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Friday Papers: Bitcoin bonanza takes hold of world markets

Friday Papers: Bitcoin bonanza takes hold of world markets

Top stories

  • The Times: Bitcoins were being offered for almost $20,000 each yesterday as digital currency speculators created the biggest buying rush in history, suggesting that bitcoin is on course to create the largest financial bubble ever.
  • Financial Times: Backers of Steinhoff International, the South African-based home retailer enmeshed in an accounting scandal, are sitting on billions of euros in paper losses that have hit its main shareholder, global banks, asset managers and even the European Central Bank.
  • The Times: GVC Holdings, the online gambling operator behind Sportingbet and Foxy Bingo, will be propelled into the FTSE 100 index after agreeing the outline of an audacious takeover of Britain’s biggest bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral in a deal worth up to £3.9 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The power division - General Electric’s largest unit which makes turbines used in energy generation - said that it will shed 12,000 staff worldwide, including 1,100 employees in the UK.
  • Financial Times: Sales of Sony’s PlayStation VR headset have surpassed 2 million units, the company said on Thursday, making it the top seller in what remains a sluggish market for virtual reality.
  • Financial Times: Theresa May was forced by Brussels and her Northern Irish allies into an agonising night of frenetic Brexit negotiations before a dawn press conference, a last-minute push that officials said put her on the cusp of a long-sought EU divorce deal.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Exports of goods have risen in every region of the UK since last year, in what will be a welcome sign for the Government as it attempts to tackle a record high current account deficit.
  • The Times: The Black Friday sales encouraged shoppers to splurge on lifestyle goods and homewares in the last week of November, but most kept their wallets firmly shut for the rest of the month, leading to an overall drop in retail sales.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Lending Club dropped as much as one-fifth to a record low on Thursday as it cut guidance for profits, overshadowing the company’s first investor day since a splashy market debut three years ago.
  • Daily Mail: Britain's leading cardboard box maker DS Smith has revealed that the rise of internet shopping has helped its sales surge by more than £1 billion in just five years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sandwich and coffee chain Pret A Manger will open more stores at motorway service stations after striking a deal with Roadchef.
  • The Times: Manchester Airports Group, the local authority-controlled company that owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports, improved its profits in the six months to 30 September, allowing it to pay a £55.3 million dividend.
  • Financial Times: Chevron is stepping up investment in US shale production, even as the second-largest US oil and gas group prepares to cut its total capital spending for a fifth year in succession.
  • The Times: Hitachi could stop funding the development of a new nuclear plant on Anglesey unless the government agrees a viable financial support package by the middle of next year.
  • Financial Times: Chinese bike-sharing start-up Ofo has raised at least $1 billion from investors including ecommerce group Alibaba, according to two sources familiar with the deal.
  • Financial Times: Brussels’ antitrust watchdog has raised concerns that Lufthansa’s acquisition of half the operations of insolvent German rival Air Berlin will lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers.
  • Daily Mail: Liverpool's famous Epstein Theatre has collapsed into administration – but the firm running it has insisted the show will go on over Christmas.
  • The Times: Brighthouse, the troubled hire purchase retailer, is close to announcing a £220 million restructuring designed to ensure its survival.
  • The Guardian: Hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn paid himself £270 million last year – £70 million more than his Children’s Investment Fund made in profit.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sports Direct and Primark have been named and shamed by the Government for failing to pay the minimum wage after identifying 260 companies that had to refund £1.7 million to thousands of workers.
  • Daily Mail: German discount retailer Lidl has recruited more than 2,500 people in the UK in the past year as it keeps pace with rapid expansion.
  • The Guardian: More than 800 senior Asda shopfloor workers are facing a pay cut or redundancy in the new year after the supermarket chain embarked on another cost-cutting exercise.
  • Daily Mail: Top bosses at Toys R Us are set to be paid £10.5 million in bonuses despite the company going bankrupt and shutting a quarter of its UK stores.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Global banking rules designed to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis have finally been agreed after a year-long deadlock.
  • Financial Times: The International Monetary Fund has called on China’s banks to strengthen their capital buffers beyond what global rules require in order to fortify themselves against the risk of an economic shock.

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