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Friday Papers: Standard Life Aberdeen to quit insurance in £3bn deal

Friday Papers: Standard Life Aberdeen to quit insurance in £3bn deal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Standard Life Aberdeen is poised for a £3 billion sale of its insurance business to Phoenix Group, signalling its exit from the insurance sector.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Tech giants could face sweeping new taxes in the UK as the Treasury is considering taking a share of their revenues, with politicians claiming the current level of payments to the Exchequer is not fair.
  • The Times: Eurozone ratesetters have accused Washington of trying to talk down the dollar and start a currency war.
  • The Guardian: The EU has ruled out the UK government’s preferred approach to a future trade deal, describing it as a risk to the European project, just as Theresa May is seeking to strike an agreement on the way forward within her cabinet.
  • Financial Times: Developed nations face a rising tide of government debt that poses “a significant challenge” to budgets as interest rates increase around the world, the OECD has warned.
  • Financial Times: The trade union leading strikes at UK universities in protest at a shake-up to academics’ pensions on Thursday claimed success with the first day of industrial action.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Anglo American has reported a 45% increase in annual earnings, halved its net debt and claimed to be 'fundamentally different' from during the commodity downturn in its latest results.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Southern Rail operator Go-Ahead will bid to run the contract again after its chief executive said his company had achieved everything asked of it by the Government.
  • Daily Mail: Engineering giant BAE Systems is confident of winning new orders for the Eurofighter Typhoon – a key programme for UK jobs.
  • The Times: A dividend of £525 million to Heathrow airport shareholders was attacked by the owner of British Airways and MPs amid concerns about the cost of a planned third runway.
  • Financial Times: German consumer and chemicals group Henkel is handing shareholders the biggest dividend in its 142-year history after a bumper run of sales growth but offered a cautious outlook for 2018.
  • The Times: Serco, the outsourcing group that is near the end of a five-year restructuring, expects to benefit from the turmoil hitting the sector.
  • Financial Times: British American Tobacco said it expects to double sales from vaping and other non- conventional smoking products this year as the owner of the Dunhill, Kent, and Lucky Strike cigarettes brands lifted profits by 39% last year.
  • The Guardian: Hefty charges related to Donald Trump’s corporate tax changes, the cost of exiting Africa, the collapse of Carillion and legal battles pushed Barclays nearly £2 billion into the red last year.
  • Financial Times: HSBC is capping bonuses for thousands of operational staff globally to streamline remuneration, just as former chief executive Stuart Gulliver receives a bumper payout.
  • Daily Mail: Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has announced a 17% fall in profit but its shares rose despite this as investors welcomed the fact it has managed to keep its dividend in tact.
  • The Times: Nearly $1 billion was wiped off the value of Snap yesterday after reality TV star Kylie Jenner said that she no longer used its Snapchat messaging app.
  • Daily Mail: Comparison website Moneysupermarket.com saw more than a quarter of its value wiped off at one stage today after its annual results undershot expectations and it warned of slower growth this year.
  • The Times: Playtech is the latest victim of the craze for cryptocurrencies, blaming them for a “material” slump in revenues in its financial division last year.
  • The Times: Rovio, maker of the Angry Birds mobile phone game, warned that its revenue could fall by up to 12% this year, sparking a sell-off yesterday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Standard Life Aberdeen has pressed the firing gun on its search for a new chairman as Sir Gerry Grimstone prepares to step down from the group.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s second-largest housebuilder Persimmon faces fresh criticism from shareholders over its chief executive’s “preposterous” £110 million bonus.
  • The Guardian: Men working for Barclays’ international division got paid bonuses that were more than double those of their female colleagues last year, with far fewer women occupying senior roles.
  • The Times: Lazard, Morgan Stanley and the stockbroker Stifel have been drawn into the parliamentary investigation into the collapse of Carillion after it emerged that there could have been a false market in the shares for at least six weeks before the construction company’s blockbuster profit warning last summer.
  • The Guardian: Dutch public prosecutors have refused to open a formal criminal investigation into four major international tobacco companies on charges of attempted murder or manslaughter, saying there is too little chance of a conviction.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): HOLD British American Tobacco; HOLD Hays.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): SELL River & Mercantile UK Micro Cap; HOLD Templeton Emerging Markets.
  • Financial Times: Repsol has agreed to sell its 20% stake in Spanish utility Gas Natural to private equity group CVC in a deal that further unwinds Spain’s complex web of corporate cross-shareholdings and could shake up the domestic energy market.
  • Daily Mail: The owners of London Southend Airport looked set last night to launch a takeover bid for struggling airline Flybe.
  • The Daily Telegraph: More than 700 rail industry jobs have been saved after British company Amey swept in to buy up a wave of contracts previously owned by the collapsed outsourcer Carillion.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Equity volatility upsurge puts real interest rates in focus.

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