column Proactiveinvestors column RSS feed en Fri, 21 Jul 2017 05:31:02 +0100 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) In the Papers - Royal Mail, Morgan Stanley, Uber, Hotel Chocolat Newspaper Summary

The Times

Engineering giant ‘target of takeover by U.S. rival’: CH2M, an engineering consultant at the heart of a host of Britain’s key infrastructure projects, is understood to be in advanced talks to be taken over by Jacobs, an American rival.

One failure’s unlucky, but two is a car crash: One sub-prime car financer crashing is unfortunate, but two doing so feeds the fear in some quarters that the market itself is heading for an almighty pile-up. The failure of Vehicle Trading Group, therefore, is ringing alarm bells beyond the specialist firefighters in the insolvency industry.

Sky delay could hurt investment, Murdochs warn: Lachlan and James Murdoch have warned the government that further delays to 21st Century Fox’s plan to take over Sky could harm Britain’s attractiveness to investors after Brexit.

Royal Mail union sees red over Boss Greene’s extra job: Postal workers have reacted angrily to the news that the £1.8 million-a-year Chief Executive of Royal Mail is to take a part-time job as a non-Executive Director of Easyjet.

Rail group offers fare cap at first opportunity: Train operators will voluntarily cap fares on two of the country’s busiest rail routes after a warning from the Competition and Markets Authority.

QinetiQ caught in no-man’s-land waiting for contracts to arrive: Shares in Qinetiq plunged to an eight-month low, falling by nearly 10% after the defence technology group warned that contracts that had been due to arrive in recent weeks had failed to do so.

Javid acts to help first-time buyers: Sajid Javid is expected to reveal a plan under which every local authority must calculate how easy it is for young first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder by working out the average local salary-to-house price ratio.

Abramovich’s steel company hit by costly repair work: The need for repair work at its production plants in Russia and Canada could not have come at a worse time for Evraz. It has blamed the repairs for a sharp drop in its steel output, but the company, which is 31%-owned by Roman Abramovich, who controls Chelsea football club, said that it hoped to bounce back once ZSMK, its Siberian mill, had returned to full capacity.

The Independent

Morgan Stanley chooses Frankfurt as post-Brexit EU hub: U.S. banking giant Morgan Stanley has chosen Frankfurt as the site of its post-Brexit EU hub in a move that could see 200 jobs leave the U.K., the Press Association understands.

Airlines in ferocious summer fares war with £40 deals to the Med: On the eve of the busiest departure day for record numbers of British holidaymakers, The Independent can reveal that unprecedented travel deals are available due to a ferocious fares war during the peak month of August.

Audi advert compares women to used cars: German car brand Audi is facing fierce backlash on social media over an advert aired in China that is being accused of objectifying women.

Uber sued by disability rights groups: Uber was sued on Tuesday by disability rights groups and wheelchair users accusing the ride-sharing company of violating New York City human rights laws by failing to make enough of its vehicles accessible to disabled people.

IBM revenue worse than expected: IBM reported a lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday, as growth in its higher-margin businesses that include cloud and artificial intelligence services failed to make up for declines across legacy business segments.

Theresa May to chair new business advisory group pre-Brexit: Theresa May will this week launch a new advisory group designed to respond to concerns of the business community and trade bodies as Brexit negotiations gather pace.

Combustion engine ban risks thousands of jobs, study warns: More than 600,000 jobs could be at risk in Germany from a potential ban on combustion engine cars by 2030, the Ifo Economic Institute said in a study commissioned by Germany’s VDA car industry lobby.

The Daily Telegraph

Elliott attacks ‘disastrous’ BHP Billiton plan to build potash mine: Activist investor Elliott has slammed BHP Billiton’s plans to develop a giant potash mine in Canada, warning it could be as “disastrous” as its foray into U.S. shale.

Regulators assessing suitability of Deutsche Boerse board: German regulators will be assessing the suitability of Deutsche Boerse’s management team in light of insider trading allegations made against the German exchange’s Chief Executive.

Hotel Chocolat ice cream gives sales sugar rush: Hotel Chocolat sales have broken through the £100 million mark for the first time as its “Ice Cream of the Gods” boosted the business during the recent heatwave.

Northern Trust picks Luxembourg over Ireland for post-Brexit hub: Northern Trust has followed in the footsteps of a number of its rivals by picking Luxembourg as its new EU home in response to Brexit.

Shares in Morgan Sindall hit 10-year high after stellar first half: Shares in construction company Morgan Sindall hit a 10-year high during Wednesday’s trading after the company bucked recent trends and reported a strong first-half performance.

Act now to stop companies moving jobs for Brexit, businesses urge Government: Businesses have started to trigger their Brexit contingency plans even before knowing the details of the U.K.’s departure from the EU, or even the type of transition period which may be agreed upon.

Morgan Stanley weathers bond market slump: A painful overhaul of Morgan Stanley’s bond business has borne fruit after the Wall Street giant weathered a downturn in fixed income markets and surpassed fierce rival Goldman Sachs’ trading revenues.

The Guardian

Deutsche Bank expects subpoenas over Trump-Russia investigation: Executives inside Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump’s personal bankers, are expecting that the bank will soon be receiving subpoenas or other requests for information from Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

British Airways cabin crew extend strike into August holiday peak: Striking British Airways cabin crew have announced a further two weeks of action for the first half of August in their battle over pay and sanctions at the airline.

U.S. court overturns Libor convictions of ex-Rabobank traders: An appeals court has overturned the convictions of two former Rabobank traders in the first U.S. criminal appeal related to investigations into the manipulation of the Libor interest rate.

HS2 cost concerns as NAO uncovers £2.7 million in redundancy payouts: Fears that high-speed rail project HS2’s £55.7 billion budget could spiral higher have been underlined by an audit showing unauthorised redundancy payments to staff, far above the government cap on payouts.

Christie’s reports soaring sales of £10 million-plus art: Demand among wealthy art lovers for high-value lots, including work by Constantin Brancusi and Max Beckmann, and record spending from Asian buyers boosted Christie’s auction house in the first half of the year.

Drax looking at ‘coal-free future’ as it reveals £83 million pre-tax loss: The operator of the U.K.’s largest power station has seen its share price slide after it posted a pre-tax loss of £83 million in the first half of the year despite increasing earnings by 73%.

Mercedes recalls 3 million diesel cars over emissions concerns: Almost every new Mercedes-Benz diesel car bought in the U.K. during the past six years is being recalled to improve their emissions performance.

Daily Mail

Just Eat plunges as panic selling hits airlines and food delivery firms caught by ‘rip-off’ card fees ban: Airlines and food delivery firms took a beating after being singled out by the Government as the worst offenders for imposing ‘rip-off’ card charges on customers.

Volkswagen deliveres 5.2 million vehicles in first half of the year: Car maker Volkswagen delivered 5.2million vehicles in the first half of the year, up 0.8% from the year before. The firm said strong demand in Russia, the Czech Republic and Poland helped offset a 2.3% fall in its home market Germany.

Horlicks sell off heralds new era for Glaxo: British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced plans to sell its Horlicks drinks business in the U.K. and cut 320 jobs.

Sir Philip Green poaches Burberry sales guru Paul Price to run Topshop: In his second major appointment this week, Green has lured Burberry’s Chief merchandising officer Paul Price to become Chief Executive of the High Street fashion chain, in a bid to turn around falling sales and profits.

BT hires Boss of water regulator Ofwat hired to fight criticism in wake of Italian fraud scandal: Cathryn Ross, the Chief Executive of water regulator Ofwat, is understood to be taking charge of the telecom company’s regulatory affairs division – a key role which will oversee the way the firm behaves.

Daily Express

State pension age rise brought forward seven years: Millions of Britons face a longer wait to retire, as the state pension age will rises sooner than previously outlined, under plans unveiled by the Government.

Britain set for devastating recession if Brexit talks fail: Britain is at risk of crashing into a recession as a result of failed Brexit talks, credit rating agency Moody’s has warned in a scare-mongering report.

Now fears for Ireland’s economy as shock figures show nation on brink: Ireland’s economy is loaded with more debt and MUCH smaller than previously thought, shock figures reveal.

Dairy Crest’s margins saved by cheese amid rising price of cream: Strong sales of cheese helped prevent Dairy Crest’s fortunes souring after soaring cream prices ate into profits in its butter business.

IP Group bumps up takeover offer of Touchstone Innovations to £490 million: Science commercialisation firm IP Group is closing in on a £490 million takeover of university spin-off Touchstone Innovations after it won key support.

Harry Potter helps boost sales for Bloomsbury amid new books to be published this year: Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury has another hit on its hands – a new digital music division. The group’s digital resources boosted revenues by 16% in the three months to May 31 and the recently launched Bloomsbury Popular Music – a reference library featuring artistes such as Bruce Springsteen – proved popular with music students in academic trials.

The Scottish Herald

Retail optimism drops as Brexit impact hits: Optimism among Scottish retailers and wholesalers has plunged in the latest quarter amid inflationary pressures fuelled by the Brexit vote, a survey reveals.

Ctrip deal brought £18 million tax boon to tech firm Skyscanner: Scottish travel search business Skyscanner received a tax credit of nearly £18 million in the last financial year thanks largely to its takeover by Chinese company Ctrip in December.

Another harbinger of hazardous times ahead: Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s survey is the latest of a raft of harbingers of hazardous times ahead for businesses, as Brexit looms large.

Burness Paull adds City weight with Freshfields hire: Burness Paull has continued its strategy of hiring solicitors from City law firms, turning to magic circle stalwart Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for the addition of a litigation partner.

Eastern credits larger display areas as car dealer drives profits up: Car dealer Eastern Holdings has lifted profits by nearly 7% to £9.6 million as larger display areas helped drive higher sales at its flagship Luxury Car Village in Edinburgh.

Transport group in offer to cap fares on route: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said there is reasonable grounds to believe a proposal by FirstGroup to cap unregulated train fares between London and Exeter may be remedy its concerns.

The Scotsman

Scotland ranked best place to start a business: Scotland has been ranked as the best place in the U.K. to start a business, thanks to five key factors.

BrewDog co-Founder toasts Edinburgh start-up conference: The Co-Founder of craft beer maker BrewDog has been revealed as a headline speaker at a start-up event that returns to Edinburgh in November.

London Stock Exchange Group embracing bitcoin technology: The centuries-old London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) is embracing burgeoning bitcoin technology in the hope of scrapping outdated paper trading certificates for small and medium-sized businesses.

Catering firm Entier secures £6.5 million funding boost from BGF: Entier, Scotland’s largest privately-owned catering business, is looking to grab a bigger slice of international markets after agreeing a seven-figure funding deal.

£750,000 project shines light on screen production sector: A pilot project has been launched that aims to provide business support to screen production companies working in Scotland.

EnerMech lands contract for work on polar research ship: Aberdeen-based engineering services specialist EnerMech has been awarded a contract on the £150 million polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Angel entrepreneurs pledge to help new firms: Scotland’s vibrant angel investor scene is “the envy of the world” thanks to its unrivalled infrastructure and Government backing, not to mention the country’s wealth of business nous and experience.

City A.M.

British American Tobacco gets shareholder backing for $49 billion Reynolds takeover to create world’s biggest listed tobacco company: British American Tobacco (BAT) got the go-ahead from shareholders for its $49 billion (£37.6 billion) takeover of Reynolds, and said it now expects the deal to be completed by next Tuesday.

Damian Collins pledges to keep “a very close eye” on the initial SFO bribery probe: Ministers are ready to haul Formula One’s owners and regulator in front of an influential select committee after the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) finishes an initial bribery probe into the sport.

Companies’ cash piles reach nearly €1 billion as cash relative to revenues hits seven-year high: Companies based in Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA) have been stacking up the pennies, as cash piles hit €974 billion (£861.43 billion) for non-financial businesses at the end of 2016.

Hedgies circle Sports Direct: Short sellers scramble to bet on troubles: Hedge funds are betting on bad news as Sports Direct announces it preliminary full-year figures.

Holland & Barrett’s profit trimmed as it bats off growing competition from the national supermarkets: Holland & Barrett’s profit was trimmed last year as it faced off growing competition from the national supermarkets.

Oil and gas sector poised for renewed M&A activity as barriers to North Sea decommissioning are removed: The oil and gas sector is poised for growth and renewed merger and acquisition (M&A) activity as the complexities around decommissioning are removed, a new report suggests.

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:36:00 +0100
In the Papers - Citigroup, Marks & Spencer, Netflix, Fitbug Newspaper Summary

The Times

Slashed investment pays dividends: Europe’s corporate giants are returning their spare cash to investors while loading up on cheap debt, taking dividend payouts to their highest level in ten years, according to a study.

Regulator hits pause button with Brussels: Secondments of staff at the financial regulator to the European Commission are in “hiatus” as the Brexit talks get under way, with British officials who have ended their postings in Brussels not being replaced until a final withdrawal deal is agreed.

Bailing out lenders is extra cash in the bank: The man in charge of Britain’s stakes in bailed-out banks earned almost £230,000 last year, 27% more than his predecessor, as he dismantles the nine-year-old state rescue.

Smoke signal warns of increased taxes: Indian tobacco companies were left fuming after the government’s finance ministry raised taxes on cigarettes as part of an effort to improve public health.

Takeover bid for Touchstone gets Imperial seal of approval: Imperial College London has ended months of silence to back a controversial takeover bid for Touchstone Innovations, the Aim-quoted technology transfer company spun out of its laboratories more than three decades ago.

Lloyds moves into deer farmers’ territory: Lloyds Banking Group has launched a finance division for deer farmers and the venison industry.

Challenger bank uses voice of experience to attack rivals: The owner of one of Britain’s challenger banks has attacked rivals who believe that they can grab a share of the retail market simply by “hiring a few individuals” as it reported a rebound in profits in the first half of the year.

Harley no longer high on the hog: The American motorcycle maker said that it planned to ship 241,000 to 246,000 fewer bikes to dealers worldwide this year, down 6% to 8% from a year ago. The planned reduction came amid a 7% drop in global sales in the second quarter. Sales in America, the company’s biggest market, fell by 9% to 49,668.

Experian earns credit for expanding across Atlantic: Experian has reported a 6% rise in first-quarter revenues after the world’s biggest credit scoring company said that growth in its North American and Latin American businesses had more than offset a drop in its core British and Irish operations.

The Independent

Daimler to recall 3 million diesel cars across Europe: German carmaker Daimler has said that it is voluntarily recalling 3 million diesel cars across Europe in a bid to cut harmful emissions.

Small businesses feel £2 billion late payment pinch: The practice of late payments is slamming small and medium-sized businesses across the U.K. with a hefty bill of more than £2 billion ever year, new research reveals.

Major solar power project to provide electricity at night: A major solar power project in the Middle East will provide electricity during the night, the developers have said.

Citigroup chooses Frankfurt for new EU trading hub after Brexit: Citigroup has chosen Frankfurt as its newest trading hub in the European Union and plans to present that option to its board of Directors this week for approval, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

Ministers demand transparency over promises to Toyota: The Government should disclose what post-Brexit reassurances it offered Japanese carmaker Toyota ahead of a £240 million ($313 million) investment in its English car plant, two parliamentary committee heads said on Monday.

U.K. scraps rules that let rail firms class delayed trains as ‘on time’: No longer will a train that arrives 10 minutes late be classed as “on time”. Britain’s rail firms have agreed to the revolutionary step of counting every delayed train as “late”.

Marks & Spencer set to slash air inside food packaging to cut down plastic usage and transport costs: Marks and Spencer has reduced the amount of plastic it uses to package branded snacks, such as popcorn and crisps, by taking away air.

The Daily Telegraph

Theresa May builds business bridge with new council to hear their views on Brexit: Theresa May is attempting to build bridges with industry and give it a voice on Brexit by staging a high-powered summit with company Bosses and business leaders.

Jobs surge helps poorest households as inequality falls: Inequality has fallen since the financial crisis as record low unemployment means more people are in work and so fewer are going without a private income.

Hinkley Point’s cost to consumers surges to £50 billion: Households could end up paying £50 billion to support the new Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset, according to government figures, more than eight times the 2013 estimate.

BP considers IPO of U.S. pipeline assets: BP is considering spinning off certain U.S. pipeline assets in the U.S. Gulf and Midwest in an initial public offering, the company said in a statement late on Tuesday.

BT’s strategy Chief heads for the exit: BT’s Chief strategy officer, Sean Williams, is leaving the company amid a wider restructuring of the telecoms giant.

Rising price of cream squeezes Dairy Crest’s margins: A substantial increase in the price of cream has forced butter and cheese giant Dairy Crest to cut back on its promotional deals in an attempt to relieve mounting pressure on margins.

U.K.’s ‘readiness for change’ rating boosts Brexit hopes: Britain has been ranked 10th in global index of the nations most ready for political and economic change, easing concerns the U.K. will struggle to deal with financial uncertainty caused by Brexit, according to a major international study.

The Questor Column:

With educational publisher Pearson, it’s a textbook case of ‘if in doubt, do nothing’: The market does not seem to know what to make of educational publishing specialist Pearson’s move to sell part of its stake in Penguin Random House for $1 billion (£767 million). Applying the old maxim of “if in doubt, do nothing” means that we will keep avoiding the shares, with the interim results scheduled for Aug 4 offering the next chance to reassess. After the deal announcement, the shares initially rallied and then sagged amid concerns that the FTSE 100 was shoring up its balance cost of selling off another asset - this time a 22% stake Random House, even if raised $1 billion and kept a 25% group. Confusion also reigns over Pearson’s dividend policy, an area where August’s interims may provide greater clarity. A prospective yield of 4.1% (using a 26p dividend) was providing some support to the stock, whereas an 18p payout equates to 2.8%, a much less appetising prospect when the company’s growth outlook remains open to question. Pearson still needs to prove its string of profit warnings are down to short-term factors, rather than more structural problems. One such potential issue is the rise of Open Education Resources, whereby universities make best-of-breed lecturing and educational materials freely available for students to use. Questor says ‘Avoid’.

Update: Micro Focus: Just as they were starting to build up a good head of steam, shares in Micro Focus have pulled right back, leaving them marginally below where we first looked at them last October. Last week’s full-year results drew criticism for the 1% drop in sales shown by the legacy software specialist, as well as management forecasts for a flattish top line in the financial year just begun. Analysts also remain concerned by spotty results from the $8.8 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which becomes part of the group on Sept 1. However, management has an excellent record in digesting deals and making them work, with the result that Micro Focus has churned out cash and increased its annual dividend payments for a decade. A repeat performance with Hewlett Packard Enterprise could mean the shares are still good value at 16 times forward earnings with a yield of just over 3%. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Incomes in south-east of England ‘are 25% higher than in West Midlands’: The TUC has demanded action from the government to close Britain’s regional inequality divide after a report showed that incomes in the Midlands, Wales and the north of England are no higher than they were in the south-east two decades ago.

‘City will have to launch Brexit plans if there is no transitional deal’: Major City firms will start implementing their Brexit contingency plans at the end of the year unless there is an agreement about the U.K.’s transition terms for exit from the EU, according to the City regulator.

Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter hit by £80 million of struggling loans: The peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter has been hit by £80 million of struggling loans in the first major setback for the nascent online lending sector.

Ecuador risks Opec split by increasing oil output: Ecuador has become the first country to publicly admit it will not meet Opec’s production curbs, saying it needs to pump more oil to address its fiscal deficit.

Amazon moves into meal-kit market: Amazon has released its first “meal kits”, just days after revealing its intentions in the area by filing a trademark for the phrase: “We do the prep. You be the chef.”

‘Rip-off’ charges for paying by card to be banned: All extra charges added to payments for goods and services made by card are to be outlawed, ending a “rip-off” that costs Britons hundreds of millions of pounds a year, the government has announced.

Daily Mail

Now Chief of City watchdog warns over Britain’s borrowing binge: Record low interest rates have hammered savers and sent debt levels soaring, the head of the City watchdog warned.

Vue cinemas woos ex ITV Boss Adam Crozier ahead of either a mega-sale or a stock market flotation: Former ITV Boss Adam Crozier could be about to switch from the small screen to the big screen amid claims he could become Chairman of Vue International.

Brexit boost as one of Sweden’s biggest banks outlines plans for U.K. expansion: One of Sweden’s biggest banks has outlined plans to expand in the U.K. in a major vote of confidence in Brexit Britain.

Insider trading probe into Deutsche Borse Boss ‘to be dropped providing firm accepts £9.3 million fines’: Prosecutors in Germany look set to drop insider-trading charges against Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter.

Fox Boss James Murdoch, appointed to the board of the electric car maker Tesla: Rupert Murdoch’s son has been appointed to the board of Tesla after the firm drew criticism from investors over the lack of independent Directors on its senior team.

Fitbug suspends trading after failing to meet a loan: The fitness firm, which has struggled against rival Fitbit, said it had been forced to cease trading after its lender Belastock Capital decided not to proceed with three further instalments of loan notes after its share price fell below 0.1p for five consecutive days.

Netflix ploughs £4 billion into new TV shows as shares in the streaming service hit an all-time high: Shares in Netflix hit an all-time high after the video streaming service reported another thumping increase in viewers and pledged to spend £4.6billion on new TV shows.

Daily Express

German carmakers at risk of export meltdown: Germany’s biggest carmakers are at risk of an export-related meltdown that could trigger a huge stock sell-off in the Eurozone’s largest economy, an expert has warned.

The surprise area in Britain seeing bumper house price rises of 7.5%: House prices have shrugged off gloomy Brexit forecasts, as some parts of Britain outside of the South East reap large growth, official data revealed.

Bargain Booze and Wine Rack owner toasts jump in pre-tax profit: Bargain Booze and Wine Rack Owner Conviviality hailed a “transformational year” as it toasted a 147% jump in pre-tax profit to £22.5 million following an acquisition spree.

The pound hits 10-month high before falling as inflation misses expectations: The pound jumped to a 10-month high against the dollar on Tuesday, before falling back after inflation came in below expectations.

Construction group begins rebuilding after winning more contracts: Creaking construction group Carillion began rebuilding after its consortium won a share of £6.6billion in contracts to build the high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham.

Jack Wills returns to the black after reducing promotions and selling more at full price: Reducing promotions and selling more clothes at full price helped Jack Wills return to the black last year.

The Scottish Herald

Trump immigration policy hits FirstGroup: The Chief Executive of FirstGroup has said its Greyhound bus division is suffering because people in the south-western U.S. states are “afraid to travel” as a result of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

Retail misery as nervous consumers fret over economy and finances: The value of Scottish retail sales in June was down by 0.5% on the same month of last year, the latest industry figures show, with squeezed household incomes cited as a key factor.

Patient Firstgroup investors must keep playing the waiting game: It has been a long wait for Firstgroup shareholders to get their hands on dividend cash – four years to be precise. Meanwhile investors in its rival transport group Stagecoach, are seeing a 5% dividend yield.

George Leslie boosted by Brodick ferry job: George Leslie, the civil engineer which is close to completing work on the new ferry terminal at Brodick on the Isle of Arran, has lifted profits by more than 40%.

B Iomart, the cloud computing specialist, has pulled out of the running for German company PlusServer GmbH.

Cities urged to drive up investment: Scottish cities have been urged to ramp up efforts to attract more private sector investment, after a report found that London drew ten times more commercial property investment last year.

The Scotsman

Aberdeen university leads global project to battle cyber-attacks: A major international project to prevent organisations and businesses being hacked by cyber-attacks is being spearheaded by the University of Aberdeen.

BBC stars allowed to defend their salaries on social media: BBC star presenters who earn more than £150,000 a year will be allowed by the corporation to defend their salaries on social media if they so wish.

Call centre firm Ago rings up 470 jobs for East Kilbride: A call centre operator has unveiled plans to create 470 jobs in East Kilbride.

Royal Mail receives boost from general election mailings: Royal Mail said it narrowed the decline in letter deliveries thanks to a boost from general election political mailings, but confirmed revenues remained under pressure.

Bruce Springsteen and Harry Potter work magic for Bloomsbury: The unlikely combination of Harry Potter and Bruce Springsteen helped pump up revenues at publisher Bloomsbury in the first quarter as sales at the group’s digital division picked up pace.

Software group Ideagen reveals surge in annual profits: Ideagen, the software developer with a sizeable presence in East Kilbride, reported its eighth consecutive year of rising sales and profits.

Cheaper fuel helps drive inflation rate down to 2.6%: Inflation dropped back last month as the falling price of fuel and computer games eased the pressure on household spending power.

Employers upbeat as job vacancies and salaries increase: Businesses in Scotland remained confident in the second quarter, with a widespread increase in job vacancies and advertised salaries, although there was less optimism among candidates, new data has revealed.

City A.M.

McCormick cuts the mustard in deal with Reckitt Benckiser to pick up its food business: U.S. spice maker McCormick & Company has agreed to buy Reckitt Benckiser’s food business for more than $4 billion (£3 billion), the Financial Times has reported.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox tells Karen Bradley not to delay competition inquiry into its takeover of Sky: Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has encouraged culture secretary Karen Bradley not to bow to “political pressure” and drag her heels on the full competition inquiry into its bid for Sky.

Richard Desmond opens books of Express Newspapers as bidder David Montgomery lines up investor backing: Richard Desmond has opened the books of his newspaper and magazine business as it progresses towards a sale, City A.M. understands.

Porsche is weighing up whether to ditch diesel after Volvo becomes first traditional car firm to go all-electric: Porsche has become the latest car giant to contemplate fuelling diesel’s decline, with Boss Oliver Blume saying the company could discontinue diesel.

Modular nuclear reactors a step closer as Laing O’Rourke joins the British consortium developing the baby power plants: Engineering firm Laing O’Rourke has joined the British consortium spearheading the development of small nuclear power plants which could provide a much-needed boost to the U.K.’s energy supplies.

White Stuff’s Chief Executive Jeremy Seigal to stand down by end of the year: White Stuff’s Chief Executive Jeremy Seigal is leaving the business after four years at the helm.

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 08:29:00 +0100
In the Papers - Uber, Primark, Toyota, Netflix Newspaper Summary

The Times

City traders deny rigging foreign exchange prices: Three former City of London currency traders have pleaded not guilty to charges in the United States that they conspired to rig prices in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

Cambridge ‘fastest-growing city economy for next decade’: Cambridge’s technology sector has helped it to overtake Milton Keynes as Britain’s fastest-growing city economy.

‘Come clean’ on Toyota promises: A row has broken out over Toyota’s decision in March to commit £240 million to upgrading its plant at Burnaston, Derbyshire, after politicians called for the publication of a letter apparently containing reassurances made to the carmaker by the business department.

From cars to crops, number crunchers warn who has most to lose from Brexit: Brexit will hurt the car and financial services industries and locations as diverse as London and the Isles of Scilly, in particular, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Sonia ‘will step in and replace Libor’: Libor is on its way out as the interest rate used to value trillions of dollars of financial products and eventually will be replaced by a benchmark based on actual transactions, according to the Governor of the Bank of England.

Model train bid runs out of steam: The largest shareholder in Hornby has avoided having to carry out a full takeover of the model train maker.

Lonmin beats third-quarter forecasts despite low platinum prices: Lonmin surprised the market with stronger third-quarter results than expected.

The Independent

Abu Dhabi to help build 1,000 apartments in east London: State-owned Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Co (ADNEC) has formed a venture with U.K. developer Mount Anvil Group to build apartment towers next to the ExCel London conference venue, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

Poundland delays ‘copycat’ Twin Peaks chocolate bar amid fury from Toblerone: Poundland has been forced to delay the launch of what appears to be a copycat chocolate bar, provoking the ire of Toblerone.

Climate change targets to be missed, warns Schroders: Schroders, the U.K.’s biggest publicly listed asset manager, has issued a striking warning on the effects of climate change and cautioned that the world is on track to widely miss targets set out by the Paris Agreement.

U.K. ‘faces future of food insecurity and rising prices’ after Brexit: Brexit could cause “chaos” for the U.K.’s food supplies as prices increase, safety standards are lowered, and availability weakens, leading academics have warned.

Uber suspends ride sharing in Macau for the second time: Uber will suspend its services in Macau from 22 July as it has not been able to unlock the full benefits of ride sharing in the gambling hub, in another blow to the firm that is fighting legal scrutiny in many Asian markets.

Primark recalls men’s flip flops over cancer-causing chemical fears: Low-cost fashion chain Primark is urgently recalling thousands of pairs of men’s flip flops, concerned that they contain a chemical that could cause cancer.

Cyber attacks could cause economic loss on par with natural disasters: A major, global cyber attack could trigger an average of £41 billion of economic losses, a figure on par with a catastrophic natural disaster such as U.S. superstorm Sandy in 2012, Lloyd’s of London said in a report on Monday.

Europol says 66 arrested in horsemeat scandal investigation: Europol said on Sunday 66 people had been arrested for trading horsemeat unfit for human consumption and it had seized bank accounts, properties and luxury cars following an investigation into a food scandal that shocked European consumers.

The Daily Telegraph

Shock rise in China’s shadow banking enrages Xi Jinping: China’s central bank has revealed shocking figures on the scale of shadow banking operations in the country, admitting that off-balance sheet business is more than double previous estimates.

Tesla adds James Murdoch to board after investors ramp up pressure: James Murdoch, the Chief Executive of 21st Century Fox and son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has joined the board of Tesla, after months of pressure from investors about the lack of independent Directors on the electric car company’s board.

Netflix subscriber surge pushes stock to all-time high: Netflix’s subscriber numbers grew by 5.2 million in the three months ended June 30, almost 63% ahead of its expectations, causing shares to jump nearly 11% in after-hours trading and hit an all-time high.

U.K. tech company Virtualstock heads for global expansion amid online sales boom: A British tech start-up, which helps leading U.K. retailers to better manage their digital marketplaces, said it expects to enter the U.S. market in the coming months and double in size by the middle of next year, as the shift to online shopping continues to ramp up.

Co-op Bank turns to former Shawbrook finance Director in bid to reverse fortunes: The Co-operative Bank has hired an extra pair of hands to help speed up its turnaround, appointing a former Shawbrook Chief weeks after announcing plans for a £700 million rescue deal.

KKR lays out succession plans with co-President appointments: The U.S. private equity giant behind Trainline and Toys ‘R’ Us has named two potential successors to its co-Founders, more than 40 years after the business was established.

Glencore mulls spin-off company to snap up mining royalties: Glencore is considering creating a standalone company to acquire lucractive mining royalties around the world.

Profits more than double at Bargain Booze owner Conviviality after trio of acquisitions: Profits at Bargain Booze owner Conviviality more than doubled last year as the drinks specialist restructured its business following a series of acquisitions.

U.K. growth forecasts trimmed as PwC warns shoppers are feeling the pinch: Rising prices and weak wage growth are already hitting the economy as British households are forced to cut back spending, analysts at PwC have warned.

The Guardian

Karren Brady to chair firm that owns Philip Green’s Arcadia group: Karren Brady, the West Ham United Chief Executive and regular on The Apprentice, is to take over as chair of Sir Philip Green’s retail empire as Anthony Grabiner steps down.

Barclays bank and former Bosses to stand trial in January 2019: John Varley, the former Boss of Barclays, will stand trial alongside three former colleagues and the bank itself in January 2019, Southwark crown court was told on Monday.

U.K. inflation figures will shine light on impact of pound’s Brexit slide: Fresh evidence of the impact of the post-Brexit depreciation in the value of the pound will be revealed on Tuesday with the release of the latest set of official inflation figures.

Provident Personal Credit fined for sending 1 million spam texts: A West Yorkshire credit company has been fined £80,000 by a government watchdog after bombarding consumers with nearly 1 million nuisance texts in six months.

U.K. students should not try to pay off loans early, research suggests: Students should not try to pay off their loans early despite the controversial interest rate rise to 6.1% in September, according to research by money expert Martin Lewis.

Daily Mail

House price rises will be limited as costs bite, warns Rightmove: House price rises over the next few years will be muted as ‘buyers will struggle to pay much more’, property website Rightmove warned.

British oil firm Weir Group sees value surge to £335 million on back of U.S. fracking boom: Investors in Weir Group have a boom in U.S. fracking activity to thank for a surge in the engineer’s shares.

Now the City woos Kazakh dictator’s billions after bending the rules to court the Saudis: Britain is rolling out the red carpet in a bid to woo businesses from Kazakhstan to the U.K. stock market. Just days after City regulators moved to rip up stock market rules to allow Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco to list its shares in London, trade and investment Minister Greg Hands is spearheading a charm offensive at a conference in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Top fund manager BlackRock celebrates 9% profit rise tipping assets to £4.35 trillion: The world’s biggest fund manager BlackRock has reported a 9% rise in profit as its assets hit £4.35 trillion. Net income rose to £656 million in the second quarter on revenue of nearly £2.3 billion.

Boris Becker ‘lost his £100 million fortune investing in Nigerian oil firms that plunged in value’: Wimbledon legend Boris Becker lost a huge part of his £100million fortune in dubious investments in Nigerian oil firms, it has been claimed.

Daily Express

U.K. housing market shrugs off concerns as property prices creep up: The U.K. housing market appears to have shrugged off any concerns of an economic slowdown post-Brexit, with property prices seeing a strong year-on-year price rise.

GBP/USD near 10-month high as Brexit talks resume: On a quiet day for U.K. economic news, the pound is trading at a rate of $1.307 against the U.S. dollar, down slightly from its recent ten-month high of $1.311.

Pensioner left shocked after price of monthly phone contract nearly doubled: A landline telephone contract turned sour when the monthly charge that customer Sheila Smith was expecting almost doubled after she signed up.

Digital currency latest as markets warn of bubble burst: Bitcoin prices have been in free fall over the weekend after traders warned that the cryptocurrency bubble could be about to burst. Here is the latest news and price updates on Bitcoin markets.

Brussels adds trade to agenda before Brexit divorce bill is decided: European Union Brexit negotiators look set to break their own rules by adding trade to the agenda as talks resume in Brussels.

The Scottish Herald

Scotland forecast to close the gap with U.K. as a whole: Scotland’s underperformance of the U.K. as a whole in terms of economic growth will likely narrow this year, as the negative effects of weak oil prices ease, PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts.

RJ McLeod engineers huge boost in profits: Civil engineering group RJ McLeod has seen pre-tax profits increase by 45% to £18 million.

Centrica merges oil and gas assets with Norwegian group: Centrica has limited its exposure to the oil and gas industry by merging its exploration and production business with Oslo-based Bayerngas Norge.

Carillion shares given lift with £1.4 billion HS2 contract: Troubled support services group Carillion saw shares recover by 20%, after its joint venture partnership was awarded £1.4 billion worth of contracts to build the HS2 high-speed rail line.

Fender Boss to speak in Glasgow: The Scot who runs Fender, the guitar brand made famous by Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards, will share his experience running the company at a business event in Glasgow.

Superglass cuts losses by £5 million: Superglass, the Stirling-based insulation manufacturer, has cut losses by nearly £5 million as it hailed its prospects under its new Russian owner.

The Scotsman

Aberdeen harbour given £350 million boost: Public cash towards the £350 million cost of harbour expansion plans in Aberdeen will help open up “significant opportunities”, Nicola Sturgeon said.

City regulator to probe £500 billion online investment sector: Fresh from calling for a radical shake-up of the U.K.’s £7 trillion asset management industry, the financial regulator has now set its sights on the growing online investment market.

HS2 will benefit Scotland and its businesses, says Chris Grayling: Scotland will benefit from a new high-speed rail line which will create business opportunities, jobs and skills, according to U.K. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

Pickering’s Gin limited edition marks 70 years of the Fringe: Gin distiller Pickering’s has launched an exclusive bottling to mark the 70th anniversary of both its original recipe and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Data outfit Staffmetrix seeks to narrow gender pay gap: An Edinburgh-based data -analytics specialist has pushed the button on a service designed to help organisations report their gender pay gap.

Defusing the legal minefield in financial technology: Melanie Martin, an associate in the EU competition and regulatory practice with Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, examines fintech’s impact on competition legislation.

City A.M.

Discount rate cut blamed for motor insurance costs rocketing at fastest rate on record: The government has been blamed for motor insurance premiums rising at their fastest ever levels.

Investor confidence plummets in July after “limp government” emerges from General Election: Investor confidence has taken a dive this month after a “limp government” emerged from June’s General Election, according to two separate studies.

BNY Mellon has a new CEO: Bank of New York Mellon has hired former Visa Boss Charles Scharf as its new Chief Executive, replacing Gerald Hassell as he retires later this year.

BT’s Openreach checks £1.5 billion Carillion deal: Openreach, the infrastructure arm of BT, has launched a “forensic investigation” into its landmark £1.5 billion contract with crisis-hit Carillion after the construction firm had over half its value wiped out in under a week.

Govia gets West Midlands franchise extension after DfT misses deadline for contract award: Govia has been given an eight-week extension to run the West Midlands franchise, after the government missed its own deadline for awarding the contract.

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:48:00 +0100
In the Papers - Airbnb, Sports Direct, Jack Wills Newspaper Summary

The Times

Sportswear brands give Pentland a boost: Pentland Group, which is controlled by the Rubin family, has revealed in its accounts that its pre-tax profit soared from £185.1 million to £282.8 million in the year to December 31. This was on revenue that was up 21% at £2.9 billion while its group operating profit rose by 50% to £331 million.

EY Item Club predicts a pro-business Brexit deal: The squeeze on consumer spending has required a downgrade on prospects for the U.K. economy from the EY Item Club, the forecasting group that uses the Treasury’s own model. However, it added, the result of the general election should mean a more business-friendly Brexit and a better than expected economic picture in two years’ time.

Brakes off for Morgan Motors’ electric future: Of all Britain’s great heritage motoring marques founded a century or more ago, you will not find many where the founding family remains involved.

New port helps Qatar to weather the blockade storm: The ships coming into Qatar’s new port are sparse in number and the port cannot be described as bustling, but the fact they are coming at all is what counts.

Banks are urged to keep branch network alive: Captain Mainwaring would surely have approved: the future of retail banking lies with human interaction between bank and customer rather than a faceless all-digital service, according to a study from Boston Consulting Group.

U.K. fishing fleet nets big profits in best performance for a decade: Britain’s fishing fleet achieved its best economic performance since 2008 last year as it bounced back from the fallout of the Russian trade ban in 2014, according to a new report.

Retailers set for £250 million boost from business rates switchover: Companies struggling with an increase in business rates have been handed a boost after the government promised to press ahead with a reform that could save organisations £1 billion.

Budweiser’s barley programme goes with the grain: The brewer’s U.K. operation produces more than 15 million bottles and cans of Budweiser a week at its two breweries in Magor, south Wales, and Samlesbury, Lancashire, which the company said required “tens of thousands of tonnes of high-quality malting barley”.

The Independent

Next Boss attacks Government’s muddled thinking on Brexit: Next Boss and prominent Leave campaigner Lord Simon Wolfson has criticised the Government for failing to present a clear vision on Brexit, warning that leaving the EU alone does not guarantee success.

Government welfare cuts blamed for 50% surge in mental health issues among unemployed: Rates of severe anxiety and depression among unemployed people have soared by more than 50% in the last four years as the impact of “harsh” austerity policies take their toll, The Independent can reveal.

The Daily Telegraph

Trade deal ‘essential’ to protect U.K. car industry: Britain must rush to agree a trade deal similar to the one being hammered out between the EU and Japan or face having the U.K.’s £72 billion-a-year car industry taken apart, a trade lawyer has warned.

Westerman in the frame to be next Chief Executive at HSBC: A former Goldman Sachs financier who has shaken up HSBC’s investment bank has emerged as a contender to become the next Boss of Europe’s biggest lender.

Airbus’s Boss in U.K. departs as aerospace giant shakes up British management: Airbus has shaken up its British leadership with Boss Paul Kahn leaving the aerospace giant and Katherine Bennett promoted to take on the most senior role in the U.K.

The Guardian

U.K. business confidence at lowest point for six years, say forecasters: The U.K. needs to prepare itself for weaker economic performance, two major forecasting groups have said, in the latest studies predicting the downsides of the Brexit vote.

U.K. housing market shrugs off concerns of Brexit slowdown: The U.K. housing market is shrugging off concerns in the wider economy following the Brexit vote, compounding problems for many first-time buyers still wrestling with the strongest year-on-year price rises in the market.

Low-paid should receive inflation-only rises, say business leaders: Low-paid workers in the private sector should see their wages restricted to inflation-only rises, according to business leaders, who have said that without the real-terms freeze, they could be forced to make job cuts.

Jane Austen to star in Bank of England literary links exhibition: Jane Austen is not just the heroine of the new £10 note, to be unveiled on Tuesday on the 200th anniversary of her death, but also the star of an exhibition on the literary connections of the Bank of England.

Poundland delays launch of Twin Peaks chocolate bar amid legal row: Poundland has been forced to delay the launch of a Toblerone copycat after getting stuck in a legal wrangle with the triangular chocolate bar’s owners.

Trump’s tax proposal would push U.S. below Greece on inequality index: Donald Trump’s tax reform plans would, if enacted, increase the gap between rich and poor Americans and see the U.S. slip below Greece on a new global index of inequality.

Lloyd’s says cyber-attack could cost $120 billion, same as Hurricane Katrina: Lloyd’s of London has warned that a serious cyber-attack could cost the global economy more than $120 billion (£92 billion) – as much as catastrophic natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Daily Mail

Jack Wills Founder hauls fashion chain back into profit with ten more store openings in the pipeline: Preppy fashion retailer JackWills is back in the black after surviving an expensive outsourcing fiasco.

Unilever and Spam’s U.S. owner enter £2.2 billion bidding battle for French’s mustard maker: Unilever is believed to be battling with the U.S. owner of Spam to take over Reckitt Benckiser’s £2.2 billion food division.

Equine and livestock insurer launches brand with more than 20 lines of cover - and adverts star Mr. Benn: An equine and livestock insurer is launching The Insurance Emporium, a brand with more than 20 lines of cover from pet and motor to hobbies and events such as fishing, weddings and golf.

Sports nutrition brand Tribe working on hydration product inspired by exhaustion athletes experienced in 35 degree heat: Sports nutrition brand Tribe, whose Founders will complete a 2,000km duathlon from Sarajevo to London to raise £250,000 to fight human trafficking, is to work on a hydration product inspired by exhaustion the athletes experienced as a result of 35 degree heat in France.

London-based mobile banking start-up Curve bags £8 million of investment after signing up 50k users: Curve, a mobile banking start-up that combines all cards into one MasterCard, has raised $10 million (£8 million) from Santander, Investec and venture capitalists.

Daily Express

Investors to enjoy ‘knockout year’ as dividends hit record high of £33.3 billion: Investors are set to enjoy a “knockout year” after dividends hit an all-time record of £33.3 billion in the second quarter, thanks to a lift from the Brexit-hit pound.

Pension planning: Avoid these costly mistakes with your savings: More than a million Britons have seized on pension freedom reforms to take control of their savings pots, but many are making expensive mistakes as a result.

The credit bubble only seems to blow larger and larger, says Harvey Jones: I seem to have spent the last decade warning about rampant consumer borrowing but the credit bubble only seems to blow larger and larger.

The Scottish Herald

Lord Haughey takes City into Europe: High-profile Scottish businessman Lord Willie Haughey has set out his ambition to expand his facilities management empire across Europe, declaring that Brexit will not block his growth plans on the continent.

Sports Direct set to reveal profits slump after Mike Ashley’s eventful year: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct is expected to reveal a slump in profits next week after an eventful year for the scandal-hit retailer and following the tycoon’s high-profile court battle.

One third of EY Scottish partners now female: Accountancy giant EY has appointed two equity partners in Scotland through the internal promotion of Cara Heaney and Mike Timmins.

The Scotsman

SNP accused of funding ‘con’ over GP money pledge: The Scottish Conservatives have accused the SNP of a funding “con” over money pledged to GPs.

Colin Baker leads tributes to Jodie Whittaker as new Doctor Who: Since 1963 there have been 36 seasons of Doctor Who, a movie, specials and 12 Doctors, but when the show returns television history will be made after Jodie Whittaker was announced as the first female Doctor.

City A.M.

Parts of the Central and Jubilee Lines expected to be busier than usual during rush hour this week including at Bank and Waterloo: Tube Lines into and across the City are expected to be much busier than usual morning and Tuesday, Transport for London (TfL) has warned. Some rail services and bus routes are also set to be affected.

Business rates reform confirmed for 2020 after fears it could be scrapped: The treasury has confirmed that a budget proposal to reform business rates will go ahead as planned.

Airbnb more than doubled its share of overnight London visitors last year: Bookings made through Airbnb to stay in London rose by 130% last year to 4.62 million, more than doubling its share of the market.

Cobra profits increase in year of lower revenue as Lord Bilimoria reaps the benefits: Cobra Beer Co-Founder Lord Bilimoria downed a cool £5.8 million take-home after the company recorded a year of increased profits despite sinking revenues.

Online-only Independent’s revenues jump 75% in year newspaper titles were closed: Online news website the Independent increased its revenue by nearly 75% in the year its sister newspaper titles closed.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 08:36:00 +0100
In the Papers - TfL, EE, Burberry, Southern Rail Newspaper Summary

The Times

Weak pound helps bring record tally of tourists: The weak pound and record numbers of Chinese tourists helped drive strong growth in overseas visits to Britain in the first three months of this year.

Digital tax payments put on hold for small businesses: The government has bowed to pressure from small business owners, politicians and campaigners and delayed contentious plans to force millions of small businesses to update the taxman four times a year instead of once.

Expanding budget airline Norwegian flies into trouble: The rapid expansion of Norwegian, the airline that is promising to bring a revolution of budget fares on transatlantic routes, is hitting the carrier hard as its latest half-year results revealed a sharp dive into the red.

Dirty cloud of emissions scandal deepens over Mercedes maker Daimler: Daimler was dragged deeper into the diesel emissions scandal after a document showed it may have sold more than a million manipulated vehicles in Europe and the U.S.

Linklaters suspends lawyer linked to ‘insider trading’: One of the City of London’s biggest law firms has suspended a U.S.-based lawyer after her husband was accused of insider trading based on information gleaned from her work on multibillion-dollar mergers.

Steady as she goes at defence specialist Babcock: Babcock said that a steady stream of new contracts had given the engineer a strong start to the year, suggesting that it was avoiding the pressure on public sector contracts that has brought warnings at its rivals Mitie and Carillion.

Telford Homes sees the profit in build-to-rent: The London-focused housebuilder Telford Homes said its focus on the burgeoning build-to-rent sector and the “chronic” need for new homes in the capital will help it deliver more than £40 million in profits next year and £50 million in 2019.

Opec deal flouted as rebels pump more oil: Some of the biggest oil producers have opened up the taps in the past month, undermining the push to cut supply, according to the latest assessment from the International Energy Agency.

Dunrobin castle distillery a towering ambition: A Highlands distillery company is looking to raise £5.5 million to help fund a new distillery and visitor centre in the grounds of 700-year-old Dunrobin castle.

The Independent

RBS share sale ‘was value for money for taxpayers despite £1.9 billion loss’: Taxpayers received “value for money” from the sale of Government-owned RBS shares in 2015, despite making a loss of close to £2 billion, according to an official watchdog.

National Grid accused of failing to live up to Paris climate accord: Campaigners have accused the National Grid of failing to live up to the Paris Agreement on climate change after it published a report about how energy supplies might develop in the future.

BoE should wind down its balance sheet early, says Ian McCafferty: A Bank of England policymaker has said that the central bank should “think about” selling down its £435 billion stock of assets, despite previous indications that any reduction in its balance sheet will not occur until interest rates have first been raised several times.

Tesco recalls chicken salad over fears it might cause food poisoning: Tesco has recalled two of its ready-made chicken salads, warning that they could contain bacteria that causes fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

U.K. housing market at its weakest since immediately after Brexit result: The housing market weakened again in June due to a step-up in political uncertainty, according to the latest survey of U.K. chartered surveyors.

U.K. service sector weakens further shops report slowing growth: The U.K. services sector, a key driver of U.K. economic growth, weakened further over the last quarter, according to a respected survey.

Morrisons commits to selling only British fresh meat: Retailer Morrisons has become the first of the U.K.’s major supermarkets to commit to making sure that all the fresh meat that it sells is British.

Hard Brexit could be ‘catastrophic’ for the City of London and cost 70,000 jobs, say experts: Leaving the European Single Market with no trade deal would be “catastrophic” for London and could result in the loss of 70,000 City jobs, a new report has warned.

The Daily Telegraph

Macron scolds Germany for profiting from Europe’s distress: French President Emmanuel Macron has issued a brutally-candid indictment of German economic policies, rebuking the country for benefiting from the woes of other euro countries and warning that the eurozone cannot survive on such foundations.

Southern Rail owner fined £13.4 million over delays: The operator of Southern Rail has been fined more than £13 million by the Department for Transport after 18 months of repeated disruption due to industrial action.

NAO nearly doubles size of loss on Government’s RBS stake sale: The Government’s only sale of Royal Bank of Scotland shares left the taxpayer nursing a bigger-than-expected £1.9 billion loss, according to calculations by the National Audit Office that cast even more doubt on the state’s ability to profit from its rescue of the lender.

Jaguar Land Rover changes up a gear with E-Pace launch: Jaguar Land Rover’s drive to take on larger rivals has moved up a gear with the official launch of its latest car, the E-Pace.

Spanish business leaders suggest U.K. could be global trade hub post-Brexit: The U.K. has the opportunity to become an independent global trading hub after Brexit, according to Spanish business leaders visiting London as part of the first state visit by Spain’s king in 30 years.

N Brown shares fall after £40 million hit on insurance products: Shares in N Brown fell by as much as 9% after the online fashion retailer said that it was facing a new £40 million hit after finding issues with a credit insurance product it sold to customers.

Vanguard Chief Bill McNabb to step down: The Chief Executive of Vanguard, Bill McNabb, said he will step down at the end of the year, adding now was “the right time for a new leader” as the American fund giant ramped up its global expansion.

The Questor Column:

This German property company offers growth and income - in euros:  we highlight a quirkier, and perhaps riskier, London-listed trust that focuses on a highly specialist market: residential property in Germany - Phoenix Spree Deutschland. The asset class is attractive. As in Britain, some German cities are experiencing rapid population growth and there is a chronic shortage of housing. But German housing is far cheaper than in Britain, France and elsewhere, both in real terms and on other measures including price relative to incomes. This is true even after significant German house price inflation in recent years. Ownership is becoming more fashionable. The company owns 130 properties, which comprise 2,800 residential apartments and 240 commercial premises. Three quarters of the assets are in Berlin. Prices are rising and so are rents. In most cases, Phoenix Spree’s managers buy apartment blocks, refurbish them and re-let them at far higher rents. The company has been going since 2007 but listed in London only in 2015. German property has been popular of late and demand for exposure is strong. The latest net asset value per share for Phoenix Spree Deutschland is €2.73 (243p) as of 2016 year-end. The share price of 290p translates into €3.27, suggesting shares are trading at a premium to net asset value of around 18%. That sounds very far from bargain territory. However, the underlying value of Phoenix Spree’s portfolio is growing staggeringly fast: it registered growth of 49.5% during 2016, its first full year listed on the main London market. Previous years’ growth was 16% (2015) and 5% (2014). If growth in 2017 has continued at its breakneck 2016 rate, ‘s share price - which looks rich on the €2.73 valuation - would in fact represent a discount. It is not a mainstream holding. But it could offer a handy way to diversify asset exposure and income. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

U.K. public finances face twin threat from Brexit and downturn, says OBR: Britain’s public finances are in worse shape to withstand a recession than they were on the eve of the 2007 financial crash a decade ago and face the twin threat of a fresh downturn and Brexit, the Treasury’s independent forecaster has warned.

Rupert Murdoch will not offer new Sky deal to culture secretary: Rupert Murdoch will not look to strike a deal with the culture secretary, Karen Bradley, to make Sky News more independent and fast-track his £11.7 billion takeover of Sky.

Philip Morris waging global effort to hobble anti-smoking treaty, files show: Philip Morris, the multinational company best known for Marlboro cigarettes, has developed a corporate strategy to undermine a global treaty and fight tobacco regulation around the world, leaked documents reveal.

Electric cars to account for all new vehicle sales in Europe by 2035: All new cars sold in Europe will be electric within less than two decades, driven by government support, falling battery costs and economies of scale, a Dutch bank has predicted.

Uber stages retreat in Russia as it merges with rival Yandex: Uber is scaling back in Russia by spinning off its operations in the country to form a new company majority-owned by local rival Yandex.

Rise in credit card default rate adds to concerns over household finances: The number of people defaulting on their credit card bills and personal loans jumped in the three months to the end of June, according the Bank of England, underlining the pressure on household budgets as prices rise faster than wages.

Daily Mail

AstraZeneca sinks as rumours fly that Boss Pascal Soriot is set to quit for an Israeli rival: Rumours that AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot is about to jump ship and head to an Israeli rival led investors to fear the drug maker could become open to another takeover bid.

WPP Boss Sir Martin Sorrell goes on buying spree as he seeks to scoop up Europe’s top advert firms: Britain’s biggest advertising agency is buying companies in western Europe amid fears it will lose influence after Brexit.

The Axe man cometh for Panmure Gordon staff following Bob Diamond takeover: Staff at brokers Panmure Gordon, now controlled by Bob Diamond’s African-focused vehicle Atlas Merchant Capital, nervously await the arrival of new Chief Executive Ian Axe on Monday.

Brazilian flip-flop giant Havaianas sold for £850 million as its scandal-hit owners seek to pay off a £2.5 billion fine: Flip-flop firm Havaianas has been sold for £850million as its scandal-hit billionaire owners seek to pay off a £2.5 billion fine.

Burberry fat cats suffer shareholder revolt over multi-million-pound share awards: Burberry has suffered a shareholder revolt after nearly a third of investors voted against its pay policy at its annual general meeting.

Spanish train maker CAF to open new £30 million factory in South Wales creating 300 jobs: A leading Spanish train maker is opening a factory in Wales, creating 300 jobs. CAF is ploughing £30million into the plant at the Celtic Business Park in Newport, a former steelworks that is not far from the steel hub of Port Talbot.

Daily Express

Half of workers would consider working past state pension age: More than half of people planning to retire this year would consider, or already are, working past their state pension age, research has found.

Wimbledon and Strawberries - Sainsbury’s fruit and sparkling wine sales peak this week: Strawberries and Wimbledon - the love affair is stronger than ever as both peak this week. And now another player - sparkling wine - is on the scene too, according to Sainsbury’s.

Britain steps up battle to win biggest ever stock market listing of Saudi Arabia oil giant: Britain is set to tweak stock market rules in a move that’s hoped to sway Saudi Arabia into choosing London as the destination for the biggest ever company listing.

Germany and France join forces to swipe euro-clearing from U.K.: German and French lobbyists have joined forces in a fresh assault on London’s post-Brexit rights to process hundreds of billions of investment trades.

Amec Foster Wheeler and Wood Group shares slide amid corruption probe: Shares in FTSE 250 oil services rivals Amec Foster Wheeler and Wood Group slid by over 5% and 3% respectively as a corruption probe cast a shadow over their proposed merger.

JCB shrugs off shrinking construction equipment markets to lift annual profits: JCB shrugged off shrinking construction equipment markets to lift annual profits by more than a third.

The Scottish Herald

French energy giant EDF invests in 11 Scottish wind projects: The U.K. renewables arm of French energy giant EDF has ramped up its commitment to developing wind farms in Scotland.

Shetland field woes persist for Premier: Premier Oil has revealed it is still facing big challenges on a flagship oil field development West of Shetland although it is making good progress elsewhere in the North Sea.

North Ayrshire tees up closer trade links with U.S.A: North Ayrshire Council leaders aim to forge closer business links with the key U.S. market at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open which started at Dundonald Links.

Scotch whisky firm Inver House gets new Boss as Stevenson exits: Inver House Distillers has revealed that long-standing managing Director Graham Stevenson will leave the company in September after being named this week as part of the consortium which acquired the Glenallachie Distillery in Speyside.

Asos announces revenue increase driven by international sales: Online fashion retailer Asos has posted a jump in third quarter revenue, helped by a surge in international sales and investment in lower prices.

Aberdeen recovery observed in office deals: Office take up in Aberdeen in the first half of 2017 surged past the total take-up in 2016, in another sign of recovery.

The Scotsman

Hebridean Sea Salt goes into liquidation after table salt scandal: An artisan sea salt company which was found by food inspectors to contain “80 % imported table salt”, has gone into liquidation.

Big plans in store for Glasgow’s St Enoch centre: Glasgow’s St Enoch shopping centre is to gain a Vue cinema complex as part of a new multi-million development.

Lerwick harbour development a boost for Scotland’s fishing fleet: A multi-million-pound expansion of Lerwick Harbour was officially opened this week as part of a long-term strategy to attract investment to Shetland and consolidate its role as a hub for the fishing and energy industries.

Scottish distillery sold by Pernod Ricard: Chivas Brothers owner Pernod Ricard last night announced the sale of the Glenallachie Distillery to a consortium that involves whisky industry veteran Billy Walker.

City A.M.

Treasury Select Committee chair Nicky Morgan seeks a Brexit prioritising jobs over immigration: Nicky Morgan, newly-elected chair of the Treasury Select Committee, will be prioritising jobs as she scrutinises the government’s stance on Brexit in her new role.

Bone Daddies profits up 20 % on back of burgeoning London food scene: Hip London ramen chain Bone Daddies increased its profits and turnover last year, as the brand continues to grow its portfolio.

TfL to ramp up frequency of Elizabeth Line services and boost number of trains: More services will be run on the Elizabeth Line than originally planned, Transport for London (TfL) announced.

Gordon Bennett! No, Gordon Dadds: London is about to get its second listed law firm: Gordon Dadds is set to become London’s second listed law firm. Work Group has announced an £18.8 million reverse takeover deal to buy Gordon Dadds Group.

EE is creating 400 new jobs and giving customers Apple Music for free to celebrate: Britain’s largest mobile operator has unveiled plans to create 400 new retail jobs as part of a 100-store tie-up with Sainsbury’s and Argos.

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 08:45:00 +0100
In the Papers - Ryanair, Amazon, Samsung, Premier Oil Newspaper Summary

The Times

Bank of England may bring early end to QE, says rate-setter: The Bank of England should consider unwinding its £435 billion quantitative easing programme earlier than planned, one of its eight policymakers has suggested.

City watchdog’s fears over £11.8 billion rush to empty pension pots: Mistrust of the pensions industry is so intense that people are losing out in the rush to empty their pension pots, the Chief City regulator has warned.

