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Saturday Papers: RBS records first profit in a decade

Saturday Papers: RBS records first profit in a decade

Top stories

  • The Times: The state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland celebrated “a special day” yesterday as it announced its first annual profit since the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: Theresa May’s emerging position on Brexit immediately came under fire on Friday, after pro-Europeans from both main parties joined to demand that Britain stay in a customs union with the EU.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Toys R Us has lined up administrators as fears mount that the UK business will collapse early next week putting up to 3,200 jobs at risk.
  • Financial Times: China has seized control of Anbang, the corporate flagship of flamboyant dealmaker Wu Xiaohui, and charged him with economic crimes in Beijing’s most forceful move yet to curb the foreign acquisition sprees of private conglomerates.
  • Financial Times: British Airways owner International Airlines Group has become the latest European carrier to ramp up its expansion plans this year, as it looks to take advantage of strong travel demand.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain’s biggest property website Rightmove has shrugged off fears of a slowing housing market as it posted a double-digit rise in revenues and profits and revealed it attracted a record number of customers last year.
  • The Times: Pearson published the closest thing it’s had to a bestseller in years yesterday when it swung back into profit 12 months after reporting the biggest loss in its history and announced plans to offload its ailing American school textbook businesses.
  • The Guardian: The UK’s big six energy companies have been accused of dirty tricks after analysis for the Guardian revealed that they are routinely charging customers almost exactly the same amount after switching them off controversial default tariffs.
  • Daily Mail: Bookmaker William Hill suffered a pre-tax loss of £74.6 million in 2017 after taking a £238 million hit from the writedown of its Australian business.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Warren Buffett, the billionaire who helped assemble food-and-beverage giant Kraft Heinz, will retire from its board as he cuts down on travel commitments.
  • Financial Times: Two of the UK’s biggest companies, Persimmon and Serco, have imposed hefty pay cuts on their managements amid growing anger over the scale of executive wages at businesses that have benefited from taxpayer money.
  • The Times: The former owner of BHS has been ordered to pay a £50,000 fine and £37,000 court costs for failing to disclose vital details to the pensions watchdog as part of its investigation into the collapse of the high street chain.
  • Financial Times: Two of Russia’s richest oligarchs are preparing for an all-or-nothing “shoot out” auction to resolve a decade-long battle for control of mining company Norilsk Nickel.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): Lloyds now yields 4.4% but there’s plenty of scope for capital growth on top.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): Why 500 is better than 30; Netflix, which is producing sci-fi series such as Altered Carbon, has been one of the S&P 500’s high flyers, up 45% this year.
  • Financial Times: Geely has acquired close to 10% of Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler for about $9 billion, becoming its largest shareholder in the latest sign of the global ambitions of the Chinese group.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Dutch-owned rail firm Abellio has pulled out of the bidding process for the Wales and Borders rail franchise, marking the second time a company has exited the process.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The FTSE 100-listed insurance company Aviva sold its entire shareholdings in its life insurance and pensions joint ventures in the country, Cajamurcia Vida and Caja Granada Vida, to state-owned lender Bankia for €202 million (£178 million).
  • The Times (Comment): Tepid growth means that there are no winners in the Brexit debate.
  • Financial Times (Comment): China conglomerates suffer different fates in Beijing crackdown.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Gender pay gap/accountants: the gender pay gap of the Big Four accountancy firms doubles if partners are taken into account.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Anbang Insurance: strategic priorities matter as much as who the losses will be imposed on.
  • Financial Times (Lex): RBS: there is a decent institution beneath the fright mask but it is still paying penance for past sin.
  • Financial Times (Lex): General Mills/Blue Buffalo: pet food has gone hipster and its price tag reflects that.

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