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Tuesday newspaper round-up: StanChart, US Congress, Time Warner

Your Money
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Posted:
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14/01/2014

Standard Chartered in takeover talks; US Congress agrees $1tn spending deal; Charter bids $62bn for Time Warner Cable.

Seasoned Standard Chartered investors will not be surprised that the emerging markets-focused bank has yet again become the source of takeover talk. Stanchart shares were trading flat in Hong Kong in morning trading, even after Citigroup analysts commented in a research note that Australian lender ANZ may explore a buyout. – Financial Times

The US Congress has agreed a broad spending deal for the first time since 2009, but it has left the International Monetary Fund in disarray by refusing to fund its latest capital increase. The $1.012tn package lays out how the US will spend the budget agreed after tense negotiations in December. A full appropriations bill marks another step in the return to regular budgeting in Washington and will prevent another government shutdown by funding the government until September. – Financial Times

A battle for the future of the US cable industry burst into the open on Monday as Charter Communications went public with an offer for Time Warner Cable worth $61bn including debt, only for its larger rival to reject its advances as “grossly inadequate”. Backed by John Malone’s Liberty Media, Charter has circled Time Warner Cable since last summer, publicly advocating for consolidation in an industry battling new competition, new technology and shifting consumer habits. – Financial Times

Google continued its push into becoming a maker of consumer electronics by acquiring Nest, a company that sells “smart” thermostats and smoke alarms, in a deal worth $3.2bn (£1.95bn). The deal marks a remarkable rise for a three year old company which has only released two products to date. The Nest Thermostat, a device that controls heating in the home through a mobile phone sold around a million units worldwide last year. – The Times

The Detroit auto show opened Monday with manufacturers announcing a fleet of new models amid an air of optimism unseen since before the recession. “The auto industry’s back,” US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters, “And of course, we’re going to do everything we can to help Detroit come back as well”. All three major US car firms are using this year’s show to unveil major new vehicles they hope will power their future success after strong growth in 2012. Car sales have remained up even as the data on other consumer purchases have wobbled. – The Guardian

The inflation rate is expected to have crept up slightly from a four-year low due to petrol price rises and household energy bills, according to figures due to be released on Tuesday. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 2.1% in November but economists expect it will have nudged ahead to 2.2% over the latest period. Petrol price rises and household energy bill hikes are expected to have driven the rise but easing food inflation and aggressive high street discounting in the run-up to Christmas should have kept the lid on the increase in the cost of living. – Daily Mail


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