In the Papers - John Lewis, Dixons, Carphone Warehouse and AO World set to raise prices in ‘Brexit tax’


Newspaper Summary

The Times

British finance Chiefs are more gloomy than rest of Europe: Confidence among Chief Financial Officers in the U.K. is among the worst in Europe, with a report showing they are less willing to invest, hire new staff, take on risk or feel positive about growth.

Tesco leaves rivals behind after agreeing settlement with Visa: Tesco has settled a claim against Visa after it had alleged that the credit card giant had run a system of anti-competitive fees.

Boards must justify Chiefs’ pay to staff, says fund manager: Boards should be forced to justify Chief Executive pay rises in a letter written every year to all company employees, according to an influential institutional fund manager.

Help us tackle big bullies who pay late, say suppliers: Theresa May should tackle the devastating impact of late payment and supply chain “bullying” on small companies in her drive to clean up corporate governance, an employers’ group says.

Exports give Japan brief ray of hope: A recovery in exports helped the Japanese economy to grow at a faster than expected rate in the third quarter.

Give companies more tax relief for investment, Directors urge: Calls are growing for the government to offer more tax relief for companies who want to increase investment.

Equity investor celebrates passing £1 billion mark: BGF, the bank-owned investment firm, has passed the landmark £1 billion investment mark with a deal intended to create a rival to Center Parcs.

The Independent

Germany advises U.S. banks on moving offices from London to Frankfurt: A German minister is meeting representatives of major U.S. banks as Frankfurt increases its efforts to lure businesses and talents from London while the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union.

U.K. borrowing costs hit highest since Brexit vote: The U.K.’s 10-year borrowing costs have now risen above the level at the time of the Brexit vote – increasing the cost to the Government of funding the national debt and with City of London analysts pointing to the spillover effect of Donald Trump's Presidential election victory in the U.S.

Brexit causes British companies scrap investment plans worth £65.5 billion: British businesses have abandoned £65.5 billion of investments because of the Brexit vote, new research shows.

China eclipses Trump's 10-year infrastructure plan in 10 months: President-elect Donald Trump has proposed spending up to $1 trillion over a decade to make America's infrastructure “second to none.”

Petition for shops to shut on Boxing Day tops 115,000 signatures: A petition calling for all shops to be banned from opening on Boxing Day has reached more than 115,000 signatures.

China threatens to cut iPhone sales if Trump starts a trade war: China will cut iPhone sales and order planes from Airbus instead of Boeing if Donald Trump decides to embark upon a trade war.

Financial Times

HS2 high-speed rail line to be built in full: The government has confirmed that it will go ahead with building the entire £56 billion HS2 high-speed train line.

SFO to decide whether to file Barclays charges by March: The Serious Fraud Office plans to decide by March whether to press charges in its criminal probe of Barclays’ 2008 Qatar fundraising, the High Court has heard.

Lossmaking online wealth manager Nutmeg raises £30 million: Nutmeg, the lossmaking online wealth manager, has raised £30 million from international investors in a deal that underscores the belief that low-cost “robo-advisers” will reshape financial advice even though firms have had limited success so far.

Centrica warns over government intervention on U.K. energy bills: Britain’s biggest energy company has warned the government about the dangers of “unintended consequences” if ministers make a fresh intervention to drive down household bills.

Trafigura reveals $33 billion of state energy group deals: Trafigura, one of the world’s largest independent oil traders, has disclosed $33 billion of direct deals with state-controlled producers during 2014 and 2015 — revealing for the first time the scale of its business with national energy companies.


Richard Li to buy AIG’s remaining Asia life assets: Richard Li, the Hong Kong entrepreneur who is the son of one of Asia’s richest men, has struck a deal to buy AIG’s remaining life assurance assets in the region as he moves to build a challenger to Asia’s more established operators.


nvestment banks cut back Asian teams as M&A fees lag: The world’s biggest banks have cut up to 15% of their Asian investment bankers since 2012 as the gap between Asian M&A fees paid and those paid by western clients ballooned to its highest level in more than a decade.


