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Wednesday Papers: Noble Group downgraded to junk

And oil price rout will bring end to era of Saudi Arabian largesse, warns Bank of America.

Wednesday Papers: Noble Group downgraded to junk

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Noble Group, the commodity trader fighting allegations of aggressive accounting, suffered another blow on Tuesday when its credit rating was cut to junk status by Moody’s because of concerns about the company’s ability to refinance debts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A global oil price rout will bring an end to the era of Saudi Arabian largesse, warns Bank of America, as crude prices have tumbled to 11-year lows; a brutal sell-off in commodity prices has taken its toll on the Gulf state, which has been dependent on oil for more than three-quarters of its revenues.
  • Financial Times: US regulators examining the sources of the wild price moves that hit Wall Street one day last August are taking a hard look at thinly traded exchange traded products and market controls aimed at protecting investors against big swings.
  • Financial Times: Legislators are to meet Warren East to discuss his restructuring plans for Rolls-Royce, underlining the political sensitivities the new chief executive will have to navigate as he attempts to stabilise the UK’s flagship engineering group after five profit warnings.
  • Financial Times: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan’s biggest arms producer, is taking aim at more deals to sell its weapons abroad, according to its chief executive, as it revamps efforts to win a $36 billion submarine contract from Australia.
  • Financial Times: The founder and chairman of Hanergy Thin Film, who was once briefly crowned China’s richest man, has sold a 6% stake in his solar power group for just $70 million - valuing the company at about 1-40th of the $40 billion it was worth at its peak.
  • Financial Times: Investment guru Warren Buffett is headed for his worst year relative to the rest of the US stock market since 2009, with shares in his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway down 11% with two more trading days to go.
  • The Guardian: Average pay growth for Britain’s workers is likely to stall at about 2% in 2016, as the ready availability of migrants makes it easy for employers to fill vacancies, according to a forecast of the labour market.

Business and economics

  • The Independent: Saudi energy and oil stocks bore the brunt of radical plans to slash spending in the kingdom yesterday, triggering a slump in the country’s flagship Tadawul All Share index.
  • The Independent: Despite the infamous data hack that exposed millions of customers earlier this year, the infidelity matchmaking site Ashley Madison says it has 4 million more members now than it did in August.
  • The Independent: Barry-Callebaut, a Zurich-based company which is the world’s largest maker of chocolate and cocoa products by volume, has started selling a heat-resistant concoction that can stay solid in temperatures up to 38C – four degrees higher than normal.
  • The Guardian: A new anti-terror law in China gives the government the explicit power to demand technology firms decrypt electronic messages stored on their servers, sparking concern – and confusion – from foreign companies.
  • Daily Mail: Insurance giants have taken a hit on the London stock market amid fears from investors that the industry faces a claims bill of up to £1.5 billion to cover the damage caused by this month's devastating floods.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The UK's richest people saw their wealth increase by $1.4 billion (£900 million) in 2015, with property tycoon the Duke of Westminster leading the way.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Inflation will hit 44% in Ukraine this year, as the embattled economy has seen prices soar amid economic collapse.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Amazon will expand the range of its UK delivery service for households goods and groceries as it prepares to take on the 'Big Four' supermarkets in the new year.
  • Financial Times: DuPont, the chemicals company undertaking a $130 billion merger with Dow Chemical, has advised staff of “significant” job cuts in its home state of Delaware as part of a cost-cutting programme announced alongside the deal.
  • Financial Times: Men still dominate the executive and senior management ranks of major companies even as women have made headway on boards, according to an analysis of some of the biggest companies in Europe and the US.
  • Financial Times: For the large professional services firms, 2015 was the year that saw competitive tensions between their audit and consulting divisions heat up as new regulation started to bite.
  • Financial Times: Two large Italian regional banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza - that have been told by regulators to raise their capital buffers - are considering following the example of Greek banks and offering shares at substantial discounts.
  • Financial Times: More than £1 billion has been lent to small UK businesses through Funding Circle since the company was launched in 2010, demonstrating the rising popularity of alternative lending among consumers.
  • Financial Times: Increased regulation and the rise of tech-savvy competitors will put greater pressure on the money transfer industry to consolidate, its second-biggest operator Moneygram International has forecasted.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Samsung Engineering jumped a record 30% on Tuesday after a successful rights offer fuelled hopes of a turnround for the South Korean construction group.

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Barnett eyes revival and 'refines' unquoted portfolio

by Daniel Grote on May 23, 2018 at 16:09

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