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Thursday Papers: RBS expects loss after £3.6bn hit

And IMF and World Bank to discuss a possible $4 billion emergency loan package to forestall oil-led defaults.

Thursday Papers: RBS expects loss after £3.6bn hit

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland has damped prospects for a further government share sale after warning it would make its eighth successive full-year loss in 2015 and revealing a £3.6 billion hit from pension costs and new misconduct charges.
  • Financial Times: Officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are heading to Azerbaijan to discuss a possible $4 billion emergency loan package in what risks becoming the first of a series of bailouts stemming from the tumbling oil price.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Five of the six brokers in the latest Libor trial have been cleared by a jury in what will count as a major blow to the Serious Fraud Office.
  • The Guardian: Shell has won shareholder approval for its £35 billion takeover of BG Group despite nearly a fifth of investors opposing the deal.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Boeing fell sharply on Wednesday amid concerns over the health of the civil aerospace market after the US manufacturer predicted it would deliver fewer passenger jets this year than in 2015.
  • Financial Times: Tencent has teamed up with Naspers, Africa’s largest media company, to introduce its social media app WeChat across the continent in a bid to disrupt Facebook’s WhatsApp.
  • Financial Times: Google and Apple have fought back in the row over the big tech groups’ tax regimes, saying they are being unfairly targeted as the public backlash over the controversy escalates.
  • The Independent: The US Federal Reserve stressed on Wednesday that it is “closely watching” global markets in the wake of January’s turmoil, suggesting that it is likely to slow the pace of its monetary tightening.

Business and economics

  • The Independent: Britain’s tax authorities have conceded that Google need not pay tax on profits from advertising sold in this country, as a result the firm will escape paying tens of millions of pounds to the Treasury.
  • The Guardian: Facebook’s fourth-quarter report, released on Wednesday, marked the first time that Facebook’s quarterly revenue has surpassed $5 billion, with a far better-than-expected 51.7% jump as new advertising formats and an improved mobile app drove a sharp rise in ad sales.
  • Financial Times: EDF has agreed a significant investment in the troubled reactor business of Areva, putting further pressure on the French utility as it scrambles to secure financing for a contentious £18 billion nuclear project in the UK.
  • Financial Times: Telecoms groups including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, EE, SK Telecom and Verizon have agreed to back a Facebook-led initiative that could challenge the role of traditional data centre equipment providers.
  • The Guardian: Theranos has been hit with yet another major setback after a US government health agency described its blood-testing technology as posing “immediate jeopardy” to the public.
  • The Guardian: The UK payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal is continuing to haunt major banks after Santander set aside another £450 million to pay compensation to customers who were mis-sold.
  • The Guardian: British insurer Legal & General has teamed up with a Dutch pension fund manager to construct 3,000 apartments across the UK under a £600 million“build-to-rent” plan.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Paragon Bank is cashing in on the buy-to-let boom, having nearly doubled lending to landlords in the final few months of last year.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Telekom and Orange will be given a goodbye dividend payment of £263 million from EE before the £12.5 billion sale of their British mobile operator to BT is completed this week.
  • The Guardian: Online grocer Ocado has been volatile in recent weeks, with worries about the outlook for its business amid increased competition vying with talk of a possible takeover from the likes of Amazon.
  • Financial Times: Aberdeen suffered net outflows of £9.1 billion during the three months to the end of December as investors continue to be spooked by the company’s exposure to the turmoil in emerging markets, the prospect of further interest rate rises in the US, a fall in the price of oil and a slowdown in China.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Antofagasta, the Chile-based copper miner, is targeting big hikes in production for 2016, despite falling prices and vowed to put an “undeniably difficult” year behind it after production fell well short of targets.
  • Financial Times: Toyota is exploring business partnerships to strengthen its position in emerging markets, even as the Japanese group extended its reign as the world’s top-selling carmaker for a fourth year.
  • Daily Mail: The car giant behind Fiat, Jeep and Maserati posted stronger than expected sales for the past three months, triggering it to raise annual profit targets.
  • Financial Times: Two frustrated shareholders in Johnson & Johnson are pressing activist investors to take a stake in the world’s largest healthcare company and push for a radical shake-up, after what they describe as years of poor performance.
  • Financial Times: Spotify is seeking to borrow $500 million from investors, just eight months after the world’s biggest music streaming service raised the same amount by selling equity at a valuation of $8.5 billion.
  • Financial Times: Ford, IBM, Airbus, BP and General Electric are among dozens of global businesses that have sharply criticised Europe’s rules for derivatives, claiming they unfairly push up costs for companies “that did not cause the financial crisis”.
  • Financial Times: A Paris court has ordered ride-hailing service Uber to pay €1.2 million to a French taxi union for failing to enforce an aspect of a 2014 law governing minicab services.
  • Financial Times: Revenues at Sage, the UK accounting software group continue to rise, but the Newcastle-based company has warned of slower growth outside its European stronghold.
  • Financial Times: BGL Group, the insurance group that owns Compare The Market, the price comparison website, is considering an initial public offering that could value it at more than £1 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shares in Sirius Minerals tumbled 10% after it delayed publication of a feasibility report into its potash mine in Yorkshire.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ophir Energy has appointed ex-BP executive Bill Schrader to lead its board, replacing current chairman Nicholas Smith in April.
  • The Guardian: Weight Watchers’ share price surged by almost 20% after Oprah Winfrey tweeted a video ad about how she lost 26 pounds using the programme.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: The battle for Media General has ended after the US television station owner that began life in 1850 with a single newspaper in Virginia agreed to be acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting for $4.6 billion.
  • Financial Times: Zeus Capital’s planned acquisition of rival UK broker Novum Securities is on the brink of falling apart, following moves to bring tax fraud charges against Zeus’s co-founder Richard Hughes earlier this month.
  • The Guardian: National Australia Bank shareholders have overwhelmingly voted to spin off its troubled British asset Clydesdale Bank before a partial float of the business expected in London next week.
  • The Guardian: Metro Bank, the loss-making challenger to the UK’s established high street institutions, is pressing ahead with plans for a stock market listing next month that is expected to value the company at nearly £2 billion.
  • The Independent: Zoonloin, a Chinese construction-manufacturing company has openly tried to buy out a US rival Terex for the first time, despite the rival being part of an existing deal with Finland's Konecranes Oyj.
  • Daily Mail: US buyout firm KKR has joined the bidding war for SABMiller brands Peroni and Grolsch.
  • Daily Mail: Irish bookie Paddy Power expects a 9% boost to its full year profits after it clocked up strong trading in the final furlong before a merger with rival Betfair.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Hysteria over China has become ridiculous.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Boeing: lower orders and profits are on the cards for 2016.
  • Financial Times (Lex): RBS: amid the fog of another £4bn charge, a bull case can be made.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Italian banks: offloading bad debt to private buyers could go awry.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Zoomlion: an irrational bid may trump a sensible one.

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Giles Hargreave: 5 niche stocks to weather Brexit

by Giles Hargreave on Oct 27, 2016 at 05:01

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