Siemens agrees to buy Mentor Graphics in $4.5 billion deal: Siemens on Monday sought to bulk up its industrial software capabilities through a $4.5 billion deal to buy Mentor Graphics, a U.S. company focused on developing electronic components quickly and cheaply.


German labour union warns Chinese suitors over Osram bid: Germany’s powerful IG Metall labour union will block any attempt by Chinese investors to buy Osram, the lighting company, in a further sign of the growing backlash against China’s involvement in the country’s high-tech sector.


Samsung to pay $8 billion for U.S. car tech group Harman: Samsung Electronics has turbocharged its ambitions in automotives and smart car technology with the announcement of an $8 billion deal for U.S. parts supplier Harman International Industries.


Google admits giving top spot to blog saying Trump won most votes: Google has been dragged into the controversy over fake online news in the wake of last week’s U.S. Presidential election, adding to Silicon Valley’s discomfort over allegations that it may have played a role in tipping the vote.


Chinese copper smelter in high-voltage Hollywood deal: A copper processing company has announced one of the more unlikely diversifications by Chinese companies into the U.S. entertainment sector, taking an 80% stake in the Hollywood film production company that made The Hurt Locker movie.


Greencore to acquire U.S. group Peacock Foods for $748 million: Greencore, producer of half the sandwiches sold on Britain’s high streets, will accelerate its U.S. expansion plans with the acquisition of Peacock Foods for $747.5 million a deal that will quadruple its sales in the country.


Co-founder looks to take Canada’s Amaya private in $6.7 billion deal: The co-founder of Amaya, the Canadian group that owns the Pokerstars and Full Tilt websites, has launched an attempt to take the company private in a deal worth roughly $6.7 billion, just weeks after merger talks with U.K. bookmaker William Hill fell apart.


Hugo Boss to tailor a revival strategy: It has been an eventful 12 months for Hugo Boss. Since last autumn, the German fashion brand has endured two profit warnings, lost a Chief Executive and suffered a sharp sell-off in its shares, which have shed a third of their value over the past year.

Vodafone seeks probe of BT’s copper broadband plans: Vodafone has moved to derail BT’s plans to roll out a faster broadband service using existing copper lines, arguing that its rival’s technology trials have broken strict rules set by Ofcom, the telecoms regulator.

Warren Buffett invests $1.2 billion in U.S. airlines: Warren Buffett used to call the airline industry “a death trap for investors”, but the world’s most famous stockpicker has spent more than $1.2 billion building stakes in four U.S. airlines, he said on Monday.


Siemens/Mentor Graphics: blurred lines: On Monday, Siemens said it would acquire Mentor Graphics, a producer of software used in chip design, for $4.5 billion. But shareholders have so far not rewarded the German industrial conglomerate with Silicon Valley style valuations.

Samsung/Harman: car tunes: Samsung announced on Monday that it will stump up $8 billion for all of Harman, which gets about two-thirds of its revenue from the auto business (the proportion for Samsung is less than 1%). It will pay for Harman with cash from its own underleveraged balance sheet; Samsung has $60 billion of net cash. Compared with last week’s undisturbed share price, Harman shareholders will receive a 28% premium.

DCC: Breen there, done that: Winning an award or receiving a gong often presages a downturn in corporate fortunes. DCC is bucking the trend. Its Chief Executive Tommy Breen was recently named the U.K.’s best value Chief Executive by Mercer Kepler. On Monday it upgraded its forecasts for the full year after a strong first half.


May’s grey version of Trump populism puts multinationals on guard: Theresa May, a greyer eminence than Donald Trump or his British soul brother, has faintly echoed rather than amplified that message in a Guildhall speech, pledging “a new approach to managing the forces of globalisation”. That sounds like a diplomatic way of saying she wishes to constrain them.

Few laughs at Lonmin: There have been pitifully few opportunities for Ben Magara to deploy his trademark belly laugh. But the Boss of Lonmin may permit himself a chuckle for cheating Fate of the much-prophesied collapse of the South African platinum miner. Full-year results even show a slim earnings upturn. Underlying operating profits were $7m, versus $134 million loss last time.

