Home » Market News » Healthcare » Newspapers today: The Times, Independent, FT, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Express, Herald 310116

Newspapers today: The Times, Independent, FT, Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, Express, Herald 310116

The Times

Openreach stalemate as BT pensions fears increase: Worries over the size of BT’s pension deficit have become a sticking point in talks over the future of Openreach, the broadband business at the centre of a dispute over competition in the industry.

Tesco deal sparks merger speculation: A merger between J Sainsbury and Wm Morrison could be triggered by the proposed £3.9 billion tie-up between Tesco and Booker, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has suggested.

Walgreens gets $2 billion discount: Walgreens Boots Alliance is to pay at least $2 billion less to buy Rite Aid after the companies amended the terms of their merger under pressure from American competition officials.

Deutsche Bahn Chief quits over contract: The Chief Executive of Deutsche Bahn caught the government in Berlin by surprise  by quitting Germany’s state-owned rail operator.

Game Set and Matchesfashion for online leader: The world’s second-largest online luxury fashion retailer has had a stellar Christmas, selling one upmarket item of clothing every seven seconds and carrying out a £94,000 sales transaction with one customer.

Oil tanker giant in $475 million bid for rival: The world’s largest oil tanker shipping company has offered to buy its rival DHT in a deal that values its target at $475 million.

Apprentice levy ‘could sacrifice quantity for quantity’: A government tax aimed at helping to create three million apprenticeships risks repeating the mistakes of the past, being poor value for money and causing particular damage to the public sector, a think tank has warned.

AB InBev puts fizz into banks’ flat year: Anheuser-Busch InBev has emerged as the biggest source of advisory fees in Europe. Data from Dealogic for Financial News shows that European companies paid banks about $16.1 billion for advice on mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity capital markets and loans during the year, down from $18 billion in 2015 and the lowest total since 2012.

The Independent

Google sets up £4 million fund to help those affected by Trump’s refugee ban: Google has set up a $4 million (£3.2 million) crisis fund to help employees and other people affected by President Donald Trump’s new immigration policy.

Wall Street has spoken out again Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’: The Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs has become one of the first Wall Street Executives to speak out against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, saying that the policy has the potential to disrupt business at the bellwether bank.

Nike CEO slams Donald Trump’s immigration ban: The Chief Executive of Nike has joined a string of top Executives in slamming Donald Trump’s immigration ban, and has called the policy a threat to values that are at the multinational sports retailer’s core.

Boohoo staff can get fired ‘for smiling’: Employers working for online fashion retailer Boohoo.com risk getting fired for smiling or checking their mobile phones, an investigation by Channel 4 has found.

Greece has three weeks to make austerity deal or faces explosive debts: Greece must agree an austerity deal with creditors within the next three weeks or it faces being plunged back into another major debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned in a leaked report, adding that the country will need further substantial relief from EU nations.

EU most important export market for all but one of U.K.’s cities: The European Union is the most important market for all but one of the U.K.’s cities, new research has found, underlining the country’s dependence on the trading bloc and the risks to jobs and growth posed by a damaging Brexit deal.

London’s black cabs may start operating in cities across Europe: Always thought that you were more likely to hop on a bicycle in Amsterdam than hail one of London’s iconic black cabs? That may be about to change.

Vodafone is in talks to create India’s biggest telecommunications firm: Shares in Vodafone rose around 3% on Monday after the company confirmed that it is considering merging its Indian business with the country’s Idea Cellular phone company— a deal that if completed would create India’s biggest telecommunications group.

Business growth and consumer confidence solid, but inflation rising: Growth in Britain’s private sector and confidence among consumers remained solid at the turn of the year, according to surveys published on Monday, although both indicators warned about rising inflation in coming months.

Goldman Sachs Boss warns Theresa May to protect City or lose out to Paris and Frankfurt: The Boss of Goldman Sachs told Prime Minister Theresa May that a “hard Brexit” would help European cities such as Frankfurt and Paris compete for London’s position as the continent’s dominant financial centre.

