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Wednesday Papers: EU probes Halliburton-Baker Hughes deal

And Turkey blamed Isis for a suicide bombing that killed 10 people, including eight German tourists, in Istanbul.

Wednesday Papers: EU probes Halliburton-Baker Hughes deal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Brussels has opened an in-depth probe into Halliburton’s $26 billion acquisition of Baker Hughes.
  • Financial Times: Turkey blamed Isis for a suicide bombing that killed 10 people, including eight German tourists, in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district on Tuesday.
  • Daily Mail: Japanese brewer Asahi is considering a bid for lager brands Peroni and Grolsch, which are to be sold off by US giant AB InBev as part of its takeover of SABMiller.
  • Financial Times: A Bank of England official oversaw the move by the City regulator to scrap a review into Britain’s banks, it emerged on Tuesday, just a day after the Financial Conduct Authority insisted external pressure had not influenced its decision.
  • Daily Mail: The dramatic rout in the price of oil has forced BP to make even deeper cuts to its global workforce, culling 4,000 jobs including more than 600 posts in its North Sea business.
  • The Guardian: Albert Edwards, strategist at the bank Société Générale, joins RBS in warning of a new crash, saying oil price plunge and deflation from emerging markets will overwhelm central banks, tip the markets and collapse the eurozone.
  • The Independent: Britain’s manufacturing output fell again in November, leaving the beleaguered sector on course for a full year of contraction.
  • Financial Times: The price of nickel fell to its lowest since 2003 and zinc plumbed a six-year low on Tuesday as the rout in global commodities deepened.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Express: Greggs is adding a “flat white” and improved mocha to its coffee range as soaring demand for takeout breakfasts helped it serve up 5.2% higher annual sales.
  • Financial Times: The health of indebted companies globally has deteriorated at its fastest pace since the financial system was wracked by crisis in 2009, according to Standard & Poor’s.
  • Daily Mail: British luxury car-maker Bentley suffers 8% drop in global sales as latest victim of the China crisis where buyers dropped by a third.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sales are rising at Aldi and Lidl, but growth is tailing off at their older UK stores.
  • Financial Times: Companies around the world will be forced to add close to $3 trillion of leasing commitments to their balance sheets under new rules from US and international regulators.
  • Daily Mail: Online retailers Boohoo and AO World have both posted a rise in Christmas sales; Boohoo posted sales up 45% to £73.7 million in the four months to December, while AO World unveiled website revenue up 35% and total UK revenue growth of 24% in the third quarter.
  • The Independent: McDonald’s has been accused of abusing its dominant market position in Europe by imposing restrictive contracts on franchisees.
  • Financial Times: Petrobras, the oil company at the centre of Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal, slashed its five-year investment plan by $32 billion on Tuesday as it seeks to preserve cash.
  • The Guardian: Tesco could be about to reveal a better than expected sales performance over Christmas as it launched its fightback against the discounters; shares in the UK’s biggest retailer leapt nearly 7% to 155p on Tuesday
  • The Guardian: Iceland says it has fully reimbursed Britain for the collapse of the Icesave bank in 2008 which left British and Dutch account-holders empty-handed.
  • Financial Times: Google has chosen a former White House economist Caroline Atkinson to lead its global lobbying operation as it pursues a less confrontational stance in its dealings with governments around the world.
  • The Daily Express: The pound hit a near-six-year low against the dollar as Britain’s economic growth prospects were dented by the sharpest fall in industrial output since early 2013.
  • The Guardian: Haitong Securities, which acts as Sports Direct’s house broker, halved its view of the company’s share value on Tuesday as it cut its profit and revenue forecasts after the profit warning last week.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Lego fined for stopping stores giving customers discounts on its sets; the Danish toy company threatened shops that sought to lower their retail prices.
  • Financial Times: Airbus is poised to re-enter the Iranian aircraft market as the international community prepares to lift sanctions that have paralysed the country’s economy.
  • The Guardian: A Shepton Mallet cider mill that makes well-known brands including Gaymers and Blackthorn is to close with the loss of 120 jobs, dealing a major blow to the Somerset market town.
  • Daily Mail: Direct Line has become the first insurer to reveal the cost of claims after the recent flooding – and it could be up to £140 million.