Yellen takes doveish approach on rate rise: Concerns about falling inflation will not stop the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates and trimming its balance sheet, the chairwoman of the central bank said.

French €1 billion Google tax demand fails in court: Google escaped a bill for €1.115 billion of back taxes in France when a court in Paris accepted the argument that its profits from France were generated by its European headquarters in the Republic of Ireland.

House prices show sustained slowdown: Britain is undergoing a “sustained slowdown” in house prices after peaking in March 2016, Halifax said, after its latest release of figures showed prices in the second quarter of this year rose at the slowest pace since the start of 2013.

Crackdown on debtors who splash the cash: The Insolvency Service is clamping down on people who blow their money on luxuries such as new cars and holidays instead of paying debts in an attempt to avert a future credit crisis, figures seen by The Times show.

‘Uncertainty’ is name of the game for house sales, says RICS: Estate agents and surveyors are more pessimistic about Britain’s housing market than at any time since the immediate aftermath of the European Union referendum.

GCHQ seeks startups to help in fight against hackers: GCHQ, the government’s eavesdropping agency, is stepping up its search for cybersecurity startups capable of protecting public and private interests from hacking, ransomware attacks and other digital infrastructure breaches.

Barratt profits to leap 12% to £765 million: Britain’s biggest housebuilder expects to make more than £760 million in profits this year after delivering its highest number of homes since 2008.

Reform to pave way for Saudi Aramco: The Financial Conduct Authority is expected to rule on a proposed reform to stock market rules that could help pave the way for Saudi Aramco, potentially the biggest company in the world, to list in London.

Forget the aberration of $100 crude, says BP Boss: BP is planning its operations on the basis that oil prices will remain about $50 a barrel for the next five years, its Chief Executive has said.

The Independent

Shadow Chancellor: Labour would outlaw ‘wet-leased’ planes in strikes: The Shadow Chancellor has vowed to outlaw airlines bringing in planes and crews from other carriers during strikes.

Qatar crisis: First batch of dairy cows airlifted to sidestep blockade: The first batch of an anticipated 4,000 dairy cows was flown into Qatar Tuesday, five weeks after the start of a Saudi Arabia-led boycott of the Gulf country.

U.K. wage growth data disappoints again: Wage growth disappointed again in May according to the latest official data, spelling another fall in real terms pay for British workers ahead of Brexit.

FCA concerned about what people are doing with their pension savings: The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority has flagged concerns about the way in which people are using their pensions since the introduction of landmark rules around retirement savings in 2015.

Southern puts 15-year-old in charge of its Twitter, hilarity ensues: Southern Rail apparently put a 15-year-old on work experience in charge of its Twitter account on Tuesday, and he instantly endeared himself to the network’s long-suffering passengers.

Google Earth to include user photos and stories in coming years: Alphabet wants users to post millions of stories, video and photos on its Google Earth platform in the next few years, the program Chief said on Tuesday at a launch event in Brazil for content focused on showcasing the Amazon rainforest.

Ryanair threatens to cancel flights between U.K. and EU after Brexit: Fourteen months from now, Ryanair planes could start shifting from U.K. airports to the Continent ahead of Brexit: that is the warning from the Boss of Europe’s biggest budget airline.

Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’ on track to be its best ever for sales: Amazon said on Tuesday its Prime Day sale, which finished at midnight on the 11 July, was on track to be the biggest shopping event in its history by sales.

Samsung snubs London because it’s no fun ‘unless you are really rich’: An arm of the technology giant Samsung has decided not to set up its European headquarters in London because the city is “not a fun place to live unless you are really rich”.

Femfresh advert banned for objectifying women: An ad for female shaving products has been banned for objectifying women and the likelihood that it would cause serious or widespread offence.

McDonald’s to launch cheese and bacon fries in U.S.: The ‘Loaded Bacon & Cheese Basket of Fries’ will do what it says on the tin, giving the chain’s famous French fries a gluttonous makeover by drenching them in cheese sauce and bacon.

Households should receive £285 rebate from energy firms who raked in £7.5 billion ‘unjustified’ profit, says Citizens Advice: Energy network companies are raking in billions in “unjustified” profits that should be given back to customers, the Citizens Advice Bureau has said.

The Daily Telegraph

Nicky Morgan to chair of influential Treasury Select Committee after winning MP vote: Nicky Morgan has won an influential role heading the parliamentary committee which scrutinises the U.K.’s financial services sector, including the Bank of England.

Premier Oil shares rocket after ‘world class’ oil discovery: Shares in Premier Oil rocketed by more than 30% as it announced a “world class” oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico that could produce up to 2 billion barrels.

Crowdcube hits £250 million investment milestone: Members of the public have invested more than £250 million via Crowdcube, the crowdfunding website has announced.

Barclays moves a step closer to ring-fence by unveiling investment bank board: Barclays moved closer to completing a drastic overhaul demanded by regulators after unveiling the board for its investment banking business that will be hived-off from its retail division.

Micro Focus shares slump as HP deal approaches: Micro Focus’s Executive Chairman has dismissed a sharp drop in the technology company’s shares as investors nervously approached its huge takeover of Hewlett Packard’s software division.

Oil and gas explorer Ophir to axe 15% of staff: London-listed oil and gas explorer Ophir Energy will slash 15% of its global workforce to cut costs in the face of tough trading conditions for the oil sector.

Brexit already hitting numbers of skilled European restaurant staff, claims Franco Manca owner: Brexit has already started to curb the availability of skilled European restaurant workers, the owners of the Franco Manca pizza chain have said.

The Questor Column:

Passengers’ flight from ‘quality’ carriers should help easyJet’s shares take off: As Summer getaways begin in earnest – with millions benefiting from competitively priced air travel – now seems a good time to look at easyJet. The low-cost airline and holiday company saw its share price plunge in the wake of the Brexit vote last year, losing a third in a day to hit £10.20 per share. But it has been steadily climbing since and has reached around £14. This is still below preBrexit levels of more than £15 a share. This represents an opportunity, says Tristan Chapple, of Phoenix Asset Management. He has recently taken a small position in easyJet, at around 3% of the trust, but Mr. Chapple said he likes to “creep into” new positions. His reasoning is that easyJet is unfairly presented as a rival to low-cost provider Ryanair, when, instead, it is likely to gain market share from more “quality” carriers, such as British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa. For easyJet, Mr. Chapple’s complex analysis seeks to work out how much overlap there is between Ryanair’s and easyJet’s routes and potential customer base, in an attempt to work out just how much they are in competition. He puts it down to the fact that Ryanair is domiciled in Ireland, while easyJet is U.K.-based and perceived as a U.K. airline. In fact, he says, easyJet has more customers that fly with the airline and never touch U.K. soil than U.K. customers. He also does not foresee a problem with the airline getting a European operating licence and moving domicile, if needed, post Brexit. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Chancellor needs to find an extra £33 billion a year to end austerity, says IFS: Philip Hammond would need to spend an extra £33 billion a year to “end austerity” according to a leading tax and spending watchdog.

U.K. pay squeeze intensifies as real wages continue to fall: U.K. consumers are suffering a sustained fall in living standards as real pay fell again in the three months to May, piling more pressure on cash-strapped households.

Key Bank of England policymaker ‘not ready’ for interest rate rise: The Bank of England should resist increasing interest rates while the direction of the economy remains unclear, according to one of the central bank’s senior policymakers, an announcement that reduces the chances of a rate hike this year.

Irish business seeks €1 billion in EU aid to protect firms hit by Brexit: Irish business leaders have called for a €1 billion state aid programme to guard against Brexit disruption, in the event that the U.K. quits the customs union.

Renewable power critic is chosen to head energy price review: An academic who is a vocal critic of the price of renewable power is the government’s preferred choice to head a review of the financial cost of energy in the U.K.

Channel 4 Chief David Abraham receives record pay package: Channel 4’s outgoing Chief Executive was paid a record £1 million in his final full year in charge of the broadcaster, which is promising to stem its audience decline with a new-look The Great British Bake Off.

Argos and Asda apologise over ‘exploding’ glass tables: Argos and Asda have apologised to customers after similar models of glass-topped patio tables “exploded” in the heat, but rejected calls for a national product recall.

Daily Mail

Turnover at U.K. digger maker rises nearly 12% to £2.6 billion: British digger maker JCB has posted a 34% rise in profits after it sold an extra 6,167 machines last year. The family-owned company, whose Chairman Lord Anthony Bamford was a prominent supporter of Brexit, earned profits of £287 million in 2016.

BT fights off shareholders’ calls to fire Boss Gavin Patterson over the £530 million accounting scandal: Embattled BT fought off calls for Boss Gavin Patterson to quit over the £530million accounting scandal which shareholders have branded ‘the Italian Job’.

De Beers to redevelop its historic City headquarters: De Beers is to redevelop its historic headquarters in the City, after owners Anglo American cancelled plans to sell the fortress-like property. Ex-Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer will be most relieved.

Tech banking start-up Revolut scores £51 million funding in boost for London’s fintech: A British based tech start-up dubbed a ‘global banking alternative’ has raised £51million, in a boost for London’s fintech.

Former Compass exec Andrew Martin joins recruiters Hayes: Recruiter Hays has added a former Executive from catering firm Compass to its board. Andrew Martin has been appointed as a non-Executive Director and member of Hays’ remuneration committee.

Sandwich restaurant Subway wins contract to sponsor London NFL American football: Sandwich restaurant Subway has won a contract to sponsor the London NFL American football games. The firm will be lead sponsor of the matches to be played in October, and will work with the NFL to roll out its schools initiative.

Daily Express

Bank to pay £4.2 billion fine over U.S. mortgage scandal – with more to come: A massive £4.2 billion fine is the toll for taxpayer-owned RBS’s dabbling in the U.S. mortgage scandal 10 years ago – and there’s more to come.

Lloyds and Halifax customers set for these huge changes to overdraft fees: Millions of Lloyds Bank and Halifax customers are to see overdraft charges overhauled in November, in an effort to make fees easier to understand.

How Merkel’s Germany profits from Greek debt misery with £1 billion pocketed so far: Germany has profited from Greece’s debt misery to the tune of £1.19 billion (€1.34 billion), shock figures have revealed.

Pound plunges to 8-month low before recovery as interest rate rise ruled out by BoE deputy: The pound hit its lowest level against the euro in eight months after the Bank of England’s deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said he is not ready to raise interest rates.

Unemployment rate falls to 42-year low as economy defies doom-mongers: Britain’s jobless rate has fallen to the lowest levels since 1975, as the economy continues to defy predictions of doom amid the U.K.’s split from the European Union (EU).

‘Kick in the teeth’ Three Mobile slams Ofcom over mobile spectrum cap: Communications watchdogs have imposed curbs on the release of airways to meet growing demand for mobile broadband.

The Scottish Herald

Walker makes comeback with deal to acquire Speyside’s Glenallachie Distillery: Scotch whisky veteran Billy Walker has launched his industry comeback – 15 months after netting nearly £100 million for his family in the sale of the BenRiach Distillery Company.

Rise in female entrepreneurship taps potential to boost economy: Being an entrepreneur is not solely the preserve of the male of the species. That’s self-evident. And Scotland has many examples of women who have excelled in business.

Discount finally begins to narrow on Aberdeen Private Equity Fund: The Chairman of Aberdeen Asset Management’s private equity investment trust has predicted the discounts at which such vehicles trade is likely to improve as investors become more comfortable with the asset class.

Local shop prices could rise in Tesco merger deal: The competition watchdog has said Tesco’s acquisition of Booker could lead the supermarket giant to reduce the competitiveness of independent convenience stores in order to push customers into its supermarkets.

Gillies to be next Chairman of whisky giant Edrington: High-profile Scottish businessman Crawford Gillies has been named as the next Chairman of whisky giant Edrington, writes Scott Wright.

Wood notes Amec Foster Wheeler probe: Shares in Amec Foster Wheeler have fallen five% after the engineering giant, which is being taken over by Wood Group, said the Serious Fraud Office had launched a probe into its business.

Troubled Carillion sees shares tumble for a third day: Construction and infrastructure giant Carillion saw a third day of tumbling shares amid worries over its future.

The Scotsman

Water treatment start-up uFraction8 wins Murgitroyd innovator award: A Falkirk-based water treatment start-up has emerged as the winner of the inaugural £7,500 Murgitroyd Innovator LauncHPad competition.

Deloitte targets growth with new Scottish Directors: Accounting giant Deloitte is targeting further hires after appointing five Directors in the Central Belt, representing continued investment in Scotland.

PR outfit Beattie targets Canada with new joint venture: Communications consultancy Beattie said it was creating a “springboard” for global growth by forming a new company alongside Canada’s Tartan Group.

JD Wetherspoon chair tells Remainers to ‘put a sock in it’: Pub giant JD Wetherspoon’s Brexit-backing Chairman has launched a fresh attack on the EU remain camp, urging them to “put a sock in it”, after cheering a solid rise in spring sales.

Finance Bosses turning more pessimistic over Brexit: Financial leaders have become more negative over Brexit, according to a U.K.-wide survey by chartered accountancy body Icas.

City A.M.

Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley buys Game stake after profit warning: Retail tycoon Mike Ashley this week snapped up a 25% stake in Game Digital, after its share price crashed last month.

Investors kick out at PwC at BT’s AGM for failure to detect Italy fraud: Investors protested against BT’s auditors, PwC, at the firm’s annual general meeting, following the scandal in BT’s Italian business.

HMRC’s customs system may not be ready in time for Brexit: A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that the U.K.’s new customs system may not be ready in time for Brexit.

Equiniti Group buys up Wells Fargo’s share registration business for $227 million: Britain’s Equiniti Group has said it is buying up Wells Fargo’s share registration business for $227 million (£176 million) as it sets its sights on the U.S. market.

BMW revs up first-year sales and ramps up its electric charge after resolving pensions dispute with striking workers: BMW Group, which owns the Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW brands, announced its best June sales figures to date. And that comes shortly after it finally resolved a pensions dispute with striking workers in the U.K.

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 08:29:00 +0100
In the Papers - Taylor Woodrow, HSBC, Gocompare, Marks & Spencer Newspaper Summary

The Times

Software hold-up leaves businesses waiting in vain for rates relief: Hundreds of millions of pounds of relief promised to companies hit by rises in business rates is not reaching them because councils are waiting for months at a time for software to be updated.

Paris will pull out stops to woo jobs: The HSBC has said that France’s plans to loosen its employment rules make relocating there more attractive.

First Group facing competition inquiry: About half a million rail passengers could face higher fares after a decision to award one of Britain’s biggest franchises to First Group, the competition watchdog has claimed.

Snap judgment as shares fall: The investment bank that led Snap’s stock market debut has taken the unusual step of cutting its price forecast for the company’s shares to less than the amount at which they were offered to investors before the float.

Law firm sets sights on float with £20 million takeover deal: One of London’s fastest-growing law firms is set to list on the Alternative Investment Market after announcing a £20 million reverse takeover.

Trump picks hawk for Wall Street post: President Trump has selected a financial regulation hawk to serve as the top Wall Street supervisor at the Federal Reserve.

Number of wealthy renting expensive properties in London is rising, says Knight Frank: The number of wealthy people choosing to rent some of the most expensive properties in London is rising because of uncertainty about buying a house in the present economic and political environment, Knight Frank said.

Scottishpower picks Glasgow as global headquarters for offshore wind: Glasgow is to be Scottish Power’s headquarters for offshore wind. The energy company’s new building in St Vincent Street, the largest single-use office to be built in the Scottish city for 25 years, will house specialists working on U.K. projects, as well as in the United States, Germany and France.

The Independent

Societe Generale planning to move up to 400 banking jobs from London to Paris: French bank Societe Generale could move 400 banking jobs from London to Paris as a result of Brexit, Chief Executive Frederic Oudea has said.

Unions slam gig economy report for ‘spectacular failure’ to deliver on promises: Trade unions have slammed a review into the gig economy and changing working practices across the U.K. Unite, the country’s largest union said Tueasday’s report “spectacularly failed to deliver” on its promise to tackle the problem of insecure work, while the GMB described it as a “disappointing missed opportunity”.

Chinese sharing startup quickly loses 300,000 umbrellas: A Chinese umbrella sharing startup has taken a hit after most of its 300,000 umbrellas went missing within months of launching.

Using Uber taxis is ‘not morally acceptable’, says Labour shadow business secretary: Using Uber is not morally acceptable, a senior Labour shadow cabinet figure has said as Prime Minister Theresa May makes a keynote address on workers’ rights.

U.K. workers are 27% less productive than German counterparts, say British business leaders: The U.K.’s productivity is so poor that the average German worker could go home early on Thursday afternoon and still have produced as much as the average Brit who toiled all the way through Friday.

Amazon gains approval to stock and sell groceries in India: Online retail giant Amazon has secured approval to stock and sell food and groceries in India, potentially expanding its business in the fast-growing economy where it is in a pitched battle with home-grown rival Flipkart.

Burberry and Carlsberg join companies committed to 100% renewable energy by 2022: AXA and Burberry are joining an array of companies committing to going green.

Facebook’s Oculus cuts price of virtual reality gear to match Sony: Oculus, the virtual reality company owned by Facebook, is temporarily cutting the price of its hardware, as the industry tries to figure out why the technology for immersive games and stories has not taken off among consumers.

The Daily Telegraph

Protect EU trade and financial services to safeguard economy, Bank of England official warns: The Government must protect the City in Brexit negotiations and keep EU trade links open if it is to safeguard growth and maintain U.K. living standards, a top Bank of England official has signalled.

The end of cash? Cards now account for more than half of retail purchases, BRC finds: The prospect of a cashless society moved a step closer after cards were used for more than half of retail purchases in the U.K. for the first-time last year and debit cards finally surpassed physical money to become the most popular payment method.

Twitter names former Goldman Sachs exec as new Chief financial officer: Twitter has hired a former Goldman Sachs Executive as its new Chief financial officer, citing his “track record of driving profitable growth”.

Britain’s 5G mobile broadband plans under threat as Three signals High Court action over auction rules: One of the world’s richest men urged the Prime Minister to intervene to tilt a forthcoming auction of mobile airwaves in favour of his operator, Three, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

Sunseeking drinkers give a sales bump to Young’s: June’s hot weather has helped south-east focused pub group Young’s, with its garden and river-based pubs proving popular with sunseeking drinkers.

British business leaders throw weight behind plan to raise living standards: Business leaders across Britain have joined forces with the Bank of England and the Government to relaunch an initiative designed to raise living standards and give the U.K. economy a £130 billion boost.

The Questor Column:

Developer Gleeson homes in on some robust profit growth for the future: A very solid trading update and a new target for housing completions suggest the investment case is very much intact at MJ Gleeson. Last week’s statement from Chief Executive Jolyon Harrison revealed that Gleeson had sold 1,013 homes in the year to June, reaching a target set some years ago. Backed by activity on 59 sites and a land bank of some 11,588 plots, Harrison and his team are targeting annual sales of 2,000 homes within five years. If met as efficiently and punctually as the prior target this would underpin forecasts for robust profit growth in the future, especially as its Strategic Land operation continues to prepare land for residential building and then sell on the assets. The land bank here covers more than 21,500 plots. Based on consensus analysts’ forecasts, the stock trades at nearly 15 times earnings for the year just ended, and 13.5 times for the year just begun. This is more expensive than its house-building peers, although the land development arm makes direct comparisons more difficult. A rating of 2.3 times historic book, or net asset value, is also no bargain, but those assets are still rising in value. In addition, the near-3% yield is more than twice covered by earnings and the balance sheet is net cash, while earnings momentum looks strong and the prospect of further forecast upgrades should support both profit and dividend growth forecasts. Questor says ‘Hold’.

Update: Biffa: Biffa fits the bill on all counts and we remain vigilant but the stock is making gains, following on from our initial look at the FTSE Small Cap index constituent in February, helped by good full-year results in June and now an acquisition. The North-East based O’Brien adds to Biffa’s reach in waste collection, treatment and recycling. The initial consideration of £35.2 million acquires around £34 million of revenues, which come with a mid-teens operating margin and potential for future cost savings. Analysts are already nudging their earnings forecasts higher and the adjusted estimates look to leave Biffa on a forward price/earnings of around 12 times for the year to March 2018, a nice discount to the broader U.K. market, with a 3% yield for good measure. Cash flow generation should reduce debt, and thus risk, and so long as management sticks to bolt-on deals the stock has the potential to advance further, owing to the relatively dependable nature of the demand for its services and the attractive valuation. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Energy networks’ £7.5 billion windfall ‘should be returned to consumers’: Energy networks have been accused of exploiting U.K. consumers to enjoy a £7.5 billion windfall of unjustified “sky high” profits, and urged to return the money in the form of a one-off £285 rebate to every household.

Chancellor urged to recover money lost from recruitment sector tax avoidance: The Chancellor is being asked to reassure parliament that he will recover any monies lost to aggressive tax avoidance in the recruitment sector, after a Guardian investigation exposed how millions of pounds could be lost to the exchequer.

Bar and restaurant chains scale back U.K. expansion as costs rise: Bars, pubs and restaurant chains are pulling back on expansion and may close outlets amid big rises in food and drink costs.

Store Twenty One goes into liquidation with loss of 900 jobs: Struggling fashion chain Store Twenty One is being liquidated with the loss of 900 retail jobs.

Political upheaval will lead to U.K. economy slowing down, says Moody’s: Britain’s economy will lose momentum this year amid squeezed living standards and uncertainty over Brexit and the inconclusive election result, leading ratings agencies have predicted.

Lloyds Bank brings in single overdraft rate in radical shake-up: Lloyds Bank is to radically change the way it charges for overdrafts on its 20 million accounts, including those at Halifax and Bank of Scotland, in a move it claims will leave most customers better off – although one in 10 could pay significantly more.

Pearson sells slice of Penguin for $1 billion: Pearson has sold a 22% stake in Penguin Random House, the world’s biggest publisher, with titles ranging from Fifty Shades of Grey, Jamie Oliver and The Girl on the Train. The deal values Penguin at $3.55 billion (£2.75 billion).

Daily Mail

Recruiter Page Group’s U.K. profit falls 4.5% as it warns about Brexit and unstable politics and hopes for a tech boom: Investors turned their backs on FTSE 250 recruitment firm Page Group after it warned that the battering of the U.K. hiring market by Brexit and unstable politics was set to continue. The firm saw U.K. profits drop 4.5% year-on-year in the second quarter to £36.6 million and 2.3% over the first half of 2017 to £73 million.

Jobs and pensions in peril at jewellery-encrusted phone maker Vertu after rescue plans fall through: Vertu, which makes jewellery-encrusted phones, has a deficit of around £128million and cannot pay staff or its bills.

Motorists set to benefit at the pumps as U.S. fracking boom sinks the cost of crude oil: Motorists look set to benefit from low fuel prices this summer as an American fracking boom sinks the cost of oil.

North Sea oil firm in corruption scandal: SFO to probe Amec Foster Wheeler: The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into possible bribery and corruption at Amec Foster Wheeler, it was revealed last night.

New Jaguar ‘baby’ E-Pace will be firm’s first car to be built exclusively outside of the U.K.: Jaguar will build a global model exclusively outside of the U.K. for the first time, the car maker will announce. The Jaguar ‘baby’ E-Pace will be unveiled. It is a mid-sized sports utility vehicle costing from £28,500 and will be manufactured at factories in China and Austria.

Daily Express

BoE fails to tackle interest rates but warns less EU trade will harm economy: The pound has plummeted following a speech by Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent after he failed to address the outlook for interest rates.

U.K. financial services thriving with profits built and more staff employed: The U.K. cemented its status as a financial services centre as banks and insurers built profits and took on staff in the three months to June.

Wimbledon seating provider announces stock market float plan to raise £60 million: Arena Events Group, which makes seating and equipment for sporting and outdoor leisure events, is up for a stock market float this month.

Matalan thanks store and range makeovers for jump in first-quarter profits: Matalan said its stores and ranges makeover helped beat a household budgets squeeze as it racked up a 37% jump in first-quarter profits.

Carillion shares dive as problem contracts and soaring debt prompt profit warning: Carillion lost more than a third of its value as it sounded a profits warning after taking an £845million hit on problem contracts while debt soared.

Marks & Spencer clothing sales helped by later Easter: Retail giant Marks & Spencer reported an improvement in its under-pressure clothing arm as the timing of Easter helped narrow sales falls.

The Scottish Herald

BrewDog down but not out in trademark battle with Elvis Presley’s estate: BrewDog, the £1 billion Aberdeenshire craft brewer, did not get to where it is by doing things the easy way.

Top Scots Tory calls for an end to calamitous Brexit as Scottish farmers face post-EU wipe-out: A senior Conservative has called for a rethink of his own party’s “calamitous” Brexit policy, warning a trade deal with Donald Trump’s America would wipe out Scottish farmers.

Scots accountants get gloomier about Brexit: Accountants in Scotland have become more gloomy about Brexit and increasingly keen for the United Kingdom to remain part of the European single market, a study has found.

Glasgow hits the heights as one million travel via airport in June: Glasgow Airport last month welcomed more than one million passengers through its gates in the month of June for the first time, as its Edinburgh counterpart enjoyed its second busiest month on record.

Amec expects £2.2 billion Wood deal to go through despite SFO probe: Amec Foster Wheeler last night insisted that its £2.2 billion merger with rival Wood Group is not expected to be affected by an investigation into its business by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), writes Scott Wright.

Cairn Energy makes fresh find off Senegal: Cairn Energy has found more oil off Senegal but an investment bank described the results of its latest well as disappointing.

Oil and gas giant in recruitment drive: Inverness-based oil and gas recruitment specialist Orion Group has won a multi-million-pound contract to find engineering staff for Italian energy giant Eni.

Software specialist Craneware on track for hike uplift in revenue: Craneware, the software billing specialist focused on the U.S. healthcare market, has signalled its expectation of delivering a big rise in revenue in its last financial year.

Distillers make fresh case for tax reduction: The Scotch whisky industry has warned that high levels of taxation are holding back one of the country’s most important sectors as it prepares for the challenges brought by Brexit.

Collagen losses increase but revenue growth is on track: Collagen Solutions, which makes medical grade biomaterials from a manufacturing base in Glasgow, has doubled its annual losses, in spite of a 26% lift in revenue.

The Scotsman

Thousands of jobs in store as Aldi expands U.K. chain: Aldi is to create nearly 4,000 more U.K. jobs in its largest ever recruitment drive as the German supermarket chain presses ahead with an aggressive expansion strategy.

Calls for notorious Prestonhill quarry pond to be filled in: Calls have been made to drain a notorious quarry pond in Fife after a school teacher died while scuba diving.

Clyde regeneration plan could create 12,400 jobs: Ambitious plans to regenerate the Clydeside area between Glasgow and Renfrew have taken a step forward with the submission of two separate planning applications.

£3 billion HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘vulnerable to low-cost missiles’: It is the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy and was greeted by cheering spectators when it set sail from Rosyth dockyard for the first-time last month.

City A.M.

Gocompare share price rises giving investors a reason to thank their lucky stars: Shares in Gocompare rose by almost 6% after the company reported a 22% growth in half-year profits.

HSBC Chief Executive warns fragmenting the euro clearing market would hit “the man on the street”: HSBC Boss Stuart Gulliver has warned the fragmentation of the euro clearing market could hit the “man on the street”.

London’s middle-sized firms are the most prepared in the U.K. for Brexit, new data shows: Two-thirds of mid-sized businesses say they’re prepared for Brexit - but feelings about the outlook are split along regional lines.

U.K. house prices were up across the board last month but sales have dropped: House prices are increasing across the country, but the number of sales being completed has dropped. British house prices rose by 2.5% in June, according to estate agent Haart. But they declined 0.6% on the same period last year.

Former BBC commercial headquarters snapped up by Standard Life: Standard Life Investments has acquired the BBC’s former commercial headquarters in a sale and leaseback deal with Kier Property.

TfL awards Taylor Woodrow a £17.8 million contract to rebuild White Hart Lane station: The redevelopment of White Hart Lane station draws closer after Transport for London (TfL) announced Taylor Woodrow has won a £17.8 million contract to design and rebuild the station.

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:43:00 +0100
In the Papers - NHS, Matalan, Ryanair, Morrisons Newspaper Summary

The Times

Atkins and the quiet £2 billion takeover by SNC-Lavalin: The £2.1 billion takeover of Atkins, the engineering consultancy and project manager whose triumphs have included the 2012 London Olympic Games site, was completed last Tuesday as the shares delisted.

Sports Direct Chairman’s ‘shock’ at £15 million bonus: Sports Direct’s Chairman has told a court that he was “shocked” when he first heard claims that Mike Ashley had offered to pay a former adviser £15 million to more than double the retailer’s share price.

Falling inflation in China eats into global growth: Prices charged at the factory gate in China last month remained well off their highs earlier this year, as oversupply in the steel sector and signs of economic weakness in the world’s biggest trading nation weighed on prices.

French nuclear reactors must close, EDF told: Nicolas Hulot, Minister for ecological change, said that EDF would have to close up to seventeen reactors over the next eight years under a government plan to reduce the country’s dependence on nuclear power.

Investors head for the exit at Abercrombie & Fitch: Investors had hoped for a buyout by American Eagle Outfitters or another retailer, but Arthur Martinez, Executive Chairman of Abercrombie & Fitch, which also owns the Hollister brand, said that the board had concluded that the “best path to enhance value for stockholders is the rigorous execution of our business plan”.

L&G unveils prefab home: Legal & General expects to deliver the first homes from its gigantic prefabricated housebuilding factory in the first half of next year, it said as it revealed a video of its first prototype.

Germany adds more fuel to export debate: Germany’s exports increased by 1.4% in May, a larger rise than expected that exposes the country to further international criticism of its growing trade surplus.

Copycat concerns sap Snapchat owner Snap: Shares in Snap, the owner of Snapchat, fell below their offer price for the first time amid concern that rivals have successfully copied popular features from its messaging app.

Reality bites for Oculus Rift: Facebook’s virtual reality headset was meant to usher in a new era of immersive video games, but the company is struggling to shift its much-hyped hardware.

Crackdown on false broadband advertising: The advertising watchdog is considering barring BT, Sky and Virgin from claiming to offer a “fibre broadband” service when only part of the cable is fibre.

The Independent

More than two million U.K. jobs linked to EU investment: More than two million U.K. employees work for companies that are reliant to some extent on foreign investment from the European Union, according to new statistics from the Office for National Statistics.

New independent ‘craft beer’ accreditation to be introduced: Britain’s craft beer industry has boomed in recent years as drinkers have increasingly yearned for a more authentic tipple.

VW Bosses told costs of emissions cheating scandal before investors: A Volkswagen manager told the then Chief Executive and other managers that the carmaker’s diesel emissions cheating could cost up to $18.5 billion (£14.35 billion), almost a month before investors were informed, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported.

French VC fundraising shows startup money is pouring into Paris: Two of France’s bigger venture capitalists, Partech Ventures and Idinvest Partners, are closing funds this month, adding to recent examples of investors pouring money into European startup investments.

Push for gender diversity on corporate boards stalls, new study shows: Campaigns, reviews and dozens of other initiatives to champion women on boards are failing to achieve notable progress among Britain’s biggest publicly listed companies, according to a new report.

Jawbone collapse a case of ‘death by overfunding’ in Silicon Valley: Consumer electronics company Jawbone had more than enough money to take on Fitbit and other health-tracking devices in the wearables market. That may have ended up being its biggest problem.

Ivanka Trump and World Bank to start fund for women entrepreneurs: The World Bank said it will start a fund to finance women entrepreneurs, an idea it developed in tandem with Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the U.S. President.

Drug industry to challenge health service decision over medicine price limits: The U.K. drug industry is taking legal action over new limits on the price of medicines which companies say will “deny treatments to patients suffering from rare diseases”.

The Daily Telegraph

Matthew Taylor defends zero-hours deals but paves way for employment tribunal shake-up: The architect of Theresa May’s employment review has compared Labour plans to ban zero-hours contracts to using a “sledgehammer to crack a nut” as he said abolishing them would deprive workers of valued flexibility.

Financial services still booming despite fading optimism: Britain’s huge financial services sector enjoyed robust profits and rising employment last quarter even though optimism about the future darkened with Brexit looming on the horizon, according to a new poll.

NHS hospitals could get DNA readers within five years as trials begin: NHS hospitals could get DNA readers to help diagnose infectious diseases within five years, as the first publicly funded trial of the technology starts next week.

Relief for BAE Systems as court dismisses legal claim to block arms exports to Saudi Arabia: Shares in defence giant BAE Systems have risen after the High Court threw out a case trying to block arms sales by British companies to Saudi Arabia.

Matalan inches out of retail gloom with lift in sales: Matalan, the discount fashion chain, has shrugged off the wider retail gloom by posting a small lift in sales, helped by its growing online business.

Retail sales boosted by warm weather and food inflation: British households carried on spending as last month’s heatwave encouraged consumers to splash out on barbecues and paddling pools, despite budgets being squeezed.

The Guardian

Recruitment advisers’ tax scheme liquidated after HMRC asks questions: An aggressive tax avoidance scheme, linked to one of the recruitment industry’s highest-profile names, is being liquidated in a move that could prevent HM Revenue and Customs from recouping millions of pounds.

Bank of England warns it will go after firms looking to mask risks: The Bank of England has issued a warning to major lenders not to repeat their antics of the years before the 2007 credit crisis when they deployed complex strategies to mask the financial risks they were running.

Major rail disruption looms in August as stations are closed: Rail passengers have been warned to prepare for unprecedented disruption on journeys into London this August, with thousands of trains cancelled or delayed as engineering works closes some of Britain’s biggest stations.

Drilling rig owned by U.K. fracking firm Cuadrilla ‘seriously vandalised’: A drilling rig owned by one of the U.K.’s most prominent fracking firms has been seriously vandalised, in a move seemingly intended to slow down the country’s embryonic shale industry.

G4S awarded £25 million government contract despite fraud inquiry: Critics have raised questions over a Ministry of Justice decision to award the private security firm G4S a £25 million contract for the electronic tagging of offenders despite an ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation.

Daily Mail

Cyber security pioneer Sophos Group enjoys record growth rising 33% since WannaCry ransomware attack in May: The security concerns of U.K. businesses in the wake of several high profile cyber attacks this year are continuing to fuel record growth at FTSE 250 favourite Sophos Group. Shares in the firm, whose Intercept X programme is designed to protect investors against cyber attacks, rose above their record 471p closing price in morning trading, hitting 474.5p.

Foreign predators snare £121 billion of British giants since the Brexit vote after pound crash: Foreign companies have exploited the fall in the pound to mount takeovers of U.K. rivals worth £122billion since the Brexit vote, the Mail can reveal.

Hippy ideals out the window as eco Chief plots a very unethical coup at his green rival: Dale Vince, the millionaire Founder of windmill owner Ecotricity is battling to become a non-Executive Director of Good Energy Group, one of his main competitors.

Hedge funds pocket £70 million as construction giant Carillion falls 38% amid profit warning: Hedge funds made around £80million as construction firm Carillon’s stock dived amid a profit warning and £845million write down.

Ryanair cancels plan for new routes to Ukraine accusing Kiev airport of failing to honour its commitments: Ryanair has cancelled planned routes to Ukraine and accused Kiev airport of failing to honour its commitments. The low-cost Irish airline said it had been forced to abandon the expansion after the airport failed to honour a ‘growth agreement’.

Toilet roll firm Accrol toasts rising sales after winning contracts with Aldi and Lidl: Contract wins with Lidl and Aldi helped tissue roll maker Accrol toast rising sales and profits.

Shropshire’s Michelmersh Brick Holdings wins Battersea Power Station contract: A Shropshire factory will make nearly half a million bricks to help redevelop Battersea Power Station.

Daily Express

EU crisis meeting as bad loans spark fears for Italy and Spain’s banks: Eurozone finance Ministers are to urgently discuss a number of banks crippled with billions of euros worth of bad loans, which threaten to plunge the block into a fresh financial crisis.

Co-op Funeralcare recruiting musicians and plumbers for new apprenticeship: Classical musicians, plumbers and police officers are among those swapping their career for an apprenticeship with a leading funeral company.

Takeaway restaurants threatened by skilled worker shortages, inflation and business rates: The growing success of takeaway restaurants is being threatened by a shortage of skilled workers, coupled with rising inflation and business rates, a report warns.

Superdrug group owner reveals plans to create 1,000 new jobs over next year: The owner of high street chains Superdrug, The Perfume Shop and Savers is preparing to create more than 1,000 new jobs over the next year as it presses ahead with expansion plans.

Home buyers urged to switch to record low loans ‘before it’s too late’: Homebuyers have been urged to take advantage of new lowest ever mortgage rates amid increased expectations that the Bank of England could soon hike the cost of borrowing.

The Scottish Herald

Business rates still the most critical issue for Scots pubs: Business rates have been pinpointed as the single biggest worry faced by Scottish publicans, as a survey showed some operators are beginning to see signs of recovery after years of decline.

Business Gateway praises Scottish SMEs: Almost 13,000 trading companies sought the advice of Business Gateway last year, an increase of 37%.

‘Exceptional’ start to year at Miller Homes: Miller Homes, the Edinburgh-based housebuilder, has declared it is in an “excellent position”, having forward sold more than 90% of homes across its Scottish developments for 2017.

Wood gets jobs boost as it lands Culzean contract: Wood Group has announced it expects to create around 200 jobs supporting work to bring the giant Culzean gas field in the North Sea into production.

Business savings are falling faster in Scotland than U.K.: The amount of cash held by Scottish SMEs has fallen by 40% since the Brexit vote, with savings dwindling more steeply than in any other part of the U.K., a survey has shown.

Aberdeen bypass problems weigh on Carillion: Keith Cochrane, former Chief Executive of Weir Group and Stagecoach, has taken charge of Carillion after the company revealed it has suffered a raft of problems in its construction division, which has faced challenges in Scotland.

FanDuel fails to convince judge to move FTC case to Boston: Fanduel, the fantasy sports business that was founded in Edinburgh a decade ago, has failed in a bid to have a legal challenge to its proposed merger with rival DraftKings heard in a Boston court.

The Scotsman

Weatherspoon’s put Alexander Graham Bell pub up for sale: Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has put The Alexander Graham Bell pub on Edinburgh’s George Street up for sale.

Trampoline park firm GraVity announces new Glasgow and Edinburgh sites: Trampoline park operator GraVity has bounced into Scotland, unveiling its first two sites north of the Border.

Business output shrinks to four-year low: Output among U.K. firms is to decrease, underlining the possibility of a weak second quarter, according to new data published.

Personal alarm entrepreneur Rebecca Pick targets lone workers: It was an attack on a neighbour that inspired Rebecca Pick to launch her personal alarm start-up Pick Protection, which now has the U.K.’s eight million-strong army of lone workers in its sights.

BrewDog loses legal battle with Elvis Presley estate: Scottish brewers BrewDog have lost a legal battle with the estate of Elvis Presley over the name of one of their beers.

City A.M.

City advisers take £15 million despite no sale of Co-operative Bank: City advisers brought in to secure a buyer for the Co-operative bank are set to receive £15 million, even though the bank went to existing investors for a bail-out.

Top law firms feel the heat as clients are delaying payment by an average of 130 days: Top U.K. law firms are having to wait an average of 130 days to get paid by clients for their work, a new study has revealed.

BMW workers have accepted a fresh pension offer to resolve the strike saga and bring bitter dispute to an end: BMW workers in the U.K. have voted to accept the German car maker’s revised pension offer in a long-running dispute, bringing an end to a spate of industrial action.

Morrisons set to become the U.K.’s biggest florist with Flowerworld official launch: Morrisons has officially launched an online flower delivery service, making it the U.K.’s biggest florist.

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 08:39:00 +0100
In the Papers - Thames Water, Apple, Lidl, Burberry Newspaper Summary

The Times

Bosses lose faith in economy: Confidence among both large and small businesses has collapsed amid mounting concerns over the domestic political backdrop and fresh evidence that households, the engine of recent economic growth, are tightening their belts.

British shareholders excluded from Santander’s €7.1 billion cash call: Santander has gone back on a plan to allow its private British shareholders to take part in a €7.1 billion capital- raising this month.

Tata attempts to say ‘hello again’ with Air India deal: Once hailed as the maharaja of the skies, Air India has become more a source of national embarrassment than pride. Lurching from crisis to controversy, regularly topping lists for cancelled flights and shabby service, it has run up debts of more than £6 billion despite gobbling up government bailouts. And last month, finally, the Modi government said that enough was enough. Air India had to go.

Vue cinema chain set to put itself up for sale next year: Vue is set to put itself up for sale next year, having started from nothing less than two decades ago to become the sixth largest cinema chain in the world.

Allied Irish Banks float boosts parade before London market: A surge of activity at the end of June pushed the amount raised by companies coming to the London Stock Market in the first half of this year to more than twice the level of the same period in 2016.

Europe and Japan keep door open for Britain: The European Union and Japan have put an “extended accumulation clause” into their trade agreement that could help British companies to take advantage of Europe’s biggest trade deal after Brexit.

Industrial strategy ‘must help all regions’: An industrial strategy for Britain will succeed only if institutions are created that put responsibility for delivering the long-term economic framework at the heart of government and reach across the regions.

Open water supply competition, Gove told: Michael Gove has been urged to open competition in the water industry after latest figures showed that less than 1% of businesses have switched provider.

The Independent

Theresa May’s plans for EU citizens branded a ‘damp squib’ by the European Parliament: The European Parliament has branded Theresa May’s proposals on EU citizens’ rights a “damp squib” and said they will not approve a Brexit deal that does not offer more.

Brexit will cause an ‘alarming mess’ for U.K. nuclear power, scientists warn: Brexit will create “an alarming mess” for nuclear power stations in the U.K., experts have warned, saying it could even cause major power cuts.

Theresa May should not rush into U.S. trade deal, CBI President warns: The President of one of the most influential business groups in the country has warned Theresa May not to rush into a trade deal with the U.S.

U.K. trade deal with the U.S. will not make up for the damage caused by Brexit, Justice Secretary David Lidington says: A trade deal between the U.K. and the U.S. would not be enough to offset the damage caused by Brexit, a cabinet Minister had admitted.

The Daily Telegraph

British engineer TP Group raising £23.9 million war-chest for acquisition spree: British specialist engineering services provider TP Group is embarking on a fundraising to build up a £23.9 million war-chest as it eyes acquisition targets in the defence, aerospace and government sectors.

Top bankers back calls for revamp to protect small firms: Senior financiers have thrown their weight behind calls to overhaul the compensation system for small businesses and measures to make it harder for banks to sell on loans, as part of wide-ranging proposals to protect firms.

Ofcom kicks off fresh battle for the airwaves with 5G auction: The telecoms watchdog will this week kick off a multibillion-pound auction of mobile airwaves that is viewed as a crucial step on the path towards next-generation 5G internet access.

BBC considers app cull to take on Netflix and Amazon: The BBC is considering a cull of its mobile apps in the next phase of its rearguard action against the growing influence of Netflix and Amazon.

Formula One investors race to cash in shares: Half a dozen hedge funds that bankrolled John Malone’s $4.4 billion (£3.4 billion) takeover of Formula One are cashing in their investments less than a year after the U.S. media mogul took the keys to the sport.

Thames Water faces battle to clean up its act: Steve Robertson spent much of his first six months as Chief Executive of Thames Water in a courtroom in Aylesbury, facing questions over one of the water industry’s biggest pollution scandals.

Virgin Trains hires extra staff to deal with rising complaints: Virgin Trains will hire 25 more staff to handle passenger complaints on its West Coast rail franchise after concerns were raised by a consumer body.

The Guardian

German industry warns U.K. not to expect help in Brexit negotiations: German industry has warned Britain not to rely on its help in securing a good Brexit deal, in a stark intervention that strikes a blow at the government’s EU departure plans.

Heathrow hotel operator drafts £6.7 billion cheaper third runway plan: A wealthy hotel operator has submitted plans for a third runway at Heathrow which he claims would be £6.7 billion cheaper than the airport’s current scheme.

Trump’s growth problem: jobs boost masks trouble ahead for U.S. economy: June shone a little brighter for Donald Trump’s plans to Make America Great Again. After several months of disappointing jobs growth, U.S. hiring picked up steam again. But beneath the surface there’s a problem for the President: the U.S. economy appears to be running out of gas.

Daily Mail

Airbus will be damaged by Brexit says EU’s Chief negotiator Michel Barnier: The European Chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, has singled out Airbus as one of the firms which could be badly damaged by a harsh exit for Britain from the EU.

Apple moves to poach staff from Imagination Technologies as opens new office only 8 miles away from rival: Apple has launched an attack on iPhone chip maker Imagination Technologies by opening a new office close to its headquarters. The move is the latest twist in the saga involving the two firms, which have been locked in a bitter war of words after Apple told Imagination it would no longer use its graphics chip technology in iPhones and iPads.

Lidl expands in U.K. as plans to add 60 new supermarkets in £1.5 billion investment: Low-cost grocer Lidl is ramping up its expansion plan by opening between 50 and 60 supermarkets a year for the next two years as part of a £1.5 billion investment into the U.K.

Scandal-hit banker in talks on taking top job at Visa Europe after exit from Bank of England: Charlotte Hogg is poised to return to a top city job less than four months after resigning over a failure to disclose a conflict of interest.

Facebook CEO rumoured to buy Tottenham for £1 billion: An investment firm backed by Facebook Boss Mark Zuckerberg is rumoured to be considering a £1 billion bid for Tottenham Hotspur. Iconiq Capital has held talks about a possible bid for the North London club.

Daily Express

Brexit hitting house prices is a myth: This is the real issue, says top estate agent: Draconian tax measures are the real reason house prices are faltering - not Brexit - according to a top estate agency.

House price pick-up allays fears of property market crash: There has been so much fuss about the recent economic slowdown you might think the U.K. is about to fall off a cliff and take the housing market with it.

Brexit or not, housebuilders will continue to profit, says Harvey Jones: Few stocks were harder hit by last year’s EU referendum result than U.K. housebuilders, with the likes of Barratt Developments, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey losing up to 40% of their market value within days.

PageGroup remains strong candidate for investors despite fears of slow economy: Recruitment specialist PageGroup remains a strong candidate for investors seeking dividend income despite fears that the slowing global economy could hit the jobs market.

GoCompare remains on course for strong full-year growth: will remain on course for strong full-year growth in revenues despite reporting a first-half slowdown this week.

Housebuilders dig in for solid profits as sector enjoys surge: The nation’s largest housebuilder Barratt Developments will underpin growing confidence in the housebuilding sector when it reports healthy growth this week.

The Scottish Herald

Private sector suffers growth slowdown: Growth in Scotland’s private sector economy slowed in June as the expansion of the country’s manufacturing sector eased, a key survey has shown.

Football loving IT entrepreneur aims to combine passion with pragmatism in business: After official figures showed services businesses helped Scotland achieve surprisingly strong growth in the first quarter we hear from one of the technology firms that are helping to drive the success of the sector.

The lady’s not for listening: I’ve been reflecting on the U.K. General Election result and am beginning to wonder whether our leading politicians are - not quite sure how to put this delicately - not very bright.

M&S to reveal boost for struggling clothing arm after heatwave and late Easter: Marks and Spencer is set to reveal an improvement in its under-pressure clothing arm next week after the recent heatwave and late Easter helped it narrow recent sales falls.

The Scotsman

What does it costs to buy a home in Edinburgh?: How much do you really need to save to purchase a property in Edinburgh, which areas suit your budget, and when is it time to buy? The idea of buying a home is exciting but also overwhelming, particularly for first time buyers.

Remote Highland peninsula earmarked for satellite launchpad: A remote Highland peninsula could be the site of Britain’s first launchpad for future space missions under new plans submitted to the U.K.’s space agency.

Glasgow’s TRNSMT festival success to add £10 million to local economy: Scotland’s newest music festival, TRNSMT, has been hailed a success and is expected to have added at least £10 million to the local economy.

City A.M.

Genomics and other innovative ways to bring down soaring healthcare costs: Genomics, the branch of molecular biology that maps human genomes, is changing how drugs are discovered as the pharmaceutical industry integrates genetic information into the process.

A consortium including Austin Reed’s owner is circling controversial hire-purchase business Bright House: Once under fire for saddling consumers with debt, it is now the turn of hire-purchase electricals chain Bright House itself to deal with a mounting debt problem.

Burberry faces shareholder revolt over “excessive” pay for Christopher Bailey: Burberry has come under fire for handing an “excessive” pay award to its outgoing Chief Executive.

Tesco Chairman John Allan lined up for top job at the Confederation of British Industry: The Chairman of Tesco, John Allan, is set to become the vice President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Schneider Electric rekindles merger talks with Aveva... Again: French software multinational Schneider Electric is attempting a new merger with the U.K.’s Aveva, its third in two years.

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:30:00 +0100
In the Papers - Uber, Oxford BioMedica, Sports Direct, Bell Pottinger Newspaper Summary

The Times

European Central Bank hints at end to stimulus: European bonds and shares fell and the euro rose after eurozone policymakers signalled that they were inching towards starting to withdraw their gigantic stimulus package across the 19-nation currency area.

One in three houses left unbuilt, claims Shelter: Housebuilders have “failed” to build more than 320,000 homes in the past five years even after getting the go-ahead from councils, according to a housing charity whose figures were fiercely contested by developers.

Bell Pottinger sorry for offensive South Africa campaign: The British public relations firm Bell Pottinger has sacked a senior Executive and said it is “deeply sorry” for its role in stirring racial tension in South Africa.

‘God’ of oil trading Andy Hall smites talk of rally: A prominent oil trader once known as “god” in energy circles has said he no longer believes crude prices will rebound significantly any time soon.

FCA Chief appeals for post-Brexit clarity: The government needs to hammer out a post-Brexit transitional arrangement this year so that U.K. firms are not forced into moving staff and business due to a lack of information about its terms, according to the head of the financial regulator.

Terra Firma builds €3 billion war chest: Terra Firma, the private equity house led by Guy Hands, is understood to be planning to raise its first general takeover fund since the controversial financier’s disastrous £4 billion acquisition of EMI nearly a decade ago.

EU threatens GE, Canon, Merck with fines for misleading data: General Electric, Canon and Merck face hefty fines after the European Commission accused them of providing misleading or incomplete information during takeovers.

High street enjoys best June in six years: The high street enjoyed its best June in six years as shoppers splashed out on fashion items amid the warm summer weather.

Pressure forces Aveva to scrap ‘excessive’ pay plan: Aveva has caved in to shareholder pressure and abandoned plans to introduce share options for top Executives that would have paid out regardless of performance at the industrial software developer.

Handmade Burger Co collapses into administration: The Handmade Burger Co has collapsed into administration in a fresh sign of the pressures affecting the restaurant industry.

Record foreign investment shows Britain still open for business: The number of foreign investment projects in Britain has hit record levels since the European Union referendum, according to government figures.

The Independent

Limiting U.K.’s access to EU workers ‘will put business growth at risk’: Brexit policies that limit access to EU workers will threaten U.K. business growth as companies face “unsustainable” pressures to fill deepening skills shortages, new research shows.

Sports Direct Boss Ashley tells high court he is a ‘power drinker’: Mike Ashley has reportedly told a high court judge that he likes binging on alcohol and is a “power drinker”.

Asset manager BlackRock shortlists cities for post-Brexit EU hub: BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm, has reportedly shortlisted several cities as possible locations for an EU base after Brexit.

Felix Capital: London VC that backed Gwyneth Paltrow raises $150 million: Felix Capital, a London-based venture-capital firm that’s backed Gwyneth Paltrow’s fashion brand Goop and online food service Frichti, raised $150 million (£115.7 million) to expand its portfolio focused on Europe and the U.S.

Tea drinkers face rising prices after ethnic unrest in India: Ethnic unrest in India’s Darjeeling hills has wiped out the harvest of the world’s most expensive tea, disrupting supplies to European buyers and potentially pushing prices higher.

Whole EU finance system faces a ‘tipping point’ because of Brexit: A leading lobby group has issued a fresh, damning Brexit warning, forecasting that the whole of the EU could face a “tipping point” if financial firms quit London as a result of the country’s split from the bloc.

Butter and cream shortage likely by Christmas, warns Arla Boss: The Boss of one of Europe’s biggest dairy producers has warned that the U.K. could face a butter and cream shortage by Christmas because of a lack of milk.

Retailer fined $3 million for smuggling ancient artefacts into U.S. from Iraq: The U.S. Department of Justice says it had reached a settlement with national arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby to forfeit thousands of ancient artefacts illegally smuggled into the country from the Middle East.

Donald Trump sent ‘strong message’ as EU and Japan agree free trade deal: Japan and the European Union agreed on Thursday to a free trade pact, creating the world’s biggest open economic area and signalling resistance to what they see as U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist turn.

The Daily Telegraph

David Davis faces calls for transitional Brexit deal at Chevening summit as businesses demand ‘common sense’: Emboldened business leaders will increase the pressure on Brexit Secretary David Davis to secure a transitional deal with the EU that would guard against shocks to the economy.

Deliveroo proposes employment laws overhaul to let it give riders benefits: Deliveroo has called for the Government to overhaul workers’ rights legislation to allow it to give its delivery riders benefits without the conditions that would be attached to counting them as employees.

British Gas faces Ofgem probe over exit fees: The energy regulator has launched a probe into the exit fees British Gas has levelled against customers who hope to switch to a new supplier after a series of complaints.

Forecourt retailer Applegreen expands U.S. presence: Applegreen, Ireland’s largest independent motorway service station group, has expanded its U.S. footprint with a landmark $5.4 million deal to buy a South Carolina-based forecourt operation.

Keep euro clearing in London but share oversight with Brussels, says Barclays’ John McFarlane: Euro clearing should be kept in London even if it means joint regulatory responsibility for the industry with Brussels after Brexit, the Chairman of Barclays has suggested.

Great Portland Estates in ‘great shape’ as it boosts rental income: Great Portland Estates has boosted its rental income as its Chief Executive said it was in “great shape” despite the “ongoing uncertain economic and political environment”.

Bovis sets aside more cash to deal with faulty homes scandal: Bovis has set aside more money to fix poor quality homes it built in a scandal that cost the company its Chief Executive and resulted in a profit warning.

The Guardian

U.K. faces tightest squeeze on household incomes for five years: Rising prices in the wake of the Brexit vote have put the tightest squeeze on household incomes for more than five years, according to official figures on Britons’ economic wellbeing.

France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040: France will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord, Emmanuel Macron’s government has announced.

U.K. business leaders to call for indefinite delay in leaving single market: Business leaders are to demand that Ministers agree an indefinite delay in Britain’s departure from the European single market and customs union to give more time for talks on a long-term trade deal.

Hinkley Point C: U.K. censured for failing to consult German public: The U.K. has been censured by an international committee for its failure to notify the German public of the potential environmental impacts of Hinkley Point C, the new nuclear power station being built in Somerset, south-west England.

Forget Alexa, Amazon’s next big product is ... wine: Amazon’s continuing quest to make and sell everything in the world has led to it branching out into a new area: overseeing the production of a new range of wines.

Daily Mail

Specialist insurance firm Novae Group rises to its highest value this year after announcing it will be bought for £468 million: Specialist insurance firm Novae Group rose to its highest value this year after announcing it will be bought for £468 million, despite opposition from its biggest investor. Novae, one of few remaining listed Lloyd’s insurers, saw £83.1 million added to its value after announcing that it will be purchased by Bermuda-based Axis Capital.

EU meddling lost Royal Bank of Scotland £15billion: Revealed, the true cost of splitting up failed bank: Taxpayers have lost out on as much as £15 billion after Royal Bank of Scotland was forced by the EU to sell assets cheaply as part of its bailout. A European diktat ordered RBS to sell parts of its business when it was rescued with £45 billion of Government funds in October 2008.

Thousands of jobs at Microsoft under threat following announcement of major restructure: The tech giant, which employs more than 121,000 people globally, would not confirm how many British staff were affected but it is understood thousands of jobs could be at risk, largely outside the U.S.

Owner of Bulmers and Magners warns it expects full-year profits to be hit amid weakening demand for cider: Drinks group C&C – which also owns Blackthorn, Addlestones and Ye Olde English brands – said its cider sales were subdued in Ireland and flat across Britain as shipping volumes fell slightly behind target.

Chocolate maker Cadbury expanding production at its Bournville factory following £75 million investment from owner Mondelez: Chocolate maker Cadbury is expanding production at its Bournville factory following a £75 million investment from its owner Mondelez International. The factory will now produce Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Oreo and Dairy Milk Tiffin chocolate bars.

Daily Express

Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser sales take a hit from cyber-attack: Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser felt the pain as it warned that annual sales would take a hit from a major cyber-attack last month.

Deutsche Bank’s plan to quit London for Germany to spark Brexit exodus: Deutsche Bank is to pull large parts of its business out of London and across to Frankfurt as Britain withdraws from the European Union, according to reports.

IMF’s Lagarde warns the world: China debt boom could turn to bust: China’s debt bubble and slowing growth in the U.S. threatens to be a recipe for disaster, the head of the International Monetary Fund has warned.

Higher interest rates could hit London prices, says top estate agent: House prices in London and the South East could suffer if the Bank of England raises interest rates, a leading estate agent has warned.

Pound falls after European Central Bank hints at removing support for Eurozone: The pound tumbled against the euro after it was revealed that the European Central Bank (ECB) could start to remove some of its extraordinary levels of support for the Eurozone economy.

The Scottish Herald

Tennent’s on the rise in key Scottish market: Tennent’s Lager Owner C&C Group has signalled it is building up momentum in its core Scottish market but warned its overall financial performance will be hit by the weak pound this year if current exchange rates are maintained.

Fintech firm expands into landmark Edinburgh office building: Financial technology firm Nucleus Financial is moving into a landmark Edinburgh office development as the company looks to maintain the rapid growth rates it has achieved amid changes in the pensions and investments markets.

Recruitment drive helps bring Edinburgh whisky one step closer to becoming reality: The company behind plans to restore malt whisky production to Edinburgh for the first time since the 1920s has called the recruitment of Bill Farrar, among three figures from the whisky industry, as a “major coup” for the project.

It’s a hard day’s night for owner of Perthshire hotel where The Beatles stayed: A Perthshire hotel where The Beatles once stayed has been sold to a local hospitality professional who has spent most of her career with five-star chains.

Shetland oil find rated by analysts: Macquarie investment bank has underlined its belief in the potential of a giant find West of Shetland made by Hurricane Energy.

