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Saturday Papers: Europe's 'sick man' France dealt another blow

Saturday Papers: Europe's 'sick man' France dealt another blow

Top stories

  • The Daily Telegraph: Manufacturing activity in France contracts again in July, raising concerns about the health of Europe's second largest economy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Microsoft is suing Samsung after the South Korean smartphone maker allegedly refused to make a royalty payment on patent licenses after the US firm announced its intention to buy Nokia's handset business.
  • Financial Times: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said service on its US railway had fallen “below our internal standards”, after months of customer complaints and freight delays.
  • Financial Times: Evercore Partners, the independent investment bank, has agreed to buy International Strategy & Investment Group, a research-focused brokerage, for up to $440 million.
  • Financial Times: Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund has signalled its confidence in China’s structural reforms by increasing its allocation to the country, as part of a push to boost its emerging markets exposure.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: Smith & Nephew is to offer US customers a new "no frills" service that will cut the cost of its replacement hips and knees.
  • Daily Mail: All eyes will be on the Bank of England next week for what is likely to be the liveliest meeting of the committee that sets interest rates for some time.
  • Daily Express: Britain’s manufacturing growth spurt slowed in July to its lowest rate in a year amid concerns over the impact of sanctions on Russia and a sluggish eurozone economy.
  • Financial Times: Moody’s raised Greece’s sovereign credit rating on Friday and gave it a stable outlook, saying it believed the government’s fiscal position had improved significantly.
  • Daily Express: Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday voiced fears over an “adverse impact” on its business if Scots vote in favour of independence next month.
  • The Guardian: The future of the World Trade Organisation has been thrown into doubt after eleventh-hour attempts to salvage a global trade deal collapsed; talks broke down after India's refusal to back a deal unless it included concessions allowing developing countries freedom to subsidise and stockpile food.
  • Daily Express: British Airways owner IAG has heaped further pressure on embattled baggage handling firm Swissport as it landed its best second quarter since 2007 with a 55% surge in profits driven by a recovery at its Spanish airline Iberia.
  • Financial Times: The gloves, already unstrung in Allergan’s fight to prevent a $53 billion takeover by rival drugmaker Valeant, were tossed out of the ring on Friday after the Botox maker filed an insider trading lawsuit against its opponent.
  • Financial Times: Shares in ArcelorMittal fell on Friday after the world’s largest steelmaker by sales downgraded its full-year earnings forecast by $1 billion, following lower than anticipated iron ore prices.
  • Daily Mail: More than 200,000 jobs were created in the United States last month as American firms took on new staff.
  • Financial Times: The consumer goods industry is offering people more products than they want, Procter & Gamble’s chief executive declared on Friday as he announced a radical cull of up to 100 brands.
  • Financial Times: The owners of London’s distinctive Gherkin skyscraper are fighting a move to sell the building, after lenders forced it into administration amid spiralling debts.
  • Daily Mail: Engineer IMI has set its sights on doubling profits despite being hit by a strong pound in the last six months.
  • The Guardian: Almost 23,000 BT staff will receive an average of £42,000 each as part of a share ownership dividend totalling £1.1 billion, it was announced on Friday.
  • The Independent: Waitrose’s decision to hand out free coffee and newspapers to loyalty card holders will see profits fall at the supermarket, its directors have warned.
  • Financial Times: GCHQ, the UK’s electronic spy agency, has given its stamp of approval to six master’s degrees in online security as it moves to address the “cyber skills gap” and combat rising levels of cyber crime.
  • Financial Times: Sanctions on the oil sector in Russia are “unfortunate” as there are big opportunities for western companies in the development of the Arctic, according to the world’s largest offshore drilling group, which this week signed a $4.25 billion contract with Rosneft.
  • Financial Times: Investors fled US junk bonds in July, resulting in the worst monthly performance in more than a year as the looming end of the Federal Reserve’s easy money policy raised concerns about the debt’s torrid rally in recent years.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Express: Direct Line is gearing up to sell its German and Italian businesses, which could net it a £300 million windfall.
  • The Guardian: Procter & Gamble, the world's largest household products maker, is considering selling around half of its brands - around 90 to 100 - to bolster its stock market performance.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Large pension funds and insurance companies should be natural guardians of the financial system; they look after nearly £3 trillion of assets - the pooled life savings of millions of Britons.
  • The Guardian: The board of the Co-operative Group met to debate members' demands for changes to reform proposals that will overhaul the troubled chain of supermarkets and funeral homes.
  • Financial Times (Lex): PetroChina: Reforms favour the Chinese oil and gas company, if the purges stop.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Vinci: Nobody is building much in France these days. Bad news, then, for the country’s largest construction company.

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