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Saturday Papers: Kinky Knickers’ maker in administration

Saturday Papers: Kinky Knickers’ maker in administration

Top stories

  • The Guardian: Headon & Quarmby, the 79-year-old family-run lingerie manufacturer behind Mary Portas's Kinky Knickers lingerie range, has called in administrators.
  • Daily Express: Shares in oil giant Royal Dutch Shell fell yesterday as it issued its first profit warning for a decade because of rising exploration costs and lower US energy prices; full-year profits are forecast to be 23% lower at £11.9 billion; shares fall 26½p to 2279½p.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank and Citigroup are set to ease conditions for their interns and young bankers as controversy over gruelling hours for trainee bankers forces US and European investment banks to rethink their traditional working culture.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Deutsche Bank 'considers issuing profits warning'; Germany's largest bank suffered bigger-than-expected losses from sale of non-core assets, reports claim.
  • Financial Times: The S&P 500 equity index fell 0.4% yesterday and 0.2% over the week.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Intel to axe 5,000 workers; announcement comes a day after Intel posted a fourth-quarter earnings report that did little to dispel concerns about a slowing PC industry.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Morgan Stanley profits tumble 70% in fourth quarter; the US bank says improvements offset by $1.2 billion charge to cover credit crisis litigation.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Upper Crust owner SSP unveiled strong annual sales as chief executive Kate Swann refused to dampen down speculation the food and restaurant group is ready to float on the stock exchange.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Moody's raises Irish credit rating to investment grade; the ratings agency also placed Ireland on a positive outlook, citing the economy's growth potential and improved debt outlook.
  • The Guardian: The chemicals maker Freedom Industries Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, eight days after a leak from one of the company's storage tanks contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of West Virginia residents.
  • The Guardian: HSBC and Citigroup have both suspended foreign exchange traders as a global probe into possible currency market manipulation intensified.
  • The Independent: Retail sales rose at their fastest rate in nine years in December, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday; however, some City analysts immediately cast doubt on the reliability of the figures.
  • The Guardian: A new chief executive has been appointed to run HS2 at a salary of £750,000 – six times that of the current boss of the high-speed rail project.
  • The Independent: Victoria Beckham is set to open her first store in London this autumn.
  • Financial Times: General Electric disappointed investors with a smaller increase in its profit margins than it had promised for 2013, but said that it was on track for further gains in sales and profitability for the coming years.
  • Financial Times: The London Stock Exchange appointed two women directors on Friday, removing itself from the City’s shrinking pool of all-male boards.
  • The Guardian: British households can look forward to rising real incomes in 2014 after four years in which high inflation has outstripped wage increases, Ben Broadbent, a member of the Bank's monetary policy committee, said.
  • Financial Times: Mike Ashley’s audacious derivatives bet on Debenhams shares has divided shareholders in his company, Sports Direct - with some demanding more information on his motivation for the move.
  • The Guardian: Ikea has revealed a 12% rise in sales at its established stores after Christmas, amid signs that the home furnishings market is reviving.
  • The Independent: Joanna Shields is stepping down as CEO of Tech City UK and taking a role on the board of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Financial Times: IntercontinentalExchange will take over the administration of the scandal-tainted Libor benchmark from 1 February after receiving approval from UK regulators on Friday.
  • The Guardian: The Financial Conduct Authority has appointed two outside firms to investigate Royal Bank of Scotland's treatment of business customers after a government adviser accused the bank of driving small enterprises into administration.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Express: A consortium involving Keolis, the international arm of French rail operator SNCF, and the Channel Tunnel train operator is among three bidders short-listed for East Coast, which runs trains from ­ London to Edinburgh.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Anheuser-Busch InBev 'in talks to buy South Korea's Oriental Brewery for $4.5 billion'.
  • Financial Times: The US hedge fund pressing for the break-up of FirstGroup says the bus and rail operator must provide more detail on how it will turn itself round after the group issued a weak trading update; Tom Sandell, founder of Sandell Asset Management, said UK-based FirstGroup had to give investors more information at its capital markets day on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: KKR and Permira sold their last 16.6% stake in the broadcaster on Friday for €1.3 billion, after acquiring the company near the peak of the buyout boom in late 2006; they have made a 20% cumulative gain on their investment.
  • Financial Times: FirstGroup and Stagecoach will face stiff competition from SNCF, the French state-owned rail operator, in a race to secure the franchise to run the prestigious East Coast mainline when it is privatised next year.
  • The Guardian: Shire has taken a $650 million hit by selling its Dermagraft business after less than three years of ownership; City welcomes disposal of loss-making skin specialist as Shire focuses elsewhere.
  • The Daily Telegraph: EE flotation plans stalled; plans to sell shares in UK mobile operator EE have been stalled by owners Deutsche Telekom and Orange.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Ed Miliband picks soft targets for public anger - his proposal to freeze energy prices wiped £7 billion off the value of Centrica and SSE and hit savers and pension investments alike. Now he has struck again with banks.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): There is a sense that politicians are allowing the country to sleepwalk into an energy squeeze and that it will take a crisis before they stop procrastinating.
  • The Guardian (Comment): From payday lending to energy bills, Ed Miliband is finally getting specific on the architecture of a fairer capitalism.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Morgan Stanley: shift to wealth management looks wise – if the bank can get its margins up.

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