Associated British Foods raises outlook amid strong sales at Primark: Primark owner Associated British Foods has upped its full-year outlook after being boosted by strong sales at the low-cost fashion chain and the Brexit-hit pound.

The Scotsman

Edinburgh big data outfit Aquila Insight bought by U.S. group: Aquila Insight, the Edinburgh-based data analytics specialist, has been acquired by U.S. marketing agency Merkle.

BrewDog appoints managing Director for U.S. division: Craft beer business BrewDog has appointed a managing Director of its U.S. arm ahead of the official launch of its 100,000-square foot brewery in Columbus, Ohio.

Travel group Barrhead to create 45 jobs in Glasgow: Barrhead Travel said it would be creating 45 jobs across its Glasgow stores as part of its U.K.-wide expansion plans.

Falkirk revamp plans aim to deliver £150 million economic boost: Plans to revitalise the centre of Falkirk and boost the broader economy by up to £150 million through new housing, offices, retail space and improved transport links have been unveiled by a businessman born and bred in the town.

Allied Irish Bank backs buyout of all-female IFA firm: An all-female IFA firm based in Lanark has completed a management buyout (MBO) after receiving £1 million in financial backing.

City A.M.

Trials of 5G in the U.K. will start in early 2018 as £16 million funding handed out by government: The development of superfast mobile internet is speeding up with trials of 5G technology pencilled in for early 2018 on the back of millions in government funding.

Meet the three startups joining Pfizer’s healthtech accelerator that could soon help the NHS: Three tech startups have been selected by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to help tackle pressing health issues facing the National Health Service

Tech and media firms take up most new City office space so far this year: Tech companies are swooping on office sites on the fringe of the City, as the sector begins to take up more new spaces than the traditionally dominant financial and professional firms.

Newly approved Ikea Greenwich to create 500 jobs and feature a rooftop pavilion: Ikea’s plans for a new store in Greenwich, south east London, have been approved by the council.

Oxford BioMedica signs major deal with Novartis for cell therapy treatment: An Oxford-based gene and cell therapy group has announced a major deal with Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis.

Uber’s facing fresh scrutiny over workers rights and pay for drivers from the U.K. government: Uber is set for fresh scrutiny by the government as the transport Minister promised to set up a new probe looking at workers rights at the ride-hailing startup.

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 08:13:00 +0100
In the Papers - Body Shop, Subway, YouTube, Travis Perkins Newspaper Summary

The Times

City gripped by sub-prime lending fears: Fears about a crisis in sub-prime lending grew after leading City analysts warned that borrowers have limited flexibility to handle the rising cost of living.

Musk’s Model 3 tweets put car firms in a flap: Elon Musk has been promising to change the motor world for more than a decade and now, finally, he may be on the cusp of achieving his dream.

Clarks returns shoe production to the U.K.: Clarks is to start making shoes in Britain again and will open a factory in Somerset “where it all began in 1825”.

U.K. factory orders hit by Brexit and election: Activity in the manufacturing sector slowed in June as business uncertainty led to delays in new domestic contracts while exports were “disappointingly lacklustre”, a survey has found.

European markets buoyed by flotations: Europe is enjoying a bumper spell of flotations, raising €5 billion in the final two weeks of the second quarter.

Victims to miss out on fair compensation after crackdown on whiplash claims: Up to 600,000 people a year who have suffered road accidents could miss out on fair compensation as a result of a government crackdown on whiplash claims, lawyers say.

Bond programme offers new connection to Chinese market: China has opened up its $9 trillion bond market further to overseas investors, paving the way for international access to the world’s third largest debt market.

London in top five for global skyscraper values: The sale of the Cheesegrater skyscraper in the City of London may have shocked the property world in March with its price tag of more than £1 billion, but for price, the capital is only just in the top five.

Peabody Trust merges with Family Mosaic in £6 billion deal: One of London’s oldest housing associations has completed a merger with a rival to create a group that will be responsible for more than 55,000 homes, 111,000 residents and an annual turnover of £700 million.

The Independent

Body Shop announces £2 million ‘bio-bridges’ scheme to protect endangered rainforest wildlife: A £2 million scheme to create 10 new “bio-bridges” which link up areas of rainforest to help wildlife has been launched by the Body Shop.

Subway announces 5,000 new jobs amid U.K. and Ireland expansion: Subway plans to serve up 5,000 new jobs by 2020 in a major expansion across the U.K. and Ireland.

Shredded Wheat and Bran Flakes Owner completes Weetabix takeover: Post Holdings, the Missouri-based consumer goods company behind brands such as Shredded Wheat and Bran Flakes, on Monday completed its long-awaited takeover of Weetabix, giving it full control of one of the world’s most popular breakfast foods.

‘Interest rate rise now would be a mistake’ warns Bank of England monetary policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe: The most dovish member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is sticking to his view that now is not the time to raise rates, despite a growing sense in financial markets that the central bank is gearing up to increase the cost of borrowing.

The Daily Telegraph

Investors lose faith in precious metals miners as fund outflows hit record levels: Investors appear to be losing faith in the precious metals sector after outflows from the funds that track the industry hit a record high.

Brexit clarity needed to avoid ‘tipping point’ for industry as companies abandon investment in U.K.: Companies will abandon investment and job creation in the U.K. unless the British Government clearly sets out its position on how the country will leave the trading bloc, according to the Boss of an influential industry trade body.

Marshall of Cambridge drops into red as aviation problems cause profits crash: Marshall of Cambridge, one of Britain’s largest and most historic private companies, has crashed into the red after a series of problems.

YouTube refunds advertisers after terror content scandal: YouTube has refunded advertisers that removed their material from the video-sharing site after it was revealed paid-for clips appeared alongside extremist and illegal content.

Carney flags regulatory fatigue as major threat to G20 economies: Mark Carney has warned that regulatory fatigue risks leading to a lack of global cooperation on financial reforms that will hurt households and businesses.

Aggreko agrees £40 million deal for energy storage company: Aggreko has agreed a deal to buy energy storage firm Younicos for £40 million, in a move that it says will give it a foothold in a developing market.

Stagecoach awarded £2.5 million compensation for South Yorkshire tram-train delay: Transport company Stagecoach has won £2.5 million in compensation from the Government after the completion date for the Sheffield to Rotherham tram-train project, for which it is supplying vehicles, was pushed back multiple times.

Supergroup launches sports stores as profits rise: Supergroup, the company behind the Superdry fashion brand, has announced that it is launching standalone sports shops to tap into the fast growing ‘athleisure’ market as profits and sales jumped.

The Guardian

Bank of England faces first strike in five decades over pay dispute: The Bank of England faces the first strike at its Threadneedle Street headquarters in its history after members of the Unite union voted for four days of industrial action in a dispute over pay.

Ex-Barclays Chief John Varley appears in court over fraud charges: John Varley, the former Chief Executive of Barclays, and three former colleagues have appeared at Westminster Magistrates court to face fraud charges.

Carlsberg buys London Fields Brewery: Carlsberg has snapped up London Fields Brewery, which has been up for sale since its Founder was charged with tax fraud.

Hinkley Point C is £1.5 billion over budget and a year behind schedule, EDF admits: The U.K.’s first nuclear power station for more than two decades is at least £1.5 billion over budget and could be completed 15 months behind schedule, its developer has admitted.

We have fixed issues that caused financial crisis, says Mark Carney: Fundamental reforms undertaken since the U.S. sub-prime mortgage market triggered the deepest global recession since the Second World War have created a safer, simpler and fairer financial system, Mark Carney has said.

Daily Mail

French energy giant Total to develop gas field in Iran: France’s energy giant Total will develop a giant gas field in Iran, the first major Western investment in the country’s energy industry since sanctions were lifted in early 2016.

U.K. pension black hole shrinks by £33 billion as markets shrug off Brexit jitters and interest rate cut: Britain’s pension black hole shrank by £33billion in the last year as markets shrugged off Brexit turbulence and an interest rate cut, figures show.

Financial advice groups Bellpenny and Ascot Lloyd merge to bring £6 billion of clients’ money together in new powerhouse: Two of the U.K.’s biggest independent financial advice groups have struck a deal to join forces. Bellpenny and Ascot Lloyd officially merged on 1 July to create a single company with some £6 billion in client money.

Steel magnate Sanjeev Gupta offers pensions hope to U.K. steelworkers: Steelworkers whose pensions were in peril after their company fell into administration could be getting a lifeline from industry magnate Sanjeev Gupta.

Daily Express

Travis Perkins woos the tech crowd with innovation backing: Britain’s biggest builders’ merchant and DIY retailer Travis Perkins launches a major tech investment programme this week for early stage digital businesses as part of a modernising shake-up.

Sports Direct Boss Mike Ashley prepares for court fight with finance expert over shares: Newcastle United Owner and sportswear firm Boss Mike Ashley is preparing for a High Court fight with a finance expert.

The Scottish Herald

Tycoons fund biotech firm with ambitions to ‘revolutionise’ cancer treatment: Business heavyweights Brian Kennedy and Sir Brian Souter have thrown their support behind a Borders-based drug firm that aims to make chemotherapy four times more effective than current treatments.

Potential of U.K. North Sea underlined by Statoil exploration Boss: Prominent oil and gas firms have underlined their confidence in the exploration potential of the North Sea in spite of renewed signs the crude price plunge could drag on.

Pay cut for Boss of luxury Aberdeen hotel amid crude price plunge: The Owner of the luxurious Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen, Stewart Spence, appears to have taken a big cut in pay as the venue grappled with the challenges posed by the downturn in the key North Sea oil and gas industry.

Artificial intelligence firm signs drug discovery deal with GSK: Exscientia, a Dundee-based biotechnology firm, has entered into a collaboration with pharma-giant GlaxoSmithKline to use artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up drug discovery.

Financial year is a game of two halves for Murgitroyd: Murgitroyd is showing signs of recovery following a disappointing first half, with a five% boost in revenue for the second half of its 2016 year.

Malakoff wins ferry contract: Shetland boatbuilder Malakoff of Lerwick has won a £200,000 contract to build a replacement ferry to serve the island of Kerrera.

The Scotsman

High-level hires at Glasgow-based kite energy innovator: A Glasgow-based company developing kite power generation technology has bulked up its senior management team with a raft of top-level appointments.

Founder of cash machine giant KAL looks to ‘next big revolution’: As the cash machine celebrates its 50th birthday, the Founder and Chief Executive of an Edinburgh ATM software specialist believes we could soon be using the devices to do much more than merely check our bank balances and withdraw cash.

Nicola Sturgeon has created an indyref Catch-22: Last week’s warning from the Fraser of Allander Institute that Scotland faces a “lost decade” of low growth and the possibility of slipping into recession this summer sends yet another signal that Scotland is trapped in a Catch-22 situation of the First Minister’s making.

City A.M.

The Fed may not have investors’ backs for much longer: For decades, the Federal Reserve has been the wingman to the U.S. equity market, manipulating monetary policy to prevent the stockmarket from tipping into chaos.

Chancellor Philip Hammond tries to woo business leaders with soothing words on transition deal and immigration: Chancellor Philip Hammond sought tonight to reassure business Bosses he will prioritise industry in Brexit negotiations.

Sebastian Vettel spared punishment by the FIA despite admitting full fault for Lewis Hamilton clash in Azerbaijan: Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has escaped further punishment despite admitting he was solely to blame for his bust-up with title rival Lewis Hamilton at last month’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Tesco hands 10,000 shareholders compensation payouts over its 2014 accounting scandal: Tesco announced it is handing compensation payouts to around 10,000 shareholders over its 2014 accounting scandal.

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 08:31:00 +0100
In the Papers - Virgin Media, Dyson, Jigsaw, McLaren Newspaper Summary

The Times

Pascal Soriot ‘threatened’ protégé over joining rival Glaxosmithkline: The Chief Executive of Astrazeneca sought to threaten and punish a key lieutenant by enforcing a 12-month notice period when his protégé tried to defect to its rival Glaxosmithkline, according to court documents obtained by The Times.

France opens latest addition to national high-speed rail lines: Britons could soon be traveling non-stop to Bordeaux by train after the opening of a 200-mile high-speed rail link from Tours this weekend. The initiative breaks new ground in France because it is the first high-speed line to be privately operated.

From the stump of recession, the City reaches for the skies: If the recession hadn’t happened, Sir Stuart Lipton wouldn’t be here, standing on the 14th floor of what eventually will be the tallest building in the City of London. Another giant, the Pinnacle, would be in its place and would have been built five years ago.

Bond markets beckon for Greece after years of isolation: Greece is considering tapping into international bond markets after years of financial isolation.

Wimbledon faces sharp rise in business rates: As Andy Murray prepares to open the defence of his Wimbledon men’s singles title this afternoon, the All England Club will be hoping it sells enough extra £2.50 helpings of strawberries and cream to cover its soaring business rates bill.

Health and safety fines reach £54 million: The amount that companies were fined for health and safety breaches has risen by 43% in a year. The total rose to £54 million in 2016-17, from £37 million in 2015-16, under tougher guidelines from the Sentencing Council. Fines of up to £2 million were imposed for health and safety breaches, including those leading to serious and sometimes fatal accidents.

The Independent

Nearly 60% of Leave voters would now pay to retain EU citizenship: As many as 58% of people who voted to leave the EU are now willing to pay to keep their European citizenship, a poll has found.

Scrap extra fees for international students and use foreign aid budget to bring them to U.K., professor urges: International aid money set aside to help impoverished and war-torn countries should be used to bring overseas students to the U.K. post-Brexit, a university academic has suggested.

U.K. withdraws from 53-year-old common fisheries agreement ahead of Brexit: The government is withdrawing the U.K. from an arrangement that allows foreign countries to fish in British waters, it has announced.

The Daily Telegraph

Virgin Media struggles to keep up with £3 billion network expansion Project Lighting: Virgin Media’s £3 billion network expansion plan is running badly behind schedule, threatening the growth targets of its parent company, the pan-European cable giant Liberty Global.

Government faces ‘painful choices’ as L&G warns raising retirement age to 75 will not plug black hole: The U.K.’s ageing population will force the Government to raise taxes, borrow more or cut back on healthcare spending even if Britons are forced to work until they are 75, according to Legal & General.

Innocent gets a health kick as smoothie sales top Tropicana: Innocent’s offices look quite ordinary from the outside, perched above a railway bridge in Ladbroke Grove, west London. Yet inside is exactly the kind of quirky set-up you might expect from the knowingly kooky smoothie maker.

Skills gap hitting U.K. plc to tune of £2.2 billion, says Open University: A severe skills gap is costing U.K. businesses more than £2 billion a year as companies struggle to find workers with the right attributes, according to inaugural research by The Open University.

Pizza Express losses reached £17 million before departure of Chief Executive: Losses at Pizza Express reached £17 million in the period before the departure of Chief Executive Richard Hodgson, new documents reveal.

Formula E electric motor racing series skids to losses of £29 million: Electric motor racing series Formula E burned up a net loss of £29.8 million last year as start-up costs accelerated.

U.K. insurers warn Ogden hit will cost more than decade of floods: Insurers face a bigger blow from planned changes to the rules on personal injury damages than from flooding in the North of England, the head of an industry lobby group has claimed.

Businesses return to London IPO market after Brexit ‘state of shock’: London has fought off some of the Brexit jitters that saw businesses abandon their flotation plans last year, with £6.2 billion raised in the first half pointing to a return to faith after a hiatus of activity.

The Guardian

Co-op energy Chief predicts more small suppliers could go bust: More small energy firms could go bust this winter because of increasing price volatility driven by green energy growth and the closure of Britain’s largest gas storage plant, one of the challenger suppliers has warned.

Channel 4’s Bake Off set ‘will be product-placement-free’: The Great British Bake Off will not offer advertisers the chance to pay for product placement in the show, from butter and flour to utensils and whiteware – a decision taken to maintain the “integrity” of the series for the judges, bakers and viewers.

Consumer confidence is lowest since Brexit vote aftermath, survey finds: Worries about the economic outlook and a squeeze on household budgets dented consumer confidence this month, according to a closely watched survey.

Nisa denies staff annual bonuses despite hitting performance targets: Nisa, the convenience chain that is in takeover talks with Sainsbury’s, has angered several hundred head office staff by denying them annual bonuses despite hitting performance targets.

Barclays former CEO and three bankers in court to face fraud charges: John Varley, the former Chief Executive of Barclays, will be among three former bankers to appear at Westminster magistrates court on Monday to face charges of fraud for events that took place at the height of the financial crisis.

MPs and charities urge car leasers to publish sub-prime loan figures: MPs and debt charities have called on the car leasing industry to reveal the number of people in arrears and defaulting on loans, amid fears that consumer lending is returning to levels seen before the 2008 financial crash.

Daily Mail

French banks surged ahead of British rivals last year thanks to turbulent markets and interest rate cut: City lenders made profits of £13.1 billion in 2016, according to research by The Banker magazine, down 32% on the previous 12 months. By contrast, France’s financiers pocketed £30.1 billion – more than double what was earned by their U.K. rivals.

British vacuum giant Dyson opening store in one of New York’s most prestigious shopping districts as foreign buyers clamour for its wares: The firm is leasing the Fifth Avenue shop to show off its U.K.-engineered products, from the bagless cleaners which made it famous to hair dryers and fans. Its outlet – previously a pop-up cafe run by coffee business Nespresso – is due to open in early autumn.

Internet takeaway firm Deliveroo on brink of becoming Britain’s latest tech unicorn in deal valuing it at more than £1 billion: Deliveroo is seeking to raise around £211 million as it battles rivals and seeks to expand across the country. The firm is said to be in talks with a technology fund set up by Japanese firm Softbank, which bought U.K. microchip maker ARM Holdings for £24.3 billion last year.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s could sign £2 billion deal to supply newsagent chain McColl’s as grocers continue fighting to secure their futures: The pair are said to be discussing a deal which would see Sainsbury’s flog its products to McColl’s 1,400 stores. Sources hinted an even wider proposal might be on the table, and McColl’s has previously been discussed in City circles as a possible takeover target.

Fashion chain Jigsaw doles out £493,000 to staff as part of company stock plan: Fashion chain Jigsaw has doled out £493,000 to staff as part of a company stock plan. About 600 employees who had been with the firm for more than a year were handed at least one share each under the loyalty scheme. And just before Christmas, these paid out a dividend of £400 each.

Thames Water Chairman Peter Mason to announce he is leaving after controversy over tax payments, leaks and pollution: Peter Mason, the Chairman of Thames Water, will announce he is leaving this week after controversy over tax payments, leaks and pollution. Sources at the firm insisted his decision was not connected to pressure from regulators.

Daily Express

Oil and gas shares suffer June drop due to slump in oil prices: Slumping oil prices saw shares across the oil & gas sector crumple in June.

Sainsbury’s to report recovery thanks to Argos gains and inflation: Sainsbury’s is expected to report a sales recovery when it announces first quarter results this week, helped by rising shop price inflation and a continued strong performance at Argos.

Five minute guide to high-charging investment funds: High-charging fund managers have been picking savers’ pockets for years, so there were good reasons to celebrate when the Financial Conduct Authority announced yet another crackdown last year.

The Scottish Herald

All eyes on the Bank of England and the great interest rate debate: It is many a year since economists, bankers and the markets pondered seriously every month, in advance of meetings of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, whether a change in interest rates was justified and/or likely. Now those days have returned.

Murphy Wealth on course for £1 million turnover after Glasgow move: A Glasgow wealth management business that has completely overhauled its focus since relocating from Ayr four years ago is on target to deliver revenues of £1 million in the current financial year.

Scots marine publisher helps Australians navigate Barrier Reef: After a think tank, highlighted Scotland’s poor export performance last week, we hear from an entrepreneur who has shown what a relatively small firm can achieve in global markets with the right vision and commitment.

Springfield sets out affordable homes target: Elgin-based Springfield Properties has declared its ambition to build 1,500 affordable homes across Scotland by 2020, doubling the number of houses it has built for the sector to date.

The Scotsman

Jack Vettriano puts Edinburgh home on market for £1.6 million: The luxury home of Scottish artist Jack Vettriano has gone on the market for offers over £1.6 million.

Three frigates worth £3.7 billion secure shipyard jobs for decades: The next generation of shipbuilding jobs in Scotland has been secured with the announcement of a £3.7 billion contract with BAE Systems to build three Type 26 frigates on the Clyde.

City A.M.

U.K. aerospace industry is flying high after aircraft deliveries in May near last year’s record: The U.K. aerospace sector has enjoyed a windfall of £10.5 billion so far this year after the industry globally delivered 524 aircraft to its customers.

Influx of new partners at PwC indicates long-term investment in the U.K.: A raft of summer hires and promotions begin their new jobs, as PwC U.K. adds 52 new partners to its ranks.

European Commission antitrust watchdog Margrethe Vestager encourages firms to sue Google for anti-competitive practices: Brussels’ crackdown on Google is set to intensify after the EU’s top watchdog urged companies to sue the U.S. tech giant in light of its mega-fine for anti-competitive practices.

McLaren turns to bond issue to finance buyout of former CEO’s shares and restructuring: Carmaker McLaren plans to raise £500 million in a bond issue to finance the buyout of former Chief Executive Ron Dennis’s shares and the restructuring of the business.

Veteran venture capitalist Jon Moulton is set to power a new £400 million energy infrastructure fund: A sustainable energy and infrastructure investments firm backed by veteran venture capitalist Jon Moulton is set to launch a new £400 million fund.

Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) is gearing up for a £6 billion bid for mobile mast giant Arqiva: Bidders are lining up to snap up Arqiva, the company that owns more than 8,000 infrastructure and transmission towers in Britain, in the run up to a deadline this month.

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:52:00 +0100
In the Papers - KPMG, Starbucks, Virgin Media, Superdry Newspaper Summary

The Times

Libor-rigger Tom Hayes wins review of conviction: The first trader jailed over Libor-rigging will have his conviction investigated by the U.K.’s independent criminal review body in a move that could open the way for a fresh appeal if officials believe he could have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Gatwick eyes second chance on new runway: Gatwick will make a fresh pitch for a second runway as the airport says that for the first time it had carried more than 44 million passengers in a year.

Offshore wind power could be 25% cheaper than Hinkley’s nuclear: The tumbling cost of offshore wind power could mean that it turns out to be 25% cheaper than energy from Hinkley Point nuclear plant when subsidies are awarded to new projects this year, the industry regulator has suggested.

KPMG warns of Brexit IT burden on businesses: Big businesses need up to a year to prepare for new customs arrangements to prevent trade with the EU grinding to a halt after Brexit, KPMG has warned.

Walgreens calls off Rite Aid merger: Stefano Pessina’s ambition to turn Walgreens Boots Alliance into a global drugstore group was dealt a blow by U.S. regulators after he was forced to scrap a $17.2 billion takeover of Rite Aid.

Apple Retail U.K. pays £8 million tax on revenues of more than £1 billion: Apple’s tax bill from its British stores fell last year to £8 million despite producing record turnover of more than £1 billion, company accounts show, as critics called on the government to close international tax loopholes.

Profits up but H&M will struggle to hit targets: Second-quarter sales and profits at H&M took a turn for the better but the retailer said it could still find it tough to meet targets this year.

Hurricane Energy launches $520 million fundraising for oil field: Hurricane Energy has launched a $520 million fundraising initiative to pay for the development of its Lancaster oil field.

Starbucks has to swallow $22 million tax bill: Starbucks will pay nearly $22 million in U.K. corporation tax after a sharp rise in its taxable profit and turnover last year.

The Independent

Brexit concerns shrink U.K.’s lead as Europe’s top finance hub: Brexit concerns have bitten into the U.K.’s lead as Europe’s top financial services location for investors, new research shows.

Nicotine-based pesticides do harm bees, major study concludes: A major £2.7 million study into a controversial type of nicotine-based pesticide has found it can cause harm to bees, prompting environmentalists and some scientists to call for an outright ban.

Consumer spending unexpectedly powers on in May: The British consumer continued to borrow strongly in May, despite City analysts expectations of a slowdown, the latest data from the Bank of England showed on Thursday.

Delivery Hero: online takeaway company to raise £876 million with public list: Online takeaway food delivery group Delivery Hero priced its initial public offering (IPO) at the top end of the range, it said on Thursday, meaning the listing is set to raise €996 million (£876 million).

Tesco and Booker call for fast-track probe into £3.7 billion merger: Tesco and Booker have asked the competition watchdog to “fast-track” its investigation into their £3.7 billion merger, confirming that the deal is expected to face an in-depth probe.

Forty hours before 16-day strike, BA is keeping passengers guessing: With a 16-day cabin-crew strike due to start in less than 40 hours, British Airways has made no public announcement for 10 days about the flights that will, and will not, operate.

PwC placed under investigation following BT accountancy scandal: The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said on Thursday it would investigate PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) audits of BT Group for 2015 to 2017 after an accounting scandal in the telecoms company’s Italian operations.

Oil giant Shell sued by Nigerian widows for alleged complicity in executions of ‘Ogoni nine’: The widows of four men executed by Nigeria’s military regime in 1995 are suing oil giant Shell for allegedly aiding the army crackdown which led to their husbands’ deaths.

U.K. startups forecast strong growth despite business gloom: U.K. startups are forecasting strong growth over the next 12 months despite signs of diminishing business confidence, new research shows. Almost 90% of startups are expecting to grow sales next year, while 47% are forecasting double-digit growth, according to research by the Government-backed Start Up Loans Company.

The Daily Telegraph

Vertu owner plans pre-pack administration for luxury smartphone manufacturer with jobs at risk: The Turkish exile owner of the British luxury smartphone brand Vertu plans to put its manufacturing arm into administration to wipe out heavy debts.

Mortgage market stabilises as house prices slowdown comes to an end: Mortgage lending is bouncing back as the slowdown in the housing market appears to be at an end.

Virgin Media to cut 200 jobs after management shake-up: Virgin Media plans to make around 200 redundancies following a management shake-up at the cable operator.

U.K. remains Europe’s top destination for foreign investment in financial services: Britain shrugged off the Brexit vote to remain the main destination for foreign investment in financial services in Europe last year, although Germany and France are proving increasingly attractive to investors following the EU referendum, a new study has found.

Starbucks profit surges in Europe, Middle East and Africa despite Brexit slowdown: Profits rose by nearly 75% in Starbucks’s European, Middle Eastern and African division last year as the coffee giant continued its expansion into new markets.

Shell Boss backs G20 call to come clean on climate risks: Royal Dutch Shell Boss Ben Van Beurden has joined over 100 major companies to back calls from a G20 taskforce for the world’s largest companies to come clean on the financial impact of climate change.

City watchdog pauses spreadbetting probe as Europe regulator steps in: The City regulator has pressed pause on a major trading crackdown after the European markets watchdog unveiled its own plans to do so.

The Questor Column:

This uranium trust is in the doldrums, but weakening supply means a recovery can’t be far away: We wouldn’t normally tip a portfolio whose share price has fallen by 61% since launch, but this week’s trust is unusual in more ways than one. The trust is called Geiger Counter and invests largely in companies that mine uranium, the “fuel” for nuclear power stations, or firms that are involved in the uranium supply chain in some other way. The reason for the fall in the trust’s value since its flotation in 2006 is simple enough: the price of uranium itself has been depressed as a result of the reluctance of many countries to build nuclear power stations. But there are also good reasons to expect a recovery. “Uranium prices have remained depressed, having fallen from $156 per pound to the current $25 in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident in 2011,” said Nick Greenwood, who holds Geiger Counter in his Miton Global Opportunities trust. Much of the gap between supply and demand is currently being met by stockpiles held in Japan, which no longer needs large amounts of uranium following its decision to reduce its dependence on nuclear power after Fukushima. They also know that a failure to secure supplies could lead to stations having to shut down, which is extremely costly and disruptive. The trust currently trades at a discount of 9.8%. It is managed by New City Investment Managers, which charges a 1.38% annual fee. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Ireland says dozen City firms and banks to set up in Dublin over Brexit: Irish authorities have said they have clinched deals with more than a dozen London-based banks and finance houses to move some of their operations to Dublin in preparation for Brexit.

BOE Chief economist heads to Wales to meet hard-hit households: Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s Chief economist is in Wales, on tour. But this is not the usual speechifying trip, addressing business audiences on the dry details of monetary policy. Instead Haldane – who some regard as a potential successor to the Governor of the Bank, Mark Carney – is in listening mode, on the first leg of a nationwide tour that is aiming to feed the everyday experiences of ordinary households into monetary policymaking.

Osborne gets job number six – an honorary professorship in Manchester: George Osborne, the editor of the Evening Standard and former Chancellor of the exchequer, has added a sixth job to his portfolio – that of honorary professor of economics at the University of Manchester.

U.K. financial watchdog investigates car loans market: The City regulator is scrutinising the fast-growing car finance sector and has held discussions with the U.S. authorities about the market.

Blood supply company concedes worker status of couriers to NHS: Couriers carrying emergency blood supplies and delivering passports have won improved employment rights in an important concession for workers in the gig economy.

Daily Mail

Robots spying on NatWest staff as they speak to customers in effort to avoid future mis-selling scandals: Robots are spying on NatWest staff as they speak to customers in an effort to avoid future mis-selling scandals. The bank is testing an IT system which records conversations in branches and on the phone, and analyses them to see if workers are behaving properly.

100 British boats laid up and thousands of jobs lost as cheap Indian ships win North Sea battle: The British shipping industry is being trounced by low-cost Indian rivals in a war for business in the North Sea. More than 100 vessels are idle in docks, and thousands of jobs lost, after shipping giants were undercut by foreign rivals willing to service U.K. oil and gas rigs.

Fashion retailer Superdry forced to rush out results after bag containing draft copy was stolen from employee: Fashion retailer Superdry was forced to rush out its results after a bag containing a draft copy was stolen from an employee. Owner Supergroup said results for the 52 weeks to April 29 had been taken during a ‘random theft’ from a staff member.

Australian DIY chain Bunnings creating more than 1,000 jobs in U.K. and doubling store expansion drive after snapping up Homebase: Australian DIY chain Bunnings is creating more than 1,000 jobs in the U.K. and doubling its store expansion drive after snapping up Homebase last year. The firm plans to have 20 stores open by Christmas and it opened its largest outlet to date, in Milton Keynes.

Around 7,000 jobs secured under plans by Rolls-Royce to plough £150 million into its U.K. facilities: The aircraft engine maker is building a new test site at its main base in Derby and ditched plans to close another site, as it bids to double production.

Daily Express

House prices will never crash and just keep rising, predicts ex-Bank of England economist: House prices are set to keep surging over the next 50 years, a former Bank of England policymaker has predicted.

Credit crash fears as household borrowing surges by £1.7 billion: British households continued to binge on credit last month, amid growing fears of a debt crisis among families sparked by record low interest rates.

Co-op Bank secures £700 million lifeline from its hedge fund backers: The Co-op Bank has secured a £700 million lifeline from its hedge fund backers.

Stagecoach shares plunge to near eight-year low on East Coast losses: Stagecoach shares hit a near eight-year low as profits plunged after it took an £84 million hit for future losses on its East Coast rail franchise.

‘Conditions are not right’ ECB prevents Greece from entering bond-buying programme: Greece’s short-term objective is to return to bond markets and this will be possible even without the inclusion of its bonds in the European Central Bank’s asset-buying programme, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has said.

German finance Minister turns on EU over ‘regulatory loophole’ after Italy banks’ rescue: Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has underscored Germany’s concerns about a “regulatory loophole” after the EU cleared Italy to wind up two failed banks at a hefty cost to local taxpayers.

The Scottish Herald

Distiller Edrington hikes profits amid volatile market conditions: Edrington, the Glasgow-based Scotch whisky distiller, has defied political and economic volatility in key markets to hike profits by nearly one-third to £91 million.

Belhaven owner prepares for headwinds as uncertainty intensifies: Pub group Greene King, which owns the Belhaven brewery and pubs, has lamented “increased costs, weaker consumer confidence and increasing competition” as it reported a 2.6% fall in pre-tax profits.

Employee ownership predicted for one in 20 firms: As many as 5% of all Scottish businesses could ultimately be owned by their employees, according to the Director of a public body that offers advice on transitioning. The predication, from Sarah Deas of Co-operative Development Scotland, comes on EO Day (Employee Ownership Day).

Scotgold unveils designers for first jewellery: A decade after Scotgold acquired a mining site in Argyle, the company has revealed the two jewellers who will design items with the first batch of refined gold from the site, which was mined in December.

Wemyss family bring their Darnley’s Gin home to Fife: The Wemyss family of Fife have officially opened their new gin distillery in Kingsbarns, bringing production of its Darnley’s Gin brand “home”.

Fund platform Nucleus cuts fees for big investors: Edinburgh investment platform Nucleus has confirmed it will reduce the fees it charges clients whose portfolios are worth half a million pounds or more a day after industry watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced a crack-down on fund management fees.

Chartered accountancy business Campbell Dallas boosts its Perth presence: Chartered accountancy business Campbell Dallas has bolstered its Perth presence with the acquisition of local firm Bell & Company.

Stirling technology firm Mobile bought by Dundee-based Insights Group: Stirling technology firm Mobile has been bought by Dundee-based people development business Insights Group in a multi-million-pound deal.

The Scotsman

Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7 billion Sky bid set for further probe: Culture secretary Karen Bradley has said she is minded to refer Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7 billion bid to take full control of Sky to a further inquiry due to concerns over media plurality.

Belhaven owner Greene King cheers rise in profits: Pubs and brewing group Greene King has toasted rising annual sales and profits, but warned of economic and consumer woes ahead.

MSPs grill Fergus Ewing over missed farm payments fiasco: While it was admitted that it now looks almost certain that the Scottish Government will fail to complete the required 95.24% of farm support payments by the end of June deadline, this target will only be missed by “a few percentage points”.

Muslim festival of Eid prompts sales alert at JD Sports: Shares in JD Sports fell sharply after the retailer said it was facing “margin pressure” and that comparative sales will be impacted by the timing of the Muslim festival of Eid.

New car production reverses but industry remains positive: Production of new cars in the U.K. fell by almost 10% last month compared with a year ago, new figures showed.

Wood Group ‘cautious’ amid weaker North Sea activity: Energy services giant Wood Group said it was adopting a “more cautious” outlook for the remainder of the year after seeing a weaker-than-expected performance during the first half.

City A.M.

Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and Asda cut petrol and diesel prices ahead of the weekend: Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco and Asda have slashed diesel and petrol prices by up to 2p per litre in a supermarket price war over fuel.

Oil and Gas Authority sets cost of North Sea decommissioning at £60 billion with an aim to reduce costs to £39 billion: The cost of decommissioning oil and gas infrastructure in the North Sea has been reduced to a “starting point” of £59.7 billion, with the aim of a further 35% reduction, according to a new report.

DS Smith shares hit a record high as it enters the U.S. market with a $920 million acquisition: Shares in DS Smith rocketed to an all-time high after the company revealed it will buy an 80% stake in U.S. firm Interstate Resources for $920 million (£709.7 million).

Shares online estate agent Purplebricks have jumped after revenues rose 151%: Purplebricks has provided more evidence online estate agents are quietly nabbing market share from their more conventional peers, after revenues rose more than 150%.

The largest ever buyout of a European software company was just announced – and you’ve probably never heard of it: The largest ever buyout of a software company in Europe was announced, led by U.K.-based private equity firm HgCapital. The £4.2 billion deal for Visma, a business software developer, saw U.S. buyout house KKR sell the whole of its 31% stake, and Cinven reduce its share by 60% to 17.1%.

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 08:29:00 +0100
In the Papers - Burberry, Leon, Tesco, Petra Diamonds Newspaper Summary

The Times

Lloyds misses HBOS scandal payouts date: Lloyds Banking Group is due to miss a self-imposed deadline to compensate owners of small businesses ruined by the HBOS Reading scandal.

Dixons Carphone plugs into record sales: Dixons Carphone has had a record year, with underlying profits passing half a billion pounds for the first time.

More cash please, says transfer app Revolut: One of Britain’s fastest-growing financial technology companies, which has already burnt through millions of pounds of cash, is finalising a new round of funding that will raise its value to £300 million.

North Sea oil and gas clean-up bill could hit £83 billion: The cost of decommissioning North Sea oil and gas infrastructure is likely to reach almost £60 billion and could be as high as £83 billion, according to new official estimates.

Shell faces court over Ogoni deaths: Royal Dutch Shell is facing a fresh legal challenge over alleged complicity in the execution of nine people killed by the Nigerian government after protests against the oil industry in the 1990s.

Setback for Hinkley Point builder: The French state-owned group building Britain’s new £18 billion nuclear plant faced a further setback when it was ordered to replace a key component on a similar reactor under construction in France.

The Independent

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney signals rate rise closer: The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has raised the prospect of the removal of some U.K. monetary stimulus, sending the pound up sharply.

Trump attacks Amazon for not paying ‘internet taxes’: Donald Trump has launched a strange Twitter attack on the Washington Post and Amazon - accusing them of not paying “internet taxes”.

After seven years of cuts, U.K. public is finally rejecting austerity: After seven years of cuts, the public mood has shifted against austerity, according to one of the most wide-ranging national opinion surveys.

European businesses underestimate ‘slow-burn’ effects of cyber attacks: Businesses in Europe underestimate the “slow-burn” effects of cyber attacks and need to prepare more fully for a loss of customers, a fall in share price and other potential consequences, Lloyd’s of London said in a report on Wednesday.

Toronto hotel is paying millions so it can stop using Trump’s name: Donald Trump’s business will be paid millions of dollars to release the owner of a Toronto hotel complex from using his name.

Household bills rose twice as fast as salaries over last decade: The cost of household bills have risen twice as fast as salaries over the last decade, according to a study.

The Daily Telegraph

Britain warned Ireland against ‘opportunistic’ Brexit attack on City: Britain warned Ireland not to launch an “aggressive and opportunistic” campaign to steal business from the City of London in the wake of Brexit vote, a senior figure in Ireland’s Investment and Development Agency (EDA) has revealed.

Phoenix rises as mining company lists Idaho copper project: A junior mining company is planning to raise £4.6 million by listing on Aim, as it looks to revive a copper mine in Idaho.

Kepco confirms talks with Toshiba over U.K. nuclear — but only with its own reactors: South Korea’s largest power company is in talks with Toshiba to prop up its plans to build Europe’s largest new nuclear plant in the U.K.

Petra Diamonds shares tumble as setbacks test debt covenants: Shares in Petra Diamonds plunged more than 7% after the miner revealed it was talking to lenders about a possible breach of its debt covenants following a shortfall in production.

Touchstone steps up its defence to IP’s £466 million hostile takeover bid: Science innovation company Touchstone has stepped up its defence against larger rival IP Group over a £466 million “unwelcome hostile takeover offer” for the firm.

U.K. car production tumbles as domestic demand hits the skids: The number of cars rolling off U.K. production lines in May plunged, as demand among British motorists for new vehicles fell.

The Questor Column:

Buy ‘unique’ Murgitroyd while the 
share price is depressed: Murgitroyd, the trademarks and patents firm, began life as a listed company on Aim 16 years ago at a price of 121p. Since then investors have received 130p in dividends alone, along with a rise in the company’s market value of three-and-a-half times. The dividend has grown in all but one of those years – including 2009, at the height of the financial crisis. Profit margins have also been consistent at about 10% of sales, while the latter have grown steadily from £8 million at the time of flotation to about £40 million now. It’s the kind of reliable performance – safe but unspectacular growth – that you might expect to result in a premium rating for the shares, but they currently attract a lowly valuation of about 13.5 times forecast earnings. The reason for this is a significant fall in the shares from a high of 670p in early 2014 to 392.5p last night. The sharpest decline came in January this year when the company warned of tougher trading, sending the shares down by about 25%. A further update in April sounded a more positive note and the share price recovered a little of the lost ground. We tipped Murgitroyd in September 2014 as a hold at 515p. With the share price now considerably lower, a buy rating looks more appropriate. Mr. Hutchinson said he would take the opportunity to top up his holding if the trading statement due before the end of this month disappointed and caused the shares to fall. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

BT tops complaints league for broadband and pay-TV users: BT was the most complained-about broadband provider in the first three months of the year as customers took the company to task over faults and service issues.

Tesco continues savings drive as it cuts 1,200 head-office jobs: Tesco is to cut 1,200 jobs at its head office, only a week after announcing that 1,100 jobs would be axed at a call centre, as its Chief Executive, Dave Lewis, presses on with a cost-cutting drive.

London house price growth slows as rest of U.K. bounces back: London house prices suffered a sharp slowdown in the second quarter, rising at the weakest rate in five years and falling behind the rest of the U.K. according to the latest snapshot of the property market from Nationwide.

FCA says U.K.’s £7tn asset management industry needs radical reform: Publishing the final findings of its asset management market study, the Financial Conduct Authority said greater transparency and better competition were vital in a sector relied on by millions of people for their financial wellbeing.

Daily Mail

Entrepreneurial jobseekers launch more than 105,000 businesses with government backing: Entrepreneurial jobseekers have launched more than 105,000 businesses with backing from the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which provides a business mentor and financial support for up to six months.

Bristol Airport CEO set to land at London City with hopes of boosting passenger numbers and profitability: London City Airport has poached the Boss of Bristol Airport to serve as its new Chief Executive from October. Robert Sinclair is set to replace Declan Collier.

Now healthy lunch chain Leon takes on motorway greasy spoons with two new roadside branches: Healthy fast food chain Leon has already taken on sandwich shops - now it’s ready to battle with motorway greasy spoon cafes. Leon will open two roadside branches in August at service stations near Cannock on the M6 toll road and near Worcester on the M5.

Burberry seeks to quell investor revolt as finance Chief hands back £1.6 million shares: Burberry has sought to quell an investor revolt over Executive pay by cutting the bonus of its new finance Director.

Daily Express

Mark Carney just revealed two shock graphs that paint a very interesting Brexit picture: Bank of England Chief Mark Carney has performed a stark u-turn over the outlook for Britain and admitted that investment in the economy is set to pick up as the U.K. leaves the European Union (EU).

‘EU desperately needs Britain’ Brussels urged to offer U.K. access to markets after Brexit: The European Union (EU) must work with Britain to pursue further capital market unity after Brexit, researchers have said.

Slack in Eurozone looks worse than we thought, warns ECB vice President: The slack in the eurozone economy could be greater than the European Central Bank thought and worse than the United States’, the bank’s vice President has warned.

Will there be a credit crisis? Why the Bank of England is warning about consumer credit: The Bank of England has raised the alarm over the rapid growth of consumer credit, especially credit card lending and car finance.

Pound rockets as Bank of England Chief says interest rates could soon rise: The pound surged against the euro, wiping earlier losses, after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney admitted that the debate over an interest rate rise was intensifying.

Euro falls as central bank says Mario Draghi’s upbeat economy speech was wrong: The euro has fallen from nine-month highs against the dollar, after the European Central Bank (ECB) moved to downplay apparently optimistic economy comments made by its Chief.

IMF downgrades U.S. growth as officials claim Donald Trump’s plan for U.S. economy will fail: The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecasts for the U.S. economy to 2.1 percent for both 2017 and 2018, dropping its assumption that President Donald Trump’s tax cut and fiscal spending plans would boost growth.

The Scottish Herald

East coast line holds up Stagecoach profits: Shares in Stagecoach touched a seven-year low as the Perth-based transport giant booked an £84 million exception charge against its loss-making Virgin Trains East Coast rail service.

Cairn joins global oil and gas exploration elite: Cairn Energy has been voted one of the world’s top 10 explorers by global oil and gas industry leaders.

Wood supports renewable energy drive in Mongolia: Wood Group has been hired to provide engineering support for the construction of one of the first wind farms in Mongolia.

London calling for Farrpoint as IT firm expands: Farrpoint, the IT and infrastructure business, has opened a London office following a 28% boost in turnover last year.

Bunzl revenues to rise after us business boost: Outsourcing firm Bunzl said revenues were enjoying a boost from new business in the U.S. as it sealed a string of overseas acquisitions.

The Scotsman

Former Standard Life Boss Sir Sandy Crombie takes tech role: One of Scotland’s best-known businessmen has made his first active foray into the tech scene north of the Border by signing up to a Chairman role.

Roxburghe Hotel set to be sold: Roxburghe Estates has announced it will sell one of its landmark properties next month.

Edinburgh’s Bonham Hotel sold to U.S. investment group: The Bonham Hotel in Edinburgh’s west end has been snapped up by a group of U.S. investors led by fund manager Richard Driehaus.

Fintech outfit ShareIn sets sights on European expansion: Crowdfunding technology firm ShareIn is targeting expansion in Europe after launching its first multilingual and multi-currency platforms.

City A.M.

Shipping giants including Maersk could lose millions of dollars due to cyber attack: Shipping giants could lose millions of dollars following the disruption caused by a global cyber attack this week, according to tech experts.

Daimler-backed ChargePoint closes $43 million funding round led by Siemens as it accelerates European expansion: Electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint has closed a $43 million (£33 million) funding round led by Siemens as it ramps up European expansion.

Willis Tower Watson, Aon Hewitt and Mercer told to watch out... Xafinity eyes acquisitions to challenge “big three” rivals: Recently listed pensions consultancy Xafinity is eyeing future acquisitions with plans to steal a march on its “big three” rivals.

Manchester bike-sharing firm Mobike develops tech to track cycles and lock them remotely: Mobike, the bike-sharing firm bringing Boris-style bikes to Manchester, has developed location tracking technology that allows bikes to be locked remotely.

A Shell and Exxon joint venture will appeal a Dutch plan to lower production at the Groningen gas field: A joint venture between two oil majors will appeal a plan by the Dutch government to lower a production cap at the Groningen natural gas field by a further 10%.

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 08:52:00 +0100
In the Papers - Travis Perkins, British Airways, Nestlé, Ocado Newspaper Summary

The Times

Bank puts its foot down over mortgage lending rules: The Bank of England has tightened up mortgage rules first implemented in 2014, saying that some lenders had forgotten the lessons of the past.

IMF rejects Trump’s boasts on growth: The International Monetary Fund poured cold water on President Trump’s economic plans as it cut its growth forecast for the United States.

Carpetright is standing tall despite profits plunge: Carpetright’s statutory pre-tax profits plunged by 93% last year but the seller of carpets, floor tiles and beds said that it had made “significant strategic progress”.

QE talk sends euro soaring: Investors piled in behind the euro after Mario Draghi hinted at a subtle shift in sentiment at the European Central Bank that raises the prospect of an early end to its stimulus programme.

Beauty product sales cannot hide scale of task facing Debenhams: The scale of the task facing Sergio Bucher as Chief Executive of Debenhams was laid bare when the department stores chain warned of the threat posed by market volatility on the high street.

Clock starts ticking on next AIB shares sale: The Irish government could sell another tranche of shares in Allied Irish Banks within the next 12 months if it can get the agreement of the main opposition party.

Travis Perkins hires Stuart Chambers, former Chairman of Arm Holdings: Travis Perkins has turned to the man who sold Britain’s largest technology company to the Japanese to lead its board.

The Independent

Household bills rose twice as fast as salaries over last decade: The cost of household bills have risen twice as fast as salaries over the last decade, according to a study.

Trump’s millionaire supporters are deserting him over dysfunction: When he was running for the White House, Donald Trump used to constantly brag about how wealthy he was.

Airlines must refund fare for cancelled flight reservations: A London barrister has won a landmark case which could see airlines forced to hand back hundreds or thousands of pounds to passengers who have had their reservations cancelled.

City analysts predict Theresa May will only last a few months as PM: Wall Street bank Citigroup has predicted that Theresa May’s Government will not last longer than a few months and that there will likely be another general election within the next year.

Thomas Cook plane fault to cost airline half-a-million pounds: Hundreds of Thomas Cook Airlines passengers have had their Cuban holiday extended by more than 24 hours after an inflight mechanical incident involving an Airbus A330. They will be paid £530 for the inconvenience caused.

Inflation adds £133 to average U.K. household’s annual shopping bill: Inflation has added the equivalent of seven extra shops to the average household’s annual grocery bill as supermarkets saw their highest sales growth in five years, figures show.

Google, Microsoft urge U.S. federal court to protect gay employees: Dozens of companies, including Alphabet’s Google, Microsoft, CBS and Viacom urged a U.S. federal appeals court on Monday to rule that a law banning sex discrimination in the workplace offers protections to gay employees.

Sainsbury’s recalls sandwich fillers over Listeria fears: Sainsbury’s has announced that it is recalling some of its deli sandwich filler products warning that they might contain Listeria.

BA cancels dozens of flights ahead of cabin crew walk-out: Thousands of British Airways passengers are learning that their flights have been cancelled because of the unprecedented 16-day strike by some cabin crew.

Hedge funds take aim at struggling high street retailers including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Next: Hedge funds have significantly stepped up bets against Britain’s traditional high street retailers, as the sector struggles with online competition, worries about a stretched consumer and weakening sales and profits.

The Daily Telegraph

Bank of England orders banks to set aside an extra £11.4 billion over fears of rising consumer credit: Banks are “forgetting the lessons” of the financial crisis, increasing the risk of reckless lending which could land them — and the wider economy — in trouble later, Mark Carney has warned.

Swift repeat of banking crisis unlikely, says Yellen: Major reforms in the wake of the global financial crisis have made another banking meltdown unlikely “in our lifetimes”, according to the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Nestlé launches £16 billion buyback days after activist launches assault: Kit Kat maker Nestlé has launched a 20 billion Swiss franc (£16.3 billion) share buyback program just days after prolific U.S. activist investor Dan Loeb disclosed a huge stake in the world’s largest food company and urged it to take such a step.

Co-op Bank set to announce £700 million rescue deal: Co-operative Bank is poised to unveil a £700 million rescue deal with its U.S. hedge fund owners that will avert a collapse of the loss-making lender.

Queen’s Christmas cracker supplier wraps up bumper profits: Party supplies purveyor IG Design Group has posted big leaps in profit and revenue as U.S. expansion and growing consumer appetite for greetings cards, gift wrap and partyware boosted the firm’s numbers.

Fidelity’s push to overhaul Bosses’ share bonuses bears fruit: Almost two-thirds of Britain’s biggest listed companies now require their top Executives to hold on to share bonuses for at least five years, according to one of the world’s largest asset managers that has pushed to overhaul Executive pay.

The Questor Column:

Buy Centrica – the shares are back at 2005 levels and dividend yield is almost 6%: After a testing three-year spell characterised by profit warnings, dividend cuts and pressure on prices from the public and regulator alike, Centrica may seem an unlikely candidate for inclusion in your portfolio. A meeting with analysts last week looked like a step in the right direction. A plan to sell power plants and some oil exploration and production assets means Centrica is raising cash and reducing its capital expenditure. This brings two possible benefits. First, the firm is refocusing its operations, as the money received from the disposals will be reinvested in its energy supply operations, and advanced home and energy management services such as Hive. Second, cashflow should improve, to the benefit of the dividend. Centrica is targeting a 3%-5% annual improvement in free cashflow and it is cash that funds the precious payment to investors. An unchanged dividend of 12p a share equates to a yield of 5.8%, and improved earnings and cashflow cover could make that look tempting to income seekers. Question marks remain, not least the regulatory environment. Theresa May appears to have abandoned plans for the Government to impose price caps directly, as the Queen’s Speech placed the burden back on Ofgem, the regulator. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Sky: It is now crunch time for the £11.7 billion bid from 21st Century Fox for Sky. Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, is studying the views of Ofcom, the regulator, on whether the deal should be approved and will reportedly make her opinions known by Thursday at the latest. Investors are clearly nervous that the deal will be blocked as Sky is still trading below the £10.75 offered for each share by the U.S.-quoted Murdoch vehicle. Once the Minister has her say there is scope for further representations before the final decision. Our initial look at Sky last Octoberis still showing a profit of almost 8%. A successful bid would bring short-term returns but even if it fails the underlying business still looks interesting thanks to its cashflow. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Singhsbury’s store becomes Morrisinghs after legal threat: A shopkeeper has dealt with the threat of legal action from Sainsbury’s over his similarly named store by changing its name from Singhsbury’s to Morrisinghs.

Ocado’s self-drive vehicle makes deliveries in first U.K. trials: Ocado has sent a self-driving truck trundling through the backstreets of Woolwich, south-east London, as part of the U.K.’s first trial of autonomous grocery deliveries.

Ladbrokes could face inquiry after betting addicts’ details found in bin bag: Ladbrokes could face an investigation from the gambling regulator over an incident in which confidential information about betting addicts, including photos, names and addresses, was found in a bin bag on the street.

World’s first floating windfarm to take shape off coast of Scotland: The world’s first floating windfarm has taken to the seas in a sign that a technology once confined to research and development drawing boards is finally ready to unlock expanses of ocean for generating renewable power.

Ice-cream and booze fuel sales scorcher for supermarkets: Booming sales of ice-cream, gin and cider during the heatwave have combined with a jump in inflation to deliver the biggest rise in supermarket sales in more than five years.

Sky Sports to replace numbered channels and slash prices in revamp: Sky is scrapping its numbered sports channels and replacing them with themed offerings focused on specific sports – led by football, golf and cricket – as it combats falling viewer numbers with a branding revamp and a cheaper viewing package.

Daily Mail

Entire boardroom is purged at gas storage firm Infrastrata sending shares soaring: More than 55% of shareholders voted to remove all four of the company’s remaining board members, including former Chief Executive Andrew Hindle and Chairman Kenneth Ratcliff.

Former BBC reporter quits £400,000 analyst role with JP Morgan to go back into journalism: Former BBC reporter Stephanie Flanders is quitting her £400,000 analyst role with JP Morgan to work for Bloomberg, according to friends, because she misses journalism.

Tesco launches one-hour delivery service in London for up to 20 food items: Supermarket Tesco has launched a one-hour delivery service in London allowing customers to order up to 20 food items on the Tesco Now app for £7.99.

Investors tune in for a £200 million music royalties fund started by Ex-Manager of Guns ‘N’ Roses: The former manager of Guns N’ Roses is launching a fund to make money out of music royalties. The Hipgnosis Songs Fund, set up by Merck Mercuriadis, is to list on the stock exchange next month in a £200 million flotation.

Banks face £1.7 billion loss linked to car finance market: Banks risk losses of around £1.7billion if the value of second-hand cars keeps falling, the Bank of England has warned. About £17billion of major banks’ cash is directly exposed to the ballooning car finance market – and there are fears it is heading for collapse.

Harley-Davidson gears up for a fight for rival: Harley-Davidson could be about to buy its Italian rival Ducati. The legendary U.S. motorcycle maker is reported to be lining up a £1.3billion takeover bid for Ducati, which is owned by Volkswagen.

Online agent eDreams shrugs off Ryanair row to report rising sales: Online travel agency eDreams has reported rising sales despite a bitter tussle with Ryanair.

Daily Express

Young workers sleepwalking into £9,000 cash shortfall by not saving enough: Seven in 10 younger workers are sleepwalking towards a £9,000 cash shortfall in their pension because they are not saving enough, experts have warned.

‘A grave mistake’ Germany furious as Italy allowed to break EU banking rules: Germany has lashed out at bureaucrats in Brussels after it allowed Italy to bend official rules, clearing Rome to pump billions of taxpayers’ cash into struggling banks.

Firm finds ‘significant’ reservoir in Weald Basin and North Sea delivers: U.K. oil and gas (Ukog) shares rose as the firm said it had found more oil in a ‘significant’ discovery.

Wetherspoon Chief Tim Martin announces huge £13 million expansion in Ireland: JD Wetherspoon has shrugged off Brexit concerns with a record single investment to continue its expansion in Ireland.

Inflation and soaring temperatures deliver fastest supermarket sales growth for five years: Soaring temperatures and rising inflation have delivered the fastest growth in supermarket sales for more than five years.

China’s huge debt bubble risk to Britain’s stability, warns Bank of England: Britain could be dragged into a financial crisis if China’s huge debt bubble collapses, the Bank of England has warned.

The Scottish Herald

Pubs group hits out at Heineken sell-off plan: Heineken has offered to sell pubs across the U.K. to ease competition concerns over its £300 million acquisition of part of the Punch Taverns estate.

Private bank Hampden drives deposits and lending in first year: Hampden & Co has underlined the appeal that its traditional banking approach holds for clients as it ramped up deposits and lending in its first full year of trading.

Scottish Water hails surge in investment as complaints fall: Scottish Water has achieved record customer satisfaction levels in the year to 31 March and increased investment in infrastruc ture by 30% to £627 million, from £483 million in the preceding period.

North Sea field delays hit profits at Petrofac: Delays on a flagship North Sea field have taken a toll on profits at Petrofac, the oil services giant which is a big employer in Scotland.

Fife butcher moves on to high street store after success at farmers’ markets: Puddeblub, the butchery firm that made its name at farmers markets, is taking a chance on high street retailing with a store in Kirkcaldy.

The Scotsman

Aberfoyle’s Forest Hills Hotel unveils £3.5 million makeover: The luxury Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel and Spa has unveiled a multi-million-pound renovation

Google fined record £2.1 billion for breaking EU competition rules: Google has been hit with a record fine of €2.42 billion (£2.1 billion) after breaching European competition rules with its online shopping service.

‘Milestone’ as Glasgow’s Clydeside Distillery appoints manager: The Clydeside Distillery, Glasgow’s newest whisky venture, has appointed Alistair McDonald as distillery manager.

Law firm Dickson Minto breaks into City’s top three: Dickson Minto, the Edinburgh-based corporate legal boutique, has broken into the top tier of advisers to Britain’s biggest listed companies.

£1 million fund aims to boost green ideas in manufacturing sector: Manufacturing businesses with innovative green ideas are being urged to tap into £1 million of funding currently available from Zero Waste Scotland.

Marks & Spencer building science into beef supply chain: A proposal that would see a ground-breaking partnership between Aberdeen Angus beef producers, their breed society, gene technology firms and a major retailer has been revealed.

City A.M.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case to legalise sports betting in New Jersey: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a bid to revive a state law legalising sports betting.

Transport for London pushes back introduction of English written tests for private hire drivers pending Uber’s appeal: Transport for London (TfL) has announced it will push back the introduction of a written English language test for private hire drivers from September this year to April 2018, after Uber won its right to appeal the matter.

Regulator outlines case it had on Sir Philip Green before £363 million BHS settlement: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) believes BHS tycoon Sir Philip Green took a close interest in the retailer’s pension funds during his ownership of the firm despite his protestations to MPs that he did not take part in conversations about the schemes.

Trinidad oil producer Touchstone Exploration targets growth after its first day of trading on Aim: Touchstone Exploration is making headway on its aim to become the largest onshore oil producer in Trinidad and Tobago.

