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Thursday Papers: France sends strong Brexit warning to UK

And the LSE is considering spinning off the French division of its clearing house to help smooth a potential £20 billion takeover by Deutsche Börse.

Thursday Papers: France sends strong Brexit warning to UK

Top stories

  • Financial Times: France would relocate its migrant camp from Calais to Britain and roll out “a red carpet” for bankers fleeing London if the UK leaves the EU, according to Emmanuel Macron, the French economy minister.
  • Financial Times: The London Stock Exchange is considering spinning off the French division of its clearing house to help smooth a potential £20 billion takeover by Deutsche Börse.
  • The Guardian: Tens of thousands of fishermen and farmers have been given permission to sue the energy giant Shell in a British court for oil spills in two further areas of the Niger delta.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The UK’s embattled steel sector faces fresh pressure after the US government plans to impose crippling import duties of up to 266% against Chinese companies, and around 30% against UK steel makers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A recession in Europe could lead to the collapse of the eurozone, as the single currency would buckle under the political turmoil unleashed by a fresh downturn, economists at Swiss bank Credit Suisse have warned in a research note titled "Close to the edge".
  • Financial Times: Britain’s financial sector has lost its status as the largest component of the FTSE 100 for the first time in a decade, giving way to some of the world’s biggest consumer groups.
  • Financial Times: Argentina is on the verge of issuing the largest sum of debt by any developing nation since 1996 as the country seeks to end a long-running and rancorous debt dispute by raising fresh credit.
  • The Times: Rolls-Royce could face a shareholder rebellion at its annual meeting in May after it caved into pressure from an American activist demanding a place on the board.
  • Financial Times: Miramax, the studio behind films such as Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and The English Patient, has been sold to BeIN Media Group, the Qatari broadcaster, for an undisclosed sum.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Volkswagen’s chief executive Martin Winterkorn was told about the company’s illegal emissions crisis more than a year before it admitted it was systematically cheating on US regulators tests.
  • The Independent: The heads of six British companies owned by German car giant BMW, including Rolls-Royce and Mini, have warned thousands of staff that jobs could be affected if the UK decides to leave the European Union, according to a report.
  • Daily Mail: Veteran retail chief Jim McCarthy is retiring as boss of Poundland with his stake in the firm worth about £18 million.
  • The Times: Samarco, a mining joint venture between BHP Billiton and Vale, is to pay out more than £4 billion in damages for a dam spill in Brazil that killed 19 people.
  • Daily Mail: Testing times at Intertek as shares plummet 5% after firm slumps to a loss of £307.7 million in 2015, compared to a profit of £252.2 million in 2014.
  • The Independent: Sir Richard Branson has enjoyed a £12 million payday after Virgin Money declared its first full-year dividend since floating on the stock market 16 months ago.
  • Financial Times: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest listed oil company, expects its production in 2020 to be roughly the same as last year, as cuts in investment prompted by the low price of crude force the group to abandon its earlier projections of growth.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain’s largest oil and gas engineering group Amec Foster Wheeler has secured a deal for a £1.7 billion debt facility, just months after posting its worst financial results in its 32-year history.
  • Financial Times: Marc Lasry, chief executive of $12.3 billion alternative asset manager Avenue Capital, says turmoil in the oil markets has created a wealth of opportunities for distressed debt investors.
  • The Times: Stagecoach has reassured investors that the transport group remained on track to meet its full-year forecasts in the face of “more challenging” trading conditions.
  • Daily Mail: The boss of ITV, Adam Crozier, brushed off takeover speculation yesterday as the broadcaster shared the spoils of a blockbuster year with shareholders.
  • Financial Times: Trading in Banco BPI was suspended after shares in the Portuguese lender jumped more than 10% amid speculation that Spain’s CaixaBank was in talks on expanding its stake in a move that would trigger a full takeover bid.
  • Daily Mail: Honda has pumped an additional £200 million into its facility in Swindon after confirming next year’s new Civic family car will be produced there for the global market and not just Europe for the very first time.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Facebook is under investigation in Germany for abusing its dominance of the web to collect its users’ private data without explicit permission.
  • Financial Times: Africa Internet Group, the company behind the continent’s biggest ecommerce company Jumia, has raised €225 million in one of the biggest fundraising rounds yet seen for any Africa-focused technology company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gambling industry veteran Brian Mattingley has relinquished leadership of 888 after the online gaming firm promoted its chief operating officer to the helm.
  • The Times: Digital currencies such as Bitcoin will not replace conventional money, but the technology underpinning them could make customer deposits safer and damage lending, according to Ben Broadbent, a deputy governor of the Bank of England.
  • The Guardian: A subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, which wants to build Australia’s largest coalmine, has been accused by its own lawyer in India of fraud, illegal land purchases and other violations over a solar project.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): BUY challenger banks: Virgin Money is proof challenger banks are beating big lenders.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): AVOID Intertek for now; AVOID Virgin Money for now; BUY Clinigen Group for long term.
  • Financial Times: AB InBev moved a step closer to completing its £71 billion takeover of SABMiller, after China Resources Beer agreed to buy out the London-listed group’s stake in their Chinese brewery joint venture.
  • Financial Times: Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba, is poised to expand his media holdings, with his online finance company holding talks to buy a stake in respected business magazine Caixin.
  • Financial Times: Italy’s media industry is poised for a shake-up after Fiat Chrysler agreed to explore an all-share deal that would fold La Stampa, its flagship newspaper, into the company that controls La Repubblica, one of its biggest national rivals.
  • Daily Mail: The bidding war for Argos took a twist yesterday when the South African furniture group Steinhoff hoping to snap up the store made a bid for a London-listed French retail giant Darty.
  • Daily Mail: The sale of Lloyds to the public could be back on the cards, with shares hovering around the critical ‘break even’ price.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Only the IMF can now save Brazil.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Virgin Money: soaring mortgage lending helped the bank to a near 11% ROE, beating bigger rivals.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Marine Harvest: the market sees better times on the horizon for Norwegian salmon.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Steinhoff: bids for Darty and Home Retail would tilt the group’s axis back to Europe.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China: challenges are growing but the chance of a default is slim.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Groupon: may be recovering, but it still has a spending problem.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Valeant: the pharma group may be humbled and vulnerable, but it is not dead.

