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Thursday Papers: Sainsbury's-Asda merger lands into trouble

And Lloyds to hand £4 billion to investors and launch a massive expansion in the pensions market.

Thursday Papers: Sainsbury's-Asda merger lands into trouble

Top stories

  • Daily Mail: The Competition and Markets Authority has stunned the City after it ruled Sainsbury's proposed £14 billion merger with Asda could lead to higher prices and less choice for shoppers.
  • Daily Mail: Lloyds is launching a massive expansion in the pensions market and handing £4 billion to investors; it will pay £2.3 billion as annual dividend and buy back £1.8 billion of stock to drive up the share price.
  • The Guardian: A French court has ordered UBS to pay €4.5 billion for helping wealthy clients dodge tax.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Slumping demand for goods from cars to chemicals, industrial tools and metalwork threatens to push the world into an “industrial recession,” economists have warned.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Cat Rock Capital, a US investment firm which owns around 2% of Just Eat, has renewed its attack on the takeaway company, in a blistering criticism of management.
  • Financial Times: India’s supreme court has held billionaire tycoon Anil Ambani guilty of contempt and told that he will face prison if his company fails to pay $77 million to Ericsson within four weeks.
  • The Independent: Aviva, Britain’s second largest insurer, has announced it will move £9 billion worth of assets to Ireland as it prepares for Brexit.
  • Financial Times: Uber will cut fees for food delivery in the UK and Ireland as competition intensifies with Just Eat and Deliveroo.
  • The Times: Senior bankers from Royal Bank of Scotland’s scandal-hit restructuring unit had large chunks of their annual bonuses tied to targets set by a government agency.
  • Financial Times: South Africa has unveiled a record $5 billion bailout for Eskom, the struggling state power monopoly.
  • The Guardian: Marcus Agius, a former Barclays chairman, has expressed his ignorance about the documents detailing £280 million worth of payments to the bank’s Qatari investors in 2008 that is at the centre of a fraud trial in London.
  • Financial Times: Barrick Gold has said it will approach the board of Acacia Mining to back its formal proposal to settle a long-running dispute with Tanzania.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Robin Phillips, a top HSBC executive, who was singled out in a scathing internal memo about the bank’s leadership last year is understood to be leaving the business.
  • The Independent: The pound fell from a two-week high as Theresa May heads to Brussels in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Dane Butswinkas, Tesla's general counsel, is leaving the electric car manufacturer after just two months in the role, in a move likely to reignite fears over the company's ability to retain talent.
  • Financial Times: Ynsect, a French agritech start-up that turns mealworm larvae into fish and animal feed, has raised $125 million.
  • The Times: A client survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch has found that almost a third of European credit investors fear that the global economy is heading for recession.
  • Daily Mail: Ivan Glasenberg, the chief executive of mining and commodities trading giant Glencore, will get £186 million in dividends this year.
  • The Times: The Port of Tilbury on the Thames in Essex has received approval for a £200 million expansion.
  • The Guardian: The CBI is pushing hard for the UK and the EU to strike a compromise Brexit deal after its latest snapshot of manufacturing showed the pace of output growth slowing.
  • The Times: McBride, a household cleaning products maker, issued a profit warning yesterday, sending its shares down by almost a third.
  • The Times: The AA has signed a new contract to sell roadside assistance with Ford, the biggest seller of cars in Britain.
  • The Times: The BBC has been accused of risking the future of the British television industry in a “desperate attempt to mimic Netflix”.
  • The Times: Samsung has unveiled a smartphone named Galaxy Fold that can fold out into a tablet; the device will cost $1,980 (£1,516) when it goes on sale in April.
  • Daily Mail: Intu has scrapped its full-year dividend after the value of its property empire tumbled by £1.4 billion.
  • Daily Mail: Roger Ng, a star banker who worked for Goldman Sachs, will be tried in Malaysia over a £2.1 billion fraud scandal.
  • The Guardian: Glencore will limit coal production for environmental reasons, bowing to pressure from shareholders, including the Church of England.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A High Court judge ruled on Wednesday that the European Medicines Agency cannot walk out of the £500 million lease on its London headquarters because of Brexit.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The soft furnishings and fashion retailer Laura Ashley has reported a pre-tax loss of £1.5 million including exceptional items and said its performance for the second half would fall short of expectations.

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