Travelodge goes on recruitment drive in London as 100 more hotels on the cards for the capital: Budget hotel giant Travelodge is creating over 200 jobs as part of its recruitment drive in London.

Volvo and Autoliv announce tie-up with artificial intelligence firm Nvidia in race to get driverless cars on sale by 2021: Volvo and Swedish car safety supplier Autoliv have teamed up with artificial intelligence firm Nvidia in their latest move in the driverless car race.

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:23:00 +0100
In the Papers - Blackberry, Holland & Barrett, Pallinghurst Resources, Royal Bank of Scotland Newspaper Summary

The Times

Fund backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman snaps up Holland & Barrett: A retail investment fund backed by Mikhail Fridman, the Russian billionaire, has struck its first deal, agreeing to buy Holland & Barrett for £1.77 billion.

Europe back in play for TTIP transatlantic trade deal with U.S.: Talks to conclude a trade deal between the United States and European Union will resume after the German elections in September, America’s Chief trade negotiator has said.

Foreign banks still love City, says lord mayor of London Andrew Parmley: Overseas banks and financial institutions are desperate to establish footholds in the City of London even amid uncertainty about its continued access to European Union markets, according to the lord mayor of London.

Victims of HBOS Reading scandal call for Russel Griggs, head of compensation scheme, to quit: Victims of the HBOS Reading scandal have called for the resignation of the head of the compensation scheme after it emerged that he has indirect business connections with the fraudster who ran the scam.

Retrophin fraud trial is bitter pill for Martin Shkreli, America’s ‘most hated man’: Martin Shkreli was public enemy No 1 in the summer of 2015. The hedge fund manager-turned-drug company Executive had raised the price of a common HIV treatment from $13.50 a tablet to $750, causing worldwide outrage.

Lottoland gets ticket to Australia in partnership with William Hill: A lottery company that uses a legal loophole to allow punters to bet on the Euromillions draw has signed a partnership with William Hill in Australia.

Royal Mint buys minority stake in coin dealership Sovereign Rarities: The Royal Mint has bought a minority stake in a coin dealership in Mayfair as it seeks to expand its growing interest in the market for old currency.

Small businesses are suffering, says Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group: The health of small and medium-sized businesses has fallen to its lowest level in three years, despite a marked increase in confidence among entrepreneurs, according to the latest check of the sector.

Samer Halimeh teams up with SSH Maritime to launch diamond boutiques on superyachts: In a move that has already been called “Bond Street on Sea”, the Beirut-born Founder of the eponymous jewellery brand has teamed up with SSH Maritime to launch a series of diamond boutiques on superyachts.

The Independent

Great recession fears as bankers warn next global crash could arrive ‘with a vengeance’: A new financial crisis is brewing in the emerging economies and it could hit “with a vengeance”, an influential group of central bankers has warned.

David Davis seeks plan for Britons to keep access to EU healthcare: David Davis said the U.K. Government is seeking a plan to allow Britons to continue accessing cut-price healthcare in EU countries.

The Daily Telegraph

Hinkley nuclear costs climb as deadlines slip (again): EDF is bracing for a multi-billion euro rise in costs at its Hinkley Point C nuclear site after a fresh evaluation of the project revealed yet another likely delay.

Invest in Britain’s armed forces to boost the economy, says PwC: Heavier investment in Britain’s armed forces can strengthen the U.K. not only militarily, but also economically, new research says.

British fund houses face year of redesign in battle for public’s trust: The £7 trillion investment community will learn this week the outcome of an investigation into the sector by the City watchdog, with many braced for a shake-up over transparency, fees and competition after years of criticism.

Pallinghurst set to vote through Gemfields takeover: South African fund Pallinghurst Resources is set to vote through a move to take over Aim-listed miner Gemfields. 

Scandal-hit Petrofac to assure investors that it is ‘business as usual’: Petrofac will be hoping to convince investors that it is business as usual for the troubled oilfield services group in its trading update on Tuesday.

End of QE will slay zombie companies, top investor warns: A wave of companies will go bust when interest rates go up and quantitative easing ends, a top fund manager has warned, as too many businesses have been insulated from the tough realities of corporate life.

Japan ‘poised to begin informal trade talks with U.K.’: Japan is poised to begin informal trade talks with the U.K. to secure a swift trade deal after Brexit.

The Guardian

Bond Street: status of U.K.’s most exclusive shopping street under threat: The status of Bond Street as the U.K.’s most exclusive shopping destination is under threat, as one in four retailers on the famous street consider shutting up shop and moving out as a result of high rents and business rates.

Murdoch’s Sky takeover bid: culture secretary’s verdict due this week: Rupert Murdoch is about to learn whether the government has cleared his latest bid to buy Sky or whether concerns about competition could yet derail the deal.

Italy to wind up two failing banks at potential cost of €17 billion: The Italian government is stepping in to wind up two failing lenders and prevent a bank run, at a total cost of up to €17 billion (£15 billion).

U.K. electricity grid cyber-attack risk is ‘off the scale’: Concerns over the threat posed by cyber-attacks on power stations and electricity grids is “off the scale” in the U.K. energy sector, according to a leading industry figure.

RBS to cut hundreds of U.K. jobs in move to India: Royal Bank of Scotland is to cut 443 jobs in Britain as the bank moves its team that arranges loans for small businesses to India.

Daily Mail

Power and water company Bosses facing criticism after raking in millions despite complaining of out of control costs and missing leak targets: Power and water company Bosses were facing criticism last night after raking in millions despite complaining of out of control costs and missing leak targets. Gas and electricity provider SSE provoked an outcry when it handed Boss Alistair Phillips-Davies, 49, a 72% pay rise – weeks after he railed against a cap on bills.

Celebrity jewellery designer Theo Fennell rescues his firm one month after it called in administrators: Celebrity jewellery designer Theo Fennell has rescued his firm one month after it called in administrators. The 65-year-old said he was ‘thrilled’ after leading a management buyout with backing from private equity investor Endless.

Mike Ashley’s £15 million bar bill: He says deal talk was just drink-fuelled ‘banter’ while rival insists it was all for real: Mike Ashley, the billionaire Boss of retailer Sports Direct, faces court action this week over an alleged multi-million-pound deal hatched during an alcohol-fuelled meeting in a London pub. He is being sued by former Merrill Lynch banker Jeff Blue, who claims the tycoon agreed to pay him £15 million if he could help make Sports Direct ‘as valuable as Marks & Spencer’.

Sainsbury’s exploring potential sweeteners in bid to fend off rebellion against its takeover of Nisa: Sainsbury’s is exploring potential sweeteners in a bid to fend off a rebellion against its takeover of Nisa. The chain has tabled a £130 million bid for the mutual and is doing due diligence following Tesco’s swoop on wholesaler Booker.

Motorists could be in line for further savings at petrol pumps as price of oil continues to tumble: Motorists could be in line for further savings at the petrol pumps as the price of oil continues to tumble. Fuel prices are at their lowest level since the start of the year – with motorists paying about 5p less per litre of petrol and 6p less on diesel than in February.

Daily Express

Rate hike excitement could cool, says Harvey Jones: The debate over whether to increase base rates is finally getting interesting. In the 100 months since the Bank of England slashed rates to 0.5% in March 2009, there has been little to get excited about.

Debenhams to show high street health: Investors will be watching Debenhams next week for signs of deepening trouble on Britain’s high street.

Greene King to disappoint investors with flat results: Pub retailer Greene King is set to disappoint investors by serving up a flat set of results next week.

Store revamps underlie Carpetright’s improving sales: Investors in Carpetright hope to be buoyed by signs that its nationwide store revamp is driving sales growth.

Interest rate hike moves a step closer – MPC vote could see first increase in a decade: Businesses and households should brace themselves for a surprise interest rate hike in August as key Bank of England members turn hawkish.

The Scottish Herald

Ian McConnell: Brexit outcome is key to prospects of SMEs: CYBG Chief Executive David Duffy is right to flag the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises to the U.K. economy, particularly at this juncture as protracted Brexit negotiations get started.

Chance encounter leads star chef from Lakeland to Royal Mile: While Scotland’s restaurant scene is booming the experience of a man who has developed a very successful eating place suggests the rise of social media and review sites has been a mixed blessing for the sector.

Gin maker makes its move into mini bottle market: A Speyside gin distiller has moved to give consumers more opportunity to try its products by introducing gift size bottles for two of its hand-crafted spirits.

Dixons Carphone to reveal rise in profits despite consumer spending squeeze: Dixons Carphone is expected to show signs of wear from the squeeze on consumer spending, despite boosting profits, when it announces full-year results on Wednesday.

The Scotsman

Gaelic TV drama Bannan wins new four-year deal: The company set up on the Isle of Skye by the producer of the hit comedy The Inbetweeners has won a new four-year deal to continue making a Gaelic drama series there.

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to return railways to public ownership: The next Labour government will legislate for public ownership of the railways, Jeremy Corbyn has pledged.

City A.M.

Business confidence rebounds to 18-month high despite decade’s most difficult recruitment environment: Business confidence has rebounded to its strongest level in 18 months in year since the U.K. voted to leave the EU despite the most difficult recruitment situation for a decade, according to a long-running survey.

Defence company Ultra Electronics says it’s in “advanced discussions” to buy U.S. firm Sparton: Defence specialist Ultra Electronics has announced it is in “advanced discussions” with NYSE-listed Sparton to acquire the company.

Giant crumpets are helping to feed Warburtons’ profits: Warburtons the baker increased its pre-tax profits by 4.9% to £34.6 million in the year to October 2016, despite a 4.6% decrease in sales.

London fund managers soften on Saudi Aramco float ahead of new Financial Conduct Authority paper: London fund managers are warming to compromises on corporate governance concerns caused by the potential listing of Saudi Aramco on the London Stock Exchange, according to reports.

Blackberry share price slumps after surprising the market with sales miss: Shares in Blackberry were sent sprawling in pre-market trading after quarterly sales volumes flopped, missing market estimates.

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:25:00 +0100
In the Papers - Royal Mail, Burberry, Qatar Airways, Intercontinental Hotels Group Newspaper Summary

The Times

Bank of England too timid to make hard decisions, says Kristin Forbes: Central banking may have become too political and policymakers too overstretched to manage interest rates properly, a leading Bank of England ratesetter suggested.

Heat on Opec as oil glut drags down prices: Oil prices are on track for their worst start to the year in two decades amid mounting evidence that an Opec-led effort to curb global supplies is failing to restore balance to a glutted market.

Hard Brexit threatens 18,000 German car jobs: A hard Brexit will put up to 18,000 jobs in the German car industry in danger because vehicles will become “significantly more expensive” for British consumers, analysts said.

U.K. insurers and pension funds sell record £15 billion shares: Insurers and pension funds sold a record amount of U.K. shares in the first quarter of the year, against a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty.

Competition and Markets Authority sets BAE free: The Competition and Markets Authority has advised Greg Clark, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, that BAE Systems should be freed from the remaining undertakings linked to its tie-up with the Marconi Electronic Systems business of General Electric Company in 1999.

No decision on London Metal Exchange fees: The London Metal Exchange, which is under pressure to cut trading fees, says no decision has been made yet. A 31% increase in January 2015 prompted complaints from members and falling volumes.

Bitcoin provider Blockchain stuffs wallet with $40 million: Blockchain, a London-based bitcoin currency service provider, has raised $40 million of fresh funding, including from Sir Richard Branson.

Trafalgar Releasing provides new stage for theatre impresarios: Two of London’s leading theatre impresarios have acquired Picturehouse Entertainment, a live cinema distributor, in a move to provide more live streaming of theatrical productions.

The Independent

Intercontinental Hotels launches new budget chain: Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) plan to launch a new midscale hotel chain to provide the basics “exceptionally well” - for less than its budget Holiday Inn Express brand.

Guns of the oil industry threatening all marine life, study suggests: Air guns used to explore for oil below the seabed appears to kill off vast amounts of plankton and krill – upon which much of the marine food chain depends – up to 1,200 million from the site of the blast, according to a new study.

British strawberry prices set to soar 50% without EU farm workers: The price of British strawberries could soar as much as 50% as the industry faces the “disastrous and cataclysmic” effects of losing EU workers, farmers have warned.

Facebook and Google losing hundreds of millions over extremist videos: Google and Facebook are set to miss out on hundreds of millions of pounds this year as companies continue to pull their ads, some of which were found to be funding extremism, industry experts have said. says AI to be more disruptive to U.K. tech than Brexit: The reckless rise of artificial intelligence is going to be much more disruptive for the London technology scene in the longer run than Britain’s departure from the EU, according to musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist

Trump claims border wall will ‘pay for itself’ using solar panels: U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s proposed building a “solar wall” on the Mexican border that would pay for itself by generating electricity.

Amazon to follow Whole Foods acquisition with fashion empire: A week after upending the grocery business, Amazon is taking aim at fashion.

Japanese bank Nomura chooses Frankfurt for EU base after Brexit: Nomura picked Frankfurt as the headquarters for its European Union operations after the U.K. leaves the bloc, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Businesses in denial over stark future of British economy, senior KPMG auditor warns: Businesses are in denial over Brexit, with some refusing to acknowledge the “significant risks” that will accompany the U.K.’s departure from the EU, a senior figure at KPMG has warned.

Norwegian Airlines are launching low-cost flights to Argentina: Norwegian, which has a busy long-haul network from the Sussex airport to the U.S., is now launching the first long-haul, low-cost flight from the U.K. to South America.

The Daily Telegraph

Hinkley nuclear deal is ‘high cost and risky’, says spending watchdog: The U.K.’s public spending watchdog has reignited concerns that EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C new nuclear project is a high stakes political gamble which may not pay off.

Peter Hambro ousted from gold miner Petropavlovsk after losing board battle with Russian investors: Peter Hambro has lost his bid to stop a major Russian investor from filleting the board of Petropavlovsk, the gold mining company he co-founded more than 20 years ago.

Qatar Airways looks to buy 10% stake in American Airlines: Qatar Airways has made an “unsolicited” approach to acquire 10% of American Airlines. The Doha-based airline has told American it intends to invest at least £638 million in the U.S. company, sending its share price up around 6% in pre-market trading.

Leonardo lands £260 million deal to fit ‘friend or foe’ ID systems to British vehicles: British jet fighters, helicopters, warships and missile systems will be fitted with advanced identification systems under a major contract awarded to defence group Leonardo’s U.K. business.

McDonald’s launches home delivery in the U.K. after tie-up with Uber: McDonald’s has finally succumbed to demands to introduce home deliveries in Britain, launching a test of the service in London, Leeds and Nottingham. It comes amid growing appetite for on-demand takeaways, driven by smartphone apps and the internet.

Boss of B&M Bargains doubles his pay with a bumper bonus: The Boss of B&M Bargains has enjoyed a bumper bonus following a jump in the retailer’s profits which has led to his payday doubling compared to the year before.

Passengers desert Southern as further strikes loom: The owner of the beleaguered Southern rail franchise has suffered a 4% drop in passenger journeys and revenue on the service over the past 12 months, as the service was hit by a stinging report into its failings and the threat of further strike action on Thursday.

The Questor Column:

this trust has a remarkable record of outperformance – and the discount is 13.5%: There is a great deal to like about this week’s trust, BlackRock Smaller Companies. It has an extraordinary record of outperforming its benchmark index and a similarly stellar history of dividend increases; it also trades at a discount of almost 13.5%. Additionally, the trust has a well-resourced and experienced management team that uses a tried and tested investment process. Since late 2002 it has achieved average returns of 16.8% a year with dividends reinvested, against 9.5% a year for the benchmark. Alan Brierley of Canaccord Genuity, the broker, called this consistent outperformance “a truly remarkable achievement”. Annual dividend increases have also been impressive: average growth has been 20% over the past five years, and this has been supported by 21% average annual growth in the dividends received from the trust’s holdings over the past seven years. However, the trust is not a natural choice for income investors as it currently yields only 1.8%. The investment team, led by Mike Prentis, focuses on five sustainable growth characteristics: cash generation, a long track record of earnings growth, strong market position, sound balance sheet and proven, trustworthy management. When the trust decides to invest in a particular stock, it takes a small initial stake of 0.25% to 0.5% of the trust’s assets. The portfolio is diversified, with 166 holdings. The fund is able to invest up to half of its money in Aim-listed stocks and tends to have more exposure to the junior market than its peers. The “base” management fee is 0.65% on the first £50 million of gross assets and 0.5% thereafter. There is also a performance fee. The more comprehensive “ongoing” charge is 0.7%, or 1% with the performance fee. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

U.K. manufacturing soars thanks to weak pound and global recovery: Britain’s manufacturers are enjoying the strongest demand for their products in almost 30 years as a recovering global economy and a weaker pound boost order books.

M&S fashion Chief will leave behind £1.7 million as she departs Halfords: Jill McDonald, the Boss of Halfords, is missing out on £1.7 million of bonuses from the bikes and car parts retailer as she jumps ship to Marks & Spencer.

U.K. faces slowdown amid living standards squeeze: Britain’s vote to leave the EU has squeezed living standards, hit consumer spending and dampened the country’s growth prospects, a Guardian analysis of economic news over the year since the referendum shows.

Buy-to-let U.K. property sales fall by almost 50% in a year: The number of properties bought by landlords has almost halved in a year after a tax and regulatory clampdown, prompting a leading banking body to downgrade its forecasts for buy-to-let lending in 2017 and 2018.

Inflation needs to be checked with rate increase, says M% member: A Bank of England policymaker has heaped further pressure on Mark Carney, the Governor, with a warning that the central bank’s policymakers have failed to spot an inflationary spiral that needs to be choked off with an immediate increase in interest rates.

Athens: thousands of public-sector workers march against austerity: Greece has been hit by fresh strike action as thousands of public sector workers marched through Athens in protest against the debt-ridden country’s austerity programme.

Daily Mail

Profits up at cruise and insurance firm Saga: Cruise and insurance firm Saga made a £193.3 million profit for the year to January 31, up 9.7% on the previous year, and Chief Executive Lance Batchelor said progress had held up well.

iPhone chip maker in hunt for buyer after shares plunge: Embattled iPhone chip maker Imagination Technologies has put itself up for sale amid a bruising battle with Apple.

Virtual reality gig app that lets music fans watch sold-out concerts gets a Microsoft tie-up netting Founders £2 million: London-based MelodyVR’s partnership with the U.S. tech giant cheered investors and sent shares in its parent company, EVR Holdings, soaring by 5.8%. Entrepreneurs behind an app that lets music fans watch sold-out concerts in virtual reality made almost £2 million after revealing a tie-up with Microsoft.

Shell retreats from Nigerian oil business: Shell is retreating from its key oil business in Nigeria amid long-running battles with thieves and racketeers. The blue chip giant lost around 5,660 barrels of oil per day last year – and far more in previous years – as criminals hacked into its vast network of pipes and sold the oil on local and international black markets.

Burberry appoints American retail veteran to its board as it targets U.S. sales: Burberry has appointed an American retail veteran to its board to revitalise its sales across the pond. The firm, hit by a downturn in U.S. department stores, is bringing in retail expert Ron Frasch as a non-Executive Director from September.

Daily Express

U.K. banks’ passporting rights not up for debate, snaps Brussels Chief: Banks based in Britain will be stripped of key market access to the European Union (EU) if Theresa May presses ahead with a hard Brexit, a top Brussels bureaucrat insisted after just four days of official talks.

Factory orders hit highest level in 30 years amid export boom: British manufacturing has surged to its highest level since the 1980s, as the economy continues to boom amid Brexit talks.

Government borrowing at lowest amount for 10 years boosting efforts to fix public finances: The Government borrowed its lowest amount for 10 years last month, boosting efforts to fix the public finances amid an expected slowdown in the U.K. economy.

Costa owner Whitbread launches new selection of cold drinks to perk up flagging sales: Costa owner Whitbread is aiming to woo customers with a new selection of cold drinks to perk up flagging sales at its coffee chain

The Scottish Herald

Aberdeen oil and gas technology centre backs first projects: The technology centre that was set up to help the North Sea industry boost efficiency amid the crude price plunge with a pledge of £180 million official support has approved projects worth £1.6 million since it was launched in February.

New enterprise agency must look long-term: Highlands & Islands Enterprise has been proven a success in developing the economy of the region, so the move to create a similar agency for the south of Scotland is understandable.

Bank highlights challenge facing Cairn in India: Barclays Capital has cut its target price for Cairn Energy by more than 10% after the oil gas firm hit fresh complications in India.

Major economic boost for south of Scotland: A new enterprise agency aimed at energising the economy of the south of Scotland will be operational by 2020.

Staycation boost for Scots caravan parks: Verdant Leisure, the caravan park operator focused on Scotland and northern England, has recorded a strong increase in sales which it said reflected the increasing popularity of staycations.

The Scotsman

Watchdog clears Standard Life’s £11 billion Aberdeen Asset deal: The U.K. competition watchdog has given the green light to the £11 billion merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM).

FirstGroup and Stagecoach shortlisted to run HS2 railway: Aberdeen-based FirstGroup and Perth rival Stagecoach are among three bids to have been shortlisted to operate the HS2 high-speed railway, the U.K. government announced.

Model trains firm Hornby rebuffs £27.4 million takeover bid: Model train maker Hornby has said that a takeover bid launched by Phoenix Asset Management “significantly undervalues” the company.

Michelin pumped up with £4.5 million boost for Dundee factory: Tyre manufacturer Michelin is getting £4.5 million of public cash as part of a £16.5 million investment in its Dundee factory, the First Minister has announced.

Business accelerator Acorn Enterprise expands in Dundee: A company accelerator that has already provided a leg-up for more than 100 businesses is looking to ramp up its activities by branching out to a new location in Dundee city centre.

City A.M.

U.S. banks pass the first round of the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests: America’s 34 largest banks have all passed the first stage of the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests, meaning they would have enough capital to meet regulatory requirements during a severe economic crisis.

Royal Mail eyes half a billion pound London property haul after confirming discussions over sale of Mount Pleasant site: Royal Mail has confirmed it is in discussions over a “possible sale” of part of its Mount Pleasant sorting office.

Wine and spirit industries in the U.K. and EU are uniting to form a plan for trade after Brexit: Britain and the EU’s wine and spirit industries will work together to create a plan to keep trade intact after Brexit.

Barratt Developments gives its Boss a hand and picks a new finance Chief: Barratt Developments appointed a new finance Chief, ending a five-month period where Britain’s biggest housebuilder went without a full-time head beancounter.

Nine Elms owner Dalian Wanda hits back at “vicious speculation” after shares nosedive: Dalian Wanda, the Chinese conglomerate bankrolling numerous projects at London’s Nine Elms development, has asked authorities to suspend trading in its stock overnight.

In the wake of Grenfell, an affordable housing charity raises £24.7 million through retail bonds issue to build quality low-priced homes: In the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster last week, where a number people of people died after a fire spread alarmingly quickly in their apartment block, calls for quality affordable housing have been redoubled.

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:03:00 +0100
In the Papers - Sports Direct, Starbucks, Honda, Etsy Newspaper Summary

The Times

Immigration cap will harm U.K. economy, says Tesco Chairman John Allen: One of Britain’s leading businessmen will warn that a cap on immigration will have a “materially detrimental effect on the U.K. economy”.

Queen’s Speech applauded by business groups but fears remain over Brexit ‘chaos’: Business groups applauded a more pro-business tone from the government in the Queen’s Speech, but warned that they were still in the dark over future trading arrangements.

Women miss out in Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management merger: Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management are facing criticism over the paucity of women in senior positions after the 12 members of the combined investment management committee included only one woman.

Berkeley’s profits jump but industry faces uncertainty: An upmarket housebuilder has defied a slowdown in its main London market, delivering better annual results than expected. Berkeley Group unveiled a 53% rise in pre-tax profits to £812.4 million in the year to the end of April, from revenue up 33% to £2.72 billion.

Sports Direct jobs agency owes £8.2 million to taxman: The failed employment agency embroiled in the pay and conditions row at a Sports Direct warehouse has left the taxpayer with a £8.2 million bill, according to an administrator’s report.

Queen’s Speech applauded by business groups but fears remain over Brexit ‘chaos’: Business groups applauded a more pro-business tone from the government in the Queen’s Speech, but warned that they were still in the dark over future trading arrangements.

The Independent

Bank of England’s Andy Haldane ready to vote for interest rate rise: The Bank of England’s Chief economist, Andy Haldane, is ready to vote for an increase in U.K. interest rates “relatively soon”.

Public borrowing comes in as expected in May at £6.7 billion: The U.K. public finances registered a robust performance in May, according to the Office for National Statistics, bringing some welcome breathing space to the Government amid multiplying signs of an economic slowdown.

Starbucks to hire 2,500 refugees across Europe: Starbucks will hire 2,500 refugees across Europe by 2022 as part of a wider plan that sparked a social media backlash when it was announced in January.

How climate change will threaten food security of poorest countries: Some of the world’s poorest countries will be hit hardest as climate change affects marine fisheries all over the world, according to a new study.

Cobra beer Founder Lord Karan Bilimoria says Brexit might not happen: The Co-Founder of Cobra beer has said that he does not think that Britain will end up leaving the EU, once people become aware of the full impact a split will have on business and the economy.

Honda forced to halt production after WannaCry cyberattack: Honda said on Wednesday it halted production at a domestic vehicle plant for a day this week after finding the WannaCry ransomware that struck globally last month in its computer network.

Berkeley warns of prolonged Brexit uncertainty as house builds plummet: The Boss of housebuilder Berkeley Group has warned over a sharp drop in the levels of new builds across London as the property market faces a period of “prolonged uncertainty” amid Brexit talks.

Supersonic passenger jet to take off next year: An American firm is promising the return of supersonic passenger aviation, with transatlantic airfares “about the same price as ‘s business class tickets”.

Finnish citizens given universal basic income report lower stress levels and greater incentive to work: Finland has been giving 2,000 of its citizens an unconditional income for the last five months and some are already seeing the benefits, reporting decreased stress, greater incentives to find work and more time to pursue business ideas. The scheme is the first of its kind in Europe and sees participants receive €560 (£473) every month for two years.

The Daily Telegraph

Uber Boss Travis Kalanick resigns as CEO: Uber’s Founder and Chief Executive has been forced to resign after a chaotic few months at the company which has seen one scandal after another.

Shire gets green light for long-lasting ADHD drug: Pharma group Shire has won regulatory approval for a long-acting treatment to tackle attention deficit disorder in teenagers and adults.

SFO granted a reprieve from plans to scrap it a day after Barclays charges: The Serious Fraud Office appears to have been granted a reprieve from plans to abolish it in a U-turn that came just a day after the organisation targeted Barclays with the first criminal charges ever brought against a bank over the financial crisis.

Centrica eyes acquisitions as it welcomes axing of energy price cap: The owner of British Gas has welcomed the Government’s decision to omit an energy price cap from its legislative plans, as the utilities giant wooed the City with plans to accelerate its growth in consumer innovation through possible acquisitions.

Diamond sells stake in Atlas Mara to realise Nigeria ambitions: Bob Diamond is selling a chunk of his investment vehicle Atlas Mara in a bid to raise $200 million and fire up growth following a rocky three years.

The Questor Column:

The psychological thriller that carries a simple message – buy Anglo American: When a share price slides relentlessly to the point that 90% of the company’s market value has been lost, investors can see that a wonderful buying opportunity may have arisen. But they also know that the share price could simply continue to fall. What they need is a rational basis for identifying when a stock’s fortunes are about to turn. One fund manager says he has just such a method – and that, in the case of ‘s stock, the mining group Anglo American, it allowed him to time his purchase almost to perfection. Better still, the same methodology indicates that there should be further gains to come. Questor was intrigued to discover that the manager’s analysis was based less on accounting detail and more on the psychological states of the various parties involved: the company’s management, City analysts and actual and potential investors. Once this leads them to take risks once more, it’s time to sell. Again, the signs should be there in the tone of management’s statements. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: RWS: RWS, the patent translation firm tipped here in December at 301p, announced its first-half results. Turnover rose by 35% to £76.6 million and adjusted profits before tax increased by almost 40% to £19.4 million. Keith Ashworth-Lord, who manages the Sanford DeLand U.K. Buffettology fund, said: “The group has an encouraging pipeline of new business in Europe and the U.S., with new client wins in China. While the shares have been very strong this year, upgraded broker forecasts underpin this. “My conclusion is that there is no shortage of organic growth opportunities, likely to be aided and abetted by bolt-on acquisitions. A strong hold therefore.” Questor says ‘Strong Hold’.

The Guardian

Battersea Power Station developer slashes number of affordable homes: The developer behind one of London’s biggest luxury property projects has nearly halved the number of affordable homes it plans to build on the site.

Upheaval for Burberry as Chairman signals departure: Further boardroom upheaval is underway at Burberry after the luxury fashion brand revealed its long-standing Chairman, Sir John Peace, is planning to leave.

U.K. budget deficit to increase this year amid living standards squeeze: The government’s spending deficit is on course to worsen this year as official figures show the economic slowdown is beginning to take a toll on the U.K.’s public finances.

House sales have fallen by nearly a third in some parts of U.K., says Lloyds: High prices and hefty stamp duty bills have resulted in a near one-third drop in house moves in some parts of the country over the past year, according to research by Lloyds Bank.

Tory pledge to cap energy bills missing from Queen’s speech: Millions of people are unlikely to see their energy bills capped after Theresa May appeared to make a U-turn on one of her flagship election promises – to the delight of big energy companies.

Daily Mail

Ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie fails in bid to oust media firm Brave Bison’s Boss: Digital broadcaster Brave Bison shot up after former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie and his son Ashley failed in their bid to oust the firm’s Chairman following a boardroom bust-up.

Centrica shuts huge storage facility - forcing Britain to rely on imports to heat its homes: Britain will have to rely on foreign gas from volatile states such as Qatar to keep the lights on in winter after Centrica revealed plans to shut the country’s biggest storage facility.

Row over Faberge owner Gemfields reaches boiling point as main shareholder lays claim: The row over the future of Faberge owner Gemfields reached boiling point after its largest shareholder claimed it had secured enough votes to force through a takeover.

Investment giant Phoenix Asset Management makes £12.3 million swoop to take over failing toymaker Hornby: Phoenix Asset Management - which specialises in so-called zombie insurance policies - has acquired a majority stake in Hornby and made a £12.3 million offer for the rest of the company.

Disastrous staff reshuffle wipes £745 million off the value of doorstep lender Provident Financial: More than £745 million was wiped off doorstep lender Provident Financial after it revealed a decision to axe 2,000 debt collectors had backfired.

New Bovis Homes Boss snaps up nearly £2 million in shares in a continued vote of confidence: The Boss of Bovis Homes has snapped up nearly £2 million worth of its shares in his latest vote of confidence in the troubled housebuilder.

Daily Express

Mark Carney wrong about Britain’s economy and U.K. interest rates, says top BoE economist: Britain’s economy has coped with Brexit and could soon be ready for interest rates to rise, the Bank of England’s Chief economist said in an outlook sharply contrasting with his Boss Mark Carney.

Whole Foods staff fear for jobs after Amazon takeover: Whole Foods’ U.K. employees have been kept in the dark about job security and wages, despite concerns that Amazon’s takeover could result in a major shake-up at the supermarket chain.

Karen Bradley to give verdict on 21st Century Fox’s £11.7billion bid for Sky broadcaster: Culture Secretary Karen Bradley is set to give her verdict on 21st Century Fox’s £11.7billion bid for satellite broadcaster Sky by June 29.

New woe heaped on Saudi Arabia’s battered economy: Oil prices have crashed to their lowest level in seven months, putting fresh pressure on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to stabilise its economy.

Pound rises as Bank of England’s economist says U.K. ready for rate hike in 2017: The pound has jumped back from two-month lows after the Bank of England’s Chief economist said he could soon be ready to vote for a rise in interest rates.

The Scottish Herald

Bank economist fuels rate rise expectations: The Bank of England’s Chief economist has signalled he will likely vote to raise interest rates “relatively soon”, with the “dust-cloud” of uncertainty from the General Election among factors preventing him from doing so last week.

Aberdeen firm highlights potential of project off Norway: North Sea focused Faroe Petroleum has said a big development project remains economically attractive as oil prices came under renewed pressure.

Whitbread sees its shares rise as Costa returns to the black: Shares in Whitbread perked up more than three% after the leisure giant’s Costa Coffee arm returned to sales growth in the first quarter.

Angels give backing to Aberdeen ‘stool transplant’ business: Aberdeen biotechnology firm EnteroBiotix has raised £500,000 of finance to be used to both develop its product line and enhance its manufacturing and research team.

Clooney tequila is valued at $1 billion in sale to Diageo: The tequila company co-founded by Hollywood star George Clooney has been acquired by Diageo in a deal that values the business at $1 billion, writes Scott Wright.

First Bus goes contactless in Aberdeen: Firstgroup has declared it has become the first bus operator to introduce contactless payments in Scotland.

Braveheart back in the black after cost cuts: The Braveheart private equity business that made its name in Scotland has returned to the black in the latest year when it focused investing activity in England.

The Scotsman

New Scottish film and TV fund delivers £17.5 million boost for economy: A new incentive fund to help bring films and TV productions to Scotland has generated a £17.5 million return on investment in its first 18 months - 10 times more than was put in.

Breich earmarked for first Scottish station closure in 31 years: Plans to close Breich Station in West Lothian, used by just three passengers a week, have been announced by Network Rail.

Boosting productivity could add £25 billion to Scots economy: Scotland’s economy could be boosted by £25 billion if it increased its regional productivity, according to a new study published.

Investors in People Scotland in remarkable rebrand: Investors in People Scotland has revealed that it is rebranding as Re:markable. The new identity was unveiled by economy secretary Keith Brown, and the organisation said the Investors in People accreditation and Investors in Young People will remain its flagship services, with others to be rolled out later this year.

Peace Recruitment Group embarks on digital overhaul: Peace Recruitment, the construction jobs specialist, has overhauled its online presence by introducing audio job adverts and Tripadvisor-style reviews for its consultants.

Napier and EICC team up for degree in business events: Edinburgh Napier University and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) have teamed up to offer what they say is the first course of its kind in the U.K.

TrustedHousesitters purring after tie-up with Skyscanner: A company that lays claim to being the world’s largest house and pet sitting business has struck a partnership agreement with Scots tech titan Skyscanner.

City A.M.

City PR firm Tavistock joins global business Weber Shandwick in a strategic partnership: London-based financial PR firm Tavistock will bolster its offerings for City businesses with a new strategic partnership, City AM can exclusively reveal.

Superdrug owner AS Watson mulling a £1 billion takeover bid for Holland & Barrett: Superdrug owner AS Watson Group is reportedly considering a takeover bid of at least £1 billion for Holland & Barrett.

London’s prime retail rents are set to cool despite superb shopping scene, according to Colliers International: Average prime retail rents across the capital will be flat during the next 12 months, according to research by Colliers International.

Creative marketplace Etsy is slashing 15% of its workforce: Online craft marketplace Etsy will slash its global workforce by 15% as it works to overhaul its internal operations.

HS2 set to be extended after bill for next stage outlined in Queen’s speech: Powers to progress the second phase of the HS2 rail line have been included in the Queen’s speech.

Chinese bike-sharing firm goes bust after it loses most of its cycles in just five months: A Chinese bike-sharing company has gone bust after losing nearly all of its bikes in its first five months of business.

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:50:00 +0100
In the Papers - Goldman Sachs, Uber, HSBC, Gemfields Newspaper Summary

The Times

Oil price hits seven-month low: Oil prices fell to a seven-month low last night amid signs that a recovery in production from Libya and Nigeria was feeding a global supply glut.

Mark Dixon, former Regus boss, makes £94 million from share sale: Mark Dixon, the former fast-food seller turned multi-millionaire, has sold another chunk of shares in the company he founded, taking his cash haul from IWG to more than £260 million during the past decade.

Amazon aims to solve issue of returns with Prime Wardrobe: Amazon is attempting to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to online clothes shopping with a new service that allows customers to order clothing, shoes or accessories, try them on at home before paying, and ship back anything that doesn’t fit or suit.

Ofgem slashes electricity subsidies for small-scale generators: Ofgem has pruned the subsidies available for small-scale electricity generators that provide back-up power for peak winter demand in a move that the watchdog claims will save Britons nearly £400 million a year.

Betting group GVC Holdings to review Executive pay after investors revolt: GVC Holdings has appointed an independent non-Executive Director to review boardroom pay after investors speaking for 43% of its shares voted against its remuneration report.

High-speed problems force Aston Martin Vantage recall: Aston Martin has ordered a global recall of 1,658 of its Vantage model after problems with a routine software update led to cars in China stalling and losing power at high speed.

Ancestry listing takes it back to the future: The website that has helped to fuel the explosion in armchair genealogy is being prepared for a return to the stock market. The owner of has submitted the initial paperwork for a listing in the United States.

Fall in sterling makes London cheaper for expatriates: Britain has become a cheaper place for multinationals to place expatriate staff because of the fall in the pound, an international survey has suggested.

British Virgin Islands home to 14 times as many companies as people: The British Virgin Islands is home to 14 times as many companies as people and, according to a study commissioned by the overseas territory, supports 150,000 jobs in Britain.

Superyacht specialist GYG prepares to float in London: A company that paints and maintains some of the world’s finest superyachts has priced its flotation on London’s junior market.

British Land hopes to gain from boom in shared offices market: British Land has become the first big landlord to cater directly for booming demand in short-term shared offices.

Jacamo retailer is slimming down despite revenue rise: A retailer that supplies fashion to the over-50s and larger women has beaten the downturn affecting other parts of the industry, but is still closing shops.

Wolseley revenues boosted by strong U.S. performance: The rising importance to Wolseley of its American business was hammered home when higher revenues across the Atlantic helped to offset a flagging domestic operation.

The Independent

Ken doll gets makeover, now available in seven different skin tones: Ken has been given a makeover and is now available in seven different skin tones as toy maker Mattel bids to modernise its products.

George Soros says U.K. is at ‘tipping point’ and may reverse Brexit: George Soros, the billionaire who earned fame by betting against the pound in 1992, said Britain was approaching a tipping point that would see the economy slow to such an extent that Brexit might even be reversed.

Brexit could cause huge surge in car prices, industry warns: The U.K. car industry has issued its sternest Brexit warning to Ministers yet, cautioning of “permanent damage” and “death by a thousand cuts” in investment that could lead to a surge in the price of new cars from Europe by as much as £1,500.

Half of U.K.’s small businesses turning down work due to unfair demands: Half of the U.K.’s small businesses have lost out on up to £10,000 in the past year due to rejecting contracts, with one in two saying they did so due unreasonable demands, new research shows.

Pensioners enjoy £2.3 trillion property windfall as younger generation: Young people in the U.K. will now be poorer than their parents because of a vast £2.3 trillion transfer of largely unearned property wealth to baby boomers, new research has found.

Online spending will double by 2021, new study finds: Bricks-and-mortar retail may not be dead just yet – online shopping giant Amazon’s £10.7 billion purchase of grocery store Whole Foods last week proved that – but new research shows that consumer spending is rapidly shifting from the high-street to the internet.

Brexit will make Britain worse off, Bank of England Chief Carney says: The Bank of England’s Governor, Mark Carney, has spelled out that in the Bank’s view Brexit will make Britain worse off than otherwise and also appeared to take an indirect swipe at the optimistic view of Boris Johnson and others that the U.K. can “have its cake and eat it” after leaving the European Union.

American social network site Nextdoor is taking over Europe: U.S. local social networking phenomenon Nextdoor is entering Germany, Europe’s largest market, the company said on Monday, following expansion moves last year into Britain and the Netherlands, where it has grown rapidly.

Goldman Sachs CEO criticised Trump in first tweet to protect employees: Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein, who launched his Twitter account this month by criticising one of President Donald Trump’s decisions, said he learned in the financial crisis to speak out when the bank or its employees may be threatened.

Britain’s economy set to grow faster than thought next year, CBI says: The Confederation of British Industry on Tuesday bumped up its forecast for economic growth in Britain, reflecting strong momentum towards the end of last year rather than any fundamental change to its view.

Four in ten millennials have no pension provision, new study reveals: Already lumbered with mounting student debt while borrowing hand over fist from the bank of mum and dad, millennials are now facing the prospect of a penniless retirement.

Facebook, Google and global advertising giants join forces to end gender stereotypes in ads around the world: Some of the world’s biggest advertisers have joined forces with the United Nations to banish gender stereotypes from ads across the globe.

The Daily Telegraph

U.S. and U.K. to start trade talks next month to ensure deal soon after Brexit: Trade talks with the U.S. will kick off next month as British officials start to scope out plans for a deal, with the aim of setting up a free trade agreement as soon as possible after Brexit.

Bombardier on track for record sale of new Aventra trains: Bombardier has landed its biggest ever contract for its Aventra trains, with an order for 750 engines and carriages from the new operators of Britain’s South Western network.

Uber heads in new direction with tipping option: Uber has agreed to allow its drivers to collect tips through its smartphone app and has reduced the cancellation windows for customers, in an effort to improve its troubled relationship with its drivers.

IP Group closes in on hostile £466 million Touchstone takeover: Science innovation company IP Group is on the cusp of a hostile takeover of rival Touchstone, after making a £466 million offer that’s already won the backing of close to three quarters of the target firm’s shareholders.

Weak pound makes U.K. more attractive for foreign businesses: Britain is no longer one of the most expensive countries for expats and globetrotting workers, as the fall in the pound has made the U.K. a cheaper location, in relative terms.

Clearing battle heats up as BoE and ECB sound conflicting warnings: A battle over the lucrative euro-clearing market heated up on Tuesday, with the European Central Bank sounding support for the relocation of clearing just as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned it could damage financial stability.

The Questor Column:

Ignore this headline loss – Biffa is a good bet for attractively valued growth: A headline net loss does not look like an auspicious start to life as a public company (for the second time around) but in the case of waste management firm Biffa appearances are deceptive. The deficit was the result of the costs associated with the company’s flotation last October and operating profit rose by a very robust 18% on an underlying basis once those costs were excluded. Biffa also offered a maiden dividend of 2.4p a share. Analysts expect the firm, a member of the FTSE Small Cap index, to generate double-digit earnings growth again in the new financial year, helped by both last year’s quintet of bolt-on acquisitions and solid organic progress in its operations. That sort of growth suggests that the shares may be attractively valued on a forward price to earnings ratio of barely 11 and a prospective yield of 3.5%. The balance sheet has some debt, including leasing commitments, but cash flow is good and forecast earnings cover the anticipated dividend payment by some 2.6 times, a nice margin of safety. A number of minor bolt-on deals should be manageable, although anything too big would be a potential cause for concern, given how many big takeovers fail to deliver. A capital gain of some 8%, with the maiden dividend on top, means we are off to a good start with Biffa and there could be more to come, especially if management keeps it simple. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Aggreko: Our move to lock in a 25% profit on Ashtead at around £16 looks far from daft after even a strong set of full-year numbers failed to boost shares in the FTSE 100 equipment rental firm that does much of its business in America. The absence of any fresh upgrades to profit forecasts, weakness in the dollar against the pound and some loss of faith in the “Trump trade” are working against a stock that has deservedly done tremendously well. The absence of any share buy-backs since October also implies that managers think the shares are no longer cheap. This all contrasts markedly with Aggreko, whose shares are admittedly still some 12% down from when we first looked at them in January. Aggreko trades on around 15 times 2017 earnings, which are expected to come in 40% below those of 2012, whereas Ashtead trades on nearly 14 times earnings that are forecast to be four times higher than those of five years ago. In contrast to Ashtead, expectations are low at Aggreko and the valuation looks to price in a lot of the risks rather than the potential upside, even if the themes involved are very similar. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Senior Barclays bankers charged with fraud over credit crunch fundraising: Four former Barclays Executives could face lengthy jail sentences after the Serious Fraud Office charged them and the bank with fraud over the way Barclays raised billions of pounds from Qatar at the height of the financial crisis.

Government inspectors should enforce workers’ rights, says Law Society: Government-backed inspectors should be able to investigate companies and entire industries to prevent unscrupulous companies falsely labelling workers as self-employed, according to a leading legal body.

Philip Hammond says Brexit deal must put jobs and prosperity first: A Brexit deal that puts jobs and prosperity first is the only way the U.K. will be able to deliver the strong growth that will enable it finally to escape from the long years of austerity, the Chancellor has said.

Exxon, BP and Shell back carbon tax proposal to curb emissions: Oil giants ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Total are among a group of large corporations supporting a plan to tax carbon dioxide emissions in order to address climate change.

Property owners’ £2.3 trillion windfall ‘has created huge inequality gap’: A £2.3 trillion windfall for those lucky enough to own their own homes during the property boom of the 1990s and early 2000s has opened up a deep and widening inequality gap between the generations, a thinktank has warned. Rising house prices that have enriched older generations have priced the young out of home ownership, said the Resolution Foundation, adding that the pattern whereby each generation was wealthier than the previous one had broken down.

Closure of U.K.’s largest gas storage site ‘could mean volatile prices’: The closure of the U.K.’s largest gas storage plant has prompted warnings that the country faces more volatile winter gas prices and is becoming too dependent on energy imports.

Tesco home delivery customers left fuming over computer glitch: Thousands of Tesco customers have had online orders cancelled after a computer glitch. Britain’s biggest supermarket said on Tuesday up to 10% of orders had been affected, with the issue affecting customers nationwide.

Daily Mail

£101 million sliced from pizza giant Domino’s as price war with Pizza Hut and rising staff costs bite: Domino’s Pizza saw £101 million sliced off its value after Investec said it is becoming less profitable, with growth set to slow. In particular, Investec said Domino’s has been hit by aggressive discounting at rival Pizza Hut, which has forced it to lower its own average prices.

Stores open juice bars and gyms to woo shoppers and plan to make millions renting out roof space: Britain’s biggest supermarkets are planning an overhaul of their stores – putting in juice and sushi bars, tyre-fitting services and gyms in a bid to fight off the threat from Amazon.

Morgan Sindall wins two-year contract extension with Western Power Distribution: Construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall has won a two-year contract extension worth up to £60 million.

Motor industry bosses warn they face a ‘skills crisis’: More than 50,000 skilled jobs in the motor industry must be created to stop Britain ‘falling off a cliff edge’ after Brexit.

Decision over Fox’s proposed £11 billion takeover of Sky to be announced early next week: The media mogul’s 21st Century Fox has made an £11.7 billion bid for the British telecoms company but is waiting for a ruling on whether the deal would make his control of newspapers and television channels too dominant.

Sales hit £800,000 at Royal Ascot tailor Oliver Brown ahead of the big event: Ascot fever helped boost sales at upmarket menswear retailer Oliver Brown. The firm, which makes formal wear for the races, saw its sales hit £800,000 in the month to June 17 as customers snapped up its Royal Ascot collection ahead of the big event.

Challenger bank Shawbrook finally gives in to takeover approach from private equity firms: Challenger bank Shawbrook has finally agreed to be taken over by a pair of private equity firms. The bank, which launched in 2011 and mostly lends to small businesses, will be bought by Pollen Street Capital and BC Partners.

Daily Express

Record low interest rates send house prices soaring for homeowners: A ‘once-in-a-generation’ era of record low interest rates means U.K. homeowners have enjoyed an unrivalled run of soaring house prices, research has found.

Co-op Bank in ‘advanced talks’ over financing deal with existing investors: The Co-operative Bank is in “advanced talks” over a financing deal with existing investors. The loss-making lender, 20% owned by the mutual Co-op Group, put itself up for sale in February.

Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management: Investors endorse £11billion merger: Investors have endorsed an £11billion merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

Italy rules out saving ‘toxic debt’ banks before Brussels ‘blocks state-funded bailout’: Italian Ministers have opted against saving its two struggling banks, it has been revealed.

Brexit-bashing Mark Carney warns Britons will be hit by exit as he freezes interest rates: Mike Carney warned Britons their wages could be hit by Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) as he insisted now is not the time to raise interest rates.

GBP plummets against EUR as Mark Carney advocates for low interest rates: The pound has tumbled against the euro this morning after Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney said that interest rates would remain at a record low for the time being.

The Scottish Herald

North Sea oil and gas industry turning a corner reckons bank: Confidence has increased among North Sea oil and gas firms from a low base but around one in five still expects to cut jobs this year research has found.

Complaints body comes out on top as Law Society loses court case: The Law Society of Scotland has had the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) in its sights for some time.

CBI cites potential for £25 billion gain for Scottish economy by 2024: Scottish annual economic output would be £25 billion higher than otherwise by 2024 if the vast bulk of local authority areas were to achieve the improvement in productivity recorded by the Granite City and Aberdeenshire, a report concludes.

Cairn Energy expands hunt for oil and gas to Mexico: Cairn Energy is moving into frontier exploration territory off Mexico as the oil and gas firm looks to repeat the success it has enjoyed off Senegal.

Hampden reaches £200 million deposit milestone: Hampden & Co has declared that customer deposits have reached £200 million – within days of the private bank celebrating its second anniversary.

New Dawn for Aberdeen trust as it beats index: Aberdeen Asset Management’s New Dawn Investment Trust had a markedly better year in the 12 months to the end of April than in the previous 12-month period, with its net asset value total return of 39% seeing it beat its benchmark index by 2.6 percentage points.

Faroe reports strong show from its main oil fields: Faroe Petroleum has highlighted the output from its main producing fields was better than expected in the year to May 31.

FirstGroup invests in South Western fleet: Firstgroup and Hong Kong-listed MTR Corporation have placed an £895 million order for 90 new trains after successfully winning the South Western rail franchise.

Trump’s tax reforms threaten Scotland’s £4 billion U.S. export income: Businesses are bracing themselves for the fallout of U.S. President Donald Trump’s impending tax reforms, which could damage a trading relationship that is worth £4 billion to the Scottish economy, a leading tax expert has warned.

The Scotsman

HSBC plans to create 500 jobs in Scottish expansion: Banking giant HSBC unveiled plans to create 500 jobs amid a “significant expansion” of its operations in Scotland.

Space flight bill could create ‘thriving hub’ in Scotland: A space flight bill to be included in the Queen’s Speech could see Scotland become “a thriving hub” for the industry, according to the secretary of state for Scotland.

Macdonald Hotels takes wraps off £3.5 million Aberfoyle revamp: The Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa in Aberfoyle has unveiled the results of its £3.5 million renovation.

Atlantis Resources looks to dive into Wyre Valley: Atlantis Resources, the Edinburgh-based company behind the ground-breaking MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth, is looking to develop a major tidal barrage and flood protection scheme south of the Border.

Glencairn Crystal raises glass to record annual profit: Drinks glass maker Glencairn Crystal has revealed that 2016 was its most profitable year ever thanks to “unprecedented” international growth.

City A.M.

FTSE 100 firms are failing to highlight business risks to shareholders in annual reports: FTSE 100 firms are failing to furnish shareholders with sufficient information on the risks facing their businesses, according to a report released.

The government has revealed it will power clean energy innovation with a £35 million investment: The government revealed a push towards clean energy with a £35 million investment into innovation projects in the industry.

Gemfields advises shareholders to approve a raised bid by Fosun Gold - despite calling it unreasonable: Faberge owner Gemfields recommended shareholders approve a raised takeover offer by Fosun Gold as the lesser of two evils vying for ownership of the company.

John Varley has resigned from Rio Tinto’s board after the former Barclays boss was charged with fraud: John Varley has resigned as a non-Executive Director of Rio Tinto after being charged with fraud.

Tata Motors insists it’s not planning a Jaguar Land Rover IPO: Tata Motors has poured cold water on rumours it is planning an IPO for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), saying it will remain a subsidiary of the firm.

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:40:00 +0100
In the Papers - Barclays, Ocado, Veolia, Monarch Newspaper Summary

The Times

Dow Jones hits record high as tech shares bounce back: Apple drove the Dow Jones industrial average past 21,500 for the first-time last night as American technology shares rebounded after a sell-off that began ten days ago.

TLA Worldwide lays bare earnings blow: TLA, which has been at the forefront of rugby’s efforts to make headway in a country stubbornly loyal to its American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey, was counting the cost of a bruising accounting mess in parts of its American operation.

I was the scapegoat for Bosses’ failings, London Whale says: A former JP Morgan trader accused of being behind the American investment bank’s multibillion-dollar trading loss scandal has claimed on his website that he had been the scapegoat for managers’ mistakes.

Small businesses face huge fines if they ignore new data protection rules: Small businesses are being warned that they risk enormous fines if they ignore an overhaul of data protection rules that will affect organisations of all sizes.

Older staff ‘can bridge skills gap’, says PWC: The workforce needs older and wiser employees to meet a looming skills gap and boost Britain’s earning power, according to new research.

Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment expands into China: The institute that sets exams across the City is expanding into China. The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment is setting up a partnership with Qingdao to train wealth managers.

Dorfman sells £200 million stake in The Office Group: The Founder of Travelex has sold the majority of his investment in The Office Group to an American private equity firm, valuing the flexible workspace company at £500 million.

The Independent

European shares rebound as Emmanuel Macron wins historic majority: European stocks rebounded from a two-week decline, with lenders leading gains as bond yields climbed.

Delivery Hero set to raise over £800 million from IPO: Delivery Hero is aiming to raise around €927 million (£811.79 million) through a stock market listing that could value the online takeaway food delivery group at up to €4.4 billion (£3.85 billion).

Tech firms step in to fund small businesses that banks won’t lend to: As small businesses struggle to obtain the lending they need to grow; technology firms are increasingly stepping in to fill the gap left by banks. The latest official estimates suggest the difference between what SMEs need and what’s available could be as much as £39 billion.

Boris Johnson says to internet giants: ‘no safe space for terrorists’: Internet giants will face increased pressure to tackle online extremism as European leaders were expected to back a U.K.-led drive for tougher internet regulation.

U.K.’s small businesses increasingly pessimistic about state of economy following post-election uncertainty: Small businesses are no longer optimistic about their prospects for growth, as fears over a troubled domestic economy begin to deepen. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) recorded a drop-in confidence among members for the first time since the aftermath of the EU referendum in June last year.

The Daily Telegraph

Barclays braced for SFO verdict in probe over Qatar-backed rescue: Barclays and some of its former Directors are braced for the Serious Fraud Office to decide whether to bring criminal charges over the bank’s dealings with Qatar during its £11.8 billion fundraising in the financial crisis.

Work longer and study more to fight the robot revolution, says PwC: The Government must do more to keep older workers in jobs if Britain is to combat the twin challenges of an ageing population and increased automation, according to a new report.

AimBrain raises £4 million to tackle online fraud with biometrics: Cyber-security minnow AimBrain has raised £4 million to help tackle the problem of rising online fraud levels faced by banks in what it called a “broken” system.

Cars built in the U.K. are becoming more British — but still lag behind European rivals: Cars built in the U.K. are becoming more British, with a drive to increase the level of domestically produced components they contain paying off.

Britain’s steel makers braced for fallout of U.S. imposing tariffs on imports as America targets China: Britain’s steel industry is braced to discover whether it will be shut out of the key U.S. market as protectionist measures aimed at combating China have wide-ranging effects.

CBI upgrades growth forecasts but warns Government has lost focus on economy: Britain’s economy is in for a period of “tepid” growth as households hold back spending in the face of higher inflation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) believes.

The Guardian

U.K. economy will slow amid Brexit talks and pay squeeze, warns CBI: Business group the CBI has warned the U.K. economy will shift down a gear as Brexit talks get under way and households are squeezed by rising prices.

Brexit critic joins Bank of England interest rate-setting committee: An economics professor from the London School of Economics who warned against Brexit has been appointed to the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee.

U.K. caves in to EU demand to agree divorce bill before trade talks: British negotiators have capitulated to key European demands for a phased approach to Brexit talks, agreeing to park discussions on free trade until they have thrashed out the cost of the multibillion-euro U.K. divorce settlement.

Energy price cap likely to go ahead despite warnings of ‘timebomb’: Theresa May is expected to forge ahead with an energy price cap this week despite misgivings among Tory ranks and warnings it could prove a “political and consumer timebomb”.

Co-op Bank in advanced talks to secure hundreds of millions for rescue: The Co-operative Group’s stake in the Co-op Bank could fall dramatically under a rescue plan being drawn up by hedge funds.

Daily Mail

Glut of BT shares to hit the market this morning as Orange plans to dump 33% of its stake worth £384 million: A glut of BT shares will come on the market this morning after Orange revealed plans to cut its stake in the telecoms giant. An update posted after trading closed said it represented about 33% of Orange’s holdings, or 133 million shares – worth £384 million at last night’s closing price.

Co-op membership increased by 700,000 over the past year: Membership of co-operatives has increased by 700,000 over the past year, bringing the total to 13.6 million, figures show.

Fat cat Bosses at Britain’s biggest building societies pocketed £6.3 million while their savers suffered: The Bosses of Britain’s biggest five building societies raked in more than £6million last year while loyal members languished on paltry savings rates.

Airbus’s super-jumbo A380 just got bigger and more fuel efficient in bid to boost flagging sales: Airbus will fight off flagging sales of its super-jumbo jet – by adding even more seats to the giant of the skies. The plane maker has unveiled the A380plus, a more fuel-efficient version of its A380 jet, in order to entice carriers back to jumbo jets.

Ocado soars 11% as investors bet on an Amazon tie-up following tech giant’s £10.7 billion takeover of Whole Foods: More than £190 million was added to the value of Ocado amid speculation it could be Amazon’s next target after the tech giant’s £10.7 billion takeover of Whole Foods.

Ryanair Boss Michael O’Leary cashed in shares worth £63 million just days after stock peaked: Ryanair’s Boss cashed in £63.5 million worth of shares just days after the low-cost carrier’s stock peaked.

Daily Express

Jaguar teams up with Gorillaz to recruit new workers: British car making has had a double boost with Jaguar Land Rover to recruit 5,000 workers and U.K. firms grabbing a bigger slice of the parts market.

Brexit talks begin – GBP/USD weakens as U.K. and EU set out opening positions: The start of official Brexit negotiations is keeping the pound on soft form, with GBP/USD stuck at opening levels of U.S.$1.277.

Veolia wakes us up to coffee cup recycling: Waste Management giant Veolia is launching a new style recycling scheme for businesses, their staff and customers that aims to divert millions of the used takeaway cups still going to landfill.

Pension transfers are now worth more than the average home: A surge in pension transfers typically worth more than the value of the average home has taken place over the last year, a survey of financial advisers has found.

