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Friday Papers: Bitcoin tumbles as South Korea plans trading ban

Friday Papers: Bitcoin tumbles as South Korea plans trading ban

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Bitcoin fell as much as 14% to a low of $12,800 on the Bitstamp exchange in afternoon trading on Thursday in Asia following the nnaouncement of South Korea's plan to ban cryptocurrency trading.
  • Financial Times: The precarious state of Britain’s languishing consumer economy was laid bare on Thursday, as several big retailers spooked investors with weak Christmas sales while upmarket outlets warned of lower profit margins.
  • The Times: Private investors in Britain are ploughing record amounts of their savings into bonds in defiance of warnings that the 30-year bull market in the asset class could be drawing to a close.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Banks are clamping down on credit cards and other unsecured lending as fears grow that the boom in household debt could turn into a bust that could destabilise the financial system and force consumers into bankruptcy.
  • Financial Times: The European Central Bank has indicated it is preparing to cut its crisis-era stimulus programme faster than anticipated, joining monetary policymakers in most developed economies in expressing increased confidence in the global economic recovery.
  • Financial Times: Dominic Chappell, the former bankrupt who bought BHS for £1 and was lambasted by MPs for “in effect . . . [having] his hands in the till” of the doomed retailer, has been found guilty of failing to provide information to the Pension Regulator; the offence carries a financial penalty.
  • Financial Times: India’s securities regulator has banned the global accountancy firm PwC from auditing listed companies in the country for two years, after it failed to spot a $1.7 billion fraud at the now defunct Satyam Computer Services.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Brent crude has soared to a three-year high of $70 a barrel on fears that President Donald Trump will hit Iran with fresh sanctions as soon as this week, constraining oil supply just as global demand gathers strength.
  • The Guardian: New York City is seeking to lead the assault on climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5 billion from fossil fuels and sue the world’s most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming.
  • The Daily Telegraph: One of the North Sea’s most important new offshore projects is producing crude oil at better than expected rates, in a major boom for owner Premier Oil.
  • The Guardian: Sales at the online fashion retailer Boohoo doubled at Christmas as young women flocked to the website for party outfits and gifts.
  • The Times: GVC Holdings limbered up for its impending £4 billion takeover of the UK’s biggest bookmaker yesterday by reporting record quarterly revenues and nudging up its estimates for full-year earnings.
  • Daily Mail: A sales boom at convenience stores has helped boost Booker ahead of its takeover by Tesco.
  • The Guardian: Walmart said on Thursday it would raise entry-level wages for hourly employees to $11 an hour as it benefits from the biggest overhaul of the US tax code in 30 years.
  • The Times: Sales at John Lewis topped £1 billion over Christmas but they came at a price after profits were hit by its “never knowingly undersold” price-matching programme in a competitive market.
  • Daily Mail: House Of Fraser is set to axe failing stores or reduce the size of others as it battles falling sales; the struggling department store chain, owned by Chinese billionaire Yuan Yafei, said it would cut its property bills after a sales slump during the crucial Christmas period.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in Card Factory slumped by as much as 20% today after the retailer issued a profit warning as flat card sales, rising wages and a weaker pound put pressure on its profit margins.
  • The Guardian: Talks over the future of loss-making Four Seasons Health Care, which looks after 17,000 elderly and vulnerable people, hit a fresh snag after minority bondholders claimed the company’s biggest lender is trying to push through measures that are not in the firm’s best interest.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Senior Cabinet ministers were called to a meeting on Thursday to discuss Carillion's future, in yet another sign the Government is preparing for the outsourcer's collapse after having revealed earlier this week it has drawn up contingency plans.
  • Financial Times: The tech industry is struggling to send a clear message about the fallout from a security problem affecting most of the world’s computers, as Intel on Thursday talked down the impact on PC users, in contrast to comments earlier in the week from Microsoft.
  • The Times: Jes Staley, the American boss of Barclays, has told Theresa May that the UK’s tax regime is not competitive during a meeting to discuss Brexit.
  • Financial Times: The South Africa arm of Coca-Cola has become the first major non-bank business to publicly stop working with McKinsey after the consultancy became embroiled in a vast political scandal in the country.
  • The Daily Telegraph: US money transfer giant Moneygram will move its European headquarters out of London to Brussels, putting hundreds of UK jobs at risk, as financial services chiefs attempted to sway the Government in favour of maintaining single market access after Brexit.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): SELL housebuilder shares; AVOID Jupiter Fund Management.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Dropbox, a document-sharing company valued at $10 billion has filed paperwork for an initial public offering.
  • Financial Times: Virginia Black, the Bourbon whiskey brand the rapper Drake co-founded with Brent Hocking, the entrepreneur behind DeLeón Tequila, is aiming to offer shares to investors by the end of the first quarter.

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