Monday Papers: Sorrell free to compete with WPP after exit
- Financial Times: Martin Sorrell may start a new advertising venture as he never had a non-compete agreement at WPP; Sorrell unexpetedly resigned as chief executive of the advertising giant over an investigation into his conduct.
- The Daily Telegraph: Despite threat from advertisers boycotting Facebook over lax privacy controls, the social media giant recorded an increase of 43% year-on-year in advertising revenue over the weeks following the data row.
- Financial Times: US companies are likely to buy back shares in record amount in the current earnings season, as corporate executives take advantage of US tax cuts and a faltering stock market to increase their repurchase programmes.
- Financial Times: Ford has revealed the details of its plans to operate its own robo-taxi network “at scale” in 2021 to transport people and goods.
- The Times: Consumer spending in UK has fallen by the largest amount in almost six years due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, wage stagnation and creeping inflation.
- Financial Times: Change in the World Bank's lending model will see China receiving fewer loans as part of a deal with Washington to secure its backing for a $13 billion capital increase.
Business and economics
- Financial Times: Investors have started to exert fresh pressure on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for appointing an independent chairman, following severe dent to the company’s stock price due to Cambridge Analytica scandal.
- The Daily Telegraph: Lenders were privately warned by the Bank of England in December about a “systemic risk” to Britain’s financial system after the withdrawal of its £127 billion cheap funding scheme.
- The Times: Activist investor Crystal Amber has accused vehicle hire business Northgate of lacking transparency and of failing to engage with investors.
- Daily Mail: Despite growing sales, profits dipped at Timpson last year due to the takeover of dry cleaning groups Johnsons and Jeeves.
- Financial Times: Barclays has set up a new venture capital-style unit led by Ben Davey, formerly the bank’s head of strategy in an effort to find new areas of growth after years of restructuring.
- Daily Mail: A controversial mining entrepreneur Andrew Groves, the boss of Sable Mining, is trying to make a comeback to the City by selling his coal assets in Zimbabwe to London-listed Contango Holdings through a reverse takeover.
- Daily Mail: Lord Mandelson’s advisory firm Global Counsel, which recently won a contract with Oleg Deripaska’s energy group EN+ to advise it on climate change, will not take up the job as US sanctions tighten around the Russian oligarch.
- Financial Times: Five northern cities are among the top 10 fastest growing destinations for business travel, according to data from Advantage Travel Partnership, prompting experts to suggest that companies are spreading their bases outside London.
- Financial Times: Japan’s largest carrier ANA is planning to launch a digital payments business as it seeks a cushion against the volatility in the airline industry’s profits.
- The Daily Telegraph: The world’s third largest digital currency Ripple has urged UK regulators to follow in the footsteps of Japan and implement new rules to end the “Wild West” days of the cryptocurrency market.
Share tips, comment and bids
- Daily Mail (Midas share tips): High-flying engineering firm Meggitt is a tip for the long haul.
- The Times: Co-working space provider Wework agreed a three-way partnership with PFA Ejendomme, Denmark’s biggest commercial pension fund, and TH Real Estate, a property investment manager, to buy the 620,000 sq ft Devonshire Square outright for about £580 million from Blackstone.
- Financial Times: Activist investor Elliott Advisers has increased its stake in Whitebread to 6% increasing pressure on management to consider a demerger of its Premier Inn and Costa Coffee divisions.
- The Daily Telegraph: Christophe Weber, the French boss of the Japanese drug giant Takeda stalking FTSE 100 drugmaker Shire, is travelling to the US to persuade investors to back the deal.
- The Times: Britain’s biggest fitness club franchise Énergie Fitness has hired Clearwater International and Canaccord Genuity to launch the search for a new financial partner.
- Financial Times: Richard Bernstein, a manager of the Crystal Amber fund, has bought an 8% stake in Gloo Networks in a personal capacity to make it return the money to shareholders.
- The Guardian (Comment): The economy needs more than a magic money tree.
- The Guardian (Comment): The government may want oligarchs out but it can’t bank on City sanctions.
- The Times (Comment): Cryan could be big coup for RBS.
- The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Carmakers need to realise the combustion engine is spluttering and grasp the future.
- The Daily Telegraph (Comment): China's next riposte in US trade spat could be 'hidden weapon' of currency devaluation.