The Scottish Herald

Weak U.K. outlook flagged as plea on EU workers made by business: The U.K. economy is forecast to grow in coming quarters at only half the pace of recent times as inflation fuelled by the Brexit vote squeezes household incomes and weighs on consumer spending.

Shetland firm has the mussel to expand: A Shetland mussel growing business is poised to double its output after securing a multi-million-pound funding package.

Manufacturing development centre to be established near Glasgow: A multi-million pound centre for developing new manufacturing processes to be used in sectors including aerospace and the car industry is to be set up near Glasgow.

Glencairn posts big rise in sales abroad: Whisky glass maker Glencairn Crystal has revealed that international sales have exceeded U.K. revenues for the first time.

Windows firm Stevenswood buys English peer: Stevenswood, the Livingston-based trade supplier of windows and doors, has acquired English peer Sameday.

Investment trust hails returns from ugly ducklings: The Scottish Investment Trust has highlighted good performances by banks within its “ugly ducklings” portfolio as it unveiled a share price total return of five% in the six months ended April 30, writes Scott Wright.

The Scotsman

Shareholders back £11 billion Standard Life - Aberdeen Asset Management deal: Shareholders at Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) have overwhelmingly approved the merger of the two companies.

Contractor appointed for Edinburgh St Andrew Square revamp: Property developer Chris Stewart Group has appointed construction services firm ISG to build a flagship multimillion-pound office and leisure project as part of the wider redevelopment of The Registers district in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh newsagents sells for record £1 million: A tiny newsagents which sold for £1million has become Scotland’s most expensive commercial property ever -- by Square foot.

Profits slump 40% at womenswear retailer Bonmarche: Womenswear retailer Bonmarche has reported a slump in full-year profits as Brexit pressures and unseasonal weather contributed to a “challenging” retail market.

Sushi chain Yo! returning to Glasgow with flagship site: Sushi chain Yo! is returning to Glasgow city centre this month with the opening of a flagship branch in West George Street.

City A.M.

SSE Boss: Hinkley Point will likely be the U.K.’s only nuclear new build: The Boss of one of Britain’s utility giants warned the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point is likely to be the only one to go through in the U.K.

Scotland’s MB Aerospace welcomes a $1 billion “milestone” contract with U.S. firm Pratt & Whitney: MB Aerospace announced a $1 billion (£780 million) contract to provide flight engine parts to a U.S. firm.

Greencoat Renewables plots wind farm expansion with €250 million float in London and Dublin: Greencoat Capital has revealed it will raise up to €250 million (£219 million) through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in a newly formed subsidiary on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) and the Irish Stock Exchange.

Vice Media valued at $5.7 billion after private equity investment from TPG: Vice Media has raised $450 million (£353 million) from private equity firm TPG, which has become a minority shareholder in the business. The deal is understood to value Vice at $5.7 billion.

Monarch snaps up 15 more Boeing 737 Max 8s as it plans to overhaul fleet by 2022: Budget U.K. airline Monarch has announced it has ordered an extra 15 Boeing 737 Max 8s, as it plans to have a completely modern fleet by 2022.

Skinny Tan producer looks golden after predicting profit increase of 355%: Anyone of a certain (young, female) demographic on social media will have most likely been bombarded with adverts for Skinny Tan, a self-tanning product which also claims to “contour and reduce the visible appearance of cellulite”.

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:30:00 +0100
In the Papers - Google, Virgin Media, Jaguar Land Rover, Center Parcs Newspaper Summary

The Times

John Griffith-Jones to step down from FCA after criticism: The founding Chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority is to step down and will not stand for a second term after a four-year stint during which he was criticised over bungled reports.

Low-cost airlines to make the most of Paris Air Show: The spirit of Sir Freddie Laker will hover over this week’s Paris Air Show. With the big manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, having no aircraft to unveil, the focus in the industry is shifting to who can make low-cost, long-haul services work.

Hopes rise for £700 million bailout of Co-op Bank: Co-op Bank could announce a deal this week that would lead to the struggling lender’s hedge fund owners and the Co-op Group agreeing a £700 million bailout package, averting a wind down that would leave millions of customers and thousands of pensioners facing uncertainty.

Google faces up to 30 lawsuits over EU antitrust ruling: Price comparison websites across Europe are preparing to file for damages against Google in the expectation that European Union antitrust regulators will slap a hefty fine on the internet company over its shopping service.

Virgin Media’s £3 billion broadband plan hit by dispute with Liverpool city council: A £3 billion plan to rollout high-speed broadband to millions of British homes is being held up in Liverpool by a dispute between Virgin Media and Liverpool city council.

Smashing the market for smartphone repairs: A 26-year-old who set up an iPhone repair shop while at university is seeking to expand his business in railway stations, shopping malls and high streets into the tech gadget equivalent of the Timpson shoe repair chain.

German discounters Aldi and Lidl take the fight to America: The banner taped to the front of Aldi’s store in Lodi, New Jersey, proclaimed a “Grand Opening”, yet there were no balloons, no bunting and no ceremony of any sort. “It’s a grand re-opening,” a shop assistant clarified, explaining that the store had in fact been open for nearly four years.

Rolls-Royce ‘narrowly escaped’ criminal trial for corruption: Rolls-Royce only narrowly avoided criminal prosecution for corruption by sacking senior Executives and launching a “complete overhaul” of its compliance systems, a judge has revealed.

The Independent

May’s ‘tens of thousands’ immigration cap would cut labour supply and deepen existing shortages, report says: Theresa May’s post-Brexit plan to slash immigration will have a devastating “double whammy” impact on the British economy, according to the most detailed study of EU nationals to date.

No Brexit deal would be a ‘very, very bad outcome’, Chancellor warns: Chancellor Philip Hammond has said that leaving the EU without any deal on trade would be “a very, very bad outcome” but maintained that there are other outcomes that could be worse.

The Daily Telegraph

May urged to keep trade as free as possible to boost economy for decades to come: Theresa May has been urged to keep trade as free as possible to promote economic growth in the decades to come, as she enters Brexit negotiations on Monday.

Fears over U.K. military budget as MoD cuts back Apache order: A squeeze on Britain’s defence spending could be starting to crystallise with a smaller than expected order of Apache helicopters from Boeing by the Ministry of Defence.

Liberty near rescue deal for steel firm hit by cash crunch: A rescue bid which will guarantee jobs at struggling steel business Caparo Merchant Bar could be announced soon.

Chancellor confirms U.K. will leave EU customs union and single market: The Chancellor has dismissed speculation the U.K. could pursue a soft Brexit and remain part of the EU’s customs union and the single market on the eve of historic negotiations between London and Brussels.

Brazilian platinum mining project heads to Aim: A Brazilian mining project that claims to be one of the “best undeveloped platinum projects in the western hemisphere” is to raise £2 million by listing on London’s junior Aim market.

Berkeley Homes set to report soaring profits amid a slowdown in London: London-focused Berkeley Homes is on track to report soaring profits in its full-year results this week despite a slowing market in the capital.

Aviva in talks with driverless car developers as it faces up to the future: Aviva is preparing for the arrival of driverless vehicles by trying to seal deals with manufacturers.

Disability law drives record sales for bus maker Alexander Dennis: Bus maker Alexander Dennis has enjoyed a record year for U.K. sales as transport companies rushed to comply with rules requiring vehicles to be accessible to disabled people.

The Guardian

Barclays to learn if SFO will press charges over Qatari cash injections: Barclays and a number of its former Executives are expected to learn this week whether the Serious Fraud Office intends to bring criminal charges in relation to emergency fundraising at the height of the financial crisis.

ITV narrows search for successor to Chief Executive Adam Crozier: ITV’s hunt for a Chief Executive has narrowed to a shortlist that includes a senior Sky Executive, the Boss of an insurance group and the head of a Scottish broadcaster.

Lloyds likely to extend deadline for HBOS fraud compensation offers: Lloyds Banking Group is expected to extend the deadline for making compensation offers to victims of the HBOS Reading fraud, as it emerged only one of 64 affected customers has received compensation.

Philip Hammond hints government will ease up on austerity: The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, hinted on Sunday that the government would ease up on its austerity programme, saying the Conservatives were “not deaf” to the message delivered by the election result.

U.K. business groups plead for economy to be put first in Brexit talks: Britain’s biggest business groups have made a joint plea to the government to put the economy first in Brexit talks and to secure a transitional deal that preserves access to the European single market.

European commission to crack down on offshore tax avoidance: Banks, accountants and law firms that facilitate offshore tax schemes face a Europe-wide crackdown, according to a leak of draft legislation.

Daily Mail

We’re in crisis, say firms as EU workers shun U.K.: New research shows businesses want to delay Brexit: Fears are growing of a recruitment crisis for British business in the event of a hard Brexit with almost half of companies reporting a drop in the number of EU nationals applying for jobs.

Sainsbury’s to buy rival while growing threat from internet giant Amazon... sends shares falling: Sainsbury’s is set to swoop on convenience chain Nisa in a £130 million deal, amid panic over a possible sector invasion by Amazon.

Former M&S Boss says, ‘no deal’ is not an option it’s economic suicide in his first interview since the EU referendum result: Conservative peer Stuart Rose has a stark warning on the eve of Britain’s historic Brexit negotiations – the country is risking ‘economic suicide’.

Jaguar Land Rover jobs drive for engineers who can create driverless cars: Jaguar Land Rover could create 5,000 new jobs as part of the race to conquer the driverless car market.

Brexit vote fuelled £146 billion betting frenzy amongst traders in foreign exchange: Currency traders bet £146 billion in a selling frenzy as markets reeled on the night of the Brexit vote, new figures show.

Daily Express

Ashtead standing strong despite U.S. jitters, says Nicholas Hyett: Weaker sterling and the prospect of a U.S. infrastructure spending binge helped Ashtead shares put in a cracking performance in the second half of 2016, rising 48.5%.

Why the political uncertainty won’t shake house price foundations: The moment we have a bout of political or economic uncertainty the doom-mongers start shouting that it is all going to end in a houseprice crash.

Standard Life merger with Aberdeen Asset Management ‘to get the all clear’: Shareholders will have their say on Standard Life’s merger with Aberdeen Asset Management amid governance concerns over the £11billion tie-up.

The Scottish Herald

Fund guru cool on U.K. amid tech revolution: James Anderson, co-manager of the £5 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, has declared he is getting “more and more pessimistic” about the U.K.’s ability to create companies of truly global scale.

Region hopes ferry decision will attract waves of interest: North Ayrshire Council has signalled its hopes of accelerating the economic development of the region after Ardrossan Harbour retained its status as the mainland hub for Isle of Arran ferry crossing.

Sterling drop puts squeeze on Scots firms: Scottish businesses are continuing to see profits squeezed because of rising costs linked to the collapse in sterling since last year’s Brexit vote.

The Scotsman

U.K. will seek ‘a deal like no other’ on Brexit: The U.K. Government will enter talks with the EU with a plan for a hard Brexit and still arguing that no deal is better than a bad deal, dashing hopes of a rethink in the wake of the general election.

Prestwick Airport sorry for saying Edinburgh ‘too full’ for flights: State-owned Prestwick Airport has been forced to apologise after falsely claiming to MSPs that rival airport Edinburgh was too full to take extra flights at busy times.

City A.M.

£3 billion Shop Direct sale enters next stage with three known bidders: Just a handful of offers are thought to be on the table for Barclay Brothers-owned Shop Direct, which is on the market for around £3 billion.

Petropavlovsk shareholders are poised to remove Peter Hambro from the board at this week’s AGM: Gold mining Boss and banking veteran Peter Hambro is expected to be ousted from the board of the company he founded in 1994 as rebel shareholders prepare to vote against his re-election at an annual general meeting (AGM) this week.

Center Parcs back in the black as pre-tax profits hit £70 million: Holiday operator Center Parcs swung back into the black in the year to 20 April, recording £70.5 million in pre-tax profit.

Ofcom due to report back on 21st Century Fox-Sky deal after Tory General Election flop adds uncertainty: The broadcast regulator is due to report back on 21st Century Fox’s takeover of Sky this week, with the deal looking more vulnerable after the General Election.

Revenues grow at Carluccio’s but profits take a hit from writedowns: Casual Italian restaurant and deli chain Carluccio’s reported slower turnover growth and a dip in pre-tax profits for the twelve months to 25 September last year.

Blackstone set to scoop up London-based flexible workspace firm The Office Group for £500 million: Blackstone, the world’s largest property investor, is set to buy a London-based flexible workspace provider for £500 million, according to reports.

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 08:27:00 +0100
In the Papers - Amazon, Spotify, Gemfields, Polyus Newspaper Summary

The Times

Aircraft carrier Boss Ian Booth ‘to take Trident post’: A leading figure behind Britain’s two new aircraft carriers could take charge of building the replacement fleet of Trident submarines, The Times has learnt.

London’s Gherkin gets £1 billion price tag: One of London’s most distinctive modern buildings could be up for sale with a price tag of £1 billion.

Firstgroup Chief loses bonus after tram crash: The Chief Executive of Firstgroup has had his £723,415 annual bonus withheld because of the Croydon tram crash in which seven people died and 58 were injured.

Amazon considers takeover of chat app Slack: Slack, the corporate chat start-up that was co-founded by a young British software engineer, has been approached by Amazon about a takeover deal that could value the company at more than $9 billion.

South Africa miners and rand hit by black ownership rule change: The South African government has raised the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining companies to 30% in a surprise move that weakened the rand and knocked shares in the London-quoted mining groups Anglo American and Petra Diamonds.

Renewable energy to power ahead by 2040, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance: Wind and solar power will generate a third of global electricity needs by 2040 thanks to more than $6 trillion of investment, forecasts suggest (Emily Gosden writes).

North Sea oil production becomes more efficient: Britain’s oil and gas fields recorded an improved performance for the fourth year running in 2016 as North Sea facilities spent less time shut down for maintenance, figures show.

The Independent

1% of American CEOs give Trump an A for his job performance: During the election campaign, Donald Trump pitched himself as the ultimate tycoon, the big-time billionaire who understood the world of business and who would quickly knock America into shape.

New breast cancer drug called ‘too expensive’ now available on the NHS: A new breast cancer drug previously considered too expensive for routine use has become available on the NHS.

U.K. car insurers lost £3.5 billion in 2016 due to new compensation rules: British car insurers were hit with combined losses of £3.5 billion last year due to new compensation rules for serious injuries, according to a report released on Thursday.

BAE sold surveillance tech to Saudis that could be used against U.K.: British arms giant BAE Systems has reportedly made huge sales of sophisticated surveillance technology to repressive regimes across the Middle East, which could be used to threaten the U.K.’s own national security.

U.K. retail sales fall more than expected in May as inflation bites: Retail sales volumes fell 1.2% in May, worse than the 0.8% decline City economists had expected, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Emmanuel Macron presidency prompts French startup boom: France’s corporate startup scene is gaining traction against the backdrop of booming investments by venture capital funds and high expectations for a business friendly government under new President Emmanuel Macron.

DFS profit warning sends shares in furniture chain plummeting: Furniture company DFS lost more than a fifth of its value on Thursday after the group said that it would not meet profit expectations for the current year, citing a challenging trading environment.

Airbnb expects to generate €340 billion for European communities by 2020: Airbnb has said that it expects to boost communities in Europe, which is its biggest market, by an estimated €340 billion (£297 billion) of economic output by 2020 and that it will support an estimated 1 million jobs across the region by that year.

Spotify: Music streaming platform hits 140 million user mark: Spotify now has over 140 million users worldwide, a surge of around 40 million users over the past year alone, the online music platform announced on Thursday.

The Daily Telegraph

Regeneration firm Pinnacle sold to Starwood and new asset manager: The company behind some of London’s largest estate regeneration projects has been sold by its Chinese owner to private equity firm Starwood and a newly-established asset management firm.

Liberty loses out in bid to buy Australian steel and mining assets: Fast-growing industrials business Liberty has been spurned in its attempts to buy Australian collapsed steel and mining business Arrium.

WS Atkins delivers a last blast in final results ahead of expected £2.1 billion takeover by SNC-Lavalin: Engineering consultancy WS Atkins has delivered a final flourish in what looks to be its last set of results before it is taken over by Canadian peer SNC-Lavalin.

Merck Boss hits back at drug pricing criticism: European governments should spend more on drugs if they want to keep a lid on prices, the Boss of global pharma group Merck has said.

Next slice of Domino’s could cost £330 million in planned London float: The latest slice of Domino’s Pizza to float on the London stockmarket has been priced at up to £330 million ahead of its forthcoming listing.

The Questor Column:

Worried about inflation? This trust yields 4% and the dividend grows at 5% a year: Inflation is justifiably a big concern for anyone who relies on income from their investments, and this week’s announcement that the consumer prices index had risen by just under 3% over the past year will have made sobering reading. Taking all three measures into account, one portfolio stood out: Standard Life Equity Income. It yields 3.9% and trades at a discount of 7.3%. The all-important dividend growth has averaged 5.7% a year over the past five years, while the 
10-year figure is 4.9%. Both of these are very comfortably ahead of any inflation that investors are likely to see in the coming years. Dividends are paid quarterly. The trust has other advantages, including a respected manager and a portfolio that differs markedly from competitors. This is useful for investors who like the equity income sector but want to diversify their exposure to it. Thomas Moore, who has run the fund since 2011, has produced average annual returns of 15.5% over the past eight-and-a-half years, according to FE Trustnet, the fund analyst, and has outperformed his peer group over the past seven years with total returns of 136.6% against 113.4%. Poor recent performance has been one cause of the trust’s discount, which is currently wider than its average over the past year (6%) – often a good time to buy. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Templeton Emerging Markets: This trust, the grandfather of the sector, has announced a cut in annual management fee – from 1.1% of net assets to 1% up to £2 billion, and 0.85% thereafter. Based on current net assets of £2.2 billion this means an effective fee of 0.98%, Numis said. Performance under Carlos Hardenberg, who took over as manager in October 2015, has continued to be strong: the portfolio has gained 77% over his tenure, against 55% for the benchmark. We tipped the trust in November at 604p and the shares have gained 14.4% since then. But the discount is still attractive at 13.3%, in line with the 12-month average.

The Guardian

Bank of England edges closer to increasing U.K. interest rates: The Bank of England has edged closer to raising interest rates as a deeper split emerged among its committee of policymakers, with three out of eight voting for an immediate rise to keep inflation in check.

Multiple design and building firms at Grenfell Tower raises oversight concerns: A long chain of companies was responsible for refurbishing Grenfell Tower, raising concerns among architectural and fire safety experts about the quality of oversight and accountability on the £10 million project of 2015-16.

Creditors agree terms to disburse Greece’s €8.5 billion bailout funds: For the best part of a decade, Greece has wanted to become a “normal” country, and late on Thursday it appeared to begin that process, after creditors agreed to disburse €8.5 billion (£7.4 billion) of bailout funds aimed at putting the debt-stricken nation back on the road to recovery.

U.K. retail sales dive sparks biggest FTSE 250 fall since last summer: A worse-than-expected decline in retail sales volumes has sparked the biggest daily fall in the FTSE 250 since last summer, with shares in retailers, housebuilders, restaurant chains and car dealers all going into reverse.

U.K. student loan debt soars to more than £100 billion: Student loan debt in the U.K. has risen to more than £100 billion for the first time, underlining the rising costs young people face in order to get a university education.

Daily Mail

Vince Cable accuses Nationwide of behaving like a ‘typical aggressive commercial bank’ after Boss’ £3.4 million fat cat pay cheque: Campaigners have blasted the hypocrisy of Britain’s biggest building society after it paid new Chief Executive Joe Garner £3.4 million.

Anger as tycoon snatches back tech firm Fusionex from investors as its value plunges £116 million: A tech entrepreneur who claimed his company was an ambassador for Asian firms has snatched it back from investors after the firm saw its value plunge by £116 million.

Fallen digital star Monitise in takeover dispute as biggest shareholder pans £70 million offer: The biggest shareholder at fallen tech star Monitise has hit out at a planned £70 million takeover by U.S. business Fiserv.

Morrisons Chairman slams shareholder backlash over Chief Executive’s £10 million pay: Morrisons has suffered a shareholder revolt after 48% voted against a bump in its Chief Executive’s pay.

Gemfields makes record revenues of £42.9 million in ruby auction: Precious stones specialist Gemfields said it made record revenues of £42.9 million from its latest auction of rubies from Mozambique, held in Singapore.

Daily Express

Interest rates to ‘rise by August’ Families warned as Bank of England split 5-3 on hike: British households could be hit with rising interest rates by the end of the summer, experts warned as more the Bank of England’s rate setters called for an immediate hike.

Pound jumps as Bank of England split over immediate interest rate rise: The pound rocketed after three members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committeee (MPC) voted to immediately raise interest rates, amid surging inflation.

‘We can’t allow second Brexit’ Eurozone must reform or more will leave, warns Spain: The eurozone cannot afford another country to leave the bloc after Britain’s groundbreaking vote to leave last year, Spain’s economy Minister has warned.

Euro dives to two-week low after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates: The euro has dropped sharply after America’s central bank raised interest rates last night.

Pots under pressure as older worker redundancy rate hits record high: Pensions pots are under pressure as the redundancy rate for older workers hits a record high, warn retirement experts.

The Scottish Herald

Banking giant targets SME market in Scotland: HSBC has unveiled plans to increase the funding it makes available to small and medium sized enterprises in Scotland to a record level for the bank in spite of concerns for the outlook for the economy.

Rate rise may come ‘sooner ratherthan later’: Scottish Chambers of Commerce has declared the Bank of England is “walking a very narrow line” on monetary policy and that a rise in interest rates might come “sooner rather than later”.

Oil and gas services exports fall: Scotland’s oil and gas services firms have suffered their first drop in overseas sales in five years as the crude price plunge took a toll on activity in the sector.

Wood wins backing for £2.2 billion Amec Foster Wheeler takeover: Oil services giant Wood Group’s bid to acquire rival Amec Foster Wheeler for £2.2 billion has won strong backing from shareholders in both businesses.

Alliance Trust Savings reaches £15 billion milestone: The savings business owned by Dundee-based investment house Alliance Trust has increased assets under administration (AUA) above £15 billion.

The Scotsman

Audit Scotland’s damning report on farm IT chaos: The Scottish Government’s much-maligned farm support IT system will come in for further fierce criticism with the release of the latest Audit Scotland report, which states that the programme has failed to deliver value for money – or the planned benefits for farmers and crofters.

Fears of hit to Scots-Irish trade from hard Brexit: A key figure behind Ireland’s international growth ambitions has raised concerns that a hard Brexit could dent the country’s trade with Scotland.

Hospitality hub aims to beef up food and drink trade: A purpose-built hospitality hub to help the growth of Scotland’s £14 billion food and drink sector was opened by rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing.

Leonardo Hotels eyes more sites after Edinburgh launch: Leonardo Hotels has opened its first hotel in Scotland, and says it is on the lookout for further growth north of the Border.

Glasgow fashion brand Quiz planning Aim flotation: Womenswear retailer Quiz has announced its intention to list on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) in a £200 million initial public offering.

Edinburgh software firm Cultivate saddles up with Deliveroo: Software development consultancy Cultivate is extending its partnership with food delivery specialist Deliveroo.

Former TalkTalk Boss Dido Harding rings up £1.1 million package: TalkTalk has said former Boss Dido Harding earned £1.1 million in annual pay and bonuses weeks after the telecoms giant warned over profits.

City A.M.

St Tropez, Carex and Imperial Leather owner PZ Cussons indicates growth in line with expectations: Imperial Leather and St Tropez tan owner PZ Cussons issued a trading update saying full-year performance to 31 May was in line with expectations.

Sky and Virgin Media announce advertising tie-up as they seek to challenge Google and Facebook: Sky and Virgin Media have announced a new commercial tie-up, offering advertisers the chance to reach an audience of more than 30 million.

Polyus, a top Russian gold miner, has set a price range for its London Stock Exchange comeback: Russia’s top gold producer set a price range valuing it at as much as $9 billion (£7 billion) as it prepared to stage a comeback on the London Stock Exchange.

BP and Reliance Industries are investing $6 billion to bolster offshore gas in India: Oil major BP and India’s Reliance Industries will spend $6 billion (£4.7 billion) investing in offshore gas fields.

De Beers has just launched the world’s largest diamond exploration ship off the coast of Namibia: De Beers has launched the world’s largest diamond exploration vessel off the coast of Namibia, as it ramps up efforts to maintain high production levels until 2035.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:58:00 +0100
In the Papers - Petropavlovsk, Yahoo, Acacia Mining, PurpleBricks Newspaper Summary

The Times

Raffles Hotels and Resorts to open hotel in Old War Office in Whitehall: The luxury hotel that gave the world the Singapore Sling cocktail is to establish an outpost in London.

Lloyds Banking Group let fraudster buy back business: Lloyds Banking Group allowed a business part-owned by the fraudster who orchestrated the HBOS Reading scandal to buy back a company connected to the scam.

ISS turns against Peter Hambro: A leading shareholder adviser has thrown its weight behind the campaign to oust Peter Hambro from Petropavlovsk, the Russian goldminer.

Investors take aim at LSE’s mistrusted upstart: The Alternative Investment Market is staining the reputation of the London Stock Exchange. The global business that competes for listings by top companies has been hit by scandals on the LSE’s junior market that have prompted questions about disclosure, transparency and abuse.

Jaguar to rebuild classic cars costing £1 million-plus each: Britain’s latest car factory has opened in Coventry in a case of back to the future for the U.K. automotive industry. Jaguar Classic Works will build or rebuild heritage vehicles. Built on the site of the former Peugeot car plant in Ryton, closed by the French a decade ago, Jaguar Land Rover’s £7 million facility is hand-building a limited run of legendary post-war Jaguars such as the XKSS, above, and E-Type Lightweight. The all-new cars, built to their original specification, retail for more than £1 million each.

Google and Amazon criticised by News Corp Chief: The Chief Executive of News Corporation accused Google and Amazon last night of doctoring search results for commercial gain and said their deliberate manipulation of search algorithms amounted to a “charlatan’s charter”.

Elegant Hotels Group reviews pricing strategy after fall in pound: Elegant Hotels Group, the Caribbean hotel operator, said it had reviewed its pricing strategy in response to the slump in the value of the pound.

The Independent

EU launches antitrust investigation into Nike and Universal Studios: The EU has launched antitrust investigations into Nike, Universal Studios and the owner of the Hello Kitty brand, over their licensing and distribution practices within the single market.

Ivanka Trump factory workers describe ‘verbal abuse’ and ‘poverty pay’: Ivanka Trump has come under fire again after workers at a factory making clothes for her brand in Indonesia described an environment of “verbal abuse” and poverty wages.

Workers’ real pay falling at fastest rate since 2014: Average wages grew by just 2.1% in the three months to April, well below the 2.7% rate of inflation in that month, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Donald Trump gets preliminary approval for new China trademarks: President Donald Trump is on the brink of adding six new trademarks to his growing Chinese portfolio according to reports.

BenevolentAI: drug research startup goes on hiring spree as U.K.’s artificial intelligence sector booms: Drug discovery startup BenevolentAI has begun a major hiring spree, as it seeks to take advantage of the current boom in the U.K.’s artificial intelligence and machine learning sector.

Ryanair Chairman centre of sexism row after resigning from Uber board for derogatory comments: The Chairman of Ryanair is at the centre of a storm over sexism. David Bonderman resigned as a Director of Uber after making a derogatory joke about women Directors in a meeting about combating sexism in the technology firm, but he is continuing as Chairman at Europe’s biggest budget airline.

The Daily Telegraph

Camelot launches internal review as National Lottery sales plunge: Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, has launched an in-depth review of its business after sales plunged by nearly 9%.

Brexit to prompt ‘very few changes’ at Rothschild as revenue soars: Investment bank Rothschild reported double digit revenue growth in its recently-ended financial year, and said “very few changes” will need to be made to its operations as a result of Brexit.

Yahoo lays off dozens of staff in U.K. office: Yahoo laid off dozens of staff in the U.K. on Wednesday, the day after Verizon completed its $4.5 billion (£3.5 billion) takeover of the former internet giant.

U.S. Federal Reserve raises interest rates, maintains forecast for one more hike in 2017: The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised interest rates and outlined plans to reduce its massive balance sheet as policymakers signalled another rate hike this year despite a double dose of soft economic data.

WH Smith high street sales continue to fall: The steady decline in high street sales at WH Smith showed no sign of slowing in the spring as like-for-like sales fell 4%.

Telegraph names Nick Hugh Chief Executive as Murdoch MacLennan becomes deputy Chairman: Nick Hugh has been named as the new Chief Executive officer of Telegraph Media Group, taking over from Murdoch MacLennan who has run the publisher of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph since 2004.

The Questor Column:

Buy RBS while no one else wants it – its first post-crisis dividend could surprise you: “Contrarian” or “value” fund managers specialise in holding the shares that no other investor wants to own, in the knowledge that an almost complete absence of buyers can only send the price to rock-bottom levels. When Questor asked one such manager to pick one of his stocks for readers this week, his answer might surprise many: Royal Bank of Scotland. The bailed-out lender is still 73% owned by the state and has not paid a dividend since the financial crisis. The manager, one of Britain’s most highly regarded value investors, said: “A ‘pariah stock’ immediately interests us as it suggests investors have not looked seriously at it for some time. “And that matters in this case as so much has changed at RBS over the past decade. “Let’s not forget that a decade ago it was run in a very aggressive way – it was high-growth and acquisitive, had an extraordinarily weak balance sheet and was subject only to ‘light-touch’ regulation. “RBS is off investors’ radars currently, but when it returns to the dividend list within the next two years investors could be surprised at the size of the payment,” he said. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Capita: It has taken a while but shares in Capita are now within striking distance of the price at which we advised readers to hold in October last year. The shares had fallen sharply following a profits warning but a positive trading update sent the price up by about 15% to close at 634p, compared with 669p at the time of our tip. “We are making good progress on executing the strategic initiatives laid out at the end of 2016 to reposition the group and create a simpler business better placed to return to profitable, sustainable growth,” the update said. Neil Woodford, the high-profile fund manager, remains a holder of the shares. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Netflix and Amazon ‘will overtake U.K. cinema box office spending by 2020’: Netflix and Amazon are set to overtake the cinema multiplex after a report predicted that revenues from streaming film and TV shows in the U.K. will exceed box office takings by 2020.

Global oil glut set to continue despite efforts to prop up price: The world’s oil glut is likely to persist next year in a blow to efforts by major producers to shore up the oil price by cutting output, according to a leading energy authority.

Mulberry says terrorism and election uncertainty may have hit U.K. sales: New designs and website improvements lifted sales and profits at Mulberry in the last year, but the British brand has warned that uncertainty around the general election and terrorist attacks hit U.K. sales in recent months.

Duke of Westminster’s property group to build 1,500 rental homes in London: The Duke of Westminster’s property group is to build 1,500 rental homes in south-east London, one of the capital’s biggest “build to rent” developments.

BAE ‘secretly sold mass surveillance technology to repressive regimes’: BAE, Britain’s biggest arms company, secretly sold mass surveillance technology to six Middle Eastern governments that have been criticised for repressing their citizens, the BBC has reported.

Grenfell Tower’s managers were reviewing safety after fire at another block: The company responsible for managing the Grenfell Tower had been reviewing fire safety procedures after previous incidents, it has emerged.

Daily Mail

Printer St. Ives enjoys best day in eight years soaring 33% following brutal cost cutting drive: Beleaguered printing and marketing group St Ives enjoyed its best day in eight years after reporting significant progress since a profit warning.

Thames Water’s foreign owners rinsing millions in dividends despite firm not paying corporation tax and being hit by fines: Millions of pounds have been paid out to the foreign owners of Britain’s biggest water company even as it picked up almost £29 million in fines for leaks and pollution and paid no corporation tax.

Former TalkTalk Boss Dido Harding made £4 million as £1.5 billion was wiped from shares: Former TalkTalk Boss Dido Harding pocketed £4 million as the firm’s shares plunged by 45%, accounts revealed.

Mulberry boosted by huge demand for its ‘affordable’ Bayswater bag as sales jump 8%: Booming demand for its affordable Bayswater bag helped boost sales for upmarket retailer Mulberry. Profits jumped 21% to £7.5 million in the year to March 31 from £6.2 million the year before, while sales increased 8% to £168.1 million from £155.9 million.

War breaks out as hedge fund tries to oust BHP Chairman: Elliott Advisors went public in April with a £35 billion overhaul plan for the FTSE miner, accusing it of major underperformance and demanding changes to structure and strategy. They are quoted as being critical of various aspects of the way BHP is run.

Daily Express

Cash-strapped Brits adding a tenner a day to their burdens: Cash-strapped Britons are adding a tenner a day to their growing debt burden, financial experts are warning.

Bellway shares hit high as housebuilder plays down Brexit impact: Bellway shares hit a high City Editor as the housebuilder played down the impact of Brexit concerns on the housing market and upped its annual sales forecast.

Brexit Bond offers top rate of 3% - if savers are right about U.K.’s exit from EU: Savers can get a top rate of three% on cash savings with a new two-year bond - but only if they correctly guess the path the pound takes over Brexit.

Merlin Entertainments set for a spell of growth: Merlin Entertainments has vowed to bounce back with a defiant “open for business” message despite losing some of its magic with fun-seekers after recent terror attacks.

Apps are the reason Britons spend too much money after shops shut: Nearly a third of Britons say apps are making their finances worse either by encouraging them to spend more or meaning they lose track of their outgoings, a survey has found.

The Scottish Herald

Hargreaves puts Scots power sector in focus: Hargreaves Services has won support from the Green Investment Bank for its plan to develop a £150 million energy from waste plant at Grangemouth as it looks to breathe new life into relics of the coal industry in Scotland.

Tumbling pay heaps pressure on household budgets as Brexit bites: Financial pressure on British households is intensifying, with official figures revealing the worst real-terms fall in earnings since summer 2014, and Scottish Chambers of Commerce has warned low productivity will likely constrain future pay settlements.

Hospitality hub launched by wholesaler: Wholesale giant Bidfood will launch a new hospitality hub near Falkirk under plans to help Scottish food and drink suppliers boost sales.

Distiller toasts a major leap in profits: Ian Macleod Distillers has cited strong demand for Scotch whisky as it ramped up profits by around £1 million in its last financial year.

Brexit threat to business funding: Economy Secretary Keith Brown has said that EU funding supporting the Scottish economy must be “made up in full” after Brexit.

Meat producer Campbell’s profits dip but firm ‘well placed’ to take advantage of improving economic conditions: Meat firm Campbell’s Prime Meat, supplier of meat and fish to the catering industry and favoured by top chefs including Michelin-starred Tom Kitchin, saw turnover and overall profit dip last year. This was as a result of the transfer of the part of the business that focuses on the Chinese restaurant market to a separate company, Campbell’s Cash & Carry.

German chain earmarks Scotland for growth as it invests €7 in first hotel in Edinburgh: German hotel group Leonardo Hotels has signalled further confidence in the Scottish hotel sector with the opening of its first property north of the Border.

The Scotsman

Glasgow’s Barras market to get £1.5 million revamp: Work on a £1.5 million renovation of Glasgow’s Barras market is set to begin next month after the plans were approved by city councillors.

‘Edge pledge’ aims to help start-ups of the future: An initiative aimed at helping the next generation of fledgling firms take off has been launched by entrepreneurs behind companies backed by the Scottish Edge programme.

Stewart Brewing and Heriot-Watt unite in common cause: A new beer, Common Ancestor, is being launched as a collaboration between Midlothian craft brewer Stewart Brewing and Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University.

Defeat of MPs ‘setback’ for companies pursuing RBS: The Co-Founder of a joint venture set up to support those seeking compensation from a controversial division of Royal Bank of Scotland believes the loss of two “influential” Scottish MPs is a hurdle for firms looking for redress from the lender.

Aggreko buys Indonesian power rental rival for £25 million: Temporary power provider Aggreko has acquired an Indonesia rival in a deal worth up to $32.8 million (£25.7 million).

City A.M.

Restaurant and pub groups feel the pinch as sales slide at major brands in May: Brits became stingier with eating and drinking out last month resulting in like-for-like sales falling at pub and restaurant groups across the country, figures out show.

More Guardian job cuts as publisher announces plans to close professional network divisions: The publisher of the Guardian has announced more cuts as the company bids to break even. Staff were informed that Guardian News and Media would be closing three “professional network” divisions: Small Business, Sustainable Business and Global Development.

Aim-listed Purplebricks share price drops after it reveals plans for Californian expansion: Purplebricks is set to launch in California this year, the online estate agent announced. Expansion to other U.S. cities is also on the cards, the Aim-listed firm said in a statement.

Acacia Mining shares pop as Tanzania agrees to fresh talks over the concentrate ban: Shares in troubled gold miner Acacia rallied after it confirmed fresh talks with the Tanzanian government over the ban on exporting gold and copper concentrates and other disputes.

More than half of skilled workers may leave U.K. before Brexit, research suggests: More than half of skilled EU workers at large U.K. companies may be thinking about leaving the country before Brexit, new research out suggests.

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:55:00 +0100
In the Papers - Carlsberg, Condé Nast, EasyJet, Newspaper Summary

The Times

Big investor lashes out at ‘stitch-up’: One of the City’s biggest investment groups has strongly criticised the stock market regime that is set to allow a small London-listed company to be taken private, leaving furious minority investors lumbered with unlisted and illiquid shares.

Creditors to get less than 2p in the pound after Jaeger collapse: Unsecured creditors to Jaeger are owed close to £50 million with suppliers from all over the world hardest hit after the collapse of the fashion chain.

Accused tycoon strikes defiant note: Vijay Mallya, the Indian drinks baron, claimed that he would provide sufficient evidence to throw out all charges against him as he arrived at a London court to fight attempts to extradite him to face fraud allegations.

House prices immune to Brexit nerves: Growth in house prices picked up steam as the residential property market remained immune from the Brexit slowdown elsewhere in the economy in recent months.

Share values ‘in bigger bubble than 1999’: More investors think shares are overvalued than during the technology bubble in 1999, according to a poll of institutional shareholders.

Near-zero unemployment poses recruitment challenge, says Ashtead: One of the leading plant hire companies in Britain and the U.S. has warned that near-zero unemployment among skilled blue-collar workers is presenting unprecedented recruitment challenges for industrial services companies.

The Independent

London traders dubbed ‘the Cartel’ to be flown to U.S. to face court: Three London-based former traders who dubbed themselves the “Cartel” have agreed not to fight extradition to the U.S. on charges they manipulated the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

Federal Reserve set to raise interest rates again: The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its benchmark interest rate this week due to a tightening labour market and may also provide more detail on its plans to shrink the mammoth bond portfolio it amassed to nurse the economic recovery.

Payday lender complaints have tripled over the last year, reveals data: Complaints relating to payday lenders have tripled over the past year, according to data published by the financial consumer rights watchdog.

H&M, Zara, M&S and others found buying from highly polluting factories: Global fashion brands including H&M, Zara and Marks & Spencer are buying material produced in factories that devastate peoples’ health in Indonesia, China and India, a new investigation has found.

Carlsberg announces zero carbon pledge inspired by Donald Trump’s rejection of Paris agreement: Carlsberg has pledged to eliminate all carbon emissions from its breweries by 2030, citing Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement as a key motivation.

The Daily Telegraph

Condé Nast cans to seal deal with Farfetch: Condé Nast, the publisher of Vogue and GQ, is scrapping its ambitious shopping website in favour of a deal with Farfetch, the online retail platform that is heading towards a $5 billion listing.

VW faces ‘super claim’ over dieselgate as U.K. and Netherlands motorists join forces: Volkswagen is facing its biggest legal challenge in Europe over the “dieselgate” scandal with a U.K. class action against the car maker teaming up with a similar claim in the Netherlands.

Marissa Mayer resigns from Yahoo as iconic internet firm sold to Verizon: Marissa Mayer is leaving Yahoo after five years as Chief Executive, it has finally been confirmed, after Verizon completed its $4.5 billion (£3.5 billion) takeover of the once-mighty internet giant.

Andy Higginson leaves N Brown for private equity: N Brown, the plus-sized and over-50s fashion retailer, has announced that Chairman Andy Higginson is leaving the company to “pursue opportunities in private equity”.

Stanley Gibbons shares bounce back as Disruptive Capital clarifies interest: Shares in stamp dealer Stanley Gibbons bounced back after private equity firm Disruptive Capital restated its interest in a possible takeover.

Spire Healthcare searches for CEO after Chairman steps back: Spire Healthcare has begun its search for a new permanent Boss after announcing Executive Chairman Garry Watts has taken a step back due to ill health.

The Questor Column:

Don’t buy Burford’s fully priced shares, go for the bonds and get a 4.7% yield: Litigation finance is a niche area but a growing one and one company that is actively involved, so far to great effect, is Burford Capital, now the third biggest stock on Aim, the London Stock Exchange’s junior market. Burford funds lawsuits in return for a share of any compensation awarded. The company is also expanding its range by offering lawsuit defences (and taking a share of the money saved), while it can also sell a percentage interest in cases, sometimes for a healthy profit. The shares (to which the numbers in the box refer) have performed brilliantly over the past 18 months, zooming from barely 200p to nearly £10. The timing and amount of any court payments are unpredictable, while in most cases the identity of clients is kept under wraps. The £175 million issue was very successful and the bond, whose ticker is BUR3, pays a 5% coupon and matures in 2026. The price has increased from 100p at listing to around 101.2p, so the “yield to maturity” (in effect, the annualised total return, including the small capital loss at maturity) is around 4.8%. The 6.5% coupon 2022 bonds (BUR1), which trade at 110.5p, offer a yield to maturity of 4.2% and the 6.125% 2024 paper (BUR2) has a yield to maturity of 4.75%. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Carillion: When we first flagged concerns about the stock in March, we noted how the year-end net debt pile of £219 million (a figure that averaged £587 million over the year) and the pension deficit of £663 million meant that interest payments and pension contributions came to £107 million, against an operating profit of £147 million, leaving little margin for operational error. On paper the yield is 9.4% and the price-to-earnings ratio is less than 6 for 2017, but the share price implies that the market still does not believe the numbers. All eyes will now be on the first-half trading statement due on July 11, and then the interims on August 23. Last year’s interim dividend was 5.8p and that will be the benchmark for investors. Questor says ‘Avoid’.

The Guardian

Embattled Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes indefinite leave of absence: Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, has announced that he will take an indefinite leave of absence as the embattled company released a damning report on its workplace culture that called on the company to “review and reallocate” Kalanick’s responsibilities.

Brussels plan could force euro clearing out of U.K. after Brexit: Brussels has published proposals that could force London’s prized euro-clearing trade out of the City after Brexit, as the EU plans for life without Europe’s biggest financial centre.

EasyJet offers private jet experience at Luton – without the private jet: EasyJet passengers can now travel like billionaires – at least to as far as the steps of the plane – following the launch of a new venture to allow the airline’s customers to use the private jet terminal and facilities at Luton airport.

Britons feel the squeeze as inflation rises to four-year high of 2.9%: U.K. inflation rose to a four-year high in May as the pound’s sharp fall since the Brexit vote worked its way through the economy, intensifying the squeeze on household budgets.

EDF Energy’s Vincent de Rivaz to step down after winning Hinkley battle: The man who helped secure Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation will step down as Chief Executive of EDF Energy in October, marking the end of a 15-year tenure.

Daily Mail

Heineken forced to sell pubs in £403 million Punch Taverns takeover after watchdog Expresses concerns: Heineken could be forced to sell pubs as part of a £403million takeover of Punch Taverns after the competitions watchdog expressed concerns. The Competition and Markets Authority claimed the merger, which will see Heineken buy around 1,900 pubs from Punch Taverns, will restrict competition in 33 different areas.

Banks get power to snoop on WhatsApp over fears scrambled messages could be used in dodgy trades: Banks will get fresh powers to snoop on errant traders after a WhatsApp monitoring service was backed by Blackberry.

British tech pioneer snapped up by American buyers after losing battle with Apple and Google: A former darling of Britain’s tech scene is being snapped up by American buyers after losing a battle with Apple and Google.

Ted Baker fights off threat of the online upstarts: Fashion group targets shoppers who want affordable luxury: The fashion group said prioritising quality and not overselling its garments had helped it avoid the pitfalls of its competitors, which have struggled against competition from the likes of Boohoo and Asos.

Insurer Charles Taylor adds Microsoft Boss to board as non-Executive Director: Insurer Charles Taylor has added a Microsoft Boss to its board as Non-Executive Director. Tamer Ozmen runs Microsoft U.K. Services and will also sit on Charles Taylor’s audit, remuneration, and nominations committees.

£36 million payday for bankers as Allied Irish Banks floats in City for up to £11.8 billion: Bankers and lawyers will enjoy another bumper pay day from the biggest City stock market float for two decades – a listing that will also be a major boost for the British economy.

Paul May 57, appointed non-exec Director at Restaurant Group: Frankie & Benny’s owner has appointed the Boss of Patisserie Valerie to its board. Paul May will join Restaurant Group, which also operates Mexican food chain Chiquito, as a non-Executive Director next month.

Daily Express

Repair and renew business slashes damage costs for builders, insurers and householders: Repair and renew is the new replacement says the firm that is tackling damage in a radically different way so disaster-struck householders and businesses are saved a fortune.

America crushes Saudi oil control: Prices fall as U.S. heads for new supply record: Oil prices have continued to tumble as the U.S. takes on Saudi Arabia to become one of the biggest producers in the world.

Political uncertainty and falling pound are worrying for business leaders: The pound kept sliding as concerns over U.K. economic outlook intensified after a collapse in business confidence following the general election.

Eurozone recovery dealt major blow over fears for Germany’s economy - confidence wanes: Confidence in Germany’s economy has tumbled, dashing hopes for a growth boom over the coming year that could pull up the eurozone.

Global credit crunch warning issued on debt bubble as current trends mirror 2008 crash: Warning signals have been felt after a key credit indicator mirrored the same pattern experienced ahead of the financial crisis of 2008, in an eerie sign that the global economy is heading for another downturn.

The Scottish Herald

Cut in VAT urged amid ‘threat’ to economy from surging inflation: Scottish Chambers of Commerce has warned of a “real threat” to the economy from falling consumer spending power and called for a cut in value-added tax, after it emerged annual U.K. inflation had hit 2.9%.

Ticket software start-up aims to raise £400,000 in investment drive: Make It Social, the event ticketing start-up, has revealed plans to raise at least £400,000 from angel investors from home and abroad as it closes in on deals with major customers.

Drilling underlines potential of North Sea find: North Sea-focused Faroe Petroleum has said recent drilling has confirmed a find it made off Norway last year is commercially viable in the current low oil price environment.

Standard Life Boss ‘happy’ to consider annuity book sale: Standard Life Chief Executive Keith Skeoch has revealed he would be “quite happy to dispose” of the Edinburgh financial giant’s annuity book if the deal was right for shareholders.

Chinese technology company Huawei and Edinburgh University launched joint venture for distributed data management: Global technology company Huawei and the University of Edinburgh are to open a new lab for distributed data management and processing, writes Karen Peattie.

Optoscribe continues growth in next-generation photonic components: Optoscribe, a leading supplier of glass-based integrated photonics components, has closed a series B investment round of £1.8 million in line with its expansion and product supply plans.

PR company Beattie ramps up international expansion plans amid political uncertainty: Scottish public relations firm Beattie Group is to accelerate its international expansion plans by strengthening operations in North America.

MBM Veritas concern for RBS compensation claimants as key Scottish MPs lose their seats: Losing two members of the U.K.’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking in last week’s General Election is a setback for businesses seeking compensation from Royal Bank of Scotland claims MBM Veritas, the group created to support firms affected by the bank’s GRG restructuring division.

The Scotsman

Highlanders dig in to bring broadband to their rural homes: It is the technology of the future, made possible by some old-fashioned elbow grease. Residents in some of Scotland’s most remote locations are helping to dig trenches in order to enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds anywhere in the U.K.

Housebuilding in Scotland remains stagnant, industry warns: Housebuilding in Scotland continues to flatline with just 88 more homes built in 2016 than in the previous year, official figures reveal.

Seedrs hails ‘successful’ debut for secondary market: Crowdfunding platform Seedrs, which counts Sir Andy Murray among its backers, has closed the window on its inaugural round of secondary trades.

Iomart to hike dividend by 90% after jump in profits: Web hosting and cloud computing specialist Iomart said shareholders were in line for a 90% increase in their dividend as it reported higher annual earnings.

Grangemouth owner Ineos to expand European facilities: Chemicals giant Ineos has announced plans to increase the capacity of the cracker facility used to break down gases at its Grangemouth site as part of a major European expansion programme.

City A.M.

Faberge owner Gemfields receives approach from China’s Fosun Gold that could outbid shareholder Pallinghurst’s takeover offer: Emerald, ruby and amethyst miner Gemfields has received a takeover approach from China’s Fosun Gold.

MAN, Volvo Group, Daimler, Iveco and DAF facing £3.9 billion court battle with British road hauliers: British road hauliers have obtained no-win-no-fee backing in a £3.9 billion price fixing claim against some of the world’s largest truck manufacturers.

Unite union warns fresh strike action “almost certain” if fresh talks fail in bitter BMW dispute after workers reject pensions offer: Unite union has warned a further bout of strike action at BMW’s U.K. plants over pensions is “almost certain” if fresh talks fail to reach a resolution.

Imperial Brands appoints a non-Executive Director with experience in tobacco alternatives and cannabis: Imperial Brands has strengthened its board with a new non-Executive Director who has experience in what it calls “next generation” products.

Royal Dutch Shell received a huge U.K. tax credit due to North Sea decommissioning costs: Royal Dutch Shell paid over $55.6 billion (£43.7 billion) to governments last year, but in the U.K., it received a tax credit as a result of decommissioning costs, according to a report.

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:42:00 +0100
In the Papers - Microsoft, Jaguar Land Rover, Lyft Newspaper Summary

The Times

Bounce in Mitie shares delivers windfall for new boss Phil Bentley: Mitie shares have risen to their highest levels since a catastrophic profit warning last autumn — and in a single day earned the new Chief Executive more than £600,000.

Creditors to challenge Moulton over collapse of Jaeger: The boss of one of Portugal’s top textile manufacturers is leading a group of angry creditors that plan to publicly challenge Better Capital’s Jon Moulton over the collapse of Jaeger.

Xbox ultra-HD console will be the most powerful, says Microsoft: Microsoft has unveiled a new Xbox video game console built for use with ultra-high definition televisions.

Ineos to spend €2 billion on boosting chemical processing in Europe: Ineos has set out a plan to spend about €2 billion bumping up its chemical processing capacity across Europe.

Worst of the U.K. downturn is over, say oil and gas firms: Oil and gas companies are ploughing on with job cuts but many now feel more confident that the worst of the downturn in the U.K. is over, according to an industry survey published.

Motorpoint Founder takes a back seat as profits fall: The co-Founder of a used car dealer that issued a profit warning shortly after its flotation is stepping back from the business.

Weak pound draws Brits to staycation: More than half of Britons will holiday at home this year, giving the U.K. economy a £17 billion shot in the arm, according to a survey.

The Independent

H&M, Zara, M&S and others found buying from highly polluting factories in Asia: Global fashion brands including H&M, Zara and Marks & Spencer are buying material produced in factories that devastate peoples’ health in Indonesia, China and India, a new investigation has found.

Election result threatens U.K.’s credit rating and will delay Brexit talks, says Moody’s agency: The U.K.’s hung parliament is likely to delay the Brexit negotiations and is “credit negative” for the country, ratings agency Moody’s has warned.

Energy bills set to soar by £200 as fixed-rate gas and electric deals come to an end: Thousands of U.K. households face energy bill hikes of almost £200 on average as gas and electricity providers roll customers onto standard variable tariffs.

Donald Trump mocked by vodka giant Smirnoff over Russia ties in new advert: Smirnoff has mocked U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia with a new advertising campaign.

House prices rise to new record despite election uncertainty and London slowdown: U.K. house prices climbed to a record last month as a slowdown in London sales was offset by a stronger market in the north of the country, according to a report by Acadata and LSL Property Services.The Daily Telegraph

Bears circle as world ‘credit impulse’ plunges: The global ‘credit impulse’ has fallen as dramatically over recent months as it did during the onset of the Lehman crisis, signalling serious headwinds for the world economy and asset prices just as the U.S. Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy.

Glencore stokes the fire with Rio Tinto coal bid: Glasenberg has tabled a $2.55 billion (£2 billion) bid for Rio’s Hunter Valley mines, $100 million higher than an offer by China’s Yancoal in January. It has also offered to buy out Mitsubishi, Rio’s partner, for $920 million. Glencore will balance this with a plan to sell $1.5 billion of assets – potentially including a 50pc stake in the business it is buying.

Jaguar Land Rover invests £20 million in Uber rival Lyft: Jaguar Land Rover has invested $25 million (£20 million) in Lyft, making it the latest car giant to pick a side in the increasingly bitter war between the American taxi-hailing app and its arch-rival, Uber.

Deutsche Bank agrees $170 million settlement in Euribor lawsuit: Deutsche Bank AG will pay $170 million (£134 million) to settle an investor lawsuit claiming it conspired with other banks to manipulate the benchmark European Interbank Offered Rate and related derivatives.

EDF Energy boss to be replaced after fifteen years: Vincent De Rivaz, the veteran boss of EDF Energy, will step down from the French energy group at the end of October this year.

Drone Racing League secures $20 million funding from corporate giants: Corporate giants including insurer Allianz and broadcaster Sky have backed the burgeoning sport of drone racing by contributing towards a $20 million fundraising.

British business demands concessions from May as economic confidence slumps: British business must be at the heart of the government’s decision-making after Theresa May’s disastrous snap election dented economic confidence, business leaders have said.

Fears for Mini production as BMW pensions deal rejected by striking staff: Hopes that a run of strikes over pensions at BMW’s British plants could be over have been dashed with staff rejecting an improved deal from the German car giant.

Bank of England names economic forecasting Chief Gareth Ramsay as head of communications: The Bank of England has appointed the Director in charge of the central bank’s economic forecasting unit as its new head of communications.

Pump-maker Weir splashes out on peer KOP ready for industry recovery: Industrial pump maker Weir Group has made its first acquisition in almost two years with the $114 million purchase of Singapore-based KOP Surface Products.

The Guardian

Travis Kalanick’s future as Uber CEO under threat: The future of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is hanging in the balance after the embattled cab company’s board voted to adopt a portfolio of recommendations to fight sexual harassment in the firm.

Bad EU trade deal ‘disastrous’ for U.K. jobs, investment and growth: British businesses have rejected claims by leading Brexiters that trade with the rest of the world can replace free access to European markets, arguing that quitting the single market and customs union without a trade deal with the EU will harm their growth prospects.

Oil giants need to invest heavily in renewables by 2035, says analysis: More than a fifth of investment by the largest oil and gas companies could be in wind and solar power in just over a decade, according to analysis of how global changes in energy will reshape the sector.

General Electric says CEO Jeff Immelt is stepping down: General Electric said Jeff Immelt is stepping down as CEO and John Flannery, President and CEO of the conglomerate’s healthcare unit, will take over the post in August.

Daily Mail

Ford picks the U.K. for its driverless cars tech hub with 40 specialists employed to drive new technology: Motoring giant Ford is building an innovation centre for driverless cars to take advantage of Britain’s ‘world-class digital talent’ and academic institutions.

The £2.2 billion takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler by oil giant Wood Group continues to be probed: The Competition and Markets Authority is continuing its probe into the takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler by rival Wood Group.

Export boom sets Eurotunnel record as more than 141k lorries cross the Channel in one month: Railway firm Eurotunnel boasted its best ever truck traffic last month. The channel tunnel operator said its Le Shuttle Freight transported 141,646 lorries in May, a 3% increase compared to the year before and the best results in its history.

Shock departure as Just Eat tech pioneer John Hughes, 65, loses battle with short illness: The former Chairman of Just Eat has died after a short illness.

Hedge fund boss Sir Chris Hohn loses £282 million spat with his ex-wife after three-year tussle: Billionaire hedge fund boss Sir Christopher Hohn has lost a spat with his ex-wife over whose charity will get £282 million.

Shares in services firm Mitie soar despite £88 million write-off thanks to new boss’ turnaround plan: Bosses at U.K. outsourcer Mitie declared that the firm is on the road to recovery after posting a one-off accounting loss of £88 million.

Daily Express

Apple, Amazon and Facebook shares skid sparking crash worries: Fears are growing that tech shares are in a bubble that is bursting in a worrying replay of the millennium dot-com boom.

Pound falls as Theresa May’s future hangs in the balance and Brexit talks loom: The pound has tumbled against the euro and the dollar as the political fallout of the 2017 election continues, just one week before Brexit talks are due to begin.

Election leaves retirees in the dark over pension tax rules: The election result has left savers with a raft of unanswered questions over pension tax rules that must be urgently addressed, experts have warned.

ECB to keep printing Millions of Euros to prop up Eurozone till 2019 - top bank forecasts: The Eurozone economy will still need to be supported by the central bank’s massive money-printing programme well into 2019, a top investment bank has predicted.

The Scottish Herald

North Sea confidence rises from record lows: Confidence has increased among oil services firms in the North Sea from a record low base but the majority have seen no improvement in their outlook amid still challenging conditions, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce has found.

Hiring picture in Scotland shows upturn: Scottish employers have signalled they expect a modest increase in staffing in the coming quarter, a survey shows, with electronics manufacturing opportunities in Silicon Glen among those highlighted.

Glasgow and Edinburgh set new highs: Glasgow and Edinburgh airports set further records for passenger numbers in May, while Aberdeen saw another year-on-year increase in traffic after a protracted decline.

Wood wins Statoil North Sea deals: Wood Group has won two new contracts from Statoil to deliver concept and feasibility studies to the oil and gas company’s Norwegian North Sea assets.

Five-a-side football group Powerleague lifts revenue to £33.8 million: Restructuring costs incurred by five-a-side football group Powerleague as part of a strategic business review saw annual operating profit before exceptional items almost halved to £1.682 million.

Buoyant housing market boosts builder Walker Holdings’ profits to £37 million: Housebuilder Walker Holdings credited growing buyer confidence and a buoyant housing market for boosting its annual profits to £37 million, from £28.3 million.

IMM targets £1 million turnover after securing industry-leading consultant and accreditation: Medical services company International Medical Management (IMM) is targeting turnover of £1 million after securing a “significant volume” of new business.

The Scotsman

Accountant Chiene + Tait expands with Glasgow office: Chiene + Tait (C+T) is expanding into Glasgow following a period of “significant growth” for the accountancy practice.

