In the Papers - Google to create 3,000 more U.K. jobs in major boost for London technology scene


Newspaper Summary

The Times

Rates rise could add 30p to price of pint: Britain’s pubs face an extra bill of £420 million in business rates over the next five years, putting pressure on operators to raise beer prices.

Surprise fall in inflation fails to deter warnings of rises next year: Inflation dipped unexpectedly last month but economists have warned that a huge build-up in the cost of raw materials for manufacturers and producers will start to eat into household incomes soon.

Fraud Office bid to gag Barclays banker tribunal: The Serious Fraud Office has launched a legal action to prevent a former top Barclays banker from publicly discussing his role in the bank’s contentious Qatari fundraising at the height of the financial crisis.

TalkTalk tries to find words of comfort after customers leave: Shares in the broadband provider TalkTalk sank more than 5% after the group revealed 29,000 customers had deserted it in the first half.

Scottish retail sales figures best for three years: The value of Scottish retail sales has edged back into positive territory with the best performance in almost three years. The 0.6% like for like rise in October was helped by the food sector and improved demand in areas such as furniture and homeware, according to the Scottish Retail Sales Monitor.

Kerviel jubilant over €2.2 billion tax claim against his former bank: France’s best-known rogue trader reacted with euphoria after it was disclosed that officials are reclaiming a €2.2 billion tax deduction from his former employer.

The Independent

Lack of new house building not to blame for soaring house prices: Soaring house prices and plummeting home ownership rates in the U.K. have not been driven by a lack of new housing construction, a Labour party-commissioned review has found, contradicting conventional wisdom on the nature of the housing crisis.

Millions of workers to pay hundreds more in national insurance: A proposed shake-up of the U.K.’s national insurance system could see millions of workers paying hundreds of pounds more a year, including those on low paid employment.

Facebook employees 'form secret task force' to purge fake news: An unofficial task force of Facebook employees is reportedly examining the company’s role in promoting fake news in the wake of the shock 2016 U.S. Presidential election results.

British American Tobacco's $47 billion offer for Reynolds American rejected: Reynolds American, the second-largest cigarette seller in the U.S., is seeking a higher price from British American Tobacco after rejecting a $47 billion buyout offer as too low, according to people familiar with the matter.

Financial Times

NHS awarded £800 million contract without agreeing services or prices: The NHS awarded a flagship seven-year elderly care contract without agreeing what services would be provided or at what price, highlighting the “gaping holes” in its business acumen, according to a scathing new report.

Retirement builder McCarthy & Stone improves after profit warning: The retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone said its trading had returned to “more normal levels” after a slowdown immediately after the U.K.’s EU referendum forced it to warn about meeting profit targets next year.

Ron Dennis ousted as head of F1 Owner McLaren: Ron Dennis was ousted as Chairman and Chief Executive of McLaren on Tuesday after falling out with fellow shareholders over the direction of the Formula One technology group.

Rolls-Royce strikes positive tone with pledge on cash flow: Warren East, Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce, will on Wednesday seek to reassure investors that his transformation plan is on track with a pledge that next year will see the start of a recovery in cash generation.

Rio Tinto’s to shut iron ore mine over Christmas: Rio Tinto is suspending operations at one of its biggest iron ore mines in Australia over Christmas to cut costs amid growing industry-wide concern about a proposal to increase state taxes on Australia’s biggest iron ore producers.

India fintech groups look to cash in on banknote crunch: Two days after the shock news that 86% of India’s cash by value was being scrapped overnight, a full-page advertisement by a prominent digital payments business appeared on the front of several national newspapers.

Monte dei Paschi di Siena prices €4.3 billion debt-for-equity swap: Monte dei Paschi di Siena has priced a swap of €4.3 billion of subordinated debt for equity, a key plank of the latest plan to turn round the troubled Italian lender and avert concerns that its failure could spark a systemic crisis.

Big pharma warns drug price pressure not over under Trump: Pressure on drug prices is unlikely to dissipate under a Donald Trump presidency, senior pharmaceuticals Executives have warned.

Strong U.S. retail sales lift rate rise expectations: A bigger than expected jump in U.S. retail sales last month renewed optimism about the strength of consumer spending, supporting the argument for the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates in December.

Google boosts artificial intelligence push with two top hires: Google has hired two of the most prominent women working in artificial intelligence research, adding to a brain-drain that has already seen many of the top minds in the field drawn into a handful of the biggest technology companies.

Twitter adds features to curb abuse: Twitter will allow users to “mute” abuse as a response to concerns that cyberbullying, racism and misogyny are pushing some people to leave the platform and hurting the company’s growth prospects.

Smartphone sales predicted to slide on AI advances: The rise of advanced technology is likely to depress sales of smartphones in mature markets by 20% within the next 10 years, as the loss of skilled jobs to artificial intelligence means consumers have less money to spend on the latest gadgets.


