Pfizer renews interest in AstraZeneca
Pfizer, the US pharmaceuticals group, has renewed its interest in a takeover of UK rival AstraZeneca, in what would be one of the global drugs industry’s largest ever deals. The US group approached AstraZeneca, which has a market value of £51.5bn, within the last week and could make a public declaration of its interest in a takeover as early as this week, according to people familiar with the matter.
Oligarchs rush to London property
Wealthy Russians and Ukrainians are trying to shift more cash into London property, say estate agents, amid indications that eastern European oligarchs are using the capital’s housing market to conceal their assets from international sanctions. Property advisers JLL estimates that Russian capital flight could quadruple year-on-year.
US prosecutors in UK for forex probe
US criminal prosecutors have flown to London to question individuals as part of their probe into the alleged rigging of foreign exchange rates in a sign that the stakes are getting higher for the traders involved in the sprawling probe. The Department of Justice, in its first significant move since announcing in October that it would investigate alleged manipulation of the $5.3tn forex market, invited several UK-based currency traders “on the periphery” of the investigation to attend voluntary interviews in London rather than the US, according to sources.
Shoe Zone to step out into public arena
A family-owned footwear business is to become the latest discount retailer to float. Shoe Zone, whose shoes on average sell for £9.77, is looking to raise up to £50m in an initial public offering on AIM next month that could value the retailer at £90m-£100m.
ClearAccount faces probe over PINs
Britain’s privacy watchdog is to investigate a short-term credit provider that requires potential customers to hand over their PIN and online banking passwords, after an investigation by The Times.
Stella Creasy, the shadow consumer minister, described the practices as “a new low” for the industry.
The Daily Telegraph
Brewin slams confusion over Scots vote
One of Scotland’s leading wealth managers says it is finding it difficult to advise clients about the best home for their savings in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum. Brewin Dolphin, which has £5bn under management for Scottish clients out of a group total of £28bn, says it has been perplexed by the absence of answers to a host of questions – from pensions to savings, taxation treatment and interest rates – in the event of a “Yes” vote.
Energy firms in green levy windfall
Britain's biggest energy suppliers could pocket a £2bn windfall over the next three years after the government miscalculated a deal to cut green levies, new research claims.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Toyota to revamp US operations
Toyota Motor plans to roll out a restructuring of its US marketing operations in California as early as today, people familiar with the plans said. The company has more than 5,000 staff in California, many of them at a complex in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance that houses Toyota Motor Sales USA, its marketing arm.
Microsoft web browser has security flaw
Microsoft yesterday warned about a flaw affecting versions six through 11 of its flagship browser, Internet Explorer. The coding flaw would allow hackers to have the same level of access on a network computer as the official user, the firm said.