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In the Papers - Starbucks, Sports Direct, Ocado, Barclays

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Newspaper Summary

The Times

Capita shares shot down by repeated profit warning: Half a billion pounds was wiped off the value of Capita after the outsourcer issued a second profit warning in less than three months and announced it was selling one of its most profitable divisions.

SpaceX loses Inmarsat launch to rival rocket: Elon Musk has lost a launch order from Britain’s biggest satellite company after a rocket built by SpaceX, his space exploration company, exploded on the launchpad.

Coal and iron give China a surprise boost: China’s foreign trade figures confounded expectations last month as exports from the country grew for the first time in nine months.

EU vote impact ‘will bite next year’: Businesses plan to cut back on investment and wages next year to protect profits after Brexit, According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Italian bank sells €2.5 billion stake in Polish lender to boost finances: Italy’s largest lender has raised almost €2.5 billion from the sale of its stake in one of Poland’s biggest banks as it looks to bolster its balance sheet.

Rosneft deal ‘may violate Russia sanctions’: The European and U.S. authorities are examining Glencore’s Rosneft deal for a possible violation of sanctions against Russia, an American official has said.

Sportech celebrates £97 million VAT win over Spot the Ball: Eight years after launching a £97 million claim for the repayment of VAT over its Spot the Ball game, Sportech was celebrating victory over the taxman.

Starbucks aims to brew up taste for coffee in the land of tea: China may be the land of tea but Starbucks is attempting to shift its public’s focus to coffee with an aggressive expansion plan that the company believes will make the country its biggest market.

Airlines facing turbulent year as taxes and oil price take toll: Airline profits are expected to fall for the first time in six years amid a predicted rise in oil prices and a drop in passenger numbers.

Accor takes a 10% leaf out of Banyan Tree: Banyan Tree Holdings, based in Singapore, has signed a tie-up with AccorHotels that could result in the French group taking a 10% stake and developing further resorts.

The Independent

Trump and Brexit mean turbulent year ahead for Europe, says Draghi: If you thought this year had already exceeded the limit for political upheavals, Mario Draghi is warning there may not be much respite in 2017.

EU sues Germany and Britain over Volkswagen emissions scandal: The European Commission has launched legal action against seven nations including Germany and the U.K. for failing to clamp down on the emissions cheating exposed by the “dieselgate scandal”.

U.K.-based banks in ‘advanced talks’ over move to Paris due to Brexit: Leading international U.K.-based banks are in advanced stages of planning to shift operations to Paris as London braces for the impact of Brexit, France’s Chief financial regulator has said.

Sports Direct chairman hits out at critics as profits plunge: The chairman of scandal-hit retailer Sports Direct has accused the media, trade unions and MPs of waging a damaging campaign against the company as the retailer reported a sharp drop in half-year profits.

Major German companies including BMW pull advertising from Breitbart: Telecommunication giant Deutsche Telekom, carmaker BMW and several other major German companies have stopped advertising on rightwing U.S. news and opinion website Breitbardt due to concerns about its content.The Daily Telegraph

Spread betters hit again as Germany unveils CfD crackdown: Spread betting firms have been dealt another blow after the German financial regulator unveiled a clamp-down on contracts-for-difference trading, just two days after the British watchdog revealed plans to curb the industry. 

Euro plunges as ECB extends QE, even as policymakers ‘taper’ purchases: The European Central Bank has extended its bond buying programme until the end of 2017, as Mario Draghi insisted there was "no question" of ECB tapering even as monthly purchases were cut by a quarter.

McDonald’s to bring its international tax base to Britain: The British economy has received a post-Brexit vote of confidence from one of America’s best known companies after McDonald’s announced it will move its non-U.S. operations to London, abandoning its base in Luxembourg.

Glencore’s trading arm set to rake in cash from Rosneft oil deal: Glencore’s shock move to take a stake in state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft could add $80 million (£63 million) a year to profits in its trading arm, analysts have said, in what has been hailed a “win-win” deal.

Ocado shares stumble on overseas deal delay: Shares in Ocado have stumbled as investors balked at its repeated failure to seal a deal with an international partner and an admission that the amount customers are buying is shrinking.

Bookmakers battered as Government cracks down on ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling: Britain’s biggest bookmakers face a multi-million pound losing streak after a group of MPs called for a tougher stance on fixed odds betting terminals.

G4S and Serco facing losses after Government extends asylum seeker contracts: G4S and Serco are facing extensive losses as a result of the Home Office’s decision to extend its asylum seeker accommodation contracts until 2019, despite efforts to improve the agreements.

The Guardian

U.K. food prices will rise without EU workers, say trade groups: Food prices will rise unless the government ensures EU citizens can work in the U.K. after Brexit, according to industry groups representing the major supermarkets and food manufacturers, including the owner of Marmite.

