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Wednesday Papers: James Murdoch tipped for Disney role in Fox deal

And car industry has hit out at government as sales of diesel cars fall 30% one month.

 
Wednesday Papers: James Murdoch tipped for Disney role in Fox deal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: James Murdoch has been suggested as a potential successor to Bob Iger, chief executive of Walt Disney, in deal discussions with the US media company over the sale of 21st Century Fox entertainment assets, according to people briefed on the talks.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The car industry has launched a stinging attack on the “demonisation” of diesel by government after sales of vehicles powered by the fuel plunged by almost a third.
  • The Times: General Electric is set to cut 4,500 jobs across Europe after reviewing the energy assets it bought from Alstom, of France, in 2015 for $9.2 billion.
  • Financial Times: British subprime lender Provident Financial revealed that a second of its three main units is under regulatory investigation, sending its shares down 13%.
  • Financial Times: David Davis, the UK’s Brexit secretary, stoked tensions within Conservative party ranks on Tuesday when he said that Theresa May was seeking a future relationship between Britain and the EU that included “regulatory alignment”.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank has begun sending information about its dealings with Donald Trump to US investigators probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential race following a subpoena by Robert Mueller, the special counsel heading the federal inquiry.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: The Irish government has reached an agreement with Apple to start collecting the €13 billion ($15 billion) owed by the tech giant.
  • The Times: America’s trade deficit grew to its widest in nine months in October as net imports from China and the European Union increased by nearly $3 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Russia took a step closer to becoming the world’s largest exporter of shipped gas with the start-up a $27 billion (£20 billion) project in the Arctic circle.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s landowners have emerged as the biggest winners from the country’s largest yearly increase in national wealth on record, sitting on assets accounting for more than half of the net worth of nearly £10 trillion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Natural Resource Holdings, a small Israeli outfit that has invested in a group of precious metals mines, has seen its share price jump from 105 shekels (£22.40) to 2,615 shekels - a 2,400% rise - since it announced it was moving into cryptocurrencies.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Strong sales in the US helped FTSE 100 plumbing supplies firm Ferguson weather a tough UK market and grow revenues in its first quarter.
  • Daily Mail: The UK toy maker, Character Group, which is licensed to make Peppa Pig, Disney, Doctor Who and Marvel toys has warned that its international sales have been hit by the collapse of Toys R Us.
  • The Times: Ratesetter slumped to a £23 million loss for the year after a disastrous investment in an advertising business.
  • Daily Mail: Failed pension schemes were propped up with a record £661 million by the industry lifeboat last year, with successful small companies footing a huge chunk of the bill.
  • Daily Mail: Bosses who are paid bonuses in shares could be forced to wait five years before they cash them in, under plans to restore faith in the City.
  • Financial Times: Starbucks is making a super-sized bet on China, where it is opening a premium roastery that will be its largest outlet in the world as part of efforts to maintain its upscale reputation in an increasingly important market.
  • The Times: Deliveroo has tried to address criticism of how it treats its self-employed workers by offering them an income insurance policy that protects their pay if they get injured or fall ill.
  • The Guardian: Consumers face the sharpest increase in prices charged by services firms in almost a decade, according to a survey, as a range of businesses from hotels to IT companies seek to protect profits against rising costs since the EU referendum.
  • The Times: The boss of Aetna is in line for a $500 million payday if the health insurer’s takeover by CVS goes through.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): Three companies to BUY for yield: Glaxosmithkline, Marston’s, Dixons Carphone; BUY Northgate.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY Babcock International Group; HOLD Cineworld; SELL Aggreko.
  • Financial Times: UK-based Cineworld has agreed a $3.6 billion acquisition of US rival Regal Entertainment in a deal that will create one of the world’s largest cinema chains.
  • The Times: The Indonesian government plans to buy Rio Tinto out of its stake in the world’s second largest copper mine.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Deutsche Bank's €710 billion (£620 billion) asset management arm is getting a makeover ahead of its stock market listing with a rebrand that ensures the German lender keeps a foot in the company.
  • Financial Times: Nestlé, the world’s biggest food group, is spending $2.3 billion buying Atrium Innovations, a Canadian nutritional products company, from private equity group Permira as it seeks to pep up its portfolio of consumer healthcare businesses.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Support services business Mitie has pulled the planned sale of its property management business after failing to drum up enough interest from potential buyers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bournemouth airport has been acquired by Rigby Group, as the privately held business steps up its plans to grow its aviation interests and become what it calls a “significant player” in the “vital regional airports” market.
  • Financial Times: Tsinghua Unigroup, a state-backed chip company, increased its stake in Dialog to 7.1% last week, in the latest example of a Chinese business targeting a distressed European technology company.
  • Financial Times: Chinese property developer Cheung Kei Group has added the former London home of defunct investment bank Bear Stearns to its growing property portfolio as Asian investment into London reaches record highs.
  • Financial Times: Apple has acquired the start-up behind a podcast search engine Pop Up Archive, as it tries to capture more of the fast-growing market for internet audio that it helped to invent more than a decade ago.

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