Financial Times

Building boom drives U.K. regions to pre-2008 highs: A building boom is under way in the U.K.’s big regional cities, with construction finally returning to levels last seen before the 2008 financial crisis.

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Watchdog urges creation of EU toxic loans bank: A top European banking regulator has called for an EU “bad bank” to buy billions of euros of toxic loans from lenders, aiming to break a vicious circle of falling profits, squeezed lending and weak economic growth.

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Asset managers push for governance change in Mexico: Aberdeen Asset Management and Franklin Templeton Investments are among asset managers pushing Mexican authorities to overhaul two practices they say are harming investor confidence in a country that has been in global crosshairs since U.S. president Donald Trump took office earlier this month.

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Citi sells mortgage servicing arm in $1 billion deal: Citigroup is pulling out of mortgage servicing, a business it has been in since 1979 that has attracted increasing regulatory scrutiny since the financial crisis.

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Twitter signs with Sky for first European livestreaming deal: Twitter has announced its first livestreaming deal in Europe, as the messaging platform extends competition in live video with rivals Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

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Yannick Bolloré takes firmer grip on Havas as top Chief departs: Yannick Bolloré has been handed more clout at the helm of Havas Group, the global communications company controlled by his father, the billionaire investor Vincent Bolloré, in a move that is likely to provoke concerns over corporate governance.

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Sony warns it will take $1 billion writedown on its movie business: Sony has warned it will take a ¥112.1 billion ($978 million) writedown on its film business, blaming a goodwill impairment charge that dates back to an acquisition of a Hollywood studio almost three decades ago.

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Fitbit cuts jobs and outlook as fitness tracker sales flag: Fitbit said it would cut about 6% of its workforce and warned it would fall short of its fourth-quarter expectations, after holiday sales of its fitness trackers came in much lower than expected.

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JPMorgan Chase in push to mine customer data: JPMorgan Chase, which has the biggest sales and trading businesses in the world, is launching a new Customer Relationship Management and analytics system so that its sales people can sell better, a person familiar with the project said.

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Lyft downloads surpass Uber on anti-Trump backlash: Lyft, the U.S. transportation company, has surged past its rival Uber in iPhone downloads for the first time, as anger over Uber’s perceived ties to the Trump administration have fuelled a backlash.

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China’s ecommerce gold rush is on, and deliverymen dig in: Couriers and hulking warehouses are to China’s $600 billion ecommerce sector what shovels were to the gold rush: the crucial element of a rapidly growing industry. What China’s logistics sector lacks in glamour it makes up for in sheer heft. The mainland industry is worth some $2.2tn, out of $9tn globally, according to logistics consultancy Armstrong & Associates.

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Frontline launches takeover offer for Double Hull Tankers: Frontline, the crude oil tanker owner controlled by John Fredriksen, has launched a $475 million takeover offer for Double Hull Tankers, one of its biggest listed rivals.

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Fitbit: huffing and puffing: After plunging 16% on a profit warning on Monday, the market value of Fitbit, the fitness tracking company, has fallen below that of fellow consumer hardware struggler GoPro. Both have performed abysmally since going public: GoPro down 55% from the offer price in 2014; Fitbit down 70% since its 2015 listing. On Monday, after already trimming forecasts once, Fitbit said the quarterly sales were less than $580m. Fitbit now predicts a loss for the entirety of 2017 and revenues of $1.5bn-$1.7bn, even lower than 2015.

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Walgreens Boots Alliance: range rover: Companies usually give themselves wriggle room when providing some earnings forecast by stating a range. They rarely do so for the price of an agreed buyout. But this is how Walgreens Boots Alliance is dealing with U.S. drugstore chain Rite Aid. The pharmacy juggernaut offered to pay $9.00 per share, or $18 billion in total, back in 2015. On Monday, the companies agreed to reduce the acquisition price to some figure between $6.50 and $7.00 per share, while allowing another six months for the deal to close. This revisionism reflects a long antitrust review, as the U.S. regulator decides how many locations must be shed.