EU workers in food and drink industry need assurance over Brexit: Nearly 4 million people are employed in growing, harvesting, producing, packaging, selling and serving our food and drink.

Major cut in EU migrants risks long-term damage to U.K. economy – report: A major cut in immigration from the European Union to Britain after Brexit would produce a damaging long-term hit to future economic growth while yielding only a “modest boost” of under 1% to the wages of low-paid workers, new research has found.

Brexit does not have to be bad for U.K. exporters, north-east firm tells MPs: A manufacturer in the north-east has told MPs that Brexit does not have to be bad for British exporters, boasting that his firm has just struck a lucrative, long-term deal with a French company.

McDonald’s to scrap Luxembourg tax structure: McDonald’s is to scrap its controversial Luxembourg tax structure in a corporate shakeup that means $1 billion (£800 million) of income from fast-food restaurants across Europe will flow through the U.K. instead.

Feeling the heat from Brussels over tax? Then move to London: There have been five U.S. multinationals caught up in “sweetheart tax deal” inquiries launched by competition officials in Brussels over the last two and a half years: Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, Fiat Chrysler and McDonald’s.

U.S. bank quit Sports Direct role over share deal concerns, court filing claims: A top U.S. investment bank resigned as a key adviser to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct because of concerns that the retail company had manipulated its share price, according to claims made in a high court document.

Daily Mail

Vital gas pipelines supplying 11 million U.K. homes and businesses sold off to foreign investors in £13.8 billion deal: A critical U.K. gas pipeline supplying 11 million homes and businesses has been sold for £13.8 billion to a consortium of investors from Australia, China and Qatar. The sell-off of a majority stake in the National Grid gas network will trigger a bumper payday for shareholders, who will split £4 billion from the deal.

Jobs under threat at Capita as it brings in robot staff and sells of parts of the business: Thousands of jobs are to go at outsourcing firm Capita as it announced it would be selling off parts of the business and introducing robotics. Shares dived to a ten-year low after the firm warned many jobs would be shipped to India and issued a profit warning – its second in less than three months.

Welsh government to invest £8 million in Port Talbot steel works after owner Tata agrees plan with unions: The Welsh government is to invest £8million in the Port Talbot steel works after owner Tata Steel agreed a plan with unions to keep it open. First Minister Carwyn Jones said it would pay £8million of Tata Steel’s £18million investment to cut energy costs and carbon emissions at the Welsh site.

French claim big banks are already making firm plans to move operations there after Brexit: Major banks are already planning to shift operations from London to Paris amid fears over Brexit, France’s top financial regulator has claimed. Benoit de Juvigny risked further inflaming tensions ahead of the looming negotiations by boasting about the prospects of business moving across the channel.

Holiday bookings not hit by Brexit as U.K. sun seekers flock to book next summer’s break: Undeterred by Brexit, British holidaymakers are flocking to book next summer’s sunshine break, according to TUI Group.

Luxury bag maker Mulberry ditches celebrity collaborations to offer lower-priced handbags to new customers: Mulberry is ditching celebrity collaborations to offer lower-priced handbags to attract new customers. The upmarket fashion brand is pricing its bags between £500 and £995, and is no longer to partner celebrities because their fashion lines tend to be more expensive.

Barclays new Chief was a former non-Executive Director at failed lender Bradford & Bingley: Campaigners have attacked Barclays for offering a top job to a former non-Executive Director at failed lender Bradford & Bingley. Barclays is lining up chairman of Debenhams Sir Ian Cheshire to run its ring-fenced unit overseeing consumer and small business operations, and has asked regulators to give their approval.

Hopes raised for a Government rescue of Italy’s crippled banks as the sector struggles with £300 billion of bad debt: Italy’s struggling banks were granted a reprieve last night as hopes grew of a government rescue. Sources said Italian ministers were in contact with Brussels about how to give the sector, which is weighed down by £300 billion of bad debt, the multi-billion-pound injection it needs.

Daily Express

‘Uncertainty prevails everywhere’ ECB Chief pulls trigger on cash bazooka to save Europe: The European Central Bank (ECB) is to inject billions of extra euros into the bloc’s struggling economy in another desperate attempt to boost growth amid political chaos in Italy, it was announced. The central bank’s mammoth money-printing progamme will now run until December 2017, and potentially longer, after originally being scheduled to finish in March.

Is this the end of ultra-cheap mortgages? Price hike fears as HSBC pulls record-low deal: Homeowners have been warned the era of record low mortgage costs could be coming to an end after a flurry of lenders raised rates. HSBC this week axed its market-leading 0.99% two-year fixed rate loan, raising expectations that more top deals could be pulled.

Italy’s Monte dei Pasche begs Euro bank for more time to avoid collapse: Italy has begged the European Central Bank (ECB) for more time to save its most troubled bank, MPS, in the hope of swerving huge losses for savers and pensioners.

