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Saturday Papers: Tech tax deepens EU-US trade rift

Saturday Papers: Tech tax deepens EU-US trade rift

Top stories

  • Financial Times: A transatlantic rift over tax and trade widened on Friday after Washington opposed the EU’s plans for a levy on digital revenues and Brussels set out its retaliatory measures over the US’s steel and aluminium tariffs.
  • The Times: The performance of the Financial Reporting Council in regulating accountancy in Britain has been questioned after the organisation’s boss called for an overhaul of the industry.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Government's house building strategy has been dealt a blow after one of Britain's biggest housebuilders said it simply cannot increase the number of homes it is building.
  • Financial Times: Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, is formally passing the reins of his $100 billion retail, infrastructure and property empire to Victor Li, his elder son, after announcing his retirement.
  • The Times: A second top shareholder in GKN is prepared to back Melrose’s hostile takeover of the FTSE 100 engineering group, leaving its future on a knife-edge.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank’s bonus pool for 2017 more than quadrupled to €2.2 billion while Germany's largest lender on Friday revealed that its post-tax loss for the full year is 48% bigger than reported in early February.
  • Financial Times: Boris Johnson has escalated the diplomatic clash between the UK and Russia by accusing Vladimir Putin of personally ordering the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain has acted to make sure EU companies and banks with derivatives contracts in the UK can still use them after Brexit - but the EU has not reciprocated, putting a cloud over £26 trillion of contracts.
  • Financial Times: The focus of the US listing market may be on Dropbox and Spotify, but a smaller, less well-known company Zscaler could wind up being the hot tech listing of early 2018, on the evidence of its first day’s trading.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Banks have been warned that British homeowners' giant mortgages may be affordable now, but could get them into trouble as interest rates rise.
  • Financial Times: A top Visa executive has launched one of the most outspoken attacks yet from the financial establishment on the bitcoin craze, saying cryptocurrency was used by “every crook and dirty politician” and speculators who have “no clue”.
  • The Guardian: JD Wetherspoon has increased the price of sugary soft drinks such as Pepsi by 10p ahead of the new sugar tax which the pub firm said would cost it £3 million this year.
  • Daily Mail: Investigators are in pursuit of more than £580million that was funnelled out of Toys R Us’s UK business and into a tax haven on the British Virgin Islands.
  • The Times: Tiffany’s attempt to use designs such as the Hard Wear collection promoted by Lady Gaga, the singer, to recapture its crown as the jeweller of choice to the rich and trendy has yet to pay off.
  • The Guardian: Conviviality, owner of the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack chains, is seeking to raise more than £50 million in an emergency rights issue next week after a series of catastrophic financial errors that have resulted in the suspension of its shares.
  • The Times: A much-needed turnaround programme is going to cost Mitie even more than it had thought; the troubled cleaning and caretaker outsourcing company, which has been forced to issue a string of profit warnings, said that it was likely to spend £35 million on the plan, £11 million more than estimated.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Self-storage company Safestore is facing an investor revolt next week over plans to hand its top two directors almost £14 million in share awards.
  • The Times: Goldman Sachs is paying women who work for it in Britain 55.5% less on average than men.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The AA is seeking to claw back millions of pounds worth of shares from its former executive chairman who was sacked for assaulting a colleague in a hotel bar, as the legal battle between the pair becomes increasingly hostile.
  • Daily Mail: Aviva’s boss has joined the board of investment behemoth Blackrock as a non-executive director.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bank of America Merrill Lynch's European president Alex Wilmot-Sitwell is leaving the North Carolina-based bank, in a move likely to raise eyebrows across the industry given his role in shaping the bank's response to Brexit.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): Aviva inflicts £1bn losses on income investors.
  • Financial Times: Paul Jacobs, the recently demoted chairman of Qualcomm, has approached several global investors in an effort to acquire the $90 billion chipmaker founded by his father, in what would be one of the largest buyout deals in history.
  • The Times (Comment): Britain must learn to love debt and pray that recession is not around the corner.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Powell’s views on the Phillips Curve will shape rate debate.

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