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Newspapers today: The Times, Independent, FT, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Express, Herald 070216

The Times

Draghi leaps to defence of the euro: The Eurozone’s Chief central banker has attacked Donald Trump’s plans to relax rules on banks and rejected claims by the president’s advisers that it has improperly manipulated the single currency.

U.S. election lifts ratings and revenue at 21st Century Fox: A ratings boost for Fox News during the U.S. presidential campaign helped 21st Century Fox to report improved quarterly results last night.

Scotland’s last fossil fuel power station threatened with closure: Scotland could be left without a fossil fuel power station after SSE confirmed that it was reviewing the future of its Peterhead gas plant, putting 120 jobs at risk.

It’s almost a knockout in fight for Punch inns: Heineken and Patron Capital moved tantalisingly close to sealing a proposed £1.8 billion takeover of Punch Taverns after confirming that they had grabbed a 28.5% stake in the pubs company.

Rolls-Royce faces fresh bribery case: Rolls-Royce is facing a new multimillion-pound bribery and corruption investigation, barely a fortnight after it agreed to a £671 million out-of-court settlement with fraudbusters on three continents over corruption.

Boss has £15 million payday riding on Reckitt deal: The Chief Executive of Reckitt Benckiser could earn more than £15 million from an incentive scheme if a proposed acquisition of Mead Johnson goes through and boosts its earnings.

Tata completes Mistry’s fall from power: Tata Sons has stripped Cyrus Mistry of his role on the board of the group’s holding company, completing his removal from the leadership of India’s largest industrial group.

Shoppers use mobiles to hit January’s sales: More Britons used their mobile phones and laptops for shopping last month as online sales of non-food products rose by 8%.

Booker tries to sell Tesco deal to shopkeepers: The Boss of Booker Group will host meetings with independent shopkeepers to try to boost support for its £3.7 billion merger with Tesco.

Heading south, but in a good way: British high street restaurant brands including Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas are to open across South Africa under a franchise deal.

The Independent

Brexit may not affect U.K. economy’s long term future: Brexit will prove to be little more than a bump in the road for the U.K. economy in the long run and the country will successfully defend its spot as one of the world’s fastest growing developed economies in decades to come, according to predictions published in a new study.

Lettuce shortage: Cheap salad days over as prices rise: Not only are lettuces becoming an increasingly rare commodity in supermarkets, but prices for the leafy vegetables seem to be rising too.

Half of U.K. small businesses to increase prices because of weak pound: More than half of the U.K.’s small and medium-sized businesses say that they will have to raise prices over the next year because of the weakened pound.

U.S. dollar starts the week sluggishly after lacklustre wage data: The U.S. dollar edged lower at the start of the week, after disappointing wage data on Friday indicated that the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to be in no hurry to raise interest rates.

Apple to Zynga file legal brief against Donald Trump immigration order: Ninety-seven companies, from Apple to Zynga, filed an impassioned legal brief condemning President Donald Trump’s Executive order on immigration, stepping up the industry’s growing opposition to the policy.

Ryanair says its flights will get even cheaper this year: Passengers on Europe’s biggest budget airline have been told to expect cheaper fares for the rest of the year and the first three months of 2018 — but warned of a possible crackdown on cabin baggage.

Toyota and Suzuki agree to begin formal talks on partnership: Toyota and Suzuki on Monday said they have agreed to begin formal talks aimed at forging a partnership in shared procurement, green vehicles, IT and safety technologies.

Top business leaders say U.K. infrastructure is lagging behind: Top U.K. business leaders are scared that British infrastructure is lagging behind the rest of the world.

Luxembourg opens criminal case over VW emissions scandal: Luxembourg has started criminal proceedings in response to the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, saying on Monday that regulators had been cheated by car manufacturers.

Goldman Sachs downgrade their Trump excitement after chaotic first two weeks: Just a few weeks ago, Wall Street analysts were busy boosting their economic forecasts on the expectation that President Trump would implement sweeping corporate tax reform, a rollback of regulations, and new fiscal stimulus.

Financial Times

Hedge funds make record bet on rising oil prices: Hedge funds have amassed the biggest ever bet on rising oil prices as investors back OPEC’s bid to tighten the crude market and seek protection against fears of inflation.

