Danone in talks over medical sale
Danone is in talks with Nestle and other potential buyers over the disposal of most of its medical nutrition division, as it eyes an expansion of its baby food business. The French group, which is being advised by JP Morgan, stands to raise up to €5bn (£4.07bn) from a sale, analysts said. According to people familiar with the discussions, Danone could then spend the proceeds on acquisitions of other infant formula producers. The disposal talks are being held with a number of interested parties, but are not at an exclusive stage and may yet break down on price, the people added. Danone, JP Morgan and Nestle declined to comment.
US calls on China to overhaul yuan
Jack Lew, US treasury secretary, has called on Beijing to renew a pledge to overhaul its exchange rate policy in his first visit to the Chinese capital since the renminbi began to reverse its climb against the dollar this year.
The renminbi has weakened about four per cent against the dollar since January.
US steel imports surge on shale
US steel imports surged 25.7 per cent in the first quarter, fuelling concerns that it is foreign producers, rather than US manufacturers, that are reaping benefits of the shale gas revolution. Between January and March, the US imported 8.8m net tons of steel products, up from 7m net tons in the first three months of 2013, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute.
Patisserie Valerie float priced low
Some of the froth will be blown off the market today when the company behind Patisserie Valerie prices its shares at the bottom of the £1.70-to-£2 range. Patisserie Holdings will be valued at £170m when conditional trading starts today on AIM.
Lawson calls for end to 45p rate
The highest rate of income tax should be cut to 40 per cent as the economic recovery takes hold and public spending is brought under control, Lord Lawson of Blaby says. The former chancellor says scrapping the 45p per cent levy would raise cash and be part of a wider package showing the Conservatives’ “direction of travel” on tax.
The Daily Telegraph
Get used to driving at 40mph
Motorists must get used to driving at 40 miles per hour on the motorway, the civil servant in charge of Britain’s roads has said as he admitted roads will get “slower and slower”. Graham Dalton, the chief exec of the Highways Agency, said speeds were still not fast enough at busy times
Scots pension age should rise slowly
The state pension age should rise more slowly in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, the Scottish National Party have argued. Shona Robison, Scotland’s new pensioner rights secretary, said Scottish residents were being “short-changed” by an estimated £50,000 because of a failure to take into account lower life expectancy.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Policy shift for Fannie, Freddie
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should focus on making credit available to potential owners, a shift in mission ordered by their regulator that could stabilise the uneven housing recovery and entrench the mortgage-finance titans.
Tullow loses control of oil field
Uganda has taken back control of the Ngasa oil discovery from UK-based Tullow Oil and France’s Total after declining to renew its appraisal license, the energy and minerals development ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said that Tullow struck oil and gas at the field in 2008, but the firm didn't conduct appraisal activities to establish the size of the reserves.