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Saturday Papers: Blackstone sells out of Hilton Worldwide

Saturday Papers: Blackstone sells out of Hilton Worldwide

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Blackstone is offloading its remaining 5.8% stake in Hilton Worldwide, exiting one of the most profitable private equity deals after 11 years of ownership.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Competition and Markets Authority has invited comments from suppliers, customers and other interested parties on whether they think Sainsbury’s planned £15 billion merger with rival Asda will harm competition.
  • The Times: Savers drew nearly three times more money last year out of final-salary pension schemes, triggering fresh concern that people are being reckless with their retirement funds.
  • Financial Times: British Airways owner IAG has entered into an agreement with Qatar Airways and tour operator Thomas Cook to retain extra airline slots at Gatwick, which it acquired after the collapse of Monarch last year.
  • Financial Times: Italy’s far-right League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement have joined hands to bring a populist government to the country, amid fears of a rift between Rome and European Union.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Argentina has sought financial aid from the International Monetary Fund to prevent a repeat of the 2001 crisis after falling to stabilise the economy and prevent its currency to collapse due to soaring interest rates.
  • The Guardian: AstraZeneca’s more than a third of investors failed to back the pharmaceutical company’s remuneration report at the annual shareholder meeting in London on Friday.
  • The Guardian: The advisory group Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) has recommended a vote against pay package of Lloyds Banking Group's chief executive António Horta Osório, who is in line to receive a pay packet that is nearly 100 times larger than the average worker’s at the bank.
  • The Guardian: The Swedish retailer Ikea reported near-40% slump in profits in the year to 31 August 2017 and decided to withdraw opening of what would have been its second-largest store in the country.
  • The Guardian: The Swiss watchmaker Richemont has bought back nearly €500 million worth of designer timepieces from jewellers and destroyed them over the past two years to avoid them being sold at knockdown prices.
  • Financial Times: UK's Serious Fraud Office announced that it is scrutinising Glencore's dealings with Dan Gertler, the billionaire Israeli businessman recently sanctioned by the US, prompting the 4% fall in the shares of the miner.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Kenes Rakishev, who owns 22% of the Russia-based mining company Petropavlovsk, said he would support a pair of mystery shareholders seeking to oust the gold miner’s board.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has stepped down from the boards of EN+ and its subsidiary Rusal in an attempt to save the companies from crippling US sanctions.
  • Daily Mail: Surge in market value of Ocado after it unveiled a deal with US chain Kroger is likely to end Marks & Spencer’s 34-year reign in the FTSE 100.
  • The Times: Carpetright has announced a discounted sale of almost 250 million new shares intended to raise £60 million to further cut its debts and spruce up its business after closing nearly 100 stores.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BMW has issued a second major recall of cars in UK in a fortnight, over fears they could catch fire.
  • The Times: The Serious Fraud Office is launching a probe into bribery case over Glencore’s alleged links with Dan Gertler in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Financial Times: China’s Commerce ministry has removed anti-dumping penalties imposed on US sorghum imports, bolstering hopes for an interim trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): HOLD Crest Nicholson Holdings; HOLD National Grid; HOLD Royal Mail; HOLD Next.
  • The Times: Michael Spencer, chief executive of Nex, is considering investing about £25 million for a 5% stake in the investment platform AJ Bell before its flotation this year.
  • The Times: Lloyds Banking Group has sold a portfolio of Irish residential home loans to the Barclays-led group for £4 billion in cash, leaving it with a pre-tax loss of about £110 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Chief executive pay ratios may end up muddying the water.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Go long to reap the rewards of tech stocks.
  • Financial Times (Comment): The Big Four face the dismembering of accountancy’s cosy club.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK independent schools: as fees outpace inflation and wages, the sector must pass the value exam.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK auditors/Carillion: many consultants are happy to split from low-margin abacus rattlers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China/Treasury Wine: potential for share price volatility justifies a dip in market value.

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