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Vodafone India/Idea: tamasha smasher: A deal to inject its business there into a new entity with a value of $23 billion offers prospects of a dignified resolution, but the U.K.-based telecoms group should beware: dignity has its price. The enterprise value of privately held Vodafone India must be some $13bn, even after Vodafone took a $5.3 billion writedown in November. That impairment reflected a price war started by Reliance offshoot Jio. Idea’s value is closer to $10bn, even after a 25% jump in the Mumbai-listed shares on Monday. The business would have 375 million customers. But there is also an expectation that Vodafone, whose appetite for India was blunted by a $2 billion tax wrangle, will inject its assets into the unit at a discount.

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Tesco’s ‘merger’ looks more like an expensive succession plan: Tesco’s own recent food transaction — acquiring wholesaler Booker for £3.7 billion — was also described as a “merger” on Friday. In reality, it is nothing of the sort: it is a takeover, at a 12% premium to Booker’s previous share price, paid in cash and shares. All that will be merged are the two companies’ supply chains and logistical operations. And, here, the value of the strategy is questionable.

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YouGov: wrong again: What were the chances of YouGov accurately forecasting its financial performance in the latter half of 2016? And this illustrates YouGov’s great weakness and its hidden strengths. It is still thought of as a media polling company — despite the fact that it now derives less than 1% of its revenue and profit from drawing out your inner Brexiter or Trump Deplorable via online questionnaires. In reality, it makes 60% of its sales from custom research, where margins are widening, and is growing fastest in data products and services, thanks to its Brand Index for advertising agencies and their clients. Chief Executive Stefan Shakespeare says YouGov still needs a “shop window”. But the danger is that its data customers start to react like voters reading an exit poll: I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying it.

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The Daily Telegraph

City lobby group comes out fighting for global Brexit in dramatic u-turn: The City’s top lobby group has performed a dramatic u-turn on Brexit, scrapping its previous campaign to remain in the EU and instead hailing the vote to leave as “unprecedented opportunity” for the U.K. to develop a powerful new set of trade and investment policies.

Bank of England pumps £5 billion into firms and £20 billion into banks to keep interest rates down: The Bank of England bought £4.9 billion of corporate bonds in just three months, when the scheme intended to buy £10 billion over 18 months. At the same time the Term Funding Scheme (TFS) which gives cheap funds to banks has injected £20.7 billion into lenders. The aim of both policies, alongside a plan to buy £60 billion of government bonds, was to keep interest rates down.

Bond markets sniff mounting risks in France and Italy: The fear gauge for French bonds has jumped to the highest level since the Eurozone debt crisis as fresh twists in France’s electoral campaign suddenly revive the fortunes of anti-euro populist Marine Le Pen.

U.K. to defend maritime industry against cheap foreign seafarers: The Government is preparing to defend the U.K.’s declining maritime industry against the rise of cheap foreign shippers which threaten to price British seafarers out of the North Sea.

UniCredit capital warning spooks investors: Troubled UniCredit had been dealt a further blow after Italy’s biggest bank revealed it might still fall short of capital targets set by European regulators despite a dramatic turnaround plan that includes a €13 billion cash call.

Randgold Resources hit by sit-in at Ivory Coast mine: Gold miner Randgold Resources has assured investors “negotiations are under way” to resolve a protest at one of its mines in Ivory Coast.

Acquisitions send sales fizzing at Conviviality: Three acquisitions in the space of 12 months boosted sales and profits at booze distributor Conviviality by more than two-fold in the first six months of the year.

The Guardian

Ex-HBOS manager and five others face jail over £245 million scam: A group of six financiers including a former senior HBOS banker face jail after being convicted on Monday for their roles in a scam involving £245 million worth of fraudulent loans.

Weetabix warns it may raise prices due to fall in pound since Brexit vote: Weetabix has warned that it may become the latest consumer brand to raise prices this year as a result of the pound’s slump since the Brexit vote.

