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Newspapers: The Times, Independent, FT, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Express, Herald 180817

The Times

Ericsson set to shed U.K. staff as it ramps up budget cuts: Ericsson is understood to be seeking sweeping job cuts outside its native Sweden that may affect its 3,500-strong workforce in the U.K.

Foreign-owned firms ‘hold key’ to Britain’s productivity woes: Encouraging more foreign businesses to set up in the U.K. may help to solve the country’s chronic productivity problem, analysis by the Bank of England has suggested.

Aegon eyes £160 million deal for small businesses: A Dutch insurance and pensions group plans to lend £160 million to thousands of small British businesses via Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lender.

Lufthansa in hurry to get Air Berlin deal off ground: Lufthansa is the frontrunner to buy the bulk of its stricken rival Air Berlin as the German government pushes for a quick deal.

Alibaba soars as Chinese take to the net: An internet retailing boom in China has helped Alibaba almost to double its quarterly profit as it eased past Wall Street’s expectations with its financial results.

Murray’s global view makes mint for investors: Murray International Trust said that it had comfortably beaten the performance of its benchmark in the first half of the year as the global equity investor announced a year-on-year rise in its shareholder dividend.

Gem Diamonds receives bid for Botswana mine: Gem Diamonds has received an approach about its mothballed Ghaghoo mine in Botswana. The disclosure came as the diamond miner revealed a 14% decline in first-half revenue.

Profits soar but Kaz Minerals holds dividend amid further cuts: Kaz Minerals reported a near-threefold jump in profits but stopped short of paying a dividend. Revenue at the Kazakh copper miner leapt from $363 million to $837 million, boosted by its new mines and the higher copper price.

Asda boosted by first sales growth in three years: Asda has reported its first positive quarterly sales in three years as the struggling grocer finally starts to turnaround its business.

Walmart caught in U.S. price war: A price war with Lidl, Aldi and other discount supermarkets squeezed profit margins at Walmart’s American supermarkets in the second quarter and forced it to trim its forecast for the next three months.

Cuadrilla starts drilling at Lancashire fracking site: Cuadrilla has begun drilling at the Lancashire site where it will carry out Britain’s first fracking in six years. The shale gas explorer said that it had started work on the first well at its Preston New Road site on Thursday, almost three years after it originally hoped to do so.

Marshalls lays the path for strong growth: Marshalls continues to shrug off depressed consumer confidence and public sector austerity by revealing continued strong demand for the laying of driveways and patios and a decent order book for doing up the public realm.

The Independent

Victoria’s Secret Owner company drops to six-year low as it fails with younger customers: The Owner of Victoria’s Secret, L Brands, tumbled to its lowest level in almost six years after disappointing investors with its profit forecast, a sign that the company’s comeback is still a ways off.

U.K. consumer spending is hit by rising inflation and Brexit uncertainty: Retail sales, a key barometer of the strength of the U.K. consumer, was weak again in July, reflecting the hit to spending power from spiking inflation and fragile household confidence that is marking the build-up to Brexit.

Toblerone not distinctive enough to be a trademark, Poundland claims, as it launches ‘copycat’ bar: Toblerone may be ruing its decision to increase the gaps between its bar’s iconic triangular peaks after it was argued in a court case that they are no longer distinctive enough to be a trademark.

Brexit blamed for 260 job losses as U.K. food supplier Southern Salads collapses into administration: Brexit has been blamed for around 260 people losing their jobs after a salad supplier collapsed into administration. Family-run Southern Salads, based in Tonbridge, Kent, said the fall in the pound’s value since last June’s referendum vote had been too much for the company to bear.

Hyundai to introduce new electric cars for 2022: Carmaker Hyundai says it will deliver an electric car that can reach distances of 311 miles on one electric charge. The Korean company says it aims to introduce three new all-electric cars, as it lags behind competitors like Tesla’s Model 3.

Norway could become world’s first fully electric powered country: Norway can become the world’s first fully electric-powered country with a concerted push for sustainability, according to an energy think tank.

Financial Times

Kingfisher restructure weighs on sales in ‘challenging’ year: Kingfisher has reported a slide in second-quarter revenues after it was hit by disruption from a restructuring and as sales at its B&Q chain fell sharply due to a drop in demand for seasonal products such as garden furniture.

Hikma shares hit by generics business setback: Shares in Hikma Pharmaceuticals dropped as much as 10% after it warned revenues would be at the low end of its forecast, further underlining the pressures on generics drug manufacturers.

Rank profits squeezed by tighter casino controls: Tighter controls on money laundering and problem gambling at casinos as well as a continuing decline at bingo halls weighed on full-year profits at Rank, the U.K. leisure group.

Nasdaq Nordic market raises challenge to London’s Aim: Nasdaq’s junior stock exchange has secured legal approval to offer U.K. investors tax breaks for investing in its Nordic markets, ramping up its challenge to London following the U.K.’s vote to leave the EU.

