Friday Papers: M&S plan to shut stores sparks high street anger
- The Times: Marks & Spencer has been urged to reconsider plans to shut six big regional stores, dealing a serious blow for town centres from Portsmouth to Warrington.
- The Daily Telegraph: Macquarie has insisted it will not asset strip the Green Investment Bank in the wake of its £2.3 billion acquisition of the lender despite admitting it will sell off parts of the business following the controversial privatisation.
- The Guardian: The president of the World Bank Jim Kim has told Theresa May that cutting the UK’s aid budget could lead to an increase in conflict, terrorism and migration and would damage Britain’s international reputation.
- The Daily Telegraph: The financial derivatives market is flagging mounting concern over the first round of the French elections on Sunday, with a surge of interest in options used to hedge extreme outcomes.
Business and economics
- The Guardian: Donald Trump set the stage for a global fight over steel on Thursday, announcing an investigation into whether cheap imports are a threat to national security.
- Financial Times: Verizon lost hundreds of thousands of customers in the first three months of the year despite resurrecting its unlimited data plan.
- Daily Express: The rising cost of showing Premier League football has eaten into profits at Sky; the broadcaster said revenue rose by 11% to £9.64 billion in the nine months to 31 March.
- Financial Times: Switzerland’s Nestlé has signalled it could follow Unilever in taking action to boost profitability.
- The Daily Telegraph: Former business secretary Vince Cable has lashed-out at the “obscene” £6.5 million that Royal Bank of Scotland is spending to defend former executives including disgraced ex-boss Fred Goodwin in the legal battle over the lender’s £12 billion cash call during the financial crisis.
- The Daily Telegraph: British engineering giant WS Atkins has agreed to a £2.1 billion takeover by Canadian rival SNC-Lavalin in a deal that will see the FTSE 250 company's chief executive step aside.
- Financial Times: BMW posted strong profits that easily beat expectations and forced the German carmaker to post earnings ahead of schedule because of its upbeat results.
- The Times: BT will be forced to open up its broadband network to rivals, making it cheaper and easier for them to build competing fibre networks to homes, under plans set out by Ofcom yesterday.
- Financial Times: Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News star who was fired this week as a result of a sexual harassment scandal, will receive up to a $25 million payout, equivalent to one year’s salary, as part of his exit deal with 21st Century Fox.
- Daily Mail: Budget airline Norwegian fired the first salvos in a price war on air fares to Asia, launching a new route from London to Singapore for as little as £179.
- Daily Mail: Hedge fund giant Man Group shot up after reporting that the total funds it runs for investors grew 10% in the first three months of 2017.
- Financial Times: A drug made by Sanofi to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorders that was given to pregnant mothers resulted in up to 4,100 French children being born with major birth defects, the French medical authority said on Thursday.
- Financial Times: The former Amazon and Nike executive hired to turn round ailing retailer Debenhams has announced plans to close up to 10 of its department stores and 11 warehouses.
- Financial Times: Rio Tinto has cut production guidance for copper by 12% following problems at two giant mines where it is involved in joint ventures.
- The Times: Virgin Media has announced plans for a new broadband service aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, claiming that they will benefit from speeds up to four times faster than its rivals.
- The Times: Christine Lagarde has called on countries to pull together in the fight against a damaging retreat into protectionism amid mounting evidence that a global trade war is already under way.
- Financial Times: Leading shareholders in BHP Billiton, which is coming under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors to spin off its US oil business, want the mining company to go further and look at demerging its entire unit involved in crude and gas production.
Share tips, comment and bids
- The Times (Tempus share tips): Avoid Centrica; Avoid Acacia Mining; Avoid Moneysupermarket.com.
- Daily Express: The UK’s Green Investment Bank is being sold by the Government to Australian bank Macquarie in a £2.3 billion deal.
- Financial Times: Virtu Financial, the high-frequency trading group chaired by Vincent Viola, has agreed a deal to buy rival KCG Holdings for about $1.4 billion, in a move that will turn it into one of the biggest participants in the vast US equity market.
- The Daily Telegraph: Shares in gold miner Acacia have slumped again after it revealed the $60 million (£47m) cost of an export ban in its main base of Tanzania.
- Daily Express: Unilever is aiming to spice up sales with the acquisition of New York-based condiment maker Sir Kensington’s.
- The Times: SNC-Lavalin, the Canadian engineering group, last night tabled a formal £2.1 billion agreed cash bid for WS Atkins, its smaller British rival.
- Financial Times: Goldman Sachs crashes to bottom of the class as bets turn sour; bank’s official explanation for big earnings miss leaves the market guessing.
- Daily Mail (Comment): Our great foreign wastage as money funnelled to poor countries ends up in the wrong hands.
- Financial Times (Lex): Juicero: food safety innovation looks insufficient to save day at a well-backed juice start-up.
- Financial Times (Lex): Debenhams: retailer’s plan involving a move towards services is not an easy sell.
- Financial Times (Lex): Chief Maurice Lévy will retire this year on a high note after net new client wins and profits should rebound.