UK Business Papers Review: 18 August 2017

Today we look at Amazon, Alibaba, Kingfisher, Hikma and Aegon.

The Financial Times reports on how private equity fundraising is at its highest since the run up to the Global Financial Crisis, with corporates apparently in a precarious state as they work out how to invest all this cash. The fact, that there are still relatively few deals tabled and that many get blocked by their targets or the authorities, does not help either.

In the Guardian US President (for the time being) Donald Trump. has been described as having wiped off $5bn off the share price of Amazon having tweeted that the retailer was doing great damage to its tax paying rivals.

Sticking with the “Commander in Chief” and the Daily Telegraph suggested that yesterday’s plunge for the US stock market was due to fears in the market that the US President would be unable to get through his tax and infrastructure plans. Given that he is quite likely to be impeached, it could be said that such fears are currently quite well founded.

In contrast to the hit that Amazon is currently getting, it was interesting to see how the Financial Times reported on Alibaba nearly doubled its net income to just over $2bn in the latest quarter. This beat analysts expectations and was of course fuelled by the way Chinese shoppers continue to embrace the online retailing revolution.

As a reminder of the total failure of High Street banks to do what they say they are doing, and what in some cases the taxpayer saved them for, we hear in The Times, that Dutch insurance Aegon plans to start a £160bn peer to peer lending circle in order to fund small businesses.

Looking at one of the larger UK drugs companies, and Hikma Pharmaceuticals woes appear to be still current given the group’s latest warning regarding its generics drugs business. The result was yet another plunge for its share price yesterday, meaning the stock has fallen some 40% since May. Nevertheless, The Times also rates the company as a Hold.

The Daily Mail suggests perhaps not that helpfully, that bad weather and changing habits have meant that the profits position at Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, Homebase and Screwfix are under pressure.

Zak Mir is Co Founder, technical analyst, author, broadcaster and financial markets commentator.

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