Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Monday.
The Daily Mail & General Trust PLC, the parent company of The Daily Mail, is investigating a possible bid for Yahoo, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The company is reportedly in talks with multiple private equity companies about possibly backing the bid. Yahoo set the deadline to place bids for its core business on April 18, according to previous reports.
Asian markets have started the week mixed. Japan’s Nikkei is down 0.50% at the time of writing (6.40 a.m. GMT/1.40 a.m. ET), China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite is up 2.06% at the time of writing, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.70%.
The chairman of France’s second-biggest retail bank is more worried about Europe’s banking sector now, in some ways, than when he took the reins at BPCE bank during the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009. Francois Perol said on the sidelines of an economic conference in Italy on Saturday that negative interest rates in the eurozone are a major problem, squeezing interest margins in a way that was unsustainable over the longer term.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Sunday that a move to negative rates by some of the world’s central banks would help deliver extra monetary stimulus and ease lending conditions. Six of the world’s central banks have introduced negative rates, most notably the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank, and around a quarter of the world economy by output is now experiencing official rates that are less than zero.
Tesco is set to unveil a return to full-year profits and the first quarter of UK sales growth in three years on Wednesday as chief executive Dave Lewis tries to prove to investors his turnaround plan is working. The Telegraph reports that the supermarket chain is expected to make a welcome return to the black, posting pre-tax profits of £447 million for the year to the end of February, compared to the huge £6.4 billion loss a year earlier, the biggest in UK corporate history.
We are about to get confirmation that earnings growth for America’s biggest companies was negative in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year ago.When aluminium giant Alcoa releases its results on Monday, it will mark the unofficial start of the heaviest reporting season for S&P 500 companies.
Student banking app Loot is close to announcing a funding round of more than £1 million and launching a revamped app to rival the likes of Mondo, according to a source close to the company. Loot is a money management app targeted at students and linked to a pre-paid card. It launched last September to coincide with the university year.
Under pressure over his own taxes, Prime Minister David Cameron has created a new taskforce, jointly led by Britain’s tax authority and National Crime Agency, to build on the work Britain has done to tackle money laundering and tax evasion. The government said it had tracked down £2 billion ($2.82 billion) from offshore tax dodgers since 2010, and authorities were already investigating 700 current leads with links to Panama. The taskforce will receive £10 million of funding to start work.
The prime minister will on Monday promise to create a new criminal offence for companies that fail to stop their staff assisting in tax evasion. The Financial Times reports that David Cameron will tell MPs that he is pressing ahead with the new law in spite of opposition from some banks, law firms, and accountants, which claim it would put the UK finance sector at a disadvantage.
The number of food producers that have gone bust has tripled over the last five years as a result of the supermarket price wars. The Independent reports that a survey by top 10 accountancy firm Moore Stephens said 162 food production companies fell into insolvency last year, more than treble the 48 insolvencies in the sector in 2010 and 11% more than just a year ago.