The Daily Telegraph

Merlin to cut more Alton Towers staff following Smiler crash: Merlin Entertainments is poised to cut almost a tenth of its workforce at Alton Towers as the theme park continues to reel from a rollercoaster accident that led to two young women having legs amputated.

Rumours swirl of €13 billion fund-raising by UniCredit: Speculation is mounting over the future of UniCredit after it emerged that Italy’s biggest bank is considering a €13 billion fund-raising and rumours swirled that it could also merge with French rival Societe Generale.

Johnston Press nears sale of Suffolk newspapers to fund debt battle: The newspaper publisher Johnston Press has confirmed it is in late-stage talks to sell a clutch of regional titles to the Iliffe family.

Struggling William Hill beefs up board: William Hill has beefed up its board with a trio of appointments as the struggling bookmaker battles to restore investor confidence after shareholders shot down an ill-fated attempt to merge with a Canadian rival.

The Guardian

U.K. slowdown will give Chancellor little scope for tax cuts, says PwC: A slowdown in the U.K. economy will hit tax receipts and leave the Chancellor with little wriggle room for giveaways at next week’s autumn statement, a new report warns.

Natural disasters push 26 million into poverty each year, says World Bank: Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and other extreme natural disasters push 26 million people into poverty each year and cost the global economy more than half a trillion dollars in lost consumption, the World Bank has said.

Office construction in central London hits eight-year high: Construction work in central London has reached the highest level for eight years, demonstrating the resilience of the city’s key business districts despite warnings that companies will leave because of Brexit.

Greg Clark to meet energy firms over 'profiteering' claims: The Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, plans to meet energy company representatives after a report appeared to show them extracting larger profits from households than they claimed.

HSBC insists Birmingham staff move is on track: HSBC has been forced to insist its plan to install more than 1,000 key staff in Birmingham is on track, after the process was reportedly described as “in crisis” by an official monitor at Britain’s biggest bank.

American Apparel founder eyes European factory as company files for bankruptcy in U.S.: Dov Charney is considering opening a factory in London to make T-shirts for his new business as American Apparel, the company he lost control of two years ago, files for bankruptcy in the U.S.

Daily Mail

Cuts put platinum miner Lonmin back in black despite volatile prices for the precious metal: Major cost-cutting has helped Lonmin swing back into profit despite volatile platinum prices. The London-based platinum miner turned a loss of £107.4million in 2015 to a £5.6million profit in the year to September 30, 2016.

Boss of Uber rival Karhoo blew thousands on haircuts and cigars as firm went bust: The Boss behind the start-up technology firm which boldly claimed to rival Uber went on a lavish spending spree in the months before its collapse. Charismatic entrepreneur Daniel Ishag launched Karhoo earlier this year, declaring thousands had signed up to the taxi comparison app.

Finance Chief at U.K. software firm sacked staff who queried false accounts: A top software Executive fiddled his firm's accounts and sacked staff who opposed him in a bid to secure an £8.7 billion sale, court papers claim. Sushovan Hussain, former finance Director of British tech firm Autonomy, is facing fraud charges in the U.S. over his company's ill-fated takeover by industry giant Hewlett-Packard in 2011.

William Hill's online business returns to growth after glitches earlier in the year cost the firm dear: Betting giant William Hill said annual profits will be at the top end of its target as plans to turn around its struggling online arm have shown signs of bearing fruit.

Daily Express

Mortgage deals defy Brexit doom-mongers to fall to record lows: Mortgage costs have continued to fall to record lows, offering homeowners hundreds of pounds of savings on repayments costs, analysis has showed.

Matalan teams up with DPD to offer more pickup locations across Britain for customers: Leading retailer Matalan has joined up with DPD Pickup parcel shop network so customers can pick up their purchases at more than 2,000 locations across the country.

