• Markets

    Sky to report first-quarter figures amid rumours that Murdoch's 21st Century Fox may put in a bid for the company

    Sky unveils its first-quarter figures at its annual meeting on Thursday after a fortnight when its share price rose sharply amid speculation that its biggest shareholder, Rupert Murdoch s 21st Century Fox, may put in a bid for the satellite broadcaster.The City is expecting a rise in churn the number of subscribers who fail to renew their contracts though this is likely to be offset by increased revenue after Sky introduced price rises of up to 5 per cent.The company, under chief executive Jeremy Darroch, no longer reveals detailed information when it reports first-quarter figures for the three months to ...

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  • Markets

    UK's biggest bookmaker William Hill in talks with Canadian rival to create 4.7bn gambling behemoth

    Gambling giant William Hill confirmed today that it is talks with a Canadian online gambling company to merge.William Hill's current share price values it at 2.7billion and a merger with Amaya it would create a Transatlantic gambling behemoth worth something like 4.7billion.Britain's biggest high street bookmaker recently rejected a tie-up with UK counterparts Rank Group and 888 Holdings after its board said a planned 3.6billion three-way merger substantially undervalued the firm. The firm said in a statement that a tie-up would 'create a clear international leader across online sports betting, poker and casino'.'These discussions are ongoing and there can be ...

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  • Markets

    ALEX BRUMMER: Pound set for dollar parity as the Bank and the Federal Reserve move in opposite directions

    Just how little control monetary officials have over events on financial markets is illustrated by the 'flash crash' in sterling overnight. At present the narrative centres on a series of computer trades which were triggered when sterling fell for more fundamental reasons than Brexit in very thin trading.We may subsequently learn there is more to this than a technically driven event. Sterling, having cratered against the dollar overnight could well flirt with parity, not seen since early 1985, in the coming weeks, months and yearsWhen the American authorities came to grips with the flash crash on Wall Street in 2010, ...

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  • Markets

    EUROPEAN ASSETS TRUST: A bet on the best small firms on the continent

    WHAT DOES IT DO?Invests in 'good businesses' for the long-term, with a focus on smaller European companies. Manager Sam Cosh chooses from more than 2,000 business across the continent. Some 22 per cent of the trust's assets are in Germany companies, 17 per cent in Irish firms and 14 per cent in Italian ones.WHAT DOES THE MANAGER INVEST IN?Cosh likes smaller companies because they can be transformed over a relatively short period. While he says challenges remain in Europe he focuses on companies rather than the economy or politics. While that creates opportunities in finding undervalued company shares, it ...

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  • Markets

    The pound flash crash cost Sports Direct 35m in profits with robot traders blamed for the plunge

    Sports Direct warned of a 35million profit hit from a flash crash in the pound prompting Chancellor Philip Hammond to call for calm on the currency markets.Sterling collapsed 9 per cent against the dollar in seconds shortly after midnight yesterday, falling under $1.15 before immediately bouncing back up.Robot traders are thought to be behind the unprecedented plunge. And the collapse led experts to warn tough-talking politicians on the Continent that they were 'sitting on a bed of nitroglycerin' and could crash the bloc's economy.Beleaguered retailer Sports Direct became the first victim of the currency falls. It said it had entered ...

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  • Markets

    MARKET REPORT: Bookies out of luck as talk of a ban on TV betting adverts sends shares tumbling

    Investors in Britain's bookies were out of luck yesterday as talk of a ban on TV advertising sent shares tumbling.The Government is said to be planning a crackdown on the betting industry amid fears a growing number of children see gambling as normal because of adverts especially during football matches.'The gambling industry's luck has run out,' is how one minister is reported to have put it.The same applied to investors, with the prospect of an ad ban sending shares in Ladbrokes down 5.8 per cent or 8.2p to 133.6p while William Hill was off 4.3 per cent or 13.1p to ...

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  • Markets

    Industrial supplies firm Brammer dives 30% after issuing a profit warning and scrapping dividend

    Down: Stocks in Brammer slumped 37.25p yesterday, to close at 89.5pIndustrial supplies firm Brammer saw its shares fall nearly 30 per cent after issuing a profit warning and scrapping its dividend.Stocks in the pan-European firm slumped 37.25p yesterday, to close at 89.5p, after a trading update revealed the company has abandoned a proposed dividend for 2016.Brammer said it had 'lost focus in some of its core products and markets' and has found that there is a 'need to improve the group's core business systems and processes'. It also revealed that group sales per working day declined by 2 per cent, ...