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Anglo American urges South Africa to ‘stop the rot’ in mining: The Chief Executive of Anglo American has called on South Africa’s government to end a “20-year rot” in the country’s mining industry by issuing investment-friendly legislation about black ownership of the sector’s companies.

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Randgold raises dividend 52% after profit surge: London-listed Randgold on Monday raised its full-year dividend by 52% after reporting a strong jump in fourth-quarter profit because of higher gold prices and increased output.

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KKR merges fund arm with Paamco: KKR is merging its hedge fund of funds business KKR Prisma with a larger rival, Paamco, in a deal that highlights the difficult hunt for growth in a once-hot area of the hedge fund industry.

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Trafigura seeks to reopen LNG import terminal in U.K.: Swiss commodity trader Trafigura is looking to reopen an import terminal for liquefied natural gas in north-east England in the latest sign of how LNG is playing a growing role in global energy supplies.

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After front-row seat to crisis, Wall Street adviser heads to SEC: When the U.S. financial system came crashing down in 2008, Walter “Jay” Clayton, the man who has been nominated as the top U.S. markets watchdog, had a front-row seat.

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Insurer Reliance ends 100 years of mutual ownership: Reliance Mutual, which has £1.9 billion of assets, said it did not have a viable future strategy as a standalone mutual. It will demutualise and transfer its business to a vehicle backed by Oaktree Capital.

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Arconic’s board resists activist calls to ditch Chief Kleinfeld: The board of Arconic has unanimously defended the company’s Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld against pressure from shareholders to oust him, saying he brings the “experience and execution” that the company needs.

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Toyota warns U.S. trade policy is a key risk for group: Toyota, the Japanese carmaker under pressure from Donald Trump to manufacture more cars in America, warned on Monday that U.S. trade policy was a key risk for the company alongside Britain’s planned exit from the EU.

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Metro shareholders in big vote to support split in two: Shareholders in Metro have overwhelmingly backed the German retail conglomerate’s plans to split in two.

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Klépierre turnround on track as cash flow and revenues rise: Shopping centre owner and operator Klépierre has posted its best performance since 2012 as a turnround strategy launched five years ago starts to bear fruit.

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Tiffany shares lose sparkle as Chief Executive departs: Shares in upmarket U.S. jeweller Tiffany lost some of their lustre on Monday, after the abrupt departure of its Chief Executive sparked uncertainty following a disappointing holiday season.

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Ajinomoto targets Europe with $1.3 billion acquisitions pot: Ajinomoto, the Japanese seasonings group with an appetite for new international markets, is directing the third stage of its $2 billion global acquisition campaign at Europe.

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Tyson Foods: poultry results: Meat might take a smaller share of Americans’ future diets. Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. traditional meat processor, is anxious to hedge its bets. In December, it launched its own $150 million venture capital fund to find novel protein sources. It has already invested in a plant-based start-up called, appropriately, Beyond Meat.

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Ithaca/Delek: North Sea star fisher: Delek Group of Israel sees life under the North Sea. It agreed to buy London and Toronto-listed Ithaca Energy on Monday for £1.20 per share at an enterprise value of $1.24 billion, including net debt of $614 million. While the premium over the undisturbed price looks low at 12%, it is low for good reason.

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Ryanair: eye to the Main chance: Ryanair’s market share in Germany is small at about 6%. One reason is that it has not always been cost effective to obtain slots at the country’s main airports, many of which are owned by branches of city or regional government. That often left Ryanair serving leisure travellers from airports like Hahn and Weeze.

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Randgold manages political risks as U.S. strong man moves market: Randgold Chief Executive Mark Bristow says the biggest risk investors take with gold miners is the management, not the jurisdiction. But if the biggest driver of margins is thousands of miles across the Atlantic — and he calms down to focus on domestic strong dollar policies — there will not be much the miner’s management can do.

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Overheads and lockers: Getting tough may also raise revenues, by making more people pay £50 to have oversized cabin bags put in the hold. Ryanair could do with the cash: average fares fell by 17% in the last quarter, to €33 per passenger, as the airline tried to stimulate demand and improve its load factors.

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The Daily Telegraph

ECB’s Mario Draghi warns on liquidity shock as tapering nears: The European Central Bank is bracing for a painful ‘taper tantrum’ as it reins in emergency stimulus and slows the pace of bond purchases next month, all too aware that market liquidity could dry up suddenly.

