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Saturday Papers: Boots faces inquiry over cancer drug price hike

Saturday Papers: Boots faces inquiry over cancer drug price hike

Top stories

  • The Times: The owner of Boots is being investigated over the allegations that pharmacist has been “exploiting cancer patients” by charging the NHS £3,220 for pain-relieving mouthwash that can cost £93.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Wesfarmers, the Australian owner of Homebase, has booked a loss of between £200 million and £230 million on the sale of the struggling DIY chain for £1 to HMV owner Hilco Capital.
  • Financial Times: Eurozone’s two largest debt markets were shaken on Friday, sending European bank shares sharply lower, amid mounting fears about political instability in Italy and Spain.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has warned that central banks must maintain transparency and accountability if they want to keep their independence.
  • The Guardian: Saudi Aramco plans to raise $100 billion (£75 billion) by selling a 5% stake is likely to be delayed until next year, according to the Saudi Arabian energy minister, confirming mounting speculation that the world’s biggest IPO was running behind schedule.

Business and economics

  • The Times: The Opec cartel and other leading producers confirmed that they were considering increasing their output that caused oil price to slide by 3% to just over $76 a barrel.
  • Financial Times: Australian activist Max Schrems has accused Facebook and Google of breaking EU’s far-reaching new privacy rules that came into force on Friday.
  • The Guardian: Waitrose has agreed to stop making bars that the confectioner Hotel Chocolat claimed were copied from its trademark slabs.
  • Daily Mail: GVC, that owns Ladbrokes, recorded 5% fall in retail gaming revenue and 9% fall in sports betting sales during the first quarter as horse racing meetings were cancelled across the country due to bad weather.
  • Daily Mail: Energy giant SSE's profits slumped almost 40% as it lost 430,000 customers last year.
  • The Times: Furniture and kitchen equipment retailer Dunelm has warned that its profits would be lower this year because of “unexpectedly challenging” market conditions.
  • Financial Times: Packaging giant Tetra Pak is planning to lobby politicians and regulators about the benefits plastic straws, arguing that alternatives to juice cartons can be more damaging to the environment.
  • The Times: An Egyptian-focused gold mining group Centamin has reduced its full-year output guidance as its sole producing mine Sukari was performing worst than expected.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Maersk, the world’s largest shipping business, and its rival Mediterranean Shipping Co have decided to charge additional surcharge on freight costs to offset its own rising costs due to rising oil prices.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Pennon, the owner of waste giant Viridor, reported better than expected profits despite a decline in recycling as its eight energy-from-waste plants continue to drive growth.
  • Financial Times: The Financial Conduct Authority is investigating 24 cryptocurrency to determine whether they might “be carrying on regulated activities that require FCA authorisation”.
  • The Guardian: British GDP slumped to 0.1% in the first quarter on the weakest household spending for three years and falling levels of business investment dragged the economy to the worst quarter for five years, the Office for National Statistics confirmed.
  • The Times: Roberto Quarta, the chairman of WPP, is trying to win shareholders to support his re-election before a potential rebellion next month at the advertising group’s annual meeting over the acrimonious departure of Sir Martin Sorrell as chief executive.
  • Daily Mail: Balfour Beatty has become the latest firm to experience shareholders' rebellion over pay packages as nearly 14% of votes cast at the builder’s AGM were against bumper pay packets handed out last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Stobart Group's former chief executive Andrew Tinkler, who holds a 7.7% stake in the company, vowed to vote against the re-election of Iain Ferguson as chairman and a director at an upcoming annual general meeting.
  • The Times: Shareholders continued to rebel against excessive executive pay packages at the annual meetings of the Anglo-South African investment and banking group Old Mutual and Informa, an exhibitions and events business.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Several news websites have been taken offline for British and European audience under new data law that came into force on Friday.
  • The Times: US has lifted sanctions on ZTE, which makes smartphones and networking hardware, on condition that the ailing Chinese telecoms company accepts a large fine and overhauls its management and board.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times: Mike Coupe, chief executive of J Sinsbury, told a parliamentary committee that the supermarket group had much lower profit margins than its top suppliers, boosting the merger case with Asda.
  • The Times: BT is understood to have rebuffed recent offers for its Openreach business from private equity and infrastructure investors.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Capita has raised £681 million through a rights issue as the company plans to pay down debt and plug its pension deficit.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): UK needs a dynamic industrial action plan to transform economy.
  • The Guardian (Comment): I won’t cry for Homebase, but I fear for our high streets.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Netflix puts content above costs but is the policy sustainable?

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