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Friday Papers: Cabot pulls London IPO

Friday Papers: Cabot pulls London IPO

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Cabot Credit Management, the UK’s largest debt collector, has abandoned its planned stock market flotation, blaming market conditions amid wider investor questions over valuations in the sector.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund may turn its back on the oil and gas investments in an attempt to cut its exposure to what it thinks may be a permanent decline in commodity prices.
  • The Times: Prudential is scaling up its ambitions in Asia with plans to open a fund management venture in China and to double in size in the region every few years.
  • Financial Times: Saudi authorities are negotiating settlements with princes and businessmen held over allegations of corruption, offering deals for the detainees to pay for their freedom, say people briefed on the discussions.
  • Financial Times: Volkswagen is investing €10 billion to develop new-energy vehicles (NEVs) in China by 2025.
  • Financial Times: Walmart on Thursday posted its strongest quarterly US sales in more than eight years as the company’s digital investments continue to pay off and as store traffic improved.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Challenger bank Virgin Money has announced plans to step up its fight against the “Big Four” banks with an assault on the small business market and the launch of a new digital current account.
  • Daily Mail: Upmarket fashion company Ted Baker has bucked the slowdown on the High Street.
  • The Times: Shares in the defence technology group Qinetiq fell sharply yesterday as it failed to persuade investors that it should not be hurt by the decline in UK military spending that the company itself was warning about.
  • Financial Times: Sunac, the property developer, has added to worries it is overcommitting capital by extending another loan to LeEco, the struggling tech company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Asda has toasted its second consecutive quarter of growth as a sign that the supermarket had now "stabilised" following plunging sales a year earlier.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Engineering group GKN has ditched its incoming chief executive and warned write-downs related to problems at US business could be 10 times bigger than thought.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has appointed former insurance boss Nick Prettejohn as chairman as it pursues a takeover of the Express.
  • Daily Mail: Engineering and tech firm Siemens is set to cut about 6,900 jobs as it struggles to adapt to the huge growth of renewable energy.
  • The Times: Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem has rejected a £120 million compensation claim from some of the country’s biggest power providers, claiming it would have been unfair on consumers who would ultimately pay for it.
  • Financial Times: Legal & General has shaken up the management teams at two of its most important businesses as it scales up on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Insurance giant Prudential enjoyed a surge in new business profit for the first nine months of the year after it cashed in on America's ageing baby-boom generation and Asia's rapidly growing middle classes.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Serious Fraud Office has made its first charges against Unaoil employees in relation to a corruption scandal that has engulfed the oil and gas industry.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Mail has admitted it is having a ‘difficult time’ as it negotiates a fierce dispute with workers over pensions, as profits dipped 30% despite revenues beating expectations.
  • The Times: The Berkshire Pension Fund, which runs £1.7 billion of assets on behalf of 65,000 current and former council workers, has formally signed up to join the Local Pensions Partnership.
  • The Times: The Financial Conduct Authority has been asked to reinstate its publicly available register of 200,000 finance professionals after being accused of making it easier for “bad apples” to escape detection.
  • The Times: Noel Edmonds has raised the stakes in his battle with Lloyds Banking Group, saying that he will take the lender to court after mediation talks collapsed.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): SELL Royal Mail; BUY British Land.
  • The Guardian: Cable and media giant Comcast has reportedly approached 21st Century Fox about a possible acquisition, a move that comes after Disney was also reported to be circling Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
  • The Times: The boss of the private hospitals operator, Mediclinic International, looking to buy up the remainder of Spire Healthcare in a £1.2 billion deal has insisted that it has the capacity for a big acquisition.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Airbnb has bought a British travel website Accomable,which was founded two years ago by two entrepreneurs with spinal muscular atrophy, has been bought by the US company for an undisclosed sum.
  • The Times: BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, expects to sell its US onshore shale business within two years and plans to dispose of its nickel-producing activities in Australia.
  • Financial Times: Emerson Electric has increased the cash component in its offer for rival Rockwell Automation and raised the total value of its bid to $29 billion.
  • The Guardian: The business secretary, Greg Clark, has been urged by the GMB union to block the merger of two of the UK’s biggest energy companies over fears the plan would create a private cartel and reduce competition.
  • Financial Times: Theodor Weimer, the current boss of UniCredit’s German subsidiary, has been appointed chief executive of Deutsche Börse.
  • The Times: WPP, led by Sir Martin Sorrell, said it was prepared to increase its stake in Asatsu-DK, one of the largest marketing services companies in Japan, to about a third after requests from other shareholders.

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