Starbucks vows to hire 10,000 refugees as U.S. companies condemn Trump travel ban: Starbucks has promised to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in response to Donald Trump’s Executive order temporarily barring refugees access to the U.S. and banning entry for anyone from seven majority Muslim countries.

‘Worrying’ Trump travel ban risks stability of global commerce – IoD: British business leaders have spoken out against U.S. president Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.

Ban coal from backup power subsidy scheme, says Scottish Power: Ministers should ban coal power stations from a scheme paying their owners subsidies to provide backup power, a leading energy company and green energy group have urged.

VW becomes world’s No 1 carmaker despite diesel emissions scandal: Volkswagen has become the world’s biggest car manufacturer, overtaking Toyota in the number of new vehicles sold in 2016 despite the damage it suffered in the diesel emissions scandal.

U.K. and EU heading for economic cold war, says Italian minister: A senior Italian official has warned that the U.K. and the European Union are heading into an “economic cold war” over Brexit that could wreak havoc on the west and weaken the continent.

Daily Mail

Trump travel ban wallops air travel as American Airlines stocks plummet by 4.8% with others following suit: The world’s biggest airlines suffered a sell-off as stock markets around the world plummeted over Donald Trump’s controversial clampdown on travel to the United States.

Blow to a string of high street shops as they lose card fees battle against Mastercard: Mastercard has won a £500 million courtroom battle against retailers over its fees – in a blow for consumers who claim they were ripped off.

Clean engine pioneer hit by electric car boom with shares plummeting 46%: Emissions reduction specialist Torotrak has been hammered by the rise of electric cars, the company admitted. Shares, which peaked at 575p in 2000, fell 46.5 per cent, or 0.85p, to 0.98p.

£790 million bust up at Euro Disney: Investors claim theme park is being crippled by sky-high fees levied by U.S. parent: Small investors in Disneyland Paris have declared war on Walt Disney and are demanding the return of £790 million. Activist hedge fund CIAM is leading a group that claims the theme park has been crippled by grossly inflated license and royalty fees.

Tweet lands online estate agent in a heap of trouble as price-sensitive information causes shares to jump 7%: Purplebricks brought to an end days of confusion over its soaring share price. Shares in the online estate agent jumped nearly 7% on Thursday last week after its Twitter account stated that January ‘has been a record-breaking month for valuations & instructions’.

Daily Express

Germany launches brazen bid to lure banks out of London amid Brexit: Germany is shamelessly trying to persuade global banks to move jobs from London to Frankfurt, as Britain gears up to leave the European Union (EU).

Brexit boom: Danish drugs firm to invest £115 million in new U.K. research centre: A Danish drugs company is to plough £115 million into a new research centre in Britain in another boost for the economy after the vote to leave the European Union (EU).

Trump travel ban: Insurer pledges to pay for customers hit: Insurance giant AXA has promised to cover British customers hit by Donald Trump’s ban on U.S. entry for citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

FTSE and Dow Jones plunge as Donald Trump’s travel ban spooks markets: Global markets fell heavily amid investor fears over Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban and tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments.

Government further reduces stake in Lloyds – now stands at below 5%: The Government has reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group to less than 5% as the lender moves one step closer to full private ownership.

The Scottish Herald

Restaurant group in £8 million hotel plan: The group that owns Di Maggio’s and bills itself as Scotland’s largest independent restaurant chain has unveiled plans for an £8 million aparthotel in Glasgow and posted record annual results.

Biotech firm cancer therapy trial receives £6.25 million boost: TC Biopharm, the Scottish immunotherapy company, has secured more than £6.25 million of investment to fund the latest stage of its pioneering cancer treatment.

Glasgow recruitment firm sees opportunities in Scotland’s healthcare sector following Brexit vote: Search Consultancy, the private equity-backed recruitment firm, has launched a medical division in Scotland amid fears Brexit could worsen the shortage of nurses in the United Kingdom.

