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GVC Holdings poised to take over Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes Coral could be taken over by GVC Holdings, the owner of Sportingbet and Bwin. According to the BBC, the two firms are in “detailed discussions”.The deal, which would be in cash and stock, values Ladbrokes Coral at £3.9bn. However, the final price that GVC is prepared to pay for Ladbrokes Coral depends on the outcome of a review of Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals. 

Bitcoin sails past $ 14,000 landmark

Bitcoin passed $ 14,000 yesterday, leaping $ 2,000 in less than 24 hours. The record high comes a matter of days before the launch of bitcoin futures on two exchanges, including CME. It has been quite a year for the virtual currency which began 2017 below $ 1,000 but continues its steep rise despite warnings of a dangerous bubble.

Stability risk from China debt, says IMF

China’s debt levels are posing a stability risk, says the IMF. A health check of the country’s economic system found that credit was high by international levels and that personal debt had increased in the past five years. It was also felt that the pressure to maintain rapid growth had caused a dangerous unwillingness to let struggling firms fail.

British firms publish ‘implausible’ gender pay data

A “cluster” of UK companies have submitted gender pay data that is “statistically improbable and therefore almost certainly inaccurate”, says the Financial Times. Fifteen companies claimed that they paid their male and female staff exactly the same, meaning they had a zero average gender pay gap measured by both the mean and median. Jonathan Portes, of King’s College London, said “common sense” dictates that the claims are “entirely implausible”.

Saga boss brushes off 25% fall in value

The chief executive of Saga has shrugged off a 25% plunge in the value of the cruises and insurance specialist following a profit warning connected to the fall of airline Monarch. The over-50s group told investors that the airline’s collapse led to a one-off cost of £2m and admitted that it faced a challenging insurance market.

Quote of the day… Capitalism sucks, Mr Carney

“My gold-plated £8k work pension will be worth 8p as inflation continues to rise and rocket. I can envisage the ‘Yes Minister snigger snigger’ expectation of getting away with it…. I’ve decided capitalism stinks.” A passage from a complaint letter sent to Mark Carney of the Bank of England. 

THE NUMBERS… AT 0727 GMT

FTSE 100: up +