column Proactiveinvestors column RSS feed en Mon, 29 May 2017 12:26:13 +0100 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) 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
In the Papers - McColls, Jaguar Land Rover, Liberty Media, M&S Newspaper Summary

The Times

Brussels warned off bid to strip City of euro trade: Investors could face an extra €100 billion bill if Brussels forces the clearing of euro-denominated trades away from London because of Brexit, the Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange has warned.

Britain is world’s biggest fan of prosecco: Britons consumed a third of all the prosecco produced last year, more than any other country, as producers celebrated a bumper harvest.

Indian bank tries to seize Improbable mansion: The Hertfordshire mansion where Herman Narula, the co-Founder of Improbable, began the company is at the centre of a legal dispute, The Times has learnt. Court documents show that the grade-II listed property in Arkley is part of a case brought by Axis Bank, one of India’s biggest lenders, against a relative of Mr. Narula.

Train franchise tipped to go Dutch with Japanese: The Dutch state railway company Abellio has been tipped to become the new operator of the West Midlands train franchise.

Asking prices hit new high as young families move on: Asking prices for properties have reached a new high after five consecutive months of growth, figures from Rightmove show, suggesting there is resilience in the housing market despite the slowdown of recent months.

Military supplier to chase ambulances: A small engineering company whose monitors check the vital signs of seriously ill casualties has signed up the world’s special forces and is now targeting ambulances.

Terra Firma digs up funds for Wyevale: Terra Firma, the private equity house led by Guy Hands, has been forced to part with additional cash to support Wyevale Garden Centres, Britain’s largest garden retail group.

City firms busy making plans as Brexit clock ticks down: While some business leaders have vented their anger at Theresa May’s plans to enforce changes in areas such as pay and workers’ rights, bankers have been relatively sanguine.

Free Spanish lessons if drugs agency moves to Barcelona: Spain’s Prime Minister is leading an attempt to move the European Medicines Agency from London to Barcelona after Brexit.

German discounter hopes life will be OK in America: Aldi and Lidl shook British supermarkets to their foundations after they set up shop in the U.K. in the early 1990s. The German discount duo went on to attract millions of customers from Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, sparking many a price war along the way.

Jefferies analyst is City’s top stock-picker: A healthcare analyst at Jefferies has been named the City’s best stock-picker as brokers continue to scale back their research operations.

Aer Lingus to hire new crew to meet U.S. demand: An increasing number of passengers flying from Britain to Ireland to avoid Heathrow and connect to flights to America is prompting Aer Lingus to hire 200 new crew.

The Independent

Theresa May to warn Brexit will have ‘dire consequences’ for ordinary people if U.K. doesn’t get right deal: Theresa May is to warn that the consequences of failing to get the right Brexit deal will be “dire” for ordinary working people.

Lost access to single market in services could cost U.K. economy up to £36 billion, new report concludes: Losing access to the single market in services after Brexit could cost the British economy up to £36 billion a year and have a particularly negative impact on financial services, telecoms and transport, a new report concludes.

How Brexit is already hitting the British film industry: Many businesses are having to adjust, including those in the film industry. One of the major caveats of Brexit could be co-productions between the U.K. and European companies — such as Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake — stop happening.

The Daily Telegraph

Cocoa glut leaves bitter taste for African farmers: A week ago, in the Ivorian city of Abidjan, the sound of gunshots reverberated through the streets. Offices, schools and banks in the city’s financial district shut their doors, and most of the population remained safely behind them.

Britain’s wind turbines catch breeze of a rising industry: The sound made by 100 tonnes of steel rotating 400 feet overhead is surprisingly understated. Each whoosh of the 260 foot blades spans an area the size of the London Eye and generates enough electricity to power the average British home for 24 hours.    

McColls shopping for Tesco’s One Stop chain in Booker merger fallout: The Boss of the country’s biggest convenience store chain, McColls, has told The Daily Telegraph that he is eyeing a possible takeover of Tesco’s One Stop chain.

Qatar looks to woo U.K. with ‘Wall Street of the Middle East’ pitch: Qatar is on a fresh drive to woo the U.K.’s financial community, marketing itself as the “Wall Street of the Middle East” at roadshows across the country as it spruces up its image ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

Gig economy negativity based on ‘lazy’ and ‘outdated’ assumptions, CBI warns: The Government will put Britain’s job-rich recovery at risk if it adopts a heavy-handed approach towards regulating flexible work, the country’s biggest business group has warned.

Jaguar Land Rover hits top gear as F-Pace soars and weak pound lifts performance: Jaguar Land Rover will this week report record revenues as a combination of surging demand for its fast-growing range of premium cars and foreign exchange movements move its finances into top gear.

Greece urges creditors to strike new debt relief deal: Greece has urged its creditors to agree to a new debt relief deal in talks that could pave the way for the release of vital rescue funds for the stricken nation.

The Guardian

Church of England made stunning 17% return on investments in 2016: The case for profitable ethical investing has been bolstered by the Church Commissioners for England, as the fund announced divine returns on its financial portfolio for 2016.

Australia leads fight to save Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact: Australia is leading the charge to save the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal thrown into doubt by Donald Trump’s decision to pull America out of the pact.

Shell shareholders to vote for new climate change goals: Shell shareholders including the Church of England, European pension funds and Dutch activists will send a signal to the board of the Anglo-Dutch company this week by voting for it to set new climate change goals.

Consumers lose appetite for spending due to rising prices in shops: Consumers failed to propel the U.K. economy in the first quarter as rising prices dampened appetite for spending, official figures will show this week.

Daily Mail

3,300 U.K. jobs at risk as hedge fund pushes for takeover: Vulture’s court battle to force out Dulux Boss: The battle for Dulux will reach a crescendo this week as Dutch courts decide whether to allow U.S. vultures to take steps to oust the paintmaker’s chairman.

Team of salvage experts hoping to recover billions of pounds worth of gold from deep-sea shipwrecks are looking for investors: A team of salvage experts hoping to recover billions of pounds worth of gold from deep-sea shipwrecks are looking for investors to back their treasure hunt. Britannia’s Gold has launched a £5 million equity fundraising for their exploration of ships sunk in the First and Second World Wars.

Yorkshire fracking firm reportedly draws up plans for £500 million stock market float to help fund huge gas project: A Yorkshire fracking firm has reportedly drawn up plans for a £500 million stock market float to help fund a huge gas project.

F1 owner Liberty Media reportedly paid just £6.9 million in tax last year despite having turnover of £1.4 billion: Formula 1 owner Liberty Media reportedly paid just £6.9 million in tax last year despite having underlying profits of £350 million and turnover of £1.4 billion.

Owner of British Airways hits out at Heathrow Airport over plans to nearly double number of U.K. destinations it will offer after expansion: The owner of British Airways has hit out at Heathrow Airport over its plans to nearly double the number of U.K. destinations it will offer after expansion. Heathrow has written to the Government asking it to ringfence a proportion of the slots it expects to become available – if a third runway is built – for flights to and from U.K. destinations.

Daily Express

London Land company hope that full year results will calm worries: With a £9.5billion property portfolio that ranges from the City of London to the Glasgow Fort shopping centre, British Land has a stake in pretty much every square on the monopoly board.

Weak pound lures U.S. tourists to U.K. with huge summer bookings: U.S. travellers are flocking to the U.K. because of the soft pound, according to one of the world’s largest online travel firms.

Ex-RBS Boss Fred Goodwin to face wrath of shareholders in £520 million court battle: One of the most reviled figures in modern business history is about to step back into the limelight. Barring a last minute, out-of-court settlement, Fred Goodwin will have to explain to Royal Bank of Scotland investors how the bank ended up losing vast amounts of their money.

The Scottish Herald

Call centre group to create 600 jobs: Call centre operator Ascensos is set to become one of the biggest employers on the Isle of Wight after revealing plans to create 600 jobs on the island with a new customer service centre.

Haulage and construction group enjoys jump in profit: Ayrshire-based haulage and construction group Maxi has unveiled a 35% jump in annual pre-tax profits to £2.59 million.

Decade of faith in vision rewarded for tech pioneer: Serial technology entrepreneur Gordon Povey is set to realise the plan to offer consumers a diary that writes itself which he conceived a decade ago after capitalising on recent advances in communications.

M&S tipped to post lower annual profits after short-lived clothing sales revival: Retail giant Marks & Spencer is expected to post lower annual profits and reveal its clothing sales revival came to an abrupt halt at the start of the year when it reports on Wednesday.

Firms urged to broaden IT recruitment: Companies have been urged to look beyond job candidates’ technical skills when recruiting for IT staff.

The Scotsman

RBS investors warned they may have to wait years for any damages: Lawyers have warned it could take another seven years to legally establish any liability
by the Royal Bank of Scotland
for its role in the 2008 financial crisis and quantify any damages after a 14-week civil trial that begins.

Farmhouse ice cream company wins funds to double production: An ice cream maker based in Galashiels is to double the size of its manufacturing site after securing financial support through the Scottish Borders Leader fund.

North Sea oil platform shuts down after gas leak: A North Sea oil platform has been shut down following a gas leak. The gas detection alarm sounded on Friday morning on Shell’s Brent Charlie platform, 115 miles north-east of Shetland.

City A.M.

Activist investor Elliott’s court case to oust AkzoNobel chairman Antony Burgmans begins: Elliott, the activist hedge fund which owns a three% stake in Dulux owner AkzoNobel, is set to take the conglomerate to court over its refusal to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Small business IP cases hit an all-time high: The number of small and medium-sized enterprises launching legal battles to protect their intellectual property (IP) has hit an all-time high, increasing by 68% in the last year.

Gardening sector in bloom but flower-growers want more people to buy British: Green-fingered Brits drove a 66% increase in independent garden centres and florists across the country last year.

Sale is in The Works for stationery retailer at private equity group Endless: The Works, a discount stationery and books retailer owned by turnaround private equity firm Endless, is readying to be sold or floated next year.

Clarks shareholders see dividends more than halved after rocky year: Descendants of the Clarks shoes Founders will take a share of a much smaller dividend pot this year, after the chain struggled with sinking profits.

Owner prepares to bid Musto bon voyage in £50 million sale: Marine and equestrian sportswear favourite Musto is expected to fetch more than £50 million as its owners prepare the company for auction.

Pre-Ramadan rush boosted by weaker pound and love of British luxury: Retail tourism in the U.K. continues to benefit from a pre-Ramadan rush of buyers from the Middle East spending on luxury items.

Mon, 22 May 2017 08:45:00 +0100
In the Papers - JD Sports, Stratex, Bloomsbury, Cineworld Newspaper Summary

The Times

Conservative manifesto is ‘assault on free markets’: Business groups accused the Conservatives of a misguided interventionist attack on free markets that threatens to saddle companies with costs and strip them of skills.

Shire in good health after drug trial boost: Shire was boosted by promising trial data for a drug to treat a rare and sometimes deadly hereditary disease.

Trouble at the top for Hargreaves Lansdown: The Chairman of Hargreaves Lansdown is to leave after running the board for almost eight years, as the investment firm faces stiff competition from a new low-cost rival.

Pru nets new head of growing Asia unit: Prudential is shaking up its senior management again with its finance Director taking over its Asian business.

Booker defies Tesco-deal doubters and serves up record profits: Sales at Booker Group have broken £5 billion for the first time in a strong performance for the wholesaler before its takeover by Tesco.

3i’s returns almost double in a year: The private equity investor 3i nearly doubled its returns in the past year as it sold off its debt management arm and the value of its buyout and infrastructure portfolio increased.

Resilient rents put a shine on capital’s stalling office market: London’s office market has remained unexpectedly robust since the Brexit vote but supply is beginning to outstrip demand at a time of growing uncertainty, according to Britain’s largest property company.

Quick sale for firm in Ashley staff row: The recruiter that supplied workers for Sports Direct’s distribution complex in Derbyshire has gone into administration and immediately been sold.

The Independent

Conservatives to force companies to declare corporate pay ratios: The Conservative party intends to introduce rules under which companies must publish pay ratios, in a bid to crack down on lofty executive pay, according to the party’s election manifesto.

British shoppers are braced for an expensive post-Brexit future: British shoppers are bracing for an expensive future following the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union, according to a new report.

BCC welcomes policies in Tory manifesto but calls for greater detail: One of the U.K.’s most powerful business groups has prudently welcomed policies laid out in the Conservative’s manifesto, while also warning that many of the pledges don’t provide necessary specifics on how the party aims to implement them.

Renting property now cheaper than buying in half of U.K. cities: Renting a property is now cheaper than buying in over half of British cities, according to new data, suggesting that house prices may be approaching a peak.

Startup Founders lack confidence in their own abilities, finds study: If you set up your own company, will you necessarily make a good chief executive in future? It seems that not even the most entrepreneurially-spirited are convinced.

Vita Mojo: cashless restaurant that aims to double as your personal nutritionist raises £1.6 million: A cashless restaurant, which allows you to personalise meals according to your nutritional and dietary needs, has raised over £1.6 million on Crowdcube.

Asda suffers 11th successive quarter of falling sales but hails ‘progress’: Asda has posted another fall in quarterly sales, but the supermarket’s U.S. owner has insisted that the company is “on the right track”.

The Daily Telegraph

Tories plan ‘Cadbury clause’ to protect U.K. business from aggresive foreign takeovers: British companies will be protected from foreign buyers who do not have their best interests at heart under proposals contained in the Conservative manifesto.

BMW and Toyota among four carmakers to pay $553 million Takata settlement: Four carmakers, including Toyota and BMW, have agreed to pay $553 million (£425 million) to settle class-action lawsuits covering owners of recalled vehicles, fitted with potentially faulty Takata airbags.

Pension experts hit back at Tory proposal for so-called ‘Philip Green law’: Conservative plans to crackdown on pension cowboys by creating a so-called ‘Philip Green law’ have been slammed by pension experts, with the President of the Society of Pension Professionals calling it a “shocking misjudgment of the reality.”  

Social media sites face industry-wide levy in Conservative manifesto: Social media and internet companies face an industry-wide levy that will fund efforts to counter online crime under a new Conservative government.

National Grid delivers record investment of £4.5 billion: National Grid invested a record £4.5 billion in the U.K.’s networks of pipes and wires last year amid an overhaul in the energy system which is spurring the development of a modernised grid.

Experian hails ‘vibrant’ market as it launches $600 million share buyback: Credit checking agency Experian has launched a $600 million (£460 million) share buyback in order to reduce its capital, as it hails a “vibrant” sector.

Investec eyes Dublin for Brexit banking subsidiary: Investec is eyeing a banking licence for its Irish business following Brexit but will wait to implement its contingency plans until the rules governing the U.K.’s departure from the EU become clearer, its Boss has said.

The Questor Column:

The clever tactic that extracts extra value from your investment trusts: The discount on a particular trust often fluctuates significantly; it is not unusual for a double-digit discount to disappear and be replaced by a premium, for example – or vice versa. Investors often compare the current discount with the average for the past 12 months to get a sense of whether it is too large or too small. It’s a different story with the Schroder Asia Pacific trust: it trades at a discount of 11.5%, compared with a 12-month average of 12.4%. It would make a suitable candidate for purchase now with a view to switching to the equivalent open-ended fund, the very similar Schroder Asia Alpha Plus, should the discount narrow appreciably or disappear. Investors who are prepared to go to this extra effort should buy the Schroder Asia Pacific trust while the discount remains in double digits, and be ready to swap into the Schroder Asia Alpha Plus fund if it narrows appreciably. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Surprise surge in U.K. retail sales powers pound to eight-month high: A surprise surge in retail sales in April helped push the pound to its highest level in eight months as Britain’s consumers shrugged off concerns over falling living standards.

Facebook fined £94 million for ‘misleading’ EU over WhatsApp takeover: Facebook has been fined €110 million (£94 million) by the EU for providing misleading information about its 2014 takeover of WhatsApp.

EU insists trade deals must meet its labour and competition standards: Countries seeking a trade deal with the EU should meet European standards on labour law and fair competition, one of the bloc’s most senior officials has said in remarks that reinforce Brexit red lines.

Cineworld Bosses to meet union over living wage dispute: Cineworld has agreed to meet union representatives to try to resolve a long-running dispute over pay and conditions at its Picturehouse chain.

National Grid Boss say Labour plan will stall green energy drive: Labour’s plan to take the National Grid back into public ownership would harm the U.K.’s switch to green energy, the grid’s chief executive has said. John Pettigrew said renationalisation was “the last thing the industry needs” as it invests to accommodate more wind and solar power on the U.K.’s power grids.

Trump ‘laptop’ ban may not be extended to flights from Europe: A proposed Trump administration ban on passengers from Europe taking laptops and tablets into cabins on flights to America appears to have been dropped after a meeting between EU and U.S. officials.

Daily Mail

Smart home device maker LightwaveRF jumps nearly 50% after partnering with Google on tech giant’s recently launched voice control technology: Smart home device maker LightwaveRF jumped nearly 50% after partnering with Google on the tech giant’s recently launched voice control technology. LightwaveRF makes devices that allow users to control things such as light, heat, power and security through an app on their mobile phone.

Publisher Bloomsbury claims film adaptations of bestselling novels rekindle Britain’s love of books and boost sales: Nigel Newton, chief executive, said customers were more inclined to purchase books that had inspired hit movies, such as JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient.

Serious Fraud Office to be axed after series of bruising scraps with Theresa May: End of the white collar crime buster: Theresa May has pledged to abolish the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) as she seeks to overhaul how white collar crime is tackled in Britain.

Smash hits such as La La Land and Beauty And The Beast help revenues soar at Cineworld: Smash hits such as La La Land and Beauty And The Beast helped revenues soar at Cineworld. The cinema chain reported particularly strong audiences in the U.K., Israel, Romania and Slovakia, as cinema-goers also flocked to watch The Lego Batman Movie and The Fate Of The Furious.

Vulture hedge fund Elliott Management seeking to strip hundreds of millions from carcass of Lehman Brothers in legal battle over debts: Vulture hedge fund Elliott Management is seeking to strip hundreds of millions from the carcass of Lehman Brothers in a legal battle over its debts.

Brewing group Marston’s announces plans to buy rival Charles Wells for £55 million as it celebrates 61% rise in profits: Brewing group Marston’s has announced plans to buy rival Charles Wells for £55 million as it celebrated a 61% rise in profits. The deal will raise Marston’s ale market share from 11% to 16% as it brings Charles Wells brands such as Young’s, Bombardier and McEwan’s into its stable.

Daily Express

Deutsche Börse Boss blasted by investors for not factoring Brexit in failed LSE deal: The Boss of Deutsche Börse has been attacked by investors over the German company’s failed merger with the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE).

Pound hits 7-month high against dollar amid Trump fears and strong U.K. economy: The pound has jumped to its highest level in seven months against the dollar, as fears over Donald Trump’s presidency pressure the U.S. currency, amid evidence that Britain’s economy is in strong shape.

Under pressure ECB warned to be ready to change economic stance or face financial blowback: The European Central Bank should not wait too long before taking away monetary support, ECB board member Benoit Coeure has said.

Mothercare to slash the number of high street stores by up to a third: Retailer Mothercare has warned over a swathe of further high street store closures as it ramps up turnaround efforts, despite cheering its first U.K. profit for six years.

Markets to ‘be hit’ by triple collapse ‘worse’ than 2008 crisis: The next financial crisis will be worse than the collapse seen in 2008, and investors should seek shelter from the storm in precious metals and crypto currencies, according to an analyst who has predicted a triple market burst.

The Scottish Herald

Insurance firm BLM unveils new Scottish management: Insurance law firm BLM has appointed Glasgow-based partner Karen Dance to lead its Scottish practice at the same time as making partner Gillian Rushbury head of its Glasgow office. Both were partners of Scottish firm HBM Sayers prior to its takeover by BLM in 2014.

Call for Westminster Government to set lead by cutting business rates: Business leaders in Scotland have said the next Westminster government must cut the cost burden on firms amid growing concern about the outlook for the economy.

Edinburgh testing firm buys Australian business: Edinburgh-based testing specialist Exova has acquired a fire safety engineering firm in Australia for an undisclosed sum. Exova said the purchase of Sydney-based Defire will allow the firm to move into new sectors in Australia, such as defence, and to broaden its geographic reach in the country.

Angus farmer is first to grow asparagus at scale for supermarkets in Scotland: Waitrose has declared that it has become the first national supermarket to sell Scottish-grown asparagus in stores across the country.

Anderson Strathern posts fifth year of flat revenues: Edinburgh-headquartered law firm Anderson Strathern had a tough end to 2015/16, with the aftermath of the Brexit vote scuppering its final quarter and rising liabilities seeing its pension deficit swell by 37%.

Cairn shares rise after latest success off Senegal: Cairn Energy shares have risen six% after the oil and gas company announced a ninth successive drilling success in its pioneering exploration programme off Senegal.

The Scotsman

McEwan’s Export brewer swallowed by Marston’s for £55 million: McEwan’s Export brewer Charles Wells has been snapped up by pubs and beer group Marston’s in a £55 million deal.

JD Wetherspoon Chairman calls for EU staff to remain: The Brexit-backing Chairman of JD Wetherspoon has urged the government to unilaterally grant EU citizens living in Britain the right to remain following the country’s departure from the bloc.

Greens MSP challenges estate agent over ‘buyer’s premium’: A Green MSP has challenged a leading Scottish estate agents over claims it is levying additional costs of up to £10,000 on home buyers.

Collaboration sits at the heart of innovation: With client-focussed development driving the fintech revolution, people from all quarters are working together like never before, Peter Ranscombe learns from two law firm partners

IndigoVision says outlook is positive as sales grow: Video security specialist IndigoVision said its outlook was “more positive than it has been for some time” after an improvement in sales and orders.

Bright space for solutions to take root and grow: Big Four firm takes an unexpected approach as it looks at future of financial services and technology’s role. Peter Ranscombe reports

City A.M.

Alibaba’s share price unsteady on mixed results for the full year: Alibaba’s share price faltered after it announced a $6 billion stock buyback plan alongside a mixed bag of full-year results.

Balfour Beatty receives a slap on the wrist from shareholders over its pay policy at its AGM: Balfour Beatty got a slap on the wrist as more than 20% of voting shareholders rejected its remuneration policy at its annual general meeting (AGM).

The Chinese billionaire who bought the Cheesegrater wants to snap up the Walkie Talkie in a £600 million deal: Chinese property tycoon Cheung Chung Kiu is considering a £600 million deal to buy a 50% stake in the Walkie Talkie tower in London.

Melody Meyer elected to BP’s board as a non-executive Director: Oil industry veteran Melody Meyer was elected as a non-executive Director for BP at the company’s annual general meeting, BP confirmed.

Stratex works towards gold mining growth plan with purchase of Australian firm Crusader Resources: Gold miner Stratex is set to buy Australia’s Crusader Resources for $54.2 million Australian dollars (£31m) as part of a growth push.

JD Sports given approval from competition watchdog to take over Go Outdoors: JD Sports announced that it has received the green light from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to acquire Go Outdoors.

Fri, 19 May 2017 08:48:00 +0100
In the Papers - TfL, SSE, Amazon, Ralph Lauren Newspaper Summary

The Times

Hinkley Point ‘is being paid for by illegal French aid’: Britain’s new £18 billion nuclear power plant is being funded by illegal French state aid, according to a lawsuit filed by Greenpeace.

Lehman Brothers creditors’ interest in £5 billion court win: Creditors of the European operations of Lehman Brothers have won a £5 billion court victory against the defunct Wall Street bank’s administrators.

Investors could lose millions as fund manager goes to the wall: Three thousand investors in a small London-based fund manager are at risk of losing millions of pounds after the firm became the 15th business to be placed into resolution by the City watchdog.

Electric cars will not dent global oil demand, says BP: Electric vehicles will spur demand for gas for use in power plants, BP has claimed, as it tried to shrug off concerns over their impact on its oil business.

Revenue falls by a quarter as slowdown hits Foxtons: London’s housing market shows no sign of recovering or of easing the pressure on Foxtons, which has reported a 25% fall in revenue in the first quarter of the year.

Co-op explores convenient option: The Co-op is to test convenience stores at roadside service stations as it considers whether to use a franchising model to expand its convenience grocery business.

C&C sees red after cider blues: C&C Group has fallen into the red after swallowing a €129 million writedown on its cider business in the United States.

The Independent

Despite price rises, ‘shoppers will still spend more on great service’: U.K. consumers would pay an average of 17% more for great customer service, despite rising prices caused by the Brexit-hit pound, according to new research.

Major fossil fuel firms are using renewable energy to cut costs: Major mining companies, including some of the world’s biggest suppliers of fossil fuel, are seeking to use more renewable energy themselves as they strive to drive down costs and curb emissions.

Byron supports ‘barista visas’ to avoid post-Brexit staffing crisis: The new managing Director of popular burger chain Byron has thrown his support behind the introduction of “barista visas” to avoid labour shortages in café and restaurants following Brexit.

Empty London office space on the rise despite Brexit exodus fears: The amount of empty office space in London has jumped over the past 15 months and is likely to rise again despite potential for a post-Brexit business exodus that could drive down rental values, a survey showed on Wednesday.

World’s rich confident economic instability won’t dent their finances: The global economic, financial and political landscape has never been shakier, but the world’s rich are confident they can steer through the fog of uncertainty in the coming year “without so much as a dent in their finances”, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Real wage growth turns negative in March, ONS reveals: Real wages are now falling, the Office for National Statistics has confirmed.

John Lewis’ ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy fails to drop prices: John Lewis’ long-standing” Never knowingly undersold” promise has come under fire after an investigation showed the retailer was selling certain products at a higher price than available elsewhere.

All Bar One and Harvester owner hit by Brexit and rising wages: The owner of All Bar One and Harvester has reported falling half-year profits after taking a hit from the Brexit-hit pound and soaring wage costs.

Dollar falls after Trump allegations spark fears of political turmoil: The dollar and U.S. stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, pressured by mounting concerns of political turmoil after reports that Donald Trump had asked former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into Michael Flynn.

Snapchat launches new voter registration-themed photo filter: Snapchat has launched a new themed camera filter to encourage young people to register to vote. The so-called “geofilter” allows a person using the app to enhance of their pictures with pro-voting imagery, providing they are in the U.K.

The Daily Telegraph

Theresa May to eliminate deficit by 2025 as Conservatives set out key economic pledges: Theresa May is to commit to wipe out the U.K. deficit by the middle of the next decade, allowing for greater borrowing levels to support the economy in the run-up to Brexit.

Facebook expected to face EU fine over $19 billion WhatsApp deal: Facebook is expected to receive a fine from EU antitrust regulators on Thursday for the “incorrect or misleading information” it provided to investigators who were probing its 2014 purchase of messaging service WhatsApp.

Investment firm Strand Capital collapses into administration: About 3,000 customers of a wealth manager with funds of more than £80 million have been plunged into uncertainty after the company went into administration.

BP heads off pay revolt with huge cuts to Executive pay: BP’s management has successfully headed off an investor revolt over Bosses’ pay after slashing Chief Executive Bob Dudley’s remuneration package.

BT faces new fine over Openreach delays: BT faces another fine for service failures in its Openreach business, after customers for high speed ethernet lines suffered delays of more than six months.

Countryside upgrades outlook as profits and revenues soar: Housebuilder Countryside Properties boosted its forecasts as operating profits and revenues soared by around 40%.

Online estate agent Yopa raises £15 million from investors: Online estate agency Yopa has raised £15 million in funding from investors including the parent company of the Daily Mail newspaper.

The Questor Column:

Years of going nowhere, 
a cautious new Boss – and a dividend at risk: sell Glaxo: Neil Woodford recently sold his entire stake in GlaxoS¬mithKline, the drugs giant, because of concerns about the dividend and the group’s refusal to consider a break-up. Mr Woodford described three of Glaxo’s four divisions as “perennial under-performers” and said he had begun to have doubts about the fourth, which focuses on HIV treatments. He said he was also concerned about “the lack of a rich pipeline and the lack of strategic options which results from an already stretched balance sheet”. “These concerns make me less convinced that Glaxo’s dividend is sustainable,” he added. Mr Woodford has a habit of getting the big calls right, such as his sale of banks before the financial crisis and his move into tobacco when every other investor was avoiding the sector, now widely regarded as one of the best for generating income. We suggest that readers follow his example and get out of Glaxo. Questor says ‘Sell’.

Update: Redcentric: In November, last year we looked at Redcentric, the IT business, following a plunge in its share price as the result of an accounting scandal. We advised investors to hold on at 85¼p until the results of an investigation into the irregularities had been published. It seems that things were not as bad as many had feared. One highly regarded fund manager who holds the shares, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Questor that a recent statement from the firm had “drawn a line under the accounting problems and quantified the financial impact”. He said Redcentric was adamant that the scandal had not affected customer behaviour. However, investors still seem to be taking a cautious view of the company, he said, and are not expecting much growth. The shares currently trade at about 17 times forecast earnings for March 2018 and any upgrades to the forecasts could start to make them look cheap. The company will next update investors in its annual results, due on June 29. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Government accused of ignoring workers’ plight as U.K. faces pay squeeze: Labour and the unions accused the government of ignoring the plight of ordinary workers after U.K. pay growth fell below inflation in early 2017 for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

Lloyds claims taxpayers have made £900 million profit from bailout: Taxpayers have made a near-£900 million profit on the sale of their shares in Lloyds Banking Group, the lender claimed, as the government offloaded its final stake in the bank and closed a chapter of the 2008 financial crisis.

VW emissions: Bosses face investigation over claims they misled investors: The Volkswagen Chief Executive and his predecessor are facing an investigation by German authorities into whether they misled investors by not releasing information about the company’s cheating on diesel emissions tests soon enough.

KitKat foiled again in attempt to trademark four-fingered bar’s shape: The confectionery multinational Nestlé has lost the latest round of its long-running battle with rivals Cadbury to trademark the shape of the KitKat bar in the U.K. The court of appeal ruled that the four-finger design had “no inherent distinctiveness”.

Richard Branson says scammers are using his name to dupe investors: Sir Richard Branson has warned that criminals are using his name to dupe people into buying fake investments. The billionaire businessman said such scams could be “terrifyingly deceptive” after being contacted by victims who were led to believe he was involved and had discovered their investments were worthless or nonexistent.

Buy-to-let millionaire who bans ‘coloured’ people faces legal action: The equality watchdog has begun formal legal action against buy-to-let mogul Fergus Wilson after he told his letting agent to ban “coloured” tenants because they left curry smells in his properties.

London is still a global draw despite Brexit, says British Land: London is still a big draw for global banks and institutions despite the uncertainty created by Brexit, according to one of the U.K.’s biggest property companies.

Daily Mail

Cyber security firm Sophos shoots to top of FTSE 250 after posting upbeat results in wake of WannaCry virus chaos: Cyber security firm Sophos shot to the top of the FTSE 250 after posting an upbeat set of results in the wake of the WannaCry virus chaos. The firm saw £117.8 million added to its value after boasting that its customers had not been hit by Friday’s ransomware attack, which left hundreds of thousands of organisations reeling.

Ralph Lauren has new Chief Executive after previous Boss’s shock departure following row with its 77-year-old Founder: Ralph Lauren has found a new Chief Executive after its previous Boss made a shock departure following a row with its 77-year-old Founder. Patrice Louvet, 52, will step into the post in July, two months after the exit of Stefan Larsson, who announced he was leaving after just a year in the role.

Pensions giant Prudential facing backlash on sky-high pay and lucrative bonuses which could see top staff pocket ten times their base salary: Pensions giant Prudential is facing a backlash on sky-high pay and lucrative bonuses which could see top staff pocket ten times their base salary. Seven senior figures at the firm trousered £32.7 million between them in 2016 – and a new earnings policy will see the bonanza continue for years.

Apple’s new £4 billion headquarters is building that firm’s late Founder Steve Jobs tipped to be best office in world: With its vast scale, Apple’s new £4 billion headquarters is the building that the firm’s late Founder Steve Jobs tipped to be the best office in the world.

Furious Lloyds shareholders attack bank for gloating over its return to private ownership while they still nurse huge losses following its near-collapse: Furious Lloyds shareholders have attacked the bank for gloating over its return to private ownership while they still nurse huge losses following its near-collapse. Thousands of investors owned the stock in the run-up to the financial crisis because it reliably paid large dividends and offered good returns. That changed after the lender’s disastrous acquisition of rival HBOS forced taxpayers into a £20.3 billion bailout in 2008.

Boss of Patisserie Valerie hits out at Labour’s tax-raising manifesto, saying it would be bad for business: The Boss of Patisserie Valerie has hit out at Labour’s tax-raising manifesto, saying it would be bad for business. Luke Johnson, 55, Chairman of the cafe chain, said the key to boosting living standards was to support British enterprise.

Daily Express

Pound rises against dollar as U.S. stocks plunge amid Trump fears: Markets held their breath on Wednesday as Donald Trump’s presidency is gripped by fresh turmoil.

Star investor scoops up U.K.-focused companies for fund: Legendary investor Neil Woodford has given Brexit Britain another vote of confidence with his latest investment holdings.

Trump impeachment would crush stock market, says ex-General Electric Chief: Stock markets would be blown away if Donald Trump were to be impeached, warned the former Chief Executive of one of America’s biggest companies.

Financial bubble to burst: Top U.S. banks have ‘trillions of derivatives exposure’: America’s biggest banks have trillions of dollars in exposure to contracts, which could bring down the U.S. economy if stock markets falter, experts claim.

Spain’s debt surges by almost £10 billion with money owed more than 100% of GDP: Spain’s public debt grew by an eye-watering €11.1 billion (£9.51 billion) in March to reach €1.12 trillion (£900 billion).

Ikea to open three new stores in Britain - creating 1,300 jobs: Ikea is to create 1,300 new British jobs by the end of 2018 as it opens three new outlets in Sheffield, Exeter and London.

The Scottish Herald

Tennent’s brewer takes a profit hit from sterling fall: The owner of Tennent’s Lager has declared sterling’s collapse since the Brexit vote has hit operating profits by nearly €8 million, while warning that the continuing political uncertainty was making it challenging to make predictions on trading patterns and consumer behaviour.

Scrapped IT plans hit SSE for £120 million: Energy giant SSE has bemoaned the possibility of “significant consequences” on its finances should an energy price cap be introduced, as it revealed SSE writing off £120 million on abandoned IT projects.

Spirits bottle-top producer creates jobs with multi-million-pound investment: United Closures and Plastics, which produces bottle-tops for the global spirits industry, plans to create up to 49 jobs at its plant at Bridge of Allan in Stirlingshire through a multi-million-pound investment.

Risk of living standards crisis flagged as pay falls: Households in Great Britain have suffered the first annual fall in real earnings for two-and-a-half years, official figures confirm, amid the inflation surge caused by sterling’s post-Brexit vote weakness.

Wetherspoon Boss: Give EU citizens right to stay in U.K.: Pub Boss Tim Martin has warned the U.K. Government that securing a “sensible” trade deal with the European Union (EU) is unlikely, declaring that the country should establish deals with member states after the two-year exit process under World Trade Organisation rules - with no import tariffs.

Investment administration giant acquires foothold in Scotland: Investment administration giant Maitland has gained a foothold in Scotland with the acquisition of the Edinburgh-based R&H Fund Services operation, whose Directors include prominent veterans of the country’s fund management industry.

Amazon unveils Scots academy attendees: Amazon has named some of the Scottish enterprises which will be attending its forthcoming event aimed at helping SMEs build their businesses online.

WeeBox aims for big business as exports expand: Online gifting business WeeBox has reached the milestone of exporting to 15 countries, having launched in November last year.

Funds giant hires loans Chief: Aberdeen Asset Management has appointed a global head of loans under a drive to offer a wider range of investment opportunities to clients.

The Scotsman

Standard Life keeps powder dry on indyref2 implications: Standard Life said that a second independence referendum sparked by the U.K.’s Brexit vote would lead the insurer to again scrutinise any outcome to see if it met the interests of its customers, shareholders and staff.

Inverness takes lead among Scotland’s hotel hot spots: Inverness has emerged as the surprise leader in a new ranking of Scottish hotel “hot spots”.

Branding specialists team up for consultancy launch: Two brand and marketing specialists have joined forces to launch a consultancy aimed at helping companies attract fresh talent and customers.

Prestwick Airport won’t pay off rescue loans until 2032: Prestwick Airport will take nearly 20 years to repay taxpayer loans which have kept it from closure, MSPs were told.

‘Cautious ¬optimism’ as Aberdeen economy rebounds: Aberdeen’s economy is showing signs of “cautious ¬optimism” after three years of oil-related misery, a report suggests.

City A.M.

London households at risk from Labour reversal on inheritance tax: Labour party proposals that could see a reduction of the inheritance tax threshold would risk nearly half of London’s families being hit by the levy, the Tories have claimed.

Loans to home buyers jump 27% in March but down since last year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders: Loans to home buyers in March jumped 27% on February but were down 12% on last year, according to the the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Shell’s investors push for more detail on how bonuses will be tied to lowering carbon emissions ahead of AGM: Investors are urging Royal Dutch Shell to explain its plan to link Executives’ bonuses to how well the oil major manages greenhouse gas emissions in more detail.

SSE warns of “unintended consequences” of energy price cap as profit edges up but customer numbers drop: Big Six energy supplier SSE warned of the potential “unintended consequences” of an energy price cap as profit edged up in its preliminary full-year results.

TfL is on the hunt for a supplier to build its new batch of air-conditioned DLR trains: Transport for London (TfL) has started its search for a supplier to build the next generation of Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains in what will be a £300-£350 million contract.

Thu, 18 May 2017 08:47:00 +0100
In the Papers - Microsoft, Tesco, Vodafone, EasyJet Newspaper Summary

The Times

Americans blaze a trail with low-cost investment service: Looking at the margins of Hargreaves Lansdown, it is not surprising that Vanguard decided the British market was ripe for the taking and has launched a low-cost online rival to the investments giant.

Rivals will cut prices to fight Aldi of fund supermarkets: The decision by Vanguard, the low-cost fund manager, to create its own fund supermarket to sell its goods, is likely to have a long-term impact on the investment industry similar to that of Aldi and Lidl on U.K. food retailing.

Cancer specialist boosts BTG: The acquisition of a U.S. cancer treatment company has helped BTG beat City forecasts for its annual revenue.

Old Mutual presses ahead with break-up: Old Mutual is selling a further 15% stake in its U.S. asset management division as part of the financial services group’s wider strategy to break itself up.

‘Share plans earlier’ to stop investor rebellions: Executives need to share long-term pay plans with shareholders “much earlier” to help avoid investor rebellions at annual meetings, the Chief Executive of Crest Nicholson has warned.

Two fund Chiefs will work, says Chairman: Sir Gerry Grimstone is confident that a power sharing agreement at the top of the merged Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management will work.

Pub chain uses cashflow boost to call time on debt: Britain’s biggest pub company said it planned to channel its improving cashflow into paying down its debt and investing in its pubs, dashing immediate hopes of a resumption of dividends.

The Independent

Microsoft donates £5 million to UN to prevent human rights abuses: The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday welcomed a $5 million (£3.8 million) donation from Microsoft and called on the rest of the private sector, which makes up only a tiny proportion of its donors, to “step up to the plate”.

Tesco to use 100% renewable electricity this year in U.K.: Tesco has announced it will run 100% on renewable electricity in the U.K. and Ireland this year and worldwide by 2030 in a move which one solar panel company said would create “huge demand” in the sector.

Business groups call Labour manifesto unrealistic and ‘knee-jerk’: Some of the U.K.’s pre-eminent business groups have criticised Labour’s election manifesto, dismissing certain policies as unrealistic and labelling others as knee-jerk reactions that don’t fully consider the challenges facing Britain as it begins the arduous process of disentangling itself from the EU.

Yorkshire workers are the happiest in the U.K., research reveals: The best region in Britain for workplace happiness and satisfaction is Yorkshire and the Humber, according to new research.

Vodafone loses £5.2 billion in 2016 but shares rise: Vodafone, the world’s second biggest mobile operator, reported a €6.1 billion (£5.2 billion) loss for the year to the end of March, dragged down by the troubled Indian unit it is spinning off.

The Daily Telegraph

Boost for Brexit free trade deal chances after landmark EU court ruling: Britain’s ambition to sign a quick Free Trade Agreement with the European Union after Brexit has received a significant boost after a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice handed expanded trade negotiation powers to Brussels.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone rejoins company: Biz Stone, one of the three co-founders of Twitter, said he is returning to the social network to fill a “Biz-shaped hole”, causing shares in the company to rise 1.25% to $19.49 on Tuesday.

World’s largest wind turbines may double in size before 2024: The wind developer behind the world’s largest working wind turbines has said the size of its giant offshore blades, currently in U.K. waters, will double again within seven years.

Standard Life sets Brexit wheels in motion as Dublin plans get lift-off: Standard Life has set the wheels in motion for an EU subsidiary in Dublin, with its Chairman noting the business “can’t take a chance” on Brexit as its £11 billion merger with Aberdeen Asset Management draws nearer.

France fines Facebook €150,000 for ‘unfair tracking’: Facebook has been fined €150,000 (£128,000) by French authorities for “unfair tracking” of its users following a pan-European investigation into the internet giant.

DCC profits jump by almost 24% after acquisition spree: Irish support services firm DCC has reported a 23.7% jump in pre-tax profits thanks to a string of acquisitions.

Balfour Beatty faces shareholder revolt over Executive pay plan: Construction company Balfour Beatty is facing a possible shareholder revolt at its annual general meeting on Thursday after influential adviser Institutional Shareholder Services recommended voting down its pay policy.

Development of new London offices shows signs of stalling as firms consider options: The number of new office buildings completed in London hit a 13-year high in the last six months, as demand for new space from financial services firms and the technology sector remains strong.

The Questor Column:

This Aim-listed firm’s sugar substitute could be a winner as the world fights obesity: Pure Circle, the sweetener and sugar substitute provider, could be of interest to risk-tolerant contrarian investors given how the shares have rallied after last week’s trading alert, especially as the firm has appointed a new Chief operating officer and Chief financial officer and its competitive position looks as intriguing as ever. The Malaysia-headquartered company produces Stevia, a plant extract-based sweetener that has huge potential given the global fight against obesity and food and beverage providers’ need to find alternatives to sugar, owing to taxes or consumer demand or both. Stevia is already doing well in Europe and Latin America. The origins of the profit warning - and the share price plunge of the past 12 months - lie in America, which blocked imports of Stevia, citing the use of forced labour in its production. PureCircle vigorously denied the allegations but the eight-month pause hit sales, which have also taken longer than expected to rebuild after the lifting of the ban in January. Questor says ‘Speculative Buy’.

Update: GB Group: This week’s rampant run in the shares of GB Group, the identification security management expert, leaves us comfortably in profit and although the valuation will deter some investors the firm’s strong niche position means that it should be worth letting this portfolio winner run. The shares have soared following this week’s £73.8 million purchase of PCA Predict, a specialist in postcode validation for more than 9,000 small and medium-sized companies. PCA is profitable and appears to be an excellent strategic fit, while it is encouraging to hear GB Group say it expects the deal to boost earnings within barely a year. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Lloyds reaches landmark as government sells final shares: The government has sold its remaining shares in Lloyds Banking Group in a landmark moment for the banking sector almost a decade after the £20.3 billion bailout of the high-street lender.

Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell could be pursued by Sir Philip Green for millions: Dominic Chappell, the former owner of BHS, could be pursued for millions of pounds owed to Philip Green’s business empire as well as to creditors of the now collapsed department store.

Tata Steel moves to safeguard U.K. arm by offering £550 million for pensions scheme: Tata Steel has taken a step towards helping secure the future of its U.K. operations – including the Port Talbot works in south Wales – by reaching an outline agreement over the restructuring of its pension scheme.

Leasehold now the No 1 concern for U.K. homeowners, study finds: Leasehold has become the No 1 concern for homeowners in the U.K., according to a new study, after it emerged that many new homebuyers have been trapped by spiralling ground rents.

McDonald’s pulls ad that ‘exploited child bereavement’: McDonald’s has pulled its new advert from TV screens and apologised for any upset caused after it was accused of exploiting childhood bereavement.

Vodafone pulls out of £20 million naming-rights deal for West Ham stadium: Vodafone has abandoned plans to sponsor the London Stadium in a £20 million deal, dealing the latest blow to the venue’s troubled conversion to West Ham United’s home.

Daily Mail

Armchair investors favourite Hargreaves Lansdown plummets as U.S. firm offers rival services at less than half the price: Investment house Hargreaves Lansdown saw £583 million wiped off its value as shareholders worried it could lose large swathes of customers to lower-cost rivals.

U.S. vultures pushing for Dulux takeover now want to break up U.K. oil giant BHP Billiton: U.S. vultures have attacked mining giant BHP Billiton by demanding a sale of its oil business. Hedge fund Elliott, which is currently trying to persuade Dulux paint’s owners to agree to a takeover, has accused BHP of under-performing.

Virgin Money Boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia cashes in £2.1 million of stock: Virgin Money’s Boss has sold £2.1million of stock to fulfil a family promise.

City hits out at European swoop for London’s euro clearing business: City officials have hit out at European efforts to snatch away London’s lucrative euro clearing business. Brussels bureaucrats have long been jealous of the £1.3 trillion-a-day industry and some see Brexit as a chance to steal it back.

Developer Crest Nicholson claims housing market remains ‘robust’ despite hiking prices 12% as sales slow: Crest Nicholson said the housing market remains ‘robust’ as it revealed that the average price of its homes has risen 12% to more than £400,000.

Nuclear crisis as National Grid pulls out of its role in the £10 billion Cumbria plant: Britain’s nuclear power strategy has been thrown into chaos after National Grid pulled the plug on its role in plans to build a £10billion plant in Cumbria.

Daily Express

The safety-first for savers and pensioners trying to secure shares: Savers and pensioners face a renewed squeeze, with inflation soaring to a four-year high and destroying cash in real terms.

EasyJet takes £350 million hit by plunge into red: More than £350 million was wiped from EasyJet’s value as the budget airline plunged deeper into the red due to a weaker pound and later Easter.

Inflation hits three-and-a-half year high at 2.7%: Inflation hit a three-and-a-half-year high last month as the pound and the timing of the Easter holidays pushed up the cost of living.

FTSE 100 closes above 7,500 for the first time ever: The FTSE 100 has closed above the 7,500 mark for the first time ever.

GBP fluctuates against U.S.D as U.K. inflation surges: After getting off to a dreary start to the week, the pound was able to briefly bounce back against the U.S. dollar following the release of the U.K.’s inflation data.

The Scottish Herald

Standard Life Boss hails Scottish workers: Standard Life Chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone has said the planned £11 billion merger with Aberdeen Asset Management will create a “major, major” global company with its headquarters in Scotland and played down the likely impact on jobs.

Easter lifts sales but consumer caution on big buys: Scottish retail sales value in April was higher than a year earlier, boosted by the timing of Easter, but the non-food category showed another decline.

Chambers warns as inflation leap hits business: Scottish Chambers of Commerce warned of “growing concerns” over businesses’ ability to contain rising costs and a threat to consumer demand, after figures revealed annual U.K. inflation had leapt to 2.7% in April.

Brent decommissioning contract provides boost for Wood Group: Wood Group has won a multi-million-dollar contract to help Shell prepare the giant Brent Bravo platform to be removed from the North Sea.

Confidence growing in Aberdeen as ‘glimmers of light’ appear in the granite: A “cautious optimism” is returning to Aberdeen after 120,000 jobs were lost in the oil and gas industry over the last three years.

Plexus braced for further fall in sales but talks positive: Plexus Holdings has blamed a “further material reduction” in revenue on a cautious approach to project funding taken by oil and gas operators.

Over £45 million LFASS loan payments going out: Payments from a loan scheme designed to help the most vulnerable farmers and crofters in Scotland will soon be going out to eligible applicants – but there is still tension between the industry and government over ongoing problems with the administration of Scottish farm support.

Window industry veterans eye expansion: Two window and glass industry veterans have set up a new holding group to bring together four distinct trading companies under a single umbrella, signalling ambitions to grow sales across the U.K.

Lidl to increase Scottish lines by one quarter: Supermarket chain Lidl is to increase the number of Scottish products in its stores by a further 25%.

TSB Chief to honour founder: The Chief Executive of TSB Bank will give a lecture in Dumfries in honour of Reverend Henry Duncan, founder of the first Trustee Savings Bank in 1810.

The Scotsman

Recruitment guru Paul Atkinson buys Glasgow’s Change: Recruitment industry veteran and serial angel investor Paul Atkinson has acquired Glasgow-based Change Recruitment for an undisclosed sum.

Forestry Commission Scotland HQ sold in £18 million deal: The headquarters of Forestry Commission Scotland have changed hands in a property deal valued at £18 million.

Nicola Sturgeon to address Aberdeen oil and gas forum: Nicola Sturgeon is to address industry leaders at a major oil and gas conference taking place at Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre next month.

Clydesdale owner posts 15% jump in first-half profits: The parent company of Clydesdale Bank said it was on track to deliver a “modest” maiden annual dividend as it reported a rise in earnings for the first half of its financial year.

Labour calls on SNP to back public ownership of the railways: Scottish Labour has called on the SNP “to follow Jeremy Corbyn’s lead” and commit to bringing Scotland’s railways back into public ownership.

City A.M.

Chanel put a $1,500 boomerang up for sale - and it’s come back to haunt them: Luxury French brand Chanel was lambasted for putting a boomerang with a $1,500 price tag up for sale.

U.S. retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods share price plunges as sales grow slower than forecast: Shares in Dick’s Sporting Goods tumbled more than 10% after the U.S. sport retail giant’s sales grew less than expected in the first quarter.

Jackpotjoy grows user numbers and average spend but posts first quarter loss: London-listed online gambling firm Jackpotjoy reported an 11% rise in revenue to £74.1 million for the first quarter of 2017, but failed to shift its debt pile.

Speedy Hire’s shares lift as the tool hiring firm hammers out profit: Speedy Hire’s shares lifted around 3% after the firm unveiled higher profit than expected for the full year as it nails down its turnaround programme.

Zegona sells Telecable to Euskaltel: U.K. telco buyout firm books bumper profit in less than two years: U.K. telecoms buyout firm Zegona booked a chunky profit by selling Telecable, a Spanish cable business, to Basque firm Euskaltel.

Wed, 17 May 2017 08:50:00 +0100
In the Papers - TUI Group, BP, Fever-Tree, JP Morgan Newspaper Summary

The Times

Russian rebels win concession as Hambro gives up chair at miner: Peter Hambro is to step down as Executive Chairman of the Russian goldminer he co-founded in 1994 after pressure from shareholders led by the billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

Moody’s has little respect for Noble debt: Noble Group’s debt has been downgraded further into junk territory by Moody’s, which warned that the commodities trader may not have enough cash and credit to cover maturing debts this year.

Nuts and bolts of buying up rivals still appeals to Unilever: The love of adding still more to its commercial toolkit shows no sign of abating at Unilever, which has made yet another “bolt-on” acquisition by agreeing to buy a portfolio of products from Quala, a fast-growing Latin American consumer goods company.

Brexit bears give up and give sterling time to recover: Sterling is close to crossing back above $1.30 for the first time since September as investors cut their short positions amid hopes that a hard Brexit is less likely and ahead of an expected surge in inflation.

Dignity remains on acquisition trail: Dignity said that its revenue had risen by 15% to £93.3 million in the 13 weeks to March 31, while underlying profit had increased by 20% to £37.4 million.

TUI ‘ready to navigate any Brexit turbulence’: The Boss of TUI Group admitted that Brexit was “potentially concerning”, but insisted that the travel operator had the tools to navigate any turbulence.

Put pensions first, Bosses told: The pensions watchdog is to take a tougher line on companies that pay dividends to shareholders before plugging their pension deficits.

The Independent

Most British workers have stopped taking sick days, survey finds: A slightly sore throat and a bit of a sniffle won’t keep Brits out of work, new research suggests.

U.K. workers should brace for higher unemployment and falling real pay: Unemployment is set to rise and pay packets will be squeezed in the next two years as a Brexit slowdown in the economy begins to bite, according to new analysis.

British families are throwing away 1.4 million bananas every day: British families are throwing away 1.4 million bananas that are perfectly good to eat every day at cost of £80 million a year, new figures have shown.

Oil price jumps 2% as Saudi Arabia and Russia extend production cut: Oil jumped to its highest level in two weeks after the Saudi Arabian and Russian energy Ministers said they are in favour of extending a production-cut deal for nine months.

London is world’s fifth most expensive city for construction despite the pound’s Brexit slump: Despite a dramatic slump in the value of the pound since Britain’s vote to leave the EU, London remains the world’s fifth most expensive city for commercial and residential construction, according to a new study.

The Daily Telegraph

City warns Corbyn’s ‘Robin Hood’ tax will hit pensioners’ pockets: The City has hit back at Labour’s proposals to impose a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on financial transactions if it wins the General Election, warning that the tax will “inevitably” hit the savings of pensioners.

Lyft teams up with Google to develop driverless cars in blow to Uber: Google’s driverless cars division has teamed up with U.S. ride-hailing business Lyft to develop autonomous technology for vehicles.

Energy investors ‘underwhelmed’ by U.K. renewables market: Energy investors are underwhelmed by the U.K. renewable energy market due to a vacuum in policy direction for the industry’s future.

Booths ‘outsider’ Boss steps down: Booths, the upmarket Northern grocery chain, has parted ways with its first and only ‘outsider’ Chief Executive in a move that returns the leadership of the retailer to family hands.

Spencer returns to ‘laughable’ euro-clearing battle on earnings day: City veteran Michael Spencer has weighed back into the euro-clearing debate barely a month after warning Europe against its plot to take back the $1 trillion market, calling the battle “quite laughable” as his company reported its full-year results.

Johnston Press backs down over bonus boost for Bosses as debt pressures increase: The troubled newspaper owner Johnston Press has caved in to shareholder anger over plans to offer Chief Executive Ashley Highfield a bigger bonus this year, all in cash.

The Guardian

Noel Edmonds accuses Lloyds of ‘foot dragging’ over HBOS payouts: Noel Edmonds has accused Lloyds Banking Group of “foot dragging” over compensation payouts to himself and other victims of the HBOS Reading fraud.

