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Friday Papers: Centrica boss under mounting pressure as shares sink

And Trump has raised expectations that he was preparing the ground for a deal to halt the US trade war with China.

Friday Papers: Centrica boss under mounting pressure as shares sink

Top stories

  • Daily Mail: British Gas owner Centrica’s boss Iain Conn is under growing pressure after the company’s shares dived 11.7% to 121.15p, a level not seen since early 2003, on fears that its dividend will be cut.
  • Financial Times: Donald Trump has raised expectations that he was preparing the ground for a deal to halt the US trade war with China.
  • Daily Mail: Struggling airline Flybe completed a £2.8 million deal last night to sell its business to Connect Airways, the consortium which includes Virgin and airport owner Stobart Group.
  • The Guardian: Britain has recorded the biggest-ever monthly surplus in public finances, raking in £14.9 billion more than Government spent.
  • The Times: Apple is planning to launch a credit card with Goldman Sachs within the next few months that would link to the iPhone and give special features on the Apple Wallet app.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Huawei has vowed to bring forward plans to address British security concerns within four months after officials from GCHQ's cyber-security arm said they had not yet had a 'credible' response from the Chinese telecoms group.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bruno Schroder, the head of the Schroders banking dynasty, has died at the age of 86.
  • The Times: Eurotunnel has said that it can shrug off disruption from Brexit and expected profits this year to be in line with its 2018 record after months of preparation for the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the European Union.
  • Financial Times: GAM has fired a star portfolio manager over a “gross misconduct”.
  • The Guardian: Tariffs of 40% or more could be imposed on food such as beef and cheddar cheese after a no-deal Brexit, driving up prices in shops and squeezing household budgets across the UK and Ireland.
  • The Times: O2, Britain’s biggest mobile phone network, lifted profits last year by 12% in spite of an IT crash.
  • The Times: Kate Swann, the boss of the airport and station food retailer SSP Group, has suffered a shareholder revolt over her £6.2 million pay package as she prepares to leave in May after six years.
  • Daily Mail: Standard Chartered bank has allocated 690 million to pay fines in the US and UK over misbehaviour stretching back more than a decade.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Anglo American has trimmed its full-year dividend by 2 US cents to $1 a share despite reporting a rise in profits.
  • The Guardian: One of China’s biggest ports has banned imports of Australian coal and will cap overall coal imports for 2019 through its harbours at 12 million tones.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Barclays bosses have appealed to investors to turn down corporate raider Ed Bramson's bid for a seat on its board as they prepare to meet the activist investor in New York.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The German government has warned that it may have to draw down standby reserves to cope with an unemployment shock or a surge in part-time work following a no-deal Brexit.
  • Financial Times: SK Hynix plans to invest $106.7 billion to build four semiconductor fabrication plants after 2022.
  • Financial Times: Hong Kong has opened its banking market to online competition, with digital banking licences set to be issued to six companies including Tencent, Ant Financial and Xiomi.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The US Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a subpoena to the food giant Kraft Heinz over its procurement accounting policies; the company also reported a net loss of $12.7 billion in its fourth quarter.
  • The Times: Go-Ahead Group yesterday reported a 44% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profits for the half-year to 29 December to £44 million.
  • Daily Mail: BAE warned Germany's ban on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia may hit one of its biggest export deals; it gets 14% of its revenues from Saudi.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain will not be ready to roll over the EU’s trade deal with Japan or customs union with Turkey by the end of next month.
  • The Times: Serco reported a 40% surge in pre-exceptional trading profits to £93 million on revenues marginally down at £2.3 billion for the 2018 year.
  • The Guardian: SSE has raised its standard variable energy tariff to meet Ofgem's latest price cap, joining the rest of the “Big Six”.
  • Daily Mail: Uber Eats has announced a major UK expansion as the battle of the takeaway firms ramps up.
  • The Times: The software developer Micro Focus has handed its current and former bosses a pay package worth almost £40 million despite its share price falling to half.
  • Daily Mail: Manufacturing in the eurozone is declining at its steepest rate in more than six years as output from German factories tumbles.
  • Daily Mail: Online estate agency Purplebricks’ share price fell over 35% after the company slashed its revenue forecast for the year.
  • The Times: The wealth manager Rathbone Brothers has warned that Brexit could damage the value of its overseas funds.

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