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Tuesday Papers: Data woes knock nearly $37bn off Facebook market value

And New York activist investor has secretly mounted a £1.9 billion raid on Barclays.

Tuesday Papers: Data woes knock nearly $37bn off Facebook market value

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Facebook saw its shares plunge 6.8% yesterday – the most in four years - after EU lawmakers joined hands with UK and US counterparts to investigate how Cambridge Analytica, a consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump’s election campaign, gained access to the personal data of 50 million Facebook users; the backlash wiped $36.7 billion off the market value of the world’s largest social network.
  • Daily Mail: New Yorker Edward Bramson, who has a notorious reputation as a corporate brawler, has secretly mounted a £1.9 billion raid on Barclays; his firm, Sherborne Investors, has accumulated more than 5% stake in the UK bank, triggering fears of open corporate warfare.
  • The Times: Columbia Threadneedle, one of the biggest institutional shareholders in GKN with 3.4% stake, has announced that it would vote against the £8 billion hostile takeover of GKN by Melrose.
  • Financial Times: In another setback following a series of scandals, Uber had to suspend all testing of self-driving cars after a fatal collision involving an Uber vehicle that was operating in autonomous mode killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona.
  • Daily Mail: Micro Focus saw nearly £4 billion of its value being wiped off yesterday after Britain’s biggest technology company warned of a slump in sales and disclosed its boss had quit; shares nosedived 46.4% to 1011p.
  • Financial Times: In a major breakthrough, Britain has secured a 21-month Brexit extension, which will provide companies a breather until 31 December 2020 to make preparations.

Business and economics

  • The Times: Westfield London has now became the largest shopping centre in Europe - overtaking Aviapark in Moscow and the Westgate shopping city in Zagreb, Croatia - after it opened a 740,000 sq ft extension worth £600 million; John Lewis, the department store operator, is the anchor tenant of the extension.
  • Financial Times: UPS said on Monday that it will increase the number of electric trucks it has in operation in central London from 52 to 170 over the next few years; a large number of vehicles can now be recharged simultaneously with the development of an electric vehicle-charging “smart grid”.
  • The Guardian: Tween jewelry and ear piercing retailer Claire’s has filed for bankruptcy on Monday saying it was looking to restructure $1.9 billion in debts it accumulated after being acquired by Apollo Global Management in 2007.
  • Daily Mail: Carpetright and Mothercare yesterday saw millions of pounds being wiped off their share prices; Carpetright is reportedly considering closing dozens of stores to stay in business; while Mothercare’s shares slumped 14.2% to 14.68p, Carpetright’s dived 21.1% to 44p.
  • Daily Express: Siemens, one of the largest employers in Germany, is setting up a £27 million 3D printing factory in Worcester; the unit is scheduled to open in September this year and will create 55 jobs.
  • Daily Mail: Cake maker Finsbury Food Group has registered a 2.5% increase in the sales of its birthday cakes to £144.8 million in the last six months of 2017, thanks to emoji-themed birthday cakes.
  • Daily Mail: Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to launch an online bank, similar to HSBC’s First Direct, with its eye fixed on youth market.
  • The Times: Share price of Aim-listed Accrol Group plunged another 63% yesterday after the struggling toilet paper maker said that it now expected net debt to rise to about £34 million and breach a banking covenant.
  • Financial Times: Vale is planning to announce a new dividend policy based on a more sustainable cash flow generation rather than profits or debt; the world’s largest iron ore exporter is aggressively cutting debt, setting the stage for steadier cash returns for shareholders in coming years.
  • The Guardian: The North Sea registered drilling of fewer than 100 wells last year, the lowest since 1973, reflecting the decline in investment after the 2014 collapse in oil prices.
  • Financial Times: Global agricultural merchant Archer Daniels Midland is planning to reshuffle its operating divisions into four new ones, the second such restructuring in three years; the Chicago-based company is struggling with falling profit margins amid ample grain supplies.
  • The Times: Diana Hunter, the chief executive of Conviviality Retail, has quit following a highly damaging week in which the owner of Bargain Booze and Wine Rack announced two profit warnings and an unexpected £30 million tax bill.
  • Financial Times: South Korean automakers Hyundai Motors and affiliate Kia Motors are being probed by a US regulator after airbags fitted in their vehicles failed to deploy in frontal collisions leading to four deaths.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gambling watchdog has given some relief to investors in gambling companies by recommending much less harsh restrictions on controversial betting machine stakes than expected.
  • Financial Times: Foreign minister of South Korea Kang Kyung-wha has warned that global row, triggered by US tariffs on steel imports, might be “unhelpful” for President Donald Trump to secure a nuclear deal with North Korea.
  • Financial Times: Russia’s top oil company Rosneft has sought to allay investor concerns by saying that Venezuela is repaying its $6.5 billion loan to the company on schedule despite fears over the country’s finances.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): AVOID Ladbrokes Coral, William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair; BUY Finsbury Food Group.
  • Daily Mail: Hammerson, the British owner of the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham and Brent Cross in north London, has received an audacious £4.9 billion bid from French rival Klepierre; Hammerson rejected the bid but its shares surged 24% amid signs Klepierre will continue to pursue a deal.
  • The Times: Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, is likely to opt for a purely domestic share sale, dashing hopes for its London listing; this is slated to be the world's largest flotation in history.
  • The Times: French tyre maker is set to acquire the engineering firm Fenner in a £1.2 billion deal; Fenner’s shareholders will receive 610p a share, a premium of more than 30% to the closing price on Friday.
  • Financial Times: Arm Holdings, the UK chip designer bought for £24.3 billion by SoftBank in July 2016, could be relisted; the Saudi-backed $93 billion Vision Fund SoftBank launched last year is set to acquire a 25% stake in Arm.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Amazon is likely to bid for the Toys R Us stores, just days after the toy retailer declared plans to close its US operations.
  • The Times: Pentland, the British company behind Speedo, Mitre and Canterbury, has taken over Endura, the cycling clothing brand.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gaming software entrepreneur Richard Hadida has bailed Oyster Yachts, the Southampton-based builder of luxury sailing yachts, out of administration; Oyster ceased its operations last month.
  • The Guardian (Comment): It is time now for national governments around the world to start issuing their debt in a new form, linked to their countries’ resources.

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Bookies slump as £2 stake limit on terminals looms

by Daniel Grote on Apr 24, 2018 at 15:19

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