Fannie and Freddie: mortgaging the future: The shares of the mortgage guarantors, seized by the U.S. government in 2008, have risen more than 50% since election day. However, a dispute with minority shareholders rumbles on. Bill Ackman, whose Pershing Square owns a 2% stake, has said he looks forward to negotiating with Mr Trump.

Salvatore Ferragamo: wrong mode: Salvatore Ferragamo has suffered on account of being perceived as too staid. Shares fell 9% on Tuesday after the Italian leather goods maker reported flat sales and a 4% drop in pre-tax profit for the nine months to the end of September.

Vodafone: voice of reason: Reliance Industries in September launched its own mobile network known as Jio, which can handle triple the data that leader Bharti can and seven times that of Vodafone’s. Even worse for its rivals, Jio has just launched with a heavily discounted offering. In Tuesday’s interim earnings report, it announced a €6 billion impairment to its Indian operations. This is not the first Indian writedown: in 2010 it had one worth €2.6 billion, for similar reasons.


EasyJet risks the wrath of Stelios: EasyJet plans to grow fast at the airport serving Venice, city of dreams and lovers. Also at Luton, town of industrial estates and Lorraine Chase, where the low-cost airline is headquartered. How will this play with Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, shareholder of frosty communiqués and no-confidence votes? Badly, one fears.

Hourican blows in: Some London bankers joke they will relocate to sunny Cyprus after Brexit to retain access to the single market. Ex-comrade John Hourican is heading the other way, with plans to list Bank of Cyprus on the London Stock Exchange. The move is part of a workout that has made the same process at Royal Bank of Scotland, Mr Hourican’s former employer, look like a nursery picnic.

The Daily Telegraph

Google to create 3,000 more U.K. jobs in major boost for London technology scene: Google has announced plans to hire more than 3,000 new staff in the U.K. in a major boost to Britain’s technology sector after Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

Snapchat prepares for $25 billion+ flotation: Snapchat's parent company has quietly filed documents for a stock market listing that could see the virtual messaging company valued at between $20 billion and $25 billion.

Exxon battles to get reduction in record $74 billion fine over oil royalties: Oil giant Exxon Mobil is trying to win a reduction on a massive $74 billion fine it has been hit with by a Chad court in a row over oil royalties.

B&M bullish on store roll-outs despite sterling slump: B&M Bargains, the discount retail chain, stressed that it is committed to its expansion plans to add another 50 stores next year despite concerns about consumer confidence following the EU referendum.

Wembley developer secures £800 million loan from North American funds: Three of the world’s biggest institutional investors have backed plans to build almost 5,000 homes in Wembley with an £800 million loan, in one of the largest development financing deals since the recession.

The Questor Column:

Buy Manx Telecom for a Man-sized dividend supported by robust cashflow: As its name suggests, the firm is the leading provider of fixed-line, broadband and mobile communications services on the Isle of Man. The core business is highly cash generative and seems capable of supporting the dividend policy pursued by the management. The board approved a 5.7% increase in the interim dividend in September, encouraged by a further decline in what were already modest debts of just 60% of shareholders’ funds. The pension deficit is just £2.7 million and should not crimp Manx Telecom’s ability to pay the dividend, which equates to a prospective yield of 5.3%. Earnings cover for the dividend is only 1.3 times but cashflow looks robust and the yield is tempting. Questor says “Buy”.

CLS Holdings: Property developer CLS Holdings trades at a discount to net asset value (NAV) and could therefore fall into this category, even if its French and German exposure (at just over a third of assets) provides some welcome diversification. The pound’s fall increases their value in sterling terms. At £16.43 the shares trade at a discount to the June NAV per share figure of £19.52, even as the company develops its Vauxhall Square and Spring Mews properties in south London. Net debt of £712 million is manageable relative to net assets and is barely 50% of property value, while earnings cover interest payments by more than 3.5 times. The one oddity to note is that CLS does not pay dividends but instead runs regular “tender” offers to return cash to investors. Patience will be required but the balance sheet is healthy and the tenders should keep cash returns coming at a healthy rate. Questor says “Buy”.

The Guardian

Barack Obama raises possibility of debt relief on final Greece visit: The outgoing U.S. President, Barack Obama, has used his final trip to Europe to call for action to put Greece on a path to “durable” economic recovery, including the possibility of debt relief.

Cost of cake set to rise, says Mr Kipling maker: The cost of cake will soon be on the rise, Premier Foods, the maker of Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, has warned as it said the price of ingredients had shot up dramatically in the past few months.

Boom in office-to-home conversions drives rise in housing stock: A big increase in the number of offices and shops converted into flats is behind a surge in England’s housing stock, official figures show.

Richard Branson reveals prototype for supersonic passenger aircraft: Sir Richard Branson on Tuesday heralded the rebirth of supersonic passenger flights with the unveiling of a prototype aircraft promising 3.5-hour flights from London to New York for an “affordable” $5,000 return.

Bank of Cyprus to list on London Stock Exchange: Bank of Cyprus is to list on the London Stock Exchange and expand in the U.K., in the latest sign of its path towards rehabilitation since savers were forced to take losses to pump billions of euros into its bailout three years ago.