Stanley Gibbons mulls sale option after suitor walks: Stanley Gibbons, the stamp and coin specialist, may put itself up for sale after the suitor that last week approached it pulled out of any deal.

Iraqi helicopters deal for software group Ideagen: Al-Burhan Airways, Iraq’s only civilian helicopter service, is to work with U.K. software firm Ideagen ahead of launching a dedicated commercial airline service.

Summer outlook is far from sunny for retail sector: For retailers concerned about the impact of the election result on consumer confidence, a report out makes for worrying reading.

Charity-focused tech start-up Sustainably set to launch: An Edinburgh-based tech company founded by a mother-and-daughter team is to unveil an early-stage version of its product, which raises money for charity, at a key start-up event this week.

City A.M.

Tech firms could be fined for failing to remove “extremist” content under joint U.K.-France plan: Social media giants and technology firms could face new penalties for extremist content under new plans being considered by the British and French governments.

Lendy hails sponsorship as sign it is ready to take on City hotshots: Lendy is to take over as the headline sponsor of one the world’s oldest and best known sailing regattas.

Allied Irish Banks float values state-owned lender at up to €13.3 billion: Allied Irish Banks’ (AIB) float will raise up to €3.8 billion (£3.4 billion) for the Irish taxpayer and values the state-owned lender at €13.3 billion, according to a stock market circular released.

RBS closes in on £3.6 billion settlement over U.S. mortgage bond mis-selling: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is close to agreeing a multi-billion pound fine with U.S. authorities over the mis-selling of mortgage bonds, according to reports.

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:55:00 +0100
In the Papers - L’Oreal, Goldman Sachs, Co-operative Bank Newspaper Summary

The Times

Lionel Messi’s latest venture is a luxury hotel for €30 million in Sitges, Catalonia: The Barcelona footballer has bought a four-star hotel near his adopted home for €30 million.

Britons will save £1.4 billion as phone roaming charges are axed in EU: Millions of consumers will pay less to use their mobile phones on holiday in Europe from this week, after EU roaming charges were scrapped.

New banknotes are too slippery for cash machines: Banks are coming under pressure to upgrade their cash machines because many of them cannot cope with the new generation of “slippery” polymer notes.

New Zealander plans to make it cheap and easy to get satellites into orbit: Peter Beck, a New Zealander and Founder of Rocket Lab, may not share the profile of his fellow rocket men, but he has been notching up impressive space flight milestones.

Social housing investment fund to test nervous IPO market: A social housing fund is to be one of the first companies to test investor appetite in the nervous post-election era. Residential Secure Income will become the second real estate investment trust to invest in social housing as it announces its intention to float and raise £300 million.

David Lloyd Leisure shows strength with swoop for fitness club in Milan: David Lloyd Leisure is beefing up its overseas operations by acquiring its first club in Italy.

Business confidence crashes amid post election uncertainty: Business confidence has plunged since the election and company Bosses blame uncertainty over the make-up of the government, according to a poll by the Institute of Directors.

Royal Ascot Week helps Owners to reduce debt: A 10% increase in ticket income from Royal Ascot week last year helped produce cantering profits growth at the company which runs the event. Ascot Authority (Holdings) has reported pretax profits of £5.1 million for 2016, up by 16%.

British Gas launches repair service through Local Heroes website: British Gas has unveiled plans to revive its home services business by launching the “Uber of the plumbing and boiler world”.

French finance Minister Bruno Le Maire tries to broker Greek debt deal: With a Greek crisis threatening the European Union once again France’s government is sending Bruno Le Maire, the finance Minister, to Athens to try to broker a breakthrough in stalled bailout negotiations and contentious debt talks.

The Independent

Air bnb gets green light in Japan after government passes home-sharing law: Air bnb will now be able to operate in Japan without the risk of running into regulatory hurdles after the government passed a law that sets out rules for home sharing.

The Daily Telegraph

Uber Boss Travis Kalanick considers leave of absence: Uber’s Chief Executive and Founder Travis Kalanick is weighing up a temporary exit following an extraordinary series of scandals that has thrown the U.S. technology giant into chaos.

U.S. Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates: America’s central bank is poised to raise interest rates for the second time this year as policymakers take another step towards normalisation amid an improving economy.

Gulf crisis threatens Qatar’s £160 billion World Cup building plans: The diplomatic crisis engulfing Qatar threatens to derail the £160 billion building programme the country needs to finish to be ready to host the 2022 World Cup.

Guardian to go tabloid as it abandons Berliner presses in print deal with Trinity Mirror: The Guardian newspaper will soon abandon its European-style “Berliner” print format and go tabloid to help stem heavy losses.

Zopa hunts for 40 tech whizzes as it narrows focus on bank launch: Britain’s largest peer-to-peer lender has heightened its focus on building a bank, firing the starting gun on a recruitment push that will see it hire at least 40 developers for the project.

Tax hikes in emerging markets put brake on tobacco growth: Aggressive tax hikes in emerging markets are holding back the number of cigarettes some of the world’s largest tobacco companies are able to sell.

O2 Arena Owner to limit bags amid terror threat: The company which owns London’s O2 Arena said it is likely to restrict bags being brought into the venue amid concerns about another terror attack.

Cuadrilla’s cuts costs to stem losses as shale project faces further opposition: Cuadrilla has cut deep into its spending and reduced its workforce by a fifth to stem its mounting losses as it faces yet further delay to its flagship shale fracking project.

Germany faces an uncertain future as the Eurozone’s magic money tree: The EU has had a good few weeks, starting with the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France, backed up by a series of strong economic figures from just about everywhere in Europe, and culminating in the Remainers’ Revenge last Thursday in the U.K..

The Guardian

Private schools to save £522 million in tax thanks to charitable status: Private schools are set to get tax rebates totalling £522 million over the next five years as a result of their controversial status as charities, according to a study of local council records.

Boohoo co-Founder sells £80 million in shares as he reveals ‘supersite’ plan: The co-Founder of has cashed in on the fast-growing popularity of the online fashion group by selling more than £80 million in shares.

Co-op Bank draws interest from Qatar conglomerate: A Qatar-based company has been identified as part of a consortium interested in making a bid for the troubled Co-operative Bank.

Daily Mail

Morrisons faces bonus backlash with Boss David Potts set to pocket £10 million over the next three years: Morrisons has been criticised over ‘soft’ bonus targets and excessive boardroom pay. Chief Executive David Potts could pocket £10 million over the next three years after his long-term share award was increased from 240% of his salary to 300%.

McLaren Chief puts flotation in pole position: Woking firm set to follow in rival Ferrari’s footsteps: Supercar maker McLaren Automotive could be set to follow in rival Ferrari’s footsteps with a stock market float.

Tesco’s growth spurt continues: Grocer expected to report bumper first quarter sales: Britain’s largest grocer is expected to report further sales growth in the first quarter of its financial year this week.

World’s biggest public sector investors hoarding gold amid Trump and Brexit uncertainty: Uncertainty driven by the election of Donald Trump and last year’s Brexit vote has led to the gold reserves of the world’s largest public sector investors to reach an 18-year high.

Daily Express

Used car website Auto Trader’s profits up 18%: Shares in used car website Auto Trader fell 5% after the release of its 2016/17 results.

Consumers feel the pinch as annual spending falls for first time since 2013: Consumer spending has fallen annually for the first time in nearly four years, in signs that more households are reining back on purchases amidst rising prices and stalling wage growth.

The Scottish Herald

Scots growth picks up as services rises: Growth of the Scottish private sector economy accelerated in May but remained modest, as services returned to expansion, a survey shows.

Holyrood malt whisky project launches £5.5 million funding bid: The people aspiring to distil the first single malt whisky in Edinburgh in 90 years have launched a £5.5 million investment drive to help fund its development.

Thomson targets growth through deals: A Glasgow-based wealth management firm has targeted acquisitions after moving to new premises which it says will allow it to double in size.

Scottish businesses demand rethink on Brexit: Businesses across Scotland have come together to call on Theresa May to abandon any thoughts of a hard Brexit after the General Election ended in a hung parliament.

The Scotsman

Franchise firm Platinum on crest of a wave: The Founder and Managing Director of an Edinburgh-based franchising consultancy is aiming for it to be a £1 million turnover business in the next three to four years as it looks to harness international growth potential.

CMC profits spread more thinly amid ‘quiet markets’: Spread-betting firm CMC Markets blamed “quieter markets” for a 9% fall in pretax profits to £48.5 million in its first full year as a public company.

L’Oreal in talks over £880 million sale of The Body Shop: L’Oreal has entered into “exclusive” talks to sell The Body Shop to Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer Natura Cosmeticos in a deal that could be worth €1 billion (£880 million).

City A.M.

Business deluded over migration changes, says leading think tank Resolution Foundation: Businesses are “totally unprepared” for likely changes to levels of immigration to the U.K., a leading think tank has warned.

Goldman Sachs Boss Lloyd Blankfein joins Mark Carney and Jes Staley on list of bankers hoodwinked by the email prankster: Goldman Sachs Boss Lloyd Blankfein has been duped by the email prankster that has already embarrassed Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley, it was claimed.

Retirees have spend a record £3.7 billion paying rent in the last year: Retirees in Britain have paid £3.7 billion in rent in the last year, up a whopping 216% from the £1.2 billion they paid in 2007.

London is the best place for investment in the build-to-rent sector, according to Knight Frank: The U.K.’s build-to-rent sector will be worth £70 billion by 2021 with London gobbling up 65% of the investment in the market, according to a new research by Knight Frank.

Nisa Retail drafts in advisers as it explores mutual structure shake-up: Convenience store Nisa Retail has called in bankers from Lazard to explore a sale of the member-owned firm, according to reports.

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:33:00 +0100
In the Papers - Amazon, Ikea, Uber, Boohoo Newspaper Summary

The Times

Interest rate cut era is over, ECB Boss declares: The European Central Bank has ruled out further interest rate cuts in a first small step towards normalising monetary policy as the eurozone rapidly gathers momentum.

Amazon Lending challenges banks by offering loans for small business: Amazon’s little-known lending division has supplied billions of dollars in loans to small businesses selling goods on its sprawling online platform in another challenge to traditional commerce.

Moody’s upgrades BP credit rating: Moody’s has upgraded BP’s credit rating for the first time in almost 20 years, citing growing clarity over the final bill for its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BBC report questions BA’s explanation of IT failure: British Airways has declined to challenge reports calling into question its version of events over the bank holiday IT fiasco that grounded 60% of its flights and ruined the travel arrangements of at least 75,000 people.

Ex-Minister Moon Hyung-pyo jailed over Samsung merger: South Korea’s former health Minister Moon Hyung-pyo has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail for putting pressure on the national pension fund to support a 2015 merger of two Samsung Group units.

Republicans take first step to ease constraints on banks: Republicans won their first legislative battle in a campaign to loosen President Obama’s tough banking rules as the lower chamber of Congress passed a bill last night to ease regulations.

Iceland’s economy contracts at sharpest rate in three years: Iceland’s economy contracted at the sharpest rate in three years at the start of 2017, reducing fears that the once troubled economy is in danger of overheating again.

The Independent

China reports surprise boost in exports but concerns remain over economy: China reported stronger-than-anticipated exports and imports for May in the face of falling commodity prices, suggesting the economy is holding up better than expected despite rising lending rates and a cooling property market.

Mar-a-Lago could be victim of Trump’s decision to quit Paris Agreement: U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement could accelerate damage to his family’s real estate empire in the coming decades, especially his properties that lie just feet from the encroaching sea in low-lying South Florida.

Ikea to trial selling products through third parties: Ikea plans to test selling its products on websites other than its own, the head of brand and strategy owner of Inter Ikea Group said on Wednesday, as the world’s biggest home furnishing retailer targets more online customers.

Solar, wind and nuclear power each provide more electricity than gas and coal combined for first time: Wind, solar and nuclear power have each generated more electricity than coal and gas combined – for the first time ever in the U.K. The National Grid said the landmark was achieved at 1pm on Wednesday.

The Daily Telegraph

Former HSBC banker faces extradition fight over currency rigging claims: A former HSBC Executive accused of foreign exchange market manipulation has been arrested and bailed in the U.K. ahead of a potential battle over his extradition to the U.S.

Investors reject plan to list Saudi Aramco with 5% float in London: Investors are urging the U.K. Listing Authority (U.K.LA) to reject a plan to float just 5% of Saudi Aramco in London, in a move that would break the 25% minimum threshold required to obtain a premium listing.

EU to force Facebook and Google to give police data under terrorism proposals: The European Union wants to give police new powers to obtain information from internet companies including Facebook and Google as part of new measures to fight terrorism.

Petrofac clinches decade-long Oman deal despite SFO probe: Petrofac investors enjoyed a rare slice of good news after the troubled oilfield services company clinched a decade-long contract in Oman, despite being dragged into a corruption probe by the Serious Fraud Office.

Etihad and Tui’s airline launch is grounded as ‘sums don’t add up’: Attempts by Etihad and Tui to launch a new leisure-focused airline have stalled because the economics of their proposal do not stack up, according to a source close to the talks.

Peter Cruddas insists tighter trading rules will be a boon for CMC: CMC Markets Boss Peter Cruddas has saluted a U.K. crackdown on trading despite the move hammering shares in the spreadbetting group.

ECB signals end to vast monetary experiment as boom builds: The European Central Bank has taken its first baby steps towards monetary tightening, signalling retreat from its radical experiment with negative interest rates and emergency stimulus as the eurozone economy springs back to life.

The Questor Column:

This trust trades at a 32% discount – and there’s good reason to expect it to narrow: The managers of this week’s fund, an Asian-focused but London-listed company called Symphony International, not only own 17% of the shares but have an additional motivation to get the share price moving and the discount of 32% narrowing – quickly. The managers own special securities called “options”. But if the managers can get the share price above the price at which the options are exercised by the time they expire in August next year, they stand to receive an appreciable windfall. Mr. Treanor’s firm manages the British Empire investment trust, which owns a stake in Symphony. With a little more than a year to achieve their goal, Symphony’s managers have already taken steps that aim to cut the discount. The first was the introduction of a dividend policy in early 2014. This has resulted in very substantial distributions being paid since then totalling $0.1835 per share (to put this figure in context, the current share price is $0.821). Also, buying back shares when they are trading at a discount to the net asset value has the effect of boosting the NAV per share – which will, if the discount remains the same, mean a rise in the share price. The company intends to buy back at least 10% of its shares over the next year; it has so far bought back 3%. Symphony’s investment team is led by Anil Thadani, formerly of Schroders, who is known as the “founding father of Asian private equity”. Symphony is a bit of a quirky opportunity but the combination of credible management, large discount and a catalyst for its narrowing makes it a buy, despite a high annual charge of 2.25%. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Pound plunges amid fears over Brexit delays: Fears that a hung parliament could delay Brexit negotiations sent the pound plunging in late trading on Thursday. The pound immediately dropped in reaction to the shock 10pm exit poll, falling as much as 2% to $1.27 in the currency markets, its lowest level in six weeks.

U.K. economy falls to bottom of EU growth league: The U.K. economy was the worst performer in the European Union in the opening months of 2017 as the Brexit vote took its toll, according to official statistics that underscore the challenge facing the next British government.

Qatar crisis highlights rising U.K. energy reliance on imports: Britain’s increasing reliance on energy imports as the North Sea’s oil and gas wealth declines has been highlighted by the diplomatic crisis engulfing Qatar.

Gordon Ramsay’s Brexit nightmare: chef hires team to halt rising costs: The celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has drafted in a specialist team of Brexit negotiators to tackle rising food costs at his restaurant empire.

Uber Executive ‘had no reason to obtain rape victim’s medical records’: An Uber Executive who reportedly obtained the medical records of a Delhi woman who was sexually assaulted by one of the company’s drivers would have had no legal reason to access the documents during the investigation or trial, according to the police officer who oversaw the case.

Qatar conglomerate joins Co-op Bank bid: A Qatar-based company has been identified as part of a consortium interested in making a bid for the troubled Co-operative Bank.

Boohoo co-Founder sells £80 million in shares as he reveals ‘supersite’ plan: The Co-Founder of has cashed in on the fast-growing popularity of the online fashion group by selling more than £80 million in shares.

Special K: tennis player in legal battle with Kellogg’s over nickname: Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis is facing a court battle over his right to use his Special K nickname commercially.

Daily Mail

FTSE 100 finishes slightly down and pound remains stable ahead of election results: London’s FTSE 100 Index remained in negative territory and the pound gave back gains against the U.S. dollar amid last-minute General Election nerves.

Auto Trader revs up its profit-making despite driving into an economic headwind but its shares reverse: The owner of the Auto Trader website said full-year operating profit rose by 18% to £203.1 million, with pre-tax profit up 23% to £193.4 million. Turnover was up from £281.6million to £311.4 million.

M&S Boss to pocket bumper £1.6million pay package despite falling profits at the retailer: The Boss of Marks & Spencer has been handed £1.6million in pay and bonuses for the previous year’s work despite falling profits at the retailer.

Shares in online fashion upstart Boohoo jump as investors trust fundraising will boost growth: Shares in online fashion upstart Boohoo jumped more than 9% as investors saw an opportunity for rapid growth in the firm’s £50 million share placement to fund a new mega-warehouse.

Daily Express

Defiant Draghi refuses to bow to Germany and warns eurozone still needs huge support: Europe’s central bank Chief hit back against Germany, and insisted the eurozone still needs “substantial” economic support from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Saudi’s row with Qatar sinks oil prices to lowest level of 2017: Oil prices have tumbled to their lowest levels this year amid escalating tensions between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Concerns for ECB as German economists report ‘little confidence’: Tensions between the European Central Bank (ECB) and Germany are growing, as economists from the eurozone’s largest economy stage a revolt against monetary policymakers.

Eurozone economy growth revised up in the first quarter of 2017: The eurozone’s economy grew faster than previously thought in the first three months of the year, showed official data released.

The Scottish Herald

C&C Boss Glancey sees pay package decline: The Boss of the company behind Scotland’s biggest-selling lager saw his total pay fall by nearly 15% as profits at C&C Group were dented by the collapse in sterling last year.

Northern Ireland builder grows in Scotland: Construction heavyweight Graham Group has increased turnover by around 40% in the latest year in Scotland, where the public sector is providing valuable work for the firm.

Investors show faith in Aberdeen oil and gas firm: Stock market investors have shown faith in Eland Oil & Gas although the firm has seen losses spiral in Nigeria where security problems have compounded the challenges posed by the low crude price.

Cairn seeks clarity amid partner dispute in Senegal: Cairn Energy is facing potential complications with plans to develop a big find off Senegal amid a dispute between two of its partners.

Standard Life weighs flotation of Indian venture: Standard Life has said it may propose a flotation of the joint venture it formed with India’s Housing Development Finance Corporation if plans to merge it with Max Life are blocked by regulators in the country.

The Scotsman

Creative agency Whitespace draws up record figures: Independent creative agency Whitespace has celebrated its 20th anniversary by posting record figures for 2016.

Flybe swings to a loss amid slowing passenger demand: Regional airline Flybe said slowing consumer demand and over capacity sent it swinging to a loss last year.

BT hangs up on auditor PwC following Italian scandal: BT has appointed KPMG as its new auditor following the company’s Italian accounting scandal.

Aldi festival set to net £130,000 for Scots brewers: Supermarket chain Aldi has launched its latest Scottish beer festival, predicting the initiative will be worth more than £130,000 for the 35 brewers taking part.

Midlothian business centre eyes Pentland Studio boom: A Midlothian business centre that is marking its tenth anniversary has predicted that the planned £250 million Pentland Studios project will attract more digital and technology firms to the area.

City A.M.

Statoil plans for changes to global energy mix with oil demand potentially peaking in 2030: Norwegian oil major Statoil is expecting substantial changes to the global energy mix as the world moves towards a low-carbon energy system, with oil demand potentially peaking in 2030.

Stada takeover drags on as buyout firm bidders lower acceptance threshold: The takeover of pharmaceuticals manufacturer Stada has been prolonged, as the foremost bidders reduced their minimum acceptance threshold and extended their offer by two weeks.

Two Infrastrata shareholders are attempting to oust the board: A shareholder revolt has broken out at gas storage firm Infrastrata as two investors attempt to oust the board.

Royal London Asset Management says it will fight any attempt to bend the rules in potential float: Saudi Arabian oil behemoth Saudi Aramco should not be given a bespoke listing if it chooses to float in London, a fund management firm said.

Workspace Group’s shares rise after it confirms interest to snap up Salisbury House in the City in a £158 million deal: Workspace Group’s shares rose over four% this morning after the FTSE 250 office space provider confirmed its interest to snap up Salisbury House in the City in a £158 million deal.

Remy Cointreau toasts profit growth as demand for high-end cognac grows in China: French spirits maker Remy Cointreau reported higher than expected annual profit as demand for premium cognac grew in China.

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 08:52:00 +0100
In the Papers - AstraZeneca, Boohoo, Singapore Airlines Newspaper Summary

The Times

OECD: U.K. must borrow more to cope with Brexit slowdown: A leading global economic think tank dealt the Conservatives a double blow on the eve of the election by warning that growth is slowing and endorsing opposition plans for debt-fuelled spending.

Oil prices slide as more crude pours into the market: A surprise jump in crude stockpiles in the United States sent the price of oil down by more than 4% amid fears that diplomatic tension in the Middle East could hamper Opec’s agreement to cut production.

Punitive car taxes hit Land Rover sales: Sales at the larger, more profitable end of Jaguar Land Rover’s range have gone into reverse after being hit by new punitive car tax rates on gas-guzzlers.

Miners return to major profits and repay debts: The world’s largest mining companies slashed investment in expansion to record lows last year as they swung back to profit and paid down debts.

QE is harming the economy, warns Cameron Minister: Baroness Altmann, pensions Minister under David Cameron, said that the emergency policy pursued by the Bank of England and other central banks in the financial crisis may have become “a significant danger” nearly a decade after it was launched.

French join the search for oil off Irish coast: Total has thrown its weight behind the search for oil off the coast of Ireland, buying a $27 million option on a prospect about to be drilled by Tony O’Reilly Jr’s Providence Resources.

The Independent

May will fail to deliver Brexit trade deal, OECD predicts: Theresa May will fail to secure a comprehensive free trade agreement with the rest of the EU by 2019 in a development that would mean a destructive “cliff-edge” Brexit for the U.K., the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has predicted.

World adds record amount of renewable energy as prices plummet: The world added enough renewable energy capacity to power every house in the U.K., Germany, France and Italy combined last year, according to a new report. The record figure of 161 gigawatts cost about £187 billion, but this was a staggering 23% cheaper than it would have cost in the previous year.

House price growth weakest in four years in May says Halifax: House prices continued to weaken in May, according to the latest data from Halifax.

Pound could plummet if general election delivers hung parliament: The pound could plunge to as low as $1.20 on Friday, a level last seen in January, should the U.K. election lead to a hung parliament, according to a Bloomberg poll of analysts.

Trump set to allow drilling for oil off U.S. east coast for first time: The Trump administration is paving the way for drilling for oil to start off the U.S. east coast for the first time, environmentalists have warned.

One third of small businesses want new government that will reverse decision to leave EU: One third of small businesses want new government that will reverse decision to leave EU

The Daily Telegraph

Berendsen agrees to £2.2 billion takeover by French rival Elis: Berendsen has succumbed to a takeover proposal from French rival Elis, after the offer was raised for a second time to £2.2 billion, in spite of earlier comments made by the British laundry giant’s board that there had been no “basis for any further discussions”.

easyProperty to merge with estate agency group in £60 million deal: Online estate agency easyProperty is on the cusp of a merger with the firm behind The Guild of Property Professionals in a bid to seize market share from both online and more traditional agencies.

Shares in RPC tumble as investors spot ‘red flags’: Shares in RPC dropped more than 11% on Wednesday, despite the packaging company reporting that its annual profit had more than doubled.

AstraZeneca banks up to £230 million on Zomig migraine drugs deal: Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca has struck a deal worth up to $302 million (£234 million) to sell the rights to its migraine drug Zomig to a family-owned German company.

Dong Energy plugs offshore wind farm into world-first battery system: Offshore wind giant Dong Energy has become the first to plug an offshore wind farm into a battery system to store power to be used as needed.

Fat chance of delaying markets reform, EU watchdog tells City: The European markets watchdog has warned the City that a blanket change on trading rules will come into force no later than January, dashing any hopes it could be delayed as the City scrambles to prepare.

The Questor Column:

Hold on to Greggs for its growth and resilience in uncertain times: Investec uses a mixture of funds and individual shares in its clients’ portfolios and among the latter it currently holds Greggs, the fast food chain famous for its sausage rolls. Ms. Bayer said the firm was benefiting from a refurbishment programme and attempts to tap into the growing trend towards takeaway breakfasts. She accepted that Greggs was affected by the rise in the minimum wage and that most companies in the sector were highlighting possible uncertainty in the second part of the year. But she added: “Takeaway food and rolls seem pretty resilient – consumers are prepared to pay for what they want. This is a good stock to hold in the food retail sector.” The shares are also held in the Standard Life U.K. Smaller Companies fund, and the investment trust of the same name, which are run by the highly-regarded Harry Nimmo. Questor tipped the shares as a long-term hold last year when they were trading on a price to earnings ratio of 18. The rating is now 17.6 and we are happy to reiterate that view. Questor says Hold’.

Update: Kromek: Readers who followed our advice to buy shares in Kromek, the supplier of advanced radiation detectors, in March at 27p and saw them gain 26% to 34p over the next few days may be wondering why they have fallen back below the price at which we tipped them. We reiterated our buy stance at 29.75p last month. But far from signalling problems at the company, the share price fall offers another opportunity to buy into this unusual firm – which is based in County Durham but whose customers include the U.S. government – at an attractive price. Gervais Williams of Miton, who holds Kromek in several of his portfolios, said nothing had changed at the company and that the current share price weakness reflected a “buyers’ strike” in the market for smaller and medium-sized stocks, partly as a result of pre-election nervousness. He said share prices often jumped when investors became enthusiastic about a stock, only to lose steam when there were no immediate announcements to confirm the story. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire reels from BHS closure and Topshop fall: Sir Philip Green’s retail empire suffered a worse than expected 79% fall in profits last year as it reeled from the closure of BHS and a tough fashion market, during which Topshop’s U.K. sales fell for the first time in more than a decade.

U.S. oil firm Halliburton branded ‘obscene’ over unpaid U.K. internships: Oil industry company Halliburton has been branded “obscene” for advertising unpaid U.K. internships, which critics say give an unfair advantage to people from privileged backgrounds.

OECD: outlook for global economy is ‘better, but not good enough’: Rising inflation and weak wage growth will leave Britain rooted to the bottom of the league table for living standards among the west’s richest countries in 2018, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.

Santander and RBS haunted by ghost of crisis past: The shadow of the 2008 financial crisis loomed over the banking sector again on Wednesday when a Spanish lender was rescued from collapse by Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland racked up a £1 billion bill to end a legal battle sparked by the bailouts by U.K. taxpayers nearly a decade ago.

More than a fifth of WPP investors reject Sorrell’s £48 million pay package: More than a fifth of WPP investors have voted against Sir Martin Sorrell’s £48 million pay package, as the Chief Executive and his board faced a barrage of questions at the annual meeting over who will take over as head of the world’s largest advertising group.

Daily Mail

Online fashion upstart Boohoo seeking £50 million from investors to fund mega-warehouse: Online upstart Boohoo is seeking £50 million from investors to fund a blockbuster warehouse as stellar growth continues. The company wants to build a £150 million store to expand its business.

New Chief of FTSE mining giant Anglo American entangled in tech firm scandal: The new Chairman of a FTSE mining giant was embroiled in a tech company that has collapsed amid a scandal. Stuart Chambers, one of the City’s biggest names, was appointed to take on the top job at Anglo American.

Tesco Boss paid £4.1 million is given £142k to move 30 minutes from grocer’s Hertfordshire head office: Tesco Boss Dave Lewis, 52, was handed the bumper benefits package to cover stamp duty and legal fees to move from London closer to the Hertfordshire head office.

Protests at court as row between RBS and investors is abandoned, letting Fred ‘the shred’ off the hook: A courtroom battle between Royal Bank of Scotland and disgruntled investors was abandoned – allowing disgraced ex-Boss Fred ‘the shred’ Goodwin to avoid giving evidence.

Uranium miner Berkeley Energia appoints former Rio Tinto Executive Nigel Jones as a non-Executive Director: Uranium miner Berkeley Energia has appointed former Rio Tinto Executive Nigel Jones as a non-Executive Director. The 51-year-old is replacing retiring Dr Jim Ross in the Spanish-focused business.

Daily Express

Greek debt timebomb: Athens could beg EU lenders to avert deadlock if talks break down: Greece could ask European lenders to intervene and avert the deadlock on the country’s debt crisis if talks break down next week.

EU crisis: Euro sinks as European Central Bank set to admit its policies are failing: The euro has tumbled amid expectations the European Central Bank will be forced to admit its policies are still failing to produce satisfactory results in Europe’s economy.

Why Donald Trumps tax policies on expats will be huge boost for Britain: Britain’s economy is set to reap a £26million injection thanks to Donald Trump’s tax policies, expert analysis has showed.

Spain’s hemorrhaging Banco Popular bought by Santander for €1: Banking heavyweight Santander has agreed to buy toxic lender Banco Popular for just €1, saving the giant from total collapse.

Labour’s garden tax will see house prices crash: House prices will crumble under Labour’s plan to hit British households with a ‘garden tax’, architects of the plan have bragged.

The Scottish Herald

Edinburgh aparthotel set to open after investment: A 72-studio aparthotel in central Edinburgh is on track to open early next month, following an investment of “tens of millions of pounds”.

Cairn underlines belief in oil and gas potential of Ireland: Cairn Energy has underlined its confidence in the potential to make big finds in the frontier waters off Ireland as one of the industry’s big guns appeared to back its judgement.

Global challenges fail to dampen confidence of Standard Life trust: The £567 million Standard Life Private Equity Trust has expressed confidence about the prospects for further gains from its portfolio, in spite of a “challenging global political and macroeconomic environment”.

Eland to raise funds after annual losses triple: Eland Oil & Gas has announced plans to raise up to $19.5 million (£15.1 million) from investors a day after the Nigeria-focused firm disclosed that losses tripled last year amid security challenges in the country.

O’Toole sells FirstGroup stock as incentive plan vests: FirstGroup Chief Executive Tim O’Toole has sold nearly half of the shares vested under his 2014 LTIP (long-term investment plan) to cover tax liabilities, writes Scott Wright.

Frame PR unit hails the impact of senior additions: The public relations arm of Frame, the Glasgow-based creative agency, has unveiled a raft of high-profile client wins, declaring its expansion reflects its decision to take expand its senior team.

Barnetts reports solid trading: Barnetts Motor Group, the St Andrews-based car dealer, said turnover had not dropped as much as expected last year.

Award-winning Eriska resort expands self-catering business: Isle of Eriska, the five-star hotel and spa resort located on its own 300-acre private island off the west coast near Oban, has expanded its Hilltop Reserves self-catering holiday business after building an additional four top-end lodges.

Wood Group wins contract with BAE Systems for Royal Navy submarines: Wood Group has secured a two-year industrial services contract from BAE Systems Submarines to provide insulation installation services to the U.K. Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines based in Barrow-in-Furness as it moves to become less reliant on its traditional oil and gas business.

The Scotsman

U.K. economy to slow amid Brexit and spending squeeze: The U.K. economy will slow in the coming years as Brexit uncertainty hampers growth and consumers endure a spending squeeze caused by higher prices and lower wages, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD).

Fintech companies being powered by global money sources says dealmaker: Quest Corporate, the Edinburgh-based boutique corporate finance advisory firm, celebrated a stellar 2016 rounded off by one of the year’s largest fintech deals.

Software outfit Ideagen plans East Kilbride jobs boost: Software developer Ideagen has unveiled plans to create more than 50 jobs, including about 20 in East Kilbride.

SwarmOnline makes its mark in the fintech field: After six years of behind-the-scenes preparation, Glasgow-based mobile and web technology company SwarmOnline was launched in 2011 from the living room of Founder and managing Director Andrew Duncan.

Scotgold seals jewellery deal for first Cononish gold: The company developing Scotland’s first commercial gold mine has struck a deal to supply two jewellery manufacturers with precious metal from its Cononish site.

City A.M.

S&P has become the first ratings agency to downgrade Qatar amid intense diplomatic row: Standard & Poor (S&P) has become the first ratings agency to downgrade Qatar’s credit rating following the diplomatic rift caused by the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to cut ties with Qatar.

Singapore Airlines Boss Goh Choon Phong takes over from IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh as IATA Chairman: Singapore Airlines’ Chief Executive has taken over from IAG Boss Willie Walsh as Chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents some 275 airlines across the globe.

London’s tourism industry should hold up well in the face of terror attacks according to the Boss of the mayor’s promotional agency: The Chief Executive of London & Partners, the mayor’s promotional agency, believes the capital’s tourism industry is resilient enough to withstand the shock of recent terror attacks.

Shoe Zone’s shares hit as profits plunge: Shoe Zone’s share price was on the back foot after the budget retailer announced a hit to its profits.

Hyundai’s U.S. sales Chief is the second top U.S. exec to leave the company amid a sales slump: The U.S. sales Chief of Hyundai Motor has resigned, marking the second departure of a top U.S. Executive in the past six months amid falling sales.

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 08:43:00 +0100
In the Papers - Net-a-Porter, BrewDog, British Airways, Vodafone Newspaper Summary

The Times

Net-a-Porter decides fur is a fashion faux-pas too far: Net-a-Porter, the upmarket online fashion store, has banned fur products. The move by Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, the owner of Net-a-Porter, Yoox and The Outnet, comes a year after it began to phase out fur from its supply chains, but only a day after figures suggested that the fur trade was proving resilient.

Tesco faces investor revolt over Chief’s £140,000 relocation deal: Tesco has been criticised over the £142,000 it paid to the supermarket’s Chief Executive in relocation costs.

Female Chief Executives pave way for diversity in boardroom: Companies with a chairwoman or female Chief Executive are making greater strides towards gender diversity in the boardroom and have almost twice as many women Directors as corporations led by men, research shows.

Confident start-ups unfazed by Brexit, says EY survey: Britain’s start-up businesses are more optimistic about their prospects than their rivals in the United States, Europe and even fast-growing Asian economies, despite the uncertainties caused by Brexit, according to research by EY.

Middle East beats Russia in elite London property race: People from the Middle East have become the largest group of international buyers of homes in the most exclusive areas of London.

Bankers mark Noble’s card over credit line concerns: Lenders to Noble Group have appointed legal advisers to weigh up their options as the troubled commodities trader strives to renegotiate a £2 billion credit line.

Loss-making Delivery Hero seeks €450 million to cover liabilities: The German takeaway delivery group that is selling its British-based Hungryhouse business to Just Eat is to raise €450 million in an initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Stronger yuan puts U.S. debt on table: China is to reverse course on its policy of selling U.S. government bonds as the debt becomes more attractive and the yuan strengthens.

Shawbrook says ‘no’ for final time to Marlin Bidco’s bid: The independent Directors of Shawbrook have rebuffed a fourth and final takeover offer by a consortium of private equity firms that put the lender’s worth at £868 million.

The Independent

EU power grab on U.K.’s €930 billion clearing business ‘severely detrimental’: A global financial trade body has said it has “grave concerns” over EU plans to force the relocation of the €930 billion (£810 billion) per day clearing business from London to the EU after Brexit.

Germany, Denmark and Belgium pledge fivefold increase in offshore wind: The governments of Germany, Denmark and Belgium backed a pledge to install 60 gigawatts of new offshore wind power next decade, more than five times the world’s existing capacity.

Aldi and Lidl to take £1 in every £7 spent at supermarkets: One pound in every seven spent on groceries in the U.K. will be in a discount store like Aldi or Lidl within five years, according to new research.

BrewDog takes on pollsters and offers free beer to anyone who votes: Independent craft brewer BrewDog is handing out free beer while also taking on the pollsters ahead of the Thursday’s general election.

Saudi and UAE banks suspend business with Qatari banks: Some commercial banks in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have suspended business with Qatari banks as a result of a major diplomatic spat in the region, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing banking sources.

Uber and Lyft face investigation over public nuisance claims: San Francisco has issued subpoenas to Uber and Lyft for a broad scope of records on driving and business practices as part of an investigation to determine whether the ride-services companies have become a public nuisance.

U.S. Dollar hovers near seven-month low ahead of James Comey testifying: The U.S. dollar traded near a seven-month low on Tuesday, ahead of a testimony before Congress from former FBI Director James Comey later in the week.

Apple Music reaches 27 million subscribers: Apple Music has revealed that it now has 27 million subscribers, up from the 20 million Executives reported in December.

The Daily Telegraph

British Airways’ human error admission fuels questions about airline’s systems: British Airways’ admission human error was behind its May Bank Holiday catastrophic systems failure is likely to heap further pressure on some of its most senior Executives, experts have claimed.

One of the ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ plots £100 million stock market return: One of the Founders of the ‘Leave Means Leave’ campaign for a clean Brexit is plotting a £100 million return to the stock market as he sets up an investment trust focused on commercial property outside London.

Ineos says building new 4x4 cars in Europe would not be a snub to post-Brexit Britain: Chemicals giant Ineos has said it would not be a snub to post-Brexit Britain if it decides to manufacture its new 4x4 outside of the U.K.

Tourism Chief Varney urges support overhaul from new government: The Boss of Alton Towers and owner of Madame Tussauds, Nick Varney, has urged the next government to hand responsibility for promoting tourism to a new department.

Olympic Stadium builder Sir Robert McAlpine poaches new Boss from Aim firm WYG: One of the U.K.’s largest private companies, Sir Robert McAlpine, has made an unlikely poach from the quoted sector by hiring the Boss of Aim consultancy WYG, Paul Hamer, as its new Chief Executive.

Exxon says Middle East row has not hit its Qatar natural gas exports: ExxonMobil said its production and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar have not been hit by the diplomatic row which erupted between the Gulf region’s most powerful energy states on Monday.

Lidl follows luxury lobster rush with Heidi Klum clothing range: Supermarket chain Lidl is to sell clothes by supermodel Heidi Klum, adding a “high-end” fashion brand to its aisles just months after luring in middle-class shoppers with deluxe £2.99 lobsters.

Fresh blow to Trump stimulus as infrastructure plan crumbles: Donald Trump’s vaulting scheme to rebuild America’s derelict bridges, roads, ports, and tunnels, has dwindled to almost nothing.

The Questor Column:

Restaurant Group investors should keep their seat at the table as recovery picks up: In the case of Restaurant Group, the owner of Frankie & Benny’s, the shares rose by 10% in a day on news that sales had fallen less quickly than analysts had expected when the company released a trading update late last month. In the first 20 weeks of this year sales fell across the group by 1.8% on a like-for-like basis, a much lower rate of decline than the 3.9% drop suffered in 2016 (and the 5.9% slide seen in the fourth quarter of last year alone). This offers encouragement that Mr. McCue can turn the group around. The firm has very little debt and banking covenants are under no threat, so time is on the side of both management and investors. In the latter’s case, an unchanged full-year dividend of 17.4p equates to a 4.7% yield, so they are being paid to wait to see how this transitional year for the group develops, while analysts’ forecasts of a second straight 19% fall in underlying earnings per share suggest that expectations are still low. The restaurant business is a cut-throat one but the strong balance sheet provides room for manoeuvre and the early signs are promising. Questor says ‘Hold’.

Update: Watkins Jones: Shares in Watkins Jones, the student accommodation provider, are trading close to record highs following a robust set of first-half figures, which lived up to lofty expectations and featured a substantial increase in the interim dividend. Even though sales fell, as a result of timing issues, Watkin Jones generated a 29% increase in underlying earnings per share. Coupled with net cash on the balance sheet and strong forward sales, that progress encouraged the board to announce a 65% increase in the interim dividend to 2.2p a share, supporting analysts’ consensus forecast for an increase in the full-year payment to 6.3p from 4.4p. That would equate to a 3.5% yield. Although they have risen by more than 40% since our initial tip in January, the shares are still not expensive on a forward p/e ratio of less than 14. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Airline Bosses: we must apologise immediately for BA-style crises: Airline Bosses should apologise instantly, roll up their sleeves and join the passengers next time they suffer a British Airways-style PR crisis, Executives have advised.

Tories have ‘shameful record’ on FOBT gambling, says Labour: The Labour party has accused the government of failing to act on fixed-odds betting terminals, after data showed that gamblers’ losses are largest in deprived areas and opposition-held constituencies.

Average U.K. rents fall for first time in more than seven years: Average U.K. rents have fallen for the first time in more than seven years, with London seeing the biggest decline, according to new data.

U.K. households cut back as Brexit effect on pound hits living costs: British households are cutting back as the Brexit effect on the pound continues to raise living costs, according to a clutch of reports that show shops, car dealerships and other consumer-facing businesses coming under pressure last month.

Vodafone to stop its ads appearing on fake news and hate speech sites: Vodafone is to introduce a tough new global policy to prevent its advertising from appearing on fake news and hate speech sites.

Fred Goodwin escapes high court appearance as RBS settles lawsuit: Fred Goodwin has escaped being summoned to the high court to explain his actions during the 2008 financial crisis, after disgruntled shareholders finally reached a settlement with Royal Bank of Scotland.

Daily Mail

£800 million investor sell-off wallops medical giant ConvaTec Group sending it towards the bottom of the FTSE: Wound-dressing maker ConvaTec Group sank towards the bottom of the FTSE after two key investors sold off more than £800 million worth of shares. Private equity investors Nordic Capital and Avista sold 171 million and 79 million shares respectively at 322p each, for a total of £805 million.

Bungling Burberry Boss to trouser £14 million despite presiding over 5% fall in profits and sales decline: The Boss of Burberry will pocket £14 million over the next month as he reaps the benefits of a share deal struck four years ago.

Signs eurozone is finally recovering from the financial crisis: Sentiment among investors in the eurozone has reached its highest level in nearly a decade in a sign the region is finally recovering from the financial crisis.

Another Exec forced out from troubled oil explorer Genel Energy after major shareholder rebellion: The oil firm’s board was forced to defend its Chief Executive Murat Ozgul, 43, after around 30% of the vote at ‘s annual meeting went against his re-election.

Now New Look is squeezed by online upstarts: Sales in New Look tumbled almost 7% last year as it became the latest high street name to lose out to online rivals.

Daily Express

General Election result is make or break for investors: Election result looks far tighter than expected creating huge uncertainty for pension savers and investors.

RBS reaches £200 million settlement with ‘misled’ shareholders: Royal Bank of Scotland has reached a £200 million settlement with thousands of angry shareholders who claim they were misled into buying its shares before it was bailed out by the taxpayer.

Dementia tax to stop one in three over-50s saving for the future, poll shows: The so-called dementia tax proposed by the Conservatives is set to stop a third of older people saving their wealth, research suggests.

Oil prices fall and gold jumps as Gulf tensions rise: Oil prices have tumbled after Saudi Arabia Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar, sparking fears that OPEC’s fragile deal to limit production could come undone.

Election puts a brake on car and retail sales: Growth in service industries slowed last month and new car sales went into reverse as consumers tightened belts ahead of the election.

The Scottish Herald

North Sea oil and gas industry told to help itself: Oil & Gas U.K. Chief Executive Deirdre Michie has underlined the need to capitalise on advances in technology to help the North Sea industry cope with the fall out from the plunge in oil prices since 2014.

Aberdeen oil firm hit by production challenges in Africa: Aberdeen-based Eland Oil and Gas has seen losses triple after facing security challenges on its licence in Nigeria during what it called a very difficult year.

Cran steps down at Aggreko after 13 years: Aggreko finance Chief Carole Cran has surprised the City by ending her 13-year association with the temporary power specialist.

Oil services firm diversifies in U.S.: Aberdeen-based oil services company Sparrows Group has secured its biggest-ever contract outside the energy industry, hailing the win as a “a major step forward in the company’s diversification”.

Hampden expands its senior team: Hampden & Co has further boosted its senior team by hiring Lloyds Banking Group veteran George Grierson.

Wheatley to expand after clinching £100 million deal: Wheatley Group has secured £100 million of debt funding from private equity giant Black Rock Real Assets to fund its expansion plans, writes Scott Wright.

Arnold Clark helps develop workforce: Car dealership Arnold Clark is partnering with a secondary school as part of a project by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Glasgow.

Flybe secures new five-year franchise arrangement with Eastern Airways: Regional airline Flybe has secured a new five-year franchise arrangement with Eastern Airways to fly the six routes previously operated under a similar agreement with Loganair from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

Recruitment firm targets expansion through acquisition of Edinburgh rival: Recruitment company iMultiply Resourcing has acquired Edinburgh competitor Allen Accountancy Recruitment as part of a strategy to ramp up its presence in the public practice accountancy sector.

Online environmental scheme aims to help Asda food suppliers save £2.5 million: Scottish food suppliers participating in Asda’s online Sustain & Save Exchange initiative will save about £2.5 million over the next three years, according to the supermarket group.

The Scotsman

Scotland in running for futuristic Hyperloop transport link: Nine proposed routes, including one from Glasgow to Wales, have been unveiled by Hyperloop One, the firm aiming to revolutionise public transport.

Scottish economy to lag behind rest of U.K. this year: Scotland’s economy is “stuck in the slow lane” and is expected to deliver below-par growth this year, with investment required to restore it to health, according to research ¬published.

Elevator secures £6 million Tayside Business Gateway contract: Social enterprise Elevator has secured a £6 million contract to continue delivering support for firms throughout the Angus, Perth & Kinross and Dundee regions over the next five years.

FreeAgent eyes ‘positive progress’ as revenues soar: Online accounting software developer FreeAgent revealed a 41% jump in revenues as it posted its first set of full-year figures since floating.

Merger and acquisition deals hit hard by Brexit vote: The Brexit vote has triggered a significant drop in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the U.K., according to new academic figures published.

City A.M.

Sizing blunders won’t harm H&M and Asos’s brand perception despite media backlash: Over the last couple of weeks, two high-profiles fashion brands have encountered criticism for the way they labelled women’s clothing.

Joules to “comfortably” beat profit estimates as sales soar: Clothing retailer Joules said that its profits for the year will be “comfortably” ahead of expectations due to soaring sales.

GM shareholders reject activist investor bid to split the firm’s stock and shake up the company board: General Motors has been boosted by ‘s results from its annual general meeting (AGM), as shareholders rejected proposals from a hedge fund investor to split GM’s shares into two classes and shake up its board.

Saudi Arabia has now revoked Qatar Airways’ licence as diplomatic row rages on: Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority has formally revoked Qatar Airways’ licence to fly and land in the country, as a rift among the Gulf countries intensifies.

AstraZeneca looks to raise $2 billion with bond issue: AstraZeneca confirmed it priced a three-tranche bond offering totalling $2 billion (£1.6 billion), which is expected to close on 12 June.

Airline industry bumps up profit forecast for 2017 despite global turbulence as it notes flying demand: The global outlook for the airline industry is positive despite ongoing challenges, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which has bumped up its expectations for industry profits for the year.

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 09:03:00 +0100
In the Papers - Wizz Air, Iceland, Google, AstraZeneca Newspaper Summary

The Times

Tourist trade ‘could fall by 30%’ after London Bridge terror attack: Shares across the leisure and airline sectors fell sharply as Bosses admitted that the resilience of Britain’s tourism industry would be sorely tested by the latest terrorist attack at London Bridge.

Clipping the wings of Qatar Airways: The tentacles of Qatar spread deeply into the British aviation establishment. Not only is the state-owned Qatar Airways a big user of airports in London and Manchester, it is the largest shareholder in IAG, the British Airways owner, with a stake of 20%.

Partners at KPMG face ‘extra millions’ in tax: KPMG has written to hundreds of its present and former partners to warn them about a dispute with the taxman over a bill dating from seven years ago that could lead to them being hit with millions of pounds in demands for tax.

London leads way as rental costs fall for first time in eight years: The cost of renting in Britain has fallen for the first time since 2009, adding to signs that the housing market is slowing after years of growth and increasing the pressure on buy-to-let landlords.

Greystar buys Nine Elms site from Royal Mail for £101 million: A former postal sorting office by the River Thames in south London is to be transformed into nearly 1,000 flats for rent after the Royal Mail sold the 14-acre site for £101 million.

Baroness Kramer says whistleblowers should be rewarded: Whistleblowers should receive payouts for revealing misconduct in the City and should no longer be treated “as if they’re snitches”, according to the Liberal Democrats.

Britain becomes slowest growing economy in G7: Britain grew at the slowest pace of any of the world’s advanced economies in the first three months of the year, after official figures showed that Italy had performed better than estimated.

The Independent

Labour market under growing pressure due to EU staff shortages: Brexit is already putting U.K. employers under increasing strain as demand for staff rises but the supply of European workers dwindles, according to the latest survey of the recruitment industry.

Morgan Stanley slashes sterling forecast ahead of U.K. general election: Morgan Stanley has slashed its long-term sterling forecast, ditching its out-of-consensus call made in March that the U.K. currency would reach $1.45 by the end of next year.

Qatar stock market plummets and oil rises as neighbours cut ties: Qatar’s stock market suffered its worst fall since 2009 on Monday after several Arab nations cut military and diplomatic ties with the country over its stance on Iran and Islamist extremists.

Babies born may never need to drive, says Axa insurance Boss: Babies born this year may never need to take a driving lesson as self-driving cars could hit Britain’s roads within 15 years, says the Boss of a U.K. insurance company.

Tech companies respond to calls to do more in wake of attacks: Technology companies have responded to accusations that they are not doing enough to stamp out extremist content online, in the wake of the weekend’s brutal terror attacks in London that left seven people dead and several dozen more injured.

Brexit may prompt sovereign wealth funds to sell off U.K. assets: Sovereign wealth funds and central banks may look to cut their U.K. assets in 2017 after sentiment toward the country slumped since Britain voted to leave the European Union, according to an Invesco report.

Ivanka Trump’s new Chinese trademark applications raise fresh concerns over family’s business interests: A wave of Chinese trademark applications filed by Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka has raised fresh concerns over whether the Trump family’s business interests may unduly influence foreign relations.

The chart that shows U.K. workers have had the worst wage performance in the OECD except Greece: The U.K. has suffered the biggest drop in average real wages of any OECD country except depression-wracked Greece, according to a pre-general election analysis published by the London School of Economics.

The Daily Telegraph

British Airways’ reputation hurt by systems failure, Willie Walsh admits: The image of British Airways was damaged by the systems failure which grounded estimated 75,000 passengers last month, Willie Walsh, the head of its parent company, IAG, has admitted.

Vodafone’s Qatari arm bruised by ‘terror’ row: Vodafone watched on Monday as the decision by neighbouring Arab countries to cut diplomatic ties sent the shares of its Qatari operation tumbling nearly 10%.

Shawbrook bidders lift offer for challenger bank to £868 million: The private equity firms stalking Shawbrook have raised their offer for the challenger bank by £26 million to £868 million and declared their hostile bid “final” in a last-ditch attempt to convince shareholders to take the deal.

AstraZeneca on verge of breast cancer drug breakthrough: AstraZeneca’s cancer research Boss has hailed a “golden age” for cancer drug discovery, after the pharma giant revealed promising trial results for a breast cancer drug that could replace chemotherapy and boost survival prospects for some patients.

Activist investor Crystal Amber snaps up Ocado stake: An activist investor has revealed a stake in Ocado just a day after the online grocer disclosed its first deal abroad, a long-awaited expansion overseas that nevertheless met with a lukewarm reaction in the City.

Apple unveils HomePod speaker at WWDC 2017: Apple last night sought to put itself at the centre of a new wave of smart home gadgets and rebut claims it had lost ground against tech rivals by unveiling a voice-controlled music speaker.

The Guardian

Channel 4 confirms Alex Mahon as Chief Executive: Channel 4 has appointed Alex Mahon, the former Boss of the maker of MasterChef and Broadchurch, who now runs the special effects firm behind Hollywood blockbusters including Gravity and Guardians of the Galaxy, as its new Chief Executive.

BA orders independent inquiry into IT meltdown: British Airways has ordered an independent investigation into the systems meltdown that left 75,000 passengers stranded over the bank holiday weekend.

Hopes of EU-U.S. trade agreement put on ice, say Brussels sources: The prospect of a revived EU-U.S. trade deal is in “deep freeze”, according to Brussels sources, undermining reports that the EU has been inching ahead of the U.K. in the race for an arrangement with Washington.

Air pollution fears see demand for diesel cars fall by fifth: Demand for new diesel cars plummeted by a fifth last month amid rising concerns over air pollution.

Nearly 10 million Britons are in insecure work, says union: Up to 10 million Britons or nearly a third of the U.K. workforce do not have secure employment, according to the GMB union, which has warned of a heavy impact on health and family life.

Noel Edmonds’ lawyers label Lloyds bank fraud payout scheme a ‘sham’: Lawyers representing Noel Edmonds have hit out at Lloyds Banking Group’s proposed compensation scheme for victims of a fraud at the bank’s HBOS Reading arm.

Daily Mail

Google smashes the $1,000 barrier: Tech giant’s stock has soared 1900% in 13 years: Shares in the owner of Google smashed through $1,000 last night a week after Amazon reached the same milestone.

Hedge fund Boss threatens Ocado coup as initial buzz over software deal is followed by a sell-off: Ocado is facing a backlash from shareholders over its failure to secure a blockbuster expansion deal.

Investors can cash in on global takeaway pizza boom: The Russian and Turkish arm of Domino’s is floating in London – letting investors cash in on what could be a soaring share price in the pizza firm.

Nat Rothschild sits on £120 million loss as he quits oil firm he co-founded with former BP Boss: Banking scion Nat Rothschild is following former BP Boss Tony Hayward out of the oil company they co-founded – leaving him nursing a £170 million loss.

Redwood Bank appoints CIBC’s David Buckley as Chairman: New lender Redwood Bank has appointed David Buckley from investment firm CIBC World Markets, as Chairman, and former senior HSBC financier Nigel Boothroyd as non-Executive Director, as it prepares to launch later this year.

Daily Express

The pound could be set for a major wobble after vote, warn experts: The pound could nosedive in the aftermath of the U.K. election if Theresa May fails to win a majority from Thursday’s vote, experts have warned.

Utility firms shares hit as polls spark fears of Labour nationalisation: Britain’s utility companies have suffered sell-offs in the lead up to the election, amid outside chances Labour could gain power and nationalise the firms.

Manufacturing set to surge in 2017 in major boost for U.K. economy: Britain’s manufacturing sector is this year set to grow at its fastest pace since 2014, in a huge boost for the economy amid the exit from the European Union (EU), according to a trade body.

Bitcoin rival Ethereum hits record high with 2000% rise in value amid uncertainty: Cryptocurrency Ethereum’s value has hit a record high, as demand for blockchain-based systems increases amid global uncertainty.

GBP inches higher against U.S.D despite weakest U.K. service sector growth: Worse-than-expected U.K. service sector PMI from IHS Markit has failed to prevent the GBP/USD exchange rate from edging up 0.2% this morning.

The Scottish Herald

Barriers to immigration likely biggest ‘headache’ for Scots economy from hard Brexit, think-tank warns: Barriers to immigration likely pose the biggest problem for the Scottish economy in any hard Brexit, representing an even greater potential “headache” than the impact on trade, a think-tank has warned.

Worries over U.K. economy mount as services sector slows and retail struggles: Growth of the U.K.’s key services sector slowed sharply in May and retail sales value last month was up only marginally on a year earlier, surveys show, fuelling worries over the flagging economy.

North Sea industry leader highlights “severe pressure” put on supply chain: Oil & Gas U.K. Chief Executive Deirdre Michie has noted the success of efforts to cut costs in the North Sea amid the crude price plunge but recognised they have put severe pressure on the whole supply chain.

Borders firm makes progress in Oman: Borders-based cleaning products maker RP Adam, which trades as Arpal Group, has agreed a partnership deal with an equipment supplier in Oman which it expects will help boost its growth in the Middle East.

Plexus to supply kit for giant North Sea development: Aberdeen-based well technology firm Plexus Holdings has won a contract to supply Maersk Oil with equipment for use on the development of the giant Culzean field in the North Sea.

Maven invests £2.5 million in cremation business: Maven Capital Partners has invested £2.5 million to take a 25% stake in a company with ambitions to build a portfolio of crematoria across the U.K.

Proserv plans £7 million subsea centre: Proserv, the Aberdeen-based energy services company, is to invest £7 million in a technology centre for subsea controls and communications in Great Yarmouth.

Digital firms urged to prepare for Brexit: Firms in the digital technologies sector are being urged to counter the negative effect of Brexit on accessing staff with the right skills.

The Scotsman

DX investor backs revised terms for Menzies tie-up: A major investor in parcels business DX Group has given its blessing to revised terms for the firm’s reverse takeover by the distribution arm of Edinburgh-based John Menzies.

Watchdog drops probe into PwC’s role as Tesco auditor: The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has dropped its investigation into PwC’s role as Tesco’s auditor during the supermarket’s accounting scandal.

Waste services group NWH snaps up Dundee wood recycler: Midlothian-based waste and construction services specialist NWH Group has bolstered its portfolio with the acquisition of DJ Laing Recycling Solutions’ wood processing division in Petterden, Dundee.

Iceland profits heat up following revamp of stores: Supermarket Iceland has posted rising full-year profits after reaping the rewards of revamped product ranges and a new store format.

Edinburgh legal services outfit Vialex looks south: An Edinburgh-based legal services company whose clients include online retailer Atterley and craft beer maker Innis & Gunn has outlined plans to expand south of the Border.

City A.M.

Discounters to lead the way as food industry set to grow 15% by 2022: The U.K.’s food and grocery industry is set to grow 15% by 2022, new research published has shown.

Peter Hambro faces war on two fronts as Petropavlovsk row heats up: Mining magnate Peter Hambro is facing a war on two fronts, as splinter groups seek to oust him from the board of Petropavlovsk.

Emirates and Etihad Airways among airlines suspending Qatar flights amid diplomatic row: The diplomatic row involving Qatar has sparked a flurry of activity from airlines suspending flights to the country.

Why investing giant Blackstone is willing to take a €4 billion punt on Finnish property: Blackstone, the mammoth asset manager led by President Trump’s economics adviser Stephen Schwarzman, might be best known in the real estate world for investing in names such as Hilton Hotels and London’s St Katharine Docks.

