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Saturday Papers: Persimmon faces loss of Help to Buy homes contract

Saturday Papers: Persimmon faces loss of Help to Buy homes contract

Top stories

  • The Times: Persimmon might lose its right to sell Help to Buy homes after allegations of poor standards and punitive hidden charges.
  • Financial Times: The UK Serious Fraud Office has closed its investigations into Rolls-Royce and GlaxoSmithKline.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Coltrane Asset Management, which owns a 27% stake in Interserve, has proposed an alternative rescue deal for the company, which the hedge fund claims would result in a "materially superior outcome" for the beleaguered outsourcing firm and its investors.
  • Financial Times: Provident Financial, the struggling doorstep lender, has been hit with a hostile £1.3 billion bid from Non-Standard Finance, a rival led by its former chief executive.
  • Financial Times: Sports carmaker Porsche has stepped up the battle in the battery-powered market by electrifying the Macan, its most popular combustion engine model.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Kraft Heinz dived 27% after the company took a $15 billion writedown and disclosed it was being investigated by SEC.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Ireland has stepped up efforts for a no-deal Brexit amid growing alarm that parts of the Irish economy could face severe disruption and even collapse.
  • The Times: Business confidence in Germany fell to its lowest level in four years and economic growth stalled, weighing heavily on the rest of the European Union.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The education giant Pearson reported an 18% rise in pre-tax profits to $498 million in 2018 on the back of cost-cutting.
  • The Times: CMC Markets, one of Britain’s biggest spread betting companies, lost more than £75 million in market value after it was hit by punters enjoying a winning streak in commodities and currencies.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Solarplicity, a small energy supplier, has been banned from taking on new customers by the industry regulator due to its poor customer service.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Incoming Barclay’s chairman Nigel Higgins faces investor pressure to shake up the top ranks as Sir Gerry Grimstone leaves Barclays' board.
  • The Times: One of Sainsbury’s top investors said it will back the supermarket if it launches a legal fight with the competition regulator over its £12 billion merger with Asda.
  • The Times: Sir James Dyson, the multibillionaire businessman and Brexit supporter, has launched a £150 million claim for damages against the European Commission in his long-running dispute with Brussels and German engineering rivals.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): HOLD Lloyds Banking Group.
  • The Guardian: Dairy Crest, the British owners of Cathedral City cheddar and Clover margarine, have agreed a near-£1 billion takeover from the Canadian dairy company Saputo.
  • The Guardian: Merlin Entertainments is selling its Australian ski resorts business to an American firm, Vail Resorts, for £95 million.
  • The Times: Angling Direct is in advanced talks about a potential acquisition of Chapmans Angling.
  • Financial Times: Barrick Gold confirmed it had “reviewed the opportunity” to merge with rival Newmont Mining, in a $19 billion deal that would create the world’s largest gold mining company.

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