Debt fears as county court judgments soar by more than a third: Nearly 300,000 debt judgments were filed against individuals in English and Welsh county courts in the first three months of 2017, the highest quarterly figure for more than 10 years.

Online betting firm 888 investigated by watchdog: Online gambling company 888 is being investigated by the industry regulator, which has the power to strip betting firms of their licence to do business, amid concern over the tools it uses to help problem gamblers.

BP shareholders urged to reject Chief’s £9 million pay package: BP shareholders are being urged to vote against Executive pay packages this week on the grounds they are too high and not taking climate change seriously.

Andy Murray backs more U.K. startups: Andy Murray, the number one male tennis player in the world, has backed two fledgling British companies on crowdfunding platform Seedrs, including a business behind the world’s first flat folding helmet.

French TV company behind Versailles to invest in U.K. drama: The French maker of the lavish TV period drama Versailles is launching a €50 million (£42.4 million) fund to make English-language dramas with U.K. production companies, in a move influenced by the weakening of the pound since the Brexit vote.

Daily Mail

Posh tonic maker Fever-Tree hits £2 billion after meteoric three-year rise: Since it listed on the London Stock Exchange three years ago, shares in the drinks firm have risen by more than 933% – and show little sign of slowing.

Forcing firms to put workers’ representatives on their boards ought to be a force for good: The terrible scandals of the past year, including the fight for the restoration of the BHS pension fund and disclosure of appalling working conditions at the Sports Direct warehouse at Shirebrook in Derbyshire, badly damaged the image and reputation of free market capitalism. So, it is encouraging that Theresa May wants to calm the animal spirits. Making companies put workers’ representatives on their boards ought to be a force for good.

Shares in security firms soar after NHS hacking attack: Shares in cyber security groups soared as investors bet on a surge in spending by governments and businesses desperate to protect themselves from hacking attacks.

BMO ditches shares in fossil fuel firms after pressure from Archbishop of Canterbury: Investor BMO Asset Management is ditching £20 million of shares in fossil fuel firms due to their environmental impact following pressure from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is President of its responsible investment council.

Eve Sleep launches on stock market in £140 million flotation: Three friends who wanted to invent a bouncier mattress for sex have launched their start-up on to the stock market in a £140 million flotation.

Daily Express

Tesco, B&Q and John Lewis to launch scheme helping careers of part-time workers: A scheme is being launched to help “unblock” career progression for part-time workers in the retail industry.

Oil price rise pushes FTSE to record high as producers extend production cut: Higher oil prices propelled the FTSE 100 to a record high after leading producers signalled an extension of production cuts into next year.

Bitcoin bubble fears as online currency now more valuable than gold: Bitcoin is fuelling fears of a ‘cryptocurrency’ underground bubble as the digital currency is now more valuable than gold.

GBP/AUD down from 8-month high as British workers face pay squeeze: The pound slipped against the Australian dollar this morning following a report published suggesting that British workers’ will likely face a pay squeeze over the coming year.

The Scottish Herald

£5 billion trust takes Trump in its stride: The £5 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust has highlighted its “very small” exposure to the U.K. economy, as Brexit looms, and signalled continuing confidence in global giants such as Amazon despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s “unpredictable approach”.

Spark Energy moves into telecoms with first takeover: Spark Energy has made its first acquisition since last August’s management buyout, with Sussex-based broadband firm Home Telecom being described as “a perfect fit”.

Problems on giant Shetland field hit Premier: North Sea heavyweight Premier Oil has said the giant Solan field off Shetland achieved only around a third of the expected output in recent months amid continued challenges on what is a flagship project.

Surge in total pay for oil firm Boss: Faroe Petroleum Chief Executive Graham Stewart’s total remuneration rose by around 25% last year when the North Sea-focused oil and gas firm increased production and reserves.

Crude price rises but oil and gas firms remain cautious: Crude prices rose strongly after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to do “whatever it takes” to help rebalance the market as research showed the global industry remains very cautious.

All Change as recruitment firm is sold: Glasgow-based Change Recruitment has been sold to venture capitalist Paul Atkinson for an undisclosed sum.

Scottish capital is third most creative in the U.K.: Edinburgh has come third place in a ranking of the U.K.’s top 25 locations for the creative industries, with Glasgow not far behind in fifth.

Storage firm going from strength to strength: Brian Gifford is the first to admit his ultimate goal – to see his company Storage Vault hit the £100 million mark – might appear over-ambitious.

The Scotsman

Harris Tweed producer targets Spanish market as demand rises: The largest producer of Harris Tweed has announced plans to push into Spain, where King Felipe is said to be a fan of the brand.

JP Morgan in Dublin docklands move to address Brexit: JP Morgan has snapped up an office building in Dublin with the capacity to house 1,000 staff as it ramps up its Brexit contingency planning.

Shot in the arm for Inverness life sciences centre: Danish life sciences firm Corporate Health International (CHI) is investing £5.7 million in a new diagnostics centre at Inverness Campus.

Small firms waste ‘millions of hours’ on IT problems: Small and medium-sized businesses across the U.K. could save about five million working hours every week by fixing everyday IT problems, according to a survey of more than 600 business leaders.

U.K. plc fortunes rebound thanks to weaker sterling: U.K.-listed companies appear to have turned a corner after their collective revenues rose for the first time in four years, a report suggested.

City A.M.

Virgin Money walks away from Co-op Bank takeover talks after months of speculation: Virgin Money has walked away from a deal to buy Co-op Bank after months of speculation linking the lender with a move.

Aspen Pharmacare shares hit by European Commission probe into cancer drug price hikes: The European Commission launched an investigation into claims that Aspen Pharmacare has excessively raised the prices of five life-saving cancer drugs.

Hotel finder Trivago’s shares leap as it swings to profit: Trivago’s shares jumped more than 20% as the U.S.-listed firm swung to profit in the first quarter of 2017.

Sugar-free Coke recipes matches classic Coca-Cola sales for the first time as consumers turn to healthier options: Health-conscious consumers are driving up demand for sugar-free alternatives to Coke, as the soft drinks giant reveals that sales of Coke Zero and Diet Coke now match those of regular Coke.

Startup exercise snack company Tribe hits £1 million on Crowdcube in its first day: Tribe, a sports nutrition company, has raised £1 million in an equity crowdfunding round on the first day of its public launch.

Tue, 16 May 2017 08:34:00 +0100
In the Papers - Vodafone, BHP Billiton, Dyson, Toyota Newspaper Summary

The Times

Retailer is angling for stock market float: Angling Direct is casting its line into the junior Alternative Investment Market with the aim of cashing in on the growing popularity of fishing.

Murria drops in with Finncap stake: One of Britain’s highest-profile technology entrepreneurs has taken a significant stake in Finncap and has been lined up to become its deputy chairwoman.

Paternity-test firm finds new prey in Gulf: Complement Genomics is helping hundreds of falconers to sex their chicks using DNA samples, giving the Durham-based company access to the multimillion-pound sport of falcon racing that is popular among the Middle East’s elite.

Unrest puts Greece’s latest bailout deal under pressure: Greece is braced for rolling protests and a national strike this week as unrest mounts before a parliamentary vote on further budget cuts demanded by its international creditors.

City fund manager calls time on Executive pay ‘pantomime’: Richard Buxton, Chief Executive of Old Mutual Global Investors, said that the system of remuneration for senior Directors was out of control and that he was “aghast” that a report by the Investment Association had concluded that it was working “broadly satisfactorily”.

Website calls for delay in laws against lottery bets: A gambling company that allows punters to bet on the EuroMillions draw has responded to claims that it is exploiting a legal loophole to take money away from good causes.

GSK to expand healthcare in £8 billion buyback: Glaxosmithkline is expected to push further into consumer healthcare as pressure for a break-up eases. The company is set to buy all of the over-the-counter healthcare business, which includes brands such as Sensodyne and Panadol, that it part-owns with Novartis, of Switzerland.

Barcelona joins the chilled-out beach club: It is the Ibiza beach bar whose chillout music became the soundtrack for the Nineties generation. Now Café del Mar is a global brand that is about to open its biggest club in Barcelona.

Taiwan sees wind of change in Scotland: The head of Taiwan’s National Energy Programme is seeking a partnership with Scottish companies to expand the island’s renewable power sector.

The Independent

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg makes Mother’s Day call to help working parents: One of America’s most influential female Executives has made a Mother’s Day appeal for the federal government to do more to help working women.

Labour to pledge an additional £37 billion of funding for the NHS: Jeremy Corbyn is pledging an additional £37 billion for the NHS to improve A&E performances. The extra funding will also take approximately one million patients off NHS waiting lists.

Toyota investing in flying car project with takeoff scheduled for next year: Toyota is set to finance a flying car project that could take flight by 2018. The Japanese car firm will give engineers £274,000 to develop jet-propelled vehicles that will travel up to 10 metres from the ground.

The Daily Telegraph

Dyson prepares to restart legal battle with Bosch after EU court win: Dyson plans to reopen its legal battle with German engineering group Bosch after securing a victory in the European courts last week.

Fourth deficit rule in four years risks undermining faith in targets, economists warn: Britain could see its fourth deficit rule in as many years, economists believe, as the Government has to keep adapting its borrowing targets.

More U.K. insurers are coming, but EU talent battle ‘not a Pokemon game’: More insurers will pick Luxembourg as the location for their post-Brexit European Union hub, the Chief Executive of the country’s trade promotion body has said, adding that the fight to woo business is not a game of Pokemon where you “need to catch them all”.

MyOptique losses doubled before Essilor acquisition: Losses doubled at the online eyewear retailer MyOptique before it was bought by the French glasses giant Essilor, company accounts reveal.

PUBS will need to convince investors they can dodge feared spending squeeze: Pub groups will be seeking to reassure investors that the buoyant trading seen in April can persist in spite of warnings about a consumer spending squeeze by the Bank of England last week.

Channel 4 quizzes Chief Executive contenders: Channel 4’s hunt for a new Chief Executive is in its final stages, with candidates for one of the top jobs in British TV facing interviews this week.

Formula One owner unveils long-term investment plan: Formula One’s new owner Liberty Media has unveiled a five-year business plan to steer the sport away from what it says was a “very short-term focus” under former supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

ARM revenues jump as SoftBank prepares tech fund launch: The British microchip giant ARM Holdings has reported record sales in the first set of annual figures since its controversial £24 billion sale to Japan’s SoftBank last year.

Business coalition demands tax powers for English regions: The next Government faces increasing pressure from business hand powers over taxes to English cities to boost regional growth.

The Guardian

Business leaders want next government to build two more runways: Business leaders have called for the next government to build two more runways, demanding that a follow-up Airports Commission be established only months after Heathrow’s third runway was approved.

Jobs market will suffer a Brexit slowdown, say experts: British workers should brace themselves for rising unemployment and falling real pay in the year ahead as the impact of a Brexit slowdown is increasingly felt in the jobs market, reports have warned.

Mining company BHP drops Billiton from name in $10 million ad campaign: BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner is rebranding, changing its name back to just BHP from this week.

April cold weather could cause a shortage of British fruit, say farmers: Cold weather in April could lead to a shortage of British apples, pears and plums, farmers have warned.

Final taxpayer shares in Lloyds Banking Group to be sold off: The government is expected to sell off its remaining shares in Lloyds Banking Group in the coming week, marking a watershed moment for the sector after the financial crisis.

Anti-corruption police investigate U.K. firm over ex-Nigerian warlord deal: Anti-corruption investigators in four countries are examining a British firm’s links to a multimillion-pound defence deal involving a former Nigerian warlord.

Daily Mail

Ambitious cyber security firm ECSC is booming as sales team launches own attack: The General Data Protection Regulation, as it is known, is forcing companies to take IT security more seriously than ever – which is great news for ECSC, a fast-growing, Bradford-based business specialising in all things cyber.

As inflation races towards 2.7% wages have risen faster: Households are facing a fresh squeeze on their budgets as official inflation figures due this week are expected to show prices rising at their fastest rate since 2013.

Bank UBS in dispute with taxman over attempt to book losses from its Swiss parent in U.K.: Swiss banking giant UBS is embroiled in a £100 million dispute with Revenue & Customs over an attempt to book losses from its Swiss parent in the U.K.

Let Ofgem introduce price controls rather than Government impose price caps: Energy companies would prefer to be fully price regulated by Ofgem rather than face Government price caps or the threat of nationalisation, a senior energy Executive told The Mail on Sunday this weekend.

European businesses are preparing to cut use of U.K. suppliers following Brexit: Nearly half of European businesses expect to cut their use of U.K. suppliers following the Brexit vote, research reveals.

Daily Express

Late Easter set to send inflation jumping to 2.6%: Households are facing a further jump in inflation as the weakened pound, utility price hikes and the timing of the Easter holidays drive up the cost of living.

Stock market warning as Wall Street’s ‘fear index’ plunges to lowest level in decades: Wall Street’s so-called ‘fear index’ has dropped to its lowest level in more than 20 years which could be a sign that stock market bubbles are about to burst, experts have warned.

Gold price prediction: Metal set to sink lower as fears of euro break-up fall: Gold prices experienced a small bounce in recent days but values are set to head down over the longer term, as U.S. interest rates rise and as political fears subside, according to expert forecasts.

Pension warning: Savers lose record amounts to scams as fraudsters rinse pots: Innocent savers were conned out of record amounts of cash in March, as fraudsters exploit pension reforms to trick victims out of nest eggs.

The Scottish Herald

Scottish economy driven by growth in manufacturing: A strong manufacturing performance enabled Scotland’s private sector economy to achieve slight growth in April, as output of the key services sector fell again, a survey shows.

Brexit currency woes set to deepen easyJet losses: Budget airline easyJet looks set to deepen half-year losses this week, as it grapples with currency headwinds from the Brexit-hit pound and costs linked to launching a new European base.

Florist really blooming as it works with giant brands: An East Dunbartonshire-based florist, which supplied flowers to the wedding of Celtic Football Club star Kolo Toure, is projecting a big rise in sales this year on the back of deals with a range of high-profile brands.

Funding boost for growing fintech firm AFT: A Glasgow-based financial technology (fintech) business has landed a six- figure investment deal under a new business support framework developed by Glasgow City Council.

The Scotsman

Scotland’s shopping footfall stats at three-year-high: Footfall in Scotland’s high streets and retail parks has increased; however, retail experts say there is a worrying rise in the number of shop vacancies.

Scots urged to step up cyber security as threat grows: Public bodies across Scotland have been placed on alert amid fears of a fresh wave of cyber-attacks this week.

City A.M.

High sugar prices set to take a bite out of Mr Kipling owner’s profits: Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods is likely to report a slump in profits this week, as the rising cost of sugar and other ingredients eats into its margins.

City law firm RPC in tie-up with Giltspur to serve German banking sector: City law firm RPC has announced an international expansion to extend its offering into the German banking sector.

Backer of The Wolseley and Delaunay to sell stake: Investor Graphite Capital is set to sell its stake in the parent company of high-end London restaurants including Zedel Brasserie and The Wolseley

Vodafone is set to reveal an annual loss of as much as €4.9 billion due to writedowns on its Indian arm: Telecoms giant Vodafone is expected to unveil a multibillion-pound annual loss this week due to fierce competition in the Indian mobile phone market.

Cafe Rouge and Belgo owner decides against refinancing plan: The owner of Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas has decided against a £160 million refinancing plan after it failed to find attractive pricing on the bond market.

Mon, 15 May 2017 08:13:00 +0100
In the Papers - Emirates, Porta Communications, Aldi, Snapchat Newspaper Summary

The Times

Noble Founder quits as shares plunge: Shares in Noble lost a third of their value after the troubled commodity trading group revealed a sharp first-quarter loss and confirmed that its Founder was quitting as Executive Chairman.

Millions more households could be on full-fibre diet: BT caved in to growing public pressure, announcing plans to roll out full-fibre broadband to up to ten million homes.

No room for U.K. in Trump grand plan for economy: President Trump has vowed to renegotiate the North American free trade agreement, overhaul the tax system and lure businesses back to the U.S. — but gave little indication that he would follow up on his promise to prioritise a bilateral trade deal with Britain.

Smooth Brexit is key to robust economic growth, says Carney: Leaving the European Union without a deal could derail the economy, the Bank of England has warned in a thinly veiled criticism of the government’s fall-back Brexit plan.

Record fine for PWC over audit blunders: A former top partner at PWC has been fined a six-figure sum and his old employer has agreed to pay a record £5 million penalty after being criticised by the accountancy regulator over audit work for a defunct social housing maintenance business.

Generator Hostel Chiefs ousted by new owners: The Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer of Generator Hostels have been ousted by its new private equity owner after completion of the €450 million acquisition this week.

Stock Exchange head Rolet in £2 million share sale: The Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange has sold shares in the group worth almost £2 million after the collapse of the Deutsche Börse merger.

Monsoon Boss takes cut to his dividend: The Founder of Monsoon has taken a large dividend cut and vowed to take no more until the struggling retailer’s performance is back on track.

Emirates is buffeted by headwinds: Terrorism in Europe, the Brexit vote and President Trump’s attempts to ban passengers with certain passports have been blamed for a 70% plunge in profits at Emirates, the biggest airline in the Gulf.

Lloyds to pay £80 million in new sales blunder: Lloyds Banking Group is set to pay millions of pounds in compensation to thousands of customers who were mis-sold investment products as “low risk” that turned out to be highly complex.

Energy cap ‘will cost thousands of jobs’: Britain’s Big Six energy suppliers will cut thousands of jobs in response to the Conservatives’ price cap, a leading analyst has warned.

The Independent

U.K. wage squeeze to return due to Brexit, says Bank of England: Wages, after adjusting for expected inflation, will fall over 2017, which would make this the first calendar year of negative growth in four years, according to revised projections from the Bank of England.

Nationwide mobile ‘not-spots’ are hobbling U.K. businesses, report warns: The vast majority of U.K. companies are hampered by a lack of mobile coverage, with businesses in rural areas the most severely affected, according to a new report.

Bank of England keeps interest rates on hold and cuts growth forecast: The Bank of England sent a mixed message on the future pace of interest rate rises on Thursday ahead of next month’s general election, with a modest downgrade of its 2017 growth forecast and a majority vote to keep rates this month on hold at 0.25%.

Amazon gives half of new office to provide shelter for homeless: Half of Amazon’s new office building will be a given to a shelter for the homeless women and children, the company announced on Wednesday.

U.K. industrial output shrinks for third month in a row as Brexit bites: British industrial output shrank for a third month in a row in March, official data showed on Thursday, underscoring how the impact of last year’s Brexit vote has begun to weigh on the economy.

Plans to increase the minimum wage ‘could put jobs in danger’: Proposals by both Labour and the Conservatives to “dramatically” increase the minimum wage could put the jobs of lower paid workers at risk, according to a new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

China’s tech money is Israel bound as U.S. appeal wanes: Struggling to seal deals in the United States as regulatory scrutiny tightens, Chinese companies looking to invest in promising technology are finding a warmer welcome for their cash in Israel.

Airbnb suspends Istanbul host after police evict guests from apartment: Airbnb, the accommodation-sharing service, has apologised after a dawn raid on an apartment in Istanbul in which two British guests were detained and interrogated. Turkish police took action in a dispute over whether the company had the right to rent out the property.

The Daily Telegraph

SoftBank leads $500 million investment in British startup Improbable: British virtual simulation firm Improbable has raised $502 million (£390 million) in a funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank, in one of the largest investments ever made in an early stage European tech firm.

Business investment and global recovery will aid U.K. growth, Bank of England says, as interest rates remain on hold at 0.25%: Stronger business investment and the ongoing global recovery will ensure economic growth this year remains solid, even as households face the biggest real income squeeze since 2013, according to the Bank of England.

Uber dealt setback in European court over transport laws: Uber has been dealt a major setback at Europe’s highest court, with its top legal adviser declaring that the minicab-booking app should abide by strict rules that govern transport providers.

French raider Bollore engineers merger of Vivendi and Havas: The French media giant Vivendi is due to take control of the second-tier advertising agency group Havas, in a £2 billion deal that highlights the sway held over it by the billionaire corporate raider Vincent Bollore.

Morrisons boosts Boss pay package despite MPs warnings: Despite the stormy climate around Executive pay and MPs calling for a ban on long-term incentive plans, supermarket chain Morrisons has broken the mould by significantly boosting Boss David Potts’s pay package after shareholders pushed for him to be paid more.

BMW steps up warning on threat to U.K. Mini production: Production of Minis could be moved out of Britain if Brexit talks do not deliver a favourable result, the Boss of the German car giant BMW has hinted.

House of Fraser hires new Boss with no retail experience: Department store chain House of Fraser has defended its decision to hire a new Chief Executive with zero retail experience by highlighting the company’s increasing focus on leisure.

The Questor Column:

Discounts have diminished at these two trusts – this is why you should still hold them: This week we’ll look at two trusts in just this situation: Monks and Jupiter European Opportunities. We tipped Monks in October last year at 539p and a discount of about 10%. Last night the shares closed at 683.5p – netting readers a gain of 26.7% – and the discount had disappeared. Instead, the trust’s shares now trade at a small premium of 1.7%. The trust focuses on international growth stocks; only about 5%-6% of the holdings are British, so it benefited from the post-Brexit fall in the value of the pound. Monks has some holdings in common with the larger Scottish Mortgage portfolio, also managed by Baillie Gifford. However, it is more diversified than the latter fund, with smaller holdings in technology firms such as Amazon. We tipped Jupiter European Opportunities in December last year, when the share price was 524p and the discount stood at 5.7p. The price has since risen by 27.7% to close at 669.5p last night and the discount has narrowed to 2.1%. The Jupiter manager has a large stake in his trust, amounting to 5% 6% of the shares. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Bank of England warns Brexit vote will damage living standards: The Bank of England has warned households that living standards will fall this year as the effect of the Brexit vote works its way through to higher prices and meagre pay deals.

Deliveroo bows to pressure to change contracts for U.K. couriers: Deliveroo, the takeaway delivery company that relies on 15,000 self-employed couriers, has made changes to its contracts for riders following pressure from parliament.

Barclays’ Boss Jes Staley fooled into email exchange with prankster: Just as Jes Staley, the embattled Boss of Barclays, might have hoped to lie low after a gruelling confrontation with shareholders he is now facing fresh scrutiny.

Aldi plans U.K. supermarket for every 30,000 people: Aldi has set out an ambitious plan to conquer the U.K. grocery market that could see it open up to eight stores in some towns.

Number of zero-hours contracts stalls at ‘staggering’ 1.7 million: Growth in zero-hours contracts has stalled in the U.K., according to the latest official figures, but campaigners have warned that insecure work is still a problem in Britain.

Daily Mail

Weak pound is a double-edged sword for clothing maker SuperGroup as it boosts sales but eats into margins: The owner of faux-Japanese fashion brand Superdry reported a surge in revenues helped by the translation of overseas sales into sterling, although its gross margins are being squeezed by the pound’s weakness.

RBS Chief gets a £1.1 million pay cut and no chance of taxpayer getting its £45 billion back: A bonus scheme for Bosses at struggling Royal Bank of Scotland has been slashed as furious shareholders hit out after nearly a decade of losses.

Snapchat owner loses £1 billion in just 45 minutes but he’s still got £4 billion: Evan Spiegel, who founded the firm with friend Robert Murphy, saw the value of his shares plummet £830 million after parent company Snap announced its first results as a listed company on Wednesday.

Gas firm Infrastrata board coup as £2 million deal faces hold up: The value of gas storage firm Infrastrata fell after it said it may have to hold a shareholder meeting to vote on whether to axe its entire board of Directors.

Porta Communications reports ‘year of significant change’ with 9% rise in profit: Marketing and communications group Porta has posted a 9% jump in revenues to £37.1 million in the year to December 31.

Daily Express

Translink renews mobile ticketing partnership with Corethree: Translink has renewed its contract with Europe’s leading mobile ticketing developer and provider of digital payment solutions, Corethree.

George Soros sued for £7.7 billion political meddling ‘motivated by malice’: Billionaire George Soros is facing a huge legal battle in the United States over his alleged meddling in politics.

Britain’s booming pension funds see retirement income surge by 12%: The typical pension fund has surged over the past year, pushing retirement income to its highest level since the summer of 2014, analysis has revealed.

Do not punish Britain! U.S. threatens EU over plans to relocate U.K. businesses to continent: The U.S. has fired a warning shot to the European Union (EU) over its plans to decimate Britain’s financial business by forcing euro-clearing to take place within the bloc.

Cryptocurrency Ethereum soars by 900% as stellar performer gets Chinese boost: A cryptocurrency that allows users to move value around as well as represent the ownership of property has rocketed by 900% in just a year.

Mark Carney warns Bank of England interest rates set to rise sooner than expected: Mark Carney warned Britons could see interest rates rise sooner than expected, as one of the Bank of England’s key policymakers again called for an immediate hike.

The Scottish Herald

Strong Scotch sector on Brexit alert but May talks about fox hunting: There are probably few industries which better demonstrate the dichotomy between short-term, currency-related gains following the Brexit vote and the monumental longer-term challenges arising from the U.K.’s European Union exit than Scotch whisky.

Lloyds to make swift payouts to fraud victims: Lloyds Banking Group Chairman Lord Blackwell has said victims of the fraud committed by former HBOS Reading staff will be compensated in weeks rather than months.

Noble Grossart Chief issues note of caution on unrealised profits: The Chairman of Edinburgh merchant bank Noble Grossart has warned of the pitfalls of affording too much weight to unrealised investment gains after the organisation booked a 269% rise in pre-tax profits in the last financial year.

Scottish airports see rise in passenger numbers: Glasgow Airport achieved an 8.9% year-on-year rise in passenger numbers in April, amid strong demand for its growing network of European routes.

Ladbrokes Chief defends shop betting machines: The Chief Executive of Ladbrokes Coral Group has said the company “will not be going down without a fight” over plans to curb the use of fixed odds betting terminals, known as FOBTs, in shops.

SpaceandPeople share price rockets 45%: Shares in SpaceandPeople have leapt more than 45% after the shopping mall marketing firm reported profits and revenues ahead of expectations in the first four months of the year.

Association Chief wants ‘strong’ commitment from PM on renewable energy: The U.K. Government has been urged to recommit its support for the Climate Change Act and publish a plan to ensure clean technology businesses and investors can have “the clarity they need to build new low-carbon infrastructure”.

Nucleus posts rise in assets under administration: Edinburgh investment trading platform Nucleus saw its assets under administration rise by 23% over the course of 2016 to hit £11.4 billion although net inflows for the year fell from £1.3 billion to £1.1 billion.

The Scotsman

BT to axe 4,000 jobs ‘over next two years’: BT has announced it will be axing 4,000 jobs worldwide over the next two years and cutting senior figures’ pay packages.

BoE eyes ‘moderate’ growth as rates left on hold: The Bank of England has warned the squeeze from Brexit-fuelled inflation on household income has begun and said growth would remain “moderate” after faltering at the start of the year.

Contraction for manufacturing and construction sectors: Britain’s manufacturing and construction sectors contracted in March and the country’s trade deficit widened as the economy continues to falter.

Gin-makers raise a glass to £800,000 deals with Asda: A group of Scottish gin firms has launched five products at Asda in contracts amounting to £800,000.

Rutherglen business park in line for £4.2 million expansion: A new business park in Rutherglen is set for expansion in a move that could create a further 80 jobs at the site.

City A.M.

Nordstrom beats expectations on the back of anti-Trump bump: U.S. department store Nordstrom beat expectations in the first quarter to deliver sales of $3.35 billion (£4.5 billion), after it dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.

Department stores Macy’s and Kohl’s struggle with U.S. malls downturn: Sales at American department store giants Macy’s and Kohl’s fell in the first quarter, as the retail sector struggles to cope with declining footfall in malls.

Ovo Energy closes in on Big Six with Corgi HomePlan acquisition: Challenger energy company Ovo has snapped up the U.K.’s third-largest home services provider in a move which puts it closer to competing with the ‘Big Six’ gas and electricity suppliers.

AEW to float long lease real estate investment trust on London Stock Exchange: Property management firm AEW Global has announced plans to float a new real estate investment trust (REIT) on the London Stock Exchange next month.

Mothercare finance Boss to step down after tough year for the baby retailer: Mothercare’s Chief financial officer, Richard Smothers, has resigned. He will stay in post until a successor can be found, which is thought to be towards the end of the year. Mothercare said it had started its search for a new finance Chief.

TP Icap avoids shareholder upset at AGM as interdealer broker reports growing revenues: Interdealer broker TP Icap avoided a shareholder revolt over pay after altering its plans earlier in the year.

Challenger bank Aldermore on the lookout for M&A as rumours of industry consolidation swirl: Challenger bank Aldermore is on the lookout for deals as rumours of consolidation within its peer-group swirl.

Fri, 12 May 2017 08:35:00 +0100
In the Papers - Gear4music, Savills, KPMG, William Hill Newspaper Summary

The Times

Digital advances boost numbers at News Corp: An influx of digital subscribers to The Wall Street Journal helped News Corp to beat analysts’ expectations with its third-quarter results last night. The Journal added 118,000 digital subscribers in the first three months of the year, bringing its total to nearly 1.2 million.

Merger confirms towering ambition of insurance broker: Towergate will merge with four other insurance businesses to boost its size as Britain’s largest independent broker.

Internal inquiries ‘may lack legal privilege’: Companies that conduct internal investigations to root out corruption could be forced to assist prosecutors because such inquiries are not necessarily legally privileged.

Pressure grows on insurers to make switch in approach: Moneysupermarket, the price comparison website, urged regulators to prevent insurers demanding that policyholders call them and go through several steps to stop policies rolling over from one year to another.

German order to limit losses is win, claim spread-betters: The London-listed CMC Markets, IG Group and Plus 500 have welcomed an order by the German market regulator that spread-betting companies must ensure that their customers cannot lose more money than is in their trading accounts as a condition of ending its investigation into the industry.

Bank ‘may be forced to abort rate increases’: Raising interest rates could have such a destabilising impact on Britain’s housing market that the Bank of England would have to abort the policy, a former Bank official has warned.

Matthews last to go as Mitie cleans up: The last of the triumvirate that oversaw the rise and fall of Mitie is to leave the company. The cleaning group is placing its faith, instead, in two self-made northern businessmen with a reputation for plain-speaking.

Weak euro lifts German economy to new heights: German exports and imports hit record highs in March, fuelling claims that Europe’s economic powerhouse is benefiting from a relatively weak euro.

The Independent

O2 to scrap mobile roaming charges in 47 foreign countries this summer: Customers of mobile operator O2 will be able to use their phones abroad without fear of racking up huge bills this summer after the company announced it will scrap roaming charges.

GDP growth to slow in 2017 forecasts Niesr: The U.K. economy will slow down in 2017 as the British consumer flags in the face of higher inflation due to the slump in the pound since last year’s Brexit vote, according to the latest quarterly forecast from a leading think tank.

U.K. exporters see few positives from Brexit-battered pound: With 85 percent of its customers outside Britain, Sheffield-based Gripple should be cheering the plunge in sterling since last year’s vote to leave the EU, which means every overseas sale brings in more pounds than before.

Trump’s review of Wall Street rules is set to ‘be done in stages’: The U.S. government’s review of a landmark 2010 financial reform law will not be complete by early June as originally targeted, and officials will now report findings piece-by-piece, with priority given to banking regulations, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

U.K. insurer Hiscox to set up new EU unit in Luxembourg due to Brexit: U.K. insurer Hiscox has announced it will set up a new European subsidiary in Luxembourg as it prepares for life after Brexit.

Energy shares are sliding after May confirms plans price cap plans: Shares in energy companies Centrica, SSE and National Grid fell sharply a day after Theresa May confirmed that the Conservative manifesto will include plans for price controls on energy bills.

Wall Street’s VIX ‘fear index’ falls to lowest level since 1993: The most widely monitored ‘fear gauge’ on Wall Street has fallen to its lowest level since 1993, helped by one of the strongest corporate earnings seasons in years, geopolitical risks around North Korea cooling off, and Emmanuel Macron’s French Presidential victory removing a possible source of upset across Europe.

The Daily Telegraph

John Lewis profits take £36 million hit after breaching minimum wage rules: John Lewis Partnership has been forced to restate its profits for last year to the tune of £36 million after admitting that it has breached minimum wage rules.

Elliott Advisors launches legal bid in battle to oust Akzo Nobel Chairman: Activist investor Elliott Advisors has begun legal proceedings to oust the Chairman of Akzo Nobel over its continued resistance to a takeover bid from U.S. rival PPG Industries.

Powerful asset manager Hermes calls for ‘no confidence’ vote in Volkswagen Bosses: Asset management giant Hermes has cranked up the pressure on Volkswagen to reveal the findings of an external investigation into the “dieselgate” scandal.

Britain’s fastest-growing businesses are sprinting ahead: Britain’s fastest-growing companies are getting bigger faster, with the pace of expansion accelerating to 70%, up from an average of 50% a year ago.

Whitbread Boss Alison Brittain named businesswoman of the year at Veuve Clicquot awards: The Chief Executive of Costa Coffee-owner Whitbread has been named this year’s Businesswoman of the Year at the annual Veuve Clicquot awards.

Former Lloyds Bosses to face October court date over shareholder HBOS lawsuit: The former Chief Executive and Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group are due to take to the witness box in the autumn when the lender goes to court in a £400 million legal battle with shareholders over its ill-fated rescue of HBOS.

Boost investment or miss chance to make the most of Brexit, Government urged: Investment has to rise to boost the economy, raise productivity and capitalise on the export opportunities given by the Brexit vote, economists have told politicians ahead of the general election.

Bad jobs harm growth and make people miserable says employment tsar Matthew Taylor: Low quality, unproductive jobs trap workers in low pay and harm the rest of the economy, a top economist has warned.

The Questor Column:

Buy a ticket to Cineworld 
for its decent growth 
and dividend prospects: Although sceptics worry about competition from online services such as Netflix and its sensitivity to the broader economy, Cineworld offers investors a reliably progressive earnings and dividend profile. Short-term profits can be helped or hindered by film release schedules as well as consumer confidence. In the case of the former, new blockbusters from franchises such as Star Wars, Fast & Furious, Despicable Me and Guardians of the Galaxy, plus an update of the cult 1980s science fiction classic Blade Runner, mean 2017 looks full of potential. Cineworld is also in the middle of a substantial refurbishment programme in Britain as it rolls out Imax and 4DX screens, while the FTSE 250 firm has almost as many venues and screens spread across Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel and Romania as it does in the British Isles. Multiplex penetration in these countries is lower than in the U.K. and growth prospects look superior as a result. Cineworld has relatively little debt – interest cover is more than six times and the gearing (net debt to equity) ratio is just 43%. Ideally dividend cover would be a little higher than 1.8 times (and the payout has been cut before) and the forward price-to-earnings ratio of nearly 19 represents a premium to the wider market but a near-3% yield is an additional sweetener at a firm that looks capable of rewarding long-term support. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Pearson: A stunning rebound in its share price after last Friday’s first-quarter trading statement means Pearson has regained all the ground lost since our cautionary analysis in December and January’s subsequent crunching profit warning. Yet this looks like a major squeeze on “short sellers”, known to include a number of hedge funds, who may be dashing for cover, and the challenges that face Pearson have not gone away. The absence of any further profit shocks with the update is also helping sentiment, especially as the Chief Executive, John Fallon, was able to stick to his (previously downgraded) full-year profit guidance and reaffirm plans to sell a 47% stake in publisher Penguin-Random House, or at least extract a dividend from it, and to restructure its U.S. school publishing operations. However, sales were flattered by phasing issues and currency movements while the new plans focus on a unit that accounts for barely 10% of group sales. Investors should treat the share price rally with caution and keep clear. Questor says ‘Avoid’.

The Guardian

Tory MPs plot to water down Theresa May’s energy price cap pledge: Theresa May will face a battle within her own party as well as with the energy companies if she decides to go ahead with a cap on gas and electricity prices.

Co-op Bank investors braced for losses as it tries to raise £750 million: Bondholders in the Co-operative Bank are braced to take losses as the troubled lender scrambles to find £750 million to boost its financial strength.

Uber should lose its licence if it doesn’t improve workers’ rights, say drivers: A group of minicab drivers, many employed by Uber, have joined black-cab drivers and unions in calling for improved workers’ rights to be a condition of Uber being able to renew its London licence later this month.

U.K. firms struggle to find employees – even before Brexit bites: Employers in the U.K. are struggling to fill vacancies after the sharpest drop for more than a year in the number of available candidates, according to a report that points to more recruitment difficulties ahead once Brexit bites.

Amazon moves into U.K. live music starting with Blondie London gig: Amazon is moving into the live music business in the U.K., running and promoting its own gigs starting with Blondie later this month.

U.K. pay growth outlook is among gloomiest in OECD, says TUC: The prospects for pay growth in the U.K. are among the gloomiest in advanced economies, with only Greece, Italy and Austria forecast to suffer bigger falls in real wages by the end of 2018, according to a TUC analysis.

Standard Life and Aberdeen merger likely to mean 10% job losses: Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management expect to cut 800 jobs, nearly 10% of the firms’ total workforce, within three years of their looming merger, Standard Life said after announcing on Tuesday that the combined group will be named Standard Life Aberdeen.

Daily Mail

Police radio maker Sepura rises 40% after Government gives green-light to its takeover by Chinese state-backed tech firm Hytera: Walkie-Talkie maker Sepura shot up nearly 40% after the Government gave the green-light to its takeover by Chinese state-backed tech firm Hytera.

£100 million fees bonanza for bankers in £11 billion Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management merger: The £11 billion merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management has triggered a fees bonanza of nearly £100 million for bankers, lawyers and other advisers.

Atomic clock to keep tabs on the flash boys in crackdown on hackers and high-frequency traders: U.S. firm Intercontinental Exchange has signed a deal with Britain’s National Physical Laboratory for timings which are accurate to one second every 158 million years.

Fire sale knocks £500 million off Britain’s biggest tech giant after sales slump at £7 billion takeover target HP: A fire sale of shares saw more than £500 million wiped off Britain’s biggest listed tech firm after it revealed a slump in sales at the software business it is buying for £7 billion from U.S. giant HP.

Daily Express

Rock bottom interest rates destroy pension pots as £10 million forced to delay retirement past 65: Retirement is increasingly a thing of the past as record numbers now expect to work beyond age 65. The savings crisis is forcing an incredible 10 million Britons to delay their retirement as rock bottom interest rates destroy their pension pots.

William Hill on way to ending losing streak after online betting boost: William Hill raised hopes of ending its losing streak after an online betting boost.

P2i ramps up its waterproofing offer to smartphone makers after sealing £10 million bank deal: Waterproofing technology firm P2i has sealed a £10 million investment deal with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank to further its ambitions with Far East smartphone manufacturers.

Funeral and cremation fees are rising at inflation-busting rates: The cost of dying is greater than ever as funeral and cremation fees spiral at an inflation-busting rate.

House price news: Values fall for first time since 2012: House prices have fallen on a quarterly basis for the first time in almost five years, as buyers’ affordability is pushed to the brink.

The Scottish Herald

Digital match for public sector: The Scottish Government has launched an accelerator programme to match up tech start-ups and SMEs with public sector organisations looking to create digital solutions for “civil challenges”.

Shell and BP under fire on boardroom pay policies: Campaigning group ShareAction has called on shareholders in Royal Dutch Shell and BP to vote down the oil and gas giants’ boardroom pay policies, which it says reward environmentally risky high-carbon strategies.

Small firms demand say in £5 billion City Deal spend: Small firms have demanded that prominent business figures are appointed to advisory roles within council areas to ensure multi-billion-pound City Deal funding delivers for local economies.

Overseas oil giants show faith in potential of North Sea: The Head of the Repsol Sinopec business in the North Sea, Bill Dunnett, has underlined the foreign-owned company’s commitment to the area where it can make plenty of money with oil trading at around $50 per barrel.

Neilston set for £2 million boost thanks to windfarm sale: The East Renfrewshire village of Neilston is poised to benefit from up to £2 million of investment in jobs, local facilities and services after the sale of a community-backed windfarm.

Loganair expects bumper summer: Loganair has cited the effect of sterling’s weakness since the Brexit vote on demand for international travel as it revealed this summer was shaping up to be a bumper season for the airline.

Aberdeen drug firm signs deal with big player: Elasmogen, a drug development business spun out of the University of Aberdeen and global biopharma group Amgen have signed a research agreement with Canada’s Feldan Therapeutics.

The Scotsman

RBS set to cut and outsource tech jobs: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to cut its technology workforce with a net reduction of 92 jobs as part of its plans to be a “simpler, smaller” bank.

Sales drive ahead at Glasgow packaging firm Macfarlane: Macfarlane, the packaging and distribution specialist, has reported a rise in sales following a string of recent acquisitions and rising demand from online retailers.

Edinburgh tech firm Sensewhere expands mobile ads: A software spin-out from the University of Edinburgh that helps firms target shoppers with “location-aware” adverts has unveiled the latest iteration of its technology.

Goals hails ‘encouraging progress’ in five-a-side growth: Five-a-side football operator Goals Soccer Centres said work on its third site in the U.S. will begin next month as it reported “encouraging progress” in its sales recovery.

KPMG boosts Aberdeen team as oil sector fortunes rebound: KPMG has made a trio of new appointments to bolster its oil and gas industry expertise amid “increasingly positive signs of an upturn” in the sector.

Immigration system ‘must be flexible’ to assist firms: The future immigration system must be agile enough to adapt to evolving labour market needs and help British business flourish, according to a new study.

City A.M.

Shareholders should get more power over Executive bonuses, according to the Institute of Directors: Investors could be given more power to reject Bosses bonus packages under the latest proposals from the Institute of Directors.

Savills sounds unsettled by the U.K. General Election: Savills has warned that the U.K. General Election will hit the housing market over the next few weeks, with transactions set to fall.

Kerry Group’s outgoing Chief Executive Stan McCarthy spreads his wings and joins Ryanair: Stan McCarthy, who has been the Boss of the Tralee-based Kerry Group for the past 10 years, will join the Irish airline’s board as a non-Executive Director. He will stand down as Chief Executive of Kerry Group at the end of September.

Ukog share price plummets 16% as it confirms it’s meeting with potential new investors: U.K. Oil & Gas Investments (Ukog) responded to media speculation that it is meeting with new investors.

Gear4music hits all the right notes as annual sales and profits boom on international growth: The U.K.’s largest online musical instrument retailer struck a chord with international markets over the year as it revealed revenue and profits soared.

Wed, 10 May 2017 08:23:00 +0100
In the Papers - Coach, Rolls-Royce, British Gas, Royal Mail Newspaper Summary

The Times

London’s atomic bombshell for hackers: London’s financial firms are fighting back against hackers who jam computerised financial market trading systems.

Money talks in the city that gave the world Cantonese: China’s megacities have retained their dominance as the world’s leading locations for luxury properties, as technology hUBS across the globe recorded higher house price rises than financial capitals.

Boost for German factories: Factory orders in Germany rose for a second consecutive month in March but remained reliant on exports, leaving the economy vulnerable to a slowdown in global trade, City analysts said.

Sitting on the dock of the bay as trade gap just grows away: In figures, likely to be read as closely in Washington as they are in Beijing, China revealed that the pace of growth in both its imports and exports had slowed in April.

Power hitters take aim at the electric car charge market: The battle to persuade motorists to get behind the wheel of electric vehicles has moved beyond the world’s carmakers to the companies that want to power them.

Sinclair puts Tribune in the picture after fighting off Fox: Sinclair Broadcast Group has fought off 21st Century Fox to buy Tribune Media for $3.9 billion in a deal intended to strengthen its position as the most powerful local television station operator in the United States.

Green light for Coach’s $2.4 billion deal: Coach has snapped up a rival retailer for $2.4 billion. The upmarket American handbags group said that it planned to run Kate Spade, which also sells clothing, homewares and fragrances, as an independent brand with its own stores.

Gas discovery fires up BP’s prospects off African coast: A large gas discovery off the coast of Senegal has been made by BP and its American joint venture partner, boosting attempts by the energy group to bolster its reserves.

Macron’s victory fails to move European markets: European stock markets slipped as investors shrugged off the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French Presidential election and analysts looked ahead to the challenge of next month’s parliamentary elections across the Channel.

Founder departs as Numis profits slump: The Founder of Numis said that he was resigning from the board with immediate effect as its profits fell by nearly 40%.

Hopes fade of finding buyer for Co op Bank: The Co-operative Bank is set to admit that a sale of its business has faltered, increasing the chances that its American hedge fund owners will have to plough more capital into the bank.

The Independent

Slowing EU immigration Union already hurting U.K. labour market: The U.K. jobs market is already beginning to feel the negative impact of Brexit, with shortages of European Union migrant labour in growing evidence in sectors ranging from nursing, to cleaning, to IT and accountancy.

Banks ‘put lives at risk’ as charity accounts are shut without notice: Banks have been accused of putting lives at risk by shutting down accounts belonging to charities without warning.

Brexit is a ‘time-bomb’ and Europe is not ‘out of the woods’: Brexit is a “time-bomb” and Europe is not “out of the woods” after the election of Emmanuel Macron as France’s new President, according to the Chairman of UBS, one of the world’s biggest banks.

Centrica axes 1,500 jobs and issues fresh warning on price caps: British Gas owner Centrica expects to cut around 1,500 jobs this year as mild weather and weaker commodity prices hurt earnings.

China debuts new plane to rival Boeing and Airbus: The successful first test flight of a Chinese-built large aircraft has raised the prospect that British passengers may soon be flying on the jet.

Donald Trump attacks U.S. company Rexnord for moving jobs to Mexico: President Donald Trump took aim again on Sunday at Rexnord Corp for the industrial supplier’s decision to move jobs to Mexico from Indiana.

The Daily Telegraph

Rolls-Royce targets engine work for Turkish jet fighter: Rolls-Royce has partnered with Turkish industrial group Kale with the aim of building engines for the country’s new domestically built fighter jet.

Apple surpasses $800 billion valuation mark - as U.S. broker suggests it could be worth more than $1 trillion: Apple has landed a $1 trillion valuation estimate, from U.S. broker Drexel Hamilton, as the race heats up for which company will pass the trillion-dollar mark.

Skills shortage bites as fall in unemployment leaves Britain short of engineers to fill new jobs: Britain has a shortage of workers across scores of different jobs, from engineering and accounting to hospitality and caring, recruiters have warned.

U.K. finance watchdog criticised for “absurd” spend on new logo virtually identical to old one: The City’s financial watchdog has come under attack for spending almost £70,000 on replacing a logo with a new version that looks almost identical. 

British Gas owner’s dividend at risk as political pressure mounts: The owner of British Gas may consider cutting shareholder dividends to withstand the looming political threat to its energy supply business as customer numbers continue to fall.

The Guardian

British Gas owner warns Tory energy price cap could push up prices: British Gas owner Centrica has warned that the Conservative party’s plans to cap energy bills could push up average prices, as the company haemorrhaged customers at a rate that would see it lose a million by the end of the year.

Impact of U.K. foreign aid diluted by pursuing national interest, says IFS: Poverty reduction in the world’s poorest countries risks being diluted by the government’s increasing tendency to devote a bigger slice of Britain’s aid budget to pursuing the national interest, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned.

Warren Buffett: cutting jobs is standard capitalist formula: Warren Buffett has defended the Brazilian buyout house with which he attempted to take over Unilever, by saying 3G was only following a “standard capitalist” stance to doing business by slashing costs and cutting staff.

Are U.K. house prices starting to fall? The Halifax thinks so: House prices fell again in April and are now nearly £3,000 below their peak in December 2016, amid broadening evidence of a slowdown in the U.K. property market.

Bank of England walks the tightrope over interest rates: Slower economic growth and higher inflation present Bank of England policymakers with a delicate balancing act when they meet this week to set interest rates and agree new forecasts for the U.K. as it goes through an election and Brexit talks.

Daily Mail

Miners sink after exports of iron ore and copper to China slump by up to 30%: Miners dominated the bottom-end of the FTSE after China reported a sharp drop in demand for iron ore and copper.

Royal Mail struggles to keep its pension scheme afloat as funding costs top £1.3 billion: The cost of maintaining its defined pension scheme would be higher than previously expected, the Royal Mail claimed. The delivery firm is looking at ways to replace the scheme after a backlash from unions over its closure. It said the annual cost of funding the plan would be £1.3 billion after next year having previously said the amount would rise to £1 billion by 2018.

House of Fraser snaps up the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress maker Issa from Camilla Al Fayed for an undisclosed sum: The department store chain has bought Issa from Camilla Al Fayed in a move that will see the brand - worn by Kate Middleton on the announcement of her engagement to Prince William - return to stores.

Mr. Kipling owner’s vital new cake deal as it extends deal and ramps up production to make more than 1 million Cadbury Mini Rolls a day: Mr. Kipling owner Premier Foods has been lifted by a deal with Mondelez to renew its long-standing licence to make Cadbury-branded cakes.

U.K.’s largest tech IPO since 2015 on the cards with Alfa Financial Software’s £800 million listing: A tech firm which has made a mint out of car finance is poised to launch on to the London Stock Market in an £800 million flotation.

Concern spreads as bank looks to inherit MBNA’s crippling credit card debts: Campaigners have attacked Lloyds for buying a credit card business that targets consumers aggressively with long-term offers.

Daily Express

‘There’s no waiting’ Largest global banks in London to move 9,000 jobs to the continent: The largest global banks in London plan to move about 9,000 jobs to the continent in the next two years.

‘French banks threaten France’ Top economist warns of huge danger facing Macron & eurozone: France’s banking stocks have been hit amid the country’s Presidential elections with markets not reacting to news of the Emmanuel Macron victory as hoped.

BoE to give steady growth for Britain as Bank says sluggish start to the year just a blip: The Bank of England is expected to forecast steady economic growth for the year ahead after claiming the sluggish growth earlier in the year was just a blip.

Germany destroys new French leader’s Eurobond debt plan: French President elect Emmanuel Macron has had any hopes of building the Franco-German machine on a bed of debt wiped out.

Dulux Paint maker AkzoNobel brushes off third takeover bid by rival PPG Industries: A hostile takeover of AkzoNobel is looming after the Dulux paint maker brushed off a third approach by U.S. rival PPG Industries valuing it at £22.7 billion.

The Scottish Herald

Warning of tougher times for consumers after Easter sales boost: The British Retail Consortium has warned that, while a later Easter boosted the sector significantly in April, the outlook is not as rosy and conditions for consumers will become tougher.

Pedigree Limousin bull sells for 100,000gns at Carlisle sale: Harrison & Hetherington Ltd held a sale of pedigree Limousin bulls in Carlisle on Saturday when three made 50,000gns or more, with 47 fetching over 6,000gns. Leading the day’s trade was a January 2016 born bull, Ampertaine Mozart from James McKay, Maghers, Co. Derry that sold for 100,000gns.

Barclays quits Bowleven role: Bowleven has said Barclays Capital has resigned as a joint broker of the oil and gas company with immediate effect.

Hopes of Shetland oil boom boosted: Hopes of an oil and gas boom West of Shetland have been boosted by an expert report which found more than 500 million barrels could be recovered from just one giant find in the area.

EnerMech targets Iraq with Khudairi alliance: Enermech, the global energy support specialist, has underlined the potential it sees in Iraq as it embarked on a joint venture with a local oil services firm.

Aberdeen’s Coltel snapped up: Coltel, the Aberdeen-based telecommunications firm, has been acquired by Belfast company Connect Telecom in a multi-million-pound deal.

The Scotsman

House prices ‘stagnating’ as Brexit squeezes finances: House prices have “stagnated” as a Brexit squeeze on household finances and a slower pace of job creation continue to dampen demand.

Investment ‘a bigger issue than Brexit’ for start-up firms: Attracting inward investment is a bigger immediate concern for start-up firms than Brexit or Indyref 2, with 95% needing extra money to move their business forward survey results revealed show.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct ups stake in Debenhams: Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has again upped its stake in department store chain Debenhams.

UWS plans enterprise hub at former Johnnie Walker site: Plans have been unveiled to create an enterprise and innovation hub as part of the regeneration of Diageo’s former bottling plant site in Kilmarnock.

Rebooted Dell sees Scotland as key global tech player: A Michael Dell keynote address thousands of miles from Scotland is acting as a significant catalyst to the country’s aspirations to be viewed not only as a key European location but as a fully-fledged global digital hub.

City A.M.

BT TV head Delia Bushell says leaving was a “difficult decision” after Champions League success: BT’s head of TV has quit, leaving four of the U.K.’s top broadcasters on the hunt for a successor.

HSBC rolls out over 1,500 talking ATMs across the U.K. to help blind and partially sighted customers: HSBC U.K. has rolled out more than 1,500 talking ATMs across the U.K. to help blind and partially sighted customers.

Millennials cut back on gym memberships (but keep up the nights out) as Britons rein back leisure spending: Millennials are cutting back on gym memberships as British consumers start to rein back spending, according to a new survey.

Irish government set to float €12 billion state-owned Allied Irish Banks (AIB) in London within months: The Irish government is set to float state-owned Allied Irish Banks (AIB) in London in the coming months after pausing plans ahead of the French Presidential election.

Airbag headaches inflate European car recalls for first quarter of 2017: Auto recalls across Europe spiked during the first quarter of the year with faulty airbags a significant contributory factor.

U.S. sexual harassment lawyer tells Ofcom to block Fox-Sky deal: An American lawyer has called on telecoms regulator Ofcom to block Fox’s £11.7 billion takeover of Sky.

Tue, 09 May 2017 09:00:00 +0100
In the Papers - Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Diesel, Twitter Newspaper Summary

The Times

Former Boss of Just Eat finds tasty role: The former Chief Executive of Just Eat will announce a speedy return to corporate life as a partner of one of the takeaway delivery company’s former venture capital backers.

Consumers feel inflation and wage squeeze: Household incomes will come under severe pressure this year as wages fail to keep pace with inflation, the Bank of England is expected to warn this week.

Contingency plan in place in case Lloyds’ Chief bolts: Lloyds is planning to hand the reins to its finance Director if the bank’s Chief Executive quits for another job.

