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Wednesday Papers: Brussels eyes €56bn of ECB profits

And UK issues demands over Melrose’s £8.1 billion hostile bid for GKN.

Wednesday Papers: Brussels eyes €56bn of ECB profits

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The European Commission is proposing a €56 billion raid on European Central Bank profits to plug a hole in the EU’s long-term budget after Brexit.
  • The Times: An 11th-hour intervention by the UK government into the £8.1 billion hostile bid for GKN has prompted the bidder Melrose to make a raft of commitments to keep the engineer British.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Jaguar Land Rover has entered into a deal with Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car arm, to supply tens of thousands of electric vehicles.
  • Financial Times: US private equity group Carlyle and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC have won an auction to acquire the speciality chemicals arm of Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel for €10.1 billion including debt.
  • Financial Times: Swiss drugmaker Novartis had agreed to sell GlaxoSmithKline its stake in their consumer health joint venture for $13 billion; the move has caused share prices of both the companies to rise considerably.
  • Financial Times: The reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing in his first foreign trip since succeeding his father as dictator six years ago; the meeting has taken place as Pyongyang prepares for a possible summit with President Donald Trump to defuse a crisis over its nuclear programme.

Business and economics

  • The Times: British exports face tariffs in dozens of the European Union’s trading partners from next year, experts have warned; nearly 70 countries holding EU free-trade agreements are likely to de-recognise the UK as a member state from next March, according to lawyers.
  • Financial Times: European Commission plans to slap a digital tax on internet companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook may damage European businesses more than the US technology groups, German media group Bertelsmann has warned.
  • The Times: Women employees in many of the City’s biggest banks are getting less paid than their male counterparts, it was revealed in gender pay gap reports published by a slew of heavyweight finance firms.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has snubbed UK Parliament but is set to appear before Congress to give evidence on the growing controversy surrounding his company.
  • The Times: The European Securities and Markets Authority has turned down pleas of thousands of spread-betters and pushed ahead with plans for caps on leverage in contracts for difference.
  • The Guardian: News of Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton’s abrupt departure has wiped off nearly £100 million value from the retailer.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in the fashion retailer H&M hit a ten-year low as it posted a drop in profits to £112 million for the three months to 28 February, down from £275million a year earlier; it also revealed that it had £3 billion of unsold stock.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Tesla shares sank 8.1% to $279.18, as it faced news of a probe into a car crash last week, a Moody's downgrade and after analysts expressed doubts over its production targets.
  • The Times: Telit Communications is under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority for “timeliness of announcing certain matters included in the interim results” last August.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Game Digital’s revenues rose 3.7% to £517 million while pre-tax profits fell by a quarter to £12.3 million; however, shares in the company surged 25% to 30p as it reported strong sales growth in its two key markets, the UK and Spain, in the 33 weeks to 17 March.
  • The Times: Stagecoach suffered 2.5% drop in its bus route revenue due to bad weather but on the railways their revenues rose by 3.2%.
  • The Guardian: European subsidiary of EasyJet, EasyJet Europe, has announced its expansion in Berlin and new long-haul connections at Paris and Amsterdam.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Challenger bank TSB is planning to launch a "Marketplace" service for business customers on its website from May; this will allow them to compare TSB loan deals side-by-side with more than 50 other providers, similar to on a price comparison website.
  • The Guardian: The Insolvency Service has imposed a lengthy boardroom ban on Dominic Chappell over the collapse of BHS but Philip Green who sold the company to Chappell for £1 in 2015 escaped the ban.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ofgem has banned Britain’s cheapest energy supplier Iresa Energy from acquiring more customers on Tuesday after repeated complaints against the company over the past year.
  • Daily Mail: Eric Daniels, the former chief executive who took Lloyds to the brink of collapse, has won a legal battle to receive a £1.4 million bonus it withheld.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Bank of England has warned that rise in interest rate by 2% or more will make British families struggle with mortgage debt payments.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY British Land; AVOID Interserve.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Royal Bank of Scotland; BUY AG Barr.
  • The Guardian: GlaxoSmithKline is putting Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition products on the block to help finance a buyout of the remaining $13 billion stake in its consumer healthcare joint venture with Novartis.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Heating and plumbing supplier Ferguson is planning acquisitions worth as much as $400 million by the end of the year, as half-year profits rose and the company announced a $1 billion special dividend.
  • The Times: Rio Tinto has sold its majority stake in a mine in northeastern Australia for $2.25 billion to EMR, a private equity firm, and Adaro, an Indonesian miner.
  • Financial Times: Thomas Buberl, the chief executive of French insurer Axa, has admitted that he may take more than one year to convince shareholders that his €12.4 billion acquisition of Bermuda’s XL Group is a positive move.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Which way should GKN shareholders vote as tense takeover battle comes to a head?
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Trump is fighting the wrong war as China takes aim at the mighty dollar's 'exorbitant privilege'.
  • Financial Times (Comment): China business forum illustrates risk of trade war.

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Friday Papers: BoE might not hike rates next month

by Himanshu Singh on Apr 20, 2018 at 04:56

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