Hong Kong’s Li dynasty trade U.K. assets as Three buys Relish wireless broadband for £250 million: Two arms of one of Asia’s richest families have agreed the £250 million sale of U.K. Broadband, the operator behind the Relish wireless brand, to the mobile operator Three.

Volkswagen facing first lawsuit from major German customer: Volkswagen is facing the first major legal action over the dieselgate emissions rigging scandal in its native Germany. Deutsche See, Germany’s biggest fish and seafood distributor, announced on Sunday it is suing VW for €11.9 million (£10.3 million) damages.

London Stock Exchange could sell French clearing arm as part of Deutsche Boerse merger: The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse have offered to sell the LSE’s French clearing operations in a bid to calm competition regulators’ concerns over the two exchanges merging.

Bechtel embroiled in bribery claims as Saudi family feud goes to court: A bitter family feud over the inheritance of a fortune once valued at $6 billion has seen engineering giant Bechtel accused of being involved in bribery.

Candy brothers set to face court over £132 million loss claim: Property moguls Nick and Christian Candy are set to appear in court in a £132 million claim brought by a former friend and business partner.

Germany not ‘exploiting’ euro, says S&P: Germany has not exploited the weak euro for its own benefit, according to Standard & Poor’s.

The Guardian

Guarantee minimum wage for gig economy workers, says Frank Field: Theresa May should guarantee the minimum wage for self-employed workers for companies such as Uber and Hermes and prevent them from losing work with no notice, the Labour MP Frank Field has said.

‘The U.K. is a tax haven’ – Bermuda attacks plan to end financial secrecy: The government of Bermuda has hit back at British efforts to end offshore financial secrecy, claiming the U.K. itself is a “tax haven”.

Directors of new homes warranty firm criticised for lack of independence: Two of the Directors of the organisation that sets the standards for new U.K. homes and provides warranties for buyers cannot be classed as independent because of their links to leading housebuilders, it has emerged.

New homes warranty firm pays millions to leading homebuilders: The organisation that provides warranties for most of the new homes in Britain is paying millions of pounds to the leading housebuilders every year, raising questions about its independence and credibility amid a wave of complaints about the quality of new-build properties.

Older people to get help to downsize and free up family homes: Theresa May’s government will use its flagship housing strategy to make it easier for older people to move into smaller homes, which could free up larger properties for families.

Railways could use eye scans to charge passengers, say industry plans: Rail passengers could be charged for journeys by fingerprint or iris scans, according to the industry’s plan for coping with growing demand.

Cut beer duty to beat price hikes after Brexit vote, says Camra: The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is stepping up its push to keep the price of a pint down for millions of U.K. pub-goers, calling on the Treasury to reduce beer duty by 1p a pint in next month’s budget.

Daily Mail

Footsie sheds early gains on risk-off day for global markets; Randgold soars; pound at $1.24: The FTSE 100 closed down 16.15 points at 7172.15 as investors got the jitters over political risks in Europe and the U.S.

MPs call for Lloyds Bank to compensate businesses affected by HBOS crooks: The entrepreneurs whose livelihoods were destroyed by fraud at HBOS should be compensated by the lender’s current owners, MPs said.

Redrow Boss John Tutte tells of £500 million Brexit vote shares shock: As Britain woke to the Brexit result, shares in the country’s housebuilders crashed. Among those contemplating the slumping prices was John Tutte, Chief Executive of Redrow.

Daily Express

‘We are not currency manipulators’ ECB’s Draghi hits out at Trump’s ‘worrisome’ policies: The head of the European Central Bank (ECB) has blasted Donald Trump’s policies and passionately defended the Eurozone against criticism from the new administration.

Germany takes on ECB: Embarrassed Schaeuble blames Draghi for low Euro after U.S. anger: Germany’s finance Minister has launched a scathing attack on the European Central Bank (ECB), as relations between the two sides hit boiling point.

Britain’s economy to top the G7 nations until 2050: Britain will have the fastest growing economy out of the G7 nations until 2050, a new report says.

‘An economic bodybuilder who’s taken too many steroids’ ECB’s Draghi blasted in Brussels: The president of the European Central Bank (ECB) has been savaged over his monetary policies in the European Parliament. The Eurozone’s Chief Central Banker defended the recent extension of the so-called Quantitative Easing.