Europe blow for Liberty Global: Liberty Global announced an 18% fall in profits from its European business last night as high costs rolling out new services in Britain failed to make up for growth in customer subscriptions.

Twitter sells its case to advertisers looking online: The head of Twitter’s British business has come out fighting in the increasingly brutal battle for digital advertising.

Octopus puts its bigger energy rivals on the spot: Challenger energy suppliers are trying to lure customers away from the Big Six with a new type of hyper-variable tariff that tracks wholesale gas and electricity prices.

Beauty group applies more gloss for potential investors: Profits and sales have soared again at The Hut Group in a performance that will intensify speculation that the online health and beauty retailer will look to float.

Finance start-ups unite to see off criminal threats: Financial technology start-ups have joined forces to make sure that their businesses are not used for illicit purposes ranging from terrorist financing to tax evasion, money laundering and cybercrime.

The Independent

Co-op set to reduce landfill waste with recyclable pizza packaging: The Co-op has announced it will reduce its landfill waste by introducing a new recyclable packaging for its pizzas.

U.K. consumer spending online dips for the first time since 2013, says Visa: Consumer spending online has dipped year-on-year for the first time in four years as British households were forced to tighten their belts in the face of rising prices and stalling wage growth.

Coal sector ‘gets £356 million a year in subsidies, despite Government’s green pledges’: The coal sector benefits from £356 million a year in subsidies in the U.K., despite the Government’s pledge to phase out use of the highly polluting fossil fuel, a report suggests.

The Daily Telegraph

EU immigrants vital to U.K. economy, CBI warns: European workers are crucial to the success of U.K. businesses and the wider economy, and the government must not shut off access to those staff, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned.

Markets breathe ‘sigh of relief’ on back of Macron victory: French and European markets are set for a strong week as the French election results saw Emmanuel Macron succeed in his bid for the presidency. This pushed the euro up against the dollar as investors welcome the pro-EU economic reformer into the Elysee Palace.

Bank of England to steady growth expectations this week: The Bank of England is expected to forecast steady economic growth for the year ahead, with GDP bouncing back from a sluggish start to the year.

Sage of Omaha Warren Buffett eyeing benefits of Trump tax cut: Billionaire Warren Buffett revealed he is already readying his sprawling conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway for the tax cuts promised by new U.S. President Donald Trump and disclosed he was prepared to stump up $15 billion for Kraft Heinz’s aborted $143 billion Unilever bid.

The Guardian

‘Brexit boom’ gives Britain record 134 billionaires, fuelling inequality fears: Britain has more billionaires than ever in what equality campaigners said was a clear sign the U.K. economy is only working for the few at the top.

Labour looks at new tax bracket for those earning £80k-£150k: John McDonnell hinted that a Labour government would introduce tax rises on those paying the top rate of tax – at £150,000 and above – and that Labour’s biggest tax increases would be reserved for the richest.

Robotics, AI and 3D printing could close U.K.’s productivity gap: Juergen Maier, the Chief Executive of Siemens U.K., believes new technologies including robotics, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, can deliver greater productivity and create more highly paid jobs.

Daily Mail

Petrochemicals giant Ineos creates two more billionaires after raking in record profits: Petrochemicals giant Ineos has created two more billionaires after raking in record profits. Director Andy Currie and finance Chief John Reece are now both worth around £2.05 billion due to their stakes in the company.

‘Kitten heel queen’ believed to be heading back to help business she sold nearly a decade ago for £70 million: Entrepreneur Linda Bennett is understood to have been hired as a consultant by fashion chain LK Bennett in a bid to revamp the brand.

Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders being urged to vote against Bosses’ potential bonuses as pay backlash spreads across FTSE giants: Under a new pay plan, RBS Chief Executive Ross McEwan, 59, will be eligible for a long-term award of 175% of his salary, and finance Chief Ewen Stevenson, 50, 200%. It is being put to a binding investor vote at the company’s AGM on Thursday.

Warren Buffett admits making major mistake by passing up chances to invest in tech giants Google and Amazon when they were start-ups: The so-called Oracle of Omaha, 86, one of the most successful investors in the world, said he was ‘too dumb’ to foresee their growth and fails to spot ‘a lot of things’.

Daily Express

Barclays bid to smash bank card and online fraud: Barclays customers will be given greater control over how their cards are used as the bank declares a new fightback against fraud.

Emmanuel Macron win not set to boost single currency: The euro is not expected to significantly rally when markets open on Monday, despite Emmanuel Macron’s win in the French election.

U.K. interest rates: Bank of England’s MPC set to split over immediate rise on Thursday: Bank of England monetary policymakers are expected to be split over the decision to hike interest rates in May from the current level of 0.25%.

Top London home values plunge lower in April: House prices in some of London’s wealthiest areas continued to tumble last month, according to a high-end estate agent.

Oil price forecast: Why values may never rise above $50 again: Oil prices have plunged to four-months lows in recent days, as experts forecast levels may struggle to rise significantly past $50 in the future.

The Scottish Herald

Highland solar firm wins work from Afghanistan to Antarctica: As debate rages about what support should be provided for the development of renewable energy sources a Highlands entrepreneur highlights the impact of a programme that has been under particularly close scrutiny.

Chisholm Hunter targets expansion after multi-million-pound deal: Chisholm Hunter, the Scottish jeweller and diamond merchant, has declared its ambition to expand its growing store portfolio south of the Border after securing a multi-million bank funding deal.

Kit homes expansion set to drive business at architects: An architecture practice which designs kit homes based on a traditional Hebridean style has unveiled plans to more than double in size, and called for further automation in the construction industry.

RBS and Lloyds Banking Group Bosses set to be grilled by investors: Investors are set to grill Bosses at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group next week, with Executive pay and branch closures expected to be high on the agenda at annual general meetings (AGM) in Edinburgh.

Companies have appetite for deals: More than half of U.K. companies expect to pursue mergers and acquisitions in the 12 months, but the number of businesses expecting organic grow fell by 11%.

The Scotsman

Customer data stolen in Debenhams Flowers cyber-attack: Thousands of Debenhams customers have had their data compromised after the firm’s flower website came under cyber-attack.

Gourmet meals on bicycle wheels: Deliveroo riders north of the border now deliver takeaway meals from 600 restaurants in eight towns and cities, with 85% of the delivery workers using bicycles and the rest travelling by motorised scooter.

City A.M.

Powershop Boss Ari Sergant aims to shake up the British energy supply sector: Energy price caps may be hogging the headlines but a new challenger in the U.K. household power supply market is taking a different approach to lowering prices: changing the way customers engage with their bills.

Liquidity for unlisted firms is looking up as Neil Woodford-backed Seedrs launches secondary market: Winemaker Chapel Down and accounting software firm FreeAgent are portfolio companies of Seedrs that have achieved success on the public markets. However, companies on the equity crowdfunding platform, in common with most unlisted companies, usually stay illiquid for some time, with investors unable to realise returns when they wish.

Diesel Boss Alessandro Bogliolo on how to keep a brand in peak condition: Diesel’s Chief Executive Alessandro Bogliolo believes that to survive in the luxury retail sector, sometimes you have to sacrifice sales.

Sainsbury’s superstores set for £40 million business rates tax cut: Sainsbury’s superstores are in line for a £40 million tax cut following changes to business rates.

Jaeger trading Boss moves into baby retailing: JoJo Maman Bébé, the babywear retailer favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge, has snapped up Jaeger’s former trading Director Gwynn Milligan.

Reubens add £110 million office block to London property portfolio: Billionaire property investors David and Simon Reuben have expanded their property empire, acquiring a Knightsbridge building for £110 million.

Mon, 08 May 2017 08:25:00 +0100
In the Papers - Adidas, Google, HSBC, Burberry Newspaper Summary

The Times

Adidas smashes it in America and China: A giant sales leap in North America and China has helped Adidas to outpace its bigger U.S. rival Nike.

Iran in talks with Britain over airliners: The British government is reported to be in talks with Tehran about providing export guarantees to ensure aircraft ordered by Iran’s national airline can be delivered.

Eurozone beats U.S. on growth: Growth in the eurozone’s private sector is bouncing back quickly, with business activity last month expanding at its fastest pace in six years.

Mortgage approvals at six-month low: Mortgage approvals fell to a six-month low in March amid signs that the housing market is slowing as a series of tax changes and economic uncertainty lead to caution.

Demand for gold slips as investors opt for dollars: The Trump administration’s promised infrastructure boom and the threat of U.S. interest rate rises has quelled demand for gold, despite a recent clamour for safety by Chinese investors.

Trinity Mirror print advert revenues fall: The owner of the Daily Mirror reported a 19% slide in revenues from print advertising, offering more evidence that Britain’s newspaper industry is suffering from a rapid switch to online providers such as Google and Facebook.

Randgold boosts payout after good first quarter: Randgold has urged the Congolese government not to use the mining industry as a cash cow as it moves towards ramping up payouts for shareholders.

Canberra insists BHP keeps Australian listing: The Australian government promised to block any move by BHP Billiton to ditch its Australian stock market listing in favour of London, scuttling a central demand of the activist investor stalking the world’s largest mining group.

Bosses warn LSE against going soft to lure Aramco: City regulators have been warned against loosening U.K. listing requirements in an attempt to lure Saudi Aramco to float in London.

Glencore ups forecast on trading: Glencore expects its huge commodity trading business to make $100 million more this year than originally forecast.

The Independent

Detox Kitchen: The healthy food delivery service that wants to be the new Pret a Manger: Lily Simpson, the chef and co-Founder of Detox Kitchen, started her business with the simple and humble idea of making healthy food “really delicious”.

Small and medium-sized businesses start to feel the pinch of inflation: A survey of more than 370 small and medium-sized manufacturers has shown that new orders grew at their fastest rate in three years during the first quarter of 2017, but inflationary pressures are starting to bite.

Apple CEO Tim Cook hits back at Donald Trump’s attacks: Apple Boss Tim Cook pushed back against Donald Trump’s attacks, defending the tech giant’s record of investing in its home country and announcing a $1 billion fund for advanced manufacturing in the U.S.

Just 1% of U.K. ‘strongly opposed’ to renewables: Just 1% of the public are “strongly opposed” to renewable energy, according to a new Government survey.

London estate agents offering buyers free cars and iPads to win sales: Thinking about buying a new iPad or even a new car? You could get one completely free, but you might have to buy a house.

Italy’s bankrupt national airline is being put up for sale: Alitalia will be put up for sale in two weeks having earlier this week fallen into administration.

The Daily Telegraph

U.K. economy back on the up after poor start to 2017: Britain is bouncing back from an economic blip in the early months of 2017, with new surveys raising hopes that the much-feared slowdown has not yet arrived.

Elliott to warn Akzo’s independence will lead to more job losses: Activist investor Elliott Advisors will fire the latest salvo in the tug-of-war over Dulux owner Akzo Nobel by claiming the Dutch company’s plan to remain independent could result in four times more job losses than if it was taken over by U.S. rival PPG Industries, The Daily Telegraph understands.

Hammond reassures City as euro-clearing battle with Brussels heats up: Philip Hammond tried to reassure the City over its future as a financial hub following threats from Brussels to control euro-clearing, with the Chancellor warning that proposed EU changes could weaken financial stability.

Activist investor rallies peers in threat to block DX Group’s mooted deal with rival John Menzies: Activist investor Gatemore has said it now has enough support from other shareholders in logistics company DX Group to block its mooted deal with rival John Menzies.

Google settles huge £259 million tax bill to end criminal investigation into alleged avoidance: Google will pay €306 million (£259 million) to settle a tax dispute in Italy and end a criminal investigation into whether it avoided paying the full amount on its revenues in the country for more than a decade.

Former tech unicorn Ve Interactive sold for just £2 million: Ve Interactive, the advertising technology company once valued at £1.5 billion that was bought out of administration last week, was sold for just £2 million.

The Questor Column:

Buy this newly listed fund – its manager is desperate to show that he hasn’t lost his touch: It’s unusual for Questor to cover a newly listed investment trust, because of the absence of a track record and because an appreciable discount is unlikely to have opened up. But Pershing Square, which made its debut on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, is a little different – for several reasons. First, the fund has a track record stretching back to 2004 and has been listed in Amsterdam since 2014. Second, it has been trading at a big discount in Holland and the London-listed shares are following suit. Third, the fund is much larger than would be expected for a newly listed vehicle and could enter the FTSE 250 index in future. The fund is run on an “activist” basis by Bill Ackman, a high-profile American hedge fund manager. Before that one poor investment, which was a holding in Valeant, the U.S. pharmaceuticals giant, the fund had generated average annual returns of 21%, an extremely impressive figure. They have since recovered somewhat to close at £12.21 ($15.76) in London last night. The fund is also taking its own steps to reduce the discount by buying back its shares. Hedge funds normally charge high fees but, for the moment at least, Pershing Square will cost just 1.5% a year. It can also charge a performance fee, but not until the net asset value regains its previous high of $26.37 a share. This means that investors could make gains of about 45% on an NAV basis before they have to pay a performance fee. There are other advantages for investors nervous about the markets or about Britain’s future outside the EU. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Oil plunges to lowest level for five months amid global growth fears: Oil prices have fallen sharply along with other commodities as the prospect of slowing growth in the U.S. and China blunts optimism about the global economy.

HSBC spends more on fighting financial crime as profits fall by 19%: HSBC has been hiring more staff to fight financial crime in an attempt to overcome a series of scandals which have plagued it in recent years.

U.K. car sales drop by a fifth after tax changes and price rises: Car sales tumbled in April at the sharpest rate since 2010 as government cuts to subsidies for green cars and a rise in prices hit the market for new vehicles.

Société Générale to pay £815 million to settle Libyan lawsuit: The French bank Société Générale is to pay €963 million (£815 million) to settle a legal battle with the Libyan investment fund that dates back to the Gaddafi regime.

Amazon to triple R&D staff at Cambridge base: Amazon is to more than triple its research and development team in Cambridge working on tech innovations such as its Alexa digital assistant, delivery drones and Echo smart speaker.

Pfizer to give out breast cancer drug free while awaiting NHS decision: A drug described as one of the most important advances in treating breast cancer in the past 20 years is to be given to women in the U.K. for free while the medicines regulator decides whether it should be available on the NHS.

Daily Mail

Cheap menu items at Frankie & Benny’s leave a bad taste with a projected £13 million profit loss: Restaurant Group slid down the FTSE 250 after a broker said the new menu at its Frankie & Benny’s chain of restaurants could slash profits.

Rolls-Royce workers stage carmaker’s first-ever strike over potential £160k pension loss: Workers at the Rolls-Royce car factory in Goodwood are due to strike for the first time in a long-running dispute over pensions at owners BMW.

Salaries leap by more than 7% in some parts of the U.K. but slump by nearly 12% in others: Salaries have increased by more than 7% in some parts of the U.K. in the past year, although they have fallen by more than 11% in other locations, research by jobs site CV-Library reveals.

Leading British satellite company Inmarsat joins the trend, as shareholders revolt over fat cat pay and losses: A leading British satellite company suffered a bruising revolt over fat cat pay just hours after it plunged into the red. The rebellion, at its AGM in London, came just hours after Inmarsat reported losses of £6.1 million for the first quarter of the year.

Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral sees shares slide off the back of hefty Grand National payouts: Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral said sporting results ‘gave with one hand and took with the other’ in a turbulent start to the year.

Apple’s crisis talks with Imagination end in deadlock as U.K. chip maker fights for a multi-billion-pound divorce payout: IPhone chip maker Imagination Technologies has begun formal proceedings to secure a multi-billion-pound divorce payout from Apple after talks hit a deadlock.

HSBC bankers face criminal probe over claims they helped super-rich and corrupt clients avoid Spanish tax: Three British bankers are facing an investigation over alleged money laundering at the Swiss branch of HSBC.

Daily Express

Marine Le Pen’s dual currency proposal rejected by France’s bank Chief: France’s central bank Governor warned against introducing two parallel currencies as suggested by Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, saying it would undermine confidence.

HSBC five-year fix ramps up competition as borrowers urged to switch: Homeowners are benefiting from fierce competition among lenders, as HSBC and Yorkshire Building Society reignite a price war with the launch of a new ultra low mortgage rates.

Greece debt deal is off! Germany halts bail out demanding more austerity and pension cuts: Germany says it will not support a bail out deal for Greece until it pushes through laws to cut pensions and inflict more austerity on its citizens.

Emmanuel Macron get sums wrong in TV debate saying France’s economy is bigger than it is: Emmanuel Macron made a gaffe during the French election debate with Marine Le Pen when he got his maths wrong on the economy.

Jean-Claude Juncker bids to control markets outside EU in latest power grab: Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission has moved to take control of financial institutions located outside the European Union (EU).

The Scottish Herald

Burger chain to open in Glasgow: Californian build-your-own-burger chain The Counter Custom Burgers is moving into the U.K. with the opening of outlets in Glasgow and London.

Jenkins quits at Sports Direct: Sports Direct, the high street retailer controlled by Rangers investor Mike Ashley, has parted company with its only female board member.

Services sector growth accelerates: U.K. services sector growth accelerated slightly in April, but inflationary pressures mounted, a survey shows.

RBS speeds up property lending process: Royal Bank of Scotland has said customers that want to borrow up to £2 million for commercial property investment will get a decision on the creditworthiness of their application in as little as 45 minutes under a new scheme.

Sigma hail earnings and potential of trust: Sigma Capital Group, the private sector rental property specialist (PRS), has reported profits up by more than £1 million as it outlined flotation details for its new real estate investment trust.

The Scotsman

Former BHS owner’s business placed into liquidation: Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell’s family business has been placed into liquidation, paving the way for administrators to seek £6 million owed to the collapsed retailer.

Shell earnings double amid crude prices recovery: Royal Dutch Shell more than doubled its earnings in the first three months of the year amid a bounce-back in the sector thanks to rising crude prices.

Next cuts profit outlook after 8.1% plunge in sales: Retail giant Next has cut its profit outlook again and warned trading remains under pressure after an 8.1% plunge in high street sales.

Price cutting helps push sales higher at Morrisons: Morrisons has reported better-than-expected sales growth in the first quarter after reaping the rewards of price cuts and strong Easter trading.

Call for farm rent reviews to be shelved over Brexit: Scotland’s landlords and tenants have been urged to factor the possible impacts which Brexit was likely to have on the agricultural sector into any rent review negotiations – and to consider whether this was the right time to make changes.

City A.M.

Burberry is moving 300 jobs from London to Leeds as it heads to the “home of the trench coat”: Trenchcoat maker (and poncho innovator) Burberry has unveiled plans to move 300 jobs to Leeds as it “reinforces our commitment to the... home of our trench coat”.

Ferrari revs up record quarter on strong supercar sales: Italian car giant Ferrari purred to a better-than-expected 36% rise in first quarter core earnings, sending shares higher.

Tesla shares stall as jitters set in over future sales as car giant posts wider loss than expected: Shares in Elon Musk’s electric car giant Tesla have fallen 5% on concerns over future sales.

Pure Gym muscles in on £500 million sale after abandoning London stock market flotation: Pure Gym, the fitness club operator that was forced to abort plans for a stock market listing last year, is gearing up for a £500 million sale.

Punch Taverns swings to a half-year loss ahead of its sale to Heineken: Punch Taverns moved to a loss in the first half of the year as uncertainty following the sale of the group and the introduction of the Pubs Code hit letting activity.

Fri, 05 May 2017 08:36:00 +0100
In the Papers - Facebook, Channel 5, Direct Line, JPMorgan Newspaper Summary

The Times

Facebook profits soar despite fake news row: Concerns about the spread of fake news and a scandal over misreported viewing statistics appear to have done little to lessen advertisers’ love of Facebook, which last night reported soaring revenue in the first quarter that was ahead of expectations.

Chinese airline takes a flyer on Deutsche Bank: A huge Chinese conglomerate that began life as a single airline has become the largest shareholder in Deutsche Bank after doubling its stake in the troubled German lender to just under 10%.

Channel 5 flies flag for rugby on terrestrial TV: Live Premiership Rugby matches will be shown on terrestrial television for the first time after Viacom signed a seven-figure deal.

Roof comes crashing down on Cluttons: It was founded in 1765 and for two and a half centuries helped the well-heeled of London to sell their homes.  Cluttons, one of the oldest estate agents in the world, threw in the towel, sunk by a massive pension fund deficit, and submitted to what appeared to be a rescue takeover.

Business tells next government to put jobs and EU trade first: Britain’s leading employers group has attacked Theresa May’s Brexit fall-back strategy to leave the European Union without a deal and called on the next government to prioritise the economy in the upcoming negotiations.

Corporate giants under fire over pay: Two of Britain’s biggest companies face shareholder criticism over their pay for senior Executives.

Direct Line drives up insurance premiums: Direct Line, reporting first-quarter figures, said that it had increased prices since the Justice Secretary’s decision to change the Ogden formula because of the anticipated impact it would have on the cost of claims.

The Independent

Canada produces 66% of its electricity from renewables: Canada produced about 66% of its electricity from renewable sources, according to a new report.

Japanese crisps shortage is reaching ‘crisis point’: A crisp shortage that has been gripping snack-loving Japan is now reaching crisis point, according to local media.

Pound sterling volatile on reports of no deal on Brexit: The pound was volatile in trading on Wednesday amid reports of a troubled start to Brexit divorce negotiations, fresh talk of a possible “no deal” outcome and Theresa May’s extraordinary claims that some in the EU are seeking to unduly influence the U.K. general election.

Grocery sales hit more than three-year high: Grocery sales in the U.K. grew at their fastest rate in more than three years at the beginning of 2017, despite indications that inflation is starting to bite, figures from Kantar Worldpanel show.

JPMorgan confirms hundreds of U.K. jobs to move to EU because of Brexit: JPMorgan will move hundreds of London jobs to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg in preparation for Brexit, the firm’s head of investment banking said on Tuesday.

Construction activity hits four month high in April: U.K. construction activity rose to a four-month high in April according to the latest survey snapshot of the sector, suggesting a reasonable start to the second quarter of 2017 for builders.

The Daily Telegraph

Ignore €100 billion Brexit bill and focus on trade deal, CBI tells London and EU: Britain and Brussels will both be better off if they stop wrangling over an enormous Brexit divorce bill and instead focus on the real prize - a trade deal to preserve the £600 billion of trade which flows back and forth across the Channel each year.

Facebook approaches 2 billion users: Facebook’s profits have hit one billion dollars a month as the social media giant closes in on a milestone of 2 billion users.

Jaguar Land Rover starts education scheme to counter ‘demonisation’ of diesel: Fears about the “demonisation” of diesel cars after the emissions scandal have forced Jaguar Land Rover to launch an education programme to convince buyers their vehicles are safe.

Oil firm behind Gatwick Gusher pauses South Downs drilling bid: The oil explorer behind the so-called Gatwick Gusher has temporarily dropped its application to drill for oil near the ancient South Downs forest - but has vowed that drilling will still move ahead within two years.

Imperial Brands looks to ramp up new product launches as tobacco volumes fall: Imperial Brands is looking to launch new tobacco-less products this year as it seeks to grasp a greater share of the $6 billion (£4.6 billion) e-vapour market and counter declining cigarette volumes.

Standard Chartered and JP Morgan step up Brexit plans: FTSE 100 banking giant Standard Chartered has picked Frankfurt to become the base of its European operations following Brexit, joining a growing number of lenders that are pushing ahead with plans to move operations out of London.

The Questor Column:

Hold BP, despite the risks to the dividend posed by volatile oil prices: The numbers were slightly better than expected and the company reiterated its growth targets, saying its seven key “upstream” (production) projects were all on track. But, as we pointed out in February, when the group published full-year results, BP requires the crude oil price to be at least $60 a barrel to break even. As the price is currently about $50, investors who hold the shares for the generous dividend – the yield is currently 6.8% – are justified in feeling nervous. The dividend will be truly sustainable only if the company’s cashflow routinely exceeds its costs. Neil Woodford, Britain’s most prominent income investor, warned in March that BP and Shell were maintaining their dividends only by borrowing and selling assets and were in effect “liquidating themselves” in order to sustain the payments to shareholders. It’s true BP expects its break-even price to fall steadily to $35-$40 by 2021. But to some extent, buying the shares seems to be a bet that the oil price remains at least at its current levels and that BP doesn’t end up chasing an ever-receding target. Questor says ‘Hold’.

Update: Kromek: In March, we tipped Kromek, the maker of hi-tech sensors including “dirty bomb” detectors, as a buy at 27p, impressed by the enthusiasm for the stock of Gervais Williams, a fund manager at Miton. He pointed out that the company was on the brink of breaking even and that any increase in sales would feed straight through to the bottom line, as research and development accounted for most of its costs. The shares have risen by 10% since our tip, which followed several months of falls. Mr. Williams said: “Although the share price has recovered to a degree, we are happy to retain our clients’ holdings.” Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Lidl on course to surpass Waitrose and enter U.K. supermarket top seven: Lidl is on track to overtake Waitrose to become the U.K.’s seventh-biggest grocer as early as this summer as the discounters benefit from new store openings and shoppers search out bargains amid a return to food price inflation.

ITV Chief Executive Adam Crozier steps down after seven years: ITV’s Chief Executive, Adam Crozier, is stepping down after seven years at the helm of the U.K.’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster.

Hard Brexit would cost us £500 million a year, says oil and gas industry: Brexit would land the oil and gas industry with a half-billion-pound bill if EU exit talks end with the U.K. leaving on World Trade Organisation rules, Theresa May has been warned.

Employment agency Transline loses contract with Asos: Controversial employment agency Transline has lost its contract with Asos as it tries to fend off insolvency.

HMRC steps up inquiry into employment status of Hermes couriers: HM Revenue & Customs has stepped up its investigation into the delivery company Hermes classifiying its couriers as self-employed, while the business has also been hit with an employment rights lawsuit from the GMB trade union.

Daily Mail

U.K.’s biggest tech firm Sage Group Software firm tops FTSE after wooing 1.2 million clients: The U.K.’s biggest technology company, Sage Group, jumped towards the top of the FTSE after revealing software subscriptions rose by nearly 50% in the six months to the end of March.

Mattress company Eve Sleep set to float on London’s AIM market: Mattress company Eve Sleep is set to float on London’s AIM market later this month to raise an estimated £35 million.

£130 million wiped off builder Galliford Try in bridge blunder taken on by former Boss now running Bovis Homes: Nearly £130million was wiped off the value of Galliford Try after the construction giant admitted it would cost more than expected to complete a number of projects.

Lord Mandelson to rake in £100k helping Turkish firm take over cruise ports around the world: Lord Mandelson is set to rake in nearly £100,000 a year by advising a Turkish company that wants to take over cruise ports around the world.

Grand national and U.S. Masters blight strong start to the year for Paddy Power Betfair: Big wins for punters on the Grand National and the U.S. Masters overshadowed a strong start to the year for bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair.

Daily Express

Donald Trump to deregulate U.S. banks in bid to separate consumer and investment arms: Donald Trump is marching ahead with his plans to deregulate U.S. banks, looking back to legislation that helped to turn the economy around during the Great Depression.

8O8 Whisky drums up support with crowdfunding drive: 8O8 Whisky, a grain blended Scotch brand with a big following among clubbers in Britain and the Balearics, is looking to raise £300,000 ahead of international expansion.

Petrol price cut on the way? Strong pound and fall in costs means fuel price ‘must drop’: Cheaper petrol should be offered to drivers after the pound strengthened and wholesale costs have fallen, according to experts.

Folium Optics helps the medicine go down easily with smart SCREEN reminders for patients: Electronic reminders fitted on patients’ medicines, improving care and cutting waste, are set to be the first commercial products from pioneering display expert Folium Optics.

How ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ can help children buy home without having to hand over cash: Lenders are targeting parents trying to help their children on to the property ladder, with a growing number of mortgages tailored for the market.

Juncker to demand direct supervision of clearing houses as global banks & investors balk: Jean Claude Juncker will announce plans to boot British banks out of European financial markets unless he is allowed to supervise them.

The Scottish Herald

Sainsbury warns on impact of inflation as profits are hit: Sainsbury has warned that non-food sales will be hit by rising inflation and weak wage growth, while underlining that it expects food prices to rise amid sterling weakness following the Brexit vote.

Retail sales more resilient in Scotland in first quarter: Retail sales volumes fell in Scotland in the first quarter at a slower pace than in Great Britain as a whole,

Brexit risks to oil and gas industry highlighted: The North Sea oil and gas industry is heavily reliant on thousands of skilled workers from European Union countries a report has found, prompting calls for the Government to ensure the free flow of labour after Brexit.

Souter Investments backs takeover of Aberdeen oil services firm: Oil services firm TWMA has been acquired by a group of investors that includes the family investment vehicle of transport tycoon Brian Souter and Aberdeen Asset Management amid challenging times for the industry.

Tenants and landlords should consider Brexit in rent reviews: Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, is calling on landlords and tenants of agricultural holdings to carefully consider the impact of Brexit where a rent review is due.

Buzzworks to create 60 jobs with opening of first east of Scotland venue: bar and restaurant group Buzzworks Holdings has made its first move into the east of Scotland, taking on a South Queensferry venue that is part of the redevelopment of the town’s Port Edgar Marina.

Aggreko downgrade wipes £109 million off value: Glasgow-based temporary power provider Aggreko saw £109 million wiped off its value at the start of trading after U.S. bank Morgan Stanley downgraded the company overnight.

CST Global sold to Sivers IMA: Blantyre technology business Compound Semiconductor Technologies (CST) Global, which makes lasers for the telecommunications industry, has been acquired by Swedish firm Sivers IMA.

QikServe goes Dutch with order for international expansion: Qikserve, the mobile order and payment business, has reported that the installation of its platform at a restaurant in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has transformed its ordering process.

The Scotsman

Wetherspoon Founder Tim Martin blasts CBI over Brexit: Tim Martin, the pro-Brexit Founder of pubs operator JD Wetherspoon, has taken a sideswipe at the CBI’s stance that leaving the EU without a trade deal would be dangerous.

Diesel car scrappage scheme expected for pollution hotspots: Drivers in air pollution hotspots will be offered cash to trade in or modify their diesel cars and vans to cut emissions, it was reported.

Fit-out firm Sharkey on a high with project wins: Sharkey, the Edinburgh-headquartered construction services group, is on track for a solid performance in 2017 having already secured more than £50 million of new project activity since the start of the year.

U.K. factory output hits highest level in three years: The economy has been given as boost after it emerged that Britain’s manufacturing sector had hit a three-year high.

Quarter of first-time buyers relying more on parental help: Parental support to help young people to move onto the property ladder is set to play in a part in a quarter of all property transactions in 2017, according to a new report. The “bank of mum and dad” will lend more than £6.5 billion over the course of the year - up £1.5 billion from 2016.

City A.M.

Ian McCaig, Chief Executive of First Utility, is stepping down for “personal reasons”: The Boss of the U.K.’s largest energy challenger, First Utility, is leaving the business after six years.

BMW employees ramp up strikes in row over “pensions robbery” with Rolls-Royce workers joining the walkouts this week: BMW workers have walked out again in the third of eight strikes over a bitter pensions dispute with the German car giant.

Kraft Heinz runs out of beans as sales stagnate in “slow start to the year” sending shares dipping: U.S. food giant Kraft Heinz reported lower than expected quarterly profit and sales, noting a “slow start to the year”.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has left rates unchanged at its May meeting as expectation builds for June hike: The Federal Reserve has voted not to raise its key interest rate, following hikes in December and March.

Activist hedge fund TCI ups the pressure on Safran to ditch its huge €8.5 billion Zodiac deal: Activist hedge fund TCI Fund Management is increasing its pressure on French aircraft engine maker Safran to ditch its plans to buy aeroplane seat maker Zodiac in a €8.5 billion (£6.6 billion) deal.

Healthcare firm Circle Holdings to delist from London Stock Exchange after Toscafund takeover: Healthcare company Circle Holdings is to delist from the London Stock Exchange next month when it is taken over by Toscafund.

Thu, 04 May 2017 08:26:00 +0100
In the Papers - Ocado, London Stock Exchange, Apple, BP Newspaper Summary

The Times

Smoke signals from diesel may warn of trouble ahead: Motor manufacturers could be exposed to losses of billions of euros from risky loans made by their lending businesses to help customers to buy diesel cars, analysts have warned. German groups such as BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen face losses of up to €3.5 billion each from their financial services divisions, according to a report by Sanford Bernstein, an American investment bank.

Emerging markets pay off for Aberdeen: Analysts cheered interim figures from Aberdeen Asset Management, in spite of the company’s admission that clients with a net £2.9 billion of assets had walked out of the door in the three months to March, continuing a four-year spate of defections.

Mandelson’s Executive berth in Global Ports is worth $120,000: Lord Mandelson will receive $120,000 a year to act as senior independent Director of Global Ports Holding, which is on track to be one of the biggest listings in London this year.

Delays over nuclear plan ‘damage U.K.’: The nuclear industry is being damaged by government dithering over plans for “mini” reactors, a House of Lords report has warned.

Eurozone wipes 1 million off jobless total: Unemployment continued to edge lower in the eurozone in March as the bloc made slow progress against its most intractable economic problem.

Euro weakness proves strength for manufacturing on Continent: Activity at Europe’s factories surged to a six-year high last month. The purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing rose to 56.7, the highest reading since April 2011. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

Four years of falling shop prices ‘coming to an end’: Four years of falling food prices could be coming to an end as the impact of lower sterling and the Brexit negotiations takes hold.

The Independent

The U.K.’s longest flight just got longer: As demand soars for the first non-stop flight from the U.K. to Australia, Qantas has confirmed its website is understating the duration of the longest flight from London by an hour.

Ocado shares jump on hopes of M&S home delivery partnership: Shares in online retailer Ocado jumped by more than 8% on reports it might strike a deal with department store and food retailer Marks & Spencer which is considering becoming the latest company to offer home delivery across the U.K.

Greece reaches long-awaited deal with creditors on bailout reforms: Greek government officials said on Tuesday they have reached an agreement with its creditors on the terms to restart bailout loan payouts, following months of tough negotiations.

Banks stung customers with combined £300 million in ‘extortionate’ overdraft fees in 2016: Banks stung their customers with a combined £300 million in unarranged overdraft fees last year, often for going only a few pounds over their agreed limit.

More than half of U.K. university students pay more than £100 per week on rent as costs spiral: More than half of university students are now forced to pay more than £100 per week for accommodation as rents have soared in recent years.

Increased appetite for takeaways helps Just Eat to push up sales: An increased appetite for takeaway orders has helped push up sales at takeaway delivery company Just Eat by nearly half.

Liberty House to create 300 jobs as it completes £100 million takeover of Tata Steel U.K. division: Liberty House has announced that it will be creating 300 new production jobs in Yorkshire, as it completes its takeover of one of Tata Steel’s speciality divisions - a deal which will also safeguard around 1,700 existing Tata jobs.

The Daily Telegraph

Belgian finance Minister warns EU: change or die: Brexit has “shattered” the principle of ever closer union in the EU, according to the Belgian finance Minister, who warned that the bloc had to transform itself to survive.

LSE fires back at EU plot to seize euro-clearing: The London Stock Exchange has fired back at Brussels’ proposal to restrict London’s ability to host euro-clearing, warning that any restriction on the clearing of Euro swaps would “damage European issuers, savers, investors, pension funds and intermediaries”.

Morgan Stanley sells Affinity Water for £1.6 billion: Morgan Stanley has sold Affinity Water for £1.6 billion to a consortium of investors including FTSE 250 investor HICL Infrastructure and German insurance giant Allianz.

Warning over fake bank websites targeting British savers: Hundreds of fake websites that appear to be owned by major high street banks have been discovered online, raising fears that fraudsters are targeting U.K. savers. 

Fierce discounting delays rise in inflation: Shops struggled to restrain prices in April, discounting vigorously in a bid to avoid a surge in inflation pushing customers away.

The Questor Column:

Telecom Plus well placed to benefit from a Conservative crackdown on energy prices: The Conservative Party’s proposed crackdown on energy providers may be worrying shareholders in SSE and Centrica but it would only serve to reaffirm the attractions of Telecom Plus’s business model, assuming the Tories are re-elected and the policy brought in. An acceleration of that trend could help Telecom Plus add to its 600,000 customers since it has a 20-year power supply deal with npower that is priced at a discount to the average standard variable tariff offered by the Big Six. As a result, Telecom Plus can offer competitive tariffs and also bundle services, as it provides broadband and telecoms as well as gas and electricity. Although investment in IT and new customer additions may mean profits come in broadly flat for the year to March 2018, a 4.2% dividend yield means investors will be paid to wait before a possible re-acceleration in earnings momentum in 2019. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Aggreko: An embarrassing attempt by Aggreko to reward Directors with shares for simply staying with the company for three years (albeit in exchange for capped bonuses and incentive schemes) was rightly pulled by the company after institutional investors did their job ahead of last week’s AGM. Chief Executive Chris Weston noted a 2% like-for-like increase in sales, compared with the 10% drop in 2016, and left guidance for a full-year drop in pre-tax, pre-exceptional profits unchanged. A stabilisation, or improvement, in the top line will help the generator and equipment rental specialist in its efforts to drive group operating margins up from 16% last year to its 20% target. If that 20% goal is met, earnings per share could reach the 80p mark at least, with a little sales growth, leaving the stock on a forward price/earnings ratio of barely 11 times. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

U.K. needs £15 billion in cuts or tax rises to clear deficit by 2022, says IFS: It will take an extra £15 billion of spending cuts or tax rises to eliminate the budget deficit by the time of the 2022 election, a leading thinktank has said as it laid bare the damaging legacy of the financial crisison U.K. living standards and public finances.

Apple reports surprise drop in iPhones sales, again: Apple reported a surprise fall in iPhone sales for the second quarter on Tuesday, suggesting that customers had delayed purchases in anticipation of the 1oth-anniversary edition launch of the company’s core product.

Barclays Chief clashes with private equity firm over family dispute: Barclays Boss Jes Staley has incurred the wrath of one of the bank’s most powerful clients, private equity giant KKR, after backing his brother-in-law in a legal dispute with the buyout house.

Wealthy feel pinch of housing costs as one in four Australians face mortgage stress: The burden of housing costs is biting even in Australia’s wealthiest suburbs as an unprecedented one in four households nationally face mortgage stress, according to the latest in a 15-year series of analyses.

Italy’s Alitalia to enter administration after staff reject rescue deal: Alitalia has filed for administration for the second time in a decade, a move that could see the troubled Italian national carrier restructured, sold or finally wound up.

English vineyards report ‘catastrophic’ damage after severe April frost: English winemakers are reporting “catastrophic” crop damage after the worst frost in a generation wiped out at least half of this year’s grape harvest.

Daily Mail

BP trebles its profits on the back of oil price recovery, record production and cost-cutting: BP profits have nearly tripled after massive cost cutting and a boost from the oil price. The oil giant made £1.1billion over the first quarter of 2017 compared to £384million in the previous quarter.

Gold miner Avocet blames auditor Grant Thornton as shares are suspended following accounting gaffe: The firm was pulled from trading after failing to publish its annual report and financial statement for the year ending December 31, 2016 within four months of the year’s end. It quickly pinned the blame on auditor Grant Thornton, who it said needed more time to complete the filing

Green light for AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy bladder cancer drug revolution: A blockbuster bladder cancer treatment from AstraZeneca has been given the green light – the first commercial win for the giant since losing its best-selling cholesterol medicine to cheaper generics.

Husband of Penelope Judd, incoming Chairman, Plus 500 buys £100,000 stake: The husband of incoming Plus 500 Chairman Penelope Judd has bought a £100,000 stake in the spread-betting firm.

Investors vent their many grievances at scandal-hit HSBC’s AGM: HSBC’s recent AGM was its usual lively affair, with disgruntled investors venting their grievances at the scandal-ridden bank’s board.

Shamed Tory donor David Rowland throws in the towel in battle to control Falklands industries: Conservative Party donor David Rowland has thrown in the towel in the Falkland Islands after losing a battle to take control of its key industries.

Daily Express

ECB Chief Draghi issues Brexit threat as U.K. factory growth smashes forecasts: ECB Chief Mario Draghi followed in the footsteps of Brussels by issuing a direct threat to the U.K. over Brexit as Greece agreed a new austerity deal that will cut pensions.

Juncker goes to war with Italy’s oldest bank Monte dei Paschi putting bailout under threat: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is demanding Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena make radical jobs cuts to get its bail out.

EU’s Canada trade deal could be blocked by Emmanuel Macron as he steps up Frexit rhetoric: French election hopeful Emmanuel Macron has signalled he’s prepared to block the European Union’s (EU) lauded CETA free trade agreement with Canada.

808 Drinks hopes to drum up support to fuel international growth: 808 Drinks, the Scotch whisky company backed by superstar DJ Pete Tong and Warner Music U.K. Chief Max Lousada, is looking to raise £300,000 to fuel its international growth.

Bank of Mum and Dad helps quarter of home buyers on to propery ladder: The Bank of Mum and Dad is now one of Britain’s biggest lenders, helping more than a quarter of all property sales this year, research has revealed.

The Scottish Herald

BP Boss says outlook for North Sea is good: BP finance Chief Brian Gilvary has said things bode well for the U.K. North Sea amid expectations the crude price will remain above $50 per barrel.

Highlands and Islands role a dream for law firm founder: Professor Lorne Crerar feels like a very lucky man. As Chairman of Harper Macleod, the £25.7 million turnover law firm that he co-founded nearly three decades ago, he gets to do what he describes as his “dream job” on a daily basis. But, as he also holds the Chairmanship of economic development agency Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE), he gets to do his “second dream job” too.

Faichnie makes the case for Granite city deals: Veteran financier Tom Faichnie will tell U.S. investors to put Aberdeen on their radar in a speech to the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston next week.

Oil services veteran slams location bias of RSA grants: An Aberdeenshire businessman has slammed the “unfair” eligibility criteria for Scottish Enterprise Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants, saying an inability to access the funding is hampering his plans to create 100 jobs in the north east.

Amazon hails innovation in Edinburgh as it gears up for small business event: Amazon has proclaimed Edinburgh as the “ideal location” in which to invest and said its outlay in Scotland has helped thousands of small businesses to grow.

Forecast is positive for wind power researchers: A team of researchers from the University of Strathclyde have won an international wind power forecasting competition by accurately estimating how much energy would be generated by a portfolio of wind farms over a two-week period.

Brexit could send workers south: Builders are fearful there could be a skill drain to London and the South East if free access to labour is lost in the Brexit negotiations.

Services jobs in Arbroath saved: Eighteen jobs have been saved after Arbroath-based oil and gas services Mountwest Petroleum Engineering (MPEL) was bought out of administration last week.

The Scotsman

AAM says Standard Life deal ‘on track’ as profits jump: Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) said its £11 billion merger with Standard Life was “on track” as it revealed its first-half earnings had jumped by almost a fifth.

Scottish Chambers urges quick deal on EU employees: Scotland’s smaller and mid-sized businesses have challenged the incoming U.K. government ahead of the forthcoming general election to fast-track an early deal on the future of EU workers after Brexit.

Shares returns to Edinburgh with investor gathering: Investors will have the chance to grill Bosses from seven listed companies at an event being held in Edinburgh later this month.

Grangemouth chemical plant evacuated due to ‘major incident’: The Grangemouth Ineos petrochemicals plant has evacuated workers after a gas leak.

Edrington swallows Glenrothes single malt brand: Famous Grouse-maker Edrington has swallowed the Glenrothes Speyside single malt brand for an undisclosed sum.

Expansion in store for life sciences firm Arrayjet: Arrayjet, the Midlothian life sciences outfit, has expanded its headcount as it seeks to grow its overseas sales.

City A.M.

London-listed Shire’s shares rise as sales double following its $32 billion takeover of Baxalta last year: Shares in FTSE-100 listed Shire nudged up over two% this afternoon after the pharma group reported a better-than-expected 14% rise in first-quarter earnings.

Bovis Homes share price rises as it cuts production by 10%: Bovis Homes said this morning that it will be cutting production by at least 10% as it tries to avoid a re-run of last year’s customer service scandal.

Aviva faces mounting pressure as analyst backs activist in push to offload asset management arm: The activist investor that masterminded the downfall of Aviva’s Chief Executive in 2012 is calling for the insurance giant’s to ditch its £345 billion asset management arm, which it slammed as “underperforming”.

Barclays ramps up fintech ambitions with the launch of Europe’s largest co-working space for financial technologies in Shoreditch: Barclays is focusing on boosting its fintech credentials with the opening of its flagship innovation site Rise London in Shoreditch, which it says will be Europe’s largest co-working space specifically for financial technologies.

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman lists his £3.5 billion Pershing Square fund in London: Billionaire investor Bill Ackman listed his $4.6 billion (£3.5 billion) Pershing Square Holdings investment fund in London today.

Wed, 03 May 2017 08:48:00 +0100
In the Papers - Cadbury, Tesla, Twitter, Sirius Minerals Newspaper Summary

The Times

Firms avoiding attempts to tackle pre-pack abuse: Ministers have been urged to tighten the rules around pre-pack administrations after figures showed that a voluntary system for preventing abuses was largely being ignored.

Velocity set to land on London market: A British company at the heart of the efforts to make large aircraft more fuel-efficient and less environmentally damaging is set to float on the junior market of the London Stock Exchange.

Lloyds denies claims of credit card ‘time bomb’: Lloyds Banking Group has shrugged off concerns that its practice of booking revenue upfront from customers who have interest-free periods on their credit cards is a “ticking time bomb”.

Gas users fear lack of public money is storing up trouble: The government is resisting calls to intervene and protect the stability of Britain’s gas supply, despite warnings that the country’s main gas storage site is likely to close.

Car dealers join bankers caught in headlights of compliance: Bankers know the word only too well, what it means in basic terms and, more to the point, what it demands in man hours and hard cash, in getting it right and the huge cost of getting it wrong. Now car dealers are undergoing a crash course in compliance.

New York hedge fund Boss places his bet on City: One of Wall Street’s best-known hedge fund managers is set to make his first foray into the City as he oversees the London listing of a $4.4 billion vehicle that will seek wealthy investors from across the U.K.

Music producer calls the (whisky) shots: A whisky company founded by a music producer aims to raise at least £300,000 to take the drink into new markets.

Garden chain plants online delivery idea: One of Britain’s biggest garden centre chains is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Amazon and Asos by launching a next-day online delivery service.

Heads roll in Alliance Bernstein shake-up: The Boss of Alliance Bernstein has been dismissed by the company’s French owner as part of a shake-up at the top of the New York-based fund manager.

The Independent

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos could beat Bill Gates to become first trillionaire in the world: With a net worth of $87 billion (£67 billion), Microsoft co-Founder Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, and is currently in pole position in the race to become the first trillionnaire.

Dyslexia should be recognised as a sign of potential, says Richard Branson: Sir Richard Branson has said dyslexia should be recognised as a sign of potential in an effort to combat the stigma around the learning difficulty.

Proportion of female high earners unchanged in six years: The proportion of U.K. female high earners has not changed for the past six years, despite initiatives to shrink the pay gap between men and women, according to new research.

Recruitment essential for U.K. post-Brexit, BCC warns: Brexit negotiations shouldn’t divert the U.K. government’s attention from the challenges businesses are facing at home, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned.

Fox News co-President Bill Shine out amid growing exodus at network: The bloodletting at Fox News shows no sign of stopping after the conservative network announced that co-President Bill Shine was leaving.

A classic Cadbury chocolate bar is making its long-awaited comeback: The Cadbury Dairy Milk Tiffin, first produced in 1937, is making a permanent comeback to the U.K.

Avocados just got a lot more expensive: If you can’t imagine starting your day without smashed avocado on toast, get ready to pay a hefty price for your breakfast.

The Daily Telegraph

Premier League, Sky, Odeon and BFI join forces to fight Brussels’ copyright overhaul: The British entertainment industry has joined forces with its counterparts across Europe to attack moves in Brussels it claims will “severely erode” the “absolute cornerstone” of the film and television businesses.

Tesla prepares to update on car production rates that are crucial to its success: Tesla is set for another jump in sales as it ramps up production in response to growing demand for its electric cars.

Scottish whisky maker Loch Lomond bets big on China with distribution deal: One of Scotland’s oldest whisky producers is banking on rising Chinese appetite for scotch after signing a distribution deal with China’s biggest food company.

Apple’s cash reserves swell to $250 billion: Apple’s cash pile has swelled to over $250 billion (£194 billion), a sum greater than the combined foreign reserves of the British government and Bank of England.

Twitter shares jump 6% in one day after streaming news deal with Bloomberg: Twitter’s shares rose more than 6% on Monday after a report that the company is partnering with Bloomberg for streaming news, marking the stock’s third straight day of gains following strong results last week.

General Motors says it will become the first automaker to generate profit from electric cars: U.S. auto giant General Motors is poised to become the first manufacturer to make a profit from electric vehicles, a GM Executive predicted on Monday.

Boost in Aberdeen results could reshape merger, analysts warn: Aberdeen Asset Management is set to announce better than expected first-half results on Tuesday in a move City analysts say could transform the shape of its proposed £11 billion merger with Standard Life.

The Guardian

Britain’s energy supply is in jeopardy after Brexit, warn MPs: The future of Britain’s power supply has been jeopardised by Brexit and the government must act urgently to ensure nuclear power stations stay open, MPs have warned.

Google and Facebook bring in one-fifth of global ad revenue: Google and Facebook attracted one-fifth of global advertising spending last year, nearly double the figure of five years ago, research shows.

May Day report by MPs damns growing U.K. gig economy: Companies in Britain’s growing gig economy are forcing workers into bogus self-employment and free-riding on the welfare state, an influential committee of MPs has said.

German finance Minister hails progress in Greek economic reforms: Greece has received some rare praise for its reform push from Germany’s finance Minister, who has raised hopes that the debt-stricken country will get more bailout funds soon.

Smaller deposits raise hopes for U.K. first-time homebuyers: Easier access to mortgages with a small deposit has offered some glimmers of hope for first-time buyers struggling to get on to Britain’s housing ladder, according to a new report.

Chinese economy cools as key sectors continue to slow: China’s economy has shown more signs of cooling with key barometers from its manufacturing and services sectors dipping in April. The latest data comes as Beijing attempts to rein in a booming property market and rapid credit growth.

State-owned Swedish firm Vattenfall enters U.K. energy market: A state-owned Swedish company has become the latest European firm to enter the U.K.’s lucrative energy market, as Britain’s appeal to continental power suppliers shows no sign of abating after the Brexit vote.

Daily Mail

Sirius Minerals digs deep to mine in the Yorkshire Moors: Sirius Minerals is more than just another stock market-listed company. It is an adventure – a blend of British pioneering spirit at its best, mixed with thoroughly modern technology and a large dose of Australian perseverance.

Former U.K. energy Minister takes fourth oil job as deputy Chairman of Atlantic Petroleum: A former energy Minister has taken up a fourth lucrative job in the oil industry. Charles Hendry, who owns a £2.5 million castle in Scotland, has been made deputy Chairman of troubled explorer Atlantic Petroleum.

U.S. handbag giant Coach plotting to bag shoe maker Jimmy Choo in £1 billion takeover: New York handbag firm Coach is said to be plotting a £1 billion bid for shoe maker Jimmy Choo as it continues to target the U.K.’s luxury goods market.

Co-op Bank sale going to the wire and moving towards a second diminishing financial restructuring: A sale of the struggling Co-op Bank may be abandoned, forcing it to raise more cash from existing investors as a key deadline looms.

Able U.K. welcomes the arrival of cargo ship Pioneering Spirit: The world’s largest ship is due to arrive in Hartlepool carrying the 24,000-ton platform of one of Shell’s old North Sea oil rigs.

Daily Express

Hyatt Hotels boosted by U.S. holidaymakers taking advantage of weak pound: The Europe Chief of luxury hotel brand Hyatt has said the group had enjoyed a healthy first quarter in the U.K. this year, as the weaker pound attracted more visitors from across the Atlantic.

Co-op switches all their fresh meat to British-only: Co-op stores have switched all their fresh meat to British-only.

Murdoch’s Sky bid back in spotlight: Rupert Murdoch’s bid to take full control of Sky will come under fresh scrutiny this week when an influential group of politicians meets with Ofcom to express their opposition to the tycoon’s latest takeover attempt.

Rock music fan fights Viagogo over sky high concert ticket charges: It was no go with Viagogo, a rock music fan decided, after she saw the staggering price the online agency had charged her for concert tickets and costly extras.

Reasons for optimism as U.K. salaries on the rise: Advertised salaries have started to rise slightly after falling over the past year, research shows.

The Scottish Herald

Copylab expands U.S. city presence: Investment writing business Copylab is to open offices in New York and Chicago.

Plant hire business sold to staff in MBO: The owner of an Ayrshire plant hire company is to develop a garden centre and country park after selling the business in a management buyout backed by Royal Bank of Scotland.

Scotland is in line for data jobs boost: Scotland is building a global reputation as a “destination of choice” for data science companies to invest and develop their businesses, as the country’s data innovation centre declared 250 jobs will be created by the projects it supports.

Agents in bid to see Holyrood regulate profession: Glasgow online estate agency Walker Wylie has added its voice to calls for regulation of estate agents to be passed to the Scottish Parliament.

Superstores’ figures set to bring up issues of rising prices and downturn fears: Rising prices and fears of a consumer spending downturn are set to be key themes when supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Morrisons report figures this week. Under-pressure food sales will be in sharp focus when Sainsbury’s kicks off with its full-year figures on Wednesday.

The Scotsman

Data Lab doubles up with £70 million boost to economy: Scotland’s publicly funded innovation centre for data science is set to double its annual contribution to the economy to £70 million after ramping up the number of research projects it supports.

Hotels Chief warns over Brexit threat to workers: Luxury hotel group Hyatt has warned that “life could become very difficult” for the U.K. hospitality industry after Brexit if access to foreign workers is restricted.

Canny Scots steer clear of high-risk mortgage frenzy: Homebuyers in Scotland are steering clear of the risky mortgage frenzy amid fresh fears that many people across the U.K. could be over-stretching themselves.

Supermarket giants to test high street resilience: There can be little doubt that 2017 will prove to be a more challenging year for Britain’s retailers than 2016, which, in itself, was hardly a cause for much celebration.

