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Wednesday Papers: BP shares fall after worst-ever loss

And Yahoo cutting workforce by 15% after announcing $4.4 billion loss and is expected to lead to the sale of parts of its business.

 
Wednesday Papers: BP shares fall after worst-ever loss

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Shares in BP fell 10% after the UK oil major reported its worst ever annual loss, hit by billions of dollars in writedowns and restructuring charges in the wake of the crude price collapse.
  • The Guardian: Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer has announced plans to cut the company’s workforce by 15% and close five foreign offices by the end of 2016.
  • Financial Times: A Chinese chemicals group is on the verge of striking the country’s largest outbound takeover, as ChemChina nears a $43 billion deal to buy Swiss agribusiness company Syngenta.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sainsbury's has agreed the terms of a £1.3 billion takeover of Argos owner Home Retail Group.
  • Financial Times: British Airways is threatening to pull most of its aircraft out of London City airport if the hub’s new owner raised airline charges to cover the £2 billion price tag.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron will launch a two-week political campaign on Wednesday to sell to sceptical Conservative MPs and wary European Union leaders the “new settlement” he hopes will persuade Britain to stay in the bloc.

Business and economics

  • The Independent: TalkTalk lost more than 100,000 customers following the hacking attack in October, in which four million customers were warned that their personal data was put at risk.
  • Daily Mail: Blackrock, the world's largest fund manager, has threatened to back boardroom revolts at Britain's biggest firms if fat-cat pay is not linked to future success.
  • The Guardian: Amazon.com is planning to open hundreds of brick-and-mortar bookstores, the head of a major US mall operator said.
  • Financial Times: France has ruled out striking a deal with Google over back taxes, raising the likelihood of a bigger tax bill for the US company than the payment agreed with the UK.
  • Financial Times: UBS's prized wealth management division and its ‘new’ investment bank suffered big earnings falls in the fourth quarter, sending the bank’s shares into an 8% spiral and raising questions about its much-celebrated strategy.
  • Financial Times: Lazard’s mergers and acquisition advisory unit enjoyed a bumper 2015 due to a wave of mega deals but emerging markets turmoil took a heavy toll on the investment bank, particularly towards the end of the year.
  • The Guardian: A US judge has ordered Petrobras, the state-run Brazilian oil company, to face class-action litigation by investors seeking to recoup billions of dollars in losses stemming from a bribery and political kickback scandal.
  • The Guardian: Employees at two major divisions of 21st Century Fox are to be offered “generous” benefit packages if they resign voluntarily as the company aims to reduce costs by about $250 million.
  • Financial Times: Ally Financial has sought to calm fears of a dangerous bubble in US car loans, stressing that its recent strong growth was not “excessive” and that risk-taking remained “disciplined”.
  • Financial Times: Magic Leap, a secretive Florida-based start-up, has raised nearly $800 million from investors including Alibaba, Warner Bros and Google, as it prepares to begin production of a new “augmented reality” headset that its founder promises will bring users Harry Potter-like experiences.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's largest energy supplier, British Gas, said on Tuesday it would cut around 500 jobs, the first as part of a plan by parent company Centrica.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Ferrari tumbled more than 10% on Tuesday after the Italian supercar maker issued conservative guidance for its first year as an independent company.
  • Financial Times: Ocado has insisted that it is in “very advanced” talks with a number of overseas retailers about running their online food businesses, after it missed a deadline to secure an international contract by the end of last year.
  • Financial Times: China’s smaller banks are growing rapidly, bucking the flatlining trend of their larger peers, by aggressively expanding their balance sheets and piling on the risk being shunned by the big five.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s housing crisis can only be solved if the government switches to an annual capital gains charge on homes, according to a report.
  • Financial Times: Nearly a sixth of equity funds in Europe have potentially been mis-sold to investors, according to the European markets watchdog, raising the prospect of costly legal action and fines against some of the world’s largest asset managers.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs has been reprimanded by the Hong Kong regulator after it breached takeover rules in a $5 billion deal by publishing research and trading in the shares of a client it was advising.
  • Financial Times: Hochtief AG, the German construction company, has admitted to insider trading during its controversial battle to take control of Australian company Leighton Holdings in early 2014.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Nutmeg, the online wealth management company, has cut its fees worth £13,374 on a £100,000 portfolio over two decades of investing.
  • Financial Times: Nintendo’s president has signalled that the Japanese video games company is exploring virtual reality technology more than two decades after its disastrous foray into what is the industry’s hottest sector.
  • Financial Times: Sanofi is ready to take a leading role in the hunt for a vaccine to combat Zika virus after it became the first drugmaker to announce a research and development plan to target the disease.
  • Financial Times: Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline have teamed up behind a €210 million venture capital fund to invest in European life sciences amid growing momentum in the region’s biotech sector.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Michelmersh profits up on brick demand; Hold
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Sell BP shares as oil price heads lower.
  • Daily Mail: Clydesdale Bank, the UK lender that has been spun out of National Australia Bank, has delayed its flotation on the London Stock Exchange by 24 hours.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone and Liberty Global have entered talks about a potential merger of businesses in the Netherlands just months after broader discussions over European assets swaps were called off.
  • Financial Times: Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest lender, has signalled its growing confidence by unveiling a larger than expected share buyback, following forecast-beating quarterly profits.
  • The Daily Telegraph: American regulators could delay Tullett Prebon’s plans to take over the voice broking operations of rival Icap, the firms have said.
  • Daily Mail: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has been thwarted in its attempt to gain hold of football kit retailer Kitbag after it was sold from under its nose by owner Findel.
  • Financial Times: GlaxoSmithKline has expanded its alliance with Adaptimmune to accelerate development of a groundbreaking cancer drug in a $500 million deal that highlights the UK group’s efforts to rebuild its position in the oncology market.
  • The Guardian (Comment): BP's dividend is less of a worry than the damage from cuts and job losses.
  • Financial Times (Comment): China Vanke tale shows share class divide.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Russia: inflation can take the strain so long as central bank credibility is maintained.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BP: oil group needs to think about the sustainability of its dividend and how to defend it.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sainsbury’s / Home Retail: market shrugs at a deal that looks good on paper.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UBS: the group looks low-growth compared with racier rivals.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Chinese lending: peer-to-peer is largely funded by individuals, prompting a clampdown.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Alphabet: little to get excited about on costs or segment reporting but Google’s revenues are another matter.

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