Report raises challenge for Edinburgh office sector: Edinburgh could be a “European stronghold” in the mould of Frankfurt or Brussels, but only if commercial property developers keep pace with a rapidly changing city.

Tobermory to stop distilling for two years: The Isle of Mull’s Tobermory distillery is set to close for up to two years while a major refurbishment takes place.

RBS rejects appeal for shareholder committee: Royal Bank of Scotland has snubbed a call by investors for it to appoint a shareholder committee in order to “improve corporate governance”

Fund invests in Aberdeenshire venture planning to create oil and gas technology powerhouse: The Business Growth Fund has shown faith in the long-term prospects for oil services firms amid the North Sea downturn by investing £10 million in an Aberdeenshire business led by big names from the industry.

Barney’s Beer opens first bar: Craft brewer Barney’s Beer has backed a new Edinburgh street food market by becoming its official beer. Food + Flea has opened just off the Royal Mile and will include a weekend flea market.

Jeweller backs China flight bid: Family jeweller Laing Edinburgh is sponsoring a proposal to introduce a direct flight from the Scottish capital to China. Securing the sponsorship deal was described as a crucial step in the landmark Edinburgh-China Air Link Project that is being delivered and funded by Marketing Edinburgh, Edinburgh Airport and The City of Edinburgh Council.

Aerospace hits record high: Figures released show that 1,442 commercial aircraft were delivered in 2016, a sixth successive record-breaking year. The announcement by aerospace trade body ADS Group was welcomed in Scotland, where more than 5,000 people are employed in the industry.

Kained opens fifth Finnieston bar: Bar and restaurant operator Kained Holdings will open its ninth venue, and fifth in Finnieston, on Saturday.

The Scotsman

Aberdeen energy tech ‘hub’ secures £13 million injection: Frontrow Energy Technology Group, an Aberdeen-based outfit aimed at developing new technologies in the oil and gas sector, is poised to help more fledgling firms get off the ground after securing a £13 million investment.

Clydesdale opens doors to ‘flagship’ bank branch: Clydesdale Bank, which recently announced plans to close 40 Scottish branches, was set to unveil a flagship “customer banking centre” in the centre of Edinburgh.

Brexit vote fails to deter firms from targeting EU: More than a third of U.K. businesses are planning to export more goods to Europe over the next five years despite the uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the EU, a study revealed.

Patent firm Murgitroyd upbeat despite slide in profits: Murgitroyd, the Glasgow-based firm of patent and trademark attorneys, expressed confidence in its long-term growth prospects after revealing that its half-year profits have plunged by almost a third.

City A.M.

London salaries hit but regional pay is faring better: Average London wages have dived more than 3.9% in the past year, a greater rate than any other part of the U.K., according to data from Adzuna, the jobs aggregation website.

U.K. commercial construction hit a rough patch in 2016, falling nearly 15 per cent: Commercial construction activity for the 2016 calendar year fell to £16.7bn, down 14.1% on the previous period, according a new report by JLL, the property services company.

Consumer confidence climbed this month, but signs point to slowing spending in 2017: Overall consumer confidence edged up this month, but Britons showed they have less faith in making major purchases, signalling a spending slowdown in the year ahead, a new report suggests.

Amazon and Expedia back Washington state’s lawsuit against Trump’s travel ban: The state of Washington is set to take Trump to federal court with the help of technology companies Amazon and Expedia to challenge the U.S. President’s Executive order to ban travel from certain countries.

Tom Hayes has launched the next stage of his Libor appeal to the CCRC: Tom Hayes, the first person in the U.K. to be found guilty of playing a role in the Libor-rigging scandal, has submitted an appeal to the Criminal Cases Review (CCRC).

Spreadbetting lobby group plots bid to appease City watchdog amid industry crackdown: A coalition of spreadbetting firms is drawing up a code of conduct amid pressure from the City watchdog.

The FCA says Tracey McDermott won’t share confidential information in new Standard Chartered role: Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said Tracey McDermott will not share insider information with Standard Chartered from her time at the FCA

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