Leadership organisation gets wealth firm Tcam onside: Wealth management firm Tcam has been announced as a new corporate partner for Entrepreneurial Scotland (ES), the leadership outfit that will stage its annual conference this week at Gleneagles.

City A.M.

U.S. President Donald Trump is plotting a move to break up Wall Street banks: Donald Trump is plotting a break-up of Wall Street banking giants, the U.S. President said.

Brockmans toasts the U.K.’s gin renaissance with record sales and big plans: The U.K. is the midst of a gin renaissance. Last year, gin sales at home and abroad smashed all records. In the U.K., sales broke the £1 billion mark for the first time while overseas more British gin was sold than ever before, worth almost half a billion pounds.

U.K. oil majors set to follow in Exxon Mobil’s footsteps and post profit surges after lift oil price rally: Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell are set to unveil robust first quarter profits this week, boosted by a surge in oil prices since late November.

Oasis, Coast and Warehouse stores could close after sale to turnaround firm: Branches of Warehouse, Oasis and Coast could close after the brands are auctioned off to a new owner.

Tue, 02 May 2017 08:40:00 +0100
In the Papers - United Airlines, NHS, Coca-Cola, Vauxhall Newspaper Summary

The Times

Warm weather eases inflation gloom: Households are losing their swagger as inflation takes its toll on incomes, raising concerns on the country’s high streets, according to two surveys.

Camelot Chief quits before licence review: Andy Duncan is to resign as Chief Executive of the company that runs the National Lottery because he did not want to commit himself to leading it through the next licence application.

Warning of oil shortages as discoveries fall to record low: Global oil discoveries fell to a record low last year and are showing no sign of recovery, raising the risk of shortages in coming years, the International Energy Agency has warned.

Total keeps an eye on Aramco prize: Total, the French oil company, has said it could take a stake in Saudi Aramco, which is planning a public listing.

Genel Chief given £1.5 million despite boardroom split: Genel Energy boosted the pay of its Chief Executive to £1.5 million last year and increased his long-term bonus potential despite opposition from some of its own board members.

Freehold scandal to leave builder with £130 million bill: One of the biggest housebuilders has set aside £130 million to cover disputes over leasehold contracts that have been described by MPs as the “PPI of the housebuilding industry”.

Buoyant Persimmon puts best foot forward: Britain’s second largest housebuilder has said the resilience of the economy helped it to deliver an 11% increase in its forward sales since the start of the year.

Clear skies for Microsoft as strong cloud lifts revenue: Microsoft reported a 27.8% increase in quarterly profit lifted by demand for its cloud computing services.

Bigger jets help Heathrow to soar: Heathrow take-off and landing slots may be full but larger aircraft bringing more passengers, a spending splurge in the shopping malls and record earnings from the Heathrow Express have prompted profit upgrades at Europe’s busiest airport.

Countrywide feels the chill from sales fall: The owner of Britain’s largest network of residential estate agents reported a 13% fall in revenue in its first quarter as it continued to suffer from a sharp fall in housing sales.

The Independent

U.K. ‘set to allow EU pollution that will kill hundreds in Britain’: The U.K. could be about to vote against new European Union air quality standards that would prevent hundreds of premature deaths in Britain caused by air pollution produced on the continent, campaigners have warned.

Consumer confidence declines in April: Consumer confidence ebbed slightly in April, in the latest sign of weakness in the shopper-driven U.K. economy since last year’s Brexit vote.

United Airlines reaches settlement with doctor dragged off flight: United Airlines has a reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum with the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month.

Amazon to create 1,200 new jobs in the U.K.: Retail behemoth Amazon has unveiled plans for a new site in Warrington, creating 1,200 new permanent jobs to meet swelling customer demand.

United Airlines to offer passengers up to $10,000 to surrender seats: United Airlines will offer up to $10,000 (£7,760) to passengers who give up their seats on an overbooked flight.

NHS funding squeeze ‘forces drug giants to leave Britain’: Britain risks becoming a “desert for healthcare innovation” unless the NHS receives billions of extra funding each year, a leading trade body has warned.

U.K. should scrap state pensions for the richest 5-10%, says OECD: The U.K. should scrap state pension payments for the richest retirees, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has said.

Coca-Cola to cut 1,200 jobs as consumers turn away from sugary drinks: Coca-Cola has announced plans to cut about 20% of its corporate workforce, as the company battles a drop-in sales due to falling demand for its sugary drinks.

The Daily Telegraph

Foreign investors back Brexit Britain: Britain is the number one destination in Europe for foreign direct investment, according to figures that revealed a surge in inflows to levels not seen since before the financial crisis.

Vauxhall had ‘reckless disregard for safety’ over Zafira car fires, say MPs: Vauxhall had a “reckless disregard for safety” by letting people drive its Zafira cars which it knew were unsafe and could catch fire, says damning parliamentary report.

Investors fire warning shots at U.K. plc in day of pay revolts: An investor backlash over pay intensified on Thursday as shareholders fired warning shots at a string of Britain’s biggest businesses led by drug maker AstraZeneca and power provider Aggreko.

Saudi Aramco Boss insists oil demand will grow for ‘the foreseeable future’: The world’s largest oil company has rubbished fears that a shift to low carbon sources could mean over a trillion dollars worth of oil assets are left abandoned ahead of the planned market float of Saudi Aramco next year.

Airbus hits financial turbulence as three key projects struggle: Airbus has flown into turbulence in the start of the year with profits plunging as problems bug three of its biggest projects.

Scandal-hit Watchstone reveals plan to break itself up: The company behind the Quindell stock market scandal is set to disappear after it revealed plans to break itself up and the Executive brought in to turn it around announced his departure.

House price growth hits 12-year high in some northern cities as London slows to five-year low: House price inflation in some of the U.K.’s northern cities has hit a 12-year high, as the lethargic growth rate in London slumped to a three-year low.

The Questor Column:

A narrowing discount and strong performance make this investment trust a buy: Several investment trusts have built up private equity portfolios, and have tended on trade on large discounts since the financial crisis. At “worst”, the sector hit an average discount of 61%. In other words, the shares in the trusts were changing hands at prices that lagged the estimated value of the underlying holdings by 61%. That was at the height of the financial turmoil of 2009. Now discounts are at an average of 13% – still large enough to be attractive – but with prospects of narrowing further. Of particular interest is ICG Enterprise Trust. This trust has undergone significant change in the past couple of years, having been run previously by Graphite Capital Management. Peter Hewitt, manager of F&C Managed Portfolio, a portfolio that invests only in investment trusts, said the new ownership opens up opportunities in America, because ICG has more resources in that area. This is a key differentiator from some peers, as the cost of running a private equity portfolio, particularly in a fund-of-fund model, is higher. The current ongoing charges are 1.4%, which is on the higher side but not exceptional in this sector. ICG Enterprise’s full-year results for the year ended January 31 are solid. The fund’s total return for the period was 28.9% (although of this 7.1% was down to foreign exchange movements, following sterling’s fall). The board is planning a minimum dividend of 20p per share for the year, which at the current share price represents a 2.7% yield. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

U.K. carmakers ‘sitting on their hands’ rather than investing: Britain’s carmakers have warned that they do not believe a trade deal with the EU will be struck within the next two years and are “sitting on their hands” rather than investing in the U.K.

WPP to cut Martin Sorrell’s pay in bid to calm investors: Sir Martin Sorrell, Britain’s best-paid Chief Executive, is to take a pay cut in an effort to avert a clash with investors over the scale of his remuneration. WPP will confirm on Friday that Sorrell was awarded almost £50 million last year, taking the total payout to the Founder of the world’s largest advertising company to more than £200 million over the past five years.

Uber to offer U.K. drivers sickness cover in return for £2-a-week fee: Uber is to start offering its minicab drivers sickness cover in exchange for a £2 per week fee, in its latest bid to head off criticism over working conditions for its 40,000 drivers in the U.K.

This is not just any online grocer … M&S plans food deliveries: Marks & Spencer is to launch an online grocery shopping service this autumn as it looks to cash in on the success of its food halls.

Barclays Boss faces shareholder revolt over whistleblowing case: Barclays’ Chief Executive is facing a shareholder revolt at next month’s annual meeting because of the ongoing regulatory investigation into his attempts to unmask a whistleblower.

Qantas offers first ever direct U.K. to Australia flights from £1,095: Tickets for the first non-stop flight from the U.K. to Australia went on sale on Thursday as Qantas launched a direct flight between London and Perth.

Daily Mail

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi provides a £944 million share boost for private hospitals chain Mediclinic: Global private hospital provider Mediclinic was by far the FTSE’s biggest winner, with a healthy £944million added to its value after Abu Dhabi’s government scrapped a surcharge on treatment.

RBS settles with shareholders over disastrous 2008 fundraising drive: The Royal Bank of Scotland has settled with 87% of shareholders over its disastrous £12billion fundraising drive in 2008.

In a bet that’s electrified Wall Street, one trader’s gambled £80 million on the demise of U.S. shopping malls: Eric Yip spent his childhood working in his parents’ store at a shopping mall in a small New Jersey town. The family sold homewares and T-shirts from the Burlington Center.

Millionaires snap up Oyster Card-style private jet flights: Sales soar at plane broker Air Partner: Sales are soaring at plane broker Air Partner thanks to booming demand for private jets and more customers snapping up its Oyster Card-type payments option.

Lloyds delights traders as rate squeeze boosts profits but bank is accused of squeezing customers: Lloyds has been accused of squeezing customers to boost its profits. It made £1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2017 – almost twice the amount a year earlier.

Plus-sized fashion chain that is raking in a hefty £259 million with store credit deals: Around a quarter of shoppers at one of Britain’s leading chains for older and plus-sized fashions are buying on store credit, Bosses have revealed. N Brown, which owns Simply Be, Jacamo and High & Mighty, lets shoppers spread costs with credit of around 24.9%.

Daily Express

Exchange rate fluctuation is more of a threat to expat’s pensions than losing triple lock: Expats living in the European Union enjoy annual state pension rises just as they would if they still lived in the U.K.

Deutsche Bank plunge: German lender’s share price falls amid Brexit job cuts: Shares in Germany’s largest lender Deutsche Bank fell off a cliff last night as worries mount over its future.

U.S. dollar V pound: GBP surges against U.S.D after Trump’s tax plans: The pound traded strongly against the U.S. dollar as markets reacted poorly to Donald Trump’s long awaited tax reforms.

Millions of workers making no financial plans for cost of old age: Millions of middle-aged workers are making no financial plans to help with the cost of any care they may need in old age, worrying new figures reveal.

The Scottish Herald

Pay rise for AG Barr Chief in year of job cuts: Roger White, Chief Executive of Irn-Bru manufacturer AG Barr, saw his annual remuneration climb to £915,000 from £839,000, during a year in which the company unveiled plans for about 90 job cuts, writes Ian McConnell.

Alliance chair underlines his allegiance to new-look trust: Alliance Trust Chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin has assured the 129-year old investment trust’s shareholders that he will not take up his new role as chair of the British Business Bank (BBB) until the sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) completes.

Scottish Irish Finance Initiative launched: Finance industry experts are working on plans to promote cooperation between sector players in Scotland and Ireland following the Brexit vote.

Eland eyes low cost boost to production: Aberdeen-based Eland Oil & Gas has said an expert study has underlined the potential of its acreage in Nigeria.

Media figure joins ICAS council: Newspaper industry veteran Colin McClatchie has been appointed to the council that oversees the management of Scottish chartered accountancy body ICAS as a public interest member.

Wood names integration Chief: Oil services giant Wood Group has appointed a senior Executive to lead the integration of the Amec Foster Wheeler engineering business that it has made a recommended £2.2 billion bid for.

Agarwal takes over Asian trust: First State Stewart fund manager Vinay Agarwal has been made lead manager of the Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust, replacing Wee-Li Hee, who is stepping down after a period of maternity leave.

Thorntons puts faith in the capital with multi-practice recruitment drive: Dundee law firm Thorntons is looking to bulk up its employment, banking, intellectual property, agriculture and commercial property practices in Edinburgh, with the aim of seeing the office generate £2.5 million of firmwide turnover.

The Scotsman

Brian Wilson slams U.S. as Cuba energy project launches: A U.K. company led by two Scots will deliver Cuba’s first major renewables project in a bid to cut the country’s heavy reliance on oil imports from Venezuela.

Skyscanner Chief honoured at digital technology awards: Gareth Williams, the Chief Executive of travel search engine Skyscanner, last night picked an accolade for “outstanding personal achievement” at an awards ceremony in Glasgow for Scotland’s digital technologies industry.

Comms agency Perceptive lands trio of fresh clients: Public relations consultancy Perceptive Communicators, which recently marked its tenth anniversary, has added three new clients to its books.

Economy’s ‘resilience’ gives housebuilders a boost: Two of Britain’s biggest housebuilders have reported solid progress as the industry attempts to close the gap between supply and demand.

Pret A Manger hunts for British staff to plug Brexit gap: The Chief Executive of sandwich chain Pret A Manger has said the group is “reaching out” to British applicants as it looks to plug a looming recruitment gap caused by Brexit.

City A.M.

Domino’s shares jump after beating first quarter earnings expectations: Domino’s served investors with a slice of good news by posting better-than-expected first quarter revenue and profits.

American Airlines shares fall on pay deal despite beating first quarter market expectations: Shares in American Airlines were sent into a flat spin after the firm revealed plans to the hike pay packets of pilots and cabin crew.

BP sells stake in Chinese petrochemical firm SECCO for $1.7 billion to Sinopec: BP has agreed a $1.7 billion (£1.3 billion) deal to sell its stake in Chinese petrochemical firm SECCO to China’s state-run oil company Sinopec.

Kaz Minerals share price jumps as copper production soars in the first quarter: Miner Kaz Minerals’ shares rose as copper production more than doubled in the first quarter from the previous year.

Weir Group shares fall despite a rise in U.S. drilling activity in the first quarter: Shares in engineering giant Weir Group fell more than three% despite like-for-like order input for its oil and gas unit growing 50% in the first quarter.

Malaysian Formula One Boss: Liberty Media needs help and Bernie Ecclestone suckered us good and proper: The Boss of Malaysia’s Grand Prix circuit has blasted Formula One’s new owners Liberty Media, saying no one at the U.S. corporate giant understands the sport apart from F1 veteran Ross Brawn.

TSB profits fall more than 50% as bank’s operating costs increase: TSB reported a 53% fall in management pre-tax profits to £28 million, citing increased operating costs.

AA blasts government over discount rate decision saying car insurance premiums would have stabilised: Insurance premiums would have flatlined in the first three months of 2017 had it not been for “astonishing” government decisions, the AA said.

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:04:00 +0100
In the Papers - PayPal, Fiat Chrysler, TfL, BBC Newspaper Summary

The Times

Seven City banks ‘set to open offices in Frankfurt’: At least seven international banks based in London have taken the decision to open offices in Frankfurt to beat trading restrictions in the wake of Brexit, the German city said.

GSK vows to find cure for its faltering productivity: Emma Walmsley has put a shake-up of drug development at Glaxosmithkline at the heart of her leadership as she set about addressing investors’ concerns over the group’s lacklustre research productivity.

Green light for Southern Rail operator: Ministers will not strip Go-Ahead Group of the lossmaking and deeply troubled Thameslink-Southern rail franchise as they fear it would cause even more chaos for millions of commuters.

Rolet shrugs off failed merger to report strong start to year: The London Stock Exchange has told shareholders that it will continue to grow, by further acquisitions if possible, after the collapse of its merger with Deutsche Börse last month.

Immigration policy holds key to City’s future, says Barclays Boss: Setting the right immigration policy after Brexit may be more important to securing London’s role as the global capital of finance than retaining a banking passport into the European Union, according to the Chief Executive of Barclays.

London is urged to play to strengths in EU talks: British politicians and regulators are underestimating the strength of their position in negotiations with European officials over the future of the City, the head of one of the world’s largest financial exchange groups has said.

Telecoms Boss to take chair at Igas: Mike McTighe, who also chairs Openreach, joined Igas as deputy Chairman last year and is to lead the board in June when Francis Gugen, who founded Igas in 2003, retires.

Under pressure BHP kicks off shale sale: BHP Billiton has put a chunk of its American shale oil and gas operations up for sale two weeks after it came under the spotlight from an activist investor.

Dividends back on the agenda as Standard Chartered profits double: Standard Chartered could renew payouts to investors after it reported a near doubling in quarterly pre-tax profits to $1 billion.

Barclays tops league for complaints: Barclays was the most complained about financial franchise in Britain in the second half of last year, with formal customer complaints flooding in to the bank at the rate of 16,000 a week.

Banks defy sceptics by branching out: Handelsbanken, the Swedish bank, declared a 7% increase in operating profits to £48 million in the first quarter from its U.K. network, which has been expanded to more than 200 branches.

Investor anger over top pay at Tullow: Almost one in six shareholders has rejected the Executive pay report of Tullow Oil’s remuneration committee.

The Independent

Donald Trump to ‘slash corporate tax to 15%’: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has confirmed that President Donald Trump will seek to cut corporate tax to 15% as part of a sweeping reform programme.

Duty-free Toblerone, gin and perfume are cheaper in U.K. supermarkets: Bargain airport prices for favourites such as gin and Toblerone are now likely to be cheaper at the supermarket, a consumer group has found

RBS threatened with inquiry over its Fred Goodwin defence spending: The Royal Bank of Scotland has been warned that it could face an inquiry by the Treasury Select Committee over its decision to spend millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money defending its former disgraced Chief Executive Fred Goodwin in a major legal case.

France wants Europe to regulate the City of London after Brexit: France has warned Britain that the City must continue to be overseen by European regulators after Brexit and financial services could be excluded from any trade deal.

Uber violated transport law South Korea court says: A South Korean court on Wednesday ruled that the ride-hailing group Uber illegally used private vehicles for commercial purposes, in the latest legal setback for the U.S. firm in Asia’s fourth biggest economy.

London Stock Exchange reports rise in profit: The London Stock Exchange Group reported higher quarterly income as its clearing and FTSE Russell businesses grew strongly, and said it is exploring investments to drive growth after the collapse of its proposed Deutsche Boerse merger.

Santander profit jumps 14% but weak pound hurts U.K. earnings: Strong growth in Brazil drove Santander’s profit up 14% in the first quarter, continuing a trend in which the Spanish bank’s largest market has offset profit weakness in Britain.

Credit Suisse plans to raise about £3 billion and cancels Swiss IPO plans: Credit Suisse will raise SFr4 billion (£3.1 billion) in a right offer and abandoned plans to sell part of its Swiss business as Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam moved to end concerns about the bank’s capital levels.

The Daily Telegraph

Boohoo profits nearly double but shares dip: Boohoo has unveiled a near doubling in profits and soaring sales after a “momentous” year for the online fashion retailer, which included the takeovers of smaller rival Pretty Little Thing and U.S. brand Nasty Gal.

Britain’s car plants hit 17-year production record: Britain’s car plants are running at the fastest speed in 17 years, with 170,691 new vehicles rolling off the production line in March.

BBC bid for on-demand prominence laws fails in pre-election ‘wash-up’: A bid by the BBC to guarantee prominence for its programming in the on-demand era has been scuppered by the General Election.

Former tech unicorn Ve Interactive rescued from administration: Ve Interactive, the London-based technology company once hailed as one of Britain’s most promising start-ups, has been rescued in a management buyout.

Lloyds and Queen’s bank Coutts rack up customer complaints: The Queen’s bank Coutts, high street giant Lloyds Banking Group and Secure Trust were the target of customers’ ire after firms racked up a record 3 million complaints in the second-half of last year, the latest data from the City regulator shows.

Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk returns to annual profit after years of struggle: Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk has reported an annual profit for the first time since 2011 after keeping a tight rein costs.

The Guardian

Trump under fire over ‘huge tax cut for the rich’: The Trump administration unveiled what it called the biggest tax cuts “in history” on Wednesday, in a move that will simplify the U.S. tax system, slash taxes for businesses large and small – including his own – eliminate inheritance taxes and set the President on a collision course with Congress over the likely $2tn-plus cost of the proposal.

Deutsche Bank: 4,000 jobs at risk of being moved out of U.K. after Brexit: Deutsche Bank has warned that up to 4,000 U.K. jobs could be moved to Frankfurt and other locations in the European Union as a result of Brexit.

Sports Direct agency Transline preparing for insolvency: Transline, the temporary employment agency that became embroiled in the Sports Direct scandal, has submitted court documents preparing the company for insolvency.

Lloyds appoints ex-high court judge to review handling of HBOS fraud: Lloyds Banking Group has appointed a retired high court judge to investigate its handling of fraud at its HBOS branch in Reading. The bank also announced that it will start making compensation payments next month to customers who lost out as a result of the incident. Six people were jailed in February after a jury was told how they spent the proceeds on superyachts and sex parties.

Car insurance model will not help energy market, says charity: An energy company’s proposal to scrap default electricity and gas deals in favour of car insurance-style annual renewals could amount to a rebranding exercise and not help billpayers, a consumer group has said.

Twitter revenues decline for first time as advertising falls away: Twitter’s revenue has fallen for the first time, as advertisers have pulled back from the social media service favoured by Donald Trump, celebrities and journalists. However, the Silicon Valley company, which has never turned a profit, cheered investors by announcing a significant rise in the number of monthly users, to 328 million.

Plain cigarette packaging could drive 300,000 Britons to quit smoking: Plain cigarette cartons featuring large, graphic health warnings could persuade 300,000 people in the U.K. to quit smoking if the measure has the effect it had in Australia, scientists say.

TfL to spend £18 million on preparing London for new electric black cabs: Transport for London is spending £18 million on upgrading the capital’s power grids to charge the first generation of battery-powered black cabs.

CBI warns against Brexit divorce bill row putting EU-U.K. trade ties at risk: Business leaders will warn on Thursday that disputes over an EU divorce settlement worth “tens of billions of euros” risk jeopardising hundreds of billions worth of trade every year if they lead Brexit talks to collapse.

Daily Mail

Brickmaker Ibstock slumps as its big investor ditches 25% of stock: Brickmaker Ibstock was one of the day’s biggest losers after its largest shareholder sold their 25% stake for more than £200 million.

Insurance broker Swinton set to axe 900 jobs as it’s hit by the rise of price comparison websites: A total of 900 jobs face the axe at insurance broker Swinton as it shuts branches due to the rise of price comparison websites.

Vauxhall bidder celebrates shock 5% sales growth as it drives against bleak predictions: The French car maker that’s taking over Vauxhall has reported better-than-expected results.

Metro Bank set to smash through one million customer mark after starting from scratch seven years ago: Metro Bank will smash through the one million customer mark in the next few days. The lender was launched seven years ago by U.S. billionaire Vernon Hill as a rival to established scandal-hit giants such as Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Chemical king the world relies on Croda International celebrates 19% revenue rise due to weak pound: Revenues are up at chemical manufacturer Croda International, whose products are relied upon by industries around the world.

Vimto sales fizz in the Middle East as Muslims stock up on the purple drink ahead of fasting: Sales of Vimto are soaring in the Middle East as Muslims stock up on the soft drink ahead of Ramadan.

Daily Express

Europe’s bankers call for immediate U-turn on Brexit finance crackdown: European bankers already deeply worried over the impact of Brexit on the free market have demanded the EU backtrack on planned regulatory changes.

Greece’s pensioners to suffer more: Europe demands austerity as debt hits £268 billion: Greek politicians are being told to go after the country’s already squeezed pensioners as it faces yet more austerity measures.

Savers have cashed in £10.8 billion from their pots: Retirement savers have cashed in £10.8 billion from their pension pots during the first two years of new freedoms.

Digital sports network Pitchero targets global grassroots soccer crown: Grassroots football across the globe has a new champion in the shape of Pitchero, Britain’s biggest digital amateur sports network, which plans a major shake-up with mass coverage of games and support for clubs.

Pound v Australian dollar: GBP at three-month high as inflation misses expectations: The pound surged against the Australian dollar this morning as markets were disappointed by Australia’s latest inflation figures.

McDonalds breakfast catapults share price to record-highs as British CEO bucks expectation: McDonalds saw its share price rise to its highest ever level after announcing better than expected results.

The Scottish Herald

Scottish Power Chief warns price cap could cut competition: Scottish Power Chief corporate officer Keith Anderson has lambasted plans to cap energy prices which he claimed could stifle competition as the company recorded a fall in the profit it made from selling gas and electricity to consumers.

Warning of ‘chilling effects’ if U.K. and EU fail to agree any trade deal: The U.K. leaving the European Union without a trade deal would have “chilling effects” on both sides of the English Channel, a leading business figure has warned.

Oil and gas boost seen in corporate failure fall: Restructuring by oil and gas businesses might be bearing fruit and supporting north-east companies dependent on this sector, given the fall in Scottish corporate failures in the year to March, insolvency professionals trade body R3 says.

Denholm says diversity is at heart of recruitment agenda: Recruitment firm Denholm Associates has declared that diversity is nearing the top of the agenda for companies looking to fill positions, including boardroom roles.

Edinburgh Dragon Trust hindered by avoiding China and Taiwan: Aberdeen Asset Management’s Edinburgh Dragon Investment Trust trailed its index in the six months to the end of February, with underweight positions in China and Taiwan proving a drag on performance.

Cairn deal off Ireland cleared: Ireland’s government has approved Cairn Energy’s purchase of a 70% stake in a licence off the country’s south west coast from Europa Oil & Gas. Edinburgh-based Cairn agreed in March to acquire the stake in licensing option 16/19 in exchange for funding a $6 million (£4.7 million) work programme which will include seismic survey work.

Devro shares get lift after firm returns to growth: Shares in Devro were up by more than four% last night after the Glasgow-based sausage skin manufacturer said it returned to volume growth in the early part of the year.

Top Burness Paull profit share falls by £100k: The amount of profit awarded to Burness Paull’s highest-earning partner was almost £100,000 lower in the year to July 2016 than in the previous year.

Slimming aid eyes high street: An Edinburgh entrepreneur who won funding of £100,000 in the Scottish EDGE pitching contest for her slimming aid has set her sights on listings with high street pharmacists.

Snowden remains in pole position in fund league table: Kames Capital’s Stephen Snowden held onto his position at the top of The Herald’s latest league table of Scottish fund managers after continuing to climb the ranks of financial information group Citywire’s ranking of over 3,000 global managers.

The Scotsman

AI software start-up Airts nets six-figure PwC deal: Artificial intelligence (AI) software start-up Airts has landed a six-figure contract with accounting giant PwC for its system that helps to manage the workload of employees.

Lloyds to start compensating victims of HBOS fraud: Lloyds Banking Group is to begin making compensation offers to victims of fraud at the hands of former HBOS staff next month, and has also appointed a retired high court judge to probe its handling of the affair.

Edinburgh hi-fi specialist makes big noise with Moon: One of the most expensive pieces of hi-fi equipment ever to be built was set to receive its first public showing outside North America, thanks to the efforts of an Edinburgh-based audio distributor.

Edinburgh entrepreneur aims to shake up public wifi: A self-taught software programmer is aiming to help more bars and cafes offer wifi to customers with the official launch in Edinburgh of his “plug and play” gadget.

VisitScotland reveals tourism spin-off from Still Game: Smash hit comedy Still Game is helping to fuel a booming Scottish tourism spin-off from films and TV shows.

£5 million prize fund launched to help de-stress ‘stifled’ SMEs: It is an irony that research has shown that one in five small business owners strike out on their own to cut stress, but one in three say dealing with business finances is their biggest source of it.

City A.M.

Boeing profits from less taxing time in the first quarter and for the rest of 2017: The world’s largest aircraft manufacturer gave the market a double dose of good news when reporting its first quarter figures.

Fiat Chrysler shares jump after luxury marque helps drive record first quarter earnings: Fiat Chrysler reported record first quarter earnings of €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion), buoyed by a huge increase in demand for its luxury Maserati marque.

Fresnillo shares fall as first quarter gold production dips and silver output jumps: Fresnillo’s shares fell more than two% after it said gold output slowed in its first quarter production update.

Alexander McQueen and Gucci owner struts its stuff with 28% sales boost: Kering Group, the owner of global fashion brands Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, exceeded analysts’ estimates with a sales jump of more than 20%.

Antofagasta reveals copper output rose in the first quarter while production hit the lower end of guidance: Chile-based miner Antofagasta said copper production jumped 9.4% compared with the previous year while gold production dropped.

Wagamama Chief Executive David Campbell is stepping down and will be replaced by the firm’s Chief operating officer: David Campbell will step down as the Boss of Wagamama with immediate effect, the company announced.

PayPal shares rise in after hours trading on better than expected first quarter figures: Shares in PayPal jumped over six% in after hours trading this evening after the company posted better than expected first quarter profits and upped its guidance for the rest of the year.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:37:00 +0100
In the Papers - Coca-Cola, Collagen Solutions, Nestlé, McDonald’s Newspaper Summary

The Times

Trump levy on imports sparks fears of trade war: Donald Trump looked set to have sparked a potentially damaging trade war with Canada after the U.S. President slapped $1 billion of tariffs on imports of the country’s timber.

RBS toxic debt settlement is delayed: Royal Bank of Scotland has hit a brick wall in its attempt to resolve the U.S. investigation into its mis-sale of toxic mortgage securities because of changes at the Department of Justice since the election of President Trump.

Nasdaq breaks 6,000 mark for first time as Dow powers on: The Nasdaq index finished above 6,000 for the first time and the Dow Jones roared ahead as America’s big companies continued to beat expectations with their quarterly results.

Hornby Boss derails bid to force him out: New Pistoia, Hornby’s second biggest investor with a 21% holding, called a shareholder meeting this month to overthrow Roger Canham, Chairman of the toy train, Airfix and Scalextric manufacturer.

Big Six need shock of a price cap, says Ovo Boss: Government plans to cap energy prices have won the backing of the leading independent supplier Ovo Energy, which argued that the policy would force the Big Six companies to become more efficient.

Battersea group fails to generate target return: The developer behind London’s Battersea power station now expects to deliver less than half of its original targeted return due to rising construction costs and said it will delay building some affordable homes due to “wider economic changes”.

McDonald’s offers workers switch from zero-hours contracts: McDonald’s is to offer its 115,000 U.K. employees on zero-hours contracts the chance to move off them.

Grosvenor feeling the chill as top-end property market cools: One of the country’s oldest and largest landlords has reported a steep drop in returns from its collection of U.K. properties after uncertainty around the Brexit vote contributed to a “chilling” effect on market values.

The Independent

European stock rally extends after Emmanuel Macron’s French election round win: Global shares continued to charge higher on Tuesday, with stocks across Europe spurred for a second day by centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron on Sunday winning the first round of France’s deeply divisive Presidential election.

Poundworld faces £500,000 fine for ‘selling food covered in mouse urine and droppings’: Poundworld has been accused of selling food “unfit for human consumption” and is facing a £500,000 fine after shoppers allegedly bought product covered in mouse urine and droppings, a court heard.

McDonald’s profits beat expectations thanks to its new Big Mac burger: A revamp of McDonald’s iconic Big Mac burger and more aggressive drink promotions are helping the restaurant giant overcome a broader slump in the fast-food industry.

Brexit Britain can replace EU trade, claims think tank: Britain can make up for all of the exports that it will lose as a result of Brexit by building on underdeveloped links with countries such as India, Canada and Israel, according to a think tank.

Former Apprentice contestant toasts success of wine business: A former Apprentice contestant is toasting the success of his wine investment business, five years after Lord Sugar rejected it - and he has Brexit to thank.

Ivanka Trump clothing secretly sold under another brand: When she spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to rousing applause, Ivanka Trump made sure she was wearing something from her own fashion line.

Leaving London post-Brexit will be ‘too impractical’ for many firms: London’s location, infrastructure and a constantly growing pool of highly-skilled university graduates, means that for many companies it will simply be “too impractical” to move talent elsewhere after Brexit, according to one of the world’s biggest commercial real estate companies.

Luxury brand LVMH to snap up Christian Dior for £10 billion: The French billionaire Bernard Arnault has moved to consolidate control over Christian Dior for about €12.1 billion (£10.3 billion), folding the fashion house’s operations into the LVMH luxury empire in one of his biggest transactions to date.

The Daily Telegraph

U.K.’s deficit slashed to level last seen before the financial crisis: The Government borrowed £52 billion in the last financial year, a fall of £20 billion compared to the year before, as the long struggle to eliminate the deficit moved closer towards its goal.

Wikipedia co-Founder Jimmy Wales exits Guardian board over conflict of interest with Wikitribune news site: Jimmy Wales, the co-Founder of Wikipedia, will leave the board of the Guardian newspaper after opting to launch his own rival news operation that will compete for staff, stories and donations.

Heathrow starts search for four regional construction hubs: Four U.K. construction hubs are being sought by Heathrow to allow components of its £16 billion expansion project to be built away from the airport.

Yahoo’s Chief Mayer to receive $186 million golden parachute from Verizon sale: Yahoo’s Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is set to make $186 million once the sale of the group’s core business to U.S. telecoms giant Verizon completes, securities filings have shown.

Sanjeev Gupta continues on acquisition trail with second U.S. deal in a week: Entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta is continuing his ambitious expansions plans in the industrial sector with a bid for a U.S. steel sector business - the second such deal in less than a week.

Tyrie’s resignation to trigger battle to chair influential Treasury Committee: Andrew Tyrie’s surprise decision to step down as an MP will trigger a battle to become the next Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, one of the most influential backbench positions in Parliament and one that Mr. Tyrie used to interrogate City Executives.

Flying taxis will be cheaper than driving a car, says Uber: Uber has claimed that ordering a flying taxi will one day be cheaper than taking a journey in a car as it laid out an ambitious vision for tests of aerial vehicles.

The Questor Column:

Buy Saga for its healthy dividend and profits (and growing customer base): Profits up, dividend up and debt down sounds like a pretty promising starting point for any potential portfolio pick. Travel-to-insurance-to-personal finance group Saga looks capable of providing long-term capital returns and income for patient investors. Last month’s full-year figures from the FTSE 250 company looked solid, as underlying pre-tax profit rose 6%, debt fell 15% and the dividend rose 18%. Further improvements on all three counts look possible as Chief Executive Lance Batchelor and his team look to use Saga’s brand to further develop its travel arm, as well as other services for its remarkably loyal customer base. Insurance remains the bedrock of the company, making more than £200 million in pre-tax income (before exceptionals) last year, compared with £15 million from its travel business. But the plan is to quadruple the travel earnings over the past five years, helped by the arrival of two new cruise ships. Saga also intends to roll out financial services and home care and retirement villages, among other areas of expansion. This combination of initiatives underpins consensus earnings growth forecasts of 5% for this year and 6% for next. It may mean they turn out to be conservative. A forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13.8 times and a prospective dividend yield of 4.1% suggest the stock is not expensive either, given its long-term potential. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Ashtead: We are going to bank a near-25% gain in equipment rental expert Ashtead. The full-year results due on June 13 should look very strong, with the analysts’ consensus looking for a 22% jump in earnings per share and a 16% hike in the full-year dividend to 26.1p. Earnings forecast momentum remains healthy too, with consensus profit forecasts having increased by 11% for this year, since we first flagged the stock at around the £12.70 mark last November. But the shares have gone up much faster, and a forward rating of 14 times for the year to April 2018 is pretty much in line with the broader U.K. market. Investors in Ashtead have been boosted by the Trump trade, given that its American subsidiary Sunbelt generates more than 90% of the company’s profits. The stock has made little progress in the wake of what were excellent third-quarter numbers last month and the share price looks like it is flattening off a bit. Some profit-taking seems prudent. Questor says ‘Sell’.

The Guardian

Stock markets surge to new highs ahead of Trump’s tax reform plan: World markets have hit new peaks, pushed higher by continuing optimism about the outcome of the French Presidential election, a series of positive U.S. company results and growing anticipation over Donald Trump’s promised tax reforms.

Brexit economy: living standards are falling as the snap election looms: The pound’s sharp fall since the Brexit vote and a mood of uncertainty among employers has hit household budgets, creating a tough economic backdrop for Theresa May’s snap election, a Guardian analysis shows.

Duke of Westminster’s £12 billion property firm hit by London slump: The 26-year-old Duke of Westminster, who is believed to be the world’s richest person under 30 with a £9 billion fortune, has been hit by a steep drop in returns on his family’s British property empire, which includes many of the most famous addresses in London’s Mayfair and Belgravia.

Nestlé to axe 300 U.K. jobs and move Blue Riband production to Poland: Nestlé is cutting up to 300 jobs in the U.K. and switching production of the Blue Riband chocolate bar to Poland, a move that has angered unions. The Swiss confectioner said most of the jobs would be lost in Newcastle and York, during 2017-18, but that its sites in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Girvan, Ayrshire, would also be affected.

U.K. government borrowing at lowest level since 2008 financial crisis: Government borrowing fell to the lowest level since the financial crisis in the year to the end of March as the economy proved more resilient than expected in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

Daily Mail

London shares subdued as euphoria over French election front runner Emmanuel Macron cools: London shares made minor gains this session after ‘s euphoria surrounding Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the first round of the French Presidential elections.

Wealth management giant St James’s Place reports bumper set of results as it adds £2 billion of new client money to its books: FTSE 100 listed wealth management firm St James’s Place has added £2 billion of client money to its books in just three months.

Virgin Money to keep a close eye on surge in borrowing as it posts an 8% rise in credit card balances: Virgin Money saw an 8% leap in lending by its credit card business but said arrears levels remained ‘stable’ despite concerns that rising consumer debt could pose a risk to the U.K. economy.

Costa Coffee owner Whitbread sees growth slowdown as rising popularity of artisan coffee shops and Airbnb takes a toll: Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner Whitbread saw annual profits come in lower than expected as competition intensified from the likes of artisan coffee shops and Airbnb.

Daily Express

Millions rethink their investment plans and move away from buy-to-let property: THE Conservatives are supposed to be the party of low taxation, but their onslaught on buy-to-let landlords has almost killed off property as an investment.

Millions could reclaim cash on energy bills after an unexpected mild winter: Householders could be in line for a significant rebate on gas and electricity they paid for but did not use over the winter.

Coffee sales dip blows froth off £500 million Whitbread shares: More than £500 million was wiped from Whitbread’s market value as the Costa owner braces itself for cooling demand for coffee as consumers tighten their belts.

Spanish government embroiled in ‘scandalous manipulation’ of debt figures: The European Commission has been accused of failing to meet its legal obligations in an astonishing letter sent to the Eurogroup President by Spanish financial experts.

Bottoms up for British wine firm as Brexit pound boosts business by 47%: A British wine company is feeling the benefits of the Brexit pound devaluation and driving home winning results for investors. And Cult Wines says its Asian market is growing as investors use their pounds to splash out on the world’s best wines.

The Scottish Herald

Havelock Europa celebrates return to profit in tough year: Shopfitting and interiors business Havelock Europa has returned to profit after a restructuring instituted in 2015 began to bear fruit.

Law Society seeks delay of code for police work: The Law Society of Scotland is calling on the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) to put off bringing in a new code of practice for criminal solicitors until there is clarity on the fees they will receive for doing police station work.

Losses double at North Sea oil services heavyweight: North Sea oil services giant Amec Foster Wheeler has posted a 135% increase in annual losses highlighting the challenges faced by the company which Aberdeen’s Wood Group is set to buy for £2.2 billion.

Premier Oil makes progress: Premier Oil, which has a big North Sea business, is making progress in long-running talks about a refinancing after winning the support required from a group of creditors.

Entrepreneur body names new partner: Entrepreneurial Scotland has unveiled a partnership with wealth management firm Cazenove Capital, which will be lead sponsor of the network’s annual conference at Gleneagles next week.

Omega has high hopes for HIV kit after trials: Omega Diagnostics has underlined its confidence of completing the verification and validation checks needed to deliver its HIV testing kit, which it believes can transform the lives of patients living with the condition in developing countries.

Bruce Dingwall highlights progress at Trinity: North Sea oil and gas veteran Bruce Dingwall has said the Trinity Exploration and Production business he heads in Trinidad will increase drilling after completing a restructuring in January which ended a period of uncertainty for the firm.

Jockey Club growth continues with record revenues and profits: The Jockey Club, which runs 15 racecourses including Aintree, has reported record full-year revenues and profits. The group saw turnover increase 4.5% to £191.5 million in 2016, its eight-consecutive year of growth.

The Scotsman

Stagecoach goes head-to-head with First for HS2: Stagecoach and Virgin are looking to extend their grip on the west coast rail service, with help from the French state-owned operator SNCF.

STV Boss Rob Woodward quits after new channel launch: The Chief Executive of broadcaster STV has announced he is standing down the day after the group launched its new channel, STV2.

Ethical bank Triodos to launch first current account: Ethical lender Triodos said it was opening registrations for its first personal current account in the U.K.

Schools deal is class act for construction group Kier: Two schools in Motherwell are to receive a facelift following the award of a £5 million contract to Kier Construction Scotland.

Collagen Solutions cheers surge in full-year sales: Biomaterials business Collagen Solutions said it has racked up a 28% increase in revenues for the year to the end of March.

City A.M.

Activist investor Elliott blasts “afraid” AkzoNobel for refusing to hold vote on dismissal of Chairman: Activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors has hit back at AkzoNobel after the Dutch paints firm rejected its call for a vote on the future of its Chairman.

BT cleared for acquisition of Belgium’s IP Trade by Competition and Markets Authority: BT’s takeover of Belgian trading floor communications company IP Trade has been cleared by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

BBC misses cost-cutting targets as headcount remains just below 19,000, National Audit Office report finds: The BBC has missed several cost-cutting targets in recent years, a report from the public spending watchdog reveals.

Mirror Group Newspapers settles a slew of celebrity phone hacking cases: More than 40 celebrities settled with Mirror Group Newspapers over phone hacking claims heard in the High Court.

Coca-Cola to cull 1,200 of global workforce in drive to increase cost savings: Coca-Cola has revealed plans to cut up to 1,200 jobs as part of an operational restructuring programme to make $3.8 billion (£3 billion) of annual savings by 2019.

Lockheed Martin shares fall following downward earnings revision: U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin posted worse-than-expected sales, prompting shares to fall over 2.5%.

Very and Littlewoods owner Shop Direct put up for sale by Daily Telegraph owners: The business magnate twins that own the Daily Telegraph have put their online retail clothing firm up for sale, according to reports.

Tullow Oil shareholder Royal London Asset Management to oppose appointment of current Chief Executive Aidan Heavey as Chairman at ‘s AGM: A Tullow Oil shareholder said it will oppose the appointment of the company’s Founder and current Chief Executive, Aidan Heavey, as Chairman at its annual general meeting (AGM).

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:55:00 +0100
In the Papers - Petra Diamonds, HSBC, Qatar Airways, Woolworths Newspaper Summary

The Times

Factory orders pick up speed in Brexit ‘sweet spot’: Manufacturers have reported the strongest increase in orders in 22 years, helped by the fall in sterling, strong demand in Britain and the global economic recovery.

Smart money is on Hasbro: The U.S. toymaker Hasbro reported higher quarterly sales than its rival Mattel for the first time since 2000, as it assumed the rights to make dolls for Disney franchises such as Frozen.

Banks pop up with way to stay in City after Brexit: Wall Street banks are considering setting up “pop-up” branches in European countries to deal with trading after Brexit while keeping the bulk of their work for continental clients in London.

Halliburton back on track with help of shale revival: Growing demand for oil well construction and pumping services caused by the resurgence of shale oil in North America helped Halliburton to beat analysts’ forecasts for the first quarter of this year.

Bank veteran leads slimmer trade body: A veteran banker has been picked to lead Britain’s new finance trade body, which hopes to build a more “innovative” sector.

Cardiff airport lands Qatar long-haul deal: In another positive result for regional airports wooing international airlines away from the congested London market, Cardiff has signed a deal with Qatar Airways to fly to south Wales.

Town beats country in battle of house prices: Prices of country manor houses have slumped as buyers turn to smaller properties in town centres where their children can walk to school and families have “an easier lifestyle”.

Explosives row halts Ulster goldminer: A goldminer in Northern Ireland has put its plans on ice after police said they could not provide rolling protection for its explosives against the threat of theft by terrorists.

Small businesses fear closure if EU workers head for exit: More than one in five small companies that employ workers from the European Union will consider closing down or relocating if it becomes harder to attract staff, the Federation of Small Businesses has warned.

The Independent

CBI to urge U.K. businesses to place greater emphasis on diversity: U.K. companies risk reducing the issue of diversity to a mere footnote of other priorities, even though it’s a key driver of productivity and competitiveness, according to the leader of one of Britain’s most powerful business lobby groups.

‘Selfie generation’ fuels huge rise of cosmetics sales: A “selfie generation” obsessed with achieving a flawless look on social media is driving a big rise in cosmetics sales, which are now worth close to £1 billion a year in the U.K.

Jack Ma sees decades of pain because of automation and the internet: Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said society should prepare for decades of pain as the internet disrupts the economy.

Manufacturers’ investment intentions at weakest in six years: U.K. manufacturers’ investment intentions have softened again, according to the latest CBI Industrial Trends survey, raising further concerns about the robustness of the economy as the two-year Brexit divorce negotiations are set to begin.

House prices hit new record high as market recovers from Brexit blip: Property asking prices have recovered from a Brexit blip, hitting an all-time high of £313,655 in April after rising 1.1% month-to-month.

French election: Bank stocks surge after Macron wins first round: French bank stocks soared on Monday, after centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the country’s election vote.

Euro and shares rally after Macron wins first round of French election: The euro briefly surged to a five-month high against a basket of currencies after centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the first round of a hotly contested French election vote, an outcome broadly considered the most market-friendly.

Japanese nuclear shelter sales surge as North Korea presses ahead with missile tests: Sales of nuclear shelters and radiation-blocking air purifiers have surged in Japan in recent weeks as North Korea has pressed ahead with missile tests in defiance of UN sanctions.

The Daily Telegraph

Vodafone wastes millions on thwarted pay-TV ambitions: Vodafone’s U.K. arm has wasted millions of pounds on pay-TV channel contracts that it is now seeking to escape, in the latest sign of the telecoms giant’s challenges in its home market.

Johnston Press plans all-cash bonuses for Bosses as it battles to restructure debts: The newspaper publisher Johnston Press has revealed plans to pay its Chief Executive an all-cash bonus this year as it battles to restructure heavy debts.

Elliott Advisors reveals a stake in WS Atkins days after takeover offer accepted: The activist investor Elliott Advisors revealed it has built up a stake in British engineering giant WS Atkins, which has just accepted a takeover offer.

Investigation launched into PSA over diesel emissions: A formal investigation has been launched into allegations the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, PSA Group, cheated diesel emissions tests.

Anglo American investors approve pay overhaul: Shareholders in Anglo American have waved through a shake-up of the mining group’s remuneration policy, retrospectively capping the amount its Chief Executive can earn.

The Guardian

Minister makes U-turn over £300 million business rates relief fund: The government appears to have performed a weekend U-turn on business rates and says a £300 million relief fund to help small businesses worst hit by the shakeup is now available for councils to share out.

Foster + Partners plans redundancies after Brexit uncertainty: Britain’s largest architectural firm, Foster + Partners, plans to lay off nearly 100 people, and blamed the uncertainty around construction projects caused by last summer’s Brexit vote.

Inflation puts the brakes on Britain’s economic activity: Britain’s economy cooled considerably in the first three months of the year as higher inflation put a squeeze on disposable incomes, official figures are expected to show this week.

Asking prices for homes rise to record average of £313,655: The housing market continues to defy fears of a post-referendum slump after sellers’ asking prices hit a new record high of more than £313,000 on average in April.

Canada’s Tim Hortons coffee chain to open first U.K. shop in May: Canadian company Tim Hortons is to open its first U.K. coffee shop in May, entering the crowded but still growing British market for food and drink on the go.

Daily Mail

£384 million wiped off British Gas after Tories’ price cap threat sends energy suppliers tumbling: Energy suppliers Centrica, which owns British Gas, and SSE were among the only losers in the FTSE as they were knocked by the Tories’ pledge to cap domestic energy prices if they win in June’s election.

Accountant Grant Thornton fined £2.3 million over audit misconduct: Grant Thornton has been handed a £2.3million fine for misconduct relating to an AIM-listed fire engine firm.

Greg Fitzgerald, Chief exec, Bovis Homes buys more than £1.2 million worth of shares: Greg Fitzgerald, who came out of retirement this month to take the top post at Bovis Homes, has bought more than £1.2million of shares in the building company.

Dulux predator ups offer by more than £3 billion in last ditch attempt to force a takeover: The U.S. predator trying to buy Dulux’s owner has upped its offer by more than £3billion in a last-ditch attempt to force a takeover.

WANdisco shares soar more than 20% on news of £3.2 million deal with financial services firm: Shares in big data company WANdisco soared 20% after it announced its biggest ever deal, worth £3.2million, with a multinational financial services firm.

Daily Express

Gold rush on! £15.5 billion moves in to boost mining companies amid investor hunger: More than £15.5 billion of exchange traded funds (ETFs) have flooded into the gold mining companies in just six months as investor appetite for precious metals increases.

GBP tumbles against the euro after French election first round: The pound tumbled against the euro following the first round of voting in the French Presidential election.

Demands for May to look at pension issue for U.K.’s 5 million: Pensioners who have been forced to accept shortfalls of up to £42,000 each on their entitlements have called on Theresa May to reverse a government decision to take their money away.

Shoe giant Jimmy Choo goes up for sale: The board of luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo has put the business up for sale as part of a strategic review.

The Scottish Herald

Cluff keen on North Sea after gasification setback: Cluff Natural Resources has called time on controversial plans to produce gas by burning coal under the Firth of Forth but said its Southern North Sea assets have potential amid an improvement in sentiment in the area.

Record year for business angel syndicate: The funding provided by members of Archangels hit a record high last year underlining the contribution the investment syndicate makes to the entrepreneurial economy in Scotland.

Scottish manufacturers see rise in output volumes but optimism falls: Scottish manufacturers have enjoyed faster output growth and increased their rate of hiring in the latest three months, but inflationary pressures in the sector are mounting and optimism is falling, writes Ian McConnell.

Eland set to increase oil output in Nigeria: Aberdeen-based Eland Oil & Gas has said it expects to double production in Nigeria in coming months after securing bank funding to support investment in the country.

Aberdeen Asian trust beats index: Exposure to Southeast Asia and an underweight position in Korea helped the Aberdeen Asian Smaller Companies Investment Trust put in a solid performance during the six months to the end of January.

Stephen Jones to head up new trade body: Stephen Jones has been appointed the first Chief Executive of U.K. Finance, the new trade association representing finance and banking.

The Scotsman

Woolworths set for shock return to the high street: Collapsed retailer Woolworths could be set to make a surprise return to the high street, according to reports.

Goals confirms merger talks with rival Powerleague: Five-a-side football operator Goals Soccer Centres confirmed it was in early-stage talks over a possible merger with rival Powerleague.

SEP leads record funding round for crafts group: A company that creates online crafts communities revealed its completion of a £26 million funding round led by Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), in what is said to be the largest investment in a venture-funded business in the U.K. this year.

Quartermile lands year’s biggest letting in Edinburgh: Financial services giant State Street is to relocate its Edinburgh operations in what is understood to be the city’s largest office letting so far, this year.

Fears flagged over shortage of prime office space: Commercial property experts have called for action to tackle a shortage of grade A office space in Scottish cities, saying there could be major ramifications with businesses forced to look elsewhere.

City A.M.

London businesses have a “cash mountain” of more than £200 billion tied up in working capital: London businesses have hundreds of billions of pounds in working capital tied up in day-to-day operations, according to new research.

Caterpillar shares creep up after reversing trend of slowing sales: Shares in U.S. heavy machine maker Caterpillar rose nearly three% this evening after investors were buoyed by its latest sales figures.

British Land wants more retail and less office space once RBS departs Bishopsgate home: The landlord of RBS’ 135 Bishopsgate home has submitted plans to revamp the building once the bank leaves.

Arron Banks has ended his bid to be elected, less than a week after saying he would stand: Ukip backer Arron Banks has formally ended his bid to be elected as an MP, less than a week after first confirming he would stand.

Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices are slipping on ramped up U.S. production: Oil prices have reversed gains made earlier in the day as U.S. drilling concerns overshadow hopes of an extension to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (Opec) production cuts.

HSBC wins appointment as an adviser on Saudi Aramco’s mega float: HSBC said it has officially been named as an adviser on the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco, which is expected to be one of the world’s largest flotations.

Petra Diamonds shares tick up as it maintains full-year guidance while the market stabilises: Petra Diamond’s shares edged up after it maintained its full-year guidance in a trading update for the three months to 31 March.

Dubai-based ADES International plans to raise £133 million for IPO as it seeks to ramp up expansion plans: Oilfield services company ADES International announced it is planning to raise up to $170 million (£133 million) when it floats on the London Stock Exchange next month.

Qatar Airways close to buying stake in Italian airline Meridiana as it notes “manageable” decline in flights to U.S.: Qatar Airways is closing in on a deal to buy a stake in Italian carrier Meridiana, which will be signed in the “next couple of days”, according to Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker.

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:38:00 +0100
In the Papers - Five Guys, Eddie Stobart, Lloyds Banking Group Newspaper Summary

The Times

Officials rebuked over Hinkley power plant delaying tactics: Whitehall officials were guilty of “egregious” and unjustifiable delays before revealing details of government contracts for the Hinkley Point nuclear power project awarded to a company facing a potential conflict of interest, the Information Commissioner’s Office has said.

City sees top court as passport to Europe: Europe’s highest court could still rule the City years after Brexit under plans being considered by the government in order to win a wider agreement on access to the single market.

Secret is out for online sale that may not ring true: Tiffany and trading standards officers are investigating the sale of allegedly counterfeit jewellery on a discount website.

Londongrad is alive and well as Russians splash out: The capital was once so popular with Russia’s super-rich that it became known as Londongrad, but their love affair with the luxury stores waned and their spending was eclipsed by that of their Chinese and Middle Eastern peers.

