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Wednesday Papers: Deutsche Börse lines up swoop for LSE

And Saudi Arabia dashed the hopes of output cut stopping the tentative oil rally of recent days in its tracks.

Wednesday Papers: Deutsche Börse lines up swoop for LSE

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Deutsche Börse is in advanced talks to take over the London Stock Exchange Group, in a megadeal that would create a European champion presiding over many of the world’s leading financial markets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Saudi Arabia has warned that there is almost no chance of a cut in oil production by the OPEC cartel to lift prices and avert a bloodbath for the energy industry, dashing hopes for a quick reprieve as the supply glut continues to build.
  • Financial Times: Standard Chartered is considering clawing back bonuses from about 150 current and former senior staff, its new chief executive said after reporting its first annual loss for more than a quarter of a century.
  • The Guardian: An international recall of a range of chocolate bars has been announced by Mars because of fears that customers could choke on pieces of plastic.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of BT has promised to “significantly” increase investment in its broadband network in a final appeal ahead of a review that could call for the company to be broken up.
  • The Guardian: The Bank of England could cut interest rates to zero, but will seek to avoid following Sweden, Denmark and the eurozone by setting negative rates to bolster growth and inflation.
  • Financial Times: President Barack Obama has proposed a plan to close the US prison at Guantánamo Bay in a final effort to persuade a sceptical Congress to help him shut the controversial site before he leaves office, fulfilling a campaign pledge.
  • Financial Times: A Chinese state-controlled technology group has terminated a $3.8 billion plan to become the largest shareholder in data storage group Western Digital, after the investment was flagged for an investigation by US authorities.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: A vote to leave the European Union would amount to a step into an “abyss of uncertainty and risk”, the chairman of the manufacturers’ organisation EEF is to warn.
  • Financial Times: Australia has approved the sale of the country’s largest dairy to a Chinese investor in a bid to end a controversy that risked souring Sino-Australian relations and dividing communities on the remote island of Tasmania.
  • The Guardian: A Missouri jury has awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other products containing talcum.
  • Financial Times: Aston Martin is to open a manufacturing plant in Wales as it doubles its production capacity, in a vote of confidence in the UK as an industrial centre.
  • Daily Mail: Wall Street giant JP Morgan intends to bolster its reserves by more than £350 million to cover losses on loans to oil and gas companies.
  • Financial Times: Meggitt, the aircraft components supplier that has cut profit expectations three times since 2013, is planning to shake up its supply chain and cut the number of factories in the second phase of a restructuring to improve costs and efficiency.
  • The Independent: Profits at the power station company Drax have fallen by two-thirds in the wake of tumbling energy prices and the loss of support from government subsidies.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of one of Britain’s biggest oil services companies, Wood Group, has warned that the downturn that afflicted the industry last year has run into 2016, making business increasingly difficult.
  • Daily Mail: Betting giant Ladbrokes today posted its first annual loss in a decade as new taxes imposed on gambling firms cost it £50 million, while 'increased marketing and product investment' also took a toll.
  • Daily Mail: FTSE 100-listed housebuilder Persimmon is lifting its cash return to shareholders after enjoying a 34% jump in annual profits to £637.8million last year thanks to strong demand from buyers.
  • Financial Times: Specialty chemicals maker Croda outlined a plan to reward shareholders with a £136 million special dividend after it achieved record sales and profits last year.
  • The Independent: Most people think that Apple should help break into a terrorist’s iPhone, according to a new study that could change the argument around the company’s decision to resist the US government.
  • The Independent: Bill Gates has said that Apple should help the government to break into a terrorist’s phone taking a major step away from almost all of the tech establishment by arguing that Apple’s protests about an FBI order are overblown.
  • Daily Mail: WH Ireland has been fined £1.2 million by the City regulator for failing to have the right systems in place to prevent market abuse.
  • Financial Times: Legal & General is breaking into direct housebuilding with the aim of producing thousands of flat-pack units each year, in an unprecedented move for a big British insurer.
  • Financial Times: Kyle Bass, the Dallas-based short seller, has returned most of the $700 million he raised last year for a high-profile campaign against pharmaceuticals companies and their drug patents.
  • Financial Times: Defence spending in Europe has reached a “turning point” after years of stagnation, according to Thales’s chief executive, as the French defence electronics group reported a jump in annual profits.
  • The Independent: Tech companies pushed TV advertising revenue in the UK passed a record £5 billion for the first time in 2015.
  • Financial Times: Sony Music is fighting a public relations battle against a host of leading female stars including Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga in a case that highlights the growing tensions between record labels and artists in the digital era.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Valeant Pharmaceuticals rallied on Tuesday morning, even after the besieged drugmaker said it would have to restate its earnings for two years because it had incorrectly booked revenues from a pharmacy chain accused of accounting fraud.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Stanley Gibbons, the stamps, coin and antiques dealer, fell by a third on Tuesday after it announced its auditors had quit because they considered the risks and uncertainties associated with the company too high.

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