- The Times: Stagecoach has called for an independent inquiry of the Department for Transport’s handling of rail franchise competitions after it emerged that sensitive information was leaked to its main rival just before it was stripped of a big contract.
- The Times: New questions over Non-Standard Finance’s £1.1 billion hostile bid for the rival sub-prime lender Provident Financial have been raised after speculation that it could become a takeover target itself.
- Financial Times: Neil Woodford has offloaded a £42 million stake in NewRiver Reit to funds managed by his protégé Mark Barnett at Invesco.
- The Guardian: Pinterest, the digital pin board company, made an impressive debut on the New York stock exchange on Thursday when its shares surged 25% in its first few hours of trading.
- The Daily Telegraph: The US and eurozone have seen demand for their exports decline as trade tensions between the US and China have weighed on businesses' confidence.
Business and economics
- Daily Mail: In a bumper set of results that sent shares close to record levels, the Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever said revenues rose 3.1% to £10.7 billion in the first three months of the year.
- Daily Mail: Rentokil Initial has reported an 8.9% rise in revenue to £603.6 million and reiterated plans to spend heavily on acquisitions.
- Financial Times: Huawei, the world’s second-biggest maker of smartphones, has said it plans to sell a 5G phone for $600, roughly half the price that analysts expected for next-generation handsets.
- The Times: American Express has beaten quarterly profit forecasts after the credit card issuer bolstered its incentive schemes and relied on partnerships to get customers to spend more money.
- The Times: The operator of the Channel tunnel, Getlink, the company formerly known as Eurotunnel, has reported a rise in first-quarter revenues as businesses used its freight shuttle service to stockpile for Brexit.
- The Daily Telegraph: Moneysupermarket has enjoyed a boost in revenue after increase to the energy price cap announced in February led to a surge of consumers switching suppliers before prices increased.
- Daily Mail: Corporate raider Edward Bramson is set to get backing from Jupiter Asset Management in his fight for a board seat at Barclays, insiders claim.
- The Guardian: There is a growing uncertainty over the number of House of Fraser stores Mike Ashley will keep open as landlords lose patience with him paying no rent while he decides what to do with the spaces.
- The Guardian: Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher is being handed a £700,000 payoff despite presiding over the department store chain’s collapse into administration.
- The Times: An influential investor advisory group ISS has criticised Hammerson over its executive pay policy, raising the prospect of a shareholder revolt this month.
- The Times: Investors have dragged taxi-hailing app Lyft to court claiming it overstated its market share and failed to disclose safety problems with its shared electric bicycles.
Share tips, comment and bids
- The Times (Tempus share tips): AVOID RSA Insurance; HOLD Howden Joinery.
- The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): Emerging markets have gone up, down and up. What should we do with our trusts?
- The Daily Telegraph: North Sea upstart Chrysaor has acquired a string of oil and gas assets from US energy giant Conoco-Phillips in a deal worth $2.7 billion.
- The Times: Intu Properties has sold a 50% stake in its Derby shopping centre to Cale Street Partners, an investor backed by Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund.
- The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Breaking up the bean counters: Big Four face being split down the middle.