Financial Times: Bitcoin investors trying to channel their new fortunes into UK property are being turned away by mortgage lenders and brokers who fear breaching anti money-laundering regulations.
The Daily Telegraph: Calls were mounting for the Government to step in to prop up stricken outsourcer Carillion this evening amid fears the company is teetering on the edge of administration.
The Times: Rising hopes of a breakthrough on Brexit negotiations lifted the pound to its highest level since the 2016 European Union referendum and took the London stock market to a fresh record.
The Daily Telegraph: The directors of FTSE 100 engineering giant GKN face a battle to convince shareholders they can improve its performance after rejecting a £7 billion takeover bid from turnaround specialists Melrose.
Financial Times: Two of the biggest US banks, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, have vowed to share the spoils of a big cut in the corporate tax rate, holding out the prospect of higher investment, better pay and cheaper prices for their services.
Financial Times: Angela Merkel hailed a “new dawn for Europe”, as she unveiled a coalition deal between her conservative bloc and the Social Democrats that should put Germany back at the forefront of efforts to reform the EU.
Business and economics
The Guardian: The EU’s insistence that quotas under the common fisheries policy for the seas around the UK will remain in force during a Brexit transition period has been backed up by the Norwegian government, dealing a fresh blow for Downing Street.
The Guardian: Mark Zuckerberg announced a major overhaul of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that would prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content” on Thursday, one week after he pledged to spend 2018 “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”.
Financial Times: Impax, a specialist fund manager based in London, has been on a roll since Brexit, with assets under management growing more than 60% in the past 12 months alone to over £8 billion.
The Daily Telegraph: Fortnum & Mason, the 310-year-old upmarket grocer that counts the Royals as regular customers, has toasted a rise in festive sales on the back of a record number of domestic shoppers.
Daily Mail: Pub and restaurant chain Mitchells & Butlers has reported strong Christmas trading, despite the bad weather.
Daily Mail: Barratt Developments continued to benefit from rising house prices and taxpayer-funded Help to Buy, as the loan scheme boosted demand and valuations last year.
Daily Mail: Bovis Homes is on track to deliver a hefty profit rise in 2018, driven by strong customer demand, attractive mortgage rates and the government’s Help to Buy scheme.
The Daily Telegraph: Jaguar Land Rover plans to open its first European research and development base in Ireland in an attempt to tap into the country's growing tech sector.
The Times: Wall Street felt the effects of the Steinhoff accounting scandal for the first time today as JP Morgan reported writedowns of $273 million linked to the struggling retail group.
Financial Times: T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oilman and former corporate raider, is closing his energy-focused hedge fund, bringing to an end one of the most momentous US business careers of the past half-century.
The Times: Further closures are on the menu at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant business amid speculation that the television chef may be forced to consider a company voluntary arrangement.
Daily Mail: Clothing retailer New Look could be forced to close stores as it continues to struggle against difficult economic conditions on the High Street.
The Times: MPs have accused the City regulator of dragging its heels over apparent pension misdemeanours at British Steel, warning it could be presiding over a new mis-selling scandal.
The Daily Telegraph: Britain’s financial watchdog has named almost 100 firms it says may be illegally offering so-called “spread betting” services to consumers.
The Guardian: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has sold its holding in retailer B&M in a series of tranches and on Friday sold its remaining 5% stake for £200 million as it cashed in on strong Christmas trading in its stores, in total the investor will have made £1.5 billion out of the chain’s 2014 stock exchange listing.
The Guardian: Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has made an offer for Gawker, hoping to overcome legal hurdles and rival bidders for the site whose collapse the billionaire helped precipitate last year, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Financial Times (Lex): GKN/Melrose: if this was a job interview, Melrose’s chief would be the candidate who plays squash with the interviewer.