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Tuesday Papers: Putin orders Russian pullout from Syria

And Britain’s biggest business lobby group has emphatically endorsed staying inside the EU.

 
Tuesday Papers: Putin orders Russian pullout from Syria

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered his armed forces to start pulling out of Syria after a six-month campaign, saying that they had largely met their objectives and it was time to focus on peace talks.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s biggest business lobby group has emphatically endorsed staying inside the EU, adding weight to a series of polls showing that employers view a referendum vote to leave as a threat to the UK’s prosperity.
  • The Times: Marriott International’s agreed takeover of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide was thrown into doubt yesterday after a Chinese-led consortium sought to gatecrash the party with a $13 billion offer.
  • Financial Times: UBS has sold Europe’s first “coco” bond since January, reopening a crucial market for the continent’s banks after a sharp sell-off earlier this year raised questions over the future role of the asset class.
  • The Guardian: Almost 300 institutional investors in Volkswagen have filed a multi-billion dollar suit against the carmaker for what they claim were breaches of its stock market duty in the emissions cheating scandal.
  • Financial Times: Apollo Global Management has agreed a $1.36 billion deal for US gourmet grocer The Fresh Market in the buyout firm’s third takeover of a public company in just over a month.
  • Financial Times: Telecoms consolidation in Austria almost doubled some consumers’ smartphone bills in 2013 and 2014, according to newly released data that heap pressure on EU regulators to ensure that a landmark merger does not have the same effect in Britain.

Business and economics

  • The Times: The price of oil slipped back below $40 after Iran scotched hopes of an imminent deal to freeze production, rekindling concern about a supply glut.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Government must lean on banks to keep funding troubled North Sea oil explorers or risk a $250 billion hit to the UK economy, Sir Ian Wood has warned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: There is a near one in three chance the world economy will slip back in to recession this year as low oil prices and extraordinary monetary stimulus have a dwindling impact on global growth, Morgan Stanley has warned.
  • Daily Mail: Stelios Haji-Ioannou has got his way and hastened the departure of Fastjet chief executive and founder Ed Winter.
  • The Independent: David Drumm, the former boss of Anglo Irish Bank, was yesterday granted bail by a court in Dublin after he was extradited from the US to face fraud charges.
  • The Times: AstraZeneca has opened the door to a rethink on linking executive pay to the ambitious sales targets it set in place to ward off Pfizer, the US drug company that launched a bid for it two years ago.
  • Financial Times: Mark Cutifani’s annual bonus as chief executive of Anglo American fell almost 40% last year as the mining group struggled to cope with the commodities downturn.
  • Daily Mail: The London Stock Exchange was last night locked in crunch talks with its German rival as they attempt to hammer out the final terms of a controversial tie-up.
  • The Guardian: Saudi Arabia’s government, its finances strained by low oil prices, is ordering ministries to cut their spending on contracts by at least 5%, a document seen by Reuters shows.
  • Financial Times: Ageas, the insurance company formed out of the rump of collapsed financial group Fortis, will pay €1.2 billion to the bank’s former shareholders, in one of the largest ever European securities settlements.
  • The Guardian: An experimental cannabis-based drug from GW Pharmaceuticals has successfully treated children with a rare form of epilepsy, sending the company’s shares soaring and more than doubling its stock market value.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of Safran is seeking to focus the French company on its aerospace and defence divisions, as he looks to slim down its security unit through disposals.
  • The Times: Miller Homes plans to stay private after building more large houses in attractive locations earned it a 91% increase in its profits.
  • Financial Times: Investors showed signs of regaining their appetite for energy companies’ bonds following the recent rally in oil prices.
  • Financial Times: China Hongqiao, the world’s largest aluminium producer expects to increase its capacity this year, in spite of a global glut that has depressed utilisation rates and weighed on prices for the lightweight metal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ailing retailer BHS has been dealt a blow after the giant investment firm that helps to run the BT pension scheme revealed it opposed the chain’s plan to slash rents in a bid to stave-off administration.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): HOLD John Laing Infrastructure Fund as inflation linked dividend income attractions remain.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): HOLD UDG Healthcare as the company’s war chest can accelerate growth.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): Fever-Tree Drinks – TAKE PROFITS; BUY Applegreen for long term; AVOID Ascential for now.
  • Financial Times: Citic Limited, the flag-bearer for China’s state-controlled corporate sector, sold off nearly $5 billion in property assets to China Overseas Land & Investment in what was the mainland’s largest property sector M&A deal to date.
  • Financial Times: Liechtenstein’s LGT Group has acquired a majority stake in Vestra Wealth, the London-based wealth management boutique, for an undisclosed sum, in a move that highlights the growing international interest in UK wealth managers.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs has made a move into the fast-growing world of “robo” investment, buying Honest Dollar, a start-up which aims to make it quicker and simpler to set up savings accounts for retirement.
  • Daily Mail: Lloyds is vulnerable to a house price crash and not worth investing in, says star fund manager Neil Woodford.
  • The Guardian: Fever-Tree, the supplier of premium tonic water and other carbonated mixers, is toasting a surge in profits after it won new business with Marks & Spencer and British Airways.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Strong yen threatens Japan’s tourism boom.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Starwood: some own hotels, others operate them, Anbang wants to do both.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ageas/Fortis: settlement of crisis-era claims clears way for more deals.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Egypt: this devaluation is sensible; the Egyptian central bank must build on this gesture.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Central banks: two policies in as many hours suggest words speak louder than action.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China property: Vanke’s deal with Shenzhen Metro looks canny.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Expect an anti-Brexit Budget that achieves little.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

Roger Savage

Mar 15, 2016 at 19:18

Goldman Sachs and Honest Dollar - hilarious - had to check my calendar to make sure we hadn't skipped a couple of weeks and landed on 1st April.

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