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Wednesday Papers: Households feeling pinch as inflation sticks at 3%

And Premier League takes a hit as football TV rights price falls with some packages of matches up for auction failing to meet reserves.

Wednesday Papers: Households feeling pinch as inflation sticks at 3%

Top stories

  • The Times: The squeeze on household budgets is showing no signs of easing after official figures revealed that inflation remained close to its highest level in almost six years in January, increasing the chances of another rise in interest rates within months.
  • Financial Times: The era of huge financial growth in England’s Premier League looks to have stalled, after it emerged that television broadcasters were on track to pay hundreds of millions of pounds less for the right to screen top-tier football matches in the UK.
  • The Daily Telegraph: President Donald Trump has proposed the biggest tax and spending spree in America’s peacetime history and has abandoned efforts to balance the budget within ten years, ditching a once-sacred totem of Republican fiscal ideology.
  • Financial Times: The US is poised to become the world’s largest oil producer in 2019, the International Energy Agency said, with stellar output from shale fields offsetting robust demand growth and supply cuts by other producers.
  • Financial Times: Stephen Schwarzman, one of the most influential money men on Wall Street, named Jon Gray as president of Blackstone on Tuesday, putting the head of its real estate investing arm on the path to taking over the $434 billion asset management group.
  • Financial Times: South Africa’s ruling African National Congress on Tuesday ordered President Jacob Zuma to resign, calling an end to his scandal-hit rule and paving the way for Cyril Ramaphosa, the party leader, to take power.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: City bankers relocating to continental Europe post-Brexit could end up wealthier than those earning the same amount in Britain thanks to certain tax sweeteners, new analysis shows.
  • Daily Mail: Millions of Barclays customers face turmoil as it battles a fraud case that could see it stripped of its licence to operate.
  • The Times: Kering Group, the French luxury and sportswear group that owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has more than doubled its net profits.
  • The Guardian: The low-cost airline Norwegian is planning further expansion of its long-haul flight network with London Gatwick as its major global base, and more routes to Latin America and Asia.
  • Daily Mail: Travel firm TUI has said UK demand for holidays has been 'resilient' despite hiking prices 8% over the winter to make up for the weak pound.
  • The Times: Shares in Under Armour rose by 15% after the US sportswear brand reported better than expected results for the final three months of 2017.
  • Financial Times: German wholesale retailer Metro nearly doubled its quarterly earnings per share in the final quarter of 2017, as the group leaves behind restructuring costs linked to the carve-out of its consumer electronics unit Ceconomy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The boom in wind farms across the European Union has single-handedly driven the net growth in power generating capacity as fossil fuel plants shut faster than they are built.
  • Daily Mail: The boss of JP Morgan Chase has more than doubled his money after betting on the success of his bank two years ago when shares around the world were tanking.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein is pouring more resources into the bank’s renowned bond-trading business, responding to a surge in activity that has awakened animal spirits on Wall Street.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The boss of spirits giant Pernod Ricard has revealed that he and his rivals are studying the legalised cannabis market, as the drinks industry weighs the drug’s leisure potential.
  • The Times: Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, disappointed investors last night when he appeared to rule out the possibility it might pay a special dividend with some of the $285 billion in cash it is now able to bring back from overseas.
  • Financial Times: Norway’s $1 trillion oil fund voted against pay proposals at Alphabet, JP Morgan and Volkswagen last year as it stepped up its fight against excessive and complex executive remuneration.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Mining giant BHP Billiton has become the latest multinational company to report a financial hit from tax reform in the US.
  • The Guardian: After a golden era of sales under Barack Obama, America’s gun manufacturers are in trouble as low sales claimed its biggest victim this week when Remington filed for bankruptcy.
  • Financial Times: Annual profits at Pendragon fell by a fifth to £60.4 million after margins slipped as Britain’s new car market declined.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Qatar Airways’ chief executive has claimed his airline is facing an annual loss this year as the blockade on the carrier’s home country by its neighbours takes its toll.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The hedge fund set up by billionaire Steve Cohen has been accused of "structural sexism" in a US lawsuit claiming female staff have been mistreated.
  • The Times: Nelson Peltz is leaving the board of Mondelez after saying that he was “pleased with the progress” the owner of Cadbury chocolate had made.
  • The Daily Telegraph: MPs are preparing to use parliamentary powers to obtain a damning watchdog report into RBS’s mistreatment of small businesses - although the full document has already been leaked online.
  • The Daily Telegraph: An attempt by the mobile operator Three to block a multibillion-pound sale of airwaves for new 5G networks has failed in the Court of Appeal, clearing the way for Ofcom to begin the auction within weeks.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): AVOID Pepsico; HOLD BHP Billiton.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): AVOID DCC; HOLD TalkTalk.
  • Financial Times: AudioBoom, the UK podcasting company backed by property investor Nick Candy, will be merged with larger US rival Triton Digital in a £134 million deal that will allow them to expand in the fast-growing market for radio advertising.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Crusader Resources, which is already listed in Australia, wants to raise up to £11 million by floating in London.
  • The Times: Walgreens Boots Alliance has approached one of America’s largest drug distributors about a takeover, as healthcare companies seek to consolidate under the threat of competition from online retailers.
  • Financial Times: John Malone, the US billionaire who controls European cable company Liberty Global, once described a potential tie-up with Vodafone as like trying to get a banana out of a jar.
  • Financial Times: China’s HNA Group has moved to ease its cash flow problems by selling two parcels of land in Hong Kong to local developer Henderson Land for almost HK$16 billion (US$2 billion).
  • The Guardian (Comment): House price flatlining is a good thing, despite estate agents' gripes.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Why Trump's $1 trillion deficits risk an inflationary boom and a trade war.

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