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Wednesday Papers: Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan team up on healthcare

And Blackstone strikes $17 billion deal for Thomson Reuters data unit pitting Schwarzman against Bloomberg.

Wednesday Papers: Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan team up on healthcare

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Amazon announced plans to enter the US healthcare industry by teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase to form a company dedicated to lowering costs, in a move that wiped billions of dollars from the market value of the sector’s biggest participants.
  • Financial Times: Blackstone agreed its largest deal since the financial crisis by pulling together $17.3 billion to take a controlling stake in the financial terminals and data business of Thomson Reuters, making the US money manager a direct competitor to Bloomberg.
  • The Times: The Financial Reporting Council has come under attack from MPs after admitting that it had first investigated Carillion two years ago, that it had been secretly monitoring the failed construction company since last summer without telling shareholders and creditors, and for claiming that it had no regulatory powers to raise the alarm before Carillion’s collapse this month.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bitcoin’s price slumped on Tuesday night as Facebook announced it would ban adverts promoting cryptocurrencies and US authorities launched a probe into a large online exchange.
  • Financial Times: Volkswagen has suspended its chief lobbyist Thomas Steg amid continuing fallout from revelations that the German carmaker had sponsored tests of toxic diesel fumes on monkeys.
  • Financial Times: Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin signalled on Tuesday new US sanctions on Russia after the Trump administration was criticised for being too soft on Moscow in a report supposed to list Russians with ties to the Kremlin.
  • Financial Times: The UK has hit its cap on skilled visas for non-EU workers for two months in a row for the first time as companies were forced to look further afield to make up for falling numbers of European immigrants.

Business and economics

  • The Times: The UK’s natural environment is worth at least £761 billion, according to an official estimate of the value of the country’s green spaces, wildlife and innate resources.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Governor of the Bank of England has urged the Government to abandon the use of the retail prices index (RPI) as a measure of inflation, especially in the issuance of government bonds.
  • Daily Mail: Carillion was in charge of 57 contracts across the UK worth a total of £5.7 billion when it collapsed earlier this month, industry experts revealed today.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The global oil market is primed for a ‘violent’ plunge back to $60 a barrel as hedge funds continue to place record bets that oil prices will march higher.
  • Daily Mail: Brexit is not deterring Britons from splurging on a piping hot slice of pizza, as Domino's Pizza raised its annual profit forecast with increasing sales driven by new store openings and the X Factor finale.
  • The Times: Investment in the automotive industry has crashed by more than half and Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s largest carmaker, has warned that it is reassessing the risks of an economy blighted by the uncertainties of Brexit and government attacks on diesel vehicles.
  • Financial Times: Harley-Davidson shares sputtered on Tuesday after the motorcycle maker said its shipments fell short of its own target last year and predicted a decline in 2018 as well.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Donald Trump’s wide-ranging tax reforms have cost McDonald’s – reputedly one of the president’s favourite restaurant chains – hundreds of millions of dollars in unavoidable expenses linked to the legislation.
  • Financial Times: ExxonMobil, the largest US energy group, plans to increase its shale oil production in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico fivefold to 500,000 barrels a day in 2025, the company said on Tuesday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Debt which will not be paid back for 100 years is being raised by Wellcome Trust, the multi-billion investor which funds medical research and charities.
  • The Guardian: The United Nations has been urged by the Tax Justice Network to coordinate a global effort to end offshore tax evasion and corruption, amid warnings that the UK is continuing to insulate its overseas territories from financial transparency.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A damning report into RBS's mistreatment of struggling small businesses is set to be published in full after the taxpayer-controlled bank's top bosses dropped their opposition during a bruising grilling in Parliament.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Almost one-third of shareholders in Zoopla Property Group have rebelled against plans to extend a lucrative incentive scheme for its chief executive.
  • The Guardian: Ryanair has agreed that the Balpa union will now represent all its British pilots in talks, sealing a historic turnaround by an airline whose chief executive once said he would rather cut off his own hands than recognise a union.
  • The Daily Telegraph: B&Q is getting rid of 200 senior roles in a bid to cut costs and simplify its operations amid tough conditions in the DIY retail market.
  • Financial Times: The government has lost up to £4.2 billion after selling off 55,000 homes for military families as the housing market boomed, according to a withering report from the public spending watchdog.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY UDG Healthcare; BUY Greencore.
  • Financial Times: Indecision at the highest levels of government about Saudi Aramco’s planned IPO is causing frustration among company executives and financial advisers, shrouding what has been billed as the biggest stock market sale in uncertainty.
  • Daily Mail: Business events firm Informa has revealed the details of its £3.8 billion deal to buy rival UBM and merge the two companies.
  • Financial Times: The German software company SAP announces that it would pay $2.4 billion to acquire Callidus Software, a Nasdaq-listed company from California that gives sales teams real-time data on prices, incentives and product information as it reported fourth-quarter earnings that showed rapid growth in its cloud offering.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Melrose has the financial firepower to sweeten its £7.4 billion offer for GKN by almost £1 billion in cash, according to a new analysis of the hostile bid.
  • Financial Times: Augmentum Capital, the venture group backed by Lord Rothschild, is planning to list a financial technology investment fund in what would be one of the sector’s biggest initial public offerings in a decade.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Time to end the auditing merry-go-round.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Could Netflix and streaming kill off the UK's TV licence?
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Mrs May mustn't be naive about China; this is the most protectionist economy on the planet.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Trump’s simple cure for solar panel ills ignores complexities.

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