Wizz Air passenger numbers rise 22% in May as airline plans ambitious expansion: Wizz Air has announced soaring passenger traffic for last month, sending shares edging higher after last month’s spike.

Britain could lose out on Jim Ratcliffe’s new Land Rover Defender-inspired SUV as Ineos holds talks with European firms: Ineos Founder Jim Ratcliffe’s successor to the Land Rover Defender could be made outside of Britain, with his firm in talks with potential partners in Europe for a manufacturing base.

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:41:00 +0100
In the Papers - Ocado, Volvo, HSBC, Uber Newspaper Summary

The Times

Interest rate rise could ruin 80,000 businesses: One in 25 businesses, or nearly 80,000 enterprises, would struggle to handle an increase in interest rates of as little as a quarter of a percentage point, according to research by the insolvency trade body, in the clearest sign yet of the fragile state of corporate balance sheets.

Amazon Fresh puts more homes on its food delivery map: Amazon is to deliver food to another 42 postcodes in the south east of England as its aggressive assault on the online grocery market continues.

Tough times put nightclub owner Deltic’s float on ice: Britain’s biggest nightclub operator has put a stock-market listing on ice until next year because of challenging trading conditions and pending completion of a refurbishment of some venues.

World Bank forecasts 4% rise in global trade: Global trade will defy fears of protectionism in America to grow at its fastest pace this year since 2014, according to World Bank forecasts. Having slowed for two years, global trade volumes are expected to rise 4% this year. The world economy is forecast to expand by 2.7%, up from 2.4% in 2016.

Relations sour in pre-Brexit sugar war: British Sugar has embarked on a Back British Sugar campaign, in opposition to Tate & Lyle Sugars, which campaigned to leave the EU. British Sugar, part of Associated British Foods, produces its Silver Spoon brand from British beet, but Tate & Lyle’s sugar is refined from imported cane.

Shell slashes North Sea costs to make profit in a crash: Royal Dutch Shell has cut operating costs for some of its North Sea fields by 70% since the price of crude crashed, the oil company said.

VE Interactive Founder David Brown set for showdown with administrators: The Founder of a one-time technology high flyer will go head to head with the group’s new owners to determine the future of what was once one of the country’s most promising startups.

U.S. investors go short as Micro Focus deals nears: Two American activist investors have taken short positions in Micro Focus ahead of an $8.8 billion acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business.

The Independent

Airline offers full refund on flights to London in days after attacks: Malaysia Airlines has told customers they can get a full refund for any flights booked to London over the coming days in the wake of Saturday’s terror attacks.

Uber slammed for being slow to turn off ‘surge pricing’ after rampage: Ride sharing service Uber has been criticised for being too slow to turn off its “surge pricing” feature after Saturday night’s deadly terror attacks in London.

The Daily Telegraph

Global recovery drives World Bank triple growth upgrade for U.K. economy: The World Bank has upgraded its forecasts for U.K. growth over the next three years against a stronger global backdrop that will boost the British economy despite its weak start to the year.

SEGRO to embark on major development programme: SEGRO is set to launch a major new programme of development across the South East as it looks to take advantage of new rail and air links.

Manufacturers shrug off economic fears as export orders continue to flow: Britain’s manufacturing industry is getting a boost from the weaker pound which is strengthening export demand, offsetting concerns about the election and prospect of Brexit.

Car industry hopes for recovery after sales plunge on new tax on emissions: Punitive taxes on new cars, which sent vehicle sales into freefall in their first month, are still putting the brakes on the industry, new registration data are likely to show this week.

Italy faces borrowing shock when ECB removes support, warns Pimco: Italy faces a “horror” scenario when the European Central Bank winds down its bond buying programme in a move that risks sparking a surge in the country’s borrowing costs, according to one of the world’s largest bond managers.

Another slice of Domino’s Pizza set for London listing: Another slice of Domino’s Pizza is set to be served on the London Stock Exchange as the brand’s second master franchisee readies a listing in the U.K.

BMI Regional ‘actively considering’ replacing quarter of fleet with larger craft: The airline BMI Regional is looking to replace up to a quarter of its fleet with larger aircraft as it seeks to double down on its most popular routes.

The Guardian

Philip Green fashion empire hit by 16% fall in profits: Sir Philip Green’s fashion empire suffered a 16% fall in profits last year as the billionaire’s Topshop-to-Miss Selfridge group struggled with difficult trading on the high street.

HSBC cash sweetener aims to entice staff to new Birmingham HQ: HSBC is offering its employees cash bonuses of up to £2,500 if they can convince a colleague to move from London to the bank’s new British headquarters in Birmingham.

Canada calling: tech industry lures workers north in wake of Trump: The ads were launched months before Donald Trump was elected President and they got straight to the point. “Thinking of moving to Canada?” read one, set to a backdrop of the Republican candidate at a rally. Another made by a startup in southern Ontario featured Trump flashing a thumbs up.

Government support needed to unlock billions in green business, says industry: The U.K. could be a green business powerhouse in the next three decades, but only if given proper support by government, a group representing more than 30 low-carbon companies has said.

Daily Mail

Sir Martin Sorrell facing backlash despite £22 million pay cut: The highest-paid man on the FTSE is facing another investor revolt over his multi-million-pound package. Around a quarter of shareholders are expected to protest against Sir Martin Sorrell’s £48 million pay and bonus deal during WPP’s annual meeting on Wednesday.

Volvo designing self-driving rubbish truck that follows bin men down the road ‘like a dog’: Volvo Group and Renova are working on a truck that follows the bin man along the street as he goes from one house to the next, meaning he doesn’t need to constantly hop in and out or have a separate driver.

Ocado signs deal to provide software and support for mystery European retailer: Online supermarket Ocado has signed a deal with a mystery European retailer to provide software and support as it sets up a delivery service. Ocado said that discussions with other retailers around the world were ongoing and it expects to sign more deals soon.

Heathrow proposes plan to build bridges over the M25 to support third runway: Heathrow has floated the idea of building three giant ‘viaducts’ to support its proposed third runway as it crosses over the M25.

Investors call for Tesco to halt Booker takeover claiming it might undermine supermarket’s recovery: Tesco’s £3.7 billion takeover of wholesaler Booker is facing fresh opposition from the supermarket’s major investors.

Daily Express

Small businesses want to simplify regulations and slash red tape after election: Small businesses want the next Government to have a bonfire of red tape and axe changes to business rates, according to research from specialist lender Hitachi Capital Business Finance.

Small businesses are the bedrock of the economy, says Geoff Ho: Small businesses are the bedrock of the economy but neither of the main political parties seems to want to help them deliver for Britain, in what are increasingly uncertain economic times.

The Scottish Herald

Trendspotting toy distributor sends sales into a spin: A Glasgow toy distributor renowned for his ability to spot a trend early is hoping to see a sharp increase in profits after being “sharp off the mark” in the fidget spinner craze which has swept across playgrounds in recent weeks.

Anderson Strathern continues to build in private client: Anderson Strathern has continued to build its private client practice with the hire of a partner from rival firm Balfour & Manson.

AO World tipped to post poor results ahead of FTSE 250 departure: AO World will report its last set of results as a FTSE 250 firm on Tuesday, with analysts expecting a bad week for the company to get worse as it posts another set of annual losses.

Law firm buys diversity and inclusion specialist: Law firm Pinsent Masons has bought the Brook Graham diversity and inclusion consultancy for an undisclosed sum.

Big increase in first quarter dividends paid by global giants: The world’s biggest companies increased total dividend payments by 5.4 per excluding one offs in the first quarter as growth in the global economy provided a boost to profits, research has shown.

The Scotsman

Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland will be independent by 2025: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Scotland will be independent by 2025.

U.S. ‘will hit green targets’ despite Trump decision: The United States will meet its Paris Agreement greenhouse gas targets despite Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the accord, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said.

City A.M.

Online platform promises to create fully-functioning e-commerce businesses in six weeks: As the retail industry battles against the significant challenges posed by the growth in online retailing, digital commerce platform Kooomo is proposing to transform bricks-and-mortar retailers into e-commerce businesses in just six weeks.

British Airways in talks with Capita to offload call centres in Manchester and Newcastle: British Airways is in talks with Capita to outsource two of its call centres in Manchester and Newcastle in a bid to cut costs.

China will drive growth in the global wine market until 2021, according to Euromonitor International data: China is a major driving force in the global wine market and will contribute a third of world wine sales growth between 2016 and 2021, according to data from Euromonitor International.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma invited to join Aston Martin investor in The Body Shop race just days before the final bid deadline: As L’Oréal readies to accept the final bids for its ailing cosmetics chain The Body Shop, one bidder has made a late attempt to sweeten its offer by calling on Jack Ma, Founder of online marketplace Alibaba.

Biggest charity failure in years averted as councils step in at eleventh hour: Around 1,300 U.K. jobs have been saved after an eleventh hour deal was struck to avoid one of the largest charity failures of recent years.

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 08:51:00 +0100
In the papers - Sugar war, Shell, Micro Focus, HSBC, WPP, Ocado Newspaper Summary

The Times

Interest rate rise could ruin 80,000 businesses: One in 25 businesses, or nearly 80,000 enterprises, would struggle to handle an increase in interest rates of as little as a quarter of a percentage point, according to research by the insolvency trade body, in the clearest sign yet of the fragile state of corporate balance sheets.

Amazon Fresh puts more homes on its food delivery map: Amazon is to deliver food to another 42 postcodes in the south east of England as its aggressive assault on the online grocery market continues.

Tough times put nightclub owner Deltic’s float on ice: Britain’s biggest nightclub operator has put a stock-market listing on ice until next year because of challenging trading conditions and pending completion of a refurbishment of some venues.

World Bank forecasts 4% rise in global trade: Global trade will defy fears of protectionism in America to grow at its fastest pace this year since 2014, according to World Bank forecasts. Having slowed for two years, global trade volumes are expected to rise 4% this year. The world economy is forecast to expand by 2.7%, up from 2.4% in 2016.

Relations sour in pre-Brexit sugar war: British Sugar has embarked on a Back British Sugar campaign, in opposition to Tate & Lyle Sugars, which campaigned to leave the EU. British Sugar, part of Associated British Foods, produces its Silver Spoon brand from British beet, but Tate & Lyle’s sugar is refined from imported cane.

Shell slashes North Sea costs to make profit in a crash: Royal Dutch Shell has cut operating costs for some of its North Sea fields by 70% since the price of crude crashed, the oil company said.

VE Interactive Founder David Brown set for showdown with administrators: The Founder of a one-time technology high flyer will go head to head with the group’s new owners to determine the future of what was once one of the country’s most promising startups.

US investors go short as Micro Focus deal nears: Two American activist investors have taken short positions in Micro Focus ahead of an $8.8 billion acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business.

The Independent

Airline offers full refund on flights to London in days after attacks: Malaysia Airlines has told customers they can get a full refund for any flights booked to London over the coming days in the wake of Saturday’s terror attacks.

Uber slammed for being slow to turn off ‘surge pricing’ after rampage: Ride sharing service Uber has been criticised for being too slow to turn off its “surge pricing” feature after Saturday night’s deadly terror attacks in London.

The Guardian

Philip Green fashion empire hit by 16% fall in profits: Sir Philip Green’s fashion empire suffered a 16% fall in profits last year as the billionaire’s Topshop-to-Miss Selfridge group struggled with difficult trading on the high street.

HSBC cash sweetener aims to entice staff to new Birmingham HQ: HSBC is offering its employees cash bonuses of up to £2,500 if they can convince a colleague to move from London to the bank’s new British headquarters in Birmingham.

Canada calling: tech industry lures workers north in wake of Trump: The ads were launched months before Donald Trump was elected President and they got straight to the point. “Thinking of moving to Canada?” read one, set to a backdrop of the Republican candidate at a rally. Another made by a startup in southern Ontario featured Trump flashing a thumbs up.

Government support needed to unlock billions in green business, says industry: The UK could be a green business powerhouse in the next three decades, but only if given proper support by government, a group representing more than 30 low-carbon companies has said.

Daily Mail

Sir Martin Sorrell facing backlash despite £22 million pay cut: The highest-paid man on the FTSE is facing another investor revolt over his multi-million-pound package. Around a quarter of shareholders are expected to protest against Sir Martin Sorrell’s £48 million pay and bonus deal during WPP’s annual meeting on Wednesday.

Volvo designing self-driving rubbish truck that follows bin men down the road ‘like a dog’: Volvo Group and Renova are working on a truck that follows the bin man along the street as he goes from one house to the next, meaning he doesn’t need to constantly hop in and out or have a separate driver.

Ocado signs deal to provide software and support for mystery European retailer: Online supermarket Ocado has signed a deal with a mystery European retailer to provide software and support as it sets up a delivery service. Ocado said that discussions with other retailers around the world were ongoing and it expects to sign more deals soon.

Heathrow proposes plan to build bridges over the M25 to support third runway: Heathrow has floated the idea of building three giant ‘viaducts’ to support its proposed third runway as it crosses over the M25.

Investors call for Tesco to halt Booker takeover claiming it might undermine supermarket’s recovery: Tesco’s £3.7 billion takeover of wholesaler Booker is facing fresh opposition from the supermarket’s major investors.

Daily Express

Small businesses want to simplify regulations and slash red tape after election: Small businesses want the next Government to have a bonfire of red tape and axe changes to business rates, according to research from specialist lender Hitachi Capital Business Finance.

Small businesses are the bedrock of the economy, says Geoff Ho: Small businesses are the bedrock of the economy but neither of the main political parties seems to want to help them deliver for Britain, in what are increasingly uncertain economic times.

The Scottish Herald

Trendspotting toy distributor sends sales into a spin: A Glasgow toy distributor renowned for his ability to spot a trend early is hoping to see a sharp increase in profits after being “sharp off the mark” in the fidget spinner craze which has swept across playgrounds in recent weeks.

Anderson Strathern continues to build in private client: Anderson Strathern has continued to build its private client practice with the hire of a partner from rival firm Balfour & Manson.

AO World tipped to post poor results ahead of FTSE 250 departure: AO World will report its last set of results as a FTSE 250 firm on Tuesday, with analysts expecting a bad week for the company to get worse as it posts another set of annual losses.

Law firm buys diversity and inclusion specialist: Law firm Pinsent Masons has bought the Brook Graham diversity and inclusion consultancy for an undisclosed sum.

Big increase in first quarter dividends paid by global giants: The world’s biggest companies increased total dividend payments by 5.4 per excluding one offs in the first quarter as growth in the global economy provided a boost to profits, research has shown.

The Scotsman

Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland will be independent by 2025: SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Scotland will be independent by 2025.

US ‘will hit green targets’ despite Trump decision: The United States will meet its Paris Agreement greenhouse gas targets despite Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the accord, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said.

City AM

Online platform promises to create fully-functioning e-commerce businesses in six weeks: As the retail industry battles against the significant challenges posed by the growth in online retailing, digital commerce platform Kooomo is proposing to transform bricks-and-mortar retailers into e-commerce businesses in just six weeks.

British Airways in talks with Capita to offload call centres in Manchester and Newcastle: British Airways is in talks with Capita to outsource two of its call centres in Manchester and Newcastle in a bid to cut costs.

China will drive growth in the global wine market until 2021, according to Euromonitor International data: China is a major driving force in the global wine market and will contribute a third of world wine sales growth between 2016 and 2021, according to data from Euromonitor International.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma invited to join Aston Martin investor in The Body Shop race just days before the final bid deadline: As L’Oréal readies to accept the final bids for its ailing cosmetics chain The Body Shop, one bidder has made a late attempt to sweeten its offer by calling on Jack Ma, Founder of online marketplace Alibaba.

Biggest charity failure in years averted as councils step in at eleventh hour: Around 1,300 UK jobs have been saved after an eleventh hour deal was struck to avoid one of the largest charity failures of recent years.



Mon, 05 Jun 2017 07:03:00 +0100
In the Papers - Rolls-Royce, Facebook, Google, Tesla Newspaper Summary

The Times

Booming U.S. jobs market lifts equities: American employers created more than a quarter of a million jobs last month in a “rip-roaring” labour market as manufacturing conditions improved for the sixth month running, reports showed, sending stock markets to new highs.

Fastest growth rate in four years boosts Brazil: The Brazilian economy romped out of recession in the first quarter, posting its fastest growth rate in nearly four years and raising Michel Temer’s hopes of staying as President despite a corruption scandal.

Flywheels could join batteries in storing electricity for the national grid: Flywheels will be used to balance supply and demand on Britain’s electricity grid in a £3.5 million project that could help the country to cope with more wind and solar power.

Sale of Barclays Africa Group raises £16 million more than expected: Barclays has raised £600 million more than originally expected from the sale of shares in its African subsidiary after the lender sold a bigger stake in response to stronger than expected interest from investors.

Rolls-Royce Executive takes over L&G’s prefab homes plAnt: Legal & General has hired a permanent Chief Executive to lead its prefabricated homes business, which is now running 12 months behind schedule.

Moody’s fails to make the grade with European Securities and Markets Authority: The European Union’s market watchdog has fined one of the world’s main credit rating agency’s more than €1 million after accusing it of failing to be open in the way it scored the debts of major institutions including the EU itself.

Anti-dumping taxes fear for soybean oil prices: Informa Agribusiness Intelligence has forecast that prices for vegetable oil could increase around the world if the U.S. takes anti-dumping action against biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia.

Converters and weak pound drive Johnson Matthey profits: Strong sales of catalytic converters and the weak pound have provided a boost for profits at Johnson Matthey, the speciality chemicals company.

Touchstone Boss attacks investors who switched to back hostile bid: Touchstone Innovations has stepped up its defence against a hostile takeover bid from IP Group, noting that shareholders who agreed to the offer gave their full backing to the company as an independent entity ten months ago.

Deere & Co buys Wirtgen to capitalise on Trump’s infrastructure promise: The maker of John Deere tractors is to buy a German road construction equipment maker as the White House plans to spend $1 trillion on repairing America’s infrastructure.

Micro Focus rallies as Hewlett Packard deal improves: Improving margins at the software business that Micro Focus is buying from Hewlett Packard Enterprise have helped to soothe investor jitters, despite a sharp fall in revenue and signs of disruption before the $8.8 billion deal.

The Independent

Startup Founders vulnerable to health and relationship issues: Starting your own business might help you escape the drudgery of the 9-5 grind, but it comes at a cost. At the mercy of 80-hour working weeks, startup Founders say the pressures of making it alone are crippling their mental health and eroding relationships, according to new research.

Hubble: flexible workspace startup raises £1.2 million: Hubble, a London-based startup that helps businesses of all sizes find spare office space, has announced plans to build an AI property advisor after raising £1.2 million in its latest funding round on Thursday.

Facebook and Apple urge Trump not to pull out of Paris Agreement: Twenty-five of the world’s biggest corporations have made a last-minute pitch to President Donald Trump urging him not to reconsider plans to withdraw the United States from a landmark international agreement on climate change.

George Soros says Brexit will take years and cause `immense damage’: It may take the U.K. as long as five years to leave the European Union, with the process set to do major harm to both parties, billionaire investor George Soros said, urging the world’s biggest trading bloc to avoid penalising Britain and instead focus on reforming itself.

U.K. house prices in worst slump since 2009 crash: U.K. house prices are now in their worst slump since the aftermath of the 2009 financial crisis after falling three months in a row, new data has revealed.

Uber on road to profitability as head of finance Gautam Gupta departs: Uber has reported that its head of finance is leaving, and that its first-quarter loss narrowed substantially from the prior quarter, putting it on a path toward profitability.

Donald Trump’s climate change plans rebuffed by Wall Street: Major investors put U.S. industry on notice on Wednesday that climate change matters, even as reports emerged that President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the United States from an international pact to fight global warming.

U.K. now the worst-performing advanced economy in the world: The U.K. is now the worst-performing advanced economy in the world, with growth slumping to just 0.2% in the first three months of the year.

The Daily Telegraph

Facebook shareholders reject fake news proposal: Facebook’s shareholders have rejected a proposal which could have forced the social media giant to publish a report on the impact of fake news disseminated via its site.

U.K. pharma sector faces ‘crisis’ without early Brexit deal: The U.K. pharmaceuticals sector has been told to prepare for a “crisis” Brexit scenario of drastically reduced access to European markets and hundreds of millions of pounds of restructuring costs unless a swift regulatory deal can be struck with Brussels.

BT to show Champions League final clips on Snapchat: BT has found a new way to profit from the millions of pounds it is spending on Champions League football rights, inking a deal with Snapchat that will see its coverage feature on the popular messaging app.

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa moves towards bank launch after raising £32 million: Britain’s biggest peer-to-peer lender is moving closer towards its goal of setting up a bank, raising £32 million from investors just weeks after the City watchdog gave it permission to launch an ISA.

Bank of England faces strike as workers vote on ‘contemptuous’ 1% pay offer: Bank of England staff could go on strike as trade union Unite is balloting its members over industrial action, accusing the institution of “treating its workers with contempt” with a below-inflation pay offer.

Major investor questions knock-on effects of British Airways power surge: A major investor in British Airways’ parent company has said its Bosses will have to focus all their efforts on protecting the flag carrier’s brand if they are to stem any knock-on effects from the catastrophic power failure it suffered at the weekend.

The Questor Column:

This trust has grown its dividend for 50 years – what explains the 18% discount?: The four trusts are City of London, Alliance, Bankers and Caledonia Investments, which joined the list last week when it announced a 4.2% rise in the ordinary dividend, alongside a 100p a share special payment. City of London trades at a slight premium of 1.4%, while Alliance is at a 5.5% discount and Bankers at 5.7%. Only Caledonia’s discount seems out of line at 18.1%. This discount cannot be blamed on poor performance. Over the past five years the trust, which was established to manage the money of the Cayzer family, who retain a stake of almost 50%, has gained 149% in share price terms and 102.2% in terms of net asset value, according to a recent research note from Winterflood, the stockbroker. The FTSE All Share index has risen by 77.1%. At the end of the financial year on March 31, the unquoted pool was the largest at 30% of the total, with the quoted element at 29%. Funds accounted for 21% while 11% of assets were in the income pool. The cash holding was 11%. Each pool has a targeted annual return for income and capital gains: the unquoted pool targets 5% income and 9% capital gains; quoted assets target 2.5% and 7.5%; funds target 12% in capital growth only; and income targets 4.5% and 2.5%. The overall target is total annual returns of 3% to 6% plus inflation on the RPI measure, which equates to about 10% at the upper end of the range. Cash reserves are currently higher than normal following net sales of assets in some of the pools. The largest was of Park Holidays, an unquoted holding, for a gain of £73 million, which largely accounted for the special dividend. The high levels of cash and reluctance to reinvest the proceeds of asset sales reflect the management’s cautious outlook at present. David Holder of Morningstar, the investment analyst, speculated that the discount could simply reflect the trust’s low profile among investors. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Witan: Witan, tipped here in January at 897½p, has announced a streamlining of its external fund managers. It has dropped MFS Investment Management and Tweedy, Browne from its line-up of global managers, leaving Lansdowne Partners, Pzena Investment Management and Veritas Asset Management. We rate the trust a buy for its proven investment approach. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

M&S targets food waste and social change in sustainability plan: Marks & Spencer has pledged to raise £25 million for mental health, heart and cancer charities, and halve food waste across its operations by 2025, as it steps up its ethical commitments under its new Chief Executive, Steve Rowe.

Google submits plans for 1 million sq ft ‘landscraper’ London headquarters: Google has officially submitted plans for its new 1million sq ft (92,000m2) “landscraper” London headquarters, with the intention of beginning construction on the building in 2018.

Super-rich evade on average nearly third of their due tax: The richest 0.01% of households, involving those with more than £31 million assets, evade paying 30% of their taxes on average, according to an academic study of tax evasion based on data revealed in the Panama Papers and the leaks concerning the HSBC Swiss private bank.

Willie Walsh praises British Airways Bosses after IT meltdown: Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of British Airways parent company IAG, has praised BA Bosses for “doing everything possible” after the IT meltdown that left 75,000 passengers stranded over the bank holiday weekend.

Reborn British Steel gives shares to workers after return to profit: Thousands of steelworkers have been granted a 5% stake in British Steel after the Scunthorpe steelworks, one of only two left in Britain, returned to profit.

Beckham-backed film funding firm loses fight against £700 million tax bill: A controversial film-funding scheme whose celebrity investors included David Beckham, Gary Lineker and Ant and Dec has lost its latest court battle against a £700 million tax bill.

Daily Mail

Lloyds now has a quarter of the U.K. credit card market after buying MBNA for nearly £2 billion: Lloyds Banking Group has completed a £1.9 billion acquisition of consumer credit card business MBNA after regulators gave it the green light.

As Americans abandon bid for paint maker... Dulux victory secures 3,300 jobs in Britain: The Boss of Dulux last night issued a vote of confidence in Britain after the paint maker finally fought off a takeover from an American predator. On a dramatic day for Dulux parent company Akzo Nobel and its workers, Chief Executive Ton Buchner said he was committed to creating more jobs in the U.K.

Investor attack rocks online fashion giant as short sellers are betting against Yoox Net-A-Porter: Short sellers are betting against Yoox Net-A-Porter as the competition ramps up in online luxury retail. Almost 17% of the shares in the Milan-listed company are out on loan, suggesting they have been borrowed by short sellers betting they will fall.

Revived British Steel delivers ‘remarkable’ £47 million profit a year after £1 rescue bid: British Steel is back in the black 12 months after it was rescued for £1. The company brought back to life in June 2016 after Tata Steel sold its Scunthorpe plant and other parts of the business, made £47 million profit last year.

Lloyds Boss Antonio Horta-Osorio is looking for a new PR Chief: The departure of Antonio Horta-Osorio’s vastly remunerated Chief spin doctor Matt Young leaves the newsworthy Lloyds Chief without a spokesman. No shortage of possible replacements.

Daily Express

More than half of Britons retiring this year are giving up work earlier than expected: More than half of Britons retiring this year are doing so earlier than they had expected, according to new research.

‘Mother of all bubbles’ Bank of England has backed into ‘dangerous corner’: The Bank of England has inflated a mammoth asset bubble with its staggering money-printing programme and has now backed itself into a dangerous corner, a top investment manager has warned.

Rome bails out debt-crippled bank and begs Brussels for break from austerity: Desperate Ministers in Rome have pleaded with Brussels for space from European Union(EU) budget rules, as the Government prepares to bailout the country’s oldest bank.

Britain’s manufacturing smashes expectations yet again: Britain’s manufacturing sector beat expectations again in May, as a weaker pound powered exporters’ business.

China stock exchange starts month on downward trajectory as manufacturing activity shrank: China stocks started the month on a bearish note early, after a private survey showed the country’s manufacturing activity unexpectedly shrank in May for the first time in 11 months, stirring fears of renewed economic slowdown.

The Scottish Herald

Engineering sector growth accelerates as industry body lambasts rules stopping non-EU graduates from staying to work: The Scottish engineering sector enjoyed an acceleration of growth in order intake and output volumes from already significant rates in the latest quarter, as employment and export business rose sharply, a survey reveals.

Change in £10 million debt as it entered insolvency: Change Recruitment left a trail of debts before it went into administration and its business and assets were sold on the same day to venture capitalist Paul Atkinson.

Call for clarity on EU nationals: The next U.K. Government has been urged to provide “absolute clarity” on the future of European Union (EU) nationals within 100 days of taking office.

International hotels group expands in Edinburgh: Palm Holdings the international hotels business, has increased its investment in Edinburgh by acquiring another hotel in the city.

Johnston Press in £3.6 million property deal: Publishing group Johnston Press has raised £3.6 million from the sale of an office building in Sheffield to Toscafield Property 2 Limited.

Schuh grows profits helped by strong Christmas trading: Schuh, the shoe retail chain run from Livingston, grew profits by around 10% in the latest financial year when growing sales of children’s shoes was a focus.

Pozzi elevated to C&C board: Drinks firm C&C Group has elevated Andrea Pozzi, the Boss of its Tennent’s division, to its board.

Eland increases output in Nigeria: Aberdeen-based Eland Oil & Gas has restarted production from a well in Nigeria where operations were disrupted amid security challenges.

The Scotsman

Shell to axe 90 jobs at Aberdeen headquarters: Oil giant Shell is to axe 90 jobs at its North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen.

Deloitte snaps up design consultancy Market Gravity: Accounting giant Deloitte said it was bolstering its digital offering in Scotland with the purchase of design consultancy Market Gravity.

Brand defender SnapDragon appoints first non-Executive: SnapDragon Monitoring, the Edinburgh-based firm that helps companies to protect their brands online, has appointed its first non-Executive Director.

Electrical group hopes councils see light in savings: A Paisley-based electrical contractor is targeted deals with other local authorities across Scotland after helping Renfrewshire Council slash its lighting costs.

Four Directors get on board at Marketing Edinburgh: Marketing Edinburgh has named a quartet of new board members, tasked with shaping the future direction of the capital to a global audience.

John Menzies adds aviation services veteran to board: Logistics group John Menzies has appointed a former senior Executive of aviation services group Swissport to its board.

City A.M.

Tesla owner Elon Musk pulls out of Trump’s advisory group after Paris climate change decision: Tesla owner Elon Musk tonight announced his intention to quit an advisory role for U.S. President Donald Trump after he announced he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement.

Morgan Stanley bond trader banned by U.S. regulators as Venezuela bond controversy heats up: U.S. regulators have banned a Morgan Stanley banker from markets after he hid millions of dollars of Venezuelan bond trades from his firm, as controversy mounts around the embattled regime’s efforts to raise finance.

High street sales falter in May as retailers struggle against online surge: High street sales faltered again last month as physical retailers battled against the growth in online shopping.

Firstgroup (FGP) shares fall despite FTSE 250 train operator revealing jump in revenue and profits: Firstgroup’s shares fell 10% this morning despite the FTSE 250 transport firm reporting an increase in revenue and profit for the year to 31 March.

British Airways owner IAG has launched a new transatlantic budget airline called Level, fares start from £99: British Airways owner IAG’s low-cost carrier Level launches with its first flight flying 300 passengers from Barcelona to Los Angeles.

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 09:00:00 +0100
In the Papers - Manchester United, Deliveroo, British Airways, French Connection Newspaper Summary

The Times

China’s factories booming: China’s manufacturing sector defied negative expectations and maintained growth this month at the same level as April, boosted by the steel industry which is growing at the fastest pace in a year.

Harrys of London takes stride across the Atlantic: The American who bought Harrys of London two weeks ago has announced plans to open the British shoe brand’s first store in the United States.

Drop in mortgages points to slowdown in housing market: The number of mortgages approved in the U.K. has dropped to a seven-month low, according to the Bank of England, adding to signs that the housing market is slowing.

Eon workers face threat to pensions: Up to 3,000 British staff at Eon could face the closure of their generous defined-benefit pension schemes as the energy supplier looks to cut costs.

It’s time for PPG Industries to put up or shut with Akzo Nobel bid: The American paints and coatings group stalking Azko Nobel, the owner of Dulux paints, must make a formal takeover offer by the end of day or walk away.

IG Group optimistic despite regulator scrutiny of spread betting: Spread betting held its own despite renewed regulatory scrutiny of the industry and helped IG Group to report that revenues and profits would advance this year.

Outlook is sunny for B&Bs: B &Bs may have been hit by competition from Airbnb and budget hotels, but Brexit and the falling pound have brought relief.

Telford builds on ‘huge demand’ for homes to rent in London: A “huge demand” for new homes in the build-to-rent sector in London helped Telford Homes to record sales and profits for the year.

The Independent

Pound sterling recovers after latest poll shows Tories still ahead: The pound recovered from a sharp fall in early trading on Wednesday and the FTSE 100 ended the session near a record high, after a new poll showed the Conservative Party still firmly in the lead ahead of next week’s general election.

U.K. retail banks’ reputation improves but RBS, TSB and HSBC lag: Retail banks in the U.K. are slowly bolstering their reputation, but many still have to fight hard to win consumers’ trust, especially Royal Bank of Scotland, TSB and HSBC.

Manchester United overtake Real Madrid to become most valuable club: Manchester United have overtaken Real Madrid to become Europe’s most valuable club, despite a below-par season in which they finished a lowly sixth on the Premier League.

Shop prices fall in May but food prices rise as inflation bites: A marginal increase in the price of food has fuelled the shallowest rate of overall shop price deflation in over three years.

U.S. economy ‘will fall behind Europe this year thanks to Donald Trump’: The U.S. economic outlook is looking worse because of uncertainty over tax and infrastructure policies while Europe is looking stronger, according to BlackRock’s Larry Fink.

Consumer confidence rises despite Brexit and election uncertainty: British consumer confidence edged up to a four-month high in May but households stayed downbeat about the economic outlook, with inflation since last year’s Brexit vote feeding into prices in stores, two surveys showed.

The Daily Telegraph

Murdoch brothers hold talks with Ofcom over £11.7 billion Sky takeover: The Murdoch brothers have held secret talks with Ofcom in a bid to persuade the regulator to wave through 21st Century Fox’s planned £11.7 billion takeover of Sky.

Deliveroo offers workers pay per trip in bid to defuse self-employment row: Takeaway technology firm Deliveroo is offering its drivers the option to be paid for each order they deliver, rather than per hour - a move which the company hopes will reinforce the riders’ status as self-employed contractors, rather than employees.

Brussels lays out plan to shore up euro and stop ‘dangerous populism’: Brussels has mapped out its vision for eurozone integration over the next decade as officials warned that inaction risked fuelling a fresh wave of “dangerous populism”.

Petrofac cut to junk rating by Moody’s on SFO probe: Petrofac has been cut to junk status by rating agency Moody’s on concerns the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe could hamper its ability to win contracts or could result in a heavy fine.

Barclays to sell £1.6 billion stake in African business: Barclays is offloading a stake worth about £1.6 billion in its African business as it presses ahead with Boss Jes Staley’s plan to streamline the bank and focus it on Britain and the U.S.

Appeal being eyed after Ryanair wins court compensation battle: A solicitor’s firm has said it is considering whether to appeal a judge’s decision about passenger compensation granted in favour of low-cost airline Ryanair.

Fabergé owner Gemfields hits back at ‘derisory’ takeover offer from its biggest shareholder: Ruby and emerald miner Gemfields has stepped up its fight against a takeover by its largest shareholder, labelling the bid “derisory”.

The Questor Column:

Good news about Southern – shares in its parent Go-Ahead Group are cheap: There are good reasons for the poor relative performance of shares in the company concerned, Go-Ahead Group, the rail and bus operator, but they seem to have more to do with sentiment than with financial fundamentals. The dispute has coincided with a marked decline in the shares: since a record high of just above £27 in December 2015 they had fallen to £18.13 at last night’s close. They fell heavily after a poorly received set of half-year results at the end of February and have yet to recover appreciably. Yet those results demonstrated the value of the business even while progress was hampered by the Southern dispute. The company announced an increase of 6.5% in the interim dividend and stressed that cash generation and the balance sheet remained robust. In last year’s annual results, the company had pointed out that the Southern franchise had not contributed to the £57 million in operating profits made by the rail division or to the group total of £99 million. Chris White of Premier Asset Management is one fund manager to regard recent weakness in the share price as a buying opportunity. At a price to earnings ratio of 8.2 and a 5.6% prospective yield, Go-Ahead shares look cheap. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Berendsen: Last month we tipped shares in Berendsen, the laundry services business, at 797p. Following a hostile bid from Elis, a French rival, the shares have climbed by 35.8% to £10.82. We based our tip on a purchase of Berendsen shares by the highly-regarded Crux European Special Situations fund. James Milne, the fund’s co-manager, told Questor: “We bought shares mostly under 800p and have now taken most of the profits. Further short-term upside would be limited, as Elis would probably only revise its bid up by a small percentage. “In the meantime, Berendsen now looks quite fully valued. It is difficult to predict the reaction if the bid fails.” Questor says ‘Take Profits’.

The Guardian

British Airways IT failure caused by ‘uncontrolled return of power’: The IT shutdown that led to chaos for British Airways was caused by an “uncontrolled return of power” following an outage that physically damaged servers at its data centre, the airline has said.

U.K. comes bottom of G7 growth league as Canada takes lead: The U.K. has slumped to the bottom of the league table of advanced economies after Canada registered stellar growth in the first three months of the year.

Noel Edmonds starts countdown clock for Lloyds compensation: Noel Edmonds has set up an “honesty countdown” clock website to increase pressure on Lloyds Banking Group, as the TV star seeks £73 million in compensation for fraud committed by former HBOS Reading staff.

Strong sales growth at Aldi and Lidl takes their market share to 12%: The German chains Aldi and Lidl are growing at their fastest rate in more than two years as supermarkets raise prices following the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote, which has pushed up the cost of imported goods.

Shareholders force ExxonMobil to come clean on cost of climate change: ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, was compelled by shareholders to be more open about the impact of climate change on its business in a “historic” surprise vote on Wednesday.

Daily Mail

Arabian Gulf deal adds £200 million to oil rig maker Lamprell: A tie-up with the world’s biggest oil company added nearly £200 million to the value of oil-rig maker Lamprell.

Fund managers with investments worth £2.9 trillion snub tobacco as they join health drive: Fund managers with investments worth £2.9 trillion have pledged that they will stop investing in tobacco companies.

Cheers to that! BrewDog celebrates 97% sales jump thanks to craft beer boom: Booming demand for craft beer has boosted business at BrewDog. The British brewer, which was valued at more than £1 billion earlier this year, said its U.K. sales jumped 97% in 2016.

Pay fury at engineering giant as four fat cats share £144 million pot in one of the City’s biggest payouts: Four Bosses of engineering giant Melrose Industries have pocketed £36 million each in one of the City’s biggest ever payouts.

Fashion brand Michael Kors set to close 125 stores over the next two years: Fashion house Michael Kors is to close up to 125 stores over the next two years.

French Connection Boss is given an ultimatum by investors after five years of losses: Gatemore Capital, a London-based investment fund which holds an 8% stake, has issued an ultimatum to the brand’s Chief Executive, Chairman and major shareholder Stephen Marks: step down from one of the top jobs or sell up.

Daily Express

Trump and U.S. shale set to keep prices below $50: Oil prices have continued to fall after OPEC’s pact to restrict supply, as experts say values are set to struggle to ever rise far above $50 in the future.

Cryptocurrency to reach $100,000 in 10 years: Bitcoin’s price could rise another 3,000% to reach more than $100,000 over the next 10 years, according to a top analyst.

Greece’s ticking debt bomb: Just two weeks to reach a deal, European Central Bank warns: Greece’s creditors must reach a deal on June 15 when they meet to discuss the latest bailout or face confidence in the eurozone crumble, a top official from the European Central Bank (ECB) warned.

Sterling volatile after poll points to hung parliament: The pound has been hit after a poll pointed a hung parliament in the general election, sending Britain’s currency crashing before it steadied during Wednesday’s trading.

The Scottish Herald

Barr insists sugar will not drive deals: AG Barr Boss Roger White has underlined the Scottish soft drinks giant’s capacity and appetite to make further acquisitions, but insisted its targets will not be driven by next year’s introduction of a sugar tax.

Calls on next government to secure future of North Sea: Oil & Gas U.K. has said the next U.K. government must deliver on four key priorities if it is to secure the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Atlantis Resources sees £7 million loss in year of ‘world firsts’: Atlantis Resources, the tidal power group, has posted a pre-tax loss of £7.3 million for 2016, a year that its Chairman said, “was another of world firsts for the group and tidal power”.

Aberdeen Japan counts cost of currency hedge as sterling tumbles: Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust trailed its benchmark in the year to March as a currency hedge hit its relative performance.

Leading women to mentor rising females: A mentoring programme pitched at women-led businesses has been launched by Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network and Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

Scottish SMEs tap into digital advice at Amazon Academy: Hundreds of Scottish SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) have tapped into advice on how to grow their businesses at an event hosted in Edinburgh by internet giant Amazon.

The Scotsman

Edinburgh social media app start-up eyes £500,000: A social media app outfit has set its sights on raising up to £500,000 to increase its team and fund further development after launching its first product.

Brewgooder has good cause to cheer Asda extension: Brewgooder, the Scottish beer brand that donates all its profits to clean water projects, is cheering an extension to its supply deal with Asda.

Property group seals £35 million deal for Scottish offices: Northern Irish property investor and developer Wirefox has snapped up hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space to the west of Scotland in a bumper £35 million deal.

Work begins on The Ropeworks development in Leith: Residential property group Teague has started work on a new development that will bring hundreds of homes to Leith.

Western Ferries ploughs £2.5 million into Gourock terminal: The operator of commercial vehicle and passenger ferry services between Gourock and Dunoon is to invest a further £2.5 million in upgrading its terminal at McInroy’s Point, Gourock.

Edinburgh recruiter Peace launches temp department: A recruiter based in Edinburgh is launching a temp division to address higher demand and help the company achieve its growth targets.

City A.M.

BT network arm Openreach cuts wholesale broadband prices: BT has voluntarily cut the amount it charges Vodafone, Sky and TalkTalk after the U.K.’s telecoms regulator revealed plans to force infrastructure arm Openreach to reduce its prices.

American Tower circles Cellnex as Abertis seeks to offload stake: U.S. telecoms infrastructure firm American Tower is circling Spanish counterpart Cellnex, according to reports. Shares in Madrid-listed Cellnex jumped in early trading as sources told Bloomberg one of the firm’s main shareholders, Abertis, is considering plans to offload its interest in the firm.

Private equity giants CVC, Bridgepoint and Charterhouse are vying for Spanish fragrance creator Iberchem as current owner Magnum attempts to prove its worth: Private equity giants including CVC Capital Partners, Bridgepoint and Charterhouse have Expressed an interest in Spanish fragrance business Iberchem. The three firms, which individually own household names such as RAC, Fat Face and Zizzi’s, are just a few of what one source says will be “thousands” of interested parties.

Shareholder revolt threatens Jimmy Choo’s AGM: Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo faces a possible shareholder rebellion as investors decide on whether the Chairman is fit to stay in his role.

Emirates hints at its First-Class revamp ahead of November reveal as number of private suites is set to shrink: Frequent fliers, get ready. For Emirates is unveiling its new First Class cabins in November. Only they are might be trickier to nab, as the airline has announced it is trimming the numbers of private suites, down from eight to six.

Tesco to open Currys PC World concessions this summer: The U.K.’s biggest supermarket is working with Dixons Carphone, which owns Currys PC World, to open two concessions in Tesco Extra stores in the coming months.

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:50:00 +0100
In the Papers - Facebook, Pizza Express, Goldman Sachs, Amazon Newspaper Summary

The Times

SAC Capital Boss plans triumphant return to Wall Street: Steven Cohen, the American hedge fund Boss whose firm was shut by the U.S. government three and a half years ago, is planning to return with a record-breaking $20 billion fund after his industry ban expires next year, according to reports last night.

TGV is told ‘au revoir’ as French trains change track: The TGV is to be no more. Les trains à grande vitesse, which have been racing through the French countryside at 200mph for the best part of four decades, are to rebranded for the 21st century.

Japan’s workers in demand amid worst staff shortage for 40 years: The labour market in Japan is at its tightest in more than 43 years with employers struggling to fill gaps in the workforce and more jobs available than at the peak of the country’s bubble economy in 1990.

G4S rally secures comeback to FTSE 100: The world’s largest security company is set to return to the FTSE 100 while the retailer Debenhams is poised to drop out of the 250 mid-cap index.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto face £2 billion levy in Australia: BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are understood to be seeking clarity on a proposal by the Western Australian government for the companies to pay mining royalties in a £2 billion lump sum.

Intu launches initiative to invest in start-ups: Intu, which owns shopping centres in Spain and the U.K., including the Trafford Centre, right, has launched an incubation programme for start-ups in the hope of developing innovative businesses that will help shape the future of retail and leisure.

Tesco Chiefs deny ‘black hole’ false accounting before trial: Three former Tesco Directors charged with fraud are seeking to have the case against them dismissed, arguing that no false accounting took place.

Belfast looks at big picture with pitch for film industry: Belfast Harbour, with its coalyards and warehouses, has little in common with the hotel terraces that line Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, but the two worlds collided last year at the Cannes film festival. Executives from the harbour were in town to talk to film production companies about a £20 million state-of-the-art studio they were building on the shore of Belfast Lough.

Berkeley breaks out of London to build a business in the Midlands: Berkeley Group, a FTSE 250 company that predominantly caters to the upper end of the London housing market, is believed to have acquired a plot of two and a half acres on the site of a former factory close to Birmingham city centre.

Fusionex Chairman quits in Aim dispute: A backdoor attempt by its Malaysian Founder to seize control of Fusionex led to the resignation of its Chairman, which sent shares in the technology company down 60%.

The Independent

Tictrac: the startup that wants to help solve the self-care crisis: Tictrac CEO and Founder Martin Blinder may be a digital entrepreneur, but you’d be forgiven for thinking of him as a man hankering for a job as health Minister.

Facebook says new German law would make companies delete legal content: Facebook has claimed that a new German law that threatens to impose heavy fines on social media companies if they fail to delete hate speech and fake news, could lead to tech firms deleting legal content to avoid paying the punishing sanctions.

Thousands of small businesses still waiting for rate relief: Thousands of small businesses hit by punishing rate hikes are still waiting almost three months after the Government pledged to provide financial support.

Bank of England staff studied Dr Seuss to brush up on communication: It turns out Dr Seuss books are not just used by Bank of England officials to lull their children to sleep at night.

RBS shareholders accept last-ditch settlement in legal dispute: A group representing Royal Bank of Scotland investors has accepted an out-of-court deal to settle a lawsuit that aimed to call disgraced former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin to account over a £12 billion cash call in 2008.

Burger King anger Belgium monarchy over ‘true ruler’ competition: Burger King is in trouble with Belgium’s monarchy over an advertising campaign asking Belgians to vote online to “crown” either the country’s king or the global fast-food giant the true ruler of the country where the U.S. brand will launch next month.

Cybercrime seen as biggest threat to financial institutions: Banking and investment management professionals think that the biggest threat of financial crime now stems from cyberspace, according to new research.

The Daily Telegraph

Unions in ‘absolute opposition’ to BT pension scheme closure: BT faces a strike threat after unions said they will consider industrial action if the company presses ahead with the closure of its final salary pension scheme.

Tesco Chief Dave Lewis to appear as witness in fraud trial of three former Executives: Tesco Chief Executive Dave Lewis has been called to appear as a witness in a fraud case involving three of the retail giant’s former Executives.

Irish government to float stake in Allied Irish Banks: The Irish government has finally pushed the button on its planned €12 billion (£10.4 billion) float of Allied Irish Banks in what could be one of the biggest initial public offerings in London in recent years.

Pizza Express Chief Hodgson exits just weeks after second U.K. sales dip: The Chief Executive of Pizza Express has resigned after four years in the job just weeks after the business suffered a second annual drop in U.K. sales.

Former Torex Boss eyes appeal against ‘apparent bias’ in RBS High Court ruling: The Boss of a collapsed software firm who claimed Royal Bank of Scotland forced the business into administration is attempting to overturn a High Court judge’s decision to dismiss his £128 million lawsuit.

Capita close to agreeing sale of recruitment division: Outsourcing firm Capita is in talks for the sale of its recruitment division as it begins the process of offloading weaker parts of the business after a turbulent year.

Peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter valued at £200 million in latest fundraising: Ratesetter has been valued at more than £200 million in its latest fundraising after the peer-to-peer lender tapped investors including star fund manager Neil Woodford and investment firm Artemis for £13 million.

Losses widen at struggling Fastjet: Losses at struggling airline Fastjet more than doubled last year as the company began an overhaul of its structure in a bid to stabilise itself following a disastrous attempt to expand in 2015.

Bentham circles scandal-hit Petrofac amid SFO probe: A legal funding group is circling Petrofac shareholders in the hope of igniting a compensation battle with the oilfield services group, which is embroiled in a corruption scandal.

The Questor Column:

Severn Trent is up 15% in four months - with further to go: Shares in Severn Trent have risen by nearly 15% since we first tipped the stock at £22.14 in mid-January, with the prospect of increased dividends and the potential for further healthy total returns to come. The water utility’s full-year results handily beat analysts’ expectations, and at the same time the firm exceeded the performance requirements laid down by the regulator - no mean feat. Reported pre-tax profits rose by 8% and cashflow rose by 7% for the 12 months to March, even as the FTSE 100 firm sent out the lowest average bills in Britain, invested £680 million in its network and reduced leakage and supply interruptions. The regulator, Ofwat, recognised this strong showing with a performance-related payment of £47.6 million. Investors will share some of the benefits. The company’s pension deficit was reduced, too, and the Chief Executive, Liv Garfield, and the board proposed a 1% increase in the dividend to 81.5p. Better still, the management team has a more aggressive plan for raising the dividend in future. Ms. Garfield is now targeting an annual increase in the dividend of at least 4% on top of inflation as measured by the retail prices index. Admittedly, the prospective 3.4% yield is currently lower than the 3.8% on offer from the FTSE All Share index overall, but Severn Trent’s payments look reliable and come with those planned future increases. Political risk is lurking but Severn Trent could still reward patient investors with consistent total returns. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Card Factory: A solid first-quarter trading update at last week’s annual meeting emphasised the cash-generative nature of Card Factory’s business and the company’s ability to pay attractive ordinary and special dividends. Like-for-like sales growth reached the upper end of the targeted 1%-3% range as Card Factory opened 11 new shops and the website continued to grow. Better still, net debt has come down again, to £125 million from £136 million, to show how little working capital or capital expenditure is needed. This all means that the Wakefieldbased firm continues to generate plenty of cash and the Chief Executive, Karen Hubbard, continues to plan for another special dividend this year. The consensus forecast of an ordinary payment of 9.7p equates to a 3% yield. After a gain of a third since our initial tip in November the shares are not as cheap as they were but the cashflow and yield mean they are still a good holding for income investors. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Passengers still without bags after British Airways IT meltdown: British Airways is still struggling to return baggage to passengers as it attempts to salvage its battered reputation and investigate the cause of a computer system outage that left 75,000 people stranded at the weekend.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou pledges to give half of £2 billion fortune to charity: The easyJet Founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has promised to give more than half of his £2 billion fortune to charity after he was “inspired” by the world’s richest man, the Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates.

EU targets lawyers and accountants in tax-avoidance clampdown: Brussels is preparing to crack down on accountants and lawyers running tax-avoidance schemes in response to the Panama Papers scandal that showed how the rich and powerful hide their money.

Beko issues tumble dryers safety alert over fire risk concerns: Manufacturer Beko has issued a safety alert for thousands of tumble dryers over concerns they could burst into flames, including one model found to have caused a blaze that killed a mother of two.

Goldman Sachs condemned for buoying Venezuela with $2.8 billion bond purchase: Goldman Sachs has confirmed it has bought $2.8 billion worth of bonds from Venezuela’s crisis-torn government in a move opposition leaders have decried for propping up the country’s “dictatorial regime”.

Higher inflation drives down real wages for British workers: Rising prices on the back of the Brexit vote and the trend towards more insecure work will rob British workers of any growth in real wages this year, with repercussions for the wider economy, a new report has warned.

Daily Mail

Big data firm Fusionex International crashes to record low in listing row: Shares in big data firm Fusionex International crashed to an all-time low after a row broke out over plans to remove the company from the U.K. stock market.

Amazon shares smash through $1,000 barrier beating Google parent Alphabet to the milestone: Shares in online retail giant Amazon have climbed above the $1,000 mark for the first time. The U.S. firm saw its shares touch $1,001.2 in early trading.

Inventions business Allied Minds appoints Jill Smith as permanent Chief Executive: Inventions business Allied Minds has appointed Jill Smith as permanent Chief Executive. She was made interim Boss at the company in March, after co-Founder Chris Silva quit shortly before a £114million write down.

BA’s bearded el capitano is ridiculed by Jack Straw over his disappearing act during bank holiday meltdown: British Airways’ bearded el capitano Alex Cruz is ridiculed by Jack Straw over his disappearing act during the airline’s bank holiday meltdown

Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant empire finally sees profit thanks to overseas expansion: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant empire has reported its first profit since 2012 thanks to opening new eateries overseas.

Santander at centre of U.S. car debt fear: Spanish lender Santander is the biggest player in the riskiest parts of America’s £930 billion vehicle loan industry, which is facing a potential disaster as borrowers struggle to repay that mountain of cash.

Sweaty Betty set for Wimbledon: Sportswear favourite of the middle classes launches new range for tennis: The upmarket fitness brand has launched a collection of tennis-inspired womenswear in time for the Grand Slam tournament, which starts on July 3.

Daily Express

Greece pressures lenders for £6.4 billion bailout as country heads to economic emergency: Greece has told creditors there are “no excuses” to deny the nation a £6.4billion bailout and debt relief, as the country heads closer towards economic emergency.

Farm firm’s fortunes rise with great British florist business: Brides are picking more British blooms for their bouquets and one farm business is in better shape because of it.

Ryanair’s record profits help fleet steal business from European rivals: Ryanair is stepping up expansion of its fleet as it seeks to steal business from European rivals after record profits.

ECB could drop pledges to ramp up stimulus and remove easing bias at June meeting: European Central Bank policymakers are set to take a more benign view of the economy when they meet and will even discuss dropping some of their pledges to ramp up stimulus if needed, it has been reported.

Shares in British Airways owner plummet after weekend marred by IT failure: The owner of British Airways saw shares nosedive into the red after its “catastrophic” IT failure over the weekend caused mayhem for holidaymakers.

The Scottish Herald

Inward investment leap brings jobs to Highlands: A surge in inward investment activity has resulted in a near-doubling of the number of jobs Highlands & Islands Enterprise helped create or safeguard in its latest financial year.

Brexit build-up echoing trends seen before independence referendum: Business behaviour ahead of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations strongly resembles how companies acted in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, a senior banking figure has declared.

Glasgow sweet potato crisp entrepreneur adds lentil puffs to healthy snacking range: Sweet potato crisp pioneer Kevin Harvie is launching a range of lentil puffs aimed at families as he looks to capitalise on demand for healthy snacks.

New York worried by U.S. policy uncertainty: The leader of Manhattan Chamber of Commerce has underlined the concern felt by businesses in New York over the uncertainty brought by the Trump administration, while highlighting her ambition for greater collaboration between firms in the city and their counterparts in Glasgow.

Wirefox makes £35 million property purchase: Property firm Wirefox has increased its assets in Scotland with the £35 million acquisition of the Rockford portfolio.

Rural businesses brace for Brexit and its aftershocks: Scotland’s rural economy faces its greatest challenge for generations in Brexit – and the potential constitutional changes that could follow.

Unexpected rise in confidence: GFK’s U.K. consumer confidence index improved from -7 to -5 this month, even though official figures have revealed wages have fallen in real terms for the first time since 2014.

Flexitricity eyes expansion with move to bigger office: Flexitricity, a company specialising in demand response in energy distribution, has expanded into a new office near Edinburgh Castle.

EDP expands with acquisition: Health and safety consultancy EDP has acquired the asbestos site services division of IOM Consulting, bringing 34 staff on board. The acquisition is part of EDP’s growth strategy following a management buyout in 2014.

The Scotsman

Lord Livingston to stand down as Celtic Director: Celtic announced that former BT Boss Ian Livingston is to resign as a non-Executive Director at the end of next month.

Menzies Distribution in €3.6 million swoop for Irish firm: The distribution arm of logistics group John Menzies has unveiled a €3.6 million (£3.1 million) deal to take full control of Irish news and magazine wholesaler EM News Distribution.

Crowdfunding platform joins RBS alternative finance panel: Crowdfunding platform Seedrs has joined forces with Royal Bank of Scotland in a partnership aimed at providing alternative sources of finance.

Standard Life aims to simplify workplace pensions: Pensions giant Standard Life has teamed up with accounting software specialist Sage in an effort to reduce the burden on employers running auto-enrolment workplace pension schemes for their staff.

IndigoVision names tech veteran George Elliott as chair: Video security firm IndigoVision named former Wolfson Microelectronics finance Chief George Elliott as its new Chairman.

City A.M.

British Airways suffers brand turbulence after IT glitch at the weekend throws flights into disarray: Once again an airline is in the headlines for the wrong reasons. This time it’s BA trying to recover its reputation following a damaging spell in the headlines after an IT failure left thousands of travellers stranded.

Gold mining Boss Peter Hambro fights for his position in Petropavlovsk as shareholders try to take control of board: The Founder and Chairman of London-listed gold miner Petropavlovsk has hit back at major shareholders who are trying to force out the current board.

Chinese sovereign wealth fund nears €12 billion deal to buy London warehouse giant Logicor: China’s sovereign wealth fund is nearing a deal to snap up London-based warehouse property giant Logicor for €12 billion (£10.4 billion).

Private members club Purple Dragon finds investment partner in Imbiba: Imbiba will invest in Purple Dragon, the private members club for families based in Chelsea, it was announced.

Challenger bank OakNorth completes its largest-ever deal with £21 million loan to fund a luxury London hotel: Challenger bank OakNorth has completed its largest-ever deal, a £21 million loan for the development of a new luxury hotel in central London.

Jack Wills has opened its first store in Germany: British fashion brand Jack Wills has chosen Germany as the location for its first store in mainland Europe.

Wed, 31 May 2017 08:58:00 +0100
In the Papers - British Airways, Aviva, Ryanair, Burger King Newspaper Summary

The Times

Protectionism fears rise as U.S. warns of tariffs on solar cell imports: The United States is considering using emergency tariffs to protect a domestic industry for the first time in 16 years in a move that will stir fears of rising protectionism under President Trump.

Dutch court backs Akzo’s rejection of talks on bid from PPG: A Dutch court threw out a request from rebel shareholders in Akzo Nobel for it to take immediate action over the paint group’s rejection of a €26.9 billion bid from PPG Industries.

ABP Southampton considers risks if tide turns after Brexit: Britain’s biggest export port has run out of space. With more than a million cars expected to pass through Southampton this year, Executives are no longer searching for land but are looking to the skies. By the time that the U.K. leaves the European Union, the site will be able to hold 55,000 vehicles at a time in vast multi-storey car parks.

CBI plots a new start with ‘anti-business’ No 10 after election: The CBI is working on plans to reset relations with the government after the election amid concerns over an anti-business stance.

Profit back on menu as Gordon Ramsay refines familiar recipe: Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant empire will report its first net profit since 2012 as it continues to put its past travails behind it.

Financial Conduct Authority head feared censure over predecessor’s bank job: The Head of the City regulator feared criticism from a Commons committee over the appointment of his predecessor to a job at Standard Chartered, private exchanges reveal.

