Friday, 07 May 2021 07:57 GMT

In the papers: BT, BHS, Toyota

( MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - UK) Proactive Investors, Thu

The Times
Rivals seize on EU vote in battle to break up BT: The telecoms industry plans to use the Brexit vote as a new weapon in the fight to break up BT by telling the Chief Executive of Ofcom that she can now act without fear of an intervention from Brussels if she chooses to split up the former monopoly.
Banks fail American tests: Two of Europe''s biggest banks have suffered a setback in the United States after the Federal Reserve rejected plans for their American units to return profits to investors.
Brexit vote sparks consumer confidence slump: Consumer confidence has crashed since Britain''s vote to leave the European Union, latest polling shows.
Peer-to-peer lender runs out of funds: A peer-to-peer lender that used millions of pounds of retail investors'' money to finance small businesses has collapsed into insolvency. FundingKnight, an online platform that linked investors with small companies, property developers and green energy projects seeking loans, failed this week after running out of cash.
Morrisons cries foul over Aldi advert: Aldi''s marketing strategy has come under scrutiny after Wm Morrison and two members of the public complained that three of its adverts were ambiguous and misleading and the advertising watchdog agreed.
Monsanto plants seeds of new deal: A month after rejecting a $62 billion takeover offer from Bayer, of Germany, Monsanto said that it was in talks with its suitor and others about ''alternative strategic options''.
The Independent
Frank Field accuses Sir Philip Green of ''nicking'' from collapsed BHS: Sir Philip Green has restarted his angry war of words with Frank Field, after the chair of the House of Commons Pensions Committee accused the tycoon and former BHS Owner of ''nicking'' in a Parliamentary hearing into the collapse of the department store chain.
Brexit: U.K. construction sector heading for ''brick wall'' as infrastructure projects suspended: The U.K. construction industry will slam into a ''brick wall'' early next year due to the massive uncertainty created by the Brexit vote, an industry source has warned.
Toyota recalls 3.37 million hybrid cars over airbag and fuel emission issues: Toyota, the Japanese car maker, said it was recalling millions of car worldwide and thousands in the U.K. over defective airbag concerns and fuel emissions control units.
Brexit top donor Peter Hargreaves says ''no regrets'' despite losing hundreds of millions after Leave win: The top donor to the campaign for the U.K. to leave the EU has said he has no regrets about the money he spent, despite hundreds of millions being wiped off his fortune in the aftermath of the vote.
The Daily Telegraph
New Zealand offers U.K. its top trade negotiators for post-Brexit deals: New Zealand has offered its top trade negotiators to the United Kingdom, relieving the British civil service as it prepares for the strain of seeking new deals with countries across the globe.
Francois Hollande adds to chorus calling for London to lose euro clearing market: Francois Hollande, the French President, has warned London that it will no longer be the centre of euro-denominated clearing following the Brexit vote, dealing a blow to one of the City''s biggest markets and casting further doubt on the London Stock Exchange''s merger plans.
Pilots threaten to strike over fatigue concerns: Some airlines are fatiguing pilots by forcing them to work for 20 hours without an adequate break, sparking concerns about safety and raising the prospect of strike action towards the end of the summer holidays, the pilots'' union has warned.
My Local appoints administrators: Convenience store chain My Local, which emerged from Morrisons stores sold last year, has gone into administration. KPMG has been appointed to handle the process, which has already resulted in the closure of 90 of the chain''s 125 stores, with three more expected to close imminently.
Brexit makes it harder for U.K. to tackle climate change, says Amber Rudd: Brexit will make it harder for the U.K. to tackle climate change but its commitment to do so is undiminished by the EU referendum result, energy secretary Amber Rudd has said.
Cobham poaches finance Boss from rival QinetiQ: Defence and aerospace group Cobham has poached a new finance director from fellow mid-capper QinetiQ, ending the troubled company''s search for a top Executive.
Barclays is out of crisis mode as Brexit worries subside: Barclays has already scrapped its Brexit crisis plans as the situation is much less severe than Bosses had previously feared.