No time to waste in an uncertain universe: UKTV, the company that brings Dave and Gold to the small screen, has warned that it is impossible to predict advertising spending levels more than one month at a time. Darren Childs, its Chief Executive, said that UKTV had been forced to “take shorter-term perspectives” in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Bobbies put down their pencils and log into era of e-policing: Television cops are rarely shown doing boring paperwork, but in the real world it can represent half a day’s work for a police officer. Now a mobile electronic notebook is helping them to spend more time on the streets.

The Independent

Consumer confidence falls as inflation hits U.K. households: Rising inflation and lacklustre wage growth has hit British households and sent consumer confidence sliding in the first three months of the year, according to a new survey.

U.K. financial firms seek to use Brexit to roll back employment protections for U.K. workers: U.K. finance firms want to use Brexit as an opportunity to roll back employment law protections for British workers, a new survey has found.

The Daily Telegraph

Euro surges towards six-month high on French election relief: The euro surged to its highest level in almost six months after early projections indicated that the runoff for the French presidency would come down to a second-round duel between independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Experts slam Conservative plans to cap energy bills as ‘clumsy and counterproductive’: Experts have slammed the Conservative Party’s pledge to cap energy prices if it is elected in June, calling it a “clumsy and counterproductive” move that would ring the “death knell for competition”. 

U.S. burger chain Five Guys plans further expansion in Europe: The upmarket burger chain Five Guys is in talks with its U.S. parent to expand in Europe beyond the five countries it currently operates in.

Payout juggernaut moves on as PPI deadline draws near: The August 2019 deadline on the multi-billion-pound cash cow that has been mis-sold payment protection insurance claims is prompting a shift in the broader compensation industry, with focus shifting to other areas.

Software firm Alfa firm hires pair of banks for float: A financial software specialist has hired a team of advisers to test the water for a potential £500m-plus stock market listing amid a dearth of floats in London.

The Guardian

BHS crash sets trend for a chain of closures on U.K. high streets: The retail sector is still reeling a year after the collapse of the chain, with rising numbers of staff on zero-hours contracts and other big hitters shutting shop as the internet squeezes their share of profits

Bill sets out plan to tackle ‘extortionate’ U.K. overdraft fees: Bank customers ripped off by “extortionate” overdraft fees will get support next week from a parliamentary bill that promises to protect the most financially vulnerable from escalating charges.

Tories accused of stealing Labour’s energy price cap promise: Theresa May should give Labour a round of applause for highlighting the scandal of rip-off gas and electricity bills, the former shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint has said after senior Conservatives confirmed their manifesto will include an energy price cap.

Working mothers face pay and childcare challenges, reports find: Whether it’s the gender pay gap, a lack of promotion opportunities or the demand from retailers to work longer shifts – often standing at checkouts for 10 hours straight – life can be tough for women in the shop trade.

Daily Mail

Bank of England Bosses warned about Libor financial scam as far back as 2005: Top Bank of England officials were told about Libor rate rigging as early as 2005, witnesses claim. Court documents unearthed by the Mail reveal that fears were raised about the toxic rate years before the financial crisis.

Alex Brummer: ‘Doomsayers ready to declare City is on sliding slope to decline’: The International Monetary Fund is being unhelpful again. It now acknowledges that Britain is resilient and so far, has steered clear of the economic shoals presented by Brexit and has turned critical attention to the City’s leadership as a financial centre.

Mail order firm Boden steps out onto the U.K. high street in five John Lewis stores: Mail-order fashion brand Boden is set to step out of the catalogue and into high streets across the U.K. The retailer well known for its bright prints and cosy knitwear is due to open concessions in John Lewis stores.

Eddie Stobart on its way to the London Stock Exchange’s junior market with £3 million windfall: Employees at haulage firm Eddie Stobart are in line for a windfall when the company floats this week.

Daily Express

Sterling weakness sees dividends jump by 16%: Investors have seen their dividend payments jump 16% since the start of the year thanks to a lift from a slump in the pound, a report said.

Sir Philip Green warned he could lose knighthood year after BHS collapse: Sir Philip Green, the former owner of BHS, has been warned he could still lose his knighthood, a year after the collapse of the firm.

The Scottish Herald

Putting an app at the heart of the art: A Glasgow business has launched a £500,000 funding round to power its ambition of revolutionising the art world.

Scottish builders achieve strong first quarter: Small and medium-sized construction firms in Scotland enjoyed a sharper acceleration in growth of activity than their peers anywhere else in the U.K., a survey signals.

Pizza purist develops global fanbase in oven business: With many firms eyeing overseas markets amid concern about the outlook for the U.K. economy, we hear from an entrepreneur running a four-year-old business which has already developed a customer base that covers 60 countries.

Warning over slowing Scots office supply: Scotland’s ability to attract companies to set up operations in the country risks being hampered by the slowing supply of Grade-A office space.

Lloyds and RBS results to further highlight differing fortunes: The contrasting fortunes of taxpayer-backed lenders Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will return to the fore this week when the pair post quarterly figures, while Barclays also reports following recent scandals.

The Scotsman

T in the Park Chief: music festivals have changed forever: For more than two decades it was a fixture of the summer calendar, with tens of thousands of Scots flocking to the nation’s biggest live music event.

Report calls for ‘bespoke immigration policy’ for Scotland: A new report for a Holyrood committee has highlighted how bespoke immigration measures could be implemented in Scotland, based on international examples.

City A.M.

Builders bullish despite post-Brexit vote price increases: Small construction firms enjoyed rising workloads in the first quarter of 2017 despite concerns over the cost of labour and materials in the wake of last year’s Brexit vote, according to a survey by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

U.K. businesses resistant to post-Brexit employment law changes: The U.K.’s exit from the EU could prompt extensive changes in employment laws. However, employers are only expressing demand for significant change in a few areas, such as sick leave and discrimination law.

Online retail M&A deals hit five-year high as more people shop online: The number of online retail or “e-tail” M&A deals has hit a five-year high, according to new research by city law firm RPC.

Former Santander and Barclays Executive Stephen Jones set to be named head of U.K. Finance: A new voice for the U.K. banking industry is expected to be named on Monday morning. Stephen Jones, a former Chief financial officer of Santander, is set to be named as the first Chief Executive of U.K. Finance, Sky News reported. Jones also formerly worked for Barclays.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) members cause concern by dropping pledge to fight protectionism: A group of International Monetary Fund (IMF) member countries has sparked concerns by dropping a pledge to fight trade protectionism.

Embattled Microchip firm to sell stake in company: Imagination Technologies is considering selling a stake in its microprocessor arm following Apple saying it would stop using the troubled microchip firm’s technology from future devices.

Mergermarket rebrand fuels speculation of possible sale: Financial information giant Mergermarket will rebrand this summer, raising speculation among City figures that the company is about to be sold.

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:50:00 +0100
In the Papers - KPMG, Mercedes, Lidl, WH Smith Newspaper Summary

The Times

Stay alert to fintech dangers, says Carney: Regulators need to be alert to the risks to social and financial stability that new developments in banking technology could pose, the Governor of the Bank of England has warned.

KPMG fires five partners over leak of audit checks: KPMG has fired its top auditor in America and four other partners for “unethical behaviour” in connection with leaked information that gave them advance warning of the audits that a U.S. watchdog was about to inspect.

EU workers turning their backs on British jobs: More than a quarter of British employers have experienced a fall in job applications from European Union workers since last June’s Brexit referendum.

Trump calls on Fed to keep rates low: President Trump has called on the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low as he eased off on previous threats to oust its chairwoman next year.

‘Unfair’ payday lender in administration: A payday lender ordered to repay £34 million to thousands of customers for “unfair practices” such as sending threatening texts and emails last year, has collapsed into administration.

Credit card debts are biggest money worry: A survey of 2,000 adults by R3, the insolvency trade body, found that 41% were at least “fairly worried” about their borrowing, up from 38% in September and 37% in June.

Lyft-off for Uber rival with $600 million: Lyft, the taxi-hailing start-up that is Uber’s closest rival, has raised $600 million in a funding round, to value the company at $7.5 billion. Lyft’s target is believed to have been $500 million.

Security fears halt sale of engineering firm to Chinese: A £1 billion-plus Chinese takeover of Doncasters Group, one of Britain’s oldest engineering firms, has been called off amid U.S. security concerns over the company’s defence operations.

BAT to snap up Bulgarian tobacco brands for €100 million: British American Tobacco has yet to complete a $49.4 billion deal to take control of Reynolds American, but it has lined up its next acquisition.

Mercedes pulls ahead of BMW in luxury market: An increase in sales of luxury cars has helped the owner of Mercedes-Benz to report an 87% surge in first-quarter profits to €4 billion and earned it the title of the world’s bestselling high-end motor brand.

A Lidl fair trade goes a long way: Lidl U.K., which will sell one million Easter eggs this year, will attempt to upstage rivals when it announces that it will become the first British supermarket to move to 100% sustainable cocoa in all own-brand products.

The Independent

Lacklustre March for U.K. housing market says latest RICS report: The number of homes sitting on estate agents’ books has fallen to a record low amid a lack of impetus in the housing market, according to a report.

Tourists flock to U.K. for Easter thanks to post-Brexit pound slump: The sharp post-Brexit drop in the value of the pound combined with falling flight costs has lured bargain-hunting overseas tourist to the U.K. for Easter, according to industry figures.

Brexit drives Brits to buy British - but only if the price is right: Buying British is becoming more popular with consumers as Brexit looms, but only if the price is right.

World trade seen growing 2.4% in 2017, according to WTO: World trade is on track to expand by 2.4% this year, though there is “deep uncertainty” about economic and policy developments, particularly in the United States, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Wednesday

Supermarkets’ tactics to sneak in Brexit price hikes: Supermarkets are pulling out all the stops to sneak in price hikes caused by the pound’s post-Brexit slump without consumers noticing.

Farmers accuse Asda of misleading customers over ‘Farm Stores’ range: Asda has been accused of misleading customers after re-launching its Farm Stores range - a label which some agricultural organisations say wrongly suggests that the produce is locally sourced.

Yahoo sued over improper management of $17 million Chinese dissident fund: A group of Chinese political activists filed a lawsuit in federal court against Yahoo on Tuesday, saying the company failed to properly oversee a $17 million (£13.6 million) fund it created a decade ago to help Chinese writers, democracy advocates and human rights lawyers persecuted for standing up to the country’s government.

Jeff Bezos-backed U.S. payments startup Remitly expands to U.K.: U.S. payment startup Remitly has launched services in Britain, expanding its international footprint to a third country from which users can send money abroad, the Seattle-based firm told Reuters on Tuesday.

Anti-fracking campaigners lose High Court challenge: Campaigners fighting a Government decision to approve a fracking site in Lancashire have lost a High Court action.

HSBC rolls out initiatives to help customers living with dementia: HSBC has unveiled a range of initiatives aimed at helping customers living with dementia as it seeks to become a more inclusive and user-friendly bank.

Barclays security Chief ‘faces investigation over whistleblowing’: Barclays’ head of security is facing an internal investigation over his role in trying to uncover a whistleblower, according to reports.

Hacking attacks on U.K. businesses cost investors £42 billion: Risks relating to cyber security have risen to the top of the corporate agenda in recent years but few company leaders are aware of the full extent of the possible damage that data breaches can cause.

The Daily Telegraph

RBS could take £1.5 billion hit from plan to drop Williams & Glyn sale: The European Commission has warned that a £750 million plan that will allow Royal Bank of Scotland to abandon a troublesome sale of its Williams & Glyn business could eventually deal a £1.5 billion hit to the taxpayer-backed lender.

Rivals abandon opposition to Murdoch takeover of Sky as sexual harassment scandal grips Fox News: The Murdoch family’s pursuit of full control of Sky has received a boost, as most rivals in the British media have declined to raise objections over their latest takeover bid.

Winter gas prices on the rise after Centrica shuts up storage for another year: Centrica’s decision to shutter up Britain’s only long-term gas storage site for another winter caused wholesale gas prices to climb on Wednesday, raising fears over higher energy bills by the end of the year.

Housebuilder Countryside reports jump in completions as order book hits record levels: Housebuilder Countryside built 30% more homes in the last six months as its order book surged to record highs.

Handelsbanken Chairman questioned in elk hunting bribery probe: The Chairman of Handelsbanken, the Swedish lender that is expanding aggressively in Britain, has become embroiled in a far-reaching bribery scandal over elk hunting trips that has rocked the Scandinavian country.

PageGroup profits at record high despite jobs uncertainty in the U.K.: Growth in the U.K. recruitment market has been stifled by uncertainty around the U.K.’s exit of the European Union, particularly among larger firms, PageGroup has said.

The Questor Column:

Buy JD Sports for its unique relationships with the major sports clothing brands: The strength of its relationships with suppliers such as Nike, Adidas and the North Face is one of the key attractions of JD Sports, according to one fund manager who holds a significant stake in the firm. JD Sports announced a strong set of full-year results, with sales up by 31% and operating profits by 55%, sending the shares 8.2% higher. But Mr Santa Barbara said he was still happy to hold the shares. The next step for the company is the expansion of its international presence. It has 1,050 stores in all, 369 of which are the core U.K. and Ireland JD Sports-branded estate. It currently has 157 outlets under the JD brand in Western Europe. Several other prominent fund managers, including Harry Nimmo of Standard Life U.K. Smaller Companies, hold the shares, according to the most recent data from Morningstar, the fund analyst. Questor tipped JD Sports as a buy in April 2015; we reiterate that advice now. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Living standards in U.K. fall for the first time since 2014: Rising prices and stagnant wage growth have resulted in the first fall in living standards in two and a half years, according to official figures.

U.K. internet ad spend passes £10 billion as Google faces YouTube row: Internet advertising spend surged above £10 billion in the U.K. last year as companies more than doubled the amount they spent on mobile video ads.

Trump’s trade barriers would be self-inflicted wound, says IMF Chief: The managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has delivered one of her strongest condemnations of the protectionist policies of Donald Trump, warning that putting up barriers to trade would be a “self-inflicted wound” to an improving global economy.

Estate agents struggling to find homes to sell, says report: The average number of homes for sale by each estate agent has fallen to a record low, with agents in parts of the country gloomier than at any time since the financial crash, according to a report by the surveyor’s professional body.

Donald Trump’s tax holiday ‘would help top U.S. companies save $300 billion’: Donald Trump’s plan to encourage U.S. companies to repatriate profits held offshore will allow the 50 biggest American corporations to save at least $300 billion (£240 billion), according to research by Oxfam.

Daily Mail

Dulux at war with New York fund which is demanding the Chairman resigns for rejecting £20 billion bid: New York hedge fund Elliott Advisors, which owns just over 3% of Dulux parent Akzo Nobel, has called for the paintmaker’s Chairman to be removed after two takeover bids were rejected.

Sports Direct staff elected an employee to attend board meetings: Staff at Sports Direct, which has been blighted by uproar over its working conditions, have elected an employee to attend board meetings.

Five Give Up the Booze books drive sales at WH Smith after last year’s success of adult colouring books: The range of grown-up fiction propped up business at its high street stores, where profits were flat at £53million despite a 3% fall in sales in the six months to the end of February.

WH Smith’s profits given a boost by shops in airports and railways as ‘colour therapy’ fad falls out of fashion: Airport and railway based shops up and down the country helped WH Smith boost its profits by 4% to £83million in the six months to 28 February.

Norway ferry deal sends Rolls-Royce to two-year high while fellow engineer Meggitt gets a ‘buy’ rating: Shares in Rolls-Royce sailed to their highest price for nearly two years after the firm secured a key deal to build control systems for two hybrid ferries.

Daily Express

Smaller firms ‘feeling increasingly assured despite spiralling costs’: Smaller firms are feeling increasingly confident despite “spiralling” business costs, spurred by more international trade, a new study reveals.

Greece bailout hangs in the balance: IMF still refusing to join ahead of looming deadline: Greece’s eurozone creditors are still at loggerheads with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over proposed economy reforms for the debt-stricken countries, Christine Lagarde confirmed.

Euro forecast to plunge lower as market panic rises: The euro is set to drop further, amid rising market fear the looming French election could spark the beginning of the end of the eurozone.

‘Banks are bored of Brexit’ Hiring upturn in financial sector as firms shrug off fears: Concerns over the U.K.’s exit of the European Union (EU) seem to have been simply shrugged off as London banks have been seen hiring specialists in the first quarter.

Pound holds firm as Britain sees hat-trick of good news showing economy booming: The pound held firm after Britain scored a bumper edition of good news with lower unemployment, more jobs and higher wages, as the economy continues to beat forecasts of a downturn sparked by Brexit.

The Scottish Herald

Beer Boss hails global success of Scottish ales: The Founder of Innis & Gunn has hailed the global success of Scotland’s craft beer sector, as he opened the company’s fourth Beer Kitchen bar and restaurant in Glasgow’s Ashton Lane, following a £600,000 investment.

Amazon to help Scottish businesses push exports with free event: Amazon Academy is coming to Scotland to help small and medium sized enterprises who are seeking growth in the global digital marketplace.

Acquisitive Ayrshire IT business in networks deal with English firm: An Ayrshire Information Technology firm has bought a cloud computing specialist in a deal it expects will allow it to grow turnover by a third.

ICAS hires again as former HMRC Boss joins council: The professional body for chartered accountants in Scotland has made another high-profile appointment.

Costs are the biggest threat to growth, BCC says: The rise in inflation since the Brexit vote has been singled out as the biggest immediate pressure facing businesses across the U.K.

Baillie Gifford earns extra £500,000 for running Shin Nippon: The management fee Edinburgh fund house Baillie Gifford earned for running the Shin Nippon Investment Trust rose by half a million pounds in the last year despite the firm announcing an effective fee cut in September.

Robertson lands Costa contract: Robertson Group subsidiary Robertson Facilities Management has been awarded a three-year contract to deliver building fabric, plumbing and electrical maintenance to U.K. coffee shop chain Costa Coffee.

Social business fund gets £3 million: Social enterprise development agency Firstport has welcomed a £3 million investment by the Scottish Government into its programme to find and support social entrepreneurs.

New Scientist sold to Kingston: The New Scientist has been sold by Reed Business Information for an undisclosed sum to a team credited with turning round the Times Educational Supplement.

Environmental software firm Ecometrica expands into Mexico and the U.S.: Edinburgh software company Ecometrica has expanded into Mexico and the U.S. three months after winning a transformational £14.2 million contract from the U.K. Space Agency’s international partnership programme.

The Scotsman

New Editorial Director of The Scotsman announced: Johnston Press has named Frank O’Donnell as the new Editorial Director of The Scotsman.

Tesco sales up as profits top £1 billion: Tesco has reported its first full-year increase in U.K. sales for seven years as the supermarket’s recovery under Boss Dave Lewis gathers pace.

Number of households in Scotland on the rise: The number of households in Scotland’s city regions is projected to grow strongly over the next 25 years as Scots increasingly choose to live alone and base themselves in urban areas.

1.5 million customers to be affected by EDF energy increase: Energy giant EDF is to increase its dual fuel tariff by 7.2% from June, gas prices by 5.5% and electricity by 9%, affecting 1.5 million customers.

Unemployment in Scotland falls below the U.K. average: The jobless rate in Scotland is now below the U.K. average after unemployment north of the border fell by 15,000.

City A.M.

The gig economy won’t boom, because most people want real jobs, Glassdoor survey finds: The rise of the gig-economy will be limited this year, new research suggests, as the majority of workers prefer stable employment.

Prada reports weakest profits since 2011 IPO: Prada has reported its weakest full-year profit since it floated on the stock market in Hong Kong six years ago.

Amber Infrastructure fund INPP aims to raise £250 million through share placing: Amber Infrastructure’s listed fund revealed details of plans to raise £250 million through a share placing.

Late Easter hits sales at U.K. pubs and restaurants in March, but London pushed ahead with growth: Sales at Britain’s restaurants and pubs were tempered in March by a later Easter, but London proved resilient as sales grew.

Four Seasons Healthcare is on the hunt for a buyer for its mental health unit Huntercombe: Four Seasons Healthcare, Britain’s largest care home operator, is planning to sell its mental health division, Huntercombe Group.

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:52:00 +0100
In the Papers - Pepsi, Premier Oil, United Airlines, Google Newspaper Summary

The Times

Dialog ‘at risk of losing Apple contract’: Fears that Apple could be poised to ditch another British-based supplier gripped the market again after a German private bank suggested that the Silicon Valley giant could be developing its own technology.

Adviser calls for revolt over Rio’s lack of women: A leading governance adviser is urging Rio Tinto shareholders to revolt against its Chairman because the FTSE 100 mining group has not done enough to appoint women to its board.

Eurozone hit by surprise fall in industrial output: Activity in the eurozone’s industrial sector unexpectedly fell in February, dampening prospects for robust economic growth after the publication of several recent upbeat economic indicators in the single currency bloc.

Security products are passport to success for banknote printer: The company that prints banknotes for the Bank of England upgraded its annual profit forecast, reversing its reputation for surprising the City with dire unscheduled updates.

Music venues under threat after rate rise: London’s live music venues face closure in the wake of the business rates rise, Sadiq Khan has warned.

Vedanta completes on Cairn: Nearly two years after the deal was announced, Vedanta Resources buyout of Cairn India became effective.

Majestic retail Chief takes up new hobby: The Executive credited with driving the turnaround of Majestic Wine’s retail business has resigned after only 18 months to take the reins at Hobbycraft.

Coutts fined by Hong Kong regulator: Regulators in Hong Kong have fined Coutts HK$7 million, or nearly £730,000, after finding that the former Royal Bank of Scotland-owned private bank had broken local anti-money laundering and counterterrorist laws.

Disease drives up orange juice prices: The price of orange juice is forecast to jump after disease ravaged crops and squeezed global supplies.

Britain’s online alcohol sales are the highest in Europe: British drinkers buy more alcohol online than anyone else in Europe, helped by the rise of supermarket home delivery and the emergence of Amazon as a retailer, a report reveals.

Rockhopper says oil price helps plans: Rockhopper Exploration has said it is “convinced” that oil prices are high enough for the Falkland Islands’ first oil development to get the go-ahead.

House price growth falls to five year low in capital: House prices in London are growing at their slowest annual rate in five years, while house prices across the U.K. are moving at a significantly slower pace than the average last year, official figures show.

The Independent

U.S. companies now have £1.6 trillion stashed in tax havens and Trump’s plans will make matters worse, Oxfam claims: The 50 biggest U.S. companies stashed another $200 billion of profits in offshore tax havens in 2015 alone, taking the total to approximately $1.6 trillion, according to new analysis.

U.K. companies spent more than £10 billion on online advertising last year: The amount spent on U.K. internet advertising surged to a record high of over £10 billion last year, according to a new study.

Philip Hammond to champion skilled immigration at FinTech conference: The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will on Wednesday make a plea for the U.K. to remain open to immigration of the “the brightest and the best from around the world” in the wake of Brexit.

Lawyers give Government 21 days to explain climate change failures: ClientEarth – the team of environmental lawyers that has twice taken Ministers to court and won – has given the Government 21 days to explain why it has failed to produce a plan setting out how the U.K. will fight climate change as required by law.

London loving Sheikh is building £127 million Shepherd’s Bush replica in Oman: A London-loving Sheikh plans to bring a slice of London to the Middle East by building a £127 million mini replica of Shepherd’s Bush in Oman, complete with Westfield mall and English style landscaping.

United Airlines parent company’s shares slide: Shares in United Continental Holdings fell on Tuesday as the company continued to draw fierce criticism for violently removing a passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight so staff could take his seat.

Google defends pay policy after U.S. government says it underpays women: Google has staunchly defending its compensation policy, saying that it is “blind” to gender, after the U.S. Department of Labor accused the internet giant of not paying women the same as men.

Uber banned in Italy: Uber has been banned in Italy after a Rome court ruled that it represents unfair competition for traditional taxis.

U.K. provides millions to help build more electric vehicle batteries: Britain awarded millions of pounds on Tuesday to help boost manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries, including a project to build the country’s second purpose-built electric battery plant and another to make the technology more powerful.

Working mothers suffer 3% pay penalty for each child, study finds: Mothers are paid an average of 3% less for every child they have compared to their female counterparts who do not have children, according to a French study, which also shows that fathers suffer no penalty at all.

The Daily Telegraph

Soaring Trump dollar risks global trade war and China currency crisis, warns Posen: The world’s leading currency institute is bracing for a dramatic rise in the U.S. dollar as the Federal Reserve rushes to tighten monetary policy, setting the stage for a protectionist showdown and a fresh debt crisis in emerging markets.

Fred Goodwin in court as ‘misleading’ RBS faces wrath of shareholders: Fred Goodwin, the former Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, will appear in court at the start of June over allegations that the lender did not give investors a full picture of its finances at the time of a crunch fundraising in 2008.

Australia warns BHP Billiton shake-up must pass ‘national interest’ test as battlelines harden in Elliott row: A radical shake-up of BHP Billiton must be in Australia’s national interest, its government has warned, as the battlelines hardened in a row between the mining giant and an activist investor.

Weak pound helps De La Rue, even as it makes fewer of them: Shares in banknote maker De La Rue are on track to have their best day in almost a year as its plan to move into new areas of business begins to come to fruition.

Boost in City hiring lifts profits at Robert Walters: Fears that City firms would cease hiring while the U.K. negotiates its exit from the European Union have not materialised, the Chief Executive of recruitment firm Robert Walters said, as more financial services jobs pushed up its profits.

Technology and the internet risk fuelling a surge in migration and extremism, warns World Bank Chief: Technology and the internet could fuel a fresh migration surge from developing countries as robots and automation destroy millions of low-skilled jobs, according to the President of the World Bank.

The Questor Column:

Property firm makes 44% gain on London site – yet the shares are at a 15% discount: The sale by CLS Holdings, the property investor, of its Vauxhall Square development in London to a Chinese developer for a substantial premium to book value reinforces the investment case for the stock and may at the same time soothe post-Brexit worries regarding other real estate investment trusts (REITs). Shares in the FTSE 250 company have advanced nicely since we tipped them in November and the Vauxhall deal is a timely reminder of their ongoing valuation attractions. CLS has exchanged contracts for the unconditional sale of the property for a net consideration of £144 million. The deal is due to go through in early May and the price compares with the asset’s book value on CLS’s balance sheet of £100 million. The £40 million capital gain adds around 70p to the company’s stated net asset value per share and takes it to north of £22, all other things being equal. The shares still therefore trade at a discount of around 15% and come with a 3.1% yield from a dividend that is very nearly twice covered by earnings. CLS was trading at around a 17% discount to its asset value at the time of our tip in November and that gap has closed only to 15% despite the healthy subsequent share price gains, as asset values have continued to rise. Only when the gap closes to 5% or less will the valuation start to look full. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Parity: Shares in small-cap consultancy and recruitment specialist Parity are up by more than a fifth since our first look at the shares in February, but last month’s full-year results suggest there could be more to come if the turnaround plan continues to develop apace. Chief Executive Alan Rommel has further strengthened the management team, bringing in John Conoley, former Boss of Psion, as non-Executive Chairman. March’s full-year figures read well in this respect, as the company returned to the black and reduced its net debt to £4.4 million from £7.4 million. The company is not out of the woods yet as the pension deficit rose to £1.8 million but improved cash flow and the decision to put a non-core asset up for sale should help to strengthen its finances. Two long-term contract wins provide some welcome visibility to the profit and loss account. If debt keeps falling and profits keep rising, Parity’s £12 million market cap could start to look low compared with its £90m-plus in annual sales, although the stretched balance sheet means this remains a very risky play. Questor says, ‘Speculative Buy’.

The Guardian

Toshiba warns over its survival as it forecasts £7 billion losses: Toshiba, one of the biggest names in consumer electronics, has warned it is facing annual losses of more than £7 billion and the future of the company is in doubt as a result of financial turmoil at its nuclear power plant construction business.

Developing nations’ demands for better life must be met, says World Bank head: Failure to meet the internet-inspired aspirations of people in poor countries runs the risk of creating the conditions for war, terrorism and increased migration, the President of the World Bank has warned.

Student loan interest rate set to rise by a third after U.K. inflation surge: Students appear to be paying a heavy price for the U.K.’s inflation surge after the Brexit vote, which will drive the interest rate on their loans up by a third to 6.1%.

Judges reject U.S. banker’s claim to be a genius in divorce case: A U.S. banker has been ordered to pay his ex-wife half of the family’s £140 million fortune, after the court of appeal rejected his claim that his “genius” outshone her contribution to the marriage.

Corbyn attacks M&S and other big firms over late supplier payments: Jeremy Corbyn has said a Labour government would “declare war” on corporations that fail to pay suppliers on time, although the companies he singled out, such as M&S, have said they do not recognise his data.

Daily Mail

U.K. nuclear power plans in meltdown as Japanese owner of £10 billion Cumbrian plant fights for survival: The future of Britain’s biggest nuclear power plant is again in doubt after its owner posted a mammoth loss and warned it may not be able to survive. Japanese giant Toshiba is the sole owner of the £10billion NuGen nuclear project in Moorside, Cumbria, after its French partner Engie quit last week.

Investment banks scramble to hire more London staff as global economy booms: Investment banks are scrambling to hire more staff in London thanks to a resurgence in the global economy, a headhunting firm has said.

How Heathrow plans to make a success out of Brexit and turn Britain into ‘the best-connected country on earth’: Heathrow’s Boss outlined plans to make Brexit Britain ‘the best-connected country on earth’ after the airport saw cargo volumes soar.

High Street cobbler Timpson owner posts £10 million revenue boost to £205 million: Timpson said dry weather has meant shoes require fewer repairs. But fashion cycles and warm weather did not stop Offerhappy, the business behind the High Street cobbler and locksmith, posting a £10million revenue boost to £205 million.

Former deputy Bank of England Governor Sir Paul Tucker keeps shtum on Libor: Former deputy Bank of England Governor Sir Paul Tucker, 59, was the only big name player cited in this week’s Panorama not to comment on his alleged involvement in the Libor scandal.

Daily Express

JD Sports fashion line hits record profits as sportswear swaps track for the high street: JD Sports Fashion shaped up to join Britain’s corporate elite as it reaped rewards with record annual profits of stores investment and tapping into a cultural shift to wearing tracksuits and trainers away from the gym.

NS&I launches new market-leading investment bond with rate of 2.2%: Beleaguered savers were offered the chance to boost their nest eggs with the launch of a new market-leading investment bond with a rate of 2.2%.

Inflation rates puts squeeze on savers as U.K. is in the midst of a ‘silent savings crisis’: Savers will be feeling let down after Chancellor Philip Hammond’s new investment bond launched paying less than the current inflation rate.

How Marine Le Pen could win the French election: Market fear as victory path spelled out: Gold prices are rising as investors rush to pump money into safe havens amid growing concerns Marine Le Pen could clinch victory in the looming French elections and hold a Frexit referendum that may destroy the euro.

Grieving relatives will get less money, following state bereavement benefit changes: Mourning families will get less Government support, following a shake-up of state bereavement benefits that came into force last week.

The Scottish Herald

Bumper pay rise for oil and gas company Chief Executive: Premier Oil Chief Executive Tony Durrant saw his total remuneration increase by 35% last year, when the company reduced pre-tax losses to $390.6 million (£285 million) from $829.6 million in the preceding period helped by cost-cutting.

Call for VAT cut to boost consumer spending: Scottish Chambers of Commerce has called on the U.K. Government to consider cutting VAT to boost consumer demand, as official figures showed that inflation grew at 2.3% in March.

Scottish boards are not visible enough: Nearly half of employees in Scotland are unable to name a single board member of the companies they work for, with more than half declaring they are kept in the dark about board decisions.

Airports see record traveller numbers: The largest three airports in Scotland all saw passenger numbers increase in March, with Aberdeen Airport’s one% increase marking the first time since January 2015 that the airport has seen positive growth.

Pipeline deal could provide boost for North Sea: North Sea-focused Independent Oil & Gas has underlined the potential to bring so-called stranded oil and gas fields in the area onstream after finalising a low-cost deal to buy a recently-decommissioned pipeline.

Heineken commits £4 million to its Scottish pub estate with four Glasgow venues set for refurbishment: Heineken has outlined plans to invest £4 million in upgrading its Star Pubs & Bars estate in Scotland in 2017, doubling its 2016 investment, with the group’s pub Boss claiming venues with investment are “thriving”.

Law firm DWF faces £1 million repair bill despite revamp at former office: U.K. Law firm DWF could be forced to pay its former Glasgow landlord close to £1 million after failing to have a case against it thrown out at the Court of Session.

The Scotsman

Rate pressures remain despite inflation respite: Bank of England policymakers will remain under pressure to consider a hike in interest rates before the end of the year, economists warned, despite a pause in inflation.

Skye set for starting role in new King Arthur tourism drive: Some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes are to take centre stage in a new tourism campaign to capitalise on a blockbuster film on the legend of King Arthur.

Robbie Coltrane in running for TV BAFTA for National Treasure: Robbie Coltrane is in the running for glory at the BAFTA TV Awards - for his portrayal of a former comedy star accused of historical sex crimes.

United Airlines Boss finally apologises as passenger named: The CEO of United Airlines has issued a stronger apology about a passenger who was dragged off a United Express flight, calling the confrontation “truly horrific.”

Still Game and Hibs’ Scottish Cup final win up for top TV honours: Still Game, Scot Squad, Robbie Coltrane, Lorraine Kelly and Hibernian’s historic Scottish Cup final win are in the running for some of Scotland’s highest TV honours.

City A.M.

Rolling out 5G networks will the U.K. keeps its crown as a world leader in technology: The demand for ubiquitous, fast mobile connectivity is unquestionable.

The real implications of Brexit will be found in the exit deal’s silences: As Sherlock Holmes liked to point out, it is the dogs that do not bark that often give the best clues as to what is really going on.

Investors lose £42 billion due to cyber breaches, report finds: Severe cyber-attacks have cost global investors at least £42 billion in recent years according to a new in-depth study published this morning.

Macquarie takeover of Green Investment Bank could be announced by government as early as next week: The government could announce the sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to Macquarie as early as next week, sources have told City A.M.

Group of six London pubs sold to the Laine Pub Company for around £4 million: Six London pubs, including The Camden Eye and The Black Lion, Hammersmith, have been acquired by the Laine Pub Company from the New Pub Company.

Vedanta Resources ramped up full-year production in the fourth quarter to boost annual output: India-focused metals and mining group Vedanta Resources posted record annual production at its aluminium, power, zinc India and copper India units for the year to the end of March 2017.

Misguided Kendall Jenner protest advert loses Pepsi some of its fizz, YouGov brand data shows: Last week, Pepsi bowed to widespread pressure and pulled a controversial advert which many believed trivialised the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have taken place across the U.S. in recent years.

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:49:00 +0100
In the Papers - Heineken, Jaeger, BBC, Tesla Newspaper Summary

The Times

Winter gales blow wind farms to a production record: Britain generated more electricity from wind farms in the first three months of this year than ever before, as “exceptionally windy” weather boosted output, analysis suggests.

Mondelez’s tough cookie crumbles: A hunt is under way to find a successor to the American business Chief who broke a promise not to shut a Cadbury factory when her company bought the U.K. chocolate-maker seven years ago.

Office rents go sky high down under: The cost of renting office space in the skyscrapers of Sydney and Melbourne is rising faster than in any other major global city, as a lack of space and the disruption of a new rail line push up charges.

BHP rejects activist’s demand to overhaul listing and spin off oil: BHP Billiton has rejected calls from activist investor Elliott Advisors to overhaul its dual-listed structure and spin off its U.S. oil business.

Rio Tinto tells Australia to cut tax rates: One of world’s biggest miners has called for a cut in corporate tax rates in Australia and the United States, warning that it might otherwise have to cut investment and jobs.

Talktalk wins appeal on BT net prices: Talktalk has won an appeal against the pricing of BT’s high-speed internet access for businesses.

Fox News owner investigates sex claim: The owner of Fox News is to investigate a sexual harassment claim made against Bill O’Reilly, the channel’s embattled star, by a former guest on his show.

The Independent

Wells Fargo claws back another $75 million from former CEO and top Executive over fake accounts scandal: Wells Fargo’s board clawed back an additional $28 million (£22.5 million) from former Chief Executive John Stumpf and canceled about $47 million of ex-community bank head Carrie Tolstedt’s stock options after determining they were among senior managers who failed to heed warnings of spreading sales abuses for more than a decade.

Corbyn woos small businesses with plan for crackdown on late payments: Jeremy Corbyn is to try and woo small business owners with a package of reforms aimed at helping small-time entrepreneurs, self-employed tradespeople, and local firms.

Twitter might become a user-owned co-operative: Twitter shareholders will vote on whether to turn the social network into a user-led co-operative at the company’s shareholder meeting set to take place at the end of May.

China offers U.S. access to its domestic markets to avert trade war: China will offer to give American businesses better access to its domestic markets to help avert a trade war with the U.S.

Kentucky Coal Museum installs solar panels because it will save money: Housed in a former commissary building and tucked into the hollers of Harlan County — the heart of Kentucky mining country — is a museum dedicated to all aspects of extracting coal from the state’s mountains.

Quarter of miles travelled in the U.S. by 2030 predicted to be driverless: A quarter of all miles driven in the U.S. could be in shared, self-driving electric cars by the end of the next decade, setting off a seismic shift that will upend the auto industry, according to a study on the rise of the autonomous age.

Islamic fintech firm first to get U.K. regulatory approval: A London-based Islamic financial technology start-up has become the first company of its kind to be given regulatory approval in the U.K., as Britain seeks to position itself as a hub for both fintech and Islamic finance.

The Daily Telegraph

3G Capital-backed coffee and doughnut giant Tim Hortons enters U.K. market: The giant food business behind Canada’s Tim Hortons doughnut and coffee chain will open the brand’s first U.K. site as part of a planned year-long roll-out.

Tesla overtakes GM to become biggest U.S. carmaker: Tesla has leapfrogged General Motors to become America’s most valuable carmaker, riding a wave of optimism about the electric vehicle company despite its continuing losses.

Falklands Government intervenes to stop Argentine takeover of islands’ biggest company: The Falkland Islands Government has fired a shot across the bows of a billionaire who has been circling the British archipelago’s dominant business, amid fears of an Argentine takeover.

Anglo American offloads South African coal mines: Anglo American has taken a step closer to its goal of reorganising its South African operations by selling off a bundle of coal mines.

Marine Le Pen could pull the plug on Hinkley Point project if elected: The U.K.’s plan to build a new nuclear power plant at the Hinkley Point C site could be scrapped following the French election if National Front Leader Marine Le Pen comes to power.

Energy suppliers’ market costs hit two-year high as political crackdown looms: U.K. energy suppliers have shouldered the highest wholesale market costs in two years and face further cost hikes ahead alongside a political crackdown on rising bills.

City backs Carney with plan to keep finance open after Brexit: British banks and finance firms should still be able to access EU markets after Brexit as long as regulators are prepared to cooperate with each other, preventing a cliff-edge collapse in cross-border trading, an advisory body has said.

The Guardian

Barclays Boss used bank’s security team to hunt for whistleblower: The Chief Executive of Barclays is being investigated by financial regulators and faces a significant cut to his pay after admitting trying to unmask a whistleblower who made allegations about a long-term associate he had brought to the bank.

BBC to air recording that implicates Bank of England in Libor scandal: The Bank of England has found itself under the spotlight again over the fixing of a key interest rate during the credit crunch after new details emerged of bankers discussing Threadneedle Street’s alleged involvement in the setting of Libor.

U.K. retail sales fall again as rising living costs bite: Britain’s retailers suffered a third consecutive month of falling sales in March, according to industry figures that add to evidence that a post-referendum rise in living costs is denting consumer spending.

Free trade warning – IMF, WTO and World Bank say it must be defended: Fears that Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House is threatening a new era of protectionism have prompted a joint defence of trade from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation.

Southern rail Boss paid £495,000: The man in charge of Southern rail, the train network that has become synonymous with delays, cancellations and strike action, was paid £495,000 last year.

Daily Mail

London landlord Shaftesbury soars to six-month high amid rumours Hong Kong billionaire could be set to launch a takeover bid: Shares in London landlord Shaftesbury soared to a six-month high amid rumours a Hong Kong billionaire could be about to launch a takeover bid.

Shell rocked by corruption claims after negotiating with money launderer during £1 billion Nigerian oil field purchase: Shell was last night accused of taking part in ‘one of the worst corruption scandals the industry has ever seen’ after buying an oil field in Nigeria.

Mining giant BHP Billiton under fire from U.S. hedge fund sending shares soaring 5%: The American hedge fund, which is owned by billionaire Paul Elliott Singer and has a 4.1% stake in BHP, is calling on the miner to spin off its U.S. oil assets after highlighting ‘inefficiencies’ at the firm.

Chinese giant Kweichow Moutai more valuable than Diageo: Kweichow Moutai may not be a household name in the U.K., but it has crept above the maker of Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff to become the world’s most valuable alcoholic drinks company.

Hornby Chairman faces calls to quit as model firm makes cutbacks following difficulties with its Chinese suppliers: The Chairman of ailing Hornby is under pressure to step down after investors accused him of overseeing the destruction of the toy maker’s value.

Daily Express

Carmaker aims to help struggling savers with new accounts: American carmaker Ford has branched out it financial services arm to launch competitive savings products in Britain.

Euro value plunges as Le Pen’s chance of French election victory rise higher: The euro has hit its lowest level in more than a month, as Marine Le Pen’s odds of winning the French election jumped higher, just two weeks before voting begins.

Jaeger collapses into administration leaving 700 high street jobs at risk: Fashion chain Jaeger has collapsed into administration leaving 700 high street jobs at risk.

Brussels should have punished Spain and Portugal for debts, says ECB: Spain and Portugal shouldn’t have been let off the hook by Brussels after breaking economy rules that are in place to prevent a financial crisis, according to the European Central Bank.

60% chance of global recession in 18 months, says economist: The world economy could nosedive in the next 18 months, as markets fall out of love with President Donald Trump, an economist has predicted.

German bonds hit new low amid rising fears of political Turmoil: Investors worried about political turmoil have pushed the yield on German government 10-year bonds lower, hitting a five-week low.

The Scottish Herald

Firms focus on health with former footballer: A former goalkeeper who spent his career saving shots is now aiming to save businesses by launching a range of corporate health packages in a move designed to help reduce workplace absences.

Accountancy firm launches new division in Aberdeen: Aberdeen accountancy firm Hall Morrice is launching a corporate finance division, declaring that this is “absolutely the right time” to invest in the city.

Wood wins North Sea contract: Wood Group has won a contract to help Premier Oil with planning to develop a new gas field in the North Sea.

Clark Contracts maintains momentum as it wins £40 million of work and recruits staff: Paisley-based Clark Contracts has continued its run of major contract wins, with the firm announcing that it secured £40 million of work in the six months to March 31.

Glasgow firm wins contract with a leading toymaker: Exchange Communications, the Glasgow-based telecoms services company, has won a new contract with Hasbro after completing the upgrade of communications systems for the toymaker at sites in Germany, Spain and France.

Isle of Harris in Ministerial visit: The Isle of Harris distillery handed U.K. Government Minister Greg Clark an insight into how the Scotch whisky supports jobs in remote communities when the Business and Energy Secretary visited the Hebridean island.

Discipline on oil price hard to maintain: Investment manager Brooks Macdonald has expressed doubts that the production discipline which has helped control oil supply and demand can be maintained in the long term.

Business stays lift Travelodge: Business customers helped Travelodge notch up a healthy rise in sales and profits last year. The hotel group said revenues rose 6.8% to £597.8 million in 2016, with operating profit hitting £110.1 million versus £105.1 million the year before.

The Scotsman

STV to launch new ‘Scottish Seven’ bulletin this month: STV is to launch its new “Scottish Seven” news programme later this month.

Clydesdale owner pledges £6 billion boost for Britain’s SMEs: The owner of the Clydesdale Bank is pledging a minimum of £6 billion of lending over the next three years for Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Scottish tech swings across the world: Scottish golf technology company Shot Scope Technologies has secured a grant of £500,000 from Scottish Enterprise, which will enable the business to expand and to further position its automated performance tracking system in global markets.

Cafe chain Tim Hortons to open on Glasgow’s Argyle Street: Tim Hortons, the Canadian cafe chain, is to open its first U.K. store in Glasgow, creating hundreds of jobs as it prepares to expand across Britain this year.

SNP stewardship of economy blamed for £6.5 billion of lost growth: Scotland’s sluggish economy under the SNP leadership has cost £6.5 billion in missing growth, Labour has claimed.

City A.M.

Heineken is investing £20 million into its U.K. pubs: Heineken is investing £20 million in its Star Pubs & Bars across the U.K. this year, with a view to creating 780 new jobs.

Online retailer Missguided explores its options for attracting outside investment or possible flotation: Online fashion retailer Missguided has hired City advisors to explore its options for an IPO or a sale of the business, according to reports.

Ministers rev up £100 million of funding into driverless and low-carbon car projects: The government will back almost 40 new projects to develop driverless and low-carbon vehicles with more than £100 million in funding.

The number of council workers on £150,000+ salaries rose 10% last year: The number of council workers earning more than £150,000 increased by just over 10% last year, according to new figures.

Crossrail 2 Boss Michèle Dix expects government decision to keep project on track next month: The Boss of Crossrail 2 is hoping to get the go-ahead to push on with the £30 billion project by next month.

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:22:00 +0100
In the Papers - Bluejay Mining, Coca-Cola, Travelodge, Virgin Atlantic Airways Newspaper Summary

The Times

Drone surveyor makes hay while the sun shines: A British drone company has been backed by the government to become the world leader in detecting faults in the growing global solar-farm industry.

Bale is role model for the laid back: A London company that sells “the most advanced mattresses in the world” online has signed Gareth Bale to promote its wares as it expands further into Europe, Asia and North America.

Drax investors fired up over pay revolt: Drax Group, the owner of the U.K.’s biggest power station, is facing an investor revolt at its annual meeting on Thursday over the grant to Will Gardiner, the finance Director, of new shares worth almost £1.4 million.

Travelodge is doing the business: Travelodge hailed a “milestone year” in the hotel chain’s development after revenues from business customers for the first time surpassed leisure travel sales last year.

Guardian looks north as rates bill to rise 50% on London HQ: The Guardian’s decision to contemplate returning to its Manchester roots coincides with a 50% rise in the business rates at its lavish London headquarters, The Times has learnt. The revaluation that came into effect this month has resulted in a 73% increase in the value of the newspaper’s property assessment which is used to calculate the new rates, experts say.

Gender pay gap law could fail to resolve disparity: Britain’s new gender pay gap legislation could fail to fully resolve discrepancies in pay between men and women, one of the world’s largest Executive search companies has found.

The Independent

U.K. spending growth slips to slowest rate since 2013 in first quarter of year, Visa says: The first three months of 2017 marked the slowest quarter for spending growth in the U.K. since 2013, as consumers started to feel the pinch of inflation and fretted against a backdrop of general economic uncertainty.

Coca-Cola produces over 100 billion plastic bottles that can’t be recycled, Greenpeace says: Coca-Cola is failing to combat the environmental damage caused by it producing over 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles each year, a new analysis by Greenpeace has revealed.

Pret and Paul offer discount to customers who bring their own coffee cup: French bakery group Paul and sandwich chain Pret a Manger will begin offering discounts to customers bringing in their own reusable cups, yielding to pressure from environmental groups concerned about the mountains of cardboard waste generated in the U.K. each year. 

U.K. high street expecting more shoppers over Easter but spending will stay muted, reveals study: Shoppers might have tightened their purse strings in recent months, but they still seem to have a healthy appetite for hitting the high street and hunting for a bargain.

The Daily Telegraph

Mortgage Gym looks for Meerkat magic with Comparethemarket hire: Mortgage Gym, a robo-adviser launching with high-street banks this summer, is hoping to capture some of the success of Comparethemarket’s famous meerkat advertising campaign by hiring one of its founding Directors.

Asian hotel giant Minor International circling U.K. market for entry: Thai-based Minor International, which has 140 hotels largely in Asia, said the fall in the value of the pound had made the company more determined to find a site for its first U.K. hotel.

British workers for British jobs is a ‘fallacy’, industry leaders warn: Businesses across the U.K. have warned that tighter immigration controls will weaken the nation’s global standing, describing suggestions that British workers could simply replace EU nationals as a “fallacy”.

Virgin Atlantic Airways suffers fall in profits as it calls for quick Brexit airline agreement: Virgin Atlantic Airways has suffered a dive in profits after the costs of leasing its aircraft fleet jumped. Pre-tax profits tumbled two thirds to £3.9 million last year after finance costs rose to £19.4 million at the airline, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Thirst for transatlantic flights pushes Gatwick to break passenger world record: A spike in long-haul passengers to North America has helped Gatwick Airport smash a world record for passenger at a single-runway airport.

London races ahead of European rivals as top choice for company flotations: London was the top choice for company flotations in the first quarter of the year, accounting for almost half of the total amount raised in European initial public offerings.

Bluejay Mining unearths ‘world’s purest ilmenite deposit’ in Greenland: Aim-listed Bluejay Mining is set to declare the discovery of the “world’s purest ilmenite deposit” in Greenland.

The Guardian

Wonga data breach could affect nearly 250,000 U.K. customers: More than a quarter of a million customers of payday loan firm Wonga are being warned that their personal data may have been stolen in a data breach at the firm.

Diesel cars can improve air quality, claims motor industry group: Car manufacturers have hit back at the recent spate of negative comments about diesel vehicles, saying that the latest incarnations are “the cleanest in history” and “light years away from their older counterparts”.

Inflation and wage figures to underline Brexit strain on Britons: Fresh details on price rises and wage growth this week are expected to underline the rising pressures on U.K. household budgets as the pound’s sharp fall since the Brexit vote continues to stoke inflation.

‘See you in court’: activists ready for Trump to relax smog and drilling rules: Environmental campaigners promised on Saturday to wage fierce and protracted legal battles against “outrageous and wrong-headed” Trump administration moves to open Atlantic and Arctic waters for drilling and loosen smog limits.

Daily Mail

Watchdog Boss ‘must quit over fraud probe’: Fury at FCA Chief’s role as it investigates HBOS scandal: John Griffith-Jones, 62, Chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, has been accused of a conflict of interest as his investigators probe a possible cover-up at failed bank HBOS.

Surging demand for British-made luxury items helps furniture firm founded by Queen’s nephew post record sales: David Linley’s high-end interiors business saw sales almost double from £6.9 million to £13.5 million in the year to June 30, and it swung to a £337,000 profit from a £1.9 million loss.

Boss of troubled railway service Southern pockets almost £500,000 while presiding over year dominated by strikes and commuter misery: Charles Horton’s payday bonanza came despite a £15.3 million loss for the network’s parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway.

Report claims march of robots will cost millions of men their jobs - but women likely to get off more lightly: The march of robots will cost millions of men their jobs – but women are likely to get off more lightly, a report claims. Traditionally male-dominated roles of lorry driver, builder, factory worker and even City trader could disappear in coming years, suggest a study by BCA Research.

Hong Kong billionaire Samuel Tak Lee spends £500 million on shares in London landlord Shaftesbury ahead of possible takeover bid: The tycoon now owns 20% of the business, which is the landlord for Carnaby Street, Chinatown and much of Soho.

Daily Express

ASOS stays ahead of curve in fashion stakes: First-half results show continued momentum at online clothing retailer ASOS. Retail sales rose 38% to £889 million in the six months to February 28, including a particularly strong performance from the international businesses.

Families feel squeeze as rising prices take strong grip on finances: Growth in households’ spending has slowed to the weakest rate seen since the end of 2013 as rising prices take a stronger grip on people’s finances, according to an index.

Britain to benefit from 1.8% boost to economy this Easter: Britain’s economy will grow by 1.8% this year according to upgraded forecasts from the EY ITEM Club, thanks to a recovery in global trade.

The Scottish Herald

Economy stagnant as services weaker: Scotland’s private sector economy broadly stagnated in March, as a decline in services output offset manufacturing growth, a survey reveals.

Leap of faith takes Glasgow doctor into the world of business: While unemployment is falling in Scotland this relative newcomer to the ranks of the country’s entrepreneurs reckons governments still need to make it easier for small firms to take on staff.

SSE sells off PFI streetlights: Energy giant SSE has sold its remaining U.K. PFI (private finance initiative) streetlight projects to an Amsterdam-based investment fund.

Tesco set to reveal rise in profits amid booker takeover scrutiny: Tesco is expected to report a rise in full year profits this week but the supermarket faces growing shareholder scrutiny of its proposed £3.7 billion takeover of Booker.

The Scotsman

BrewDog valued at £1 billion after U.S. equity firm investment deal: Craft beer producer BrewDog has sold about a fifth of the business to an American private equity firm in a deal valuing it at about £1 billion, which will take it “to the next level” amid reported plans foran IPO in the next five years.

SNP stewardship of economy blamed for £6.5 billion of lost growth: Scotland’s sluggish economy under the SNP leadership has cost £6.5 billion in missing growth, Labour has claimed.

Scotland would be ‘most welcome’ as full EU member, 50 MEPs say: A group of 50 politicians from across Europe have signed a letter stating that an independent Scotland would be “most welcome” as a full member of the European Union.

City A.M.

Business must step up to solve the skills crisis and nurture Britain’s tech and engineering talent: The U.K. is a world leader in technology and innovation. Having led international technology and engineering businesses over many years, I can confidently say we have the talent and commitment in the U.K. to compete with the very best globally.

A revival in international trade could offset the U.K.’s consumer spending woes: A report released predicted that the U.K. economy’s adjustment to Brexit would be smoothed by increased international trade. Net trade is expected to contribute 0.2% to Britain’s GDP this year and 0.6% in 2018, bucking a negative trend which last year saw international trade subtract 0.4% from GDP.

MarketInvoice reports record funding to U.K. businesses: MarketInvoice, an online platform offering invoice funding for businesses, has reported its best ever quarter for funding to U.K. businesses.

Small construction firms shake off Brexit concerns as confidence is sky-high with investments in the works: Confidence among small construction firms is on the rise as three quarters of subcontractors plan to invest in their business in the coming months.

Smalltime oil industry player Serica Energy eyes BP’s North Sea assets: A relatively small player in the oil industry is scoping out BP’s assets in the North Sea as part of plans for a potential buying spree in the area.