Trump dump of $1 trillion sparks knock-on fears for Italy and Portugal: Eurozone disaster economies Italy and Portugal are facing a fresh financial crisis, after Donald Trump's win pushed up the cost of borrowing for the fragile countries.

John Lewis, Dixons, Carphone Warehouse and AO World set to raise prices in ‘Brexit tax’: Britons are in line for stinging price rises in the new year, as stores hit shoppers with a 'Brexit tax'. John Lewis, Dixons, Carphone Warehouse and AO World are among the firms planning to raise costs for customers from January, according to The Sun.

The Scottish Herald

Jobs outlook weak as Brexit fears bite: Scotland will be the only part of the U.K. to see employment fall next year, as its economic growth halves to 0.9% on the back of the Brexit vote, PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts.

Trainspotting pub leads operator expansion plans: A pub made famous in the Trainspotting film is having a £500,000 makeover as its new owner creates a family-friendly bar and dining experience far removed from the antics of Francis Begbie.

Business Growth Fund investment tops £1 billion: The Business Growth Fund has taken its total investment in U.K. firms to £1 billion with Scotland accounting for a disproportionate share and said it expects to maintain activity levels in spite of the Brexit vote.

English take-over beckons for HBJ Gateley: The senior partner of HBJ Gateley has confirmed that the law firm is in advanced talks regarding a take-over by England’s Addleshaw Goddard.

Scottish investors back crisp firm: John Dunsmore, former Chief Executive of the Scottish & Newcastle drinks business, has invested in a firm that makes healthy snacks from fruit and vegetables alongside Ben Thomson, who used to run the Noble Group investment bank.

Standard Life faces delay over Indian deal: Standard Life appears to have hit a complication in India after regulators raised question about the company’s latest expansion move in a country it regards as key growth market.

The Scotsman

Scotland’s private companies show lacklustre growth: Scotland’s private sector barely edged into growth last month as it faced the headwinds of continuing higher input prices amid the fall in the value of sterling and flat new business activity, a new report out shows.

Jobs boost as diabetes firm opens Edinburgh operation: A company that specialises in glucose monitoring for people with diabetes has opened a base in Edinburgh with the aim of creating more than 60 jobs over the next three years.

High-growth Scottish firms ‘in decline’, warns Barclays: Scotland risks falling behind in fast growth ‘scale-up’ businesses to take entrepreneurs onto the next stage of expansion, according to a new report.

‘Resilient’ Taylor Wimpey builds up land bank: Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey will continue to strengthen its Scottish land bank after the group pointed to “resilient” trading in the wake of the Brexit vote.

City A.M.

Europe's finance Chiefs stay positive despite Brexit woes: Finance Chiefs across Europe are worried about Brexit, but remain confident their business has what it takes to make it through the uncertainty, research published has found.

New Plusnet Mobile service will expand the company's portfolio as a quad-play provider: Plusnet announced the launch of the U.K.’s newest mobile provider: Plusnet Mobile.

Deloitte report reveals high levels of mid-cap shareholder satisfaction over exec pay: Only a “handful” of Britain's mid-cap companies have failed to receive majority shareholder support on exec pay according to a study of FTSE 250 companies.

Adrian Ringrose to step down as Interserve begins successor search: Support services giant Interserve is on the hunt for a new Boss after announcing that its Chief Exec will stand down next year.

Marsh Chief Exec reveals details of its £295 million purchase of Bluefin from Axa: U.S. insurance broking giant Marsh said that the Brexit vote had no bearing on its £295 million purchase of U.K. small business specialist Bluefin.

Metro Bank has agreed to offer cash accounts to clients of St James's Place: One of Britain’s up and coming banks announced a tie-up with the country’s largest Wealth Manager. Challenger Metro Bank will offer cash accounts to customers of St James’s Place as well as providing a City branch for the wealth manager’s clients.

U.S. boutique banks Perella Weinberg and Tudor, Pickering, Holt and Co announce merger: Two high-profile U.S. boutique investment banks, Perella Weinberg and Tudor, Pickering, Holt and Co (TPH), have agreed a merger.

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