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Monday Papers: Shell starts £18bn assets sale after profits fall

Monday Papers: Shell starts £18bn assets sale after profits fall

Top stories

  • The Daily Telegraph: Oil giant Shell is to start a sale of up to $30 billion of assets next year after weak refining margins and oil theft in Nigeria caused a sharp fall in profits.
  • Financial Times: Apple struck a long-awaited distribution deal on Sunday night with China Mobile, a partnership worth billions of dollars in extra iPhone revenues that finally opens up the largest mobile market to the world’s most valuable technology company.
  • Financial Times: The crisis in South Sudan, which has left hundreds dead, has started to hit global oil supplies.
  • Daily Mail: Controversial former Barclays supremo Bob Diamond is mulling a bid for an African financial services company part-owned by oil trading giant Trafigura.
  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland has denied it has plans for a “widespread” increase in the base salaries of some of its bankers to get around EU rules on bonuses.
  • Financial Times: A legal feud between two childhood friends - Vyatcheslav Rovneiko and Alexei Maximov - is adding to the woes of Urals Energy, the Aim-quoted oil group that faces the threat of a boardroom clear-out in January.
  • Daily Mail: Premier Foods, whose brands include Hovis, Oxo and Mr Kipling cakes, is expected to launch a £250 million to £300 million rights issue in the New Year.
  • Financial Times: Hopes of a lasting boost to Hong Kong’s asset management industry from a deal to sell funds into China have been dealt a blow by growing speculation that the UK and other markets will quickly benefit from similar agreements.
  • Financial Times: Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in his first appearance after 10 years behind bars, betrayed little anger or desire for revenge against the man whom most Russians believe put him there: President Vladimir Putin.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Marks & Spencer's official Facebook page is deluged with messages from customers furious at bosses' decision to let Muslim staff refuse to serve pork and alcohol to customers, as campaign is launched to boycott store.
  • The Independent: John Lewis recorded a 4.2% year-on-year increase in sales to £164.4 million on the back of last-minute Christmas shopping; the group said on Sunday there had been a 9.7% rise in sales in the week to 22 December.
  • Daily Mail: High Street banks are working at getting around curbs from Brussels on bonuses for highly-paid staff.
  • Financial Times: Ellington Management, the Connecticut-based hedge fund run by mortgage investor Mike Vranos, has opened a London office and expects to pick up portfolios of UK mortgage-backed securities that are being auctioned by continental European banks, among other assets.
  • Financial Times: The amount of money raised by businesses through the Enterprise Investment Scheme almost doubled last year to £1.02 billion, suggesting that recent extensions to the funding tax relief have buoyed interest.
  • Financial Times: The world’s largest banks are struggling to set up compliance programmes that satisfy regulators as they digest the new Volcker rule.
  • The Guardian: Trade unions and human rights campaigners have criticised the failure of the United Arab Emirates to address the exploitation and mistreatment of migrant workers building Saadiyat Island, a flagship complex of five-star resorts and museums.
  • Financial Times: VimpelCom is reviewing the future of its Italian mobile phone business including a possible sale or merger, or a refinancing of its high debts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Profits have more than doubled at D&D London, the restaurants group that sprang from the empire founded by Sir Terence Conran.
  • Financial Times: Chinese propaganda officials have ordered financial journalists and some media outlets to tone down their coverage of a liquidity crunch in the interbank market, in a sign of how worried Beijing is that the turmoil will continue when markets reopen on Monday.
  • Financial Times: Companies that create data dossiers on consumers are tapping new technologies to unearth ever more intimate information despite intensifying regulatory scrutiny of the multibillion-dollar data broker industry.
  • Financial Times: Wines from Burgundy and Italy are taking an increasing share of the fine wine market as connoisseurs look for value outside the Bordeaux region of France.
  • Financial Times: Brent Saunders, the new chief executive of Forest Laboratories, said he was actively seeking deals including licences to commercialise experimental and approved medicines in cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory and hospital infectious disease treatments.
  • Financial Times: Lawson, the Japanese convenience store chain, is slowing its expansion in China because it thinks the Chinese government has not done enough to spur consumption in the world’s second-largest economy.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Action Hotels, a Kuwaiti hotel developer, is to test the largely untapped market for mid-scale and economy hotels in the Middle East by listing his business on Aim, raising £30 million to fund expansion.
  • The Guardian (Comment): In Lapland today, Santa's little helpers are on zero-hours contracts, struggling with falling living standards and constantly under state surveillance
  • The Guardian (Comment): British workers face low wages, but are also being hurt by job insecurity, stress and the demand of long hours.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Those born in the 1960s and 1970s are unlikely to enjoy the wealth of those, like Ab Fab's Patsy and Edina, born a decade before.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Time Inc: the lopping off from Time Warner does not have to come laden with debt – earlier this year, News Corp spun its publishing assets off with $2.6bn in cash and no debt.
  • Financial Times (Lex): European companies: Restructuring was the name of the game on the stock market in 2013 with Alcatel-Lucent and Thomas Cook scoring highly
  • Financial Times (Lex): Japan equities: If this year’s rally is not to be an illusion, corporate Japan needs to focus on its financial structure and address margins and returns rather than market share

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