Brexit boost: House prices strongest since April as low supply pushes up values: House price rises are at their strongest level since April, as the market shrugs off warnings it would be hit by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU).

The Scottish Herald

New venture is to help SMEs with RBS claims: A lawyer who has spent the best part of the last decade acting against Royal Bank of Scotland has set up a joint venture company to help former clients of the bank’s Global Restructuring Group navigate its complaints process.

Fresh warning on outlook for exploration in North Sea: Plexus Holdings has said it still can’t tell how long the slump in the oil and gas industry will last as it underlined how tough trading conditions are in the North Sea.

Netthings plans new market push after funding: Netthings, a provider of energy monitoring systems for homes, is eyeing a move into the commercial sector after successfully closing a £1.2 million funding round.

Minister calls for innovation in defence: Ministers have launched a drive to encourage small hi-tech businesses to join larger firms in creating an innovative future for the U.K. defence industry.

Independent Oil & Gas shows confidence in potential of field off England: North Sea-focused Independent Oil and Gas has said it is making progress with plans to develop a field off eastern England, amid tough times in the area.

Sir Chris wheels into Glasgow for Macklin: He is more known for his achievements on two wheels than four, so far at least. But that did not stop Sir Chris Hoy lending a touch of Olympian class to the launch of Macklin Motors’ latest showroom in Glasgow.

SEP exits growing digital healthcare specialist: Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has exited its majority stake in Exco InTouch, after the Midlands-based clinical data specialist was sold to U.S.-based ERT.

HSBC hire adds weight to Castlight’s lending app: A financial technology start-up whose app promises to revolutionise the way consumers’ suitability for credit is assessed by taking account of spending habits as well as credit ratings has bolstered its top-level team with the addition of HSBC’s former Chief risk officer.

Stagecoach open to Scotrail bid: Stagecoach has attributed the performance of its U.K. rail business, as a result of network issues, for a 17% fall in pre-tax profits and Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said he was open to giving franchise holders a role in managing the rail network.

The Scotsman

Mike Ashley buys new jet as Sports Direct profits slump: Profits at scandal-hit Sports Direct have taken a hammering following the collapse in sterling – but it has not stopped billionaire owner Mike Ashley splashing out on a new corporate jet.

Tennent’s to pour £1 million into new Wellpark visitor centre: Glasgow’s oldest continuous commercial concern is set to tap into the power of cutting-edge 3D technology to bring nearly 500 years of history to life.

Brexit boost a chance to get farming’s house in order: U.K. farmers may be enjoying a Brexit bonus in the form of the improvement in farmgate prices brought about by a weaker pound.

Bumper year for Rettie & Co’s development team: A string of contract wins has seen Scottish property specialist Rettie & Co’s development services arm report a record year of activity.

Slump in factory output likely to prove a blip: Output in Britain’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly slumped in October, according to official figures that were described by economists as “disappointing” but likely to be a blip.

City A.M.

HSBC and RBS move into the pre-fab, build to rent housing market with support for Greenwich Creekside Wharf scheme: HSBC and RBS have backed the U.K.’s first pre-fab build to rent scheme with a £60 million loan facility.

Public funds committed to infrastructure and construction have increased by £40 billion since March: The total amount of public money locked in to infrastructure and public construction projects has leapt by almost £40 billion, or 8%, in the last six months.

High Court rules Aslef strikes can go ahead on Southern rail after legal bid by Govia Thameslink Railway fails: A High Court judge has ruled that train drivers’ strikes on Southern Rail can go ahead from next week, after a legal challenge failed.

U.S. jobless claims fall as last U.S. jobs data before Fed meeting supports rate rise case: Claims by Americans for unemployment benefits fell this week, adding to the weight of positive economic data in the last jobs release ahead of next week’s update on monetary policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Sears sales fall as Bosses warn they have no clue when department store group will return to profit: U.S. department store chain Sears reported its fifth consecutive quarterly loss and warned investors it cannot guarantee when it will return to profitability.

U.K. space industry is flying high with 38,500 jobs and strong exports: The U.K. space sector is flying high with growth of 6.5% per annum according to a new report from the U.K. Space Agency. The sector now supports £250 billion of output across the economy as well as 38,522 direct jobs.

BAT’s vaping robots find e-cigarettes don’t deliver as much nicotine as traditional smokes: Vaping robots are testing British American Tobacco’s electronic cigarettes to find out how nicotine and vapour delivery to lung cells compare to traditional cigarettes.

Creo Medical to IPO with £20 million in fresh funding: Creo Medical – a small biotech company specialising in surgical endoscopy – will float on the London junior market after raising some £20 million from investors.

Oil rises ahead of weekend meeting between Opec and non-Opec producers: Oil markets were choppy as traders got jittery ahead of a weekend meeting of Opec and non-Opec producers.

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