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Friday Papers: Chemring faces inquiry into bribery claims

Friday Papers: Chemring faces inquiry into bribery claims

Top stories

  • The Times: Chemring has become the latest British defence company to fall under criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over allegations of bribery and corruption.
  • The Daily Telegraph: GKN has gone on the offensive in its battle to spurn a hostile takeover from Melrose, branding the 32% premium its suitor is claiming as “fake”.
  • Financial Times: Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s President, has signalled a clean break with the past and a desire to re-engage with the west by inviting the UN, the EU and the Commonwealth to send missions to monitor this year’s elections.
  • The Guardian: High street banks have made more than £225 million available to help businesses put at risk by the failure of Carillion.
  • The Times: Morgan Stanley eclipsed Goldman Sachs as Wall Street’s most highly valued investment bank as it reported better than expected quarterly results; it unveiled a fourth-quarter profit despite taking a $1.2 billion charge linked to the new US tax law.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: The bitcoin rollercoaster has continued to deliver spectacular price moves as the cryptocurrency dropped below $10,000 and then bounced 20 per cent to top $12,000.
  • The Times: Apple is to hand $2,500 bonuses to as many as 12,000 employees in the UK and Ireland as it shares out billions of dollars that have been made available by President Trump’s tax reforms.
  • The Times: Nestlé is planning to overhaul its 14-strong board by appointing three new independent directors, seven months after it was attacked by an activist investor for being “stuck in its old ways”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Santander’s UK chief has been dragged into the growing political storm surrounding rival high street bank RBS’s mistreatment of small business customers.
  • The Guardian: Vince Cable has attacked the City watchdog for failing to publish a full report into the mistreatment of small businesses by the Royal Bank of Scotland, as MPs lined up to condemn the bank in parliament.
  • Financial Times: Amazon has snubbed San Francisco and Silicon Valley but is considering three candidates in and around Washington DC for its new headquarters.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shareholders are exploring legal action against Carillion in the wake of the company’s collapse as pressure mounts on the former directors and its auditor to answer questions about its demise.
  • The Times: Nigeria’s government has filed an $875 million legal claim against JP Morgan Chase in which it accuses the US investment bank of acting as an intermediary in an illegal offshore oil deal.
  • Financial Times: Uber’s largest shareholder Softbank has called for the car-booking company to focus on recovering market share in the US and growing in key European markets.
  • The Times: Halfords reported a slightly better than expected 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales in the 15 weeks to 12 January, with bikes and cycling kit up 7.8%.
  • The Times: Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, has been asked to intervene to protect pensions promised to 200,000 present and former Barclays staff amid growing unease about the bank’s plans to rejig its pension scheme.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Scandal-hit Steinhoff has been thrown a lifeline by its South African lenders.
  • The Times: The giant Kirkuk oilfield that it discovered 90 years ago is back in BP’s hands after the oil giant signed a deal with the Iraqi government to redevelop it.
  • The Guardian: Waterstones has reported an 80% jump in annual profits, with the bookseller predicting an even brighter future just six years after the rise of the ebook threatened its existence.
  • The Guardian: Primark is on track to overtake Next as the UK’s second biggest clothing retailer this year after strong sales over the winter.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ryanair has agreed to raise the pay of its UK pilots by 20pc in a move aimed at smoothing ruptions with its workforce.
  • The Guardian: Shares in the UK’s largest estate agent, Countrywide, have tumbled by nearly a fifth after the group issued its second profit warning in three months amid a stalled property market.
  • The Guardian: Ryanair has been referred to employment and tax authorities for investigation by two parliamentary committees, citing the airline’s “refusal to cooperate” with inquiries over crew pay and conditions.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s biggest coffee shop chain, Costa Coffee, has suffered a fall in sales at its high street stores and warned consumer demand would remain “subdued”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HSBC has agreed to pay just over $100 million in penalties to settle a US Department of Justice probe into currency rigging.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The boss of Whitbread today fuelled speculation the company could spin off Costa coffee chain under pressure from a US activist fund.
  • The Guardian: The A380 superjumbo has been thrown a lifeline after its biggest customer, Emirates, agreed to buy up to 36 more planes from Airbus.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain’s pub and restaurant industry looks to have suffered a tough Christmas as festive revellers curbed their spending on food.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): HOLD Experian; BUY City Fibre.
  • The Guardian: Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Permodalan Nasional Berhad, alongside Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia, have announced their intention to purchase the Grade II listed building, Battersea Power Station Development Company said in a statement on Thursday.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Judge US tax reform on wage growth, not share buybacks or staff bonuses.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Carillion’s failure does not vindicate Corbyn; problems with PFI are no reason to kill off private sector provision in the UK.

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