The Questor Column:
Buy Standard Life as shares are oversold: Shares in the insurance sector have tumbled more than 20% during the past 12 months as investment returns are crushed and Brexit uncertainty unsettles markets. But they could be entering value territory and we like the chunky dividend yields of more than 6%. It was already suffering from falling bond yields and an equity market sell-off when the Brexit vote came as the final straw. The problem for insurers is that their business model is being pushed to the limit. Investment returns are proving hard to come by. Yields on U.K. and U.S. government bonds have fallen to record lows. Insurers are struggling to drive returns to cover their long-term liabilities against such a backdrop. The Brexit result is a double whammy for insurers because government bond yields moved lower as investors chased safe havens, and stock markets also fell, which reduces the amount of assets the insurer holds to cover future liabilities. The hardest hit sector has been that of life insurance due to the compounding effect that takes place over the term of the policy. Standard Life has therefore been the hardest hit London-listed insurer due to its U.K. focus and exposure to life insurance. Standard Life shares have also suffered after it said the asset management business would not grow as quickly this year amid market uncertainty, and being Edinburgh based it is exposed to a potential vote Scotland leaving the U.K. It is clearly going to be tough for Standard Life, but we feel the negotiations to exit the EU will take time, and the reaction in the shares has been overdone. The latest update from the company last month showed it was still attracting more assets under management, while the insurance business was cutting costs and trading well. Standard Life at 288p+11.2p. Questor says ''Buy''.
The Guardian
FTSE 100 now above pre-Brexit vote levels: Leading London-listed shares have recorded their biggest daily rise since October 2011, regaining all their losses and more since the Brexit vote, with nearly 60 billion added to the value of Britain''s top 100 companies.
LuxLeaks whistleblower avoids jail after guilty verdict: A former employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers has been convicted of theft by a court in Luxembourg following an unprecedented leak of controversial tax deals granted to many of the world''s largest corporations.
U.K. carmakers face skills shortage if EU workers restricted, says industry: Carmakers face a skills shortage if workers from the rest of Europe are restricted from working in the U.K., the motor industry has warned, as it credited the single market with fuelling record production and sales.
U.K. house price growth up in final set of figures before vote to leave EU: Growth in U.K. house prices picked up in June, but agents and analysts are warning that Britain''s decision to leave the EU will affect demand and prices in the coming months.
Daily Mail
Bank of England acts to keep economy moving as bank Bosses ordered to keep on lending: British banks have been told they must keep lending to drive the economy after the chaos that followed the Brexit vote.
Jamie Oliver suffers another setback after company behind his Australian restaurants collapses: Jamie Oliver has suffered another setback after the company behind his Australian restaurants collapsed.
Chinese conglomerate swoops for larger slice of Thomas Cook to take advantage of weak pound and share price fall after Brexit vote: A Chinese conglomerate has swooped for a larger slice of Thomas Cook to take advantage of the weak pound and the share price fall after the Brexit vote last week. Chinese giant Fosun upped its stake in the holiday firm to 8.2% in a vote of confidence, snapping up the shares on the cheap when they fell more than 20% between Friday and the market close on Monday.
Black hole in Britain''s struggling pension schemes widens to record 935 billion - underlining crisis affecting industry: The black hole in Britain''s struggling pension schemes has widened to a record 935 billion underlining the crisis affecting the industry.
Daily Express
Financial markets wipe out Brexit drops and gain nearly 100 billion lost: Britain''s financial markets enjoyed a Brexit fightback as share values soared by 62billion. With traders clearly rejecting Project Fear, confidence returned and prices shot up.
Lloyds Bank announces 525 job losses but none are linked to Brexit vote: Banking giant Lloyds has announced 525 job losses, hitting its retail and group operations. The bank, 9% owned by the taxpayer, said the cuts were part of 9,000 reductions announced in 2014.
U.K. company gives 2 million vote of confidence in Britain''s Brexit future with growth plan: A homegrown British business has pledged its confidence in the U.K.''s economic future by investing 2 million in an expansion programme. Cornish ice cream maker Kelly''s is expected to grow by a fifth this year amid record high sales and turnover in excess of 23 million.
Brexit wobble not a long term crisis, says Europe Bank Chief: Britain''s vote to leave the European Union was not a ''Lehman moment'' for financial markets, a top Chief from the European Central Bank has insisted.
The Scottish Herald
Store Twenty One Owner tables proposal for company voluntary arrangement: The Owner of budget fashion chain Store Twenty One has proposed a radical restructure of the retailer as it scrambles to avoid administration.
Dixons Carphone profits rise 17% to 447 million: Electricals and mobile phones giant Dixons Carphone has unveiled a 17% rise in an annual pretax profits to 447 million and brushed off fears surrounding the result of Britain''s EU referendum.
Spaces finds room to grow in Glasgow: Spaces, the Netherlands-based workspace specialist, has chosen Glasgow''s Bath Street for its second U.K. site. The company, which specialises in providing working environments for entrepreneurs, said the 29,223 square foot site will launch in October.
Edinburgh Indian food producer wins Asda supply deal: An Edinburgh-based South Asian food entrepreneur has won a contract valued at 150,000 to supply flavoured naan breads to Asda.