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  • Markets

    Cheap knock-offs can't stop Weetabix sales as the Chinese-owned cereal continues to be the best-selling brand

    FAMILIES are sticking to a classic bowl of Weetabix despite the rise of bargain brand knock-offs.The breakfast favourite, which is made in Northamptonshire but is owned by Chinese firm Bright Food, continued to be the best-selling brand in the whole grain wheat cereal market and saw its market share rise to 9.9 per cent from 9.5 per cent.It comes despite more shoppers turning to discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, which sell cheaper alternatives. Bright Food's overall market share of UK cereal rose from 14.5 per cent to 14.8 per cent and its flavoured Weetabix and Weetabix Minis ranges also ...

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  • Markets

    HarbourVest extends deadline in 1bn takeover battle with rival SVG Capital

    HarbourVest has extended its deadline for shareholders to back a 1bn offer for SVGUS private equity firm HarbourVest has extended its deadline for shareholders to back a 1billion offer for rival SVG Capital.The firm only has 36.2 per cent support after being outbid by Goldman Sachs and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, who are offering 1.1billion.HarbourVest has given investors in SVG until 1pm on Thursday to accept its proposal. It would need support from three quarters to take SVG private.It kicked off a takeover battle with its surprise bid. But SVG s board supports the Goldman offer.Major investors ...

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  • Markets

    DAILY BRIEFING: European Commission to impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel

    The EC will impose anti-dumping duties on imports of two steel products from ChinaSTEEL DUTIES The European Commission will impose anti-dumping duties on imports of two steel products from China. The move was a 'swift reaction' to competition which has badly hit the UK steel industry, resulting in job losses. Duties ranging between 65.1 per cent and 73.7 per cent for heavy plates of steel and 13.2 per cent and 22.6 per cent for hot-rolled steel will be imposed on Chinese imports.NAME CHANGE German chemical giant Bayer may drop the name of US seeds company Monsanto if its 50.9billion ...

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  • Markets

    'Chocfinger' hedge fund boss who made a fortune through cocoa has now got a 660k sideline in fine wines

    Fine wines: Anthony Ward aka ChocfingerThe hedge fund tycoon known as Chocfinger is sitting on a 660,000 stockpile of fine wines, accounts for his firm reveal.Anthony Ward, 56, who co-founded trading house Armajaro in 1998 after more than three decades in the cocoa business, owns a 40 hectare vineyard in South Africa with the capacity to produce 37,500 gallons of wine.Ward is thought to be worth more than 50million.He made his name with a bet in 2002 in which he purchased 148,000 tonnes of cocoa more than 5 per cent of global supply then made 58million by selling it ...

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  • Markets

    Sports Direct shares take a dive after retailer warns that pound's crash will hit profits

    Sports Direct shares took a dive today after the sports retailer warned that 'extreme movements' in the pound will hit profits.In an unscheduled trading update, the company - owned and run by Mike Ashley - said it expected its full year earnings to be 285million, compared to the 300million it had originally forecast.That sent the scandal-hit chain's shares down 12 per cent this afternoon to trade at 267.9. Mike Ashley's company also warned that if the pound/dollar rate is 1.20 on average for the remainder of the year, then earnings could dive by a further 30million.In a statement the company ...

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  • Markets

    Chancellor endorses Carney but admits savers ostracised by super-low rates must be 'won back'

    Chancellor Philip Hammond has given his backing to the Bank of England s governor Mark Carney, smoothing over comments by the Prime Minister last week about how super-low interest rates had benefited mostly rich people.He said Carney was doing a good job and that he would welcome his decision to stay on until 2021, if he intended to serve a full eight-year term.His comments come as last week Theresa May said that, while low interest rates had provided the necessary emergency medicine after the financial crash , they also had some bad effects . 'Good job': Chancellor Philip Hammond said ...

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  • Markets

    SMALL CAP MOVERS: Summit Therapeutics lifted by US deal; Nu-Oil jumps 400% but Xcite and Stanley Gibbons plunge further

    For the junior biotech the Holy Grail is taking a drug all the way from the lab to the market in the US they call it hitting a home run and the achievement is usually transformational.Unfortunately, very few home runs have been hit here in the UK, even though we have a very active drug development sector.That s because the costs of developing a new treatment are prohibitive as they can run to hundreds of millions of pounds and of course success is not guaranteed. Often the next best thing is to find a big brother with pockets deep enough ...

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  • Markets

    FTSE LIVE: London shares rise again above 7,000 as pound slips after 'flash crash'

    9:00: The Footsie opened 0.5 per cent higher at 7,037.99 as a sharp fall in the pound overnight is expected to benefit big international companies listed in the index which earn much of their revenues in dollars. The pound suffered a mystery flash crash overnight as it appeared to dive by 10 per cent in seconds before swiftly recovering, as Asian stock markets opened, falling to a new 31-year low.What was believed to be an outlying rogue trade took the pound down from around $1.26 to $1.1378. The low for the pound was then revised, although this still delivered a ...

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quotes

Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999