The Independent

Burger King anger Belgium monarchy over competition to crown ‘true ruler of the country’: Burger King is in trouble with Belgium’s monarchy over an advertising campaign asking Belgians to vote online to “crown” either the country’s king or the global fast-food giant the true ruler of the country where the U.S. brand will launch next month.

Pound sterling steadies after suffering worst day in months on narrowing election polls: The pound inched higher in thin trading on Monday, recovering somewhat from its worst day since February on Friday after opinion polls showed Labour catching up with the Tories ahead of next month’s election.

Brexit: French officials in ‘serious’ talks with banks about leaving London: French officials are having serious talks with financial institutions looking to move away from London as Britain prepares to quit the EU, the Governor of the French central bank has said.

The Daily Telegraph

JKX Oil board faces second overthrow in less than two years: The board of JKX Oil faces its second attempted coup in 18 months after its largest shareholder turned on the investor which purged the board last year.

Miners brace for unveiling of strict new charter in South Africa: A shake-up to the mining code in South Africa could have a far-reaching impact on miners listed in the U.K., amid fears the government there will try to impose onerous new requirements around company Ownership.

U.K. tech visas quadruple after applications soar: Technology industry demands for special measures to let companies hire foreign workers after Brexit have been boosted by a surge in demand for technology visas.

Greek Finance Minister calls on IMF and European creditors to end procrastination on debt relief: Greece’s finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos he was “confident” that an upcoming eurozone meeting would reach a “good solution” on debt relief, whilst calling on creditors to end their “procrastination”.

How Britain will pay a key role in building China’s new silk road: Britain will play a pivotal role in building China’s new silk road, cementing London’s position as the world’s financial centre after Brexit.

The Guardian

Crossrail 2 hits buffers as uncertainties over Brexit and election take hold: Fears over City firms leaving and wariness about appearing too London-centric are undermining consensus on £32 billion project

Car insurance in U.K. hits record high as tax rate on premiums increases: The average cost of car insurance will hit a record high as a higher rate of tax on premiums comes into effect, pushing up prices even further.

Leave oil rigs in the North Sea, say conservationists: Conservationists want oil companies and regulators to consider leaving more old rigs in the North Sea rather than removing them, with the savings paid into a fund to protect sealife.

RBS investors urged to settle case with bailed-out bank: Thousands of private investors who claim they were misled by Royal Bank of Scotland and its former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin into investing in the bank before it was rescued by the taxpayer are being urged to settle their legal case.

EU moves to crack down on carmakers in wake of VW emissions scandal: The European Union has moved towards cracking down on carmakers who cheat emissions tests by giving the EU Executive more powers to monitor testing and impose fines.

Sky-high carbon tax needed to avoid climate catastrophe, say experts: A group of leading economists warned on Monday that the world risks catastrophic global warming in just 13 years unless countries ramp up taxes on carbon emissions to as much as $100 (£77) per metric tonne.

Daily Mail

Fashion chain makes £250 million on store credit by charging rates of 60%: Third of N Brown’s income now comes from interest and fees: One of Britain’s fastest-growing fashion chains is raking in hundreds of millions of pounds by encouraging customers to pay on credit deals which have interest rates of almost 60%.

American vultures lose court battle over £22 billion Dulux bid: PPG must now decide whether to make a hostile offer: The American giant demanding takeover talks with the Owners of Dulux could be poised to make a hostile bid after suffering a critical court defeat.

Fat cats scramble for new £1.5 million private jet which boasts a parachute should disaster strike: A small cut-price private jet is causing a stir among the globe’s fat cats who have flooded the manufacturer with orders. The £1.5 million Cirrus Vision Jet can carry five adults and two children as passengers – and the plane even has a parachute should disaster strike.

Court day for the Tesco Bosses in £326 million accounting scandal: Finance Chief, MD and commercial Director for food charged with fraud: Three former Tesco Executives are set to appear in court in relation to its £326 million accounting scandal.

Daily Express

Homes sector ‘set for boom’ and looks to recruit hundreds of thousands of workers: The British Property Federation has commended plans encouraging “build to rent” developers, as the sector looks to recruit hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years.

Ryanair profits look to take off with pre-tax profit expected to reach £1.13 billion: The budget airline is due to release its annual earnings, with consensus forecasts pointing to a pre-tax profit of €1.32 billion (£1.13 billion) for the 12 months to the end of March.

Labels4Kids makes its mark with showcases for companies: After making its mark with parents, personalised tags and gifts producer Labels4Kids is pressing ahead in the care home, super yacht and sports club markets.

The Scottish Herald

Cheeky Chompers pushes into China: Cheeky Chompers, the baby care business established by two new mothers, is to launch in China.

Equity markets ‘failing’ in key role, trust fears: James Anderson, co-Manager of the £5 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, fears equity markets are “failing” to enable future entrepreneurial success and says most of the fund’s “emergent opportunities” are now in unquoted stocks.

New SNP rulers in Glasgow sued over Labour’s IT privatisation: Scotland’s biggest council is being sued over its controversial privatisation of IT.

North east economic boost from Wood’s one plan: An economic development body set up by Sir Ian Wood is set to drive “significant progress” for the North East economy after unveiling an ambitious programme of action and investment for its second year of operations.

Surveyor on the rise after ‘seamless’ merger: Two venerable Scottish surveying firms which merged late last year have set their sights on further expansion, after declaring that the integration of the companies has been “seamless”.

The Scotsman

Insurance giant Aviva has fintech growth in its sights: Insurer Aviva is eyeing acquisitions in artificial intelligence and big data as it looks to transform itself into a financial technology (fintech) business.

Pensions outstrip property in driving household wealth: Overall wealth in the U.K. has grown 4.5% a year since the financial crash, from £8.5 trillion to £11.5 trillion, a new report out from a City institution shows.

Lot of bottle from brewer West as new beer unveiled: Glasgow brewery West has launched a bottled beer that pays homage to its Founder Petra Wetzel’s childhood in rural Franconia, Germany.

Warning over post-Brexit lack of construction workers: The British Property Federation (BPF) has warned that government efforts to address the housing crisis will falter if strict post-Brexit immigration controls result in fewer construction workers coming to the U.K.

Graham’s bolsters organic range with Sainsbury’s deal: Graham’s The Family Dairy has secured a listing in Sainsbury’s stores south of the Border for its new organic milk range.

Aldi recalls beer due to allergy fears: Aldi has recalled a range of gluten-free beer owing to an undeclared ingredient which could cause an allergic reaction.

Safe pair of hands again for G4S in the Footsie index: The world’s biggest security services firm, G4S, is expected to regain its place in the FTSE 100 when the blue-chip stocks index’s constitutents are reviewed this week.

Aerospace sector revs up to £8 billion so far this year: The value of aircraft production to the U.K. in the first four months of 2017 is estimated at £8 billion, the industry’s trade body says in a report.

City A.M.

Chinese healthcare group Renhe Pharmacy Co plots £600 million bid for The Body Shop: British ethical cosmetics retailer The Body Shop is the target of a £600 million bid from a Chinese healthcare company, according to reports.

Theresa May accuses European Commission of aggressive move on Brexit negotiations: Prime Minister Theresa May will accuse the European Commission of taking an “aggressive negotiating position” on Brexit, after EU officials released two papers setting out details of their approach.

British Airways faces escalating bill over IT nightmare as questions build for cost-cutting Boss Alex Cruz: British Airways is facing a sky-high bill for its global IT meltdown that resulted in hundreds of flights cancelled over the bank holiday weekend.

Merkel says Europeans must take fate into their own hands and can’t rely on Donald Trump’s U.S.: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Europe “must take its fate into its own hands” with the U.S. and Britain not currently reliable as partners.

Tue, 30 May 2017 08:55:00 +0100
In the Papers - BHS, Spotify, Abercrombie & Fitch, Wagamama Newspaper Summary

The Times

White-collar crime agency in dock after trial of Sean Fitzpatrick collapses: The political fallout has been unrelenting since the collapse of the longest running criminal trial in the history of the Irish state.

Royal Dutch Shell develops smart charging for electric cars to prevent blackouts: Royal Dutch Shell is stepping up its drive into the electric vehicle market by developing smart charging technology to prevent battery-powered cars causing blackouts.

Housing crisis drives families to Urban & Civic’s brownfield sites: The exodus of people forced out of London by unaffordable housing is benefiting Urban & Civic, which specialises in building huge developments in commuter hotspots on large brownfield sites.

Monaco-based Unaoil has top clients and a taste for secrecy: Founded at the start of the 1990s by Ata Ahsani, an Iranian engineer who fled his homeland in the wake of the 1979 revolution, Unaoil has an enviable blue-chip client list, including Halliburton, Samsung and Hyundai.

Upbeat services sector ready for hiring spree, says CBI: Optimism among companies working in the U.K.’s dominant services sector has improved for the first time since November 2015, according to the CBI.

Fees for BHS administrator keep climbing: One of the administrators to BHS could receive about another £302,000 in fees, taking its total remuneration for winding down the failed retailer to just over £3.6 million.

Discount retailer B&M adds 100 outlets to its shopping list: Profits and sales are soaring at B&M and the discount retailer has increased its total U.K. store target by a further 100 outlets as consumers continue to hunt for bargains.

The Independent

Consumer confidence at lowest level since Brexit: Consumer confidence has slipped to its lowest level since the month after the EU referendum, according to a survey.

BT Chief Gavin Patterson suffers multi-million pay cut: BT has dramatically cut Chief Executive Gavin Patterson’s pay, as the telecoms giant struggles to recover from a damning accounting scandal in its Italian business that caused it to issue a profit warning and sent shares tumbling.

Apple’s Design Chief says U.K. must keep doors open after Brexit: The U.K. must continue to welcome immigrants from around the world if it wants to keep its thriving technology industry, one of Apple’s top Bosses has said.

The price of wine could be about to rocket because of Brexit: Wine lovers across the U.K. might soon have to shell out close to a quarter more for their favourite tipple after Brexit, as a weaker pound and sluggish economy takes its toll, a new study shows.

Weak GDP data sends pound sterling down: Sterling fell on Thursday after the Office for National Statistics revised down the U.K.’s growth in the first quarter to just 0.2%.

U.K. GDP growth revised down to 0.2% in the first quarter 2017: The U.K.’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017 has been unexpectedly revised down to 0.2%, in news that will compound fears that the economy is slowing as the impact of last June’s Brexit vote finally hits home.

European supermarkets recruit children for taste tests to cut sugar: Before cutting the sugar in its children’s yogurt, Dutch grocer Albert Heijn conducted a taste test modeled on a classic U.S. TV ad in which two young boys get their little brother to sample a new cereal.

Opec and oil producing allies extend production cuts for nine months: Opec and its allies extended oil production cuts for nine more months after last year’s landmark agreement failed to eliminate the global oversupply or achieve a sustained price recovery.

Carrier factory Donald Trump ‘saved’ will lay off hundreds of workers before Christmas: Donald Trump famously boasted about persuading a company in the U.S. heartland not to move its furnace plant to Mexico.

The Daily Telegraph

Lloyds Chairman dismisses warnings the City could collapse like a Jenga tower after Brexit: The Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group has dismissed a warning made by his counterpart at HSBC that the City could collapse like a Jenga tower following Brexit and predicted that financial services firms would cope if the U.K. left the EU without a deal.

Key Steinmetz aide cancels Guinea testimony at last minute on advice of lawyers: A key associate of mining magnate Beny Steinmetz has declined to testify at an arbitration hearing in Paris at the last minute, on the advice of his lawyers.

Spotify hires four new Directors ahead of expected float: Spotify has bolstered its board by recruiting four new Directors as it prepares for a possible float later this year.

Weak pound sends Tate & Lyle profits soaring as restructure pays off: Profits at ingredients giant Tate & Lyle soared by 85% as it was boosted by the weak pound following the vote to leave the European Union.

QinetiQ eyes global expansion with Rockwell Collins partnership: QinetiQ has announced a partnership with U.S. industrial giant Rockwell Collins to develop military navigation systems that the Boss of the FTSE 250 company said shows its growth strategy is taking hold.

The Questor Column:

This property fund trades at a slight premium, but the 5% yield is just one reason to buy: The portfolio, Ediston Property, which yields 5%, was the top pick in a recent report on property funds from the stockbroker Canaccord Genuity. The report’s authors, Alan Brierley and Ben Newell, pointed out that annual returns from commercial property as a whole were expected to fall to 5.5% after double-digit returns in recent years. This is because capital growth is expected to all but disappear, leaving rental income as the only source of returns. As a result, the report said, investors who want to beat the 5.5% level will have to seek out funds that could get more out of their property assets by developing them so that capital values, rents or both would be enhanced. In other words, instead of buying properties, letting them out and passively banking the rental income, while relying on general trends in the property market to boost capital values, managers would improve or redevelop their properties to enhance their value. The trust, which pays income monthly, commands a small premium of 1.3%. Mr Brierley said this did not affect his belief that it offered the best prospects among the property trusts. His report also compared the performance of ordinary “open-ended” property funds with their investment trust counterparts. With gearing, trusts had an effective exposure to the performance of their assets of 124%, whereas open-ended funds’ exposure was diluted by their cash reserves to just 78%. We believe that investment trusts offer the best route into commercial property and that Ediston Property is the most attractive trust at this stage. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Brexit economy: workers face squeeze but firms remain upbeat: The Brexit squeeze on household budgets has intensified over the past month, but companies and investors remain cautiously optimistic about the economic outlook in the run-up to the election, a Guardian analysis shows.

RBS shareholders refuse to settle in effort to force Goodwin to take stand: A group of “diehard” shareholders determined to see the former Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Fred Goodwin in court are refusing to accept a settlement in their £700 million legal claim against the bank.

Deliveroo accused of ‘painting a false picture’ at work tribunal: Deliveroo has been accused of running a campaign of misinformation and implementing last-minute changes to contracts in an effort to prevent riders from gaining better employment rights.

Oil price slides as Opec production cuts fail to impress markets: The world’s major oil producers have voted to continue their production cuts into 2018 in an attempt to prop up the oil price. However, the deal failed to impress the market and the oil price started to slide even as the details of the agreement were being hammered out.

Fever-Tree co-founder makes £73 million from selling shares: Fever-Tree, the upmarket tonic water maker, suffered the rarest of hiccups in its meteoric rise after co-founder Charles Rolls cashed in £73 million of shares.

U.K. gamblers lose record £13.8 billion as industry braces for FOBT crackdown: British gamblers lost a record £13.8 billion in the year ending September 2016, including an all-time high of £1.82 billion on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

Daily Mail

Daily Mail owner DMGT celebrates 19% revenue lift to £60 million: Online revenues at DMGT Group, owner of the Daily Mail, rose 19% in the first half of the year to £60 million.

Discount chain B&M celebrates 18% profit boost as customers snap up cut-price pizza ovens and garden furniture: B&M is ramping up plans to open hundreds more stores offering trendy garden furniture to win over budget-conscious shoppers.

Moody’s raises the alarm around the toxic danger of car loans: Anyone driving around Britain will see the tell-tale signs. Citizens used to take pride in front gardens, now it is the gleaming SUV parked in the driveway.

Sir Philip mounts rescue bid for Topshop Australia after chain collapses threatening 760 jobs: Billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green is mounting a rescue bid for the Australian arm of Topshop after it collapsed into administration.

Asian food chain Wagamama continues expansion as it lands in Italy after U.S. launch: Asian-themed chain Wagamama is opening its first restaurant in Italy, in partnership with W Italia Srl.

Halfords looks to reverse 10.5% profit decline by fitting batteries and bulbs: Halfords hopes that fitting extras such as batteries, bulbs and windscreen wipers for customers who can’t do their own repairs will help reverse a decline in retail sales and profits.

Daily Express

Eurozone economies are fragile amid huge risks to stability, warns ECB: Eurozone economies remain fragile and risks to financial stability are still significant, the European Central Bank (ECB) said in a report.

Saudi Arabia says U.S. won’t stop oil price rise as Kingdom defiant in OPEC plan: The U.S. won’t be able to stop Saudi Arabia’s plans to curb oil supply and raise prices, according to the kingdom’s energy Minister at a significant OPEC meeting in Vienna.

Deutsche Bank doom-monger forecast: Lender says pound and economy will get weaker in 2017: Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank talked the pound down and predicted Britain’s currency will weaken amid Brexit negotiations and a deterioration in the U.K. economy.

U.K. growth slowed more than thought in Q1 but economy is set to bounce-back, say experts: Britain’s economy slowed more than previously thought at the start of the year, but growth is set to rise in the coming months, said experts.

Pound rises against dollar as FTSE 100 set for new record high: The pound is up against the dollar, as Britain’s top stock index the FTSE 100 looks set to smash through a fresh record high.

The Scottish Herald

Fresh attack on Menzies distribution deal plan: The odds-on Edinburgh-based John Menzies completing a controversial plan to merge its newspaper and magazine distribution business with DX Group appear to have lengthened after an activist investor stepped up its attack on the proposal.

Enquest gives positive update as Opec countries extend production cuts: North Sea-focused Enquest has said it is on track to start pumping oil soon from one of the biggest new developments competed in the area in recent years and made clear it also sees potential in mature fields.

Martin Currie trust to revamp dividend policy after better year: The Chairman of the £154 million Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained investment trust has hailed the vehicle’s return to form despite it narrowly underperforming its benchmark in the year to the end of March.

New office options at Savoy Tower: A new shared office space has been launched in Glasgow’s Savoy Tower. Clockwise will aim to attract tenants, such as start-ups, digital companies, freelancers and consultants, which are looking for flexible hot desking, co-working and serviced offices.

University in $4 million windfall after biotech shares sale: The University of Glasgow has netted $4 million (£3.1 million) from the sale of its stake in Cara Therapeutics, a U.S. biotech company focused on novel treatments for chronic pain.

Hollinshead in new PR venture: Former Trinity Mirror Director Mark Hollinshead has launched a new Glasgow-based public relations agency. Mr Hollinshead, who was latterly Chief Executive of The Great Run Company, has launched Hollicom with an eight-strong team. The agency will serve clients south of the Border as well as in its native Scotland.

The Scotsman

Balfour Beatty to close seven offices across Scotland: Infrastructure group Balfour Beatty is consolidating seven of its offices in Scotland in a move partly aimed at cutting costs.

Lidl launches first Scottish ‘craft beer festival’: Lidl joined the Scottish craft beer bandwagon by launching its first “festival” in conjunction with 13 brewers.

Standard Life Boss confident of AAM merger approval: The Chief Executive of Standard Life has said he is confident the group’s merger with Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) will gain shareholder approval, despite governance concerns over the £11 billion tie-up.

Fintech dealmaker optimistic about industry’s Scottish prospects: Quest Corporate, the Edinburgh-based boutique corporate finance advisory firm, celebrated a stellar 2016 rounded off by one of the year’s largest fintech deals.

Economic growth downgraded as inflation hits spending: The U.K. economy suffered an even deeper slowdown at the start of the year as the services sector came under pressure and inflation dealt a blow to household spending.

City A.M.

Abercrombie & Fitch has posted its fifth quarter of falling sales: Teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has posted its fifth quarter of falling sales in a row.

Trinidad and Tobago oil firm Touchstone Exploration announces plans to float on London Stock Exchange: Trinidad and Tobago-focused oil firm Touchstone Exploration has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Wizz Air flies in the face of challenging conditions with record profits as it shrugs off concern over Brexit hitting demand: Budget airline Wizz Air has announced soaring full-year results, saying the Brexit vote hasn’t dampened demand to or from the U.K.

Petrofac has suspended its Chief operating officer amid a fraud investigation by the SFO sending shares slumping: Petrofac has suspended its Chief operating officer Marwan Chedid as an investigation gets underway by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), causing a plunge in shares by as much as 30 per cent.

Old Mutual to list wealth management arm in London and sell down Nedbank holding as part of four-way split: Old Mutual is to spin off its wealth management arm with a separate London listing next year, as the break-up of the firm gathers pace.

Fri, 26 May 2017 08:56:00 +0100
In the Papers - Fevertree, BT Sport, KPMG, Uber Newspaper Summary

The Times

Fevertree co-founder Charles Rolls to sell £40 million of shares: One of the co-founders of Fevertree Drinks is to sell a £40 million tranche of shares in the posh tonic maker.

Lord Grabiner, QC, to stand down as Chairman of Taveta Investments: Lord Grabiner is to step down as Chairman of Taveta Investments, the vehicle behind Sir Philip Green’s retail empire, in the latest high-profile departure from the group.

BT Sport to cover America’s Cup: Not content with carving out a niche in land-based sports such as football, BT has now taken to the high seas to capture Sir Ben Ainslie’s bid to win the America’s Cup for Britain.

Tensions rise at Opec meeting in Vienna over ‘cheating’ on oil quotas: Opec oil Ministers will meet in Vienna amid claims that some members are cheating on production quotas, undermining efforts to drive prices higher by extending a deal to curb output.

Eon Chief attacks Theresa May’s plans for energy cap: The Chief Executive of Eon has hit out at the Tory plans for an energy price cap, saying it was “amazing” that it was even being considered in the U.K.

Adam Crozier takes Director role at Whitbread: Adam Crozier has been given his first promotion since announcing this month that he was quitting ITV. Whitbread, the hotels-to-leisure company, said he would replace Sir Ian Cheshire as its senior independent Director.

Travel firm Hogg Robinson buys Hogg Robinson Group is targeting up to £100 million of acquisitions to help kickstart its growth potential after buying, a German digital travel management business.

KPMG resigns as auditor to U.K. business of Lycamobile: KPMG has said that it has resigned as auditor to the U.K. business of Lycamobile after failing to obtain appropriate audit evidence from the company.

Babcock’s profits rise after picking up defence contracts: One of the world’s biggest defence companies has posted a rise in annual profits, having picked up contracts following the U.K.’s defence and security review.

The Independent

Cutting immigration to tens of thousands would inflict £115 billion of harm: Forcing down annual levels of immigration to the tens of thousands, as promised in the Conservative manifesto, would inflict a significant cost on the economy and the public finances, according to a new report.

Africa ‘subsidises’ rest of the world by £32 billion a year, campaigners say: Africa ‘subsidises’ the rest of the world to the tune of $41 billion (£32 billion) a year, according to a new analysis of the amount of money flowing in and out of the continent.

$55 billion fund manager bets big that the pound is about to fall: The pound is heading lower whatever the outcome of the U.K. election, according to BlueBay Asset Management.

U.K. markets steady after terror threat level is raised to ‘critical’: U.K. markets largely shrugged off Theresa May’s announcement that the terror threat level across the country had been raised to its highest level in the aftermath of Monday night’s devastating Manchester attack.

Eastern European tech startups are thriving after years of stagnation: Tech entrepreneurs in central and southeastern Europe, many of whom already have experience of launching their own businesses, are now having more success at enticing global investors the second time around.

Eurostar ‘snap sale’ offers trains to Paris for just £19: Eurostar, the cross-Channel train operator, is claiming it is charging less than the Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express on trains to and from the Continent.

Uber to pay drivers back $45 million after taking too big a cut out of fares: Uber said it underpaid its New York City drivers by improperly calculating the company’s share of passenger fares, and will pay out an average of $900 (£693) per driver in compensation, costing tens of millions of dollars.

Renewable energy jobs hit 10 million mark worldwide, says new report: Renewable energy employed 9.8 million people last year, up 1.1% from 2015, led by solar photovoltaic at 3.09 million jobs, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s annual report on the industry.

The Daily Telegraph

Eurozone ‘still fragile’ despite growth spurt, warns European Central Bank: Europe’s sovereign debt crisis might seem like a distant memory as the eurozone economy enjoys a healthy growth spurt, but the European Central Bank fears that government finances in the currency area “remain fragile”.

Online wedding company Prezola receives Business Growth Fund backing: Online wedding company Prezola has received a multi-million-pound investment from the Business Growth Fund as it looks to branch out into mobile app technology.

George Soros is ‘nuts’, claims mining magnate Beny Steinmetz: Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz has labelled George Soros “nuts” and accused him of smashing his company’s hopes of developing a giant iron ore mine in Guinea.

Bunge gives cool response to Glencore approach: U.S. grains trader Bunge has given a cool response to takeover interest from Glencore, as investors in the Swiss company expressed concern it may have to slash its special dividend to get a deal done.

Hollywood Bowl hints at extra shareholder payouts on back of strong first half: Britons are developing a stronger appetite for 10-pin bowling, sending half-year profits at Hollywood Bowl soaring.

Household debt to hit record high as credit card spluge adds up: The debt of British households will hit a record high next year, new estimates show, surpassing the pre-financial crisis peak as a surge in credit card borrowing has financed extra spending in recent months.

U.S. Fed ties rate hike to economic rebound: U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers agreed they should hold off on raising interest rates until they see evidence that a recent economic slowdown was transitory, minutes from their last policy meeting showed on Wednesday.

The Questor Column:

Hargreaves Lansdown remains a buy despite the arrival of a super cheap competitor: In February, we suggested that readers buy shares in Hargreaves Lansdown, Britain’s biggest “investment shop”, on the basis of its exceptional profitability and loyal customer base. In light of a sharp fall in the share price last week, caused by the arrival of a low-cost U.S. competitor, it’s time to see if that advice still stands. Hargreaves’ shares fell by 8.3% after Vanguard, a mutually owned American fund manager, announced that it would sell its funds, which are mainly low-cost index trackers, directly to British investors at a cost of just 0.15% a year on top of the fund fee. This compares with 0.45% at Hargreaves. There is also the question of fund choice. Hargreaves allows customers to invest in a huge range of funds, shares, investment trusts and exchange-traded funds, including index funds, and to switch between them at will. Hargreaves shares are held in certain portfolios run by the respected Edinburgh-based partnership of Baillie Gifford, which is not selling its holdings as a result of Vanguard’s arrival. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Revolution Bars: Another of our holdings suffered an even sharper share price fall recently after a pessimistic trading update. Shares in Revolution Bars, tipped in November at 178p, slumped by about 45% in the wake of the update, which warned of increased costs and slowing sales growth. One highly regarded investor who owns a stake in Revolution is Keith Ashworth-Lord, manager of the SDL U.K. Buffettology fund. He is holding on to his shares, for the moment at least. He told Questor: “We have seen two changes of finance Director in the past year. As a consequence, I believe that there has been a loss of focus on cost control. Someone needs to get a grip. “If I am right, the problems should be temporary and fixable. This feels like an operational issue to me, not a strategic one. Therefore, I would not be a seller on this news.” But he pointed out that the update had included “no hard and fast numbers”, which “leaves open the possibility of a second profit warning before we get to the yearend if things deteriorate further”. Mr. Ashworth-Lord said he was “sitting on my hands”. We advise investors to do the same but will keep a close eye on this stock. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

China’s credit rating downgraded amid fears over slowing economy: China’s credit rating has been downgraded by Moody’s for the first time in almost 30 years over fears that slowing growth and rising debts will weaken the world’s second largest economy.

Former Anglo Irish chair Seán Fitzpatrick walks free as trial collapses: The Chair of the bank that almost bankrupted Ireland has walked free from a Dublin court after being acquitted of misleading auditors about multimillion-euro loans.

Nintendo’s share price hits seven-year high as Switch sales soar: Nintendo’s share price has hit its highest point in seven years, thanks to booming sales of the new Switch, its hybrid between a traditional home console and a handheld gaming machine.

Talks to avert RBS court case to continue into June: Attempts to avert a legal battle that would force the former Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Fred Goodwin to give evidence in the high court are to continue into next month.

Thousands of protesters brand McDonald’s the ‘Trump of corporations’: Thousands took to the streets of downtown Chicago on Tuesday night calling McDonald’s the “Donald Trump of corporations” and protesting low wages and sexual harassment at the world’s largest fast food chain a day before the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

Daily Mail

£2 billion takeover of two North Sea oil firms dragged into major corruption probe just 24 hours after details of deal were unveiled: The £2 billion takeover of two North Sea oil firms has been dragged into a major corruption probe just 24 hours after details of its deal were unveiled. Wood Group’s swoop for Amec Foster Wheeler could be under threat after it was revealed it had ties to a Monaco-based engineering and construction group suspected of fraud, bribery and money-laundering.

Dixons Carphone ramping up same-day mobile phone repair service to keep customers coming back to stores: Dixons Carphone is ramping up its same-day mobile phone repair service to keep customers coming back to stores. The electrical goods giant already offers the ability to fix a phone in some shops, but wants a bigger bite of the market.

Strong sales of DB11 sports car helps Aston Martin roar to record start to year: Strong sales of the DB11 sports car helped Aston Martin roar to a record start to the year. The luxury car maker saw revenues more than double in its first quarter, from £92.6 million to £188.3 million.

Owner claims more than 1.7 million homebuyers visit Zoopla, uSwitch and Prime Location each day: More than 1.7 million homebuyers visit Zoopla, uSwitch and Prime Location each day, its owner has claimed.

U.K.’s largest defence company BAE Systems hits all-time high after Donald Trump pledges to increase U.S. army spending by around £42 billion next year: The U.K.’s largest defence company hit an all-time high after Donald Trump pledged to increase U.S. army spending by around £42 billion next year. BAE Systems added £270.3 million to its value after the U.S. President’s budget suggested increasing total defence costs to £465.6 billion, which is around 10% higher than current budget caps.

Daily Express

M&S rides storm after clothing sales setback: Marks & Spencer Boss Steve Rowe insisted his plan to revive the retailer’s fortunes is on track despite a slump in clothing sales.

The future of money Cryptocurrency Ethereum’s value soars by more than bitcoin: Cryptocurency Ethereum has seen its value surge by more than Bitcoin in 2017, as investor appetite for blockchain-based systems shows no signs of waning.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank ordered to provide details on Trump’s Russia loans: Deutsche Bank has been told to hand over information about Donald Trump’s financial affairs, as part of an investigation by Congress Democrats into the U.S. President’s links to Russia during his election campaign.

Saudi Arabia plan to hike oil prices will backfire & boost U.S. shale producers, say experts: Saudi Arabia’s waning grip on oil prices could loosen further if it sticks to a plan to limit supply in a desperate bid to drive up demand, according to experts.

GBP still close to 8-month high against U.S.D: The pound might be down from its best levels of the week against the U.S. dollar but the GBP/USD pairing remains close to 8-month highs.

Tesco to trial new scheme to scrap 5p plastic bags forever: Supermarket giant Tesco is set to trial a scheme to scrap 5p plastic bags. The scheme could spell the sale of so-called ‘single use’ carriers less than two years after the law was changed to force large stores to charge for them.

The Scottish Herald

Ten Scottish breweries win new Asda supply deals: Ten Scottish breweries have secured new supply contracts with Asda worth a total of £875,000 over a year.

Recovery in European markets benefits Edinburgh Partners trust: The Manager of the European Investment Trust has said that ongoing economic recovery in the region is having a positive impact on the trust’s performance.

Anglian nets multi-million pound deals in Scotland: Anglian Water Business has secured three deals in Scotland worth £3 million a year.

Britvic Boss who came close to Barr deal exits: Gerald Corbett, the soft drinks Executive who came close to striking a merger deal between AG Barr and Britvic, is stepping down as Chairman of the Fruit Shoot and J20 producer.

Exova gets boost from the weaker pound: Exova Group, the testing specialist subject to a £620 million take-over bid by London’s Element Materials Technology, has received a currency-led boost to first quarter revenue.

Ediston to issue new shares to fund further investments: Edinburgh real estate business Ediston is preparing to issue more shares in its investment trust, the Ediston Property Investment Company, to allow it to take advantage of improved market opportunities.

Atlantis raises £4 million from sale: Atlantis Resources, the tidal power company has raised £4.05 million through a share placement equivalent to 7.1% of its capital. The placement of nine million shares at 45p represents a six% discount on Monday’s close.

The Scotsman

Employers urged to look beyond candidates’ tech skills: Employers have been urged to “keep an open mind” and look beyond candidates’ technical abilities to help close Scotland’s digital skills gap.

Tesco issue urgent recall for lipstick and lollipop pens: Tesco has issued an urgent product recall notice for a range of pens due to fears that they could cause asphyxiation if accidentally swallowed.

Start-ups the catalyst for innovation in Scottish fintech sector: There are lots of innovative products and services being developed in Scotland’s fintech sector, from the borrowing platform created by LendingCrowd to the identity and data protection provided by Payfont through to the refinement of even smarter apps by the big high street banks.

Edinburgh start-up seeks to champion part-time workers: With almost half of skilled employees looking for flexible working arrangements and only 7% of advertised jobs in Scotland offering part-time hours, an Edinburgh-based start-up has launched a service for employers to find highly-skilled people.

Edinburgh’s Exchange Place 1 offices sold for £47 million: The Exchange Place 1 office block in the centre of Edinburgh’s financial hub has been bought by a German investment fund for £47 million.

Ineos in £1 billion deal to buy Dong’s oil and gas division: Grangemouth petrochemicals giant Ineos has agreed a deal worth up to $1.3 billion (£1 billion) to buy the oil and gas business from Danish group Dong Energy.

City A.M.

Square Mile celebrates a pay boost: Financial services salaries were among the fastest rising of any British professionals during April as employers pay top dollar for the best talent.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reveals concerns over losing oversight of London’s euro clearing market after Brexit: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has revealed his concerns over losing oversight of U.K.-based euro clearing.

Private equity firm Pollen Street to take over MW Eaglewood creating an asset manager with £2 billion AUM: A deal to create one of Europe’s largest investment managers focused on specialist lending is underway, as Pollen Street Capital heads for a takeover of MW Eaglewood.

Laundry and textile company Berendsen reiterates rejection of “opportunistic” takeover approach from French rival Elis: London-listed laundry and textile company Berendsen reiterated its rejection of a takeover bid from a French rival, saying it can see “no basis for discussions”.

Insure2drive owner Sabre Insurance eyes £600 million listing after private equity interest: The owner of Sabre Insurance, the firm behind Insure2drive and Go Girl, is plotting a £600 million market float.

Trinity Mirror Boss exits as commercial strategy review kicks off: Regional newspaper publisher: Trinity Mirror is waving goodbye to a key managing Director as it shakes-up its commercial strategy in a bid to boost its advertising revenues.

Vodafone crosses Malta off its list of quad play mergers with €500 million merger: Vodafone has agreed a €506 million (£436 million) tie-up with a cable, broadband and TV provider in Malta, the latest market to be shaken up by the telecoms giant.

Thu, 25 May 2017 08:24:00 +0100
In the Papers - Ryanair, Jaguar Land Rover, RBS, Apple Newspaper Summary

The Times

German boardrooms can toast champagne moment: German business confidence has hit its highest level since the reunification of the country more than a quarter of a century ago.

Conflict of interest fear in tech merger: Two technology commercialisation companies backed by Neil Woodford have held talks over a potential £1.48 billion merger, triggering complaints of a potential conflict of interest.

Severn Trent splashes out on an inflation-busting dividend: Days after the Labour Party committed to renationalising the water industry because of the billions of pounds seeping into the pockets of shareholders, Severn Trent has unfurled an inflation-busting £200 million dividend payout to investors.

Cranswick fattens profits amid surge in export demand: The British pork and poultry supplier which makes own-label sausages for Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range and Tesco’s Finest has reported a 17% rise in profits after a jump in demand from China.

Women sue Lloyds over pension cuts: Thousands of female employees at Lloyds are taking the bank to the High Court in a landmark case over claims that their pensions are less generous than those of male staff members.

Lone Star to put 42 hotels up for sale: A package of 42 city centre hotels, including the Jurys Inn chain, is to be put up for sale with a price tag of well over £1 billion, The Times has learnt.

Drill in Arctic to cut debt, says Trump: America’s emergency oil reserve should be halved and the country’s largest wildlife sanctuary opened for drilling to raise billions of dollars to help cut the national debt, President Trump has proposed in his first budget.

Seabirds’ foul game is foiled by £15,000 scarecrows: They are the unwitting victims of Britain’s drive for renewable energy: birds chopped to their deaths by wind turbine blades. Now it has emerged that the avian population has been fighting back — with poo.

Eurozone at six-year high as economy turns corner: Business activity is growing at a fast pace across the eurozone in the latest sign that the bloc is rebounding sharply from years of lacklustre performance.

The Independent

Ryanair accused of assigning middle seats to passengers who don’t pay: Ryanair has been accused of deliberately assigning passengers who choose not to pay for reserved seating to middle seats – and separating couples and groups. Travellers say the budget airline has abruptly changed its policy.

VAT receipt slowdown in April points to weakening consumers: A sharp slowdown in VAT receipts growth contributed to considerably weaker than expected public borrowing figures for April and renewed concerns about the resilience of the British consumer in the face of higher inflation.

Apple named world’s most valuable company in tech-dominated ranking: Tech behemoth Apple has been named the most valuable brand in the world for a seventh consecutive year.

Retail sales slows as households ‘feel the pinch’ of rising inflation: High street sales slowed in May as British households started to feel the pinch of rising inflation and slowing wage growth, according to the latest data from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Nearly 94% of Shell shareholders reject Paris Agreement climate target: Royal Dutch Shell has been rapped over its climate change commitments, with shareholders criticising its rejection of emissions targets that would bring it in line with the Paris climate accord.

Oil prices fall as Donald Trump plans to sell off reserves: Oil prices fell on Tuesday, pressured by Donald Trump’s plans to sell off half the U.S.’ oil stockpile over the next decade.

Apple and Nokia settle patent dispute and sign new deal: Nokia has settled its legal battle with Apple with a new patent licence agreement and also signed a business deal with the U.S. giant, surprising investors who had expected the dispute to drag on.

Pound Dollar exchange rate: Sterling slips after Manchester Arena bombing: The pound briefly slipped on Tuesday following a suicide bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, the most deadly attack in the U.K. in a decade.

The Daily Telegraph

Glencore makes takeover approach to grain trader Bunge: Glencore has made an “informal” takeover approach for Bunge, a U.S. grain trader with a market value of around $15 billion (£11.6 billion), including debt.

U.K. set to become third global hub for biosciences as investment booms: The U.K. is the world’s third largest global hub for innovation and development in the biosciences sector, new research has found.

Barclays facing £1.6 billion High Court lawsuit: Barclays is being sued for £1.6 billion in damages by a U.S. credit card services firm which filed a High Court claim against the British bank for mis-selling a payment protection product at subprime credit card business Monument.

Euronext pushes into $5.1 trillion FX market amid drive to diversify: Euronext has stepped into the $5.1 trillion (£3.9 trillion) daily foreign exchange market, fulfilling Chief Executive Stéphane Boujnah’s promise to expand with or without the London Stock Exchange’s French clearing business.

Entertainment One goes west to capitalise on Peppa Pig: The Peppa Pig maker Entertainment One is courting U.S. investors in an attempt to win a higher valuation following ITV’s failed takeover bid last year.

U.S. pharma giant Merck & Co. accused of blocking cheaper arthritis drugs for the NHS: The U.S. pharmaceuticals giant Merck & Co is accused of abusing its dominance of the market for an arthritis drug to block the NHS from using cheaper alternatives.

The Questor Column:

Buy CVS, a fast-expanding business that’s immune from the economic cycle: Veterinary services group CVS is the leading player in its field in Britain, generates good earnings and copious cashflow and is busily consolidating its position in its home territory while it starts to build a presence in the Netherlands with carefully chosen and priced acquisitions. The only cloud is a lofty valuation at around 31 times this year’s earnings and 29 times next. But earnings momentum is strong and those multiples could drop sharply as the company expands. The business is underpinned by dependable demand for veterinary services, which are generally not too affected by the ups and downs of the economic cycle. On top of that come the acquisitions. CVS has already added 33 surgeries during the fiscal year that ends in June, including initial forays into both Holland and Northern Ireland, taking the total to 394. More deals, and more new countries, are likely and an equity fund raising just before Christmas of almost £30 million, plus the company’s own free cashflow, gives it plenty of firepower. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: TalkTalk Telecom: Even after a deeper-than-expected dividend cut, a gloomier-than-expected profit forecast and a thumping share price fall on the day of the full-year results, shares in TalkTalk Telecom have gained 10% since our analysis of the stock in February. As we suggested at the time, TalkTalk’s 8pc-plus dividend yield four months ago was in “too good to be true” territory, especially as earnings failed to cover the pay-out. That said, the cut in the 2018 dividend to 7.5p (from 10.29p in the year just ended and 15.87p before that) was dramatic. Nevertheless, the new planned pay-out still offers a yield of 4.1% and the reduction frees up cash to allow Dunstone and Harrison to invest in the business and rejuvenate its service and brand, as well as tackle its debts. Any profits recovery will be hard fought, given the competitive nature of the telecoms industry, but the new management’s plan appears to be the right one. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

London economy subsidises rest of U.K., ONS figures show: London’s thriving economy generates a £26.5 billion surplus that is recycled by the government to provide financial help to Britain’s less well-off regions, according to an official breakdown of the public finances.

Jaguar Land Rover posts record sales thanks to demand in China and U.S.: Jaguar Land Rover has delivered a record year of sales bolstered by demand for luxury cars in China and North America.

Bank of England Governor falls for email prank but maintains his composure: The Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, has fallen victim to an online prankster who got him to joke about one of his predecessor’s supposed drinking habits.

John Lewis-backed credit union bids to fend off payday lenders: John Lewis and Debenhams are among the high-street names backing a new credit union for the retail sector, officially launching, which aims to help shop workers “avoid the clutches” of payday lenders. Another supporter is former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, who once again got to say, “I’m in”, after revealing that he and his companies have invested a six-figure sum in the not-for-profit enterprise.

Unions say Tories’ zero-hours workers’ review doesn’t go far enough: Unions have Expressed anger at the proposal that workers on zero-hours contracts should be the given the right to request guaranteed hours, saying it does not go far enough.

Daily Mail

Emergency home repair giant Homeserve hits a record high after revenues surge 24%: Emergency repairs firm Homeserve hit an all-time high after beating expectations with a 24% surge in revenues for the year ended March 31.

Bankers in £2 billion oil takeover scoop £68 million fees jackpot: Wood Group’s bid to snap up Amec Foster Wheeler will create giant worth £5 billion: A £2.2 billion oil takeover will hand bankers a £68million windfall – while putting 4,000 jobs at risk in the North Sea.

PPG Boss wants a fourth crack at Dulux owner Akzo Nobel: Michael McGarry, the Boss of U.S. predator PPG which is trying to take over Dulux’s owner Akzo Nobel, said he remains interested in negotiating a ‘consensual’ deal – despite having three takeover bids rebuffed.

Legal spat threatens Jaeger deal: Suppliers are owed millions of pounds: Suppliers owed millions of pounds are threatening legal action over the sale of Jaeger. Jaeger sold its lucrative trademark licence before calling in the administrators – leaving just bricks and mortar shops available for bidders.

Stamp duty go-slow hurting tile shops: Topps blames disappointing sales on ‘challenging’ economic environment: Changes to stamp duty caused sales and profits to drop for Topps Tiles. The retailer said its sales in the first half of the year were hit by the ‘challenging’ economic environment and tough year-on-year comparisons following a hike in stamp duty for second-home owners.

Daily Express

U.K.’s building society’s profits hit by record low interest rates: Nationwide saw its annual profit fall by more than 17% last year as it sought to protect savers from record low interest rates.

U.K. makers in triumphant return to the market amid new concerns of capacity shortages: Meet the Manufacturer’s annual trade event for the fashion, accessories and homeware industries is the biggest yet, so binning the fake cliché that Britain doesn’t make things anymore is long overdue, says Maisha Frost.

Investors ditch almost $9 billion of equities as political turmoil builds: Investors ditched almost $9 billion of U.S. equities as political turmoil in Washington built up in the past week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch figures showed.

RBS double settlement offer in last minute bid to stay out of court: Royal Bank of Scotland has dug deeper in a bid to reach a settlement and avert a high-profile court case with thousands of investors who claim they were mis-sold shares before its £45.5billion taxpayer bailout.

Greece default looms as Eurozone and IMF clash over debt measures: Eurozone countries are at loggerheads with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over Greece’s debt programme, as time runs out to stop Athens crashing into bankruptcy and out of the bloc.

Britain’s borrowing falls to lowest level since 2008 - but debt soars to £1.7 trillion: Britain’s debt pile hit an eye-watering £1.7 trillion last month, in a blow to Chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of the election.

The Scottish Herald

Builder flags up rewards of apprentice campaign: Scottish housebuilder Springfield Properties has announced apprentices now make up around one-fifth of its 477 staff – about double its 10% target set less than three years ago.

Deal maker leads private equity firm on expansion drive in Scotland: Neil McGill, who used to head accountancy firm BDO’s mergers and acquisitions team in Scotland, has joined the Cairngorm Capital private equity business and will lead its hunt for more deals in the country.

Household squeeze fuels Government borrowing: U.K. public sector borrowing was much greater than expected in April, as value-added tax receipts grew only marginally amid a softer consumer backdrop, official figures have shown.

Masters steps down from Murgitroyd Group board: Chris Masters has resigned from the board of intellectual property attorney Murgitroyd after serving less than two years.

Middle East success for Aberdeen oil services firm: Oil services company Proserv has been awarded a series of contracts worth more than $11million (£8.5 million) in the Middle East where it has been investing in growth amid the downturn in the North Sea.

The Scotsman

Fintech revolution will ‘create’ more jobs than it cuts: Any technological revolution or industrial change brings with it an element of fear for workers. When the Luddites smashed up weaving machines in the 19th century, they did it out of fear for their livelihoods. And for a crash course in how Scotland has felt the ill effects of the winds of change in industry, you only need to hear the closing refrain of The Proclaimers’ song “Letter From America”.

Biscuit-flavoured pints face crunch test at new craft beer festival: It has a biscuit-making heritage going back more than two centuries - when William Crawford started a baking business in a small shop in Leith which grew to become a household name throughout Britain.

Johnston Carmichael lifts partner count to 57: Accountancy and advisory firm Johnston Carmichael has expanded its leadership team with a string of appointments that takes its partner count to 57.

Tech firms on cloud nine with government contracts: A number of Scottish technology companies have secured places on the latest U.K. government framework to provide cloud computing services to the public sector.

IndigoVision aims to return £850,000 to shareholders: Video security group IndigoVision announced plans to return about £850,000 to investors through a share buyback programme.

City A.M.

Euronext buys into currency trading with acquisition of FastMatch: Euronext, the pan-European stock exchange, has made a move into the world of currency trading with the acquisition of FastMatch.

BT and TalkTalk compensation row threatens Openreach plans for faster broadband: A row brewing between TalkTalk and BT is threatening to undermine a key consultation to boost the U.K.’s broadband infrastructure.

Stock Spirits slammed by top investor after 30% shareholders vote against Chairman at its annual general meeting: Vodka maker Stock Spirits got a slap on the wrist after over 25% shareholders voted against the London-listed firm’s Directors’ remuneration report.

Shell shareholders approve CEO Ben van Beurden’s pay but reject emissions target proposal at annual general meeting: A 60% increase in Royal Dutch Shell Boss Ben van Beurden’s pay received little opposition at the oil and gas giant’s annual general meeting.

Pharmaceuticals giant MSD accused by the CMA of breaching competition law for discounting Remicade drug: Pharmaceuticals conglomerate Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) has been accused of breaching competition law by operating a discount scheme.

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:30:00 +0100
In the Papers - Uber, Heathrow, Amazon, RBS Newspaper Summary

The Times

Billionaire brothers secure racecourses for £10 million: The billionaire Reuben brothers are going to the dogs. Arena Racing Company, their racecourse operation, announced that it had agreed a deal to acquire Newcastle and Sunderland greyhound stadiums from William Hill.

Euro jumps as Merkel pins surplus on ‘weak’ currency: The euro reached a six-month high after Angela Merkel said that the “too weak” currency was behind her country’s massive trade surplus.

Börse Boss seeks deal with prosecutor: The Boss of Deutsche Börse is looking to cut a deal with prosecutors over allegations of insider trading related to the failed merger with the London Stock Exchange.

Portugal hailed by EU for slashing deficit: Portugal has cleared the last remnants of its emergency bailout six years ago after the European Commission declared that the country had finally met the eurozone’s budgetary rules.

Tool supplier hires third Boss since float: Just 27 months into its life as a stock market-quoted company during which its share price has collapsed 75%, HSS has taken another shot at redemption with the appointment of its third Chief executive since flotation.

Uber is the pits, says trial city: When Uber brought its self-driving taxis to Pittsburgh last year it was hailed as the start of a transport revolution. To thank them for being the first guinea pigs of their kind, Uber let residents ride in its taxis for free.

Cheaper Chinese brands catching up with iPhone: Apple and Samsung are fast losing share in the smartphone market to a group of Chinese upstart rivals that now account for nearly a quarter of all global sales.

Chemical brothers in $14 billion merger: The American chemicals manufacturer Huntsman is to combine with its Swiss counterpart Clariant to create a $14 billion company after years of on-off merger discussions.

Barclays will urge more to go private: Barclays is set to boost the size of its international private banking workforce by about 10% as the lender looks to expand its offshore network.

The Independent

Female entrepreneurs are leading a work revolution: Female entrepreneurs are leading a revolution in the world of work as an upsurge in small creative businesses has seen more people than ever shun the humdrum of a ‘9-to-5’ routine, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Graduate employment retention in sharp decline: Ambitious young workers are proving ever more difficult to retain, according to new research that shows graduates are increasingly willing to ditch their first-time employers at the earliest opportunity.

Long commutes ‘increase risk of depression, obesity and money worries’: Hours of commuting may be mind-numbingly dull, but new research shows that it might also be having an adverse effect on both your health and performance at work.

Heathrow expansion plans threatened by Crossrail row: Plans to build a third runway at Heathrow could be jeopardised by a row between the airport’s owners and Transport for London (TfL).

Brexit ‘opportunity’ for eurozone says French Minister: Brexit can be an “opportunity” for the eurozone’s financial system, France’s new finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, has said.

U.K. workers do not feel rich ‘unless they earn £370,000 a year’: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s definition of “the rich” as those earning “£70,000 to £80,000” a year ignited a fierce debate last month over how much you have to earn to feel wealthy. But if a new survey is anything to go by, he may have been far off the mark.

Nearly half U.K. consumers abandon brands due to poor corporate behaviour, finds study: Consumers are taking an increasing interest in the ethical practices of the companies they buy from, with almost half saying that they have abandoned brands due to poor corporate behaviour.

The Daily Telegraph

EU Ministers fail to reach Greek debt deal, delaying release of fresh bailout cash: Eurozone finance Ministers failed to agree on a deal which would have released vital rescue funds for Athens on Monday night, after Greece’s creditors rejected calls for an upfront commitment to reduce the country’s debt burden.

Amazon launches U.K. pay-TV service: Amazon is attempting to challenge Sky, Virgin Media and BT by adding pay-TV channels to its streaming service.

BSGR attacks ‘unlawful’ activities of Rio Tinto in Guinea as Simandou hearing opens: Israeli mining company BSG Resources has attacked the “unlawful” activities of its bigger rival Rio Tinto in the impoverished nation of Guinea, as a new arbitration hearing got under way in Paris.

BP gives new hope to North Sea oil revival as extraction begins from one of largest projects in recent years: BP has started extracting oil from one of the largest new North Sea projects in recent years in a revival for the declining oil basin.

Britain leads Europe as investment magnet - for now: Foreign investors poured more money into the U.K. than any other European nation last year as healthy economic growth helped the country maintain its image as an attractive business destination.

The Guardian

RBS offers £200 million to avert court case brought by 9,000 investors: Royal Bank of Scotland is racing to avert a high-profile court case by offering £200 million in compensation to thousands of investors who claim they were misled into buying the bank’s shares in the run-up to its taxpayer bailout.

Big energy firms lobby Theresa May to water down price cap pledge: Energy companies are lobbying the Conservative party to water down its policy of a price cap on bills, with proposals that would protect millions fewer U.K. households from tariff rises.

Ford names Jim Hackett as new CEO in push to build self-driving cars: Ford has named the head of its driverless cars division as its Chief executive in a sudden regime change, as the company that pioneered the assembly line looks to the next stage of the industry’s evolution.

Average asking price for homes in U.K. hits record high of £317,000: Asking prices for U.K. homes hit a new record high over the past month as families in search of bigger properties brushed aside uncertainty caused by Brexit and June’s general election.

Daily Mail

Barclays analysts say traders should splash out on British stock as threat of Brexit recession fades: Traders should splash out on British stock as the threat of a Brexit recession fades, Barclays analysts have said.

Shoppers facing spike in olive oil prices after crops hit by droughts in Mediterranean: Shoppers are facing a spike in olive oil prices after crops were hit by droughts in the Mediterranean. Falling production in Greece, Italy and Tunisia is likely to drive up prices on supermarket shelves, and cause grocers to cut down on the number of bottles they sell on promotion.

Warming Saudi-U.S. ties likely to cause concern in London as battle heats up for Saudi oil giant Aramco: Warming Saudi-U.S. ties are likely to cause concern in London as the battle heats up for Saudi oil giant Aramco. The London Stock Exchange is hoping the £1.6 trillion state-owned business will choose it for what will be the biggest public float in history.

Fraud squad opens investigation after more than a thousand investors lost millions in alleged pension fraud: The fraud squad has opened an investigation after more than 1,000 investors lost millions in an alleged pension fraud. Police officers and civil servants are among the inexperienced investors who allegedly piled more than £120 million into so-called storage pod schemes.

Daily Express

Saudi Arabia to cut off oil supply to create shortage in desperate bid to raise prices: Saudi Arabia is looking to cut off its oil supply in a desperate bid to raise prices and boost its slowing economy.

Brussels warned stripping London of euro clearing could cost investors £77 billion: THE Boss of London’s stock market has issued a stark warning to Europe that moving euro clearing away from London after Brexit could backfire - and could cost investors a hefty €100billion (£77 billion).

Bitcoin hits record high: 10,000 pieces of cryptocurrency in 2010 now worth £15 million: Bitcoin has hit a record high seven years after what is thought to be the first ever transaction using the crypto currency.

Sterling set to plunge as Tory’s drop in polls ahead of Election: The pound has taken a dramatic tumble against both the euro and the dollar after a series of polls over the weekend showed the Conservatives have lost their huge lead in the polls against Labour, ahead of the general election next month.

German Ministers clash over Greece debt as crisis cracks Angela Merkel’s government: Germany’s top Ministers are publicly disagreeing over Greece’s debt crisis, as cracks widen through the heart of Angela Merkel’s government.

Italy faces ‘urgent’ challenges over shocking public debt, warns Brussels: Italy has been told it faces “urgent” challenges over its huge public debt in the latest assessment over troubled eurozone nations’ economies.

The Scottish Herald

Inward investment hits record high in Scotland: Scotland won a record number of foreign direct investment projects last year, building even further on the surge achieved in 2015, amid signs it is increasingly attracting technology, software and life sciences players, a survey reveals.

Minoan acquires capital travel agency: Travel group Minoan has acquired independent Edinburgh business Morningside Travel through the issuing of new shares, which have also allowed it to raise working capital.

Johnston hit by protest vote as pay resolution carried: Nearly one-third of investors in Johnston Press have voted against the newspaper publisher’s revamped remuneration policy, writes Scott Wright.

Russian contract win for Wood Group: Wood Group has won a contract to help maximise oil and gas production from the giant Sakhalin-II development off eastern Russia.

Roy lecture will highlight opportunities for economy: Scotland’s comparative advantage in areas such as tackling climate change will be highlighted alongside the challenges its economy faces after a year of major political and economic shocks in a key lecture this evening.

FrontRow makes first move since BGF investment: FrontRow Energy Technology Group has acquired a 50% stake in ClearWELL Oilfield Solutions, its first deal since receiving £10 million backing from the Business Growth Fund.

Expansion for Wood Mackenzie: Edinburgh-based Wood Mackenzie is expanding its renewable energy consultancy business helped by the acquisition of a Danish wind power specialist, MAKE.

Change had gone under before sale: Change Recruitment went into administration before its assets were sold on the same day to venture capitalist Paul Atkinson’s Head Group, it has emerged.

Ardnamurchan gets hands on rare spirit: A Glasgow bar and restaurant which launched with a mission to highlight food and drink sourced on the west coast of Scotland has become one of only two in the world to stock the inaugural spirit from the Ardnamurchan Distillery.

The Scotsman

Watchdog probing proposed Standard Life-Aberdeen Asset deal: The U.K.’s competition watchdog has launched an investigation into the potential £11 billion tie-up between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management.

Latest cross-border legal merger set to complete: It may not grab the headlines like Pippa Middleton’s wedding did over the weekend, but the senior partners who have thrashed out next Thursday’s official tie-up between Scotland’s HBJ Gateley and England’s Addleshaw Goddard argue it will be a good marriage for all.

Former oil exec invests £1 million in Stonehaven luxury lodges: A former oil and gas executive has launched a new luxury tourism business in Aberdeenshire after his family unveiled plans to invest more than £1 million in the development.

Blockchain consortium seeks to tackle cybercrime: A €5 million (£4.3 million) project, funded by the European Union, has been launched in a bid to prevent criminals and hackers from using blockchain technology to avoid the prying eyes of law agencies.

Offshore support firm adds 24 jobs with fleet expansion: A business that owns and operates offshore support vessels for the oil and gas industry has boosted its fleet in a move that will create 24 jobs in its North Sea operation.

Gin venture’s first round of profits to help the poor: A social enterprise gin based in Edinburgh that launched in November has given away its first funding from sales proceeds to help disadvantaged young adults help tackle poverty in developing countries.

City A.M.

Opec still the greatest show on earth for oil investors: The Opec circus is back in Vienna this week for its bi-annual performance. One of the highlights, as usual, will be the somewhat desperate press pack in their usual role of clowns poring over every syllable from the ringmasters, led by the Saudi energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.

Rental prices for new builds south of the river slipped due to oversupply: Renters are ditching swanky new builds in favour of quality older homes, according to property advisors London Central Portfolio (LCP).

Airbus assembles independent compliance panel after bribery probe by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and French authorities: Airbus has appointed an independent panel to monitor its anti-corruption practices, following the launch of a bribery investigation at its jet business.

CHI&Partners Chief executive Sarah Golding talks taking up the IPA presidency: I got rather lost in Fitzrovia searching for the CHI&Partners office; I thought I’d been there before, forgetting that in fact, the business and its affiliates are slowly but surely colonising the area around Rathbone Street, and I was at the wrong building.

Embattled construction materials company LafargeHolcim finds replacement CEO: Shares in LafargeHolcim were trading up 6.25% at 5780p after the company announced the appointment of a new CEO.

Tue, 23 May 2017 08:19:00 +0100