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Thursday Papers: Germany reaches grand coalition deal

And UK stocks join global rebound but remain lagging behind.

Thursday Papers: Germany reaches grand coalition deal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Angela Merkel ended months of political paralysis on Wednesday by reaching a deal for a new coalition government with the Social Democrats that awarded the centre-left higher spending on pensions and public services and new sway over the future of the eurozone.
  • Financial Times: A rebound in UK’s equity markets, which posted their biggest gains since April on Wednesday, was not enough to erase the deep losses that have made London the worst performing major stock market in the world this year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Emma Walmsley, the still relatively new boss of Britain’s biggest drugmaker GSK, has promised to hold its dividend firm next year, despite the looming threat of generic drugs that could blow sales of its bestselling asthma inhaler Advair out of the water.
  • The Guardian: The tech billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla electric car and energy storage company lost $675.4 million in the three months ending 31 December, the company announced on Thursday, compared with a loss of $121 million for the same period last year.
  • Financial Times: Rio Tinto has rewarded shareholders with the biggest dividend in its 145-year history and added a further $1 billion to a share buyback programme as annual profits surged on the back of higher commodity prices.
  • The Times: Barclays has offered a concession to angry pension fund members, saying that its core British retail banking operation may be able to continue guaranteeing their retirement promises after all.
  • Financial Times: High-end homes in central London are selling at the biggest discounts in more than a decade as sellers continue to set ambitious prices even as the market declines.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Cboe Global Markets endured another day of selling on Wednesday after two banks cut their ratings on the exchange operator on concern that this week’s stunning demise of a popular volatility strategy will cause a decline in an important revenue driver.
  • Financial Times: A $17 billion coalition of Christian investors, Church Investment Group, many from denominations that have struggled to reconcile the role of women in the church, have warned businesses to appoint more female board directors or face their wrath.
  • The Times: MPs have ordered the Financial Conduct Authority to produce a contentious report into mistreatment of thousands of businesses by Royal Bank of Scotland by next week, after the regulator was criticised for “losing control” of the investigation.
  • The Times: Tullow Oil will consider reinstating its dividend this year, after reporting an operating profit last year for the first time since crude prices crashed.
  • The Guardian: Former executives of Carillion have been accused by one of the defunct construction firm’s largest customers, Msheireb Properties, of giving misleading evidence to a parliamentary inquiry this week.
  • The Times: Handelsbanken, the Swedish bank with a growing fanbase in Britain, said yesterday that it had lost £50 million lending to Carillion.
  • The Times: In a report released by the Bank for International Settlements, the Swiss-based talking shop of the world’s leading central bankers, a trio of academics examined nepotism and concluded that too many family members at the top of a company led to bad decisions.
  • Financial Times: Airbus will slow production of its troubled A400M military transport aircraft as part of an agreement in principle with the programme’s founding countries to delay deliveries and revise penalties.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Government has begun work on new laws to force Channel 4 to relocate outside London, in an attempt to pressure the broadcaster’s new chief executive Alex Mahon to agree a voluntary move soon.
  • The Times: Severn Trent has more than halved its fund costs in recent months after one of its fixed-rate bonds matured, allowing it to raise new and much cheaper finance.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Snap, the company behind Snapchat, rose more than 38 per cent on Wednesday, as at least five analysts upgraded the stock on hopes that it will be able to compete in a digital advertising market dominated by Google and Facebook.
  • The Times: Moves by Russia to curb excessive drinking took the fizz off full-year trading at Carlsberg.
  • Financial Times: Steve Wynn, the casino tycoon who helped transform Las Vegas and Macau into booming gambling centres, has resigned as chairman and chief executive of Wynn Resorts in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him.
  • Financial Times: The well-regarded former Morgan Stanley analyst Huw van Steenis has left Schroders just a year after he quit investment banking for the UK’s second-largest listed asset manager.
  • The Guardian: A quarter of people working in Britain’s fast-growing gig economy are being paid below the national minimum wage, government research has revealed.
  • Financial Times: Australia’s parliament has handed regulators new powers to cap top bankers’ pay, disqualify executives and directors from the industry and impose higher fines on institutions for bad behaviour.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The North Sea’s main oil and gas pipeline system has shut down for the second time in as many months under the stewardship of new owner Ineos.
  • Daily Mail: Oyster Yachts, a luxury yacht builder based in Southampton, has collapsed with 400 employees expected to lose their jobs.
  • Daily Mail: Furniture retailer Warren Evans has become the latest casualty of the high street, putting almost 300 jobs at risk.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Smurfit Kappa; BUY Grainger.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY RWS Holdings; BUY Rentokil; BUY Imperial Brands; BUY Sainsbury.
  • Financial Times: SoftBank will aim for an initial public offering of its Japanese telecoms business in the next 12 months in a move that will allow the acquisitive group to focus more on investing its $93 billion tech-focused war chest.
  • Daily Mail: Billionaire Paul Singer’s ruthless hedge fund has increased its stake in Sky as the future of the broadcaster’s news channel hangs in the balance.
  • The Times: Theresa May has promised that the government will “act in the UK national interest” if it is warranted amid Melrose Industries’ £7.2 billion hostile takeover bid for GKN Industries.
  • The Times: Croda International has ended merger talks with its American rival Ashland Global Holdings.
  • The Times: The Los Angeles Times is being sold to Patrick Soon-Shiong, one of its leading shareholders, for an eye-catching $500 million, bringing the curtain down on a protracted tussle for control almost as gripping as some of the stories it has run on its pages.
  • The Daily Telegraph: DCC has bought a pill manufacturer, its first acquisition in the US healthcare sector, as it continues its push into new markets.
  • The Times: Arla Foods has struck a deal to buy Yeo Valley dairies as it steps up plans to convince Britons to buy organic dairy products.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Alphabet is folding its "smart home" appliance subsidiary Nest back into Google, as it seeks to ward off growing competition from Amazon.
  • Financial Times: Britain’s second-largest care home chain Four Seasons has moved closer to a takeover by its biggest creditor, Connecticut-based H/2 Capital Partners, after the hedge fund that holds most of its debt agreed to inject a further £70 million to enable it to keep operating.

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