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 08:38:00 +0100
In the Papers - Unilever, Spotify, BP, Ford Newspaper Summary

The Times

Lights go out for General Electric bulbs: The U.S. conglomerate is looking to sell its consumer lighting division, which makes bulbs for lamps and car headlights, as well as fluorescent strip lighting for the home. The price tag has been put at $500 million.

Unilever crafts new structure to deter future takeover bids: Kraft Heinz may only have parked its tanks on Unilever’s lawn for less than 72 hours but the after effects of its failed £115 billion takeover attempt could be felt for years to come.

Spotify to offer investors $10 billion shares download: Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, is considering a direct listing of its shares on an American stock exchange this year with a target valuation of $10 billion, it emerged.

Hire purchase firm told to get its house in order: One of the biggest operators in the hire purchase market has said the financial regulator has given it about a year to get its house in order amid concerns about eye-watering costs and a lack of transparency for consumers.

Mum’s the word as retail remains flat: British retailers have failed to grow sales for the fourth month in a row as challenging conditions on the high street continue.

Mothercare is all grown up online: Demand for pushchairs, baby toys and maternity wear online has helped to nurture signs of a recovery at Mothercare. It said U.K. online sales rose 13.6% in the 11 weeks to March 25, its fourth quarter.

Bournville’s sweet after £75 million boost: The American owner of Cadbury hit back at critics of the takeover of the British confectionery group by saying that investment in the Bournville factory had secured it as the home of its global chocolate empire “for a generation”.

The Independent

BP slashes CEO’s pay by 40% amid shareholder protest: Oil major BP has slashed CEO Bob Dudley’s pay packet by 40% for 2016 and cut the amount that he can pocket in future, in response to shareholder protest.

Non-stop flights to Australia from London likely 'in the next 5 years': Australia's national carrier Qantas is hoping to offer non-stop flights from London to Sydney within the next five years, thanks to new aviation technology from Boeing and Airbus.

Norwegian Airlines launches low-cost flights to Seattle and Denver: The low-cost airline, Norwegian, has stepped up its battle against the existing transatlantic airlines by announcing two new routes from Gatwick to the U.S.

Ford to launch plug-in electric car in China to combat smog: Ford said it would launch a plug-in hybrid car in China in 2018 and a fully electric sport-utility vehicle in the next five years, as it works toward electrifying most of its lineup in the world's biggest auto market by 2025.

Bezos is selling $1 billion a year in Amazon stock to finance space race: Standing against the backdrop of his New Shepard rocket booster and a full-scale mock capsule for carrying humans into space, Jeff Bezos revealed Wednesday that he was selling about $1 billion in Amazon stock a year to finance his Blue Origin rocket company.

Standard Life considers making Dublin its EU hub because of Brexit: Standard Life, which is merging with Aberdeen Asset Management to create a £650 billion giant, is considering making Dublin its new hub inside the EU as it prepares for the U.K. to lose easy access to the single market, the firm’s Chairman said.

Deliveroo, Uber, Amazon accused over 'exploitative' contracts: Deliveroo, Uber and Amazon have been getting gig-economy workers to sign “unintelligible” contracts that seem designed to stop them asserting their rights, a committee of MPs has ruled.

Chinese millennials twice as likely to own a home as young Brits: Chinese millennials are more than twice as likely to own a home as their U.K. counterparts; new research has shown.

Two former Barclays bankers acquitted of Libor-rigging charges after retrial: Two former Barclays bankers have been cleared by jurors over allegations they plotted to rig Libor, the mechanism used to set interest rates.

The Daily Telegraph

Dominic Chappell told to aid BHS inquiry: Dominic Chappell, the former owner of BHS, is being hauled to court by the Insolvency Service for failing to co-operate with its inquiry into the retail chain’s collapse.

Feelunique accelerates French expansion with Beautyst buy: The French have always been better-known for beauty than the British. Dior, L'Oréal, Chanel - they're all French brands. Even the word 'beauty' comes from the Old French 'beaute'. And now British firms are making the most of the French 'savoir-faire'.

Uber-rival Lyft valued at over $7 billion in fundraising: Ride-hailing firm Lyft has raised around $500 million (£400 million) in a funding round that would value the group at $7.5 billion (£6 billion).

Mike Ashley-backed Findel fills Chief exec job for first time since 2015: Mike Ashley-backed online and catalogue retailer Findel has filled its Chief Executive seat for the first time since its previous head Roger Siddle stepped down in 2015.

Liberty owner sews up needle market with Wool & the Gang deal: The owner of the Liberty department store has taken an €80 million (£68 million) bet on the burgeoning crafts and embroidery market by putting together a 137-year spinning company and a nine-year old online retailer beloved by model Cara Delevingne.

ADHD video-game treatment moves closer to approval as PureTech steps up pipeline: A video-game based treatment designed to help sufferers of ADHD could be on the market within two years after passing a key clinical stage in its development, London-listed bio-pharmaceutical company PureTech Health has announced.

Serica Energy on the hunt for North Sea deals as cash pile grows: North Sea minnow Serica Energy is on the prowl for a North Sea acquisition as its cash pile continues to grow.

The Questor Column:

Private equity tends to outperform – buy it at a 14% discount with this trust: There is plenty of evidence that private equity investments outperform the quoted sector over long periods. There are several investment trusts that focus on these assets. The one we’ve chosen, Standard Life Private Equity, adopts a “fund of funds” approach, which means that it selects private equity investment houses rather than choosing actual businesses in which to invest. The Standard Life portfolio is one of the largest holdings in the Unicorn Mastertrust fund, an “open-ended” fund that holds investment trusts. Peter Walls, who runs the Unicorn fund, told Questor: “The Standard Life managers are sensible people who have been in place for a long time and manage many billions of pounds. The Standard Life trust currently trades at a discount of 14.4% to the value of its assets. However, the net asset value figures of trusts that invest in unquoted assets can be out of date in a way that does not arise with more conventional rivals that stick to holdings listed on the stock market. Standard Life Private Equity recently announced that it would boost its dividend by adding some of the proceeds of disposals to the natural income, resulting in a yield of about 4% at the current share price. The ongoing annual charge of 2.33% is high but not unreasonable for a specialist portfolio such as this. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: P2P Global Investments: P2P Global Investments, which invests in “peer-to-peer” loans and was tipped by Questor as a speculative buy in February, has announced a review of its “investment management arrangements”. Little detail was given, but City experts speculated that this could entail a cut in the fee. Analysts at Numis, the stockbroker, criticised the fee structure and the fund’s failure to pay its income target without resorting to raiding its capital. Questor says ‘Hold, Await Announcement’.

The Guardian

Ryanair 'will have to suspend U.K. flights' without early Brexit aviation deal: Ryanair has warned it will have to halt flights from the U.K. for “weeks or months” if Theresa May does not seal an early bilateral Brexit deal on international aviation.

Low interest rates put global financial sector at risk, IMF warns: A prolonged period of low interest rates will tempt banks to take greater risks and sound the death knell for final salary pensions, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

Move over Suez, hello Stad – Norway to build world's first tunnel for ships: Norway plans to build the world’s first tunnel for ships, a 1,700-metre (5,610-ft) passageway burrowed through a piece of rocky peninsula that will allow vessels to avoid a treacherous part of sea.

Snack attack! Doritos and Coco Pops among latest products to shrink in U.K.: Doritos, Peperami and Coco Pops are the latest products to fall victim to shrinkflation as rising costs hit food producers.

Daily Mail

£370 million wiped off education giant Pearson after five profit warnings in four years spook investors: Education giant Pearson saw £370million knocked off its value after analysts slashed their rating for a firm which has posted five profit warnings in four years.

Computing parts seller Electrocomponents hopeful profits will beat expectations: Computing parts seller Electrocomponents says it thinks profits for the full-year will beat expectations.

I'm defending a great British name: Despite a whopping £19 billion bid from a U.S. rival, the Boss of Dulux refuses to hold takeover talks: Early last month Ton Buchner, the super-fit, dog-loving Chief Executive of the Dutch chemical group that owns Dulux was asked if he'd fancy a coffee with the Boss of a rival firm from the U.S.

John Phizackerley, Chief exec, TP Icap, trousers £3.4 million after being handed a 50% pay rise: The Boss of broker TP Icap trousered £3.4million last year – including a 50% pay rise.

Unilever Boss remains defiant in the face of overseas buccaneers, says Alex Brummer: Paul Polman has a reputation for embracing grand global causes when a bit more attention to the nitty-gritty of Unilever might have been useful.

Daily Express

Unilever's Flora auction is a butter-up: Unilever has offered investors a multibillion pound sweetener as it seeks to rally support after rejecting a £115billion takeover from Kraft Heinz.

Germany needs to harm its own economy to save euro, top economist claims: Germany must damage its own economy if it truly wants to save the euro from collapsing, a top Greek economist has stated.

Gold prices rise as fears of stock market crash take hold: Gold prices have jumped amid growing fears over-inflated stock markets are on the brink of crashing amid a cocktail of risks that includes a key meeting between Donald Trump and Chinese President Jinping Xi.

Euro hits three-week low as Mario Draghi gives gloomy ECB outlook: The euro hit a three-week low this morning after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi offered a gloomy outlook on the future of the eurozone.

Landlord tax changes come into effect; 'Renting will be more expensive', say critics: Landlord tax changes taking effect from are set to make renting more expensive and heap further pressure on buy-to-let investors, according to critics.

The Scottish Herald

Cairngorm Brewery in plan for global deals: Cairngorm Brewery has outlined ambitions to widen its distribution into new export markets, with Singapore and Canada the first targets for the Aviemore craft beer business.

Tomatin Boss gets Quaich: Stephen Bremner, sales Director at Tomatin Distillery has been inducted into the exclusive Scotch whisky society, The Keepers of the Quaich.

Murgitroyd third quarter sales ahead of forecasts: Murgitroyd Group, the trademark and patent law firm has reported a six% increase in third quarter revenue, up six% on the same period last year.

FreeAgent revenue beats forecasts: Freeagent, the Edinburgh based software-as-a-service provider has reported revenue of £8 million for the year ending March 2017 as losses narrowed more than expected.

Capital’s office vacancy record low: Vacancy levels for office space in Edinburgh have fallen to a new low of 4.5%, according to new research by property consultant JLL.

Positive results for Kyowa Kirin: Galashiels-based specialty pharmaceutical company, Kyowa Kirin International, formerly ProStrakan, has announced positive data from two paediatric studies of Burosumab for the treatment of X-linked hypophosphatemia, the most common heritable form of rickets.

Marriott to push on with Scottish plans: Global hotel chain Marriott International has reaffirmed its commitment to the Scottish tourism industry by confirming that it is pushing ahead with plans to build seven hotels across three cities in the next four years.

Demand for staff holds up in spite of slowdown: Scotland’s jobs market remains robust despite the economy shrinking during the final quarter of 2016.

Smart Home concept at the heart of £24 million redevelopment of John Lewis in Edinburgh: John Lewis has revealed that the investment in upgrades to its Edinburgh store will top £24 million as the group looks to make the most of the St James Centre redevelopment.

Cairn Energy Chief sees pay surge above £2 million: Cairn Energy Chief Executive Simon Thomson has seen his pay packet rocket by 60% to more than £2 million, but the oil group plans to slash the amount that can be earned through future long-term incentives.

The Scotsman

Pharma group receives £920k injection: An antibiotic which has been developed in Scotland for the treatment of Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, has moved a step closer to being brought to market following a six-figure cash injection for its developer.

Beano Boss appointed new global ambassador for Dundee: It’s one of the most famous products of the City of Discovery, a link between its rich printing heritage and its digital future.

Scots racing team creates U.K.’s first electric rally car: It’s a sport associated with revs, noise and litres of burning fuel - but one group of Scots motorsports devotees has sought to “future proof” car rallying for the next generation with the U.K.’s first electric competitive car.

Co-op sinks to full-year loss: The Co-operative Group has fallen into the red for the first time since 2013 after writing off the value of its stake in the troubled Co-operative Bank.

City A.M.

High street sales were flat in March, despite a rise in footfall: High street sales failed to grow for the fourth consecutive month in March, despite an increase in footfall.

Victoria's Secret Owner L Brands sees sales fall further: Shares in L Brands, the owner of lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, surged despite sales falling as a separate division beat analyst estimates.

Embrace radical tax decentralisation to help the poor and increase freedom: It's not every day that you hand over a cheque for £50,000 in exchange for a 10-page essay and feel that you have a bargain.

More than 75% of businesses face a digital skills shortage, warns British Chambers of Commerce: Companies are facing a shortage of digital skills, according to a survey released by the British Chambers of Commerce.

Number of Americans claiming benefits undershoots expectations ahead of crucial non-farm payrolls: The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefit dipped in the last week of March in a further sign of the strong U.S. labour market.

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 09:18:00 +0100
In the Papers - JPMorgan, eBay, Nivea, BMW Newspaper Summary

The Times

Takeover bid is a risk to jobs, says Akzo Chief: The head of the Dulux paint group Akzo Nobel warned that up to 3,300 British jobs are under threat in the hostile takeover approach from its PPG, its main American rival, and revealed that the British government is monitoring the issue.

Electric cars provide extra spark for record sales figures: A surge in demand for plug-in battery models and petrol-electric hybrids and the fast-approaching prospect of new vehicle excise duty rates have lifted new car sales to record levels.

London solicitor ignored calls to hand over papers: The Pensions Regulator has secured criminal convictions against a firm of solicitors and its managing partner for failing to provide documents when repeatedly asked to do so.

Koreans join queue at The Body Shop: A South Korean conglomerate has joined the bidding battle for The Body Shop. CJ Group said that it was interested in taking part in the auction that is being run by L’Oréal, the retailer’s owner.

Advertisers quit Fox show over sex claims: More than 30 leading companies have withdrawn their advertising on a Fox News programme amid reports that the television channel secretly settled sexual harassment claims made against its best-known presenter.

New law forces big firms to come clean on gender pay gap: Big companies face new reporting rules that will force them to reveal the gap between male and female pay and to be more transparent about how they pay their suppliers.

Horlick in a froth over cash call: Nicola Horlick has accused Seedrs, the crowdfunding site, of being “stroppy and difficult” after it threatened her with a lawsuit over her failure to stump up a promised £250,000 for her film finance business.

The Independent

eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar pledges $100 million to fight ‘fake news’ and hate speech: The philanthropic organisation established by eBay Founder Pierre Mr. Omidyar will contribute $100 million (£80 million) to support investigative journalism, fight misinformation and counteract hate speech around the world.

Alitalia cancels 60% of scheduled flights delaying thousands of passengers: Airline passengers flying to, from and within Italy have experienced severe delays and cancellations on a day involving widespread strikes by aviation workers, with more industrial action planned for the end of the Easter holidays.

Critics say new gender gap reporting rules don’t go far enough: Experts, including employment lawyers, HR professionals and campaigners, are warning that the Government’s new rules on gender pay reporting won’t do enough to tackle considerable financial inequality still overshadowing a multitude of industries.

One month left to spend your paper fivers, Bank of England warns: British shoppers have just one month to spend the 160 million old fivers which are still in circulation before they lose legal tender status, the Bank of England has warned.

JPMorgan won’t move many jobs from U.K. after Brexit, CEO says: The head of U.S. bank JPMorgan said on Tuesday the bank is not planning to move many jobs out of Britain in the next two years in a softening of tone on the likely impact from Brexit.

U.S. coal companies tell Trump not to quit Paris Climate Agreement: Some big American coal companies have advised President Donald Trump’s administration to break his promise to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement – arguing that the accord could provide their best forum for protecting their global interests.

Trump promises to burn banking regulation, Wall Street doesn’t buy it: Fresh from the failure of his healthcare bill, Donald Trump has moved on to another of the promises made at his inauguration: tearing up the banking regulations that are holding the American economy back.

EU bankers in U.K., sick of location limbo, volunteering to leave: Tired from months of wondering whether their jobs will be moved or cut, foreign employees at some of London’s biggest banks are taking the initiative and asking to be moved back home, according to people with knowledge of the requests.

Cuban family making their own wine brand using condoms: A family wine business in Cuba is thriving thanks in part to an unconventional item being added into the fermentation process – condoms.

Hungary law attacks George Soros-funded university: George Soros’ university in his Hungarian homeland is on the verge of closure after the nation’s parliament voted for legislation apparently targetting the institution.

Nivea pulls ‘white is purity’ advert after online uproar: The skin care brand Nivea set off a controversy this week with an ad featuring the phrase “White is purity,” again finding itself accused of racial insensitivity over a campaign that seemed to be embraced by white supremacists.

The Daily Telegraph

Huawei faces U.K. injunction on smartphone sales: Huawei faces a sales injunction on smartphone sales in the U.K. after the High Court ruled that it must pay a global licence for infringed patents.

Gig economy row escalates as MPs attack Uber, Amazon, Deliveroo over ‘gibberish’ contracts: The gig economy has come under fresh attack from MPs who have labelled the self-employment contracts of Uber, Deliveroo, Amazon and Hermes as “unintelligible”.

Neil Woodford bats off Allied Minds share plunge as “short-term noise”: Well-known City investor Neil Woodford has dismissed a share price plunge at Allied Minds, which his company owns just under a third of, as “short term noise” which misses the bigger picture.

Deliveroo opens 30 kitchens to meet surging takeaway demand: Deliveroo plans to open 30 kitchen hubs in the U.K. this year to meet rapidly rising online demand for its takeaways.

Apprenticeship levy to be met with confusion by business: The apprenticeship levy which comes into force will be met with confusion and ignorance by thousands of companies.

HSS scraps dividend in bid to reduce debt as loss widens: Tool and equipment rental company HSS Hire has reported widening losses and scrapped its dividend after experiencing difficulties in its core rental business.

DCC makes first push outside Europe as Chief Executive plans retirement: DCC has made its first foray outside Europe by buying Shell’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business in Hong Kong and Macau, as Chief Executive Tommy Breen announced he is to step down.

Galliford Try abandons plans for takeover of rival housebuilder Bovis: Galliford Try has walked away from its pursuit of Bovis Homes, as the beleagured housebuilder snapped up its suitor’s former Chief Executive for itself.

The Questor Column:

Buy Shire – the market
 has punished its big acquisition too severely: Markets tend to have mixed feelings about acquisitions. Shares in the company being taken over normally rise, of course, but investors often steer clear of the buyer on the basis that so many of these transactions fail to deliver the benefits promised. This has caused the share price of one acquisitive firm to be driven down too far, fund managers say. Mr. Pringle pointed out that Shire was expected to produce sales growth in the mid to high single digits, and earnings growth in the mid-teens, over the next few years. “We have a high degree of confidence in these figures being achieved,” he said. The firm is unlikely to be affected significantly by any attack on drug pricing by Donald Trump’s administration, he said, while the merger should lead to appreciable cost savings. Shire is also relatively immune 
to competition from producers of low-cost “generic” medicines 
because these firms tend to concentrate on treatments for the more common conditions rather
than the rare diseases that Shire specialises in. We rated the shares a buy in July last year at £48.55 and reiterate that advice now. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Deliveroo accused of ‘creating vocabulary’ to avoid calling couriers employees: Managers at Deliveroo have been given a list of dos and don’ts setting out how to talk to the firm’s food delivery riders, using terms that appear designed to fend off claims that they are employees.

Speedboat among £5.1 million of assets seized in tax fraud investigation: British and Dutch authorities have seized more than €6 million (£5.1 million) worth of assets – including luxury cars, a speedboat and properties – from an Anglo-Dutch couple accused of running a multinational tax avoidance scheme.

Weak productivity leaves U.K. trailing other G7 nations: Britain’s poor productivity performance before, during and after the financial crisis of a decade ago has left a gap of 16% with the other six members of the G7 group of industrial nations.

BMW strikes set to disrupt Mini and Rolls-Royce production: Workers at BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars are to hold a series of 24-hour strikes at factories across the U.K. in a dispute about pensions.

Lloyds reveals location of 100 branch closures as it cuts 325 jobs: Lloyds Banking Group is cutting 325 jobs and has revealed the location of the 100 branches it will close between July and October.

Daily Mail

Luxury fashion house Ralph Lauren shutting flagship New York store as crisis continues to sweep U.S. High Street: Luxury fashion house Ralph Lauren is shutting its flagship New York store as crisis continues to sweep the U.S. High Street.

U.S. giant planning a swoop on Dulux owner Akzo Nobel claims to have rallied support of almost every one of firm’s biggest shareholders: The U.S. giant planning a swoop on Dulux owner Akzo Nobel claims to have rallied the support of almost every one of the firm’s biggest 20 shareholders.

Bitter battle breaks out between a shamed Tory party donor and Argentinian billionaire over control of key industries in Falkland Islands: A bitter battle has broken out between a shamed Tory party donor and an Argentinian billionaire over control of key industries in the Falkland Islands.

As many as 3,000 jobs could be at risk as Tesco embarks on latest mission to cut costs by slashing number of hours its stores are open: As many as 3,000 jobs could be at risk as Tesco embarks on its latest mission to cut costs by slashing the number of hours its stores are open.

Fall in sterling and reduction in pharmacy funding sees owner of Boots post mixed results: The fall in sterling and a reduction in pharmacy funding saw the owner of Boots post mixed results.

Small suppliers could be more than £20 million out of pocket following collapse of Agent Provocateur: Small suppliers could be more than £20 million out of pocket following the collapse of Agent Provocateur. Official documents show the lingerie seller owes £20.7 million to unsecured creditors while just £600,000 of this is likely to be repaid.

Daily Express

GBP/U.S.D climbing on mixed U.S. data: The pound was able to creep back towards $1.25 against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday as U.K. data impressed, U.S. data missed the mark and Trump concerns persisted.

Just one in five of Britons expect to stop work by 65: Only one in five workers believe they will be able to begin retirement when they reach the age of 65, research has shown.

Help for families hit by death duty - but there’s a catch: Families will have more protection from dreaded death tax thanks to changes taking effect in the 2017/18 tax year - however there are a couple of catches to watch out for.

Scotland’s economy shrinks in 2016 as Sturgeon wastes time on relentless independence bid: Scotland’s economy shrank by 0.2% in the final quarter of 2016, in another devastating blow to Nicola’s Sturgeon’s campaign for independence.

Dow Jones stocks rise ahead of Trump’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping: America’s top stock index the Dow Jones jumped by around 0.7% at the open, ahead of a key meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The Scottish Herald

Initiative set up to help oil workers: An entrepreneurship initiative established to harness the experience, knowledge and innovation of senior oil and gas professionals who are either facing redundancy, or have been made redundant, is set to be launched in Aberdeen.

Braid Logistics profits up as Crown Office case settled: Braid Logistics, the transporter of liquid food, has upped profits to £1.1 million from £700,000 as revenue for the year to June 30 fell by £600,000 to £39.4 million.

Financial firms to embrace fintech: Almost half of U.K. financial services companies are planning to make a fintech acquisition in the next five years, with almost two-thirds believing they will lose a significant proportion of revenues to standalone financial technology (fintech) firms if they do not.

Revaluation of assets a boon for I&H Brown: Perth civil engineering and waste disposal business I&H Brown saw its pre-tax profits more than triple last year thanks to a significant revaluation of its property assets.

Job fears deepen as Wood finds more Amec synergies: Cost savings resulting from John Wood Group’s acquisition of engineering and project management group Amec Foster Wheeler have been revised up by £40 million to £150 million per year, leading to fears of further job cuts.

Clydesdale Bank launches lab so customers can “take back control of finances”: Clydesdale Bank owner CYBG is launching a lab in one of London’s wealthiest districts to allow customers to have a direct input in the future products it offers and technologies it develops.

Numbers slip at Distell as firm focuses on core range: Profit before tax at whisky firm Distell International fell by 13% to £7.9 million, but exceeded expectations.

Black & Lizars makes play to become leading nocturnal lenses firm: Optical group Black & Lizars is to take on the nocturnal lenses patient book of Jack Brown’s Glasgow practice in its first acquisition under the leadership of Michelle Le Prevost.

Services growth speeds up amid cost pressures: U.K. services growth accelerated to its fastest pace in three months in March, having slowed significantly in February, while firms hiked prices at the sharpest rate since September 2008 as sterling’s post-Brexit vote weakness fuelled costs.

The Scotsman

Bumper car sales could prove short-lived: March was a record month for Britain’s new car market, industry figures have revealed, but sweeping tax changes are likely to lead to a bumpy road ahead.

Tech firms in Scotland urged to complete industry survey: Tech firms based in Scotland are being urged to take part in an industry survey that could offer unique insights into the growing sector.

Fears over nationwide ripple effect from film studio decision: Environmental campaigners say communities across the country should be fearful after the Scottish Government overturned the advice of its own reporter and approved a £250 million film studio on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Graham & Sibbald inks deal for Seymour & Co: Chartered surveying firm Graham & Sibbald has acquired Stirling-based commercial property agency Seymour & Co for an undisclosed sum.

High tech kit puts stats in sight for all golfers: Shot Scope is the golf technology product that inspired former pro-golfer Gavin Dear to return to an industry he thought he had left behind.

City A.M.

Norwegian ramps up transatlantic offensive with low-cost flights from Gatwick Airport to Seattle and Denver from £199: Low-cost challenger Norwegian has pushed on with its transatlantic focus, announcing the launch of new low-cost flights to Seattle and Denver from Gatwick Airport.

Investec provides £47 million for student accommodation in east London: Investec has put forward £47.6 million of funding towards a student accommodation scheme in east London.

Unions call for clarity on the future of the Moorside nuclear reactor while Kepco shows caution over NuGen deal with Toshiba: Unions have called for clarity in the future of the Moorside nuclear reactor as sources say South Korea’s Kepco, the most likely buyer, is in no hurry to seal the deal.

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chief backs City of London retaining euro clearing crown: The City has received backing from the U.S. as European politicians call for euro clearing activities to be moved from London and into the eurozone.

JP Morgan upgrades U.K. growth forecasts as economy sustains strong momentum: U.S. banking giant JP Morgan has upgraded its forecasts for growth as the U.K. economy sustained its momentum from the end of 2016.

Crossrail engineer Costain picks up £6 million TfL contract to plan the revamp of London’s A40 Westway: Costain, the Crossrail and Channel Tunnel engineer, has won a £6 million Transport for London (TfL) contract to plan the revamp of London’s A40 Westway.

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 09:03:00 +0100
In the Papers - Mercedes, Hyundai, Vodafone, Lidl Newspaper Summary

The Times

Suppliers lose shirts in lingerie chain failure: Barclays is to claw back most of the £27 million owed from the controversial pre-pack administration of Agent Provocateur, while suppliers are set to miss out on about £20 million.

No time to waste for need-it-now generation: There is a new shopper in town who is demanding, “needs it now” (or preferably sooner) and who is fast becoming the most influential customer in grocery stores.

May lobbies for Saudi Aramco listing: Theresa May has added some Prime Ministerial clout to the London Stock Exchange’s attempt to persuade Saudi Aramco, the most valuable company in the world by some measures, to list its shares in the U.K.

South Africa credit rating cut to junk: South Africa was given a “junk” credit rating  as the country’s trade union federation called on President Zuma to resign. The call from Cosatu came moments after Mr. Zuma had made his first public remarks about his dismissal of Pravin Gordhan, the former Finance Minister, which Standard & Poor’s cited as a reason for its decision to downgrade.

Fall in Chinese imports cuts U.S. trade deficit: A slump in Chinese imports helped to shrink America’s trade deficit further than expected in February, in a potential boost to first quarter growth.

Howard bucks trend by raising $700 million: One of the U.K.’s leading hedge fund managers has raised more than $700 million for a new fund even as his firm’s main strategies have suffered billions of pounds in client outflows.

Lawyers fined £50,000 for money laundering failures: Three partners at a City of London law firm have been hit with the biggest joint fine ever handed out by the solicitors’ disciplinary tribunal as part of a £50,000 penalty for breaching money-laundering rules.

Cobham Boss is in the money before recovery has taken off: The new Chief Executive of Cobham has hit the pay jackpot even before he has proved to his new remuneration committee that he can turn round the aerospace group.

The Independent

Budget airline Boss lambasts foes of low-cost transatlantic flights: The Boss of one of Europe’s biggest budget airlines has attacked vested interests that have tried to suppress low-cost competition.

Asos profits surge 14% as weak pound boosts international sales: Asos has posted a jump in half-year profits, boosted by a significant surge in international sales following the collapse in sterling.

Gazprom ‘considering moving operations from London after Brexit: Russia’s energy giant Gazprom is reportedly considering moving its operations out of the U.K. in light of potential trading difficulties associated with Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Mercedes and Hyundai pull ads from top Fox News show: Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai are pulling advertising from the top-rated Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” because of claims of sexual harassment levied against its host.

U.K.’s competitiveness as a business market place has already dropped: The U.K. has already become a less attractive place to do business as a result of the Brexit vote, according to a new survey.

‘Male pill’ blocked by drug firms making billions from female pill: Doctors are on the cusp of launching the first new male contraceptive in more than a century. But rather than a Big Pharma lab, the breakthrough is emerging from a university startup in the heart of rural India.

BAE Systems fights £360,000 sex discrimination payout for ‘single sexist remark’: The U.K.’s biggest arms manufacturer is fighting a court order to pay more £360,000 to a former employee for sexual harassment she suffered at work, a court has heard.

‘Pink Star’ diamond sells for world record £57 million in Hong Kong auction: A rare pink diamond dubbed the “Pink Star” has become the world’s most expensive gemstone to sell at auction, coming under the hammer in Hong Kong on Tuesday for $71.2 million (£57.3 million).

The Daily Telegraph

Jamie Dimon admits ‘not many’ JP Morgan jobs will leave U.K. in major Brexit U-turn: The head of JP Morgan has admitted he will not move many jobs out of Britain in the next two years as a result of Brexit, in a U-turn on his pre-referendum warning that a vote to leave the European Union could mean as many as 4,000 jobs moving across the Channel.

Vodafone in talks to rename West Ham’s stadium in East London: Vodafone is closing in on a multi-million-pound deal to rename West Ham’s football ground, The Telegraph can reveal.

Nisa Boss warns of ‘enormous pain’ from £3.7 billion Tesco Booker takeover: The Boss of Nisa has argued there will be an “enormous amount of pain” as a result of Tesco’s proposed £3.7 billion takeover of wholesaler Booker.

Leading Fed official Jeffrey Lacker resigns with immediate effect over ‘leak’ to analyst: One of America’s leading central bankers, Jeffrey Lacker, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, is to step down with immediate effect after he admitted leaking confidential information to an analyst in a conversation in 2012.

Betting shops must learn to live with curbs on ‘dangerous’ high-stakes machines, trade body warns: The betting industry is “scaremongering” and must learn to live with forthcoming curbs on “dangerous” high-stakes gambling machines, a high-profile trade body has argued.

Gas explorer teams up with Lockheed Martin on helium-fuelled airships: Giant helium-fuelled airships could soon be plying the skies - and a Tanzania-based gas explorer hopes to be joining them for the ride.

Imagination shares rally on sale prospects after Apple snub: Imagination Technologies shares rallied on Tuesday as investors pondered the prospect of a sale after the British chip designer was ditched by Apple.

Political uncertainty draws businesses to fewer, fatter M&A deals: Political uncertainty is attracting businesses to fewer, fatter “more precious” M&A deals, with the average deal size hitting a record $403.4 million (£324.4 million) in the first three months of the year.

The Questor Column:

Card Factory may not be fast-growing, but hold on for a yield of up to 9%: While last week’s full-year results are unlikely to excite momentum investors or growth hunters, the 7% increase in the ordinary full-year dividend and announcement of another 15p-a-share special dividend both mean that income seekers will be sending a “thank you” to Card Factory. Like-for-like sales growth of 0.4% and a 1% drop in pre-tax profits in the 12 months to Jan 31 were both testimony to the mature and competitive nature of Britain’s greetings card, wrapping and gift market. Nevertheless, the company is throwing off plenty of cash and has relatively little debt. In addition, earnings cover for the regular dividend looks comfortable at more than two times, so the 3.3% yield available from the ordinary dividend looks reliable. Investors will have to wait to see just how big this is, but the prospect should provide support for the FTSE 250 company’s shares and keep income hunters more than happy. Questor says ‘Hold’.

Update: Hurricane Energy: Shares in Hurricane Energy have whooshed higher by more than 
50% since we first looked at the oil explorer just before Christmas and there could be more to come, judging by last week’s announcement of a further discovery west of the Shetland Islands. Initial data from the Halifax well looks very promising and even hints that the hydrocarbons identified here could link up with the company’s Lancaster field, offering the potential of a huge find. It will decide this summer on how best to develop Lancaster and any farm-out deal it strikes with a partner to raise funding will help set a value for the field and therefore the shares. Despite the promising start, Hurricane Energy is a high-octane play and suitable only for the most risk-tolerant investors. The company is yet to produce any crude or generate revenues and will ultimately need to show that it can successfully develop these so-called “fractured basement” reservoirs and establish a process that is as yet unproven in British waters. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Up to 100,000 U.K. jobs at risk as Merkel and Juncker ally warns on euro clearing: The future of an estimated 100,000 jobs has been plunged into doubt after a close political ally of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and President of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, warned that a prized sector in the City of London must relocate to EU soil after Brexit.

Asos Chief says warehouse conditions are ‘great’ despite complaints: Nick Beighton, the Chief Executive of online fashion retailer Asos, has said he has put in a shift at the Barnsley warehouse where concerns were raised about working practices last year and found conditions to be “great”.

Sharp rise in U.K. food prices inflates household shopping bills: A sharp rise in food prices has added £21.31 to the average household shopping bill over the past three months as the number of promotions fell to an 11-year low, according to new grocery market data.

No yolk: Cadbury and National Trust say Easter egg row is nonsense: For many, it was a storm in an egg cup. But the supposed removal by Cadbury and the National Trust of references to Easter from material promoting egg hunts across the country was enough to divert the prime Minister’s attention from international diplomacy and trade to garishly-wrapped confectionery.

Bank of England sounds new alarm over consumer credit binge: The Bank of England has flagged up new concerns about the rapid growth in consumer borrowing as Britons rack up debt on credit cards, car purchase schemes and personal loans.

Daily Mail

Hacker threats lift cyber security firm Sophos Group’s shares by 11%: Tech firm Sophos Group upgraded its full-year profits forecast as rising fears about cyber security from companies boosted its prospects.

Mayfair hedge fund made a killing when shares sank at iPhone chip firm Imagination Technologies: While investors in Imagination Technologies were left nursing heavy losses, there was at least one who would have been counting its winnings.

Standard Chartered launches exclusive private bank with clients requiring a £4 million minimum deposit: Ultra-wealthy clients will need a minimum £4 million deposit to join Standard Chartered’s exclusive private bank as it goes after the highest end of the market.

Xavier Rolet is handed a lifeline by the Prime Minister as he hops on a plane to woo Saudi Arabia: Xavier Rolet has been handed a lifeline by the Prime Minister. The Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange is one of the select few City bigwigs who were on the plane with Theresa May as she seeks to keep Saudi Arabia on side for the Brexit era.

£10 billion U.K. nuclear plant - on the size of 170 football pitches - in crisis as French pull the plug mid-build: The Moorside power station in Cumbria was set to deliver 7% of the U.K.’s electricity from around 2025. It was being built by NuGen – a tie-up between Japan’s Toshiba and the French firm Engie.

Daily Express

Lidl and Aldi take record share of U.K. grocery spending: Lidl and Aldi have grabbed a record share of U.K. grocery spending as shoppers step up their search for bargains in the face of sharply rising prices.

GBP/EUR weaker as French election back in the spotlight: THE pound is holding ‘s losses against the euro and if ‘s U.K. services PMI comes in below forecast, the GBP/EUR pairing could have further to fall.

Premium Bond winners to fall in May: Savers warned as returns tumble: Returns on Premium Bonds will plunge next month as the number of prizes and payouts are slashed, in further misery for Britain’s savers.

Fears for state pension: Over-55s believe vital income could be scrapped by Government: More than half of over-55s worry the state pension could be axed, leaving them without a crucial source of income in retirement.

World economy facing another crisis amid scourge of low productivity, warns IMF: The world faces an erosion in living standards and further economic turmoil amid a plague of low productivity, which has set in following the financial crisis, the Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned.

Markets on edge as Marine Le Pen chances of winning French election rise: Market nerves have surged to levels last seen since the eurozone crisis in select areas, after Marine Le Pen’s odds of winning the French election crept up.

Sterling hit by slowing housebuilding: The pound fell against the euro and U.S. dollar after slower housebuilding hit construction output last month.

The Scottish Herald

Housing associations and co-operatives worried about Brexit impact: About 80% of Scottish housing associations and co-operatives foresee a possible negative impact from the U.K. leaving the European Union, a survey reveals.

Scottish Chambers unveilsits next President: Tim Allan, Chief Executive of Dundee-based Unicorn Property Group, has been announced as the new President of Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Origin takes on Europe with £2 million HSBC cash: Fitness equipment provider Origin Fitness, which last year vowed to more than double its turnover to £20 million in the next few years, has secured a £2 million loan from HSBC to help it achieve its goal.

Parkmead takes full control of fields: Parkmead Group has taken full control of the Sanda North and Sanda South fields West of Shetland as its Executive Chairman Tom Cross said the group would “absolutely” complete further deals this year.

Royal Warrant for venerable Scottish textiles firm: Tailor and country outfitter Campbell’s of Beauly has announced that it has been awarded the Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen for supply of tailored garments to the Balmoral Estate.

Brexit hits SMEs as fears over acess to staff rise: THE number of small and medium-sized U.K. businesses seeing opportunities to expand their workforces has fallen by one third since last June’s Brexit vote, and is at its lowest since April 2013, a survey shows.

Software firm Axios gears up for sales hiring spree: Edinburgh software business Axios Systems is ramping up its sales and marketing function after spending the past two years enhancing its IT management technology.

Man behind system for ranking club golfers aims for top slot with franchise operation: A fife businessman who set up an online system that ranks club golfers on a global basis is looking to franchise the platform with the help of Business Gateway.

Aberdeen firm wins oil contract: Aberdeen-based Norco Group has won a contract with Total E&P U.K. to service uninterruptible power supply and standby battery equipment on the oil major’s U.K. Continental Shelf offshore and onshore assets. Norco will provide support to the Alwyn and Dunbar area, the Elgin and Franklin fields and the Shetland Gas Plant.

Deloitte to open Edinburgh hub: Deloitte is set to create 20 technology jobs with the opening of its new Greenhouse and the expansion of Deloitte Digital’s Edinburgh Studio.

Whitelink posts 2016 profit rise: Fraserburgh fish supplier Whitelink Seafoods saw pre-tax profits more than double in the year to the end of June 2016 on the back of a 16% rise in turnover.

The Scotsman

Hunter body joins forces to help scale up Scotland plc: The foundation that bears Sir Tom Hunter’s name and Entrepreneurial Scotland have joined forces to deliver a new leadership programme in a bid to scale-up home-grown businesses.

EU probes U.K. plan to avoid RBS Williams & Glyn sell-off: The European Commission has launched an in-depth probe into Government proposals which aim to spare Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) from being forced to sell off Williams & Glyn.

Fears over nationwide ripple effect from greenbelt studio decision: Environmental campaigners say communities across the country should be fearful after the Scottish Government overturned the advice of its own reporter and approved a £250 million film studio on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

North Sea oil and gas sector ‘a net drain on U.K. finances’: The North Sea oil and gas industry was a net drain on U.K. public finances for the first-time last year, an industry report has found.

‘Bridge walk’ permission sought for Forth Bridge: Network Rail is hoping to offer tourists and residents the opportunity to climb the Forth Bridge to visit a viewing platform 330ft above the Firth of the Forth.

City A.M.

European firms are uniting to prevent a disruptive hard Brexit: We have heard much from U.K. politicians and EU bureaucrats as they position ahead of many months of negotiations over Brexit.

Debenhams Boss shuns selling stuff: Debenhams Chairman Sir Ian Cheshire has warned retailers against selling too much “stuff”.

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler is teaming up with Bosch to bring driverless taxis to the world’s roads: The latest duo to have teamed up in the race to get ahead with driverless cars is none other than Bosch and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler.

Indian e-commerce business Koovs hit by share sell-off: Koovs, an e-commerce retail business expanding in India, grew its sales last year, but was hit by a share sell-off this morning.

Boeing inks $3 billion deal with Iran’s Aseman Airlines in first under President Trump: Boeing has agreed a deal with Iran Aseman Airlines for 30 Boeing 737 Max planes for $3 billion (£2.4 billion), with deliveries starting from 2022.

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:40:00 +0100
In the Papers - Apple, Tesla, Toshiba, Lekoil Newspaper Summary

The Times

Tesla’s electrifying sprint past Ford: Tesla’s valuation was on course to eclipse Ford’s for the first-time last night as investors bet that Elon Musk would deliver on his promise to bring electric cars to the masses.

Apple poached Imagination staff before pulling plug on chips deal: Apple launched a hiring raid on Imagination Technologies in the months before it shocked the City by announcing that it planned to cut ties with the chip designer.

Slowing factories feel the effects of British consumers ‘under the cosh’: A loss in momentum in manufacturing growth has prompted suggestions that Britons may be tightening their belts.

French sale cuts the mustard at Reckitt: Reckitt Benckiser is reviewing its food business, which could lead to a sale of a division best known for making French’s mustard.

Lower crude price fails to blow oil trader off course: Vitol declined to disclose its profits last month when it published its annual results. However, it is understood that the Swiss-based business produced net income of $2 billion in 2016, against just over $1.6 billion in 2015. Last year’s figure is believed to include $500 million of gains from asset sales and a $100 million tax bill.

Banks opt for sterling over euro: Central banks are more worried about holding euros than sterling, despite the collapse in the pound after last June’s European Union referendum.

Taxpayer set to get money back in Lloyds: The latest sale of Lloyds shares took the total proceeds from the sale of the government’s holding to more than £20 billion, putting the Treasury in line to at least break even on the £20.3 billion injected into the bank in 2008. The taxpayers’ stake in the lender dropped below 2%.

The Independent

U.K. travel industry sets out its demands for Brexit negotiations: The British travel industry has presented its demands for the U.K.’s departure from the European Union – with a warning that a failure to negotiate swiftly could prove “hugely damaging” for airline passengers.

Chemicals giant Ineos ‘exploiting Brexit to relax climate change laws’, documents suggest: Chemicals giant Ineos has been accused of exploiting Brexit to pressure Ministers to get rid of environmental legislation.

Donald Trump changes trust rules to allow him take money from business without telling U.S. public: Donald Trump has apparently changed the rules of the trust overseeing his business empire so that he can withdraw money at any time without telling the public.

Fish and chips fall out of favour with millennials: Fish and chip shops are missing out on Britain’s growing food service market by failing to adapt to the consumer habits of millennials, according to new research.

British pizza chain Franco Manca to open restaurant in Italy: British sourdough pizza chain Franco Manca has announced an ambitious plan to open a restaurant in Italy.

Company fires its lawyers for handing Trump ‘invitation to corruption’: A U.S. fund manager has terminated its contract with a law firm, saying that the company enabled Donald Trump to continue with massive conflicts between his business empire and his public role.

Tesla delivers new record of 25,000 electric cars in three months: Tesla, the U.S. luxury electric car maker, said on Sunday first-quarter vehicle deliveries jumped 69 percent from a year ago to a quarterly record of 25,000 vehicles, bouncing back from delays in the previous quarter.

Toshiba shares plunge 9.4% as problems mount: Toshiba shares fell as much as 9.4% on Monday after the struggling electronics conglomerate signalled that it may miss another deadline to release results for the last quarter of 2016.

The Daily Telegraph

Potential bidding war in the offing for WS Atkins on back of £2.1 billion takeover approach from Canadian rival: A potential bidding war could be in prospect after British engineering giant WS Atkins received a £2.1 billion bid from Canadian rival SNC-Lavalin just two months after it rebuffed overtures from with U.S. rival CH2 million Hill.

Amazon to focus on wooing business customers in U.K. as it expands beyond consumers: Amazon has launched a new service to help it enter the business-to-business (B2B) supply market in the U.K.

Experian offloads email marketing business for £320 million: Experian has sold a 75% in its email marketing arm as it aims to get the company back on track by consolidating its activities.

Genus bulldozes semen monopoly with court case win: Animal genetics company Genus has won a long-awaited intellectual property court case that will allow it to break a monopoly on selling bull semen.

Liberty Living snaps up student halls worth £460 million: Canadian-owned firm Liberty Living has become the second largest provider of student accommodation in the U.K. after acquiring a giant £460 million portfolio of properties from Blackstone.

Crossrail 2 is vital to ‘fix housing crisis’ say property experts: Giving the green light to Crossrail 2 has been backed by more than 60 property industry leaders, who said it would help ease London’s housing crisis by unlocking more than 200,000 homes.

Imagination Technologies considers legal action after Apple ditches iPhone chip firm: Imagination Technologies has raised the prospect of a bitter legal battle with Apple after the U.S. tech giant said it would ditch the company’s microchip designs.

The Guardian

Global productivity slowdown risks creating instability, warns IMF: The head of the International Monetary Fund has issued a stark warning that living standards will fall around the world unless governments take urgent action to increase productivity by investing in education, cutting red tape and incentivising research and development.

Lloyds to shrink hundreds of U.K. branches to two staff: Lloyds Banking Group is to shrink the size of hundreds of its branches so they have only two staff with tablet computers helping customers.

EU financial centres vie to poach tens of thousands of City jobs: London’s rival financial centres are lobbying their governments to support bids to steal tens of thousands of jobs from the City, according to a report on the impact of Brexit on the U.K. capital.

Co-operative Group to write off the value of its stake in Co-op bank: The Co-operative Group will reveal this week it has fallen back into the red for the first time since its tumultuous 2013 year, after writing off the value of its investment in the Co-operative Bank.

U.K. merry on organic wine as sales soar: It is made from grapes grown without pesticides and chemicals, is kind to the environment and rarely triggers hangovers. Sales of organic wine are booming in the U.K. as part of the growing trend for “conscious consumerism”.

Daily Mail

U.K. tech giant Micro Focus sees shares leap as it reveals £7 billion takeover of Hewlett Packard is imminent: Micro Focus International stormed ahead after publishing the financial details of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which it is about to buy. The tech duo announced an acquisition deal back in September, whereby HPE would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Micro Focus in a £7 billion reverse takeover (where a smaller company buys a larger one).

Loss-making RBS hit by prospect of £125 million bill over courtroom battle with furious shareholders: Loss-making Royal Bank of Scotland could spend £125 million in a courtroom battle with furious shareholders over a doomed fundraising drive, legal documents reveal.

Tesco’s £3.5m-a-year Boss Dave Lewis fails to show at awards ceremony as he puts in ‘late shifts’ to sort accounting mess: Tesco’s £3.5 million-a-year Boss Dave Lewis failed to show at the recent U.K. Stock Market Awards on London’s Piccadilly, where he was named Chief Executive of the year. Organisers explained ‘Drastic Dave’ was busy burning the midnight oil dealing with the accounting mess which saw Tesco slapped with a £129 million fine from the Serious Fraud Office.

Card shop Clintons branches out into confectionery with its own chocolate brand: Card shop Clintons is launching its own premium chocolate, called Cocoa Paradise.

Sunseeker sees sales jump 25% as it tailors superyachts to be more child-friendly: Its superyachts used to be the preserve of playboy bachelors – but Sunseeker is having to tailor its multi-million pound vessels for families. The Dorset boat builder, Britain’s biggest, has changed its range of yachts to be more child-friendly and has seen turnover rocket as a result.

British factories hire at the fastest rate for 18 months amid rising confidence in U.K. industry: Factories are hiring staff at the fastest rate for nearly a year-and-a-half amid rising confidence in British industry.

Daily Express

‘Be prepared’ ECB fires grave warning to Europe’s most debt-ridden countries: Europe’s debt-laden countries have been warned to prepare for higher borrowing costs and an end to ultra-accommodative monetary policies that have helped prop up economies in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Pound dips on manufacturing data but experts forecast it may rally amid Brexit negotiation: The pound edged off one-month highs on Monday after Britain’s manufacturing data for March disappointed markets, but experts have forecast the currency could rally as the U.K.’s negotiations to leave the European Union (EU) get underway, according to experts.

Imagination Tech shares plummet after Apple end deal with British company: Shares in Imagination Tech have crashed more than 70% after the British company said its biggest customer, Apple, would stop using its graphics technology in iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

Burberry to transfer its beauty business to U.S. group Coty in new partnership deal: British luxury brand Burberry is to transfer its beauty business to U.S. group Coty in a deal that will bring in around £180 million plus ongoing royalty payments.

One in five working Brits have no savings at all for retirement: One in five workers has not saved for a pension and faces retirement poverty, a study warns.

The Scottish Herald

Edinburgh law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn adds further heft in Granite City: Edinburgh-headquartered law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn has continued to rebuild its Aberdeen office with the addition of a partner from local practice Stronachs.

Corporate specialist takes over top job at Bowleven: A Director from turnaround specialist AlixPartners has been named interim Chief Executive of oil exploration company Bowleven, marking the next stage in an ongoing coup orchestrated by rebel investor Crown Ocean Capital.

Food firm profits up but Brexit could bite: Strathmore Foods has seen pre-tax profits rocket by 74% to £2 million as the Forfar business improved cost management in a year of what it called “relatively stable commodity prices”, but Directors warned that Brexit would present a “significant challenge”.

Craft spirit boom fuels growth at Stirling distillery designer: A Stirling firm that designs distilleries has seen enquiries double in the last year as the craft distilling sector takes off.

Aberdeen oil services company strengthens Caspian market position: Aberdeen oil services company EnerMech has flagged its recent success in the Caspian region, after winning a raft of contracts with major operators worth more than £40 million.

Slowdown in manufacturing expansion as inflation bites: Growth of U.K. manufacturing output slowed in March to its weakest pace since the current run of expansion began in August last year, and inflationary pressures remained intense amid sterling’s post-Brexit vote weakness, a survey shows.

Alliance seals Liontrust deal: Management of Dundee-headquartered Alliance Trust has now passed to advisory firm Willis Towers Watson as part of the £2.5 billion trust’s transition to a multi-manager approach.

Cool deal for Ice Factor as it makes move into England: Ice Factor Group, the owner of Scotland’s only indoor snow sports facility, the Snow Factor at intu Braehead, has won a bid to operate a new £30 million indoor snow dome planned for Middlesbrough.

Expanded airport deal for whisky: A range of whiskies from Loch Lomond Group will be available at seven U.K. airports after the early success of the firm’s products at Glasgow Airport.

Spaceandpeople Bosses’ pay rises: Spaceandpeople Chiefs saw their pay packages increase by four% in the year to end of December, despite the firm making a loss for the period.

Macfarlane Boss sees pay go up: Macfarlane Group, the packaging specialist, paid its Chief Executive, Peter Atkinson, £516,000 in 2016, up from £508,000 in 2015. Mr Atkinson received a salary of £334,000 in addition to a £92,000 bonus and benefits totalling £90,000.

The Scotsman

BP to sell Forties pipeline to Ineos for £199 million: Energy giant Ineos has struck a deal to acquire the Forties Pipeline System in the North Sea from BP for £199 million ($250 million).

Masterclass in business to help Scottish students: Innovation is at the heart of award-winning Strathclyde Business School (SBS), and two new programmes have been devised to inspire the next generation of Scottish entrepreneurs.

Credit card charges to be eased for millions in debt: Millions of people languishing in credit card debt could see their charges eased or withdrawn under proposals outlined by the financial watchdog.

Historic Pollok House reopens following restoration project: It was once one of the most prestigious private residences in Scotland. But Pollok House, and its 361-acre estate, passed into public ownership in 1966 and became a favourite destination for generations of ordinary Glaswegians.

City A.M.

Protectionism and social media are creating a new M&A paradigm: There has been a flurry of M&A activity in the U.K. in the first few months of the year, including a number of “mega deals”. Combined with a healthy finish to 2016 that saw $245.8 billion worth of deals, this has confounded concerns that uncertainty over Brexit would stall activity in the market.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney joined by sector experts to talk fintech in India: The Chancellor and the Bank of England Governor are being joined on their trip to India by a crew of fintech experts, to discuss how the U.K. can strengthen its ties with Indian businesses in the sector.

The Start Up Loans Company delivers over £300 million to U.K. micro-businesses: Since its launch in 2012, the Start Up Loans Company (SULCo) has provided U.K. micro-businesses with over £300 million.

Eurozone unemployment at lowest since 2009 as manufacturing activity shows more signs of economy in growth mode: The Eurozone economy has shown further signs of heating up as unemployment hit seven-year lows and activity in the manufacturing sector expanded to six-year highs.

Lekoil’s share price rises after it inks provisional deal with subsidiary of U.S. utilities giant General Electric: Shares in West Africa-focused oil and gas explorer Lekoil closed up almost 6% after the firm signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with U.S. utilities giant General Electric.

Financial Times: Print now contributes less than half of newspaper group’s revenue: The Financial Times has reported that print now contributes less than half of its revenue. The newspaper group, which has a print circulation of 184,000, including 59,000 in the U.K., according to ABC, said it reached 650,000 digital subscribers at the end of 2016.

Babcock has been chosen as a preferred bidder in a Royal Navy support deal worth £360 million: Engineering outsourcing firm Babcock International has been selected as a preferred bidder in a deal with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) worth around £360 million.

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:25:00 +0100
In the Papers - Credit Suisse, Barclays, Asos, HM Revenue & Customs Newspaper Summary

The Times

Calls for investigation into HBOS scam ‘cover-up’: Former HBOS employees could face prosecution over an alleged cover-up of the sprawling fraud run out of its Reading branch, a senior MP has inferred.

Ireland ‘will be hit hardest’ by Brexit: Brexit is set to hit Ireland much harder than any other remaining EU country and may harm its economy even more than Britain’s, according to a study drawing on six previous estimates.

Access to skills is as crucial as trade, says Deloitte Boss: Mobility of people should be as high a priority as trade in Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union, according to the U.K. head of one of the world’s leading accountancy firms.

Liberty Living digs into student halls with £460 million buy-up: One of the largest transactions in the U.K.’s booming purpose-built student accommodation sector has taken place after Liberty Living bought a portfolio of almost 6,500 beds for £460 million.

