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Wednesday Papers: Regulator warns of ‘scam’ virtual currencies

And Murdoch faces broadcasting standards investigation over Fox's £11.7 billion takeover of Sky.

 
Wednesday Papers: Regulator warns of ‘scam’ virtual currencies

Top stories

  • The Times: The City watchdog has warned about the perils of investing in virtual currencies such as bitcoin as it emerged that one fund purporting to invest in so-called cryptocurrencies had collapsed with the loss of tens of millions of pounds of its customers’ money.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Murdoch family’s failings on corporate governance and editorial compliance are due to be raked over by competition watchdogs after the Government signalled a major expansion of the investigation into their £11.7 billion takeover of Sky.
  • Financial Times: Britain said it would lift a 1% cap on annual pay rises for its public sector workers, ending one of the most contentious austerity measures imposed by the Conservative-led government following the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: South African businesses have come under pressure to cut ties with KPMG over the auditor’s work for companies owned by the controversial Gupta family, as the fallout deepens from a scandal that has already caused the implosion of British PR firm Bell Pottinger.
  • Financial Times: Tens of thousands of protesters turned out across France on Tuesday in the first big public challenge to President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for far-reaching labour reforms.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Oil prices are on the rise despite a swift rebound in US oil production following two devastating hurricanes in the last month, as the world’s largest oil producers manage deeper crude cuts.
  • The Guardian: The UK’s high street banks are an accident waiting to happen and could struggle in another financial crisis, according to a report published on Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary of the run on Northern Rock.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs sought to take the sting out of a new warning on fixed income trading by laying out a $5 billion revenue growth plan that it says would add $2.5 billion to its pre-tax profit in the next three years.
  • Daily Mail: The maker of Dulux has opened a state-of-the-art paint factory in the UK as it pledges its commitment to creating more British jobs.
  • The Guardian: Uncertainty over Brexit could jeopardise future investment in the UK by Toyota, a senior executive at the carmaker warned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: JD Sports has declared that reports of the death of the so-called athleisure trend have been greatly exaggerated after the sportswear retailer reported a 41% jump in sales and boosted profit expectations to the top of forecasts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Yacht builder Sunseeker is reaping the rewards of a restructuring to make production more efficient, and a strategy focused on new models.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A spate of hurricanes in the United States has stoked demand for the services of Ashtead, with it sending more equipment and workers to aid the clear-up effort.
  • The Times: Petropavlovsk unveiled a rise in first-half profit as Peter Hambro, its ousted founder, claimed that his strategy had been vindicated.
  • Daily Mail: Investors in Goals Soccer Centres ran away today after the firm said its turnaround plan is taking longer than it expected as profits declined by more than a quarter.
  • Financial Times: Redrow suffered its sharpest share price fall since the week of the Brexit vote on Tuesday, after its chairman and founder became the latest in a series of senior figures in the housebuilding sector to sell a substantial chunk of their stake.
  • The Guardian: Apple has unveiled the iPhone X, its new radically redesigned smartphone that drops the traditional home button for an all-screen design, as well as a new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models.
  • The Times: The Superdry fashion chain is planning to fund a new staff bonus scheme that could result in £30 million being shared among the retailer’s 4,500 employees worldwide.
  • The Guardian: Bell Pottinger has been put into administration after the PR firm suffered an exodus of clients and increasing losses in the wake of the scandal over its campaign to stir up racial tensions in South Africa.
  • The Times: The ever-combative Ryanair stepped up its assault on the German market yesterday by unveiling 30 new routes from the country’s busiest airport.
  • Financial Times: Air Berlin has warned its staff that they were “playing with fire” and undermining plans for a sale of the stricken carrier after a co-ordinated protest by pilots forced the cancellation of more than 100 flights on Tuesday.
  • Financial Times: The new chief executive of Atlas Copco has committed Sweden’s biggest industrial group by market capitalisation to stick to its growth path even after splitting off its mining operations.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Cinema chain Vue International is gearing up to name Adam Crozier, the former chief executive of ITV, as its new chairman.
  • Daily Mail: Provident Financial’s shamed former boss Peter Crook has stepped down from the board of Britain’s biggest debt collection firm Cabot Credit Management – reportedly delaying its £1 billion flotation plans.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY AA; SELL Hastings; BUY Greggs.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): SELL Aveva; HOLD Accrol.
  • Daily Mail: Plans for the AA to merge its insurance business with Hastings have been called off.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Competition and Markets Authority has cleared the way for an oil-services mega-merger after agreeing that Amec Foster Wheeler’s plan to sell off its North Sea business would be enough to assuage its concerns over the Wood Group takeover.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The owner of Comparethemarket has pushed the float of the group back into 2018, insisting that if markets turn "frankly we'll sit and wait" until even later.
  • Financial Times: DowDuPont, the chemicals group created in the $156 billion merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont at the beginning of the month, has revised its plan to break up into three separate companies in response to shareholder concerns about the size and focus of the proposed new businesses.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Automation threatens to make today’s migration crisis look like a mere fleabite.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Renminbi: selling the Chinese currency could prove short-sighted.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ashtead: the rewards will come in the longer term, not the immediate aftermath.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Japan Post: retail investors are unlikely to go wild over the group’s share offer.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Redrow: cyclical companies trading cheaply on record earnings warrant caution.
  • Financial Times (Lex): SoFi: Fintech may need to mature and become more conventional in multiple ways.

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