Finance

SPD leader Gabriel expected to challenge Merkel in German election – sources

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) are expected to choose their long-standing chairman Sigmar Gabriel to run against conservative Angela Merkel for chancellor in September’s federal election, senior party sources said on Thursday. Gabriel, vice chancellor and economy minister in Merkel’s right-left coalition for the last four years, is more popular with the SPD rank and file than his recent predecessors but ... Read More »

Norway PM says UK lacks negotiating experience, fears ‘very hard Brexit’

Britain lacks experience in international negotiations due to its long membership of the European Union and this could slow talks on its departure from the EU, the premier of non-EU Norway said, adding that she feared “a very hard Brexit”. British Prime Minister Theresa May intends to launch by the end of March the two-year process of negotiations to leave ... Read More »

UK manufacturing growth unexpectedly hits 2-1/2-year high – PMI

British manufacturing growth climbed to a two-and-a-half-year high last month, fuelled by new orders from both home and abroad and adding to signs the economy ended 2016 strongly, a survey showed on Tuesday. The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 56.1, the strongest reading since June 2014, from 53.6 in November. That exceeded all forecasts in a ... Read More »

Irish foreign investment head sees firms’ Brexit decisions starting in Second quarter

Companies considering quitting Britain due to its departure from the EU are likely to start making investment decisions from the second quarter, the head of the agency competing to win foreign business for Ireland said on Tuesday. Industrial Development Agency Ireland has already fielded Brexit-related enquiries from more than 100 firms, a lot of which have progressed to site visits, ... Read More »

Britain’s EU envoy abruptly resigns just months before formal Brexit talks

Britain’s ambassador to the European Union, who sometimes clashed with London over its approach to Europe, abruptly resigned less than three months before Prime Minister Theresa May is due to trigger formal Brexit negotiations. Ivan Rogers, Britain’s envoy to the EU, told staff on Tuesday that he would step down from his post early but did not explain his reasons ... Read More »

Trump’s tweet about Lockheed-Martin cuts $4bn in value as share prices fall

Donald Trump scolded military jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin on for “out of control” costs on Monday, sending the defence contractor’s stock plummeting. “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th,” when he will officially take office, the president-elect wrote on Twitter. The subsequent share price drop cut $4bn from the company’s value ... Read More »

Italy plans Monte dei Paschi di Siena rescue if private bailout fails

Italy is prepared to launch a multibillion-euro rescue of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) by the end of this week if the bank fails in its last-ditch effort to secure €5bn (£4.2bn) from private investors, according to a finance ministry official. The official told the Guardian the ministry was “fully confident” that the world’s oldest bank would be able ... Read More »

Murdoch plans Sky bid tactic that would squeeze out opponents

Rupert Murdoch is planning a form of takeover for Sky that would make it easier for his 21st Century Fox group to squeeze out shareholders opposed to the £11.2bn deal. Advisers on the transaction between Sky and Fox, which is expected to lodge an official bid later this week, are pursuing a so-called “scheme of arrangement”. This tactic, which requires ... Read More »

FTSE lags Europe after ECB extends stimulus

UK shares rose overall on Thursday – though not as much as European shares after the European Central Bank extended its stimulus programme – while outsourcing firm Capita (CPI.L) tumbled after a profit warning. The blue chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE was up 0.4 percent at 6,931.55 points by the close, hitting its highest level in one month, though euro ... Read More »

May slaps down Johnson over Saudi comments

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was not setting out government policy when he said Saudi Arabia and Iran were stoking proxy wars across the Middle East, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday. Johnson, known for his colourful use of language and tendency to go off-script, told an audience in Rome last week that the absence of ... Read More »