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Cautious Investor

Mar 03, 2016 at 07:47

Emmanuel Macron (French Finance Minister)'s comments, about Calais migrants and a 'red carpet' for bankers, smack of desperation. It says to me that they need us more than we need them.

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Mar 03, 2016 at 09:24

Its looks like rolls royce and bmw will have to cut their dividends to nil point .

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Mar 03, 2016 at 12:51

With the French tax system the very last place that any well-heeled banker is going to make for is France! One advantage of a Brexit is that we will actually be able to control our borders and take greater steps to prevent the inflow of unproductive economic migrants from within and without the EU.

Yet more scare-mongering from the Keep Britain in brigade. Monsieur Macron is obviously concerned about the loss of subsidies received from the UK taxpayer.

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Graham Barlow

Mar 03, 2016 at 15:00

Moscovici, The French Chief Finance Commissioner at the EU said on French TV, when asked "What is the EU's Fiancial Plan B if Britain votes for Brexit? His classic reply was "There is No Plan B, How can the EU plan for Financial Disaster? That tells you all you need to know about all this Brexit Fear , Threats and down right Blackmail. The EU will implode and the Suits are petrified, in more ways than one, their own skins to start with. Irf you ever needed anymore proof that Britain is the Milch Cow of the EU and soaker up of unemployment.

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Graham Barlow

Mar 03, 2016 at 15:27

London has the biggest French population outside France. It is stuffed full of French people running businesses and doing rather well over here. In France it is impossible with sky high Taxes, interference, and endless busybodies. I cant imagine the Banks rushing over for that. Red Carpet or no red carpet.

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