The Telegraph Citybriefing -May 12, 2014-.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Telegraph
Another day, another deal, this time it's Murdoch on Murdoch. BSkyB,which is 39pc owned by Rupert Murdoch, has confirmed it is early stage talks about buying stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia which are held by the media mogul's US-based 21st  Century Fox. The €10bn deal would combine the Murdoch empire's UK, German and Italian assets and potentially turn BSkyB into a European satellite-TV giant. The combination has been a long-held ambition. Last year, James Murdoch, the former chief executive of BSkyB said the separation of the three units was "not optimal" and was something they needed to "resolve." However, efforts by the Murdoch's to consolidate assets have been controversial: in 2010 and 2011, Rupert and James tried to take full control of BSkyB but backed down in the face of political uproar in the UK as the phone-hacking scandal erupted. In a statement today, BSkyB has said the talks are preliminary and no agreement had been reached. But it said it "believes at the right value, this combination would have the potential to create a world-class multinational pay TV group." We'll have the updates on our website here.

In other company announcements today, Lonmin has warned that its output is being heavily impacted by strikes in South Africa. In its half year results today, the miner has reported a drop in revenues to $578m from $735m last year. Operating profits have plunged into the red, with a $131m loss from a $90m profit last year. Ben Magara, chief executive, said it had been a "challenging" period "latterly dominated by protracted by industrial action."

Just Retirement, the savings company that was hit heavily by the Chancellor's Budget reforms in March particularly by the declaration: "No-one will have to buy an annuity, has said sales are "around half of pre-Budget levels". But the boss Rodney Cook has said he's "rapidly adapting our model to the new environment," including boosting defined benefit de-risking sales and lifetime mortgages. 
The Co-Op Bank has said it has secured irrevocable commitments for 31pc of its£400m placing. Niall Booker, chief executive of the Co-Op Group, has said the successful book build "give us great confidence" that the capital raising will be successful. "The speed at which this has been achieved is a great endorsement of the new management team and the work they are doing to turn the business around," he said. The fund raising is expected to be completed by the end of May. 
UBM has bought Mexico's biggest construction industry trade show, Expo CIHAC. Centrica is holding its annual meeting today. Last week the owner of In other economic news, the BDO Business Trends report has found confidence in the manufacturing sector reached an "all time high" in April. The latest CIPD Labour Market Outlook says that the employment intentions of its members are at a six and half year high, although pay remains subdued. The latest meeting of the Bank for International Settlements with central bank governors concludes in Basel. The World Trade Organisation is holding a General Council meeting in Geneva. And inIndia, the ninth and final phase of elections gets underway today. The counting of the votes in the world's biggest democracy is due to take place on Friday.

The Sunday Times released its list of top 10 billionaires in Britain on its Super Rich List which is topped by the Hinduja brothers who have an estimated combined wealth of £11.9bn. With more billionaires now living in the UK than any other City in the world, the Duke of Westminster is the only British-born entry, scrapping in at Number 10 with £8.5bn. Meanwhile, the Russian oligarchs have slid down the list amid speculation that the crisis in Ukraine is hitting their wealth

And it's the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Awards this evening at Claridges. The finalists are Karen Blackett, UK chief executive of MediaCom; Harriet Green, chief executive of Thomas Cook; and Jane Shepherdson, chief executive of Whistles. Started in 1972 as a tribute to Madame Cliquot, the founder of the champagne, the award is seen as the most prestigious in the business. 
We can debate the future, but the challenges of today in the end demand that the UK just gets on with it. 

Sir Roy McNulty is chairman of Gatwick Airport talking about the need for a new runway
The windfall the biggest UK energy suppliers could pocket after the government miscalculated a deal to cut green levies

Emily Gosden writes that shale gas could be fuelling British homes for the first time by late 2015, under plans from fracking firm Cuadrilla.
Roger Bootle argues why he rejects the views of the Right and Left on failings of our financial system
European technology innovators need a robust single market to thrive, TomTom co-founder Corinne Vigreux tells Louise Armitstead
Sunday Telegraph:  Shareholders in AstraZeneca have told the company’s management they must engage with Pfizer if and when the US drugs giant returns with a higher offer.
Sunday Times (£): Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green is heading back to the stock market for the first time in 26 years after a deal to buy a stake in Mysale, a fast-growing online store.

The FTSE 100 dropped 0.1pc last week to 6,814.57.The Dow Jones rose 0.4pc last week to 16,583.34.
The Nikkei fell 1.8pc last week to 14,199.59 
More on the markets here.
Gold rose $10.00 to $1,291 an ounce last week and Brent crudeoil slipped  0.64pc to $107.89 a barrel.  More here.
Sterling fell 0.32 cents against the dollar to trade at $1.6840 last week, and gained 0.73 cents
against the euro to end the week at €1.2242. For the latest on the currency markets, log on here


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