods has said it will open talks with its US suitor McCormick, even as it argued that a third takeover offer from the spice-maker behind the Schwartz’s brand undervalued the UK company.
  • Financial Times: More US initial public offerings collapsed than succeeded in the first quarter of 2016 as the ferocity of this year’s stock market tumble hit many companies’ hopes of coming to market.
  • Financial Times: Global investment banks suffered declines of as much as 56% in their trading businesses in the first three months of the year, analysts believe, stoking fears of further lay-offs for staff and lower dividends for shareholders.
  • The Times: The failure of HSBC to clean up its act after an anti-money-laundering deal with America’s justice department has raised the possibility that US authorities may continue to monitor Britain’s biggest bank.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Italian anti-corruption investigators have opened a formal investigation into Shell’s acquisition of a stake in a $1.09 billion (£755 million) oil block in Nigeria.
  • The Guardian: Boeing is cutting about 4,000 jobs and could double that number this year to slash costs as the world’s biggest aeroplane maker faces intense competition from Europe’s Airbus.
  • The Guardian: An EDF board member has called for the £18 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to be postponed, in the latest sign of discord at the top of the French energy company over the troubled project.
  • Financial Times: The European Commission takes a hostile view of rescue aid for the steel industry and Britain can expect bruising negotiations with Brussels if it wants to use state funds to save Tata Steel UK.
  • Financial Times: MetLife has secured a victory in its battle against US regulators that deemed it ‘too big to fail’, a legal ruling that may have far-reaching implications for the country’s financial system.
  • The Guardian: Subcontracted jobs have grown at three times the rate of all private sector jobs in Silicon Valley over the past 24 years, exacerbating the region’s gaping income inequality, according to a new report from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • Financial Times: Hornby, the toy train maker that has been pushed off track by three profit warnings in the past five months, has managed to buy itself some time by convincing its bank to waive covenant tests this month.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Metro jumped more than 10% morning after the German retail conglomerate revealed plans to split into two companies that will be separately listed on the stock market.
  • The Guardian: Lululemon, the upmarket “athleisure” brand favoured by celebrities reported annual sales of more than $2 billion (£1.4 billion).
  • Financial Times: Swedbank’s chairman is to be forced out by the Swedish lender’s shareholders, completing a total clear-out of top officials at a bank once held up as a model post-crisis institution.
  • Financial Times: French prosecutors have opened a formal investigation into alleged insider trading by the husband of Areva’s former boss, Anne Lauvergeon, as part of a probe into the ill-fated acquisition of a Canadian uranium miner.
  • The Times: Complaints about Vodafone’s shoddy customer service have surged to more than three times the industry average after thousands of customers were incorrectly billed.
  • Financial Times: European and US banks will cut another 1.7 million jobs in the next decade as financial technology companies stalk profitable growth areas such as lending and payments, a new report by Citigroup has predicted.
  • Financial Times: Canberra is ending the Australian Securities Exchange monopoly on equity clearing and relaxing ownership restrictions in a decision that removes a potential hurdle to the ASX’s participation in overseas mergers.
  • The Times: America is continuing to add jobs at a robust pace, with private sector employers creating 200,000 new positions last month.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY Sergo; BUY Tritax Big Box.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Paragon; BUY Just Retirement; HOLD CPP.
  • Daily Mail: Lord Ashcroft set for £11 million payday after sports agency TLA Worldwide agreed to takeover by New York company Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp for close to £100 million.
  • The Times: Speculation is swirling over the future of Amaya, the owner of PokerStars, after insider trading charges (hotly denied) were laid against David Baazov, its chief executive, the Toronto-listed NYX Gaming Group is believed to be entering the final furlong of its pursuit of OpenBet, the British gambling technology group.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Britain sacrifices steel industry to curry favour with China.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Investors reconsider outlook for US bank stocks.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Metro: before it breaks up, the German retailer should make peace with its founder.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US television: an election year boost in ads is welcome — but heavily discounted.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Swedbank: loss of the lender’s entire leadership team has not harmed the stock’s performance.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Hon Hai/Sharp: delay has paid off well for Taiwanese group.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Tata Steel: even a wholesale closure would not have much impact on global markets.
  • Financial Times (Lex): WH Group: scepticism about benefits of the merger are proving ill-founded.

3 comments so far. Why not have your say?

john elliott

Mar 31, 2016 at 09:20

how will this country ever balance its books if we cant even make our own steel

report this


Mar 31, 2016 at 09:27

To solve the crisis of the steel industry, or any other industry, the British government, has to have the approval of the corrupt and undemocratic EU. I am wondering: how the UK government managed to rescue the banking system?

report this


Mar 31, 2016 at 12:32

Remember how wonderful things were when the British state operated railways, utilities, telecomms and subsidised shipyards, coal, steel, cars.....?

report this

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