EU lightbulb ban will cost businesses and homes £1 billion: Homes and businesses will have to spend more than £1 billion replacing halogen lightbulbs before an EU ban takes effect next year.

The Independent

3 companies that give staff paid time off when they get a puppy: As it turns out, some companies sympathise with this transition and offer what’s known as “pawternity leave.” In fact, research from Petplan found that 5% of owners have been offered paid leave from their job to adjust to their pet owning duties.

Donald Trump: Brexit could be a good thing for both parties: Donald Trump has praised the European Union’s response to Brexit, claiming the U.K.’s withdrawal from the bloc could be a “very good thing” for both parties.

Brexit trade deal with Britain must be linked to security, EU warned: Sir Michael Fallon said it is “very important to link trade and security” in the negotiations with the European Union over the U.K.’s future deal with the bloc.

The Daily Telegraph

Why a ‘significantly undervalued’ pound will bounce back this year: Sterling will climb back to levels not seen since the Brexit vote by the start of next year, according to analysts who believe the currency is “significantly undervalued”.

British businesses ready for risk as Brexit shock simmers: Finance Chiefs at some of Britain’s largest corporates are feeling as optimistic about their businesses future as they did before the EU referendum, with risk appetite trickling back after dropping off a cliff post-Brexit.

Twitter targets tie-ups with pay-TV broadcasters in live video push: Twitter is seeking to ink deals with pay-TV companies that would let subscribers watch live channels over the social network as part of a major video push.

Farming giant warns of soaring dairy prices with hard Brexit: Milk, cheese and cream prices could soar if a transitional agreement is not forged to save imports and exports from World Trade Organisation tariffs of 36% after Britain leaves the European Union, the U.K.’s largest milk producer will warn.

HS2 attacked over ‘flawed’ bid process: U.K.-based infrastructure group Mace has attacked the tendering process of the High Speed 2 project as “seriously flawed” after U.S. engineering firm CH2 million Hill pulled out of the contract last week amid allegations of cronyism.

British AI firm Cortexica raises £4 million: A British artificial intelligence firm has raised £4 million to develop visual recognition technology that aims to mimic how humans see the real world.

Pension schemes “material risk” to FTSE 250: A significant number of British businesses are sitting on pension schemes that could represent a “material risk” to their business, a retirement consultancy has warned.

CBI calls for redoubled efforts to create jobs in North: The Government must redouble efforts to create a Northern Powerhouse that will boost jobs and opportunities for those “left behind”, the head of Britain’s biggest business group will warn this week.

The Guardian

Serious Fraud Office Boss warns big names to play ball – or else: David Green, the Director of the Serious Fraud Office, has warned that British businesses should not consider deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) the “new normal” if they are caught misbehaving.

Sydney property prices rise almost 20% in past 12 months: Sydney property prices have increased by almost 20% in just 12 months, putting the city at the front of a nationwide trend that has seen house values increase by 12.9% on average.

As demand rises, the reputation of new-build homes is crumbling: A hole where a window should be, no cavity wall insulation and uneven stairs are just a few of the problems developers have left behind, with owners struggling for solutions.

U.K.’s gender pay rankings will put discrimination under spotlight: Britain’s gender pay gap has refused to close for years. At 9.4% in 2016, the difference between average pay for male and female full-time employees was little changed from the 10.5% gap five years earlier.

Osborne’s huge tax giveaway starts for rich – as the poor are hit: The richest will reap 80% of the rewards from the tax and benefit changes that start to come into effect this week, while the poorest will become worse off, according to detailed analysis by the Resolution Foundation.

Daily Mail

Virgin Money poised to show its hand in first round of bidding for Co-op Bank which closes this week: Virgin Money is expected to make a bid for the ailing Co-op Bank. The smaller lender is poised to show its hand in the first round of bidding which closes this week, it is understood.

Reckitt Benckiser poised to offload food business to help fund £14.3 billion takeover of baby food maker Mead Johnson: Reckitt Benckiser is poised to offload its food business to help fund its £14.3 billion takeover of baby food maker Mead Johnson Nutrition, according to reports.

Credit Suisse defends damaged reputation after gold, jewellery and cash seized from accounts in series of international raids: Credit Suisse has sought to defend its damaged reputation after gold, jewellery and cash was seized from accounts in a series of international raids.

Ad agencies and Google could face multi-million pound claims from major firms over extremist website scandal: Advertising agencies and Google could face multi-million- pound legal claims from major companies over the scandal which has seen their brands linked to extremist websites, a top media lawyer has warned.

Daily Express

Saga’s strong double-act is paying dividends: Few insurance brands call to mind palm trees and sangria, but then few companies offer Saga’s unique blend of insurance and cruises. It’s a mix that seems to be delivering results; as the group saw underlying profits rise 5.6% in 2016, hitting £187.4million, with the full-year dividend rising 18%.

Rail industry bracing for crucial week as Southern strikes could stop: The result of a ballot of train drivers on whether to end a long-running dispute on Southern Railway will be announced, in a crucial week for the industry.

Barclays prepares for recession as indicators point to short period of negative growth: Barclays is preparing its credit card division for a shallow recession, according to sources, at a time when debt is rising at its fastest rate for more than a decade.

The Scottish Herald

Huge leap forward at biotech business: Scottish salmon will soon be fed with proteins recovered from the whisky production process after a biotechnology firm revealed it is close to building its first processing facility.

Ecologists make love of nature pay as consultants: With Ministers and corporations highlighting the potential of renewables in Scotland we hear from a business whose experience shows the important role played by small firms in delivering giant infrastructure projects.

Scottish business hub in London in high demand: A new facility for Scottish businesses to use as a hub in London has had a “phenomenal response” since Scottish Enterprise began a soft recruitment process earlier this month.

Asos looks to defy gloomy retail sector with sales increase: Asos looks set to shrug off the gloomy outlook facing the British retail sector with another jump in sales when it reports interim results on Tuesday.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill tipped to buy Jaeger: Edinburgh Woollen Mill is understood to be taking over the struggling fashion business Jaeger.

The Scotsman

U.S. tech firm announces £3.8 million investment in Edinburgh: A U.S. technology firm is to invest £3.8 million in its specialist research centre in Edinburgh, the First Minister has announced.

Accountancy firm adds up benefits of going electric: Accountancy firm Campbell Dallas is talking up the benefits of “going green” after acquiring two electric cars for pooled staff use.

Laundry firm goes hi-tech with uni tie-up: Commercial laundry business Fishers has launched a project with a Scottish university to capitalise on its hi-tech bed linen and towels.

Leith warehouse becomes film studio for Avengers movie: A vast warehouse on Edinburgh’s waterfront has been turned into a film studio for the latest Avengers blockbuster.

City A.M.

Takeovers of pharmacies up 95%: Pharmacy takeovers are up 95% in the last year as large chain buy-outs drive the trend for consolidation, law firm Hugh James reports.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) bagged more than £3 billion from small businesses in the last year by cracking down on two types of taxes: The taxman brought in more than £3 billion from small businesses last year after honing in on two types of taxes, figures out show.

Tamara Mellon has “no immediate plans” for launch in U.K.: Jimmy Choo co-Founder Tamara Mellon has put on hold plans to expand her eponymous brand to Britain, her home country.

London riding high as leader of Europe’s retail market: London remains the retail market leader in the EMEA region, boosted by strong consumer spending and more new shop openings than any other market, according to a report by real estate advisor Colliers.

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 08:31:00 +0100
In the Papers - Jet2, DFS, Toyota, Poundland Newspaper Summary

The Times

Westinghouse reactor passes U.K. test: Westinghouse has been granted regulatory approval for its nuclear reactor design to be used in the U.K., a day after it filed for bankruptcy protection.

Apprentice levy ‘doomed to fail’: The government’s apprenticeship levy lacks focus and targets the wrong industries, a report by MPs claims.

Global banks tell thousands of City staff to prepare for Brexodus: JP Morgan Chase is in talks to buy a Dublin office building as one of its strategies to cope with Brexit, while Citigroup has warned staff to brace for a “hard” departure.

Stock exchange Chief to make £5 million from failed Deutsche Börse deal: The Boss of the London Stock Exchange will receive a £5 million boost from the collapse of the merger with Deutsche Börse because he will not waive share options that he agreed to give up if the deal went through.

Broker reaps bumper cash harvest: An expansion of business in North America and Asia has helped Marex Spectron to make annual pre-tax profits of $27 million, up 56%, despite gross revenues for the London-based commodities broker dropping by $17 million to $330 million as a result of its unprofitable business lines.

DFS may make more sofas in Britain to fight falling pound: The Chief Executive of DFS Furniture has warned that the U.K.’s biggest sofa retailer may have to change its supply arrangements and the products it stocks to cope with disruptions caused by the post-referendum slide in sterling.

CMC defies crackdown to stay in play with spread betting clients: The regulatory crackdown on spread betting has not stopped one of the country’s largest financial trading providers from recording a rise in client numbers.

Albanese leaves Vedanta with room at the top: Vedanta Resources has begun the hunt for a new Chief Executive after Tom Albanese said that he would quit the India-focused mining group in August.

Saïd plans $330 million punt on London property: Wafic Saïd, the billionaire former arms dealer and long-time Conservative backer, plans to invest $1 billion in property around the world, with a third of the money being allocated to London.

Race for share of Aramco float fees: Three of the world’s biggest banks have joined the line-up to lead the largest flotation in history as preparations get under way for the $2 trillion listing of Saudi Aramco, the Middle East kingdom’s oil and gas group.

Weak pound helps Imperial to overcome fall in volumes: Brexit has proved a positive for Imperial Brands as the tobacco group revealed that a fall in volumes in the first half was more than offset by a weak pound.

The Independent

Poor workers’ rent bill swallows 40% of wages: Care workers, cleaners and shops assistants face being forced to spend more than 40% of their earnings on rent in all nine English regions, according to research by the National Housing Federation (NHF).

Tech firms prepare for crunch meeting with Home Secretary Amber Rudd: Technology firms are preparing for a crunch meeting with Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Thursday amid accusations over the role of encrypted messaging services in the London terror attack.

A company is selling high-heels for babies, and people are not happy: A U.S. company selling high-heels for babies has faced outrage from consumers with some accusing the firm of over-sexualising children.

U.S. economy grew at 2.1% rate in final months of Obama’s Presidency: The American economy grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in the last three months of 2016, the final full quarter of Barack Obama’s eight-year Presidency.

Top BlackRock investor says he hasn’t given up hope on the pound: One of asset manager BlackRock’s most senior investment officers has said that he still believes in the pound even as the countdown to Brexit rings in an era of intense financial uncertainty for markets.

Charging for coffee cups could cut 25,000 tonnes of waste: Charging coffee lovers for every disposable cup they use could cut the number thrown away in the U.K. by up to 300 million every year, new research suggests.

Toyota recalls 3 million cars after exploding airbags linked to deaths: Toyota is recalling 2.9 million vehicles in Japan, China, Oceania and other regions including its Corolla Axio and RAV4 due to potentially faulty airbag inflators.

U.K. greenhouse gases now 42% lower than they were in 1990: U.K. greenhouse gas emissions are now 42% lower than they were in 1990, according to new Government figures.

Plunging price of renewable energy makes end of fossil fuels inevitable, says report: The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy “now appears irreversible” as the cost of green power plunges, according to a new report.

McDonald’s to serve quarter pounders with fresh beef: Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced that it will soon be serving fresh, rather than frozen beef, in all quarter pounders served at its restaurants in the U.S.

The Daily Telegraph

Self-driving cars could lend ‘£8 billion boost to U.K. economy’: Self-driving cars could deliver an £8 billion a year boost to the economy by giving people with disabilities the ability to travel more freely, increasing their education and earnings potential.

Guardian Boss linked with Channel 4 role: The Chief Executive of the publisher of the Guardian newspaper is poised to join the race to become the new Boss of Channel 4.

Oxford University’s Spybiotech raises £4 million in seed funding to tackle pandemics: An Oxford University company developing a biological superglue to tackle diseases and pandemics has won £4 million of early-stage backing from Google’s venture capital arm GV and Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), allowing it to spin out into an independent business.

Manchester leads the way as sector shows signs of life: Manchester has been revealed as a hotspot for build-to-rent construction, nearly eclipsing London.

Government opens the floodgates to water market competition: The U.K.’s water market is set for its biggest transformation since privatisation as it opens for competition between suppliers from this weekend.

Gambling outsider’s hire as William Hill CFO welcomed: William Hill could make more changes among its rank after the company hired Ruth Prior as Chief financial officer.

Chairman of oil explorer Bowleven steps down after boardroom cull: The Chairman of Bowleven has stepped down from the company after surviving a boardroom cull, in a move that should clear the way for a dismantling of the embattled oil producer.

The Questor Column:

Once a ‘total dog’, this India trust has rebounded – but the 20% discount remains: India Capital Growth is below the radar of many investors and has had a chequered past. But under a new management team it is well placed to exploit the huge opportunities in the subcontinent, according to Nick Greenwood, in whose Miton Global Opportunities trust India Capital Growth is the largest holding. Mr. Greenwood said the prospects for the Indian economy “just keep getting better”. He said the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was “no Thatcher” but a good administrator whose reforms would directly benefit Indian companies. The tax harmonisation, along with the recent withdrawal of large denomination banknotes, is expected to encourage more of the Indian economy to move away from informal structures and into the mainstream. This, said Mr. Greenwood, was positive for listed companies as they currently lose some business to informal rivals. The trust is largely focused on medium-sized companies, a sector where valuations are lower in India than in some Western markets, he added. Mr. Greenwood has all his self-invested pension money invested in the Miton trust. Other fund managers have pointed to further positive developments in India, such as Mr. Modi’s recent election victory, which should ensure political stability for seven years, the introduction of high-speed internet and the roll-out of a social security system. Such a promising background and the performance of the trust under its new management make the current 19.8% discount seem excessive. The “ongoing” annual charge, 1.98%, is high but not unreasonable for a specialist fund such as this. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

Leading City firms begin to lay groundwork for London jobs exodus: A growing number of leading City firms have revealed they are now laying the groundwork for an exodus of thousands of jobs from London after Britain’s vote to leave to EU.

New John Lewis Boss warns of further job cuts and price rises: The new Boss of the John Lewis department store chain has warned of more job cuts this year and possible price rises as she said shoppers’ behaviour was changing “profoundly and fast”.

HSBC offers choice of transgender titles for bank’s customers: HSBC is to offer its transgender community a choice of 10 new gender-neutral titles as part of its plan to improve the banking experience for customers.

Energy price cap would damage competition, says SSE Boss: Alistair Phillips-Davies, Chief Executive of SSE, said that it was disappointing that the retail energy market was still facing intervention having just undergone an 18-month investigation by the competition watchdog.

Poundland takes on Asda with low-cost clothing range: Poundland is to put value fashion into more than 100 stores by the end of the year as it tries to step into the gap on the high street once filled by Woolworths.

Tobacco display ban hits sales at Budgens and Londis owner: Booker, the wholesaler behind convenience store brands including Budgens and Londis, which is the target of a £3.7 billion takeover by Tesco, has suffered a sharp fall in tobacco sales after a ban on displaying cigarette packets in shops.

Daily Mail

Former BP Boss Tony Hayward and financier Nat Rothschild lose millions of pounds as their venture in Iraqi Kurdistan fails to take off: Former BP Boss Tony Hayward and financier Nat Rothschild have lost millions of pounds as their venture in Iraqi Kurdistan failed to take off. The pair’s stock in Genel Energy has plunged in value as its main oil field turned out to be less lucrative than thought.

We must reinvent great British department store, says new John Lewis Boss Paula Nickolds: The new Boss of John Lewis wants to ‘reinvent’ the department store chain by stocking more of its own brands and enticing shoppers with new services.

Boss of Legal & General has just hired a City superwoman, but admits...Alpha females stop talented women from making it to the top: Nigel Wilson has five very good reasons for helping women smash the glass ceiling at Britain’s biggest companies: his troop of daughters, now aged between 20 and 33.

BP helping set up wood chip plant in Hull that will create around 30 jobs: BP is helping set up a wood chip plant in Hull that will create around 30 jobs. The factory will produce around 30,000 tons a year of specially treated wood chips for the construction industry. It will be located at BP’s chemicals site in Salt End, Hull, which makes acetic acid for products including paints, adhesives and medicines.

Budget chain EasyHotel left red-faced as it loses battle with town planners after expanding site without permission: Budget chain EasyHotel has been left red-faced as it lost its battle with town planners after expanding a site without permission.

Daily Express

Pound jumps against euro as Germany’s inflation data shocks markets: THE pound surged against the euro as German inflation fell short of expectations to give a big setback for the European Central Bank (ECB) programme to support the eurozone economy.

Financial fraud tops £768 million as impersonation scams and cyber-attacks drive increase: Financial fraud losses involving payment cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £768.8 million in 2016, an increase of two% on the previous year.

Deutsche Bank hits out at Brexit claiming PM’s negotiation strategy is ‘unrealistic’: Deutsche Bank has blasted Theresa May’s strategy on Brexit negotiations after the Prime Minister triggered Article 50.

Dollar reaches nine-day high as euro drops: The dollar edged up to a nine-day high against a basket of currencies on Thursday, with the euro sagging as the European Central Bank showed no sign of stepping away from monetary easing anytime soon.

The Scottish Herald

Sigma Capital to launch REIT: Edinburgh property finance business Sigma Capital has unveiled plans to launch a real estate investment trust (REIT) to use as a long-term holding vehicle for its private rented sector assets.

Funeral Directors welcome regulations: New regulations aimed at funeral Directors will enhance trust in the industry and benefit bereaved families, a conference will be told.

North-east shows signs of recovery from steep decline: Scottish firms are facing strong inflationary pressures and have achieved only modest growth, while falling investment has raised concerns that Brexit is weighing on them, but the oil sector-induced downturn in the north-east appears to have troughed.

Plexus highlights impact of North Sea downturn: Oil and gas engineering firm Plexus Holdings has highlighted continued tough conditions in the North Sea as the company announced a sharp fall in first half sales.

SSE on track for profits boost but bumps ahead: Energy giant SSE is expected to report earnings ahead of target, driven in part by an increase in operating profits in its wholesale division.

Royal London shrugs off rate cut: Royal London has shrugged off the cut in interest rates and a “turbulent year in markets and politics” to increase pre-tax profits by 16% to £282 million.

Profits dip at pool firm Barr + Wray: Barr + Wray, the luxury swimming pool specialist, has reported an 18% fall in profits in its last financial year – in line with company forecasts, writes Scott Wright.

ScottishPower deploys lasers as part of investment to protect overhead lines: Scottishpower has revealed it is deploying lasers as part of efforts to minimise power cuts caused by trees and branches falling on overhead lines during storms.

Frontier IP makes progress: Edinburgh-based Frontier IP, which invests in firms that spin out from universities, said the fair value of its portfolio increased 15% in first half, to £5.4 million at 31 December from £4.7 million at 30 June.

Lord Wallace is the latest heavy-hitter to join ICAS: Lord Wallace of Tankerness, the former deputy first Minister and Advocate General, has been appointed by ICAS (Institute of Chartered Surveyors Scotland) to its regulation board.

Barrhead Travel launches drive for 120 staff: Barrhead Travel has unveiled plans to take on 120 staff, in roles such as sales, web development and marketing, as it rolls out its expansion strategy this year.

The Scotsman

Scottish gold to hit shelves ‘in months’ says miner: The company developing Scotland’s first commercial gold mine said its precious metal will be sold into the jewellery trade “within months”.

Scrap £180 million farm payments system, urges NFU.S. President: The Scottish Government has invested £180 million in the computer system responsible for farm payments but NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick claims this “expensive and badly functioning” piece of equipment should be consigned to the scrapheap.

Royal Bank of Scotland names Helen Cook as HR Chief: Helen Cook has been appointed as the new Chief HR officer at Royal Bank of Scotland.

SSE to charge up dividend despite facing tough outlook: Utility giant SSE is on track to increase its full-year dividend by at least the rate of inflation despite flagging lower earnings at its retail gas and electricity arm.

Positive moves provide shot in arm for life sciences: Another day, and another significant announcement from a Scottish life sciences firm.

City A.M.

U.K. SMEs raise revenue growth projections for the year but expect higher price inflation to affect business: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the U.K. have raised their revenue growth projections for the third quarter in a row, a report by Capital Economics for Amazon and entrepreneur network Enterprise Nation has found.

Jet2 spreads its wings with new base at London Stansted flying to the likes of Ibiza, Alicante and Crete: Leeds-based low-cost airline Jet2 has ramped up its growth plans with the launch of flights and holidays from London Stansted to the likes of Alicante and Lanzarote.

Elizabeth Line steams ahead with £200 million funding from the City of London Corporation: The City of London Corporation has paid £200 million towards developing the Elizabeth Line, after the construction accomplished four milestones the funding was contingent on.

North Sea decommissioning costs set at $100 billion, but could double or triple due to inconsistencies among operators: Decommissioning oil and gas wells in the North Sea is set to cost $100 billion (£79.97 billion) across the U.K., Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark, and new research warns that figure could double or even triple.

Mace still isn’t happy with HS2 and wants the whole tender process rerun for controverisal contract as legal threat looms: CH2 million pulled out of a controversial £170 million contract to design the second phase of HS2, citing “ongoing speculation”, but the saga may not be over just yet.

Sales of U.K. homes have reached a 10-year high: The number of house sales agreed in the U.K. rose to a 10-year high in February 2017, according to figures released by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) Propertymark.

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:15:00 +0100
In the Papers - Twitter, Virgin Media, Mulberry, Tesco Newspaper Summary

The Times

Sports Direct employment agency ‘refusing to honour back-pay deal’: A leading union official has accused the employment agency Transline of refusing to honour a deal to pay back thousands of pounds owed to workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook complex in Derbyshire.

Brexit fears ‘driving French and German companies out of U.K.’: Dozens of French and German companies based in the U.K. are preparing to return to the Continent because of Brexit, foreign officials have claimed.

Number of U.K. floats sinks: The London market for company flotations has had a poor start to the year despite global volumes of new share listings running at twice the pace of the first months of 2016.

London and the regions stand apart: If hard evidence were needed that London is an island removed from the rest of the country, the Office for National Statistics provided it.

Genel tumbles after oilfield downgrade: Tony Hayward and Nat Rothschild saw the value of their holdings in Genel Energy fall to record lows after the Kurdistan-focused producer slashed estimates of the oil reserves in one of its main fields for a second time.

Cheltenham rides to bookie’s rescue: Lady Luck may have smiled on the bookies at the Cheltenham Festival this month but many of the biggest gambling operators have been racking up big losses on the wave of mergers that has gripped the industry.

Miner on fast track to FTSE: A company building a huge potash mine in North Yorkshire has confirmed it is seeking a full stock exchange listing as it looks to accelerate construction of the project.

Ex-Chief at Fox offered immunity to testify: Lawyers investigating payments made by Fox News to women allegedly harassed by the broadcaster’s former Boss have offered immunity to one of his senior managers in return for testifying.

Danish fund wraps up £1 billion stake in bandage business: Two of the biggest shareholders in Convatec, the medical devices maker which completed a stock market flotation last October, have sold a £1 billion stake in the company to a Danish fund.

Councils face business rates cash crisis: Local authorities face a funding crisis if the government rushes plans to devolve business rates to councils, the National Audit Office has warned.

The Independent

U.S. Dow Jones Industrial stock index steadies after Trump jitters trigger worst losing streak since 2011: Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index was on track to rise for the first time in nine trading sessions on Wednesday, having this week chalked up its longest consecutive streak of down days since the 2011 eurozone crisis.

Twitter Founder launches mobile payments company Square in the U.K.: The San Francisco-based company said on Tuesday that small-and medium-sized businesses in the U.K. would be able to use Square’s credit card reader to accept payments on mobile devices.

BCC urges Ministers not to lose sight of everything but Brexit: As Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50 this week, U.K. business leaders are urging the Government not to lose sight of their responsibilities beyond Brexit negotiations.

Rise of the gig economy fuelled Brexit vote, MPs told: Many people voted for Brexit because of a “fourth industrial revolution” that has seen British workers’ rights undermined, MPs were told on Tuesday.

Pets shops across U.K. ban sale of rabbits during Easter: One of the U.K.’s largest pet retailers has said that it will not be selling rabbits over Easter, in an attempt to crack down on impulse buying which leads to dozens of animals being abandoned each year when the novelty value wears off.

The Daily Telegraph

Government rules out Channel 4 sale: The Government has ruled out privatisation of Channel 4 after a lengthy review of the station’s future.

Planes will be made from wonder material graphene ‘in 10 years’: Sir Richard Branson has raised the prospect of planes being made entirely from the so-called wonder material graphene within 10 years, as the airline industry battles a 50% increase in fuel in the last 12 months, sparking a desperate need for ever lighter fleets.

Caribbean demand sees Carnival push up 2017 earnings guidance: Shares in cruise line operator Carnival were buoyant after the dual-listed company pushed up earnings expectations for 2017 after increased demand for the Caribbean.

Moss Bros profits rise on store revamps and school proms: Profits at Moss Bros have jumped by a fifth after the menswear retailer’s revamped stores and investment in suits for younger customers paid off.

Price of Irn Bru will go up, warns AG Barr: The Boss of Irn Bru maker AG Barr has warned that he expects prices to rise this year to cover the costs associated with a weaker pound.

AA drives up memberships as motorists use app to ring for help: Motoring business the AA has finally reversed years of falling membership as it adopts new technology and widens its offering to customers.

The Questor Column:

Update: Halma: Halma, the hazard detection systems provider whose shares was tipped a week ago: they jumped by nearly 7% after the release of an encouraging trading statement on Thursday, and although they have since slipped they are still 2.6% higher against a falling market. Management said the firm was still on track to meet consensus pre-tax profit forecasts of £191 million for the year ending in March, adding that order intake continued to exceed revenues, a promising sign for next year. This should help to allay fears of a loss of profit momentum after November’s interims prompted concerns about revenue delays at Centrak, the American business acquired in February 2016. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: National Grid: Just as shares in Next are being stirred into action by talk of special dividends, the prospect of additional cash returns from National Grid is helping to revive a share price dormant since we tipped the stock at about £10.50 in October. Last December National Grid sold a 61% stake in its gas distribution networks as part of a plan to focus on its U.K. transmission and U.S. operational assets. As a result, the company intends to return some £4 billion to investors via special dividends and share buy-backs. Analysts have pencilled in an 85p-ashare special distribution on top of a regular dividend of around 45p, enough for a total yield of around 13% on the current share price. Taking a longer-term view, the company’s policy is for dividends to grow at least in line with the retail prices index for the foreseeable future, a welcome bit of inflation-proofing. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

BrewDog threatened lawsuit against plan for bar with ‘punk’ in name: BrewDog threatened legal action to prevent a bar from using the term “punk” in its name, it has emerged, a day after the brewer blamed “trigger-happy” lawyers for a similar dispute that sparked a social media backlash.

Redrow walks away from Bovis takeover after offer is rejected: Redrow has walked away from buying Bovis Homes after deciding not to increase its takeover approach, clearing the field for rival housebuilder Galliford Try.

U.K. nuclear plans could be hit by Westinghouse financial crisis: A financial crisis at a major nuclear energy business is threatening to deal a blow to the U.K.’s atomic energy programme.

Uber to shut down Denmark operation over new taxi laws: Uber will shut down its operation in Denmark next month following the introduction of new taxi laws, the company has said, marking the latest European setback for the U.S. ride-booking service.

Daily Mail

Dulux maker launches fightback after rejecting £19 billion offer from U.S. predator: Dulux maker Akzo Nobel has sought to quell shareholder unrest over its refusal to enter takeover talks with an American predator.

Mr Kipling maker Premier Foods slashes pension costs by £32 million: Premier Foods has slashed its pension costs by £32 million after a deal was struck with trustees.

Virgin Media suspend four workers over delayed roll-out of £3 billion ultra-fast broadband: Virgin Media has been forced to suspend four workers after it discovered the progress of a £3 billion ultra-fast broadband roll-out may have been exaggerated.

Uber piles its plate with food delivery spots as it nibbles at the heels of rivals Deliveroo and Just Eat: Uber is extending its food delivery service across 40 more British towns and cities. The taxi-app firm is catching up with rivals Deliveroo and Just Eat after launching its Uber Eats service last year.

Blow for Sir Philip Green as Topshop Chief quits for luxury rival White Company: Sir Philip Green has been forced to kick-start a search for a Topshop Boss after his long-standing managing Director announced she was leaving for the White Company,

Retiring BAE Boss Ian King picks up £3.5 million after eight years at the helm of the defence giant: Ian King, who is gearing up to retire on June 30, saw his total pay climb 18% to £3.5million for 2016, thanks to a jump in his salary and awards.

Mulberry opens four new stores in Far East as it teams up with Singaporean billionaire: Mulberry is setting its sights on an expansion into Asia. The British luxury retailer has teamed up with Singapore billionaire Christina Ong – who controls 56% of Mulberry through her company, Challice – to set up a business in the region.

Daily Express

Pension crisis looms as one in five Britons has no savings for their old age: Britain’s looming pensions’ crisis has been highlighted by new research which shows that a staggering one in five working Britons have NO pension savings at all.

Euro fails to gain on pound ahead of Scottish independence vote: The pound was able to hold its own against the euro on Tuesday despite provocative comments from a European Central Bank (ECB) board member.

Tesco facing fine of £129 million from Serious Fraud Office: Tesco is facing a £129 million fine from the Serious Fraud Office, but will not be prosecuted over claims of false accounting, the supermarket giant has said.

Tesco defend £3.7 billion bid to takeover wholesaler Booker: Tesco has defended its £3.7 billion takeover bid for wholesaler Booker after criticism from leading shareholders, as it took a £235 million hit to draw a line under an accounting scandal.

The Scottish Herald

Independence poll plan fuels investment worry: Half of Scottish companies say they do not feel comfortable undertaking investment activity until the outcome of a second independence referendum is known, a survey reveals.

Vibration monitoring pioneer wins backing: A firm whose technology that can cut the risk of construction workers suffering a debilitating condition caused by vibrations has secured £700,000 growth funding with around a fifth of the money coming from staff.

Boardroom changes see Chief depart Bowleven: Kevin Hart is no longer part of the management team at Bowleven, the oil and gas company, which suffered a boardroom upheaval after a campaign for change by a rebel investor.

Adviser warns of risks of pension transfers: Edinburgh financial advisory business Robson Macintosh is urging members of final salary pension schemes to think carefully before cashing in benefits on the back of inflated transfer values.

Boost for Cairn Energy in Senegal as partner highlights success of latest well: Cairn Energy has received more good news from West Africa after drilling underlined the potential of a big find it made in the waters off Senegal.

Liverpool boost for Greenock port: Greenock Ocean Terminal expects to double its business in the next five years following the opening of a £400 million ‘sister’ terminal in Liverpool.

Menzies reveals ex-Directors’ pay: Former John Menzies Chief financial officer Paula Bell received total remuneration of £233,000 in her final seven months with the aviation and distribution firm before leaving for Spirent Communications in July.

Cromarty wins Beatrice contracts: The Port of Cromarty Firth has been awarded two contracts by one of the companies that will begin installing the 84-turbine Beatrice Offshore Windfarm in the Outer Moray Firth later this year.

Ousted Alliance Trust Boss got £1.2 million pay for 2016: The former Chief Executive of Alliance Trust received a salary and benefits package worth more than £1.2 million during 2016, despite being made redundant at the beginning of the year.

Aggreko Boss enjoys big increase in value of annual pay package: Aggreko Chief Executive Chris Weston has seen the value of his annual pay package increase by around 30%.

Trespass cites investment benefit as outdoor brand posts profits rise: Glasgow-based Jacobs & Turner has highlighted the benefit of a two-year investment programme on its sales and profitability. Accounts newly available at Companies House show pre-tax profits at the firm increased to £4.7 million in the year ended June 26, up from £2.67 million profit the year before.

The Scotsman

Irn-Bru maker shrugs off Brexit risk as profits rise: The maker of Irn-Bru flagged an “unprecedented” level of uncertainty stemming from the U.K.’s looming withdrawal from the European Union as it reported a rise in annual profits.

Edinburgh technology accelerator seeks next unicorn: The button is being pressed on what has been described as Scotland’s first “dedicated pre-seed tech accelerator” in a fresh bid to nurture the nation’s next billion-dollar start-up.

Staff dig in for Reactec’s £700,000 funding boost: An Edinburgh firm that aims to protect workers from “hand arm vibration” injuries caused by power tools has raised £700,000 in a funding round backed by its own staff.

Stagecoach loses SWT franchise to rival FirstGroup: Perth-based Stagecoach was dealt a blow when the U.K. government switched the group’s flagship rail operation to a joint venture of its leading Scottish rival FirstGroup and a Chinese transport operator.

Linda Urquhart to retire as chair of Morton Fraser: Morton Fraser said that its chair, Linda Urquhart, is to retire after more than three decades with the law firm.

Business leaders unite to drive Scots growth ambitions: A new collective of business leaders has been formed in an effort to help drive the growth of privately-owned firms across Scotland.

City A.M.

Property services company to list on the main market in London as it seeks to boost supply of long dated income for pension providers: Dukemount Capital, a property services company aimed at institutional investors, is listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Pret a Manger’s reputation will soon recover from its unpaid work experience stumble: As Theresa May invokes Article 50, it may be a time for companies to reflect on how they will staff their businesses in the coming years in the face of possible changes in migration and labour laws.

Cost-cutting BBC drops international news agency Associated Press citing “financial pressures”: The BBC will end its association with international news agency Associated Press (AP) this week because of “financial pressures”, City A.M. has learned.

Brits confident of their own finances as U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50: British consumers’ confidence in their own finances has continued to rise, a new survey shows, as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50 for the U.K. to leave the EU.

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane calls for Brexit transition periods: The Governor of Ireland’s central bank has become the latest in a long list of names to call for transition periods for Brexit.

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 08:26:00 +0100
In the Papers - Dyson, UBS, Samsung, BT, Ladbrokes and others Newspaper Summary

The Times
Dyson hits out at plan for greater openness: Government plans to force private companies to be more transparent will harm Britain’s competitiveness and impose unfair and expensive burdens on the most innovative businesses, Sir James Dyson has said.

Train builders set for joint HS2 bid: Britain’s two train manufacturers could team up to build £2.75 billion of superfast rolling stock for the High Speed Two rail project. With HS2 due to start canvassing soon for bids to deliver 60 225mph trains, each able to carry 1,000 passengers by 2026, Bombardier and Hitachi seem increasingly likely to pitch together for the contract.

Profits go supersonic as hairdryer blows away opposition: Demand for supersonic hairdryers and reliably solid sales of bagless vacuums have helped Dyson to report another stellar year where its profits soared after stealing market share from rivals.

New broom will not sweep old brands out of her stable: Emma Walmsley is understood to have decided against a spin-off of Glaxosmithkline’s consumer healthcare division as she prepares to take formal charge of the pharmaceutical giant next week.

UBS set to secure a Very good role: UBS is poised to land the lead role in advising the owners of Shop Direct on a possible sale or stock market listing of the retailer behind the Very and Littlewoods brands.
Energy firm pulls plug on face-to-face sales team: Ovo Energy, one of Britain’s biggest independent energy suppliers, is shutting its face-to-face sales operation with the loss of about 100 jobs.

Bank’s spending on legal fees triples: The bank’s average annual payments to City of London law firms are running at nearly £7 million, compared with an average of £2 million between 2011 and 2013 and the number of lawyers the bank employs has increased by nearly 50% from 46 in 2014 to 68 in 2016.

Shetland find lifts North Sea oil hopes: Hurricane Energy has made another oil discovery near the Shetland Islands, bolstering hopes that it may have the biggest find in British waters this century.
The Independent

No Brexit deal would mean a ‘painful and costly’ EU departure, manufacturers warn: Theresa May’s suggestion that no Brexit deal was better than a bad deal risked condemning U.K. manufacturing to a “painful and costly” exit from the EU, an employers’ body warns.

Theresa May faces ‘legislative swamp’ after she triggers Article 50, Tory MPs warn: Tories have warned their leader Theresa May that she faces being “swamped” in years of complex parliamentary and legal wrangling once she triggers the Brexit process.

Donald Trump printed out made-up £300 billion NATO invoice and handed it to Angela Merkel: Angela Merkel will reportedly ignore Donald Trump’s attempts to extricate £300 billion from Germany for what he deems to be owed contributions to NATO.

Home ownership now out of reach for most young people, study finds: Home ownership is increasingly out of reach for young people without “the bank of Mum and Dad”, a study warns – demanding “radical action” from the Government.

Financial Times
Oil trading surge strengthens grip of big commodity houses: The world’s largest independent commodity houses have expanded their oil trading volumes by more than 65% during crude’s near three-year slump, marking them out as the biggest beneficiaries in the industry from oil’s protracted downturn.

Chinese overtake Singapore as top Malaysia property investors: China has eclipsed Singapore as the biggest source of investment in Malaysian real estate, as soaring domestic property prices push mainland investors to hunt for bargains abroad.

London and New York lose ground to Asian rivals in finance rankings: London remains top of a ranking of global financial centres but saw its overall score slide on concerns about its competitiveness in the wake of Brexit.

Brussels close to approving $140 billion Dow-Dupont tie-up: Brussels is set to deliver its verdicts on two big corporates deals this week with authorities expected to bless the $140 billion union of U.S. agrichemical giants Dupont and Dow Chemical while formally vetoing the €29 billion merger of the London Stock Exchange Group and Deutsche Börse.

Reviving Deutsche Bank in U.S. is priority for CEO John Cryan: Just over a year ago, when shares in Deutsche Bank were tumbling, the bank started putting out messages on screens in the lifts and lobbies of its building in lower Manhattan, assuring staff that it had plenty of capital to absorb losses and cash to pay bills.

Standard Chartered and Barclays face investor ire over CEO pay: Two of Britain’s leading banks have drawn criticism from some big shareholders over decisions to lower the hurdles for long-term bonuses for their Bosses, in the latest example of U.K. companies coming into conflict with their investors over Executive pay.

Credit Suisse pays out SFr250 million to retain top bankers and traders: Credit Suisse paid its top investment bankers and traders almost SFr250 million ($252 million) under a special scheme created to stop them jumping ship during the bank’s restructuring, its annual report reveals.

Advertisers demand Google discounts after YouTube backlash: Advertisers are demanding from Google prime space at discounted prices, after this month’s revelation that many brands had appeared next to extremist content on YouTube, the Google-owned site.

Britain’s shopkeepers struggle to absorb minimum wage rises: Thousands of British shopkeepers are set to take a pay cut next month because of a minimum wage rise that is part of the U.K. government’s plan to wean the economy off low-paid work.

Samsung looks to Galaxy S8 to win back consumer trust: Samsung will seek this week to draw a line under the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone safety scandal with the launch of the South Korean technology company’s latest handset, the Galaxy S8.

BT hit with record £42 million Ofcom fine: BT has been hit with a record £42 million fine by the telecoms regulator Ofcom and has agreed to pay £300 million to its rivals over the use of a loophole that artificially reduced the amount it compensated companies including Vodafone when it failed to connect a line in time.

Arconic/Elliott: lock them up: The “Secret August Voting Lock-Up” is not an upcoming thriller at the cinema. Activist investment fund Elliott Management may soon pen that screenplay, however. It is currently in a heated proxy fight hoping to dump Klaus Kleinfeld, Chief Executive of Arconic, the former Alcoa affiliate separated last November. Elliott’s intrigue-filled title spices up the situation, highlighting an odd corporate arrangement at Arconic.

Iceland banks: vote of confidence: Catharsis has given way to optimism in Iceland. In what amounts to the largest foreign equity portfolio investment in the country’s history, Goldman Sachs, Och-Ziff and two more hedge funds acquired just short of 30% of Arion Bank this week in a private placement worth IKr49 billion ($444 million).

The Daily Telegraph
Fading Trump rally threatened by rare contraction of U.S. credit: Credit strategists are increasingly disturbed by a sudden and rare contraction of U.S. bank lending, fearing a synchronised slowdown in the U.S. and China this year that could catch euphoric markets badly off guard.

WeWork launches fund for U.K. start-ups amid plans to double its London presence: U.S. shared offices company WeWork will almost double its space in London this year, as it launches a £1.2 million award scheme to back U.K. start-ups.

Ladbrokes may be looking up after better Cheltenham for the bookies: Bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral could be facing better odds this year ¬as the profits from a less punter-friendly Cheltenham Festival emerge.
Theresa May’s red tape burden ‘too much for listed companies’ says Legoland Boss: The Chief Executive of Britain’s biggest quoted leisure group has called for a “sanity check” on the Government’s corporate governance agenda as he warned management time is being “soaked up” with even more U.K.-led red tape.

National Grid prepares for ‘summer excess’ with calls to use more power: National Grid is gearing up for summer with the start of a scheme which pays companies to use more electricity when wind and solar power surges past demand.

Lendlease to build first ultra-green homes in central London: Development company Lendlease is to pioneer ultra-energy-efficient homes in central London, monitoring the residents over several years to see how new technology could change the housing market.

Booths, ‘the Waitrose of the North’, sets up shop in Malaysia: Booths, the upmarket northern grocery chain, has chosen to set up shop 6,588 miles away rather than attempt to crack the South of England.

The Guardian
Snapchat ‘will be bigger than Twitter, Yahoo and AOL with advertisers’: Snapchat could become more popular with advertisers than Twitter, Yahoo and AOL within three years, with the messaging app company forecast to bring in revenues of more than $3 billion (£2.4 billion) a year before the end of 2019.

‘Bank of mum and dad’ making housing market more unfair, study finds: The number of first-time buyers relying on family loans from the “bank of mum and dad” to fund their deposits is exacerbating inequality and impeding social mobility, a government-backed study has warned.

Uber suspends fleet of self-driving cars following Arizona crash: Uber has suspended its fleet of self-driving cars while it investigates a crash in Arizona involving one of its vehicles.
Brewdog accused of hypocrisy after forcing pub to change name: Brewdog, the craft beer company that prides itself on a “punk” ethos, has been accused of acting like “just another multinational corporate machine” after forcing a family-run pub to change its name or face legal action.

Daily Mail
Lancashire’s textile industry wins Brexit boost as uniforms return to U.K.... but a big City jobs drain begins: Lancashire’s textile industry has won an unexpected Brexit boost as one of Britain’s largest providers of workers’ uniforms has brought manufacturing back to the U.K.

800 jobs rescued as investment firm Endless revives Jones Bootmaker £11million deal: Footwear retailer Jones Bootmaker has been bought by private equity firm Endless in an £11 million deal, saving around 840 jobs. But 262 jobs will be lost at 25 stores and six concessions considered underperforming and not part of the deal.

Europe’s top banks relying heavily on stashing profits offshore in tax havens to save cash: The 20 biggest banks in Europe have been accused of funnelling £18 billion of profits through tax havens in a bid to save cash.
How cavemen and yoga raves have put Gymbox in great shape with yearly profits of £2.4 million: A fitness chain with a difference is booming on the back of yoga raves, caveman jumping, circus training and even a workout that aims to make you taller. Gymbox sales grew last year from £13 million to £17 million, with pre-tax profits of £2.4 million, as it cashes in on a trend for unorthodox fitness classes.

Daily Express
Lloyds of London Chairman plays down Brexit challenges: Lloyd’s of London Chairman John Nelson says insurance market veterans view the challenges thrown up by Brexit as a “walk in the park” compared to the difficulties that nearly obliterated the business just decades ago.

Why after reporting a 2.6 billion loss would a company gives its Boss a 20% pay rise?: For some reason, the head of Pearson’s remuneration committee Elizabeth Corley and her colleagues think otherwise, awarding Chief Executive John Fallon a 20% pay rise, taking his total pay packet for 2016 to £1.52 million.

Larvae-ly solution to animal testing problem: Tech firm seeks crowdfunding for new project: University spin-out BioSystems Technology is looking for investment as it seeks to transform live animal testing by enabling researchers to use insect grubs instead of small mammals like rabbits and mice.

The Scottish Herald
Construction firms negative on Brexit: Nearly four times as many construction companies in Scotland fear Brexit will be negative for the sector as expect it to be positive, a survey has revealed.
U.K. financial services firms expand but signal caution: The U.K. financial services sector has achieved faster growth in business volumes in the first quarter than it had expected but expansion is projected to slow over the coming three months, a survey shows.

Enterprising teacher looks overseas for her inspiration: With the outlook for the economy uncertain we hear from an entrepreneur who reckons authorities at national and local level still need to do more to help the small and medium sized enterprises that play a vital part in supporting employment.

OnGen signs up key clients as funding increases: The green energy business called “the first step in an energy revolution” by early investor Ian Marchant has raised a further £200,000 in funding, and signed major clients.
‘Overlooked engine room’ firms key to Brexit talks: With overseas revenue of £5 billion, the needs of high-growth entrepreneurial mid-sized businesses must be considered in negotiations over the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, according to accountancy firm BDO, writes Kevin Scott.

Small offices targeted for energy boost: Environmental technology firm NetThings is targeting smaller commercial, and residential, properties for the first time with the launch of a web-enabled monitoring and control system that can reduce energy consumption by up to 20%.

Booker to update on trading ahead of expected probe into £3.7 billion Tesco merger: Wholesaler Booker will update on trading on Thursday amid mounting calls for a competition inquiry into its £3.7 billion merger with supermarket giant Tesco.

The Scotsman
Top Scots attractions outperforming rest of U.K.: Scotland’s leading visitor attractions are outperforming the rest of the U.K., according to new figures which showed they attracted more than 15 million visitors last year.
Labour sets out six ‘red lines’ on final EU deal: Labour will reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU if it doesn’t deliver the “exact same benefits” as being in the European single market and customs union, the party has warned.

City A.M.
Export support needs more long-term planning and stability, the British Chambers of Commerce has warned: One of the U.K.’s largest business lobbyists is calling for more “stability” in export planning ahead of the formal launch of Brexit talks.

Visitor figures for the Royal Academy and the Tate Modern pushed up by blockbuster exhibition and popular new extension: London’s cultural attractions welcomed 66,938,947 visitors last year, with the Tate Modern and the Royal Academy doing particularly well.

Gulf Arab states want to secure a speedy trade deal with the U.K. post-Brexit: Gulf Arab states are pushing for an early deal on free trade with Britain in the wake of Brexit.
Sentiment in the financial sector has stabilised in the three months to March despite falling throughout 2016: A robust economy has helped stabilise sentiment in the financial sector in the three months to March despite falling throughout 2016, according to a CBI/PwC financial services survey.

U.K. trade will grind to a halt if goods have to be declared after Brexit, warns the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA): As Brexit talks draw nearer, another industry has taken the chance to press the government for a suitable outcome.

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:18:00 +0100
In the Papers - Starbucks, Emirates, Virgin, BT Newspaper Summary

The Times

Inflation doesn’t mean rate rise, Bank Chief says: A doveish member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee said a rise in inflation would not make him consider raising interest rates.

Clashes ‘put U.K. at risk from money launderers’: Britain is dangerously exposed to money launderers as investigators are failing to work with other agencies to gather evidence against foreign criminals, a think tank has claimed.

Businesses paid to cut energy at peak times: Businesses that agree to cut energy use when national supplies are running low will receive subsidies six times higher than plants that guarantee to provide power.

De Beers cuts partner out of diamond stores: The world’s leading diamond specialist has taken full ownership of its retail business after buying out its partner to boost its high street presence.

Homebuyers ‘priced out of market’ in key cities: House price inflation in some of Britain’s largest cities is beginning to “run out of steam” as growing numbers of potential buyers cannot afford the asking prices, according to a property analyst.

Ford warns of profits fall as result of spluttering demand: Ford warned that its full-year profit would be $1.4 billion less this year than last year as it forecast a substantial hit to its bottom line in the first quarter.

Rockhopper sues Italy over oil field ban: Rockhopper Exploration is fighting for compensation from Italy after it banned offshore drilling, leaving the company unable to develop one of its oil and gas fields.

Weak pound gives brewer a headache: Adnams brewed up record beer sales last year as volumes passed the 100,000 barrels mark for the first time in the Southwold brewer’s 145-years.

Back to work at world’s biggest copper mine: Workers at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine in Chile said they would present their decision to the government and return to work. A swift restart of Escondida, which produced about 5% of the world’s copper last year, may bring some relief to the Chilean economy but there was little immediate effect on copper prices.

The Independent

CEO uses ‘snowflake’ test when hiring to avoid ‘whiny millennials’: A U.S. company has introduced a “snowflake test” to weed out overly sensitive, liberal candidates who are too easily offended.

State pension age could rise to 70: Millions of young people could face having to work an extra year before being able to draw a state pension, according to two separate reports.

Eurogroup head accused of racist and sexist comments pressured to quit: Jeroen Dijsselbloem faced pressure to resign as head of the euro area’s finance Ministers after comments he made on the obligations of aid-receiving countries were seen as both offensive and widening the north-south divide in Europe.

Data points to peak in immigration of European Union workers: Signs are growing that inflows of European Union workers to the U.K. have peaked, just as Prime Minister Theresa May is due to trigger Article 50 to commence the Brexit divorce process.

U.K. homes could see energy bills increase by up to £445 per year: Homes across the U.K. could see their energy bills increase by up to £445 a year as a result of fixed-rate deals offered by 10 popular providers expiring.

Richard Branson writes emotional farewell letter to Virgin America: Sir Richard Branson has written a heartfelt farewell letter to Virgin America after owner Alaska Airlines said it would soon stop using the Virgin brand.

The Daily Telegraph

Ithaca Energy Boss backs Delek takeover after $54 million loss: The Boss of North Sea takeover target Ithaca Energy has reasserted his backing for the £517 million cash bid from the group’s largest shareholder after reporting a £54 million loss for last year.

AkzoNobel shareholders turn up the heat on Dulux owner over rejected PPG takeover bid: AkzoNobel’s largest shareholder has increased the pressure on the Dulux and Polyfilla owner to enter takeover talks with American rival PPG Industries.

Blue Inc creditors approve store rescue plan: Creditors for struggling retailer Blue Inc have approved a plan to stage payments for rent arrears and write off some of the company’s debt in a bid to keep the stores trading.

Clampdown on big winners boosts gaming business GVC: A crackdown on big-ticket gamblers who were winning huge amounts of cash has helped improve the performance at online gaming business GVC.

Northern Powerhouse fires up as house prices in Manchester rise faster than any other U.K. city: Manchester has sped ahead of southern rivals, recording the fastest house price growth of any city in the U.K. Homes in the capital of the Northern Powerhouse increased in value by 8.8% over the past 12 months, according to Hometrack.

Robots will take a third of British jobs by 2030, report says: A third of existing British jobs are at risk of being taken over by robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) within 15 years, a report reveals.

City regulator reopens probe into Qatar’s crisis-era rescue of Barclays: Barclays faces renewed scrutiny of its emergency fundraising during the financial crisis after the City regulator reopened its investigation into the bank’s cash call with Qatar.

The Questor Column:

Anthony Bolton’s old trust has doubled in three years but the discount is still 14%: Investors in the Fidelity China Special Situations trust have experienced plenty of drama over the portfolio’s short history. Its listing in 2010 attracted a blaze of publicity because the trust was managed by Anthony Bolton, who had made investors in his Fidelity Special Situations fund rich with annual returns of about 19%. His successor, Dale Nicholls, has had a happier time: under his stewardship the share price has roughly doubled. Despite this strong performance, the trust was trading at a discount of 14%. The portfolio seems well positioned to avoid the fallout from any trade war between China and America, which has been feared as a result of Donald Trump’s protectionist leanings. The fund is heavily focused on domestic companies, with the portfolio’s stocks making 82.5% of their revenues within China and only 2% in the U.S. Growth is still strong, although slowing: the latest official prediction is for economic output to grow at an annual rate of about 6.5%. The portfolio is well diversified, with about 150 holdings, although the top 10 account for 42% of assets. Up to 10% of the fund can be held in unquoted stocks. The annual “ongoing” charge, 1.22%, does not seem excessive for a specialist fund such as this. Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

U.K. retail sales shrug off Brexit fears with February rise: Britain’s retailers received a respite from a two-month losing streak when spending in high street stores and online bounced back in February.

1,100 Jones Bootmaker jobs at risk as private equity deal collapses: Jones Bootmaker is expected to call in administrators on Friday in a move that will put more than 1,100 jobs at risk. The shoe retailer, which employs 1,145 people, has nearly 100 stores and a handful of concessions in department stores. It is understood to be close to collapse after a deal with a private equity firm collapsed.

Housebuilder’s investors reject Executive pay deal in 2017’s first revolt: Shareholders in Crest Nicholson, one of the largest housebuilders in Britain, have voted against a pay deal for the company’s Directors because of concerns that the performance targets were too easy.

Brexit could damage U.K.’s fight against corruption, says OECD: Brexit could damage the U.K.’s efforts to tackle corruption and give multinationals leverage over the British government in bribery cases, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.

YouTube and Google boycott spreads to U.S. as AT&T and Verizon pull ads: The growing advertiser boycott of YouTube has reached the U.S., with AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon and Enterprise all halting adverts on the site, as well as Google’s wider ad networks, over the video-sharing site’s inability to guarantee promotional messages won’t appear alongside extremist content.

Daily Mail

Next suffers first fall in profits since 2008 as it battles against online rivals, subdued shoppers and the slump in the pound: High street retailer Next suffered its first profit fall for eight years in 2016 and has warned that 2017 is set to be ‘another tough year.’ With inflation rising and wages stagnating, shoppers were spending less on clothing last year and the group’s underlying pre-tax profits fell 3.8% to £790.2 million.

FTSE 100 ekes out small gain on a big day for British retailers, while Trump seeks to overturn Obamacare: London shares ticked marginally higher, in a session dominated by retail and President Donald Trump’s healthcare bill.

New tax rules set to hit thousands of public sector contract workers: Around 26,000 public sector contractors, including NHS staff, social and care workers, are facing an income drop of up to 20% next month.

Number of landlords planning to sell up doubles since the buy-to-let crackdown was announced - and experts warn renters will suffer: Rising numbers of landlords are planning to abandon the buy-to-let market, prompting fears that rents will spiral up as the number of properties available to rent falls.

