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Newspapers today: The Times, Independent, FT, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Express, Herald 300116

The Times

Rival engineers in talks on special relationship: The American consulting engineer playing a key role in Britain’s new High Speed Two rail route has approached its U.K. competitor WS Atkins about a possible $4 billion merger.

BAE hopes Turkish jet deal will boost trade links: The U.K.’s biggest defence and security company is hoping a £100 million contract with Turkey will pave the way to a more lucrative defence partnership with Ankara.

EU trade deal ‘vital’ for the prosperity of city economies: Striking a trade deal with the European Union will be vital if the government is to meet its goal of boosting regional development because the Continent is the biggest export market for almost every key British city, according to a report.

Surge in public spending after Brexit vote: The vote to leave the European Union appears to have unshackled public spending, with data from government procurement revealing a sharp rise in the value of work put out to tender.

Baker laments ‘snobbery’ against technical colleges: Lord Baker of Dorking is disappointed. Kenneth Baker, the reforming education secretary of the Margaret Thatcher era, has spent the past decade urging schools to produce students with scientific, engineering, digital or mechanical skills ready for the workplace or further education.

Greece’s woes ‘may spell end of the EU’: Greece is in trouble again, and failure to rein in its explosive debt and wrap up a key bailout review with creditors soon could push the country out of the euro, leading economists and the International Monetary Fund warn.

Wood’s arrival at Paperchase fuels rumours of float plans: Nick Wood, the former Chief Executive of Pets at Home and a veteran retailer, is to become the non-Executive Chairman of Paperchase in a move that will be taken as a sign that the upmarket stationery retailer is preparing for a possible float.

Ivy revamp eats up Caprice profits: The closure of The Ivy for an overhaul before its 100th anniversary took a bite out of 2015 profits at Richard Caring’s Caprice Holdings.

The Independent

Devolved governments won’t get decisive role in Brexit talks Theresa May confirms: Theresa May has made it clear the devolved administrations will not be given a decisive role in the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union ahead of talks with leaders from across the U.K.

Donald Trump and Theresa May agree immediate talks on post-Brexit trade deal: The U.K. and the U.S. will begin work immediately on a new negotiating pact to pave the way for a full trade deal to come into force after Brexit.

Financial Times

Shell to install chargers for electric cars on European forecourts: Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to introduce battery charging points at some European petrol stations and Total is working on a similar move as the region’s biggest oil groups react to rising sales of electric vehicles.

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Energy auction blamed for survival of coal power plants: One of the U.K.’s main energy policies has been criticised for enabling old and polluting coal-fired power stations to stay open. On Tuesday the government will hold its latest subsidy auction, which is designed to ensure Britain has enough energy over the winter of 2017-18. Analysts and critics expect a number of ageing coal stations will be successful in winning contracts, even though the government has said it intend to phase out all such stations by 2025.

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Former watchdog Tracey McDermott to join Standard Chartered: The former acting head of the U.K.’s financial watchdog is joining Standard Chartered in the latest move through the revolving door from officialdom to the financial sector.

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Bonds start year at breakneck pace, but higher rates loom: A breakneck start to the year for borrowing by companies and governments across the globe has left bankers and investors questioning its sustainability. Bond sales have started the year at the fastest pace since 2013, led by record offerings from banks in the U.S. and borrowers in Asia.

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BlackRock to warn investors of Brexit risks: BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is warning bondholders that Brexit remains a major risk event for investment portfolios this year as the U.K. prepares to negotiate its exit from the EU.

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Goldman piles pressure on May to protect City post-Brexit: Goldman Sachs’ Chief Executive has emerged as a thorn in the side of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, warning that European financial centres could challenge London unless her government gives more priority to the City in Brexit negotiations.

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Alibaba and Tencent inspired by ‘Pokémon Go’ in red envelope wars: Alibaba and Tencent, China’s two top technology groups, have opened a new front in their rivalry over the lunar new year tradition of gifting hongbao — red envelopes with money inside — using Pokémon Go-like add-ons to attract new customers.

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Apple set to return to sales growth at next quarterly results: Apple, the U.S. technology company, is expected to return to revenue growth when it reports quarterly results on Tuesday, having recorded its first decline in full-year sales in more than a decade.

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Apple, Google and Facebook condemn Donald Trump’s travel ban: The world’s largest technology companies condemned Donald Trump’s Executive order on immigration after coming under pressure to speak out from employees.

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LME regroups after Chief drops out of electronic trading battle: When the London Metal Exchange was launched in a coffee house in 1877, its benchmark three-month futures contract was based on the time it took for ships to go from Chile to London.

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French mobile groups’ bundling trend risks harm, watchdog warns: The head of the French telecoms regulator has warned that the growing trend for mobile operators to offer bundles of telecoms and TV services across Europe risks harming investment in their networks.

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Lex:

State Street/JPMorgan: custodians of their own happiness: In its earnings report on Wednesday, State Street announced that BlackRock would move $1tn of its custody assets to JPMorgan in 2018; a fifth of Blackrock’s assets under management and 3.5% of the assets that State Street services. This could amount to lost revenue of about $180 million, based on the average fee.

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The Daily Telegraph

Mexico unites in anger over President Trump’s plan for sanctions: President Donald Trump’s escalating threats against Mexico have led to calls for a guerrilla struggle of national resistance from across the political spectrum, uniting the Mexican people as almost never before in modern times.

Eurozone ‘destruction’ necessary if countries are to thrive again, warns former ECB hawk: The Eurozone must break up if its members are to thrive again, according to a former European Central Bank official.