Brexit panic is over – Pound to soar as ‘tables have turned’ against dollar: The British pound has been tipped for a major comeback against the dollar, as market fears surrounding Brexit continue to fade.

The Scottish Herald

Royal Bank swings axe on Scots mortgage jobs: State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland has swung the axe again by slashing its number of mortgage advisers north of the Border.

Captains of industry reveal damage done to U.K. businesses since Brexit vote: Nearly six in ten captains of U.K. industry have revealed the electorate’s decision to leave the European Union has already had a negative impact on their business.

Dissident investor raises stake in Bowleven: The rebel investor calling for a boardroom purge at Bowleven has increased its interest in the oil and gas company’s shares to around 15% ahead of a shareholder vote on its proposals for change.

Growth in retail sales grinds to halt amid caution: Year-on-year growth of U.K. retail sales value almost ground to a halt in January, amid signs of consumer caution, a survey shows.

Prediction of ‘year of change’ on pay pack: A leading asset manager has said that 2017 could be a “year of change” in Executive pay, with both investors and politicians turning their attention to boardroom remuneration.

Anderson gears up for steel work: Sam Anderson (Newhouse) has taken delivery of 11 of the 20 vehicles it will use to fulfil its work as the exclusive transport provider for Liberty House Group’s steel interests in Scotland.

Ardgowan Distillery appoints whisky veteran to create new dram: The man credited with turning The Macallan into one of the leading single malt Scotch whiskies, has been appointed chairman of The Ardgowan Distillery Company, writes Kevin Scott.

PhyisoWizard wins funding: A start-up company that aims to replicate physiotherapist assessments has won £250,000 in funding from Archangels, supported by BioCity. PhysioWizard was developed by Kirsten Lord and her team of specialist clinicians. The self-assessment online platform helps manage patients with muscle and joint problems.

Sigma adds to rental portfolio: Sigma Capital Group, the property development firm focused on the rental market, has added three further sites to its portfolio south of the Border.

The Scotsman

North Sea explorer Ithaca agrees to £517 million takeover: Ithaca Energy has agreed to a takeover bid from an Israeli group that values the North Sea oil and gas firm at C$841 million (£517 million).

January car sales motor to highest level for 12 years: New car sales reached a 12-year high in January, according to the latest industry figures.

Investors ‘ready for a fight’ over Executive pay: Highly-paid Bosses should brace for more investor rebellions over pay as shareholders gear up for a scrap, a fund manager has warned.

Voice of practical farmer no longer heard on JHI board: Unless there is a late change of circumstance, an unwanted record will be set in a couple of months when the new board of Directors of the James Hutton Institute (JHI) convenes.

PR agency relaunches in capital after revamp: A communications agency is relaunching with a new name, move to Edinburgh and debut of a digital division, saying this is “part of a strategic overhaul of the business”.

City A.M.

Former trade Minister Lord Green appointed President of the Institute of Export & International Trade: Former trade Minister Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint has been appointed President of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT).

Theresa May issues MPs with a fresh warning against “obstructing” Brexit: Prime Minister Theresa May has issued MPs with a fresh warning against any attempts to frustrate or “obstruct” Brexit.

Singapore Exchange in talks with Saudi Aramco to beat London and others to secondary listing spot: The Singapore Exchange is said to be in talks with Saudi Aramco as it bids to co-host what is expected to be the world’s largest ever stock market listing.

Unicredit shares down more than five% as Italy’s biggest bank kicks off Italy’s largest ever rights issue: Unicredit shares are currently trading down more than five% after Italy’s biggest bank kicked off its bumper €13 billion (£11.2 billion) rights issue this morning.

Paris appeals to London for win-win Brexit solution, as it prepares for tens of thousands of workers to move: An army of French lobbyists and politicians swept into London in an attempt to lure finance Executives to Paris. However, the delegation admitted they cannot steal London’s financial crown, and instead want to forge a mutually successful relationship between the two cities post-Brexit.

Netherlands flag carrier KLM returns to London City Airport after nearly eight years: The national flag carrier of the Netherlands has returned to London City Airport after an eight-year absence. KLM’s inaugural Amsterdam service arrived at 7:20am this morning with the return leg departing at 7:50am.

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