Daily Express

Deutsche Bank won’t leave City with new London HQ: Deutsche Bank has kept its faith in the City being the hub of European banking with plans for a new London HQ.

EUR soft on ECB inflation claims despite above-forecast consumer confidence: Newly-released consumer confidence data has failed to soothe investor fears that the ECB will stand firm on its ultra-loose monetary policy.

GBP rises after U.K. February retail sales growth bounds over forecasts: The pace of U.K. retail sales picked up significantly in February, outpacing economists’ already-strong predictions.

RBS and NatWest to close 158 branches and cut 470 jobs: Taxpayer-backed NatWest and RBS are closing 158 branches and axing hundreds of jobs, blaming a rise in online and mobile banking.

Crucial vote on Trump healthcare bill could trigger crash: Nervous investors are braced for U.S. lawmakers to vote on Donald Trump’s healthcare plans, amid fears a defeated bill could spark panic and sends stocks crashing.

Saudi Arabia’s credit rating cut as low oil prices crumble Middle East nation’s economy: Saudi Arabia’s economic woes have worsened after a top rating agency downgraded its credit rating and said plans to save the economy look set to fail.

The Scottish Herald

Growth in Scotland will lag U.K., forecaster says: Economic growth in Scotland will trail that in the U.K. as a whole this year and in 2018, partly because of a drag resulting from oil and gas sector weakness, PricewaterhouseCoopers has forecast.

Giants to hunt for oil and gas off Hebrides: Oil majors have shown confidence in the exploration potential of the frontier territory off the Hebrides and Shetland in spite of the prospect of a long period of low oil prices.

Kier warns of construction slowdown as profits rise: The Boss of Kier Group’s construction division in Scotland has signalled there is an expectation across the industry that activity will slow down in the coming months as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

Shares crash as potato firm warns on profit for year: Produce Investments has issued a profit warning after booking non-cash write-offs worth £1 million relating to the implementation of a new back office system.

Whisky giant sees slide in profits: Chivas Brothers saw pre-tax profits fall 22% to £284 million in the year to June 30, as the producer contended with a reduction in foreign exchange gains and an increase in marketing costs.

Boozy Cow giveaway helps Stirling charities: Four Stirling charities are in line for a funding windfall after philanthropist Garreth Wood said he would donate all profits from his restaurant group The Boozy Cow.

Scottish pubs are least likely in U.K. to go under: Pubs in Scotland are the least likely to go bust in the U.K., despite the mounting costs faced by hospitality operators, new insolvency figures have signalled.

Scottish Enterprise Chief is paid £69,000 for non-Executive role: Lena Wilson, the Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, received total remuneration of £69,000 for her role as a non-Executive Director of London-listed product testing group Intertek in 2016.

Group in talks on storage project: The Renewables Infrastructure Group has revealed it is in talks to acquire a battery storage project in West Lothian.

Craneware wins new contract: Craneware, the Edinburgh-based software provider to the U.S. healthcare market, has won a new $3.7 million contract with a current client.

The Scotsman

Eddie Stobart motors ahead with £550 million flotation plan: Eddie Stobart has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in a listing that would value the logistics group at over £550 million.

Nucleus Boss in the running for DigiTech CEO award: David Ferguson, the Founder and Chief Executive of financial wrap platform Nucleus, has been shortlisted in the CEO of the year category in the latest Digital Technology Awards.

BT to create 31 customer service roles in Glasgow: Telecoms giant BT is to create 31 jobs in Glasgow as part of a recruitment drive to transform customer service.

Job cuts at Jabil electronics plant in Livingston: Hundreds of jobs could be cut at Jabil electronics plant in Livingston after they announced plans to close.

Holyrood warned against sudden post-Brexit changes: While farm support measures will need to change in the post-Brexit era in order to both justify their existence to the taxpayer and to serve Scottish agriculture better, any sudden change could be disastrous for the industry.

City A.M.

Virgin Media reckons its slowest broadband is faster than the best anyone else can deliver: Virgin Media has revamped its broadband service speeds, claiming its slowest internet is now faster than what is widely available from any other providers.

Emirates has found a way to minimise turbulence caused by the U.S. laptop cabin ban: Emirates has laid out how it intends to bring in the laptop ban in a way that minimises disruption for passengers as much as possible.

Starbucks investors want the company to avoid ending up in hot water over President Trump controversy: A group of conservative Starbucks investors are warning the coffee company against provoking Donald Trump, which could cause an angry tweet and a drop in stock prices.

SSE snaps up a larger stake in the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm development: Britain’s SSE unveiled plans to hike its stake in the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm to 37.5%.

The U.K.’s share of the worldwide box office falls nearly 10% after films failed to live up to a blockbuster 2015: U.K. films’ share of the worldwide box office fell last year, down from 25% in a blockbuster 2015 to 16% in 2016.

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:00:00 +0000
In the Papers - Primark, Thames Water, Airbnb, Tesco The Times

Investors increase pressure on Akzo to enter takeover talks: The activist investor Elliott Advisors has put pressure on Akzo Nobel to engage in takeover talks after it rejected a €22.4 billion approach.

China signals end of the rank-and-file cab: Britain is to get two new vehicle plants in one after Geely said that its new factory in the Midlands would assemble hybrid black taxis and electric vans for shopping home deliveries.

Sterling fuels rising car exports and production: Boosted by the weaker pound, output rose by 8% to 153,041 units last month compared with a year ago, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Production also accelerated from January, when it rose by 7.5% year-on-year.

Tycoon’s Brexit fears come true as currency woes hit empire: The Hong Kong conglomerate that owns Superdrug, Northumbrian Water and the mobile operator Three suffered a big hit on revenue last year because of its exposure to the pound.

Savills bemoans ‘final nail in the coffin’ for the London market: The extra stamp duty surcharge for second homes and buy-to-let properties acted “as the final nail in the coffin” for the London housing market last year, the Chief Executive of Savills has claimed.

Chinese shoppers jump on low pound: Chinese visitors doubled their spending in Britain after the Brexit vote triggered a fall in the pound and increased the lure of tax-free shopping, The Times has learnt.

It’s time for a little bit of luxury: The luxury retailer famed for its Birkin bags and upmarket watches said that its profits had risen by 13% to €1.1 billion. Axel Dumas, Chief Executive, said that the performance was “better than expected in an “uncertain” environment.

Trump gives art connoisseurs the jitters: Global sales of fine art and antiques fell by 11% last year to $56.6 billion, the lowest level since 2010, as political and economic uncertainty around Brexit and the U.S. Presidential election weighed on auction houses.

Koreans make power play in Cumbria: A South Korean utility company has confirmed that it wants to buy a stake in the NuGen nuclear project in Cumbria, but it has ruled out buying Westinghouse, the troubled reactor-maker for the venture.

Ambitious energy supplier logs into home broadband market: Britain’s biggest independent energy supplier is launching a home broadband service as it tries to capitalise on “striking parallels” between the markets.

Bank, the word that dare not speak his name: Lobbyists for Britain’s banking industry might soon drop the word “bank” from their business cards as part of a four-way merger between the country’s main financial representative groups.

The Independent

U.K. homes could see energy bills increase by up to £445 per year: Homes across the U.K. could see their energy bills increase by up to £445 a year as a result of fixed-rate deals offered by 10 popular providers expiring.

Threat to U.K. credit rating from cliff-edge Brexit says Moody’s: The U.K.’s credit rating could be cut again if the U.K. crashes out of the European Union without a trade deal, the ratings agency Moody’s has warned.

Barclaycard Boss quits to defend U.S. civil liberties against Trump: One of Barclays’ most senior Executives is retiring to fight for civil liberties in his adopted homeland amid concerns about the rights of Muslims, immigrants and women.

Primark recalls children’s novelty cat leggings over choking hazard: Primark has recalled a pair of “novelty” cat leggings for children over fears they could present a safety hazard.

Thames Water fined £20.3 million for polluting the River Thames with sewage: Thames Water has been fined £20.3 million for polluting the River Thames with 1.4 billion litres of raw sewage, the largest ever fine to be handed down to a water utility for an environmental disaster.

EU to give U.K. banks new incentive to leave London, say officials: Banks in London that relocate operations to the euro zone after Brexit are likely to be spared a lengthy entry test by regulators, making it easier for them to shift, according to two officials with knowledge of the matter.

London Taxi Company opens new £300 million Coventry factory: A British icon received a boost on Wednesday as the London Taxi Company opened a new £300 million factory in Coventry. The plant has created 1,000 jobs and the firm says 5,000 black cabs will roll off production lines each year by 2019.

Modest pick-up in business investment intentions in Bank survey: Investment intentions among firms have picked up slightly this year, according to the Bank of England’s network of regional agents.

Airbnb changes its name to Aibiyin and doubles investment to woo China: Although Uber failed to dominate the vast and fiercely competitive Chinese market, Airbnb is still determined to make it a success.

The Daily Telegraph

Government’s pledge to cut energy prices risks leaving consumers worse off, ex-regulators warn: The Government’s pledge to curb household energy prices risks sabotaging the retail market leaving consumers worse off in the long run, a group of former regulators has warned.

VW attacked by MPs over failure to release findings of ‘dieselgate’ investigation: Volkswagen has been attacked over the evidence about the “dieselgate” emissions scandal it gave to MPs during a meeting of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee.

Oil price drops below $50 for first time since Opec deal: The oil price has fallen back below the key $50 a barrel mark for the first time since November after surging U.S. oil supplies dealt a blow to Opec’s plan to erode the global oversupply of crude.

Guardian to press ahead with compulsory redundancies for first time amid continued losses: The owner of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers is to make compulsory redundancies for the first time in its history as management attempts to stem years of financial losses.

First Utility branches into broadband as multi-utility market heats up: The largest independent challenger to the U.K.’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers has set its sights on the broadband sector in an attempt to widen its consumer appeal as retail competition heats up.

City watchdog wins legal battle with ‘London Whale’ Executive: The City regulator has won a protracted legal battle with an ex JP Morgan Executive caught up in the “London Whale” controversy who had argued the watchdog had wrongfully identified him when it fined the Wall Street bank £138 million.

Ferrexpo restores dividend on premium performance: Ukraine-based miner Ferrexpo has reinstated its final dividend after growing sales during a tough year for commodities.

The Questor Column:

Unilever may appear to be expensive, but this is a business of unique quality: The share price reacted predictably to the bid – it rose by about 13% – and to its abandonment two days later, which resulted in a 6.6% fall. What has happened since is more remarkable: the shares closed at £40.29, above the £37.97 close on the day of the bid. At such levels – the share price is more than 20% above its average for the past year and has roughly doubled in five years – many investors will be asking whether Unilever is now overvalued. Questor agrees that Unilever is a business of unmatched quality. We advise readers to follow these investors’ example. Questor says ‘Hold’.

Update: Revolution Bars: In November we tipped Revolution Bars, the cocktail chain, at 178p. The shares have gained 26.2% since then but there should be further to go. Keith Ashworth-Lord, who holds the shares in his SDL U.K. Buffettology fund, said the company had recently announced an acceleration in its branch opening programme, which it funds entirely from profits generated by the existing bars. He added that the company had also reported the 14th consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales growth and had generated a “highly attractive” 19.2% return on equity in the last financial year. “This is a roll-out model at an immature stage with plenty of expansion potential,” he said. “Despite the recent rise, our projections suggest that the shares are still 10%-15% undervalued.” Questor says ‘Buy’.

The Guardian

U.K.-based airlines told to move to Europe after Brexit or lose major routes: EU Chiefs have warned airlines including easyJet and Ryanair that they will need to relocate their headquarters or sell off shares to European nationals if they want to continue flying routes within continental Europe after Brexit.

Tesco pulls Sol, Amstel and Tiger from shelves in Brexit price row: Fans of Heineken beers including Amstel, Sol and Kingfisher will not be able to find them in Tesco for the foreseeable future after the supermarket refused to accept price increases the brewer blamed on Brexit and the budget.

Number of women working past 70 in U.K. doubles in four years: The number of women working past the age of 70 has doubled in the past four years, according to official figures that also reveal one in seven men are continuing in the workforce into old age, amid growing concerns over the bleak outlook for pensions.

FTSE CEOs ‘earn 386 times more than workers on national living wage’: The average FTSE Chief Executive earns 386 times more than a worker on the national living wage, according to an analysis published by the Equality Trust as it steps up its campaign for new government rules to expose pay gaps.

Bank that lent $300 million to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scam: The German bank that loaned $300 million (£260 million) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian criminals with ties to the Kremlin, the Guardian can reveal.

Plusnet fined £880,000 for charging more than 1,000 ex-customers: Plusnet, the BT-owned broadband and landline company, has been fined almost £900,000 by Ofcom for continuing to charge more than 1,000 customers even though they had cancelled their accounts.

Daily Mail

Budget footwear chain Brantano falls into administration, putting 1,000 jobs at risk: Footwear retailer Brantano has fallen into administration, putting 1,000 jobs at risk.

U.S. giant makes £19 billion bid for Dulux: 3,500 jobs at risk as Chemicals giant PPG swoops for Dutch owner of ICI: The future of thousands of British jobs has been thrown into doubt after an American chemicals giant launched a £19 billion bid for the manufacturer of Polyfilla and Dulux.

German bid for the London Stock Exchange ‘will be rejected by competition Chiefs within days’: A German takeover of the London Stock Exchange will be rejected within days, sources claim.

New Screwfix stores prop up B&Q’s owner Kingfisher as it warned over Brexit and the French elections: B&Q owner Kingfisher leaned on Screwfix to pull up U.K. sales, as it warned over Brexit and the French Presidential elections.

British Gas Chief Iain Conn slammed over ‘ridiculous’ £1 million pay rise that takes his earning to £4.1 million: The leader of British Gas-owned Centrica picked up a £1 million pay rise last year, in a move condemned as ‘ridiculous’.

Fury over £700k pay-off for Bovis Boss ousted in £7 million scandal over the quality of its new homes: Troubled housebuilder Bovis Homes has come under fire after handing its former Boss a pay-off worth nearly £700,000.

Daily Express

Cheque next-day clearance system to start from this year: Industry-wide moves to “put cheques firmly in the 21st century” - with new technology enabling them to clear by the next day - will start in October.

New Nationwide deal for parents to raise cash from their home to help their children: Mortgage deals allowing parents to raise funds from their property to help their adult children buy their first home have been launched by Britain’s biggest building society.

Wall Street losses spark global stock sell-off amid impending doom: Britain’s top stock indices dived in Wednesday morning trading, following huge losses overnight on Wall Street, as investors appear to be losing faith in new U.S. President Donald Trump.

Pound falls dramatically as terror attack rocks London: The pound fell dramatically against the U.S. dollar as a terror attack rocked London this afternoon.

The Scottish Herald

Kiltane swoops to save Ness stores: A buyer has been found for the high-profile Ness clothing brand and its remaining shops after the owner fell into administration last year, with the deal safeguarding 35 jobs.

Scots technology firm helps Unicef to focus refugee aid: An Edinburgh technology firm is helping to maintain the wellbeing of Somali refugees after collaborating with Unicef to monitor the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya through satellite imagery.

French giant hits North Sea acquisition trail: French testing and inspection giant Bureau Veritas has underlined its desire to expand in the North Sea after buying an Aberdeen company to help it win more work on facilities like oil and gas platforms.

Rebel investor in Bowleven raises pressure on oil firm: Crown Ocean Capital has ramped up the pressure on Bowleven by increasing its holding in the oil and gas company’s shares to 23%, from 22%.

QikServe adds customisable kiosk system for hospitality operators: Qikserve, the payments software solutions provider for the hospitality industry, is launching a new product that will allow bars and restaurants to offer self-service kiosk terminals for customers.

Crisis fears for Scottish building sector: The construction industry faces being plunged into a fresh crisis amid fears the uncertainty brought by Brexit and the prospect of a second vote on Scottish independence will pull the plug on funding for projects.

Households downbeat about future for finances: U.K. households are at their most pessimistic since November 2013 about the prospects for their finances, against a backdrop of surging inflation and subdued pay rises, a survey shows.

Fledgling restaurateur in £100,000 revamp: A famous St Andrews restaurant, housed in a glass and steel structure overlooking the North Sea, has been acquired by an up-and-coming hospitality entrepreneur.

Property developer Chris Stewart bolsters top-level team with two key hires: Edinburgh property developer Chris Stewart Group is looking to corner the urban regeneration market across Scotland and other parts of the U.K. after expanding its senior management team with two key hires.

Office fit-out firm to expand with £2 million IGF loan: Glasgow-based office refurbishment firm Insite Contracts is looking to expand its business after securing a £2 million asset-based loan from Independent Growth Finance (IGF).

The Scotsman

Travelodge to create 325 jobs with 15 hotel openings: Hotel chain Travelodge is to open 15 hotels this year, including in Inverness, Peterhead and Stirling, creating 325 jobs in the process.

Ardgowan Distillery seeks £17 million after green light: A planned new distillery with historic links to ¬Robert the Bruce has launched a bid to raise £17 million and appointed independent chartered accountants Campbell Dallas amid plans to be operational in 2019.

Property firm Bidwells hails ‘substantial’ growth: The Scottish arm of property consultant Bidwells has racked up a 12% increase in annual fee income.

First building confirmed for Magenta business park: Work is set to get kick off at Magenta, Glasgow’s new satellite business district, after project costs for the development’s first building were approved by the board of Clyde Gateway.

BrewDog eyes Asia brewery as annual sales near £72 million: Craft beer producer BrewDog is looking at opening a brewery in Asia to capitalise on surging demand in the Far East.

City A.M.

Treasury Committee chair Andrew Tyrie calls for one-stop watchdog to fight cybercrime, warning current system is too “opaque”: The chair of the Treasury Select Committee is calling on the government to setup a one-stop watchdog to tackle financial cybercrime.

U.K. government plays down concerns European Central Bank could seize euro clearing from London: The government has played down the prospect of euro clearing activity being prised away from London after Brexit.

Shared ownership is a win-win for investors and aspiring U.K. home-owners: Five out of six people want to own their own home. But as we all know, house prices in recent decades have accelerated wildly to end up beyond the reach of many.

Three Mobile says 5G auction will define the firm’s ability to challenge the market: The Boss of Three Mobile said the outcome of the U.K.’s 5G auction will be vital for the mobile operator’s future.

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:58:00 +0000
In the Papers - Co-operative Bank, Fiat, Emirates, Aldi Newspaper Summary

The Times

Government loans sale is pulled at the last moment: A secret privatisation plan to raise £600 million by selling a portfolio of government business loans and packaging them into a high-yielding listed investment vehicle has been ditched, The Times has learnt.

Early rate rise comes closer as economy strengthens: Sterling jumped by more than a cent to a three-week high against the dollar on the back of solid economic data that raised the hint of an early rise in interest rates.

Fund managers do not take enough risks, says Woodford: Neil Woodford told the House of Lords’ science and technology committee that pension funds had stopped investing in U.K. innovation and that long-term investors such as him were in an “extreme minority sport”.

Exporters cash in on sterling’s weakness: The lower pound has helped manufacturers to deliver the highest rise in export orders in more than three years, the CBI said, making companies more optimistic about the future than at any time in the past two decades.

Avon lady calls on trusty make-up bag: The Avon lady appeared to be on her last legs, struggling to sell door-to-door as online rivals muscled in on her market, but it seems that a bit of make-up here (and some discreet trimming of the fat there) could yet do wonders for one of America’s best-known, longest-established retail phenomenons.

Co-op sets deadline for bank bidders: Bidders for the Co-operative Bank have been told they have a fortnight to submit offers so that it can decide whether a sale is viable or if it will have to pursue more radical action to stem its losses.

Roll up for end of the pier show: A new fish and chip takeaway, a Christmas market and a website have been pulling in the customers at Brighton Palace Pier, offsetting some of the trading hit from the Southern Railway industrial dispute.

Arm’s new chip steers it towards driverless cars: Arm Holdings, best known for its hold on the phone chip market, has unveiled a new microprocessor targeted at emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and driverless cars.

Fiat is latest to face diesel cheat inquiry: The diesel emissions scandal widened as French prosecutors announced the opening of a criminal inquiry into allegations that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles rigged anti-pollution tests.

Runaway house prices are poised to hit brakes: House prices rose by 6.2% in the year to January according to official figures, but a significant downward revision for November and December suggest a less buoyant property market than previously thought.

Troubled Bovis gives ex-Chief Executive £500,000 payoff: The former Chief Executive of Bovis Homes has been handed more than £500,000 in salary, bonus and benefits as part of his payoff.

Jones banks leadership role number 2: Eddie Jones has picked up his second job in the banking industry since taking over as head coach of the England rugby union team two years ago.

The Independent

Nearly one in seven retiring this year made no financial provisions: Nearly one in seven people retiring this year have made no financial provision for their retirement, and more than one in ten will be either totally or partially dependent on the state pension when they stop working, according to new research.

UN asks U.K. government to pause Hinkley nuclear reactor development: A United Nations committee has asked the U.K. to suspend work on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, pending assessment of the environmental impact.

U.K.’s biggest retailers have cut ‘nearly 4,000 staff this year’: About 4,000 shop employees have reportedly been made redundant this year as major retailers find new ways to save money despite having to implement the national living wage.

Stopping climate change could boost the world economy by £15 trillion: Efforts to slow climate change won’t just keep the planet habitable. They will also boost the world economy by $19 trillion (£15.2 trillion).

How the world’s biggest banks will react to Brexit: Big investment banks will begin the process of moving some London-based operations into new hubs inside the EU within weeks after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set a date to trigger the formal mechanism for quitting the bloc.

Emirates ‘has not been informed’ of Trump’s new inflight restrictions: The biggest airline thought to be affected by a ban on electronic devices by the U.S. authorities says it has not heard from the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) or its subsidiary, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Google and Facebook are now paying full tax in Australia: Tech giants Google and Facebook are now paying taxes in Australia based on revenues made in the country, instead of shifting income abroad to low-tax countries, the government has said.

Aldi customers urged to stay away from fake £65 vouchers: Aldi customers have been warned to stay away from hoax vouchers circulating on email and social media which trick shoppers into thinking that they can save money.

Minis could be latest victim of Brexit as BMW Boss hints at moving production out of U.K.: BMW hinted it may move production of the iconic Mini from England to continental Europe as a result of the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU.

The Daily Telegraph

Global funds think equities overvalued but keep buying, as U.S. markets take a dive: Global fund managers say stock markets are more overvalued than at any time this century, but are continuing to buy equities aggressively, betting the day of reckoning is a way off yet.

Bank of England ‘gets’ concerns around standards after Charlotte Hogg’s resignation, but industry can learn from it, says Mark Carney: The Governor of the Bank of England has defended the way it handled Charlotte Hogg’s resignation, saying that the banking industry can draw lessons from the incident.

Endeavour Mining dumps £3 billion gold merger talks with Acacia: The £3 billion gold mining merger talks between Acacia Mining and Canada’s Endeavour Mining have been brought to a halt, weeks after the Tanzanian government slapped Acacia with an export ban on its copper and gold concentrate.

Safestore becomes latest company to drop pay policy after threat of investor revolt: Safestore has become the latest company to drop changes to its Directors’ pay and benefits after coming under pressure from its shareholders.

Mears exits one-fifth of care contracts amid continued funding gaps: Outsourcing company Mears has ditched one-fifth of its care contracts as the industry struggles to make a profit amid funding cuts.

Fears for Moorside as Toshiba ‘lining up’ $500 million bankruptcy backstop for Westinghouse nuclear arm: Fears that Toshiba’s struggling nuclear business Westinghouse could be on the brink of going under have been reignited following reports that it is lining up a U.S. bankruptcy protection finance package.

The Questor Column:

Buy Halma, a great ‘get rich slow’ stock: When it is used properly – and when things go well – the stock market can be a very effective “get rich slow” scheme. Halma is a great example of why. The FTSE 250 firm provides a solution to a problem, in that its hazard detection and life protection systems, locks and devices help companies meet regulatory requirements and keep staff and customers safe. A forward yield of 1.5% might not look exciting but the company has grown its annual dividend by at least 5% a year since 1980, a run that analysts believe will continue with the full-year results in June. During that 37-year span the share price has risen from barely 4p to 975p – and it’s likely that, had investors known the firm would pay a dividend of around 13.7p in 2017, they would have found that 4p entry price pretty irresistible. This is not to say that Halma’s share price is invulnerable. A forward earnings multiple of 25 times for the financial year about to end and 22 times for the next year represent a big premium to the wider market. Questor says ‘Buy’.

Update: Devro: Judging by the full-year results released earlier this month, the turnaround story at sausage skin maker Devro has yet to really start sizzling but we have a small profit to show and can afford to be patient. Last year’s 6.6% drop in volumes reflected reduced demand in Latin America, China and Russia, while the stated operating profit slid by 25% to £15.4 million. The good news is that, in response, the management has launched its “Devro 100” programme, designed to boost sales and profits. The bad is that this initiative will burden the profit and loss account with an extra £10 million – £12 million of costs in 2017 18 and involve an additional £7 million   £8 million in capital investment. However, management felt confident enough to keep the dividend unchanged at 8.8p, enough for a 4.5% yield, and the fundamentals of the collagen skin market look sound enough. The shares are not without risk but Devro could still prove a tasty morsel. Questor says ‘Hold’.

The Guardian

Goldman Sachs to move hundreds of staff out of London due to Brexit: Goldman Sachs is to start moving hundreds of staff out of London before a Brexit deal is struck, the bank’s European Boss has confirmed.

Coal in ‘freefall’ as new power plants dive by two-thirds: The amount of new coal power being built around the world fell by nearly two-thirds last year, prompting campaigners to claim the polluting fossil fuel was in freefall.

Police to examine ‘Global Laundromat’ money laundering allegations: Fraud investigators have launched a review of the activities of Britain’s high street banks following revelations in the Guardian about a $20 billion money laundering scam that MPs described as a national disgrace and scandal.

Oil theft ‘provides billions for terrorists and drug cartels’: Oil theft is fuelling terrorist groups and drug cartels around the world, according to a new analysis.

Waitrose axes free coffee for shoppers – unless they buy something first: Waitrose is cracking down on free-loading coffee drinkers by forcing members of its loyalty scheme to buy something before pouring themselves a free hot drink.

Viagogo snubs MPs’ inquiry into online ticket reselling: Controversial ticket resale website Viagogo was accused of “naked mis-selling and fraud”, as it delivered an almost unprecedented snub to MPs by failing to show up for a select committee hearing.

Daily Mail

Posh tonic water maker Fevertree fizzes 2.5% despite some early profit-taking: The FTSE 100 narrowly missed out on a fourth day of record highs, closing down 51.47 points at 7378.34, or 0.7%.

Government borrowing at lowest level for a decade as families pay a record £18.1 billion of self-assessment income tax: Booming tax receipts have pushed Government borrowing down to the lowest level for nearly a decade, figures showed.

Frenchman who tried to sell London Stock Exchange to the Germans pocketed £5.7 million last year: The London Stock Exchange Chief Executive who led calls to sell his business to the Germans pocketed £5.7 million last year.

Domino’s Boss made 5p off every pizza the firm sold last year - trebling his pay packet to £4.5 million: The Chief Executive of Domino’s Pizza has more than trebled his pay packet after pocketing £4.5 million – about 5p for every pizza the firm made.

Homebuilder Bellway wary of backlash over the sale of new-build homes with leases: One of Britain’s leading housebuilders has admitted the industry has a ‘problem’ amid a fierce backlash over the sale of new-build homes with leases.

Investing in the Co-op Bank is riskier than investing in Italian finance with interest rates on bonds at 39%: Investing in the Co-op Bank is considered more risky than even Italy’s troubled financial stocks. Interest rates on bonds at the bank are 39% – twice as high than in banks such as Veneto Banca which is in need of emergency funding from the Italian banking sector.

Sainsbury’s Director Mary Harris to step down from the board after nine years: Sainsbury’s Director Mary Harris is stepping down from the board after nine years. Harris, 50, is being replaced as Chairman of the grocer’s remuneration committee by Susan Rice.

Website’s fit for a Princess: Duchess of Cambridge and Pippa Middleton inspire a collection at Koovs: The Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton have inspired a collection at online fashion retailer Koovs.

Daily Express

The last call for savers to cash in on tax relief: Savers have been urged to make full use of pension tax relief amid fears it could soon be scaled back or scrapped.

Factories tool up for exports as demand for U.K.-made products rise: Britain’s factories are gearing up for their biggest overseas push for more than two decades as a weaker pound drives demand for U.K.-made products.

Businesses ‘face scrap for foreign staff’ as immigration rules tighten: Companies in every business sector will be competing for a reduced pool of workers because of expected migration controls, according to a new report.

Brexit is good news for Britain, say rich investors living in U.K.: Millionaires and wealthy investors living in Britain believe the U.K.’s exit from the European Union (EU) will have a positive effect on the country, a survey has revealed.

‘Don’t overreact’ Mark Carney warning as cost of living hits highest level since 2013: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned against “overreacting” after U.K. inflation surged to its highest level in more than three years in February in a blow to British families and savers.

Manufacturing reaches two-year high thanks to weaker pound: Britain’s economy is set to benefit from a stronger manufacturing sector as it gears up to leave the European Union, after output soared to its highest level in more than two years.

The Scottish Herald

Asian brewery next on Brewdog’s list: The self-styled captain of Aberdeenshire craft-beer maker Brewdog has revealed that the firm is on the hunt for a brewery site in Asia after unveiling turnover growth of 61% for the 2016 year.

Scots Chairman of stock exchange says EU needs successful London: The Scot who chairs the London Stock Exchange, Donald Brydon, has played down fears about the impact of Brexit on the City saying the European Union needs the Square Mile to be successful.

Bellway says independence won’t change Scottish plan: Housebuilder Bellway has said Scottish independence would not impact its growth strategy north of the Border.

Faroe Petroleum hails transformational year and outlines bold five-year production plan: Faroe Petroleum said a “transformational” 2016 has left it well-placed for organic and acquisitive growth.

RBS Chief says fintech will help bank to stay relevant: Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Ross McEwan has said that the rapid uptake of mobile and digital banking as well as advances in financial technology mean the organisation is becoming “more and more a financial services company with good technology” than a traditional bank, writes Margaret Taylor.

Bowleven launches strategic review of options open to firm: Bowleven has started a strategic review which could result in the sale of the oil and gas company. Following a boardroom shake up last week, Edinburgh-based Bowleven said it would review all options available to the company in the interest of maximising value for all shareholders.

North Sea player targets further cost cuts: North Sea-focused EnQuest expects to ramp up cash generation in coming month with the giant Kraken heavy oilfield due to come onstream off Shetland but wants to make further cost cuts across its supply chain.

Scots tourism businesses told to gear up for cyclists: Tourism businesses are being urged to do more to capitalise on the country’s growing reputation among visitors who come to Scotland for cycling breaks, as research revealed the market is worth £345 million to the economy.

Ardgowan Distillery in £17 million fundraiser: The company which plans to build a distillery on Inverclyde land with historic links to Robert the Bruce is looking to raise £17 million to fund its development.

The Scotsman

Cost of living fears mount as inflation hits 2.3%: Rising fuel and food prices have pushed inflation beyond the Bank of England’s 2% target to hit its highest level since September 2013.

Goals eyes ‘dozens’ of U.S. sites as sales accelerate: The new Chief Executive of five-a-side football firm Goals Soccer Centres is hopeful that the East Kilbride company could have “dozens” of sites across the U.S. after seeing it move back into the black.

Glasgow smart meters firm hails ‘transformation’: Smart Metering Systems (SMS) posted a 4% rise in profits following a “year of transformation” for the Glasgow company.

Small firms say EU trading a priority after Brexit: Unimpeded access to EU markets is vital for Britain’s smaller firms in Brexit negotiations, and one in four would be deterred from exporting there if even a very small tariff was introduced, suggests a report.

Greater efforts required to fund female-led firms: A new report is calling for widespread measures to help women entrepreneurs overcome the ‘frustrating’ hurdle of access to funding.

City A.M.

Transport for London (TfL) pushes ahead with “rigorous approach” to cost-cutting as it unveils draft budget for 2017/18: London’s transport commissioner Mike Brown said Transport for London (TfL) is continuing a “rigorous approach” to driving costs down in its “biggest ever overhaul”, as it unveils a draft budget for 2017/18.

Renters twice as likely to have no savings than mortgage holders, report reveals: Private renters are twice as likely to have no savings than mortgage holders and regularly cut back on food, new figures reveal.

City Brexit deal risks being undermined if the government ignores professional services, as House of Lords report warns comprehensive free-trade agreements will be need for services sectors: Professional services have not received the attention they deserve in the run-up to the Brexit negotiations, the chair of a House of Lords committee has warned, and that could undermine any deal secured for the financial sector.

Nike hit by fierce U.S. competition and a strong dollar: Nike shares fell over one% in U.S. trading after its third quarter revenue numbers failed to impress the market.

Uber’s facing a fresh legal challenge - this time over VAT: Uber is facing a fresh lawsuit, this time over VAT payments, from a tax lawyer who is also fighting Brexit in the Irish Courts.

Online retail sales maintains double-digit growth - but sales from smartphones slow: Online retail sales maintained double-digit growth in February, but there are signs that sales on smartphones are faltering.

Bank of New York Mellon and Commerzbank to do battle in U.S. court over $1 billion of losses: A U.S. court has ruled Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) must face Commerzbank over claims it is liable for $1 billion (£800 million) of losses incurred by the German lender from toxic assets it bought.

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:17:00 +0000
In the Papers - British Airways, Tesco, Goldman Sachs, Vodafone Newspaper Summary

The Times

Tesco failed to honour its promises on store merger: Nearly 15 years after Tesco bought One Stop it is still paying staff at the convenience chain less and charging customers more for products than in its Tesco Express outlets.

Cable urges May to clamp down on ‘lax’ takeover laws: Sir Vince Cable has become the latest grandee to call for the government to tighten the rules governing foreign takeovers of British businesses as pressure mounts for change in the wake of Kraft Heinz’s aborted bid for Unilever.

Historic pubs shielded from last orders: Southwark has become the second London borough to introduce formal protection for pubs from demolition or redevelopment as mini-supermarkets, estate agents, homes or shops.

Tesco overseas division reorganised as shake-up continues: Tesco has shaken up its international management team as Britain’s largest grocery group continues to reorganise its overseas business and turn round its operations.

Tobacco giants in talks with cash-and-carry: A couple of the world’s biggest tobacco manufacturers are understood to be in discussions with Palmer & Harvey over investing in the cash-and-carry group in return for a stake in the business.

Goldman Sachs and hedge funds break the ice on Iceland: Goldman Sachs and a group of hedge funds have become the first foreign investors in Iceland since the country’s announcement last week that it was ending capital controls put in place during the financial crisis.

Investors set to challenge companies on top pay: Companies face showdowns with shareholders at their forthcoming annual meetings over Executive pay deals that are too generous, complex or out of line with performance, according to a shareholder group.

The Independent

London living costs fall to lowest level in decades: Living in London is cheaper now than it has been in decades, at least by one measure.

Subway slammed for ‘sandwich apprenticeships’ paying £3.50 an hour: Fast food chain Subway has come under fire for seeking to pay young “apprentices” just £3.50 per hour.

Bank Bosses push for lower taxes and lighter regulation after Brexit: Senior figures in the world of finance have urged the Government to combat the negative impact of Brexit by lowering taxes and relaxing regulations.

Lord Myners urges crackdown on U.K. corporate takeovers: Lord Myners has predicted that “five or six” of Britain’s biggest publicly listed companies could be targeted by takeover bids this year, underscoring just how important it is that regulators enhance controls to protect the best interests of U.K. corporations.

Movie-tax lawyer Jolyon Maugham’s bid to stop Brexit in a Dublin court: Jolyon Maugham is hurrying through the streets of west London on his way to a meeting about Britain’s impending departure from the European Union. Even as he sidesteps dawdling tourists and dodges black cabs, Mr Maugham is arguing about Brexit.

Unilever ‘considering selling’ brands including Flora and Stork spread: Unilever could be preparing to sell some of its best-known brands, including Flora margarine and Stork butter, in a bid to enhance investor returns, according to media reports.

British Airways’ new sister airline is offering transatlantic fares dramatically lower than rivals: Level’s new transatlantic network was launched at the weekend and takes to the skies in June. The budget carrier is part of the IAG conglomerate, which includes Aer Lingus, Vueling and Iberia as well as BA.

The Daily Telegraph

JKX Oil shrugs off troubled year to narrow losses: Troubled oil explorer JKX Oil has drawn a line under its most difficult year to date by halving its full year losses under the leadership of a new board.

Champagne producers blame Brexit for 2016 sales decline: Sales of champagne fell last year as a weaker pound weighed on British demand in the wake of the Brexit referendum vote, France’s main champagne industry body said on Monday.

Bad managers to blame for U.K.’s productivity crisis, says Bank of England’s Chief economist: Bad managers stand accused of holding back economic growth in the U.K. by undermining productivity, preventing pay and living standards rising.

Challenger bank Secure Trust enters mortgage market: Challenger bank Secure Trust is pushing into the mortgage market by offering loans to people who struggle to borrow from the big high street banks, such as the self-employed.

Sports Direct muscles out of trademark battle over gyms: Sports Direct has lost a trademark battle against a small online business despite claiming that the company, run by a husband and wife team, would confuse consumers about its burgeoning gym business.

It’s kitchens only as the restaurant industry seeks to shake off property-driven expansions: Innovative young restaurant brands are shunning the conventional and costly growth strategy of multiple bricks-and-mortar sites in favour delivery-only kitchens and pop-up stands.

The Guardian

British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money: Britain’s high street banks processed nearly $740 million from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB, the Guardian can reveal.

Hard Brexit ‘could increase cost of making a car in U.K. by £2,400’: The cost of assembling a car in Britain could increase by £2,370 in the event of a “hard Brexit”, forcing some manufacturers to look at moving production out of the country, a report has found.

London high streets ‘under threat from business rates hike’: Independent and family-run businesses could be forced off London’s high streets by the sharp rise in business rates that will come into force from April, spoiling the character of local communities, Sadiq Khan has warned.

NHS trust triples injury payout to £9.3 million under controversial new rules: The first case settled under controversial new compensation rules for serious injuries has seen an NHS trust forced to nearly triple its payout to a 10-year-old girl left with cerebral palsy from £3.8 million to £9.3 million.

Head of Google Europe apologises over ads on extremist content: Google’s European Chief has publicly apologised after online adverts for major brands appeared next to extremist material, but declined to say whether the company would begin actively seeking out such content and taking action against it.

Forbes billionaire list: Trump loses $1 billion as elite club gets 233 new members: U.S. President Donald Trump’s fortune has fallen by about $1 billion to $3.5 billion over the past year, as measured by Forbes magazine in its annual list of the world’s billionaires.

Daily Mail

Vodafone strikes £18 billion deal to merge its Indian operations with local rival to become country’s largest mobile operator: Vodafone has struck an £18 billion deal to merge its Indian operations with a local rival to become the country’s largest mobile operator. The U.K.-listed telecoms firm is joining forces with Idea Cellular in a tie-up that will create a giant responsible for more than 400 million customers.

Lloyds appoints business expert to investigate whether it should compensate customers who were victims of fraud committed by HBOS staff: Lloyds Bank has appointed an academic to spearhead an investigation into whether it should compensate customers who were victims of fraud committed by former HBOS staff. Business expert Professor Russel Griggs was chosen for the role because of his knowledge of small and medium-sized firms.

Delegates from Paris back in London to woo City’s leading digital firms to France after Brexit: Delegates from Paris are back in London to woo the City’s leading digital firms to France after Brexit.

As fund houses defend their £11 billion tie-up, investors say...You can’t run one firm with two Chiefs: Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management have sought to allay investor fears over their plans to have two Chief Executives following their £11 billion merger.

Bosses of engineering turnaround group in line for bonuses of around £35 million each in shares under incentive scheme coming to fruition: Bosses of an engineering turnaround group are in line for bonuses of around £35 million each in shares under a five-year incentive scheme coming to fruition. Top brass at Melrose Industries will share around 70% of a roughly £200 million bonus pot likely to be confirmed at the end of May.

Former Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry brought in by baker Finsbury Food Group to release range of cakes: Mary Berry has been brought in by baker Finsbury Food Group to release a range of cakes. The 81-year-old former Great British Bake Off judge is launching nine cakes designed in collaboration with the baking giant, which supplies grocers across the U.K. They will cost from about £3 to £6, and will include round cakes, loaf cakes and celebration treats.

Daily Express

Greece debt crisis: ‘Groundhog Day’ talks fail to break deadlock over bailout: Greece debt crisis talks were labelled a “Groundhog Day” by a Minister, as Athens and its lenders remain in a bitter deadlock over the terms of the bailout programme.

Eurogroup Boss calls for new banking force in desperate bid to handle Eurozone crisis: Europe should have its own version of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help manage financial crises within the bloc, according to the Dutch finance Minister and Eurogroup President.

Car insurance prices set to jump by up to £1,000: Insurance costs for innocent drivers and businesses are set to surge following a change to personal injury compensation claims that comes into force.

Pound dips against dollar ahead of Article 50 trigger next week: The pound has dipped amid confirmation Article 50 will be triggered on March 29, after hitting a three-week high against the dollar in earlier trading.

Scotland faces junk credit rating if Sturgeon leads nation out of U.K., warns Moody’s: Scotland’s credit rating could be classed as ‘junk’ if it were to split from Britain amid a huge hole in its finances thanks to falling oil prices, top rating firm Moody’s has warned.

GBP holding gains as Le Pen level with Macron in latest French election poll: The French election is now only weeks away and concerns about the outcome are helping the pound hold last week’s gains against the euro.

The Scottish Herald

Brexit hit fear as 29% of large firms look abroad: Nearly three in 10 large U.K. businesses are considering moving activities to other European Union countries because of Brexit, or are doing so already, while small firms are signalling continued easy access to EU markets is crucial.

Bowleven faces fresh criticism after shake up: Bowleven has continued to keep its powder dry amid signs of unhappiness in some quarters that Chief Executive Kevin Hart remains in post in spite of being voted off the board last week.

Social enterprise firm aiming high after netting Celtic snood contract: An Aberdeen social enterprise that makes bespoke snoods under licence agreements has landed a contract with Celtic Football Club.

Overseas investors shrug off political concerns: The appetite of foreign investors for targeting commercial property in Edinburgh has not been diminished by constitutional uncertainty brought by Brexit and the growing prospect of a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Hydro specialist secures funding: The owner of Perth-based Green Highland Renewables has secured £51 million debt funding to support the growth of the hydro-electricity specialist. The Ancala Partners investment business said the new debt facilities will be used to support construction of six hydroelectric schemes by GHR, which will leave the firm with 10 hydro generators.

Surveyor offers drone service: Shepherd Chartered Surveyors has launched a drone service that can be used to take aerial pictures and videos of properties for clients. John Reid at the firm’s Dumbarton office is a licensed drone operator.

Tech firms in £2.5 million boost for wave device: Two Edinburgh tech firms have secured a £2.5 million grant to trial a prototype designed to turn wave power into cost-effective electricity.

Women Bosses face cash barrier: Access to funding remains a “persistent barrier” to female entrepreneurs, according to new research offering a range of recommendations to help more women set up their own firms.

The Scotsman

Edinburgh breaks into global top five for property: Edinburgh has entered the world’s top five cities on a prestigious global property investment index due to its growing attraction for international investors, boosted by its increasing role in the tech sector, according to a report published.

Standard Life and AAM Chiefs set out responsibilities: The Chief Executives of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) have set out the roles they will focus on when the firms complete their £11 billion merger.

Less in reserve for North Sea as debate rages on: The value of Scotland’s oil and gas was a key debating point during the 2014 referendum but new estimates suggest much has changed since then.

Openreach recruiting 195 trainee engineers in Scotland: Broadband infrastructure business Openreach has announced plans to recruit more than 195 trainees from across Scotland.

Archangels adds Shaolei McKie as investment Executive: Business angel syndicate Archangels has appointed chartered accountant Shaolei McKie as an investment Executive.

Edinburgh Gin toasts Tesco supply deal for liqueurs: Edinburgh Gin has secured its first U.K.-wide supermarket listing for both its raspberry and rhubarb and ginger liqueurs.

Property firm CKD Galbraith bulks up commercial arm: An independent property consultancy with offices across Scotland unveiled “significant” growth at its commercial property operations.

Apps start-up Beezer heads to Berlin after pitch triumph: Beezer, an Edinburgh-based firm that lets users develop their own mobile apps, has secured a place at a European technology showcase after winning the top pitch award at an event in London.

City A.M.

Bovis Homes approaches Wates Boss to take over at the top: Bovis Homes has held talks with the Boss of construction firm Wates Group in an attempt to snap him up as the firm’s next Chief Executive, according to reports.

Former Cobham Boss Bob Murphy’s £1 million payoff reflects “unsatisfactory performance”: The former head of Cobham will be given a golden goodbye of nearly £1 million after quitting the firm last year in the wake of a raft of profit warnings.

Neil Woodford’s flagship equity income fund breezes past £10 billion marker: Investment guru Neil Woodford has proved he can rival his former employer, after his flagship fund broke through the £10 billion mark for the first time.

Classic cars, booze and planes: FCA gives investors in HNW Lending tax-free status: A peer-to-peer lender offering a high-net-worth pawnbroking service has been given the green light by regulators to market a specialist type of Isa to investors.

Record growth across the board for Moneycorp, the foreign exchange firm, in 2016: Moneycorp, the foreign exchange currency provider has reported record income of £137 million for the year ending 31 December, an increase of nine% year-on-year.

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:55:00 +0000
In the Papers - Uber, Google, Unilever, Sports Direct Newspaper Summary

The Times

Fears over return to doorstep energy sales: Doorstep energy salesmen are approaching thousands of households every day as the industry revives the controversial practice that led to a mis-selling scandal seven years ago.

Briefing raises fresh questions over Hogg defence: Charlotte Hogg, the Bank of England Director forced to resign over a conduct breach last week, received briefings on confidential regulatory issues, calling into question her claim that having a brother at Barclays posed no conflict of interest.

Military train their sights on the City: Bankers will soon be able to switch their trading desks for military exercises without leaving London’s main financial district as the British Army sets up training units for reservists in Canary Wharf.

G20 set to review post-crisis regulation: Ministers from the world’s leading economies have agreed to review banking regulations in a move that could start to unpick reforms made since the financial crisis.

Miner attracted by growth in market for electric cars: Two British companies are expected to announce a project to research and develop components for electric cars to be made in the U.K. using neodymium, a rare earth.

Housing shortage continues to drive boom: Asking prices for homes in the East Midlands have topped £200,000 for the first time as Britain’s booming housing market showed no signs of slowing this month.

Sports channel ups sticks over prices: Marc Watson, now Executive Chairman of Eleven Sports, said that the cost of rights in the U.K. prevented new entrants. Since BT went into the market five years ago, the annual cost of live Premier League rights has gone up from £591 million to £1.71 billion.

Agent offers free bridging loan and it’s not pulling your chain: With Land Registry data showing housing transactions in London down by 38% annually, Nested says it hopes to bring an element of certainty back into buying and selling homes. It promises vendors it will sell their house within 90 days or provide them with an interest-free loan to buy their next property.

Factories see order books grow on the back of weak pound: The resilience of British industry after the Brexit vote has been underlined by a study revealing that the majority of small manufacturers grew orders over the final six months of last year.

Bovis urged to reconsider Redrow merger: One of Bovis Homes’ largest shareholders has urged the housebuilder to reopen merger talks with its rival Redrow.

The Independent

U.K. economy set for strong 2017 despite Brexit, top finance Chiefs say: The U.K. economy is set for a strong 2017 and could outperform other developed nations, despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to Bosses at some of the world’s biggest finance firms.

Northern Ireland could see tax on tourism and flights slashed after Brexit: Tax on tourism and flights in Northern Ireland could be slashed once the U.K. leaves the EU, an influential committee of MPs said.

Banks join queue of advertisers ditching Google over extremist YouTube videos: Google is scrambling to respond to criticism after three of the U.K.’s biggest banks pulled their adverts from its platform after their campaigns appeared alongside extremist YouTube videos.

The Daily Telegraph

OPEC and Russia risk a lost decade as shale revolution spreads: The U.S. shale industry has become a hydra-headed monster. Before OPEC and Russia have contained one threat, fresh dangers keeps popping up in new and expanding zones.

Revolt brews over Bosses’ bonuses at housebuilder: The housebuilder Crest Nicholson is facing an embarrassing investor backlash over generous share awards for its top Executives as the Government weighs radical reforms to rein in excessive pay.

Water utilities poised for contract awards totalling billions: Billions of pounds’ worth of water contracts will be awarded to utilities in the coming weeks ahead of the opening of the business supply market.

CMA launches crackdown on cartels as illegal activity rises: A major crackdown on cartels in being launched by competition authorities after a rise in illegal business practices such as price fixing.

British biotech Pulmocide raises £24 million in bid to find treatment for deadly lung diseases: A small British biotech run by a group of former GlaxoSmithKline scientists has raised $30 million (£24.2 million) to continue developing two treatments for deadly viral and fungal lung infections.

Largest ever Travelodge site forms part of next wave of expansion: Travelodge’s largest ever hotel will form part of its next wave of expansion in yet another sign the low-cost player is putting its high-profile restructuring behind it.

Stock market boom helps keep economy growing: Surging share prices are making households wealthier, boosting confidence and offsetting some of the squeeze from rising inflation and sluggish wage growth.

The Guardian

Google braces for questions as more big-name firms pull adverts: Google Executives are bracing for a two-pronged inquisition from the advertising industry and the government over the company’s plans to stop ads being placed next to extremist material.

British firms warned over new wave of pay revolts at AGMs: Britain’s biggest companies have been warned they face a wave of revolts in the forthcoming annual meeting season and risk a government clampdown on excessive remuneration unless they show restraint over Executive pay.

U.K. Mail driver who was unable to work after car accident charged £800: Delivery company U.K. Mail has been accused of “ripping off” workers and using “inhuman” practices after it charged a courier nearly £800 when he was unable to work as a result of a car accident while on duty.

Unilever bids to heal shareholder rift amid ‘garage sale’ warnings: Unilever is drawing up plans to heal a rift among shareholders triggered by its rejection of a $143 billion (£115 billion) bid from Kraft Heinz, amid a warning that Britain could become home to “a garage sale” unless there is protection for domestic companies from foreign takeovers.

Daily Mail

Clothing giant Next poised to report fall in full-year profits for first time since 2009: Next is poised to report a fall in full-year profits for the first time since 2009. It is expected to post a 4% slump in profit on Thursday to £792 million in the year to January 31, down from £821.3 million last year.

Embattled Barclays Executives facing criminal charges over fundraising deal make last-ditch plea for leniency: Embattled Barclays Executives facing criminal charges over a fundraising deal have made a last-ditch plea for leniency.

Unilever drawing up plans to offload Flora and Stork spreads business to fend off another takeover approach: Unilever is drawing up plans to offload its Flora and Stork spreads business to fend off another takeover approach. It is understood the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant behind brands such as Marmite, Dove and Colman’s mustard, is considering a £6 billion sale of the underperforming division.

Sports Direct increases stake in Debenhams for second time in a week, taking it to 13%: Sports Direct has upped its stake in Debenhams for the second time in a week, taking it to 13.

Daily Express

Property prices in the U.K. on track to hit all-time high: The price of property coming to market is close to hitting a new all-time high, a website has reported.

Big Six energy companies face price caps after free market fails Brits: Britain’s Big Six energy companies face the prospect of price caps being imposed on them and it is fair to say that this is a situation that they have brought on themselves.

Youngsters put off jobs: Youngsters are being put off applying for jobs because of impenetrable business jargon such as “fulfilment service” and “SLAs”, a study has found.

Sainsbury’s could see Argos gamble pay off: The U.K.’s second biggest supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, released a trading statement covering the nine weeks to March 11, last Thursday.

The Scottish Herald

Private investors eyeing city deals: The commercial property market in Scotland is set to become more reliant on overseas investment in 2017, as new money floods the country from ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Crime-fighting software firm eyes Canada: Altia-ABM, which develops software for use in the fight against crime, is targeting a major expansion of its Canadian operations by opening a Toronto office and creating a dedicated business development team.

Veitchi to focus on health of staff as it hits 100: Clydeside construction-industry sub-contractor the Veitchi Group is launching a year-long series of events aimed at fostering employee engagement as it marks its first century in business.

Joy for the JR Group with strong orders for new arm: Paisley-based JR Group has secured £35 million of orders for its new construction division within its first year of trading.

Innovation centre backs four oil projects: The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC), an organisation that matches companies with research and development capabilities in Scotland’s university community, has invested £230,000 in four projects in the oil and gas industry.

The Scotsman

Thousands of Scots scientists back global science campaign: Thousands of scientists, academics and others across Scotland are backing a global campaign to celebrate, promote and defend science.

Promising outlook for fuel price cuts says AA: Drivers face a brighter outlook for fuel prices which are at their lowest for two months, the AA said.

Drinks manufacturer considers leaving U.K. due to Brexit: Fentimans, the British soft drinks brand, is considering launching a manufacturing operation in Europe if trade tariffs rise after Brexit.

City A.M.

Consumer spending growth heading for four-year low as wages stagnate: Real earnings growth is forecast to be up just 0.1% in 2017, slowing sharply from 1.8% in 2016.

Businesses risk being thrown into legal chaos post-Brexit if deal doesn’t ascertain how cross-border disputes will be settled, House of Lords warns: Businesses risk legal headaches if the government does not consider how cross-border disputes will work post-Brexit, a report warns.

Melrose Executives set to reap the rewards of increasing shareholder value: The top brass at engineering turnaround specialist Melrose Industries are in line for one of largest paydays of any FTSE 100 company, according to reports.

Taxman levies inheritance tax on £5.8 billion of shares: Half of all inherited shares were subject to inheritance tax (IHT) according the latest figures, prompting calls for people to manage their personal finances more efficiently.

Uber President Jeff Jones quits after six months in role: Uber President Jeff Jones has quit his role after little more than six months in the job, the car hailing giant has confirmed.

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:22:00 +0000