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Newspapers: The Times, Independent, FT, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Express, Herald 241017

The Times

Saudi Aramco flotation still on track for next year, says Chief: Saudi Arabia’s plan to offer shares for sale in its national oil company remains on track, according to the oil giant’s Chief Executive, as he brushed away reports that the stock market listing could be delayed or shelved.

Factory orders at weakest level in year, CBI survey warns: Growth in factory orders slowed to its weakest level in almost a year this month, according to a closely watched survey from the CBI.

Tesla strikes deal to build electric car factory in Shanghai: Elon Musk’s electric carmaker has reached an agreement to build its own factory in Shanghai.

Investments are off menu as Electra ‘drops’ private equity: The private equity owner of TGI Friday’s has said that it will not make any new investments for the time being because it believes that market valuations have risen too high for it to find businesses at attractive prices.

Toys R Us is playing out badly in holiday run-up, Hasbro warns: The collapse of Toys R Us will hit toy sales in the run-up to Christmas and over the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, Hasbro said.

The Independent

Weinstein Company faces civil rights investigation: The federal government has launched a civil rights investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s movie production company following a series of sexual assault allegations.

Former HSBC banker convicted in $3.5 billion fraud case: A former HSBC banker has been found guilty by a U.S. jury of defrauding a U.K.-headquartered energy firm in a $3.5 billion currency trade.

Manufacturing firms’ investment intentions at weakest since 2009: Manufacturing firms’ building investment intentions are back down to their weakest in eight years, according to the CBI’s latest survey of the sector.

FCA fines Merrill Lynch £34.5 million for reporting failure: Britain’s financial watchdog has fined Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch investment banking arm £34.5 million for its third transaction reporting failure in just over a decade.

Financial watchdog says it is investigating controversial RBS unit’s treatment of small businesses further: The U.K.’s financial watchdog has published a summary of a report into the unit of Royal Bank of Scotland set up to help struggling businesses, concluding that the bank failed to support small companies and didn’t adopt adequate procedures concerning its relationship with customers.

Financial Times

Halliburton Q3 profit rebound bolstered by North America strength: Halliburton, one of the biggest U.S. oilfield servicing companies, posted a stronger-than-expected bounce back in its quarterly profits and sales, sending shares rising.

Deripaska heads for Russia’s first London IPO since 2014: Oleg Deripaska, the metals tycoon, will seek to raise $1.5 billion for his aluminium and hydropower empire in the first Russian initial public offering in London since the Ukraine crisis, a key test of western investor sentiment in the heavily sanctioned country.

Hartford to buy Aetna’s U.S. group life, disability unit for $1.45 billion: Hartford Financial Services on Monday said it has agreed to pay $1.45 billion in cash for Aetna’s arm that provides life and disability insurance in the U.S.

Rubica start-up targets wealthy with personal cyber insurance: A start-up is promising wealthy individuals from Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Wall Street $1 million of protection if they rely on its 24/7 cyber defence centres to keep their data secure from attack.

Noble Group falls to 3-month low on oil business sale, Q3 outlook: Singapore-listed shares in Noble Group fell to the lowest level in three months on Tuesday, tumbling further after the troubled commodities trader confirmed on Monday it would sell its Americas-focused oil business to rival Vitol.

Fidelity’s Johnson warns staff on sexual harassment: Fidelity’s Chief Executive, Abigail Johnson, has sent out a video to the asset manager’s 40,000 employees stressing that there was “no tolerance” for any kind of harassment, after two fund managers left the Boston-based company following accusations of inappropriate behaviour.

Court blocks Deutsche Börse insider-trading settlement: A court in Frankfurt, Germany, on Monday night refused to approve a settlement between Deutsche Börse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter and criminal prosecutors over alleged insider trading.

Spain’s Liberbank sheds real estate exposure in Bain Capital deal: Bain Capital Credit and Oceanwood have bought €600 million of non-performing assets from Liberbank, a regional Spanish lender, in the latest sign of robust demand for distressed real estate assets in Europe.

Aimmune Therapeutics jumps after rival’s peanut-allergy product fails trial: Shares in Aimmune Therapeutics, a biotech company developing a drug for peanut allergy, jumped almost 30% on Monday morning after a competing product flunked a clinical trial.