Tesco’s One Stop to be scrutinised in Booker deal: Tesco’s One Stop convenience chain is expected to be a key area of scrutiny for competition regulators poring over the details of the merger between Booker and Britain’s biggest retailer.

Black cab maker targets capitals of Europe for fresh sales of new hybrid-electric taxi: The maker of the next generation of the black cab is targeting European capitals for sales of its hybrid-powered version of the iconic vehicle.

New threat to BT share price as Orange freed from stake sale lock-up: BT Investors face a new problem from, as the former French state telecoms monopoly Orange is released from a lock-up stopping it selling its 4% stake in its British counterpart.

L&G signs up Morrissey to lead personal investment: The respected former Boss of Newton Investment Management is joining the investment arm of insurance giant Legal & General with the task of helping the business build direct relationships with savers.

Spire spots potential in GP surgeries: Spire Healthcare is planning to set up its own network of GPs at its hospitals and clinics across the country to address a growing demand for primary care services in the U.K.

The Guardian

Steelworkers to vote on Port Talbot rescue plan: Thousands of steelworkers will vote on rescue proposals for the Port Talbot steelworks this week in a definitive moment for the crisis in the industry.

140 JD Sports staff taken to hospital from one warehouse in four years: At least 140 people have been taken to hospital after incidents at JD Sports’s controversial warehouse in Rochdale in the last four years.

Brexit has allowed the banks to get off Britain’s naughty step: It is almost a decade since the financial crisis and barely a day has gone by without banks being in the headlines, invariably for the wrong reasons.

BT fires opening shot at Sky in new Champions League rights battle: BT has fired the first shot in the battle for Champions League football, saying it is determined to keep a grip on the TV rights to European football’s blue-riband club competition and accusing arch-rival Sky of having too much dominance over pay-TV sports.

Daily Mail

Banks and lenders face clampdown from the Bank of England on household borrowing: Banks and other lenders are facing a crackdown from the Bank of England and City regulators in an attempt to put the brakes on runaway household borrowing.

Daily Express

BT feels the heat after accounting scandal: Investors in BT were all set for what should have been a fairly boring third quarter trading update on Friday.

Dixons Chief shrugs off rising credit card debt worries: The Boss of Dixons Carphone has backed U.K. shoppers to keep spending with credit while borrowing is cheap.

U.K. firms plan more trade with the EU: More than a third of U.K. firms hope to step up trade with Europe over the next five years despite uncertainty caused by Brexit, a study shows.

The Scottish Herald

Corallin takes 45% stake in tech firm: Private Equity group Coralinn has taken a 45% stake in fast-growing information and communications technology firm Exsel Group, providing the company with £500,000 of investment.

Glasgow business has capitalised on growth of coffee culture and new technology to help build sales: The recent fall in the value of the pound may have helped exporters but this week’s SME Focus highlights the challenges it has posed for firms that use imported goods and machinery.

Worst may be over for U.K.’s key subsea industry: The downturn in the hard-pressed subsea engineering and manufacturing sector has probably bottomed out but the best firms can hope for is a long and slow recovery, industry leaders have warned.

Solving protein problem is not easy meat for policymakers: Europe is short of protein to feed its livestock, particularly our pigs and poultry. The problem with them is that they have stomachs similar to ours and require highly digestible forms of protein.

Top earner at S&W takes home £541k for last year: The paypacket for the highest-earning partner at law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn increased by 19% in the year to April 2016, taking the total to £541,000.

Capital is city least reliant on European Union: Edinburgh is the Scottish city least reliant on the European Union, but 37% of its exports still head into the single market.

Ocado expected to see profits drop to £10.5 million as supermarket price war hits: Online grocer Ocado will update the City on its annual results next week, with forecasts pointing to a third consecutive year of profits.

Housebuilders focus on supply: Housebuilders will maintain a “positive but cautious” approach between 2017 and 2021, during which time demand for homes will continue to outpace supply, according to property consultancy JLL.

The Scotsman

Prospect of budget deal ‘not looking good’, says Willie Rennie: Willie Rennie has said the prospect of a deal that would allow the Scottish Government’s budget to pass is “not looking good”. The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader said his party was prepared to push the issue to an election if its priorities were not met by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.

Theresa May under pressure to drop Trump state visit invite: Theresa May is coming under growing pressure to revoke an invitation to Donald Trump for a state visit to the U.K. following global condemnation of controversial immigration restrictions.

City A.M.

British tech sector slams President Donald Trump’s migration block, echoing U.S. counterparts: British tech Bosses have echoed their American counterparts by criticising President Donald Trump’s Executive order banning travel to the U.S. for people hailing from several majority Muslim nations.

How 1.5% of U.K. businesses created 780,000 jobs last year: Medium-sized British businesses created 780,000 jobs in 2016 and increased profits by 19%, according to new figures released by accountants BDO in a report into the sector’s growth prospects.

Treasury Select Committee chair hits back at Chancellor over rules which could have blocked HBOS review: The chair of the influential Treasury Select Committee has written to the Chancellor, slamming powers which could have been used to block reviews into recent high-profile scandals like HBOS.

British nationals will be exempt from Trump’s travel ban, foreign office says: Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tonight said U.K. nationals will be exempt from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Executive order banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries.

Amanda Staveley’s legal row with Barclays to reach crunch point this week: It’s a critical week for Amanda Staveley’s legal battle with Barclays, with a judge due to decide whether the City financier can have access to documents key to her case.

Deutsche Bank forecast to be in the red for 2016, with a net loss of almost €1 billion predicted: Deutsche Bank is predicted to announce it is almost €1 billion (£850 million) in the red when it releases its full year results for 2016 on Thursday morning.

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