Steel fund boost for maintenance firm: Alba Facilities Services has streamlined its building maintenance business with efficiency-boosting software thanks to a third round of funding from U.K. Steel Enterprise (U.K.SE).
Shawbrook bounces back: Shawbrook Group, the challenger bank, has seen shares rebound after collapsing by more than half early this week as it announced a 9.8 million impairment charge to cover loans that had been underwritten but did not meet the business''s strict lending criteria.
Scottish technology firm wins Australian contract: Arrayjet, which makes specialised printers that can be used to speed up testing work for life sciences organisations, has won a AUS$400,000 (220,000) contract from a flagship Australian research institute.
FirstGroup director joins Kier board: Kier Group has appointed FirstGroup director Constance Baroudel to its board. The construction to property company said Ms Baroudel, group director of strategy and operational performance at Aberdeen-based FirstGroup, will join as an indepedent director on July 1.
The Scotsman
Vodafone could move HQ out of U.K. in wake of Brexit: Telecoms giant Vodafone has warned it could move its headquarters out of the U.K. following the Brexit vote.
Son of ''carpet king'' to roll out new Lothians store: Tapi Carpets & Floors, the retail chain created by the son of Carpetright Founder Lord Harris of Peckham, is to open its latest store in Midlothian next weekend.
Robertson lands 600,000 East Renfrewshire deal: Robertson Facilities Management has secured a key contract with East Renfrewshire Council to supply electrical maintenance services throughout the region.
''Plastic roads'' start-up impresses Sir Richard Branson: A Dumfriesshire start-up that turns waste plastic into asphalt for roads has won a slice of a 1 million prize fund after impressing a panel of judges including Sir Richard Branson.
Law firm Gillespie Macandrew unveils jump in profits: Scots law firm Gillespie Macandrew has seen profits jump by more than 18% in its latest financial year, during which it broke through the 10 million fee level for the first time.
Amec Foster Wheeler makes waves with 75 million subs contract: Engineering group Amec Foster Wheeler has landed a 75 million contract for work on the Royal Navy''s submarine flotilla.
JP Morgan ''expecting Scottish independence and new currency'': AMERICAN bank JP Morgan has confirmed that it expects Scotland to vote Yes in a second independence referendum as well as introducing its own currency before the U.K. leaves the European Union in 2019.
City A.M.
Edi Truell to make bid for Tata U.K. in the next two days: Leading City financier Edi Truell has confirmed he will make a bid for Tata Steel''s U.K. assets within the next 48 hours.
Trade group''s call for taskforce to safeguard U.K.''s Brexit negotiations: Business groups are mounting pressure on the government to take action following the U.K.''s vote to quit the European Union.
Infrastructure improvements needed at the heart of devolution agenda to boost growth, according to research from the Institution of Civil Engineers: Significant boosts to local growth, quality of life and environmental sustainability could all materialise if infrastructure improvements are placed at the heart of the devolution agenda, according to new research.
Royal Dutch Shell says U.K. energy demand set to fall in future: The Boss of oil major Royal Dutch Shell is set to say that energy demand in the U.K. will fall, while urging the government to help meet the world''s climate change goals.
Turkey producer on the hunt for bootiful new Owner: Turkey producer Bernard Matthews has reportedly begun searching for a new Owner. The company, best known for its ''bootiful'' catchphrase in adverts, is currently owned by Rutland Partners.
New chair of U.K. pensions lifeboat set to be named amid BHS and Tata crises: A new Chairman is set to be named for the U.K.''s Pension Protection Fund (PPF) on Thursday. The Department for Work and Pensions is believed to have picked one of its existing board members to replace Lady Judge, who is stepping down after six years.
Lower costs and Christmas cheer up Wilko as sales swell to 1.46 billion: Hardware and household goods retailer Wilko has reported sales through to end of January of 1.46 billion, up 1.4% on the previous year.
Goldman Sachs not eyeing up Frankfurt post-Brexit vote: Banking giant Goldman Sachs has refuted claims that the wheels are in motion to move staff to Frankfurt, following the U.K.''s decision last week to leave the EU.
Buyout giant raises 5.7 billion for European fund: European private equity firm Cinven has raised 7 billion (5.7 billion) from investors for its sixth fund. The fund was raised in four months and was oversubscribed for its original target of 5.5 billion.
Deutsche Boerse to ''devote all efforts'' to making London Stock Exchange merger work: Deutsche Boerse said it will ''devote all our efforts'' to completing its planned merger with the London Stock Exchange.
Norwegian oil workers threaten to strike as crude continues to rise: Hundreds of oil and gas workers in Norway are threatening to go on strike, halting output at five oil fields in Western Europe''s largest producer.

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