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Saturday Papers: Brussels official calls IAG Brexit plan ‘totally absurd’

And shoppers defy economic fears with biggest spending spree since 2016.

Saturday Papers: Brussels official calls IAG Brexit plan ‘totally absurd’

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Brussels has rubbished IAG’s announcement that it would consider UK shareholders as EU investors after Brexit as “totally absurd”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Retail sales volumes in January climbed 4.2% compared with the same month in 2017, the Office for National Statistics said, as shoppers embarked on a major spending spree.
  • The Times: Plus500 has been forced to correct its annual report after telling shareholders that it had not suffered losses from punters’ trading positions, despite taking hits in 2016 and 2017.
  • Financial Times: Barclays considered £500 million of emergency capital from Russia to avoid a UK taxpayer rescue at the height of the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: Uber’s revenue growth slowed and costs rose in the final three months of 2018.
  • Financial Times: Mobile phone operators will be forced to open up their networks to rivals in rural areas to tackle the perennial problem of poor coverage.
  • Financial Times: Facebook could be slapped with a record fine as it enters into a discussion with the US Federal Trade Commission to settle a probe into privacy violations.
  • The Guardian: President Donald Trump has hinted that he will delay planned increases in import duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods if trade talks progress next week.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Deep, sustained crises in the southern eurozone economies have put the future of the entire EU project at risk, Christine Lagarde has warned.
  • The Guardian: Royal Bank of Scotland has posted better-than-expected full-year profits but warned that Brexit uncertainty has “gone on far too long”.
  • The Times: The family-owned House of Bruar, one of the rural Scotland’s best-known retail destinations, has doubled its dividend to shareholders despite posting declining profits.
  • Daily Mail: Over 200,000 customers quit French-owned energy firm EDF in the last year, the group's latest results reveal leading to 16% fall in the state-backed energy giant’s earnings.
  • The Times: Pepsico is to cut jobs and close factories as part of a $2.5 billion restructuring programme ordered by its new boss.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The warehouse specialist Segro has raised £450 million in a share placing to beef up its development pipeline in the UK and Europe.
  • The Times: Lloyds Banking Group has hired William Chalmers, co-head of financial institutions at Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, as a finance director on an annual package of up to £4.7 million, with a “golden hello” of £4.4 million on top.
  • The Times: Standard Life Aberdeen is under mounting pressure to shake up its leadership after its largest shareholder dumped its 6% stake.
  • The Times: Vodafone has appointed EY as its new auditor after it ditched PWC amid a legal row over the collapse of Phones4u.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The High Court has ruled in favour of aviation and energy conglomerate Stobart in its battle with former chief executive Andrew Tinkler.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail: Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, a trendy London coffee chain, has acquired four Baker & Spice outlets from Patisserie Valerie administrators for £2.5 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Premier Foods has failed to attract acceptable offers for its Ambrosia custard business, which dealt a fresh blow to its restructuring efforts.
  • Financial Times: Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy 100% of Sonnen, a German rival to Tesla and Samsung in providing homeowners with lithium-ion battery packs powered by solar energy.
  • Financial Times: Activist investor Carl Icahn has built a 10% stake in Caesars Entertainment and is lobbying for the casino chain to put itself up for sale.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Russia’s Opec alliance brings risks - and rewards - for Putin.

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