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Daily News Roundup: Friday, 25th May 2018

Posted: 25th May 2018



Deutsche Bank plans to cut 7,000 jobs

As new chief executive Christian Sewing attempts to turn Deutsche Bank around, the firm has warned that at least 7,000 workers face redundancy. The German bank said one in four equities sales and trading jobs, which are mainly located in New York and London, would be cut. The move is part of a plan to scale back its global investment bank and refocus on Europe after three consecutive years of losses. Mr Sewing commented: “We have to deliver sustainable profitability and lay the basis to do so over the long term. That is the most important task for us, and for me”. Meanwhile, an attempt by shareholders to remove Deutsche Bank chairman Paul Achleitner from the board failed at the bank’s AGM in Frankfurt yesterday, but investor support was down on last year.

Report on executive pay rejected by 20% of Lloyds shareholders

More than a fifth of Lloyds investors have refused to back its remuneration report, after the earnings of chief executive, António Horta-Osório rose 10.9% from £5.78m in 2016 to £6.42m in 2017. Responding to the vote, Lloyds' chairman, Norman Blackwell, told the bank's annual meeting: “The vote has been carried. However, as I said, we are disappointed that a number of shareholders did not support the resolution this year and we will of course note and respond to them.”

Investor unrest at Barclays

Barclays is facing calls by shareholders to set out plans to appoint a new chairman, amid dissatisfaction with the possibility of a merger with Standard Chartered. Meanwhile, a member of the Barclays board played down a Standard Chartered deal, saying: “No advisers were hired. There were no discussions at the board. It was like a game of fantasy football.”

Revolut eyes Edinburgh base

Revolut is seeking a base in Edinburgh as it moves to expand, taking advantage of the city's growing importance in financial services technology. Chad West, the firm’s chief marketing officer, commented: “Scotland is home to a highly-educated population, excellent infrastructure and a forward-thinking regulator, combined with an incredibly tech savvy population who are always open to trying and testing emerging technologies. It's the perfect environment for us.”


Electra sale worth £100m to Sherborne

Electra Private Equity has been put up for sale. Shares are trading at a discount to its net asset value of £425m, valuing it at just over £350m. This means Ed Bramson’s Sherborne investment vehicle, which took a 29.9% stake two years ago, is in line to net more than £100m from a sale.


Investment banks lifted by prime brokerage

A report from industry monitor Coalition has noted that a boost from prime brokerage operations helped propel revenues in the first quarter among the world's top 12 investment banks.


Wizz Air profits soar

Wizz Air has reported a 25% rise in the number of passengers it carried to 29.6m for the year ended March 31, with revenue up 24% to €1.9bn (£1.7bn), saying that higher fuel prices prompting "a stronger fare environment". Looking ahead, the Hungarian budget airline is expecting profits for the 2019 financial year to come in between €310m and €340m.


Henry Boot digging in

Construction firm Henry Boot ​has indicated a strong performance in the first five months of the year, despite disruption caused by the Beast from the East snowfall. The Sheffield-based firm, which has concluded land sales totalling over 1,841 plots on 12 sites, expects 2018 trading to be in line with expectations.


Pressure from competitors dents Paragon shares

Despite a weakening in the wider property market, Paragon Banking Group has boosted its new loans to landlords market, with shares falling 8% to 508p after it said its profit margin this year is likely to be slightly lower than expected.


Pub operator shrugs off high street gloom

Pub group Young’s has shrugged off the “doom and gloom” surrounding consumer spending and Brexit with another year of sales growth and an increase in its dividend. The company reported sales growth of 6.2% in the year to April 2, with turnover reaching £279.3m. Like-for-like revenue, measuring sites open more than a year, rose 4.2%. CEO Patrick Dardis said his company had proved that challenges on the high street could be overcome.

£150m deal secures the future of the Tote

The Alizeti consortium is to take a 25% stake in pool betting operation Tote, along with the option to own it outright within the next three to five years.


DMGT reveals boom in operating profits

Revenue at Daily Mail parent Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT) fell 6% to £746m for the six months to March 31, though operating profit rocketed from £17m to £133m and net debt stood at £534m.

Talktalk sees £73m loss as it signs up new subscribers

Talktalk signed up 109,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2017 but faced a £73m pre-tax loss for the year. Chief executive Tristia Harrison said the company was in the midst of a large-scale “reset focused on returning the business to growth”.

Spotify agrees unpaid royalties settlement of $112m

Spotify has agreed to pay a $112m (£84m) settlement deal over allegations that songwriters were being underpaid when their music is played on the streaming service.


Capco considers estate split

Capital & Counties is mulling a split of its Covent Garden estate and residential Earls Court development into two separately listed companies, which would allow the Covent Garden division to focus on prime retail in central London.


Retail sales bounce back

The latest figures from the ONS have shown that retail sales rose by a better-than-expected 1.6% in April as consumers resumed spending following unseasonably cold weather earlier in the year. In the three months to April, sales rose 0.1% on the previous quarter. April’s figure was boosted by a 4.7% surge in petrol sales, which fell in March because of the snow disruption. Online continued to take a bigger slice of spending, up from 16.1% last April to 17.3%, with both food and clothing stores achieving record online proportions. In March, sales had fallen by 1.8% and recorded their biggest quarterly fall in seven years.

B&Q forced into store closures

Sales at B&Q in the first quarter were down 9% as the homewares retailer closed stores in the face of extreme weather. Véronique Laury, chief executive of parent firm Kingfisher, commented: “It was a challenging start to the year, with exceptionally harsh weather across Europe and weak UK consumer demand. This impacted footfall, especially sales of weather-related categories.”


San Francisco 49ers takes 10% stake in Leeds United

The San Francisco 49ers American football team has taken a 10% stake in Leeds United Football Club, which is owned by Italian entrepreneur Andrea Radrizzani.

Liverpool score with Standard Chartered

Liverpool Football Club has netted a £160m four-year sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank. The deal is a £10m-a-year increase on the previous agreement, which was noted to be worth around £30m-a-year.


Sharp Brexit could delay interest rate rise

Mark Carney said yesterday that a "disorderly" Brexit could delay rises in interest rates. The Bank of England governor reiterated the Bank's analysis that the referendum result had damaged the economy, adding that the negotiations were entering a "critical phase" and the Bank was prepared in case the transition was not "smooth".


Price ploys lead to US criminal investigation for Bitcoin traders

US officials have opened a criminal investigation into Bitcoin traders due to fears that digital currency prices were being manipulated.

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