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Thursday Papers: Big banks push back on launch of bitcoin futures

Thursday Papers: Big banks push back on launch of bitcoin futures

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The world’s largest banks are pushing back on the introduction of bitcoin futures, raising concerns with US regulators that the financial system is ill-prepared for the launch of the contracts as the value of the volatile cryptocurrency has soared.
  • Financial Times: Apple will see as much as $47 billion slashed from its expected tax liability if Republicans push through their current tax plan, making it the biggest beneficiary of the legislation now working its way through Congress.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hammerson is set to become the UK’s largest listed property company after proposing a £3.4 billion takeover deal for rival Intu.
  • The Times: The chief executive of Poundland’s owner Steinhoff International has quit amid claims of accounting irregularities, wiping two thirds off the company’s value.
  • Financial Times: Theresa May struggled to agree a Brexit deal with Northern Irish unionists on Wednesday, leading Ireland’s prime minister to warn that a divorce settlement might not be completed until early next year.
  • Financial Times: Donald Trump has defied warnings from allies across the world and overturned decades of US foreign policy by announcing he will recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and trigger plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Fears that China risks being the cause of a fresh global financial crisis have been highlighted by the International Monetary Fund in a hard-hitting warning about the growing debt-dependency of the world’s second biggest economy.
  • Financial Times: Nintendo has shattered decades of tradition by allowing gamers in China to play some of its most treasured titles on another company’s console as the Japanese company prepares to launch its Switch machine in the world’s most valuable games market.
  • The Times: Stagecoach is counting the £325 million cost this year of overpromising on the returns that it thought it would make on the Virgin Trains East Coast rail franchise.
  • The Daily Telegraph: West End property company Shaftesbury, which owns Carnaby Street, has embarked on a £265 million fundraising to add new London buildings to its portfolio.
  • Financial Times: Bridgepoint, the private equity owner of Pret A Manger, has raised €5.5 billion for its latest fund six months ahead of target, but turned down nearly the same amount in extra cash in a further sign of the strong appetite for buyout funds.
  • Daily Mail: British luxury fashion brand Mulberry is upping efforts to grow in Japan and China as UK sales faltered in the six months to the end of September.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in Costa Coffee owner Whitbread leapt almost 8% after a New York-based hedge fund Sachem Head Capital Management took a stake in the firm, sparking speculation that it could be broken up.
  • The Guardian: Shares in Saga, the over-50s travel and insurance company, have slumped after it warned profits would be hit by factors including the collapse of Monarch Airlines.
  • The Guardian: Ryanair is facing the threat of pre-Christmas industrial action in three European markets, including its first ever pilots’ strike.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Mail workers are looking increasingly unlikely to strike over the Christmas period, following an apparent shift in position by the postal operator on pensions, pay and the length of working weeks.
  • The Times: In a boost to some of the world’s most famous luxury labels, the European Court of Justice ruled that manufacturers had the right to protect their image by restricting sales of their products through websites such as Amazon and Ebay.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Italy’s antitrust agency said on Wednesday it had fined Unilever’s Italian unit more than €60 million (£53m) for abusing its dominant position in the country’s ice cream market.
  • The Guardian: Oliver Schmidt, a German national who was the general manager in charge of VW’s environmental and engineering office in Michigan, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a US court on Wednesday after being found guilty of concealing software used to evade pollution limits on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Uber's recently-departed UK boss, who left shortly after the transport app lost its London licence, has signed up for a job at a European tech fund.
  • The Times: The hedge fund-led campaign to remove the chairman of the London Stock Exchange has suffered a setback after a shareholder advisory group recommended that investors vote in favour of Donald Brydon keeping his job.
  • The Times: There are as many as 100,000 “zombie companies” holding back the economy by soaking up credit that could be used to finance the businesses of the future, a study has claimed.
  • Financial Times: Investors have lost hundreds of millions of pounds because of government inaction, the UK’s largest bioethanol producer said after it suspended operations indefinitely.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): Sell Greene King if you want growth – but hold on if you’re after reliable income.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Numis; BUY Mercia Technologies.
  • The Guardian: A state-owned South Korean energy firm Kepco is to take over construction of a troubled nuclear power station planned in north-west England, in a significant boost for the UK government’s nuclear ambitions.
  • Daily Mail: Legal & General has sold its with-profits savings business to reinsurance group Swiss Re's ReAssure division for £650 million.
  • Financial Times: Ping An has emerged as the second-biggest shareholder in HSBC after the Chinese insurer increased its stake in Europe’s largest bank above 5%, triggering a disclosure.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Britain almost has to fight its way out of the EU colonial 'empire'.

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