Australia’s Nufarm buys crop protection portfolio from Syngenta, Adama for $540 million: Nufarm will pay $540 million for the rights to a suite of European crop protection products from ChemChina subsidiary Adama and Swiss seed company Syngenta, clearing an obstacle to the Chinese chemicals group’s takeover of the latter.

Arconic names GE’s Blankenship new Chief Executive: Arconic, the specialised metals company, has appointed a former General Electric manager as its new Chief Executive, as it seeks to capitalise on a wave of investment in new aero engines.

Netflix to finance new shows from $1.6 billion bond sale: Netflix borrowed $1.6 billion on Monday to fund its investment in original movies and television shows as bankers wrapped up the company’s biggest bond sale.

Nintendo partner DeNA jumps 9% ahead of Animal Crossing details: DeNA, Nintendo’s games development partner, climbed as much as 9.5% in Tokyo on Tuesday ahead of an announcement about the smartphone version of the company’s Animal Crossing game franchise.

Whirlpool outlook soiled by material costs, price mix: Whirlpool shares took a tumble on Monday evening after the appliance maker cut its full-year earnings guidance, blaming the rising cost of raw materials and an unfavourable pricing dynamic.

AT&T, Time Warner extend merger deadline awaiting DoJ approval: AT&T and Time Warner are willing to wait. The two companies have extended the deadline for closing their merger, a year after they first announced the tie-up.

Lex:

Mediclinic/Spire Healthcare: hospital pass: Mediclinic’s approach for rival hospitals group Spire Healthcare, at an enterprise value of £1.6 billion, could not be more opportunistic. The U.K. target warned on profits last month and has a stand-in Chief Executive. Spire shareholders should ask for more, not least because South Africa-based Mediclinic is seeking to remedy ailments of its own.

Noble/Vitol: bifurcated fortunes: Noble Group, the Singapore-listed commodity trader, has suffered the opposite fate, punished for its lack of creditworthiness. Its market value has collapsed 95% since June 2014. Monday’s report of the impending sale of its oil trading business to privately held Vitol underscores how much the paths of these two traders have diverged.

Cisco Systems: deal machine: Cisco Systems bought another company on Monday. There have been between 15 and 20 acquisitions in the last two years since Chuck Robbins became Chief Executive, he told Bloomberg recently. Something like that. He can’t be expected to remember exactly.

Lombard:

Arqiva float asks old questions about debt and dividends: It’s the biggest flotation in London this year! It’s a £1.5 billion initial public offering from a technology pioneer! It’s offering investors a 4% yield! It’s going straight into the FTSE 100! It’s continuing the fundraising boom! It’s. . . 8,000 mobile phone masts. With access to 350,000 lamp posts, too.

Buxton: fair dinkum?: ‘Buxton Asset Management Britain & Ireland’? No, that wouldn’t work. ‘Buxton Investment Management Britain & Overseas’. Hmm. Not for a boutique. At least not one of the fund management variety. But whatever Richard Buxton plans to call his fund business, when it splits away from Old Mutual Global Investors, one hopes he hasn’t ordered the letterhead as yet.

The Daily Telegraph

EU raids VW and Daimler in anti-trust probe: The European Commission has widened its anti-trust probe into German car makers, raiding the headquarters of Daimler, Volkswagen and Audi .

Oleg Deripaska’s energy group En+ valued at almost £6.5 billion: Russia’s largest private power and metals maker could be valued at $8.5 billion, or £6.4 billion, when it becomes the first major Russian listing on the London market since 2014.

Petra Diamonds hails ‘solid start’ despite rising debt: Petra Diamonds has hailed a “solid start” to the year despite a fall in revenue and a rise in debt.

Premier Oil defies doubters by keeping North Sea push on track: Premier Oil’s cornerstone North Sea oil project Catcher has installed crucial floating production equipment ahead of winter, defying doubters who believe it will not start up before the end of the year.

The Guardian

Shares in U.K.’s biggest car dealer Pendragon fall by 17%: Shares in the U.K.’s biggest car dealer have plunged by 17% after a surprise profit warning which also raised further fears over consumer spending.

Phones 4U tycoon John Caudwell claims former partner is ‘amazing liar’: The Phones 4U billionaire John Caudwell has accused his former business partner and protege of being an “amazing liar” who presided over a “reign of terror” at the wealth management firm they co-founded before their close relationship soured.