Daily Mail

Eurozone manages sluggish economic growth of 0.3% in the third quarter: The Eurozone managed sluggish economic growth of 0.3% in the year's third quarter, according to official statistics.

Morgan Stanley Boss cashes in selling shares after Trump win sends price soaring: Morgan Stanley Chief, slick Aussie dingo-dog James Gorman, made £2.3 million from selling 200,000 of his shares last Friday.

Don't blame me for U.K.'s sluggish growth, says Carney: BoE Governor warns of more stagnation: Central banks are being wrongly blamed for sluggish growth, Mark Carney has said – and there could be decades more stagnation if politicians fail to act.

U.K. miner wins £1.1 million legal spat with African general to get permission to mine in Mozambique: British firm Pathfinder Minerals won the latest stage in a titanic legal battle to get permission to mine in Mozambique.

Daily Express

Germany's economic bombshell to EU: Growth falls to shockingly low 0.2%: Germany's economy almost ground to a total halt in the third quarter of the year as growth slowed to just 0.2%, raising fears the Eurozone is descending into a full-scale financial crisis.

Well-heeled shoppers shore up Tesco sales: Tesco has grown at its fastest rate in three years as more affluent shoppers return to its stores, figures show.

Vodafone posts a 4.3% lift rise in half-year earnings: Mobile phone giant Vodafone has posted a rise in half-year earnings as it cheered a better than expected performance in Europe.

The Scottish Herald

Boardroom coup plan at Bowleven: Bowleven has found itself the target of an attempted boardroom coup by a significant shareholder which has said it wants three directors ousted from the company’s board.

Scottish Chambers flags price pressures: Scottish Chambers of Commerce has warned higher costs resulting from sterling’s Brexit vote-induced drop are still likely to push up shop prices, after figures showed a surprise fall in headline inflation.

Food sales grow but weather weighs on clothing: The value of Scottish retail sales in October was down 0.2% on the same month of 2015, in contrast to a 2.4% year-on-year rise in the U.K. as a whole, industry figures show.

Wood awarded $40 million contract: Aberdeen-based Wood Group has been awarded a $40 million (£32 million) contract by ExxonMobil Chemical for work on a polyethylene plant being built in Beaumont, Texas.

Canada move for Scots firm: Copylab, the Glasgow-based investment writing and communications agency, has unveiled a new Canadian operation, adding to other 2016 launches in the U.S. and Asia.

Craneware backed despite sell-off: Craneware, the Scottish business that provides software to the U.S. healthcare industry, has been backed by analysts at Peelhunt after its share price dived 7% following a sell-off in the wake of Donald Trump’s election win.

The Scotsman

Tech accelerator RocketSpace looks to take off in Scotland: The U.S. technology accelerator that helped nurture the likes of online taxi app Uber and music streaming service Spotify is eyeing a possible expansion into Scotland.

Atlantis hails first power from tidal energy scheme: A key tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth has generated electricity for the first time.

Scottish economic growth ‘to halve’ as Brexit bites: Growth in Scotland’s economy is expected to be cut in half next year as uncertainty over the impact of Brexit takes its toll, a gloomy report warns.

EasyJet aims to slash costs after profits nosedive: Budget airline EasyJet has revealed plans for an overhaul to slash costs after seeing annual profits nosedive by more than a quarter.

FirstGroup profits fall amid tough rail and bus market: Transport giant FirstGroup has seen its half-year profits slip as tough conditions in the U.K. bus and rail sector offset “encouraging” trading in North America.

City A.M.

OPEC optimism boosts Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices more than four per cent: Oil prices rebounded more than 4% on renewed hopes of an OPEC output cut deal.

Enterprise Inns results show steady growth as it moves away from one-size-fits-all management style: Shares gained some fizz at the U.K.'s largest pub owner, Enterprise Inns, while full-year profits after tax swung back.

London Stock Exchange seeks to wrap up French clearing house sale as EU regulatory battle looms for Deutsche Boerse merger: The London Stock Exchange Group is whittling down the list of candidates for the sale of its Paris-based clearing business and could be in a position to announce a deal before Christmas, City A.M. understands.

Copper prices slide as rally following Donald Trump's election begins to reverse: Copper prices slid after a rally prompted by the surprise election of Donald Trump as U.S. President came to a halt.

Former Chair of Northern Foods says consumers will see food prices rise “substantially” with inflation: This is one of the most difficult times for the food industry in decades, according to Lord Christopher Haskins, former Chair of Northern Foods.

Article 50 case outcome could delay Brexit, Supreme Court judge cautions: Brexit could be delayed if government loses its appeal on the Article 50 case, the deputy President of the Supreme Court has cautioned.

FTSE 250 asset manager ICG's shares jump 7% as profits grow: FTSE 250-listed Intermediate Capital Group’s (ICG) share price soared more than 7% this afternoon after the firm reported rising assets under management (AUM).

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