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Saturday Papers: France to take 20% stake in Alstom

Saturday Papers: France to take 20% stake in Alstom

Top stories

  • The Daily Telegraph: French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg has said that the state will enter into an alliance with GE in latest stage of takeover tussle for Alstom.
  • The Independent: Shire said it rejected AbbVie’s latest £46.11 cash and share proposal, a 23% premium to last night’s close, as “fundamentally undervaluing” the company.
  • The Guardian: The biggest ever investigation into the UK energy market will be unveiled next week by the industry watchdog, Ofgem, amid public anger over high bills and bad service from gas and electricity providers; an 18-month inquiry could end in the big six firms having their businesses broken up and reduced in scale.
  • Financial Times: The International Monetary Fund said a new policy of “reprofiling” the debt of countries seeking large rescue loans would have little effect on financial markets as it published a paper that could shake up the world of sovereign credit.
  • Financial Times: Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, on Friday said she was willing to negotiate with holdout bondholders and intended to honour the country’s financial contracts.
  • The Guardian: Shares in TSB, the offshoot of Lloyds Banking Group, jumped on their debut on Friday after the state-owned bank priced the 631 branches at £1.3 billion; the TSB shares were priced by Lloyds at 260p each but they surged to 300p before closing at 290p in the first opportunity for City investors to trade.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: George Osborne is drawing up plans to develop a northern “supercity” to rival London as a global hub by linking up Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.
  • Financial Times: Spain’s government will cut both corporate and income taxes early next year in an attempt to strengthen the economy and bolster the electoral prospects of the ruling centre-right Popular party.
  • Financial Times: Britain’s high streets should expect to suffer a hangover as World Cup fever fades, economists said on Friday, noting that retail sales usually fall sharply as the tournament gets under way and England’s on-pitch performance disappoints.
  • Financial Times: Figures on Britain’s public finances have highlighted an important trend: an increasing reliance for tax revenue on a small group of rich people; the government borrowed £24.2 billion in April and May to cover the gap between spending and revenues - almost £2 billion more than the same period last year – even though the economy is recovering fast.
  • Financial Times: Ned Kelly, chairman of Citigroup’s investment bank, is leaving the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • Financial Times: Yo, the messaging app so simple it just says “Yo”, has soared past Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to become the fifth most popular app in the US Apple app store in the last week, grabbing the attention of venture capitalists, hackers and comedians.
  • Financial Times: US coffee drinkers will pay more for their morning fix, with Starbucks the latest java seller to raise its prices amid a surge in agricultural commodities.
  • Financial Times: The Nigerian High Court has ruled in favour of Shell on a number of pre-trial issues ahead of a court case being brought by 15,000 claimants from Nigeria’s Bodo community against the oil company.
  • Financial Times: The construction of a A$10 billion (US$9.4 billion) coal port near the Great Barrier Reef in the Australian state of Queensland was shelved on Friday because of a collapse in global coal prices.
  • Financial Times: Winton, the London hedge fund founded by David Harding, paid its staff and partners £197 million in dividends and salaries last year as its revenues rose sharply on improved investment performance.
  • Financial Times: Chinese state-backed insurance group China Life has taken a majority stake in one of Britain’s biggest office towers, in its first European property investment; the company along with Qatar Holding, a sovereign wealth fund subsidiary, has paid £795 million to acquire 10 Upper Bank Street in London’s eastern business cluster from Canary Wharf Group.
  • Financial Times: China has called an unofficial referendum on democracy in Hong Kong “illegal” as activists pushing for universal suffrage in the former British colony said at least 400,000 people had cast ballots on the first day of voting.
  • Financial Times: Europe’s biggest telecoms takeover in a decade has triggered a rare mass revolt of national competition watchdogs, who want Brussels to toughen up its conditions on Telefónica’s merger with KPN’s E-Plus.
  • The Guardian: Britain's public sector finances showed little sign of improvement in May, with economists saying the government appears to be struggling to meet its target for reducing the deficit.
  • The Guardian: Millions of workers face putting money back into government coffers after paying the wrong amount of tax, despite the launch of a scheme to make the system more accurate.
  • Daily Mail: Sports Direct’s fourth attempt to reward billionaire founder Mike Ashley looks set to fail after some of its biggest shareholders took the extraordinary step of publicly attacking the retailer; Association of British Insurers - acting on behalf of six of the firm’s biggest investors - believes it has enough support to vote down latest pay proposals, which could have seen Ashley take up to £200 million in shares.
  • Daily Mail: Private landlords have seen annual returns rise to a four-year high in May amid house price rises and despite rents becoming cheaper, new research has revealed; an average landlord in England and Wales has seen a return of £20,133 in real terms in the last twelve months, or 12.2%, up from 5.3% in the previous year.
  • Daily Mail: Debenhams has pushed back its summer sale by a fortnight as part of a drive to reduce its reliance on discounts and promotions.
  • Daily Express: Nationwide Building Society has joined the Government’s Forces Help to Buy scheme which encourages service personnel to get on the property ladder.
  • The Independent: Royal Mail has lodged an official claim that allowing free competition on its routes was unfair and threatened its future ability to finance the universal post service.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: AstraZeneca is considering selling the rights to some of its future revenues in a move that would boost the UK drugmaker’s cash reserves and help stifle any renewed takeover attempt by its US rival Pfizer.
  • Financial Times: Spire Healthcare - Britain’s second-largest chain of private hospitals is finalising plans for a £1 billion stock market flotation, as it seeks to raise cash for expansion in the UK.
  • Financial Times: J Sainsbury, the British supermarket chain known for its relatively upmarket image, is to enter the fast-growing hard discount sector, through a joint venture with Netto, the Danish supermarket chain.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British billionaire John Caudwell goes from Phones4u to the heights of fashion as he makes a "major milestone" investment in London-based couture label Ralph & Russo.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Drinks giant Diageo said to have suceeded in long-running battle to gain control of Indian drinks company United Spirits.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Shire / AbbVie: a study in hyperbole.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Alstom: l’exception française.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China property: in houses we trust.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Satellite launches: the final frontier.

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