Shopping centre giant Hammerson rejects £5.04bn Klepierre takeover bid

Birmingham Bullring and Trafford Centre owner would prefer to press ahead with an all-share takeover of rival Intu, which would create Britain's biggest property company
Hammerson has rebuffed a sweetened £5.04bn takeover offer from Klepierre, saying the French firm's advances failed to reflect the value of the shopping centre giant.
The Birmingham Bullring owner knocked back the revised cash-and-shares bid of 635p – comprising 50 per cent cash and 50 per cent in new Klepierre shares – but said the board was willing discuss an offer that met its valuation.
It comes after the group revealed last week that it would halt efforts to finalise a £3.4bn tie-up with Intu as it awaited clarity on an approach from European suitor Klepierre.
Read more ASOS shares drop despite 27% half-year sales growth Hammerson branded Klepierre's initial 615p cash-and-shares bid worth £4.88 billion “wholly inadequate” and “entirely opportunistic”.
It said the offer price on Wednesday did ..

What You Don’t Know About How Facebook Uses Your Data

What You Don’t Know About How Facebook Uses Your Data Facebook has been called on the carpet for how it has failed to protect the personal data of its users. But lost in the drama of congressional hearings is an understanding of the extent to which Facebook meticulously scrutinizes the minutiae of those users’ online lives.
Facebook’s tracking stretches far beyond the company’s well-known targeted advertisements. And details that people often readily volunteer — age, employer, relationship status, likes and location — are just the start.
The social media giant also tracks users on other sites and apps. It also collects so-called biometric facial data without users’ explicit “opt-in” consent, and helps video-game companies target “high-value players” who are likely to spend on in-app purchases.
The sifting of users gets into personal — even confidential — matters. The company has allowed marketers to target users who may have an interest in various health issues, like the 110,000 Facebo..

ASOS shares drop despite 27% half-year sales growth

The online retailer says it's investing in new infrastructure to meet rising demand
ASOS shares fell by 11 per cent on Wednesday morning despite seeing a healthy boost to half-year profits.
The online fashion retailer saw sales grow by 27 per cent in the six months ending February, with international sales growing by 31 per cent and UK sales up by 22 per cent.
The UK based company, notable for its appeal to young online shoppers, made a total of £1.15bn in the six month period, with UK retail sales accounting for £414m and sales from the rest of the world raking in £716.8m.
Read more Ultimo lingerie brand to cease trading in the UK Analyst Nicholas Hyett said the unusual sight of company shares falling after delivering strong growth was down to the firm’s inability to keep costs down.
“That the rapid growth isn’t delivering any meaningful margin benefits only adds to the frustration,” he said.
Mr Hyett added: “The ramp up of activity in Europe and creation of US infrastru..

Trinity Mirror and Express newspaper merger under investigation by competition watchdog

The deal between the two publishing firms has already completed
The UK’s competition regulator has opened an investigation into the merger of the Trinity Mirror group and the parent company of the Express and Star newspapers.
Trinity Mirror, which owns the Daily Mirror and hundreds of regional titles, bought the published assets of Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, which includes the Daily and Sunday Express, for £126.7m in February.
Read more The Mirror and the Express: A marriage made in the finance department At the time, Trinity Mirror said the deal would “improve its print and digital editorial propositions by reducing duplication, sharing content and widening the breadth of editorial coverage with larger combined teams”.
On Wednesday, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had brought the merger, which has already completed, to the attention of the secretary of state for digital, culture, media & sport, because of concerns that the combination of the two c..

Tesco share price surges after it unveils 800% profit rise and resumes dividend

The supermarket said its turnaround strategy is 'firmly' on track
Sales and profits improved at Tesco last year, leading the supermarket to announce its first dividend in three years.
Operating profit increased by 80.6 per cent to £1.84bn from £1.02bn, while profit before tax was up 795 per cent at £1.3bn from £145m.
Group sales rose 2.3 per cent to £51bn from £49.9bn, as the supermarket added 260,000 more customers.
Read more Tesco and Morrisons fastest growing big supermarkets, data shows The company said it would pay a dividend of 3p per share, the first divi it has announced since embarking on a strict cost-cutting strategy in the wake of an accounting scandal almost four years ago.
Shares in the group rose as much as 3.9 per cent in early trading after the results were published on Wednesday.
In September 2014, Tesco admitted to a £250m overstatement of profits for the first half of that year, and UK supermarket watchdog later found that the group had been ..

Memo From Sarajevo: In a New Cold War With Russia, Balkans Become a Testing Ground

In a New Cold War With Russia, Balkans Become a Testing Ground
SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — Cradle of the First World War, the Balkans have been a flashpoint, a place where empires, ethnicities and religions abut and contest. Now, analysts warn, the region is becoming a battleground in what feels like a new Cold War.
Russia, they say, is expanding its influence and magnifying ethnic tensions in countries that hope to join the European Union. Its involvement has already spurred Brussels to revive dormant aims for enlargement. It is also prompting fresh attention from Washington about security risks to NATO members.
After the concerted Western response to the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter, which expelled around 150 Russian diplomats and intelligence officers, “the Balkans become even more important,” said Mark Galeotti, a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague.
“Russia is looking for ways to retaliate that are asymme..