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Friday Papers: Mike Ashley issues dire warning for UK retail industry

Friday Papers: Mike Ashley issues dire warning for UK retail industry

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Mike Ashley yesterday issued a dire warning for UK retailers saying Christmas shopping has been so bad that it “will literally smash them to pieces”; the statement sent shares of the high street retailers down.
  • The Times: Theresa May was humiliated by European leaders late last night after they turned down pleas for any further concessions to get her Brexit deal through parliament.
  • Financial Times: Apple is set to unveil a new billion-dollar campus in Austin, Texas, as part of a “major expansion” of its operations in the city.
  • Financial Times: A leaked memo shows US feared China’s advance in developing 5G technology, now leading to conflict between Washington and Beijing with American officials pushing allied countries to ban Huawei.
  • Financial Times: Shares in GAM slipped 30% after it suspended its 2018 dividend, forecast a full-year loss of SFr925 million and revealed the impact of a fresh wave of investor redemptions.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The European Central Bank is to halt its €2.6 trillion programme of bond purchases this month despite the deepening economic slowdown in the eurozone.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: The French carmaker Renault has retained Carlos Ghosn as its chairman and chief executive after finding no irregularities in his pay packages, despite his arrest and continued detention in Japan.
  • The Times: Serco forecast a 30% to 40% rise in underlying profit this year was enough to lift its shares by 10%, making the company the second largest riser on the FTSE 250 index.
  • The Times: Bunzl said yesterday that it expects its underlying revenues to grow by up to 9% this year as it confirmed another deal to buy a Danish food packaging group.
  • The Guardian: Shares in Bonmarché have plummeted by 40% as the value womenswear chain issued a stark profits warning, saying Black Friday sales had been “extremely poor.”
  • Daily Mail: Holiday giant Tui has registered overall earnings increase of 11% but warned that the tour operating business faces grave pressures.
  • The Times: Investors yesterday sold more shares of Canadian companies exposed to China as diplomatic tension increased over the arrest of the finance director of Huawei.
  • The Guardian: Purplebricks made a pre-tax loss of £27.3 million in the six months to 31 October, up from £11.4 million in the equivalent period last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ocado will continue to pursue deals to sell its warehouse technology to foreign retailers and will look to open a fifth distribution centre in the UK.
  • Financial Times: Ocado will continue to pursue deals to sell its warehouse technology to foreign retailers and will look to open a fifth distribution centre in the UK.
  • Daily Mail: Pernod Ricard boss Alexandre Ricard said that the drinks titan will stick by its plans to invest in its international operations as the family-backed company came under attack from notorious vulture fund, Elliott Management.
  • The Guardian: Italian bonds rallied after the Italian government bowed to the pressure from EU to cut deficit target of 2019.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A National Audit Office report has slammed Capita’s handling of the troubled Army recruitment contract that had resulted in a massive shortfall in new recruits.
  • Financial Times: Morgan Stanley is to relocate its equities and FX trading desks from Moscow to London as a result of stagnant Russian economy and sanctions.
  • Financial Times: Qualcomm is asking courts in China to ban sales of the latest iPhone XS and XR, after winning a preliminary injunction there against Apple’s older models.
  • Daily Mail: The Nigerian authorities have filed an £868 million corruption and fraud lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell and Italian group Eni over a 2011 oil deal.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tips): Income trusts with high yields, large discounts and strong dividend growth.
  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Standard Life Aberdeen.
  • Financial Times: Japan Post Holdings is in talks to acquire a minority stake in the US insurance company Aflac for roughly $2.6 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Security outsourcer G4S is looking to spin off its cash handling business after coming under pressure from shareholders.
  • The Times: The Competition and Markets Authority has postponed publishing its initial findings on the merger of J Sainsbury and Asda from early next month to early February.
  • Financial Times: Warburg Pincus will join hands with Beijing-based investment conglomerate Hande Group to spend up to $5 billion on distressed Chinese property assets.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Retailers don't need Mike Ashley to tell them how bad things are.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The splinternet: is this the end of the world wide web?

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