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Saturday Papers: Temasek to buy $6bn stake in Watsons

Saturday Papers: Temasek to buy $6bn stake in Watsons

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Asian tycoon Li Ka-shing will sell a near 25% stake in his AS Watson health and beauty chain to Singapore’s Temasek for $5.7 billion, rather than pursue a planned dual listing in Hong Kong and London.
  • Financial Times: President Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle” was feeling the pain of US sanctions on Friday as foreign banks and investors scrambled to reassess their dealings in Russia and investments held by some of the country’s wealthiest oligarchs tumbled in value.
  • Financial Times: Oil prices rose more than $1 a barrel as investors, unnerved by US sanctions against Russia, ran to cover their positions ahead of the weekend.
  • Daily Mail: Tesco is expected to be one of the front-runners to snap up the Co-operative Group’s pharmacy business, it has emerged.
  • Daily Mail: Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed UK public sector net borrowing rose to £9.3 billion in February - up from £9.2 billion in the same month last year.
  • The Guardian: Shuttered bitcoin exchange MtGox has found almost 200,000 bitcoins which it believed were lost, according to the company's CEO Mark Karpeles.
  • The Guardian: China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), Asia's largest oil refiner, has denied violating the intellectual property rights of Ineos, after the Swiss-based chemicals company brought a case at a Beijing court.
  • Financial Times: The Federal Reserve revised its bank stress test results on Friday, a day after releasing them, in a change that could affect US banks’ plans to return more than an estimated $77 billion in capital to shareholders over the next year.
  • Financial Times: Global equities put in mixed performances at the end of a volatile week; the S&P 500 equity index fell 0.3% - after earlier touching a record intraday high - but rose 1.3% over the week.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: A city trader, Mark Stevenson, has been fined nearly £700,000 and banned for life after trying to rig the price of UK bonds at the Bank of England’s expense.
  • Daily Mail: Questions have been raised over Lidl’s plans to double its UK stores after the German company’s chief executive was replaced unexpectedly.
  • Financial Times: The Roy Hill iron ore project controlled by Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, has secured a $7.2 billion debt deal in what its backers claim is the world’s biggest ever project financing package for the development of a land-based mine.
  • Financial Times: Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of heavy machinery, has become the subject of a US Senate inquiry into allegations the company avoided taxes through a complex international structure, say people familiar with the matter.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Credit Suisse to pay $885 million to settle mortgage claims; lawsuit alleged that Credit Suisse misled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the sale of mortgage-backed securities.
  • Daily Mail: Anglo American handed boss Mark Cutifani a £5.3 million pay package in his first year, including an £835,000 top-up to help him move house.
  • Financial Times: Merrill Lynch, which cut Burberry to “neutral”, forecast the clothing group to deliver almost no earnings growth for the next two years.
  • Financial Times: Kingfisher, the DIY chain, is expected to announce next week that it will return about £200 million to shareholders, and say it is exploring options for its business in China.
  • Financial Times: BG Group has launched a redundancy scheme aiming to shed up to a quarter of the 1,100 staff at its headquarters in Reading.
  • Daily Mail: Data from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Local Data Company showed that retail chains with more than five outlets in Britain closed at a pace of 16 stores a day in town centres last year, down from 20 a day in 2012.
  • Financial Times: Aim-quoted Circle Holdings, the first private sector operator of an NHS hospital, has halved its losses in the year to December, with the company keen to pursue more opportunities as an increasing number of public sector healthcare trusts run into financial difficulty.
  • Financial Times: Carpetright and five other furniture and carpet retailers have changed their pricing practices following a regulatory investigation into misleading discounts, the Office of Fair Trading said on Friday.
  • Daily Mail: Shawbrook Bank has launched a new best-buy savings accounts for customers willing to lock up their deposits for three or five years.
  • Financial Times: Eurotunnel has reacted angrily to a ruling by Britain’s Competition Commission that could force it to withdraw its cross-Channel ferry service.
  • Financial Times: Nokia has been hit with a new $414 million tax demand from India’s revenue department.
  • Financial Times: A hefty one-off charge following a legal battle with Swatch took the shine off fourth-quarter results for Tiffany & Co, despite the US jeweller reporting sparkling global sales for the critical holiday season.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Asia Resource Minerals, the bombed-out group formerly known as Bumi, is on the brink of a long-awaited split from Indonesia's Bakrie family.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Israeli start-up valued at up to £346 million in London IPO; the digital advertising company Matomy Media unveils London listing to raise £60 million.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Euan Sutherland's departure suggests either he has been over-sensitive or the Co-op’s old guard really are ungovernable and irredeemably bent on self-destruction.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Ladbrokes: the helpless victim of a reckless chancellor? Hardly ...; whatever one's view of the machines, a cash-strapped chancellor is surely within his rights to fiddle with the rate of duty.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The pensioners out of pocket; perhaps something could be done for those who have recently locked themselves into an annuity that will provide a pittance?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Russian equities: shareholder-friendly moves by companies might be powerful – but only if accompanied by signs that the political game is not hopelessly rigged.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BMW has been a clear winner for investors down the long track, but is it time for investors to consider lane-hopping to Daimler?

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