  • Financial Times: GlaxoSmithKline has moved a step closer to losing US market exclusivity on its best-selling asthma drug after Mylan sought regulatory approval for the first generic version of Advair.
  • Daily Mail: Santander is cutting the rate on its easy-access Isa Saver to just 0.25% tax-free on sums up to £10,000 and 0.75% on larger amounts from the end of next month.
  • The Guardian: After months of decline, Etsy briefly lost more than 7% of its share value on Tuesday, as the market continued to offload one of the startup world’s riskiest bets.
  • The Daily Express: Debenhams beats forecasts with a 1.9% rise in same-store sales in the 19 weeks to 9 January.
  • Financial Times: Online takeaway service Just Eat served up a robust 2015, with orders up over 50% as the UK group maintains its strong growth rate.
  • The Guardian: Profits plunged by nearly a quarter at upmarket lingerie label Agent Provocateur last year despite a surge in sales.
  • The Daily Express: British pensions are set to suffer huge hits in the months ahead, as oil prices are expected to crash further to create market carnage, experts have warned.
  • The Independent: HMRC raises record £154 million by targeting taxes in the construction industry.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BHP Billiton tumbles amid fears of dividend cut.
  • Daily Mail: Cineworld's shares fell nearly 3% amid disappointment that a raft of blockbusters including the latest James Bond.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Guy Hands' Terra Firma, which owns a string of cinemas and care homes across the UK, has cut staff salaries and axed dividend payments after a 16% profit dip.
  • Daily Mail: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks give First Direct a run for its money as they bring back £150 current account switching offer.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Starbucks speeds up expansion in China; it plans to open 500 stores in the country this year.
  • The Independent: Five out of the ten highest paid chief executives across the major European countries are based in the UK, according to a new study.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Success of Exige sports car lifts Lotus's sales performance and gets the company close to profitability after years of losses.
  • The Independent: Cadbury’s loses £6m after changing Creme Egg recipe.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney rings warning over rising household debt but says it only poses an "indirect" threat to the UK economy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HSBC will probably stay in London, says top investor; Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert expects the bank to decide against a move to Asia.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Greggs shares tumble 14% as growth slows; the baker and sandwich maker suffered a fierce sell-off as fourth quarter trading disappointed, but Questor thinks the long term prospects remain good; hold.
  • The Independent: Gay dating app Grindr receives first-ever investment of £64 million from Chinese tech company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gym Group considered buying rival Soho Gyms; John Treharne, founder of The Gym Group, said his company looked at Soho Gyms but decided against making an offer.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Vodafone signs £75 million deal with Scottish Power to connect cables to a 'smart grid'; telecoms giant will run hi-tech network as part of Scottish Power's £6bn investment in modernising electricity supply.
  • Daily Mail (Market Report): Premier Oil stock still in free fall in sympathy with the bombed-out oil price.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): George Osborne might argue time for 'banker bashing' is over but the Serious Fraud Office isn't ready to throw in the towel.
  • The Guardian (Comment): RBS sell warning spells trouble for George Osborne's budget; Chancellor could be announcing missed borrowing target and postponement of feel-good Lloyds retail offer in March.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): Brussels is cracking down on tax breaks for big business. And about time too.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK ecommerce: which online darling is best bet if you had to put all your money in one basket?
  • Financial Times (Lex): China currency: the renminbi should keep falling.
  • Financial Times (Lex): PageGroup: operational gearing is beneficial in the good times, but could hobble in a downturn.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: group’s profits will increasingly depend on iPhone upgrade frequency.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Wanda/Legendary: conglomerate’s acquisition of a US studio will have long-term benefits.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?


Jan 13, 2016 at 14:08

I really like your use of bold typeface in the bullet points, and the very full reporting of the news stories.

Many thanks

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IFS says taxes need to hit historic highs to save NHS

by Dylan Lobo on May 24, 2018 at 07:56

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