Wednesday Papers: Theresa May calls snap election
- Financial Times: Theresa May dramatically seized the initiative on Brexit on Tuesday by calling a snap general election on 8 June, as she sought a direct mandate for her plan to deliver a smooth British exit from the EU.
- The Times: The pound jumped to its highest level since December today after Theresa May announced a snap general election causing the FTSE 100 to face its biggest daily decline since the days after Britain voted to leave the European Union last June.
- The Daily Telegraph: Theresa May hailed Britain's economic resilience on Tuesday as the International Monetary Fund upgraded its forecast for UK growth this year by more than any other major economy.
- The Guardian: The City regulator has pledged to ensure that financial firms remain strong in the face of Brexit in its annual list of priorities, which also includes protecting vulnerable customers from overly expensive loans.
- Financial Times: Goldman Sachs punctured some of the optimism surrounding US bank stocks in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, revealing a poor quarter for bond trading that fell well short of analysts’ expectations.
- Financial Times: Vijay Mallya, the flamboyant Indian tycoon who came to symbolise elite excess in the country, was arrested in London on Tuesday as extradition proceedings began to make him stand trial for alleged fraud in India.
Business and economics
- Financial Times: Bank of America produced its third successive rise in quarterly profits on the back of Wall Street’s trading resurgence and a long-awaited rise in interest rates, a sign that it is making a sustained turnround after years of post-crisis underperformance.
- The Daily Telegraph: Volkswagen has significantly beaten expectations by reporting a first-quarter operating profit of €4.4 billion, as cost controls and the success of new models kicked in.
- The Guardian: Philip Hammond has signalled that the government is facing a multibillion-pound loss from selling off its 73% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland.
- The Guardian: The first sugar tax to be introduced on soft drinks in the US to fight obesity has cut sales by nearly 10% and apparently increased the numbers of people buying water instead, a study has shown.
- Financial Times: GAM reported a 5% jump in its assets under management as Switzerland’s largest listed fund house released its first-quarter results early in an attempt to see off activist investor RBR Capital.
- Daily Mail: Chinese-owned House of Fraser has reported pre-tax profits of two and a half times the level achieved the previous year, but warned trading remained volatile.
- Financial Times: South Korea’s Posco has forecast a rise in 2017 operating profit despite the growing trade protectionism and flagging Chinese steel prices that have weighed on the industry’s nascent recovery.
- The Daily Telegraph: United Airlines' boss believes it is too soon to tell if the carrier will suffer lasting damage after a passenger was forcibly removed from one of its flights, despite a global backlash against the airline.
- The Times: Flybe Group’s finance chief Philip de Klerk resigned from the struggling British airline dealing it a fresh blow as it prepares to nosedive into the red.
- The Daily Telegraph: Next has drastically reduced planned increases in the salaries of some of its most senior staff after reporting a drop in profits for the first time since the recession.
- Financial Times: Circassia Pharmaceuticals, the UK drugmaker that floated three years ago with ambitions to become “the next Shire”, has halted investment in its allergy programme after a second failed clinical trial.
Share tips, comment and bids
- Financial Times: Medtronic has agreed to sell its medical supplies business to Cardinal Health for $6.1 billion in cash, as the world’s largest standalone provider of technology for doctors and hospitals tries to slim down following its acquisition of a rival.
- Daily Mail: Weetabix has been sold to the Americans for £1.4 billion after the British brand struggled to break the Chinese market.
- The Daily Telegraph: The boss of German energy giant RWE has fuelled expectations that the company will target the UK energy market for future acquisitions.
- Financial Times: Italy’s Atlantia has approached Spanish rival Abertis about a potential tie-up that would create one of the largest toll road and infrastructure groups in the world.
- Financial Times: Dutch construction group VolkerWessels is set to float in Amsterdam, triggering a payday of up to €800 million for one of the Netherlands’ richest families.
- The Times (Comment): Theresa May’s strategy makes sense - but election won’t solve much.
- Financial Times (Lex): US retail: Walmart and Petsmart are snapping up online rivals in risky moves to head off Amazon.
- Financial Times (Lex): Goldman Sachs: Gary Cohn’s timing seems to be impeccable.
- Financial Times (Lex): Belle: shareholders should insist on a premium if CDH makes a bid.
- Financial Times (Lex): UK election: Thatcher’s 1987 market euphoria was extinguished by Black Monday.
- Financial Times (Lex): Venture Capital: returns may be down but fundraising is up.