Dr Martens gets big in Japan (and bigger worldwide to boot): Demand for Dr Martens boots is booming, helped by a craze in Asia and new, lighter versions of the traditional yellow-stitched boots.

Arqiva IPO to be U.K.’s largest flotation so far this year: Arqiva, the owner of TV, radio and mobile phone masts across Britain, is to float with a projected market value of £6 billion in what will be the U.K.’s largest stock market listing so far this year.

Daily Mail

HBOS evidence will be given behind closed doors as former FSA Boss is due to appear in High Court: A city regulator will give crucial evidence about Lloyds’ disastrous HBOS takeover in secret – meaning details of the deal could remain hidden.

London Stock Exchange Chief cashes in shares worth £4.5million after revealing he will stand down: The Boss of the London Stock Exchange has sold £4.5 million of shares – just one day after he revealed he was quitting the business.

Flurry of flotations set to trigger multiple paydays for City advisers: A city fees bonanza is on the horizon as a flurry of companies plot stock market listings.

Spire Healthcare springs back to health after bid from shareholder: Shares in scandal-hit Spire Healthcare rocketed after the private hospital group rejected an ‘opportunistic’ takeover offer from a major shareholder.

Daily Express

France ready to punish U.K. shipping as EU fails to plan for Brexit no deal, Chief fears: Britain’s shipping industry hit out at the European Union (EU) for failing to prepare for a Brexit ‘no deal’.

U.S. makes fresh threat to scupper Bombardier deal putting 1,000 U.K. jobs at risk: U.S. aerospace company Boeing is launching a war of words with Airbus and Bombardier after they joined forces to save 1,000 jobs in Belfast and complete a $1 billion contract.

Games industry turnover tops £500 million thanks to online multi-player boost: U.K. computer games industry turnover has increased 8% in the past year to more than £500 million.

Worker shortage of carpenters, joiners and bricklayers hampering small building companies: Most smaller building firms are struggling to hire carpenters, joiners and bricklayers, a report shows.

Investors in mining firm back on track for record payout: Shareholders are on track for a record payout this year after dividends leapt to an all-time high of £28.5 billion in the third quarter, according to research.

The Scottish Herald

Peoples Ford Chief Brian Gilda issues warning to Chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of Budget: The owner of one of Scotland’s best-known car dealerships has warned Philip Hammond “not to tie the industry’s hands” by announcing unrealistic emission targets or penalising motorists with increased taxes.

GKN rumours help nudge FTSE 100 into positive territory: Investors cheered reports that engineering firm GKN could split in two, sending its shares to the top of the FTSE 100 and helping the blue chip index edge into positive territory.

Scottish building firms see slowdown in growth amid skills shortages and inflationary pressures: Overall growth of activity for small and medium-sized building firms in Scotland has slowed for a second consecutive quarter, a key survey reveals.

Lloyds kicks off sector updates amid high court case: Lloyds Banking Group is expected to unveil a rise in profits this week as it kicks off a trio of third quarter results in the sector, as a high-profile court case against the lender continues.

The Scotsman

Activist group brands RBS report a “whitewash”: Businesses have branded a report into Royal Bank of Scotland’s treatment of small firms a “whitewash” and have threatened legal action against the Edinburgh-based financial giant to claim compensation.

MSPs to vote on ‘immediate ban’ on fracking in Scotland: MSPs will be asked to back the Scottish Government’s fracking ban in a parliamentary vote on Tuesday.

City A.M.

BT pension deficit could reduce by £4.4 billion as expectations of an interest rate hike mount: BT’s troublesome pension black hole is set to reduce by billions of pounds as expectations of an interest rate rise mount, analysts said .

Bankers work on £400 million debt financing for Pure Gym sale: Bankers are working on securing £400 million of debt financing for a possible sale of Pure Gym, according to Reuters.

Habitat to open four new “mini-stores” by mid-November: Habitat is opening four more concessions in Sainsbury’s supermarkets after a trial of six “mini-stores” throughout the U.K..

Smith & Nephew snaps up U.S. tissue repair firm for up to $210 million: Smith & Nephew has unveiled a deal to buy U.S. tissue repair business Rotation Medical for up to $210 million (£159 million).

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Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.