Solarworld resurrected with the help of Qatari investment: Solarworld, a former stock market darling that became one of the biggest casualties of Germany’s ill-fated solar boom, has been resurrected from insolvency with the help of investors from Qatar.

Drilling begins on first U.K. shale well for six years: Drilling has started on the first U.K. shale well for six years even as debate intensifies among geologists over how much gas is available for fracking.

Vestas wind turbine project delays hit profits and revenues: Shares in Vestas fell 7% after the Danish wind turbine manufacturer said delays in delivering projects had hit both profits and revenues in the second quarter.

Gap shares back in fashion after rosier outlook, earnings beat: Gap shares surged in extended trading after the retailer mounting a turnaround posted better-than-expected second quarter results, led by Old Navy, and lifted its full-year earnings outlook.

Lenovo reports Q1 loss on higher marketing, component costs: Lenovo, the Chinese personal computer maker, reported an unexpected loss in the first quarter due to higher costs for its mobile division and data centre business.


ADP/Pershing: misguided missile: A catastrophic trade trails an investor like a lost puppy. Bill Ackman has been candid about his disastrous bet on Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a drug company resembling a hedge fund that has been beset by scandal.

Kingfisher: hardware, hard knocks Premium: Five-Year Plans, Soviet blueprints for industrial progress, were the subject of regular progress reports. So too at Kingfisher, which has a Five-Year Plan of its own. Sadly, the FTSE 100 home improvements retailer was unable to provide the equivalent of target-beating tractor output on Thursday.

Medical robotics: code comfort: When robots are done displacing car workers they are coming for doctors. The robotic healthcare revolution has already created a near $11 billion industry in diagnostics, physical rehabilitation and surgery. Next year, Transparency Market Research expects it to exceed $14 billion.


In Hikma’s generic race, is third place nowhere?: In the world of patented pharmaceuticals, “first-mover advantage” isn’t everything. Glaxo’s Zantac ulcer treatment proved as much in the 1980s. Despite being launched years after the pioneering Tagamet treatment, it became the top-selling prescription drug in the world.

The Daily Telegraph

Woodford remains bullish on outlook for Allied Minds as losses widen: Well-known investor Neil Woodford has not changed his stance on troubled Allied Minds despite losses at the technology company he invests in widening this year.

China’s foreign investment crackdown hits IP Group fundraising: A Chinese investor has pulled out of a £207 million fundraising by FTSE 250 intellectual property firm IP Group, hitting the British company as it pursues a £490 million hostile takeover of rival Touchstone Innovations.

U.K. exports to the EU surge on weaker pound: Britain’s factories benefited from a surge in sales to the EU in the first half of this year as export growth outstripped import growth.

U.S. stocks recede as Trump’s policy agenda at risk of crumbling: U.S. stocks plunged on receding expectations President Donald Trump would be able to push through his policy agenda of tax cuts and increased infrastructure spend.

Mecca Bingo goes after the student pound as visitor numbers drop: Bingo operator Rank is looking to put the clickety-click back into its venues with trials of student nights and the launch of a new brand after visitor numbers fell.

BHP Billiton gives green light to £2 billion copper mine plan: BHP Billiton has hit the button on a $2.46 billion (£1.9 billion) project to expand a giant copper mine in northern Chile, as it looks to feed rising demand for the red metal.

Gene therapy darling Oxford BioMedica pares losses: A darling British biotech that is working on the development of the world’s leading gene therapy for cancer has posted reduced losses and a leap in sales.

The Guardian

Apple denounces neo-Nazis as Spotify bans ‘white power’ tracks: Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify and Twitter have joined a growing chorus of technology companies to hit out at the far right and Donald Trump’s attempt to put white supremacists and leftwing counter-demonstrators at Saturday’s Charlottesville protest on the same moral plane.

Learndirect blames government cuts for damning Ofsted report: Learndirect, the U.K.’s largest adult training provider, has blamed the government’s austerity programme for its failure to meet the education regulator’s minimum quality standards.

South Korea’s thirst for craft beer helps food and drink exports top £10 billion: Soaring demand for British craft beers in South Korea helped U.K. food and drink exports top £10 billion in the first six months of 2017, the best first half figures ever.

Leaving EU without deal would not be a disaster, says thinktank: Leaving the European Union without a deal in place would not spell disaster for the U.K. economy, according to a free market thinktank advocating trade with the rest of the world over a “hamstrung” deal with Brussels.

B&Q and Homebase sales hammered by bad weather: Summer has been a DIY disaster for the U.K.’s two biggest home improvement chains, which have reported falling sales as they struggle with wet weather and disruption from major restructuring plans.

Daily Mail

Retail sales up 0.3% in July as British shoppers continue to splash out: Spree continues British shoppers continued to splash out last month – confounding fears of a sharp slowdown in spending as prices rise. The Office for National Statistics said retail sales rose 0.3% in July following a 1.5% increase in the second quarter of the year.

Historic map maker Ordnance Survey plots course to record revenues: Mapping agency Ordnance Survey is reeling in record revenues with businesses and authorities turning to its pinpoint-accurate data.

French unemployment falls to five-year low of 9.5% – still more than twice as high as the U.K.: Unemployment in France has fallen to a five-year low – but is still more than twice as high as in the U.K. where dole queues are the shortest for 42 years.

British banks face fresh legal action in the U.S. as authorities accuse them of helping destroy American lenders: British banks are facing fresh legal action after U.S. authorities accused them of helping destroy American lenders once worth £340 billion.

Windfall for Saracens rugby club Boss as his stake in investment firm YOLO Leisure and Technology nearly doubles in value: The Owner and Chairman of Saracens rugby club, Nigel Wray, saw his stake in investment firm YOLO Leisure and Technology shoot up by £3.3 million after the company soared in value.

German stock exchange sees insider trading probe widen following failed London takeover: An insider trading probe has hit the board of Germany’s stock exchange following a failed £21 billion takeover of its British rival.

EU ‘triggered crisis at Spanish lender Banco Popular’, say investors: Brussels bureaucrats triggered a run on a Spanish lender, investors have claimed.

Daily Express

Euro plunges as fears for Eurozone’s economy revealed by European Central Bank: The euro has tumbled to a three-week low after fears about the eurozone’s economic fragile recovery were laid bare by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Inheritance tax: The trick that allows grandparents to avoid death duty: Grandparents can use an inheritance tax loophole to protect assets and help younger family members with the cost of university, according to experts.

Pound predicted to bounceback against euro in coming months: The pound jumped against the euro amid the latest employment data, as experts predicted sterling could bounceback against the eurozone currency in 2017.

Fresh blow to Saudi Arabia: U.S. oil output hits two-year high: America is pumping the highest levels of oil in more than two years, hitting Saudi Arabia’s efforts to limit supply and raise prices.

Australia crackdown on cryptocurrency funding terrorism: Australia is the latest country to try to stop bitcoin being used to fund terrorism and for money laundering by regulating digital currency exchanges.

The Scottish Herald

Maersk highlights potential of giant North Sea field development: Maersk Oil has said the giant Culzean field in the North Sea will be a key driver of growth as the company underlined how pleased it is with progress on the development.

FanDuel gives up more equity as $55 million of loans convert to shares: Edinburgh fantasy sports business FanDuel has further widened its equity base after $55 million of borrowings it took on in March last year converted to shares earlier this month.

Pension reform boost for Royal London: Royal London, the largest life and pensions mutual in the U.K., which employs around 1,250 people in Edinburgh, has recorded strong growth in profits as it continues to feel the benefit of pension reforms.

Games firm set to boost staff levels: A Stirling-based games developer with a portfolio of simulation titles is recruiting 20 new staff, with the support of a £200,000 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) from Scottish Enterprise.

Abbott takes top role at last society: Scottish Building Society has appointed Raymond Abbott, the former managing Director of Alliance Trust Equity Partners, as its new Chairman.

Bank’s rate policy branded ‘irresponsible’ by Murray International Manager: The Manager of the £1.5 billion Murray International investment trust has accused the Bank of England of acting irresponsibly by not raising interest rates and warned there is likely to be a recession when it eventually does.

The Scotsman

Final turbine arrives for Scotland’s floating wind farm: The fifth and final turbine has arrived off the north-east coast of Scotland as developers press ahead with the world’s first full-scale floating wind farm.

New Edinburgh base for cyber-security firm ZoneFox: Cyber-security specialist ZoneFox has made a “milestone” move to new offices in Edinburgh, hot on the heels of a £3.6 million cash injection.

Clyde Space reaches for the stars with latest contract: Miniature satellite maker Clyde Space has won a contract to provide satellite solutions to U.S. space company Audacy.

Lookers profits go into reverse as car market ‘softens’: Car dealership group Lookers, which also trades as Taggarts in Scotland, has warned that the U.K. car market is showing signs of “softening”, with factors including Brexit to blame.

City A.M.

Soothe the EU’s loss of Five Eyes by adding a Sixth: Ireland: As the government releases a number of position papers on its stance in the ongoing negotiations with the EU, a number of issues concerning London, its people, and our future relationship with other EU states are set to gain further clarity.

Singaporean fund and KKR join £6 billion Unilever spreads auction: Competition over Unilever’s spreads business is hotting up as Singapore’s wealth fund enters the fray. The Sinagaporean state’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC) has agreed to back KKR, one of the world’s biggest buyout firms, in its bid for the operation according to Sky News.

Bank of England blog reveals disparity in productivity between foreign and domestically-owned firms: Foreign-owned firms are more productive than domestically-owned ones and therefore pivotal to the U.K. economy, according to research by Bank of England staff.

Accountants get Acne: Deloitte buys marketing agency to boost creative side: Accountancy firm Deloitte has bought a European marketing agency to boost its creative offering.

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