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Thursday Papers: Apple pledges to invest $30bn and pay $38bn tax bill

Thursday Papers: Apple pledges to invest $30bn and pay $38bn tax bill

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Apple has pledged to invest more than $30 billion to expand its American operations in the wake of last month’s US tax cut, even as it makes an estimated $38 billion one-off tax payment on the repatriation of its overseas profits.
  • The Daily Telegraph: There is little evidence that handing public contracts to private organisations offers value for money for taxpayers, according a National Audit Office report published days after major government partner Carillion collapsed.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs’ fabled fixed-income and commodities trading business, once the envy of Wall Street, fell sharply at the end of last year, highlighting the pressure on the bank to remake itself for an era defined by uncommonly calm markets.
  • The Times: GKN, one of the largest and oldest engineering groups in Britain, immediately rejected the £7.4 billion bid formally tabled by Melrose, the acquisitive London-quoted £4.5 billion conglomerate.
  • Financial Times: Bitcoin plunged below $10,000 on Wednesday, marking its worst two-day rout in three years, only hours before the first monthly futures contracts on the controversial cryptocurrency expired.
  • Financial Times: The bosses of the collapsed UK construction company Carillion have been stripped of bonus and severance payments following a public outcry.
  • Financial Times: Athletes from North and South Korea will march side-by-side under a unified flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, in a further sign of detente after a year of escalating military tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

Business and economics

  • The Times: MPs are seeking answers from regulators and the trustees of the giant Barclays staff retirement fund over plans to allow the core UK bank to walk away from responsibility for honouring pension promises to 200,000 people.
  • The Guardian: Efforts by the government to reassure thousands of staff employed by Carillion to work for private sector clients were called “flimsy”, as the small businesses owed money by the failed company braced for losses.
  • Financial Times: Volkswagen, the world’s largest carmaker by sales, increased deliveries to another record in 2017, indicating that the reputational damage from the diesel emissions scandal exposed in late 2015 has had little impact on car sales.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shares in Interserve plunged by more than 15% on Wednesday morning after reports that it was being monitored by the Government in the wake of the Carillion collapse spooked the market.
  • The Guardian: Burberry has reported a slump in sales as a luxury tourism shopping spree in the UK comes to an end.
  • The Guardian: Marks & Spencer is closing its London distribution centre, putting 380 jobs at risk, after disappointing Christmas trading figures.
  • Daily Mail: Pearson has seen its share price dip as it revealed sales last year were hit by cautious retail buyers holding back on purchases in the US.
  • The Guardian: Sir Philip Green’s retail business has told suppliers that Arcadia Group is imposing a discount on all current and existing orders from next month.
  • Daily Mail: Hedge funds are betting on the demise of one of Carillion’s biggest rivals, Interserve, after cashing in on the collapse of the once-mighty construction giant.
  • Financial Times: Standard Chartered has launched a new business unit that will invest in financial technology and manage its current investments, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A cyber attack against a major cloud computing firm could cause as much financial damage as Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Katrina, the World Economic Forum and risk manager Marsh have warned.
  • Financial Times: French tax authorities are attempting to claw back a €2.2 billion tax benefit Société Générale received in relation to losses made by “rogue trader” Jérôme Kerviel.
  • Financial Times: South Africa’s corporate registry has accused McKinsey, KPMG South Africa and the German software maker SAP of criminal breaches of company law as a scandal over the groups’ ties to the controversial Gupta family reignited.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times: BUY US investment banks; BUY Craneware.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): BUY First Derivatives; HOLD MercadoLibre; HOLD 4imprint.
  • Daily Mail: Cineworld has approached shareholders for £1.7 billion to fund its £2.6 billion blockbuster takeover of US cinema chain Regal Entertainment, as it revealed a stellar 2017.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Informa investors balked at the price the company plans to pay for rival trade show organiser UBM amid skepticism over the cost savings and cross-selling benefits the long-rumoured merger will bring.
  • Financial Times: Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management is weighing up its options after a second takeover offer for UK-listed IWG that valued the serviced office group at £2.5 billion was rebuffed, with just three days to go before a UK takeover deadline.
  • The Times: Two and half years into a turbulent period as the chief executive of Rolls-Royce, Warren East has launched a shake-up of the engineering group and has taken it out of the commercial marine sector.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Italy's resurgent eurosceptics plot to subvert monetary union from within.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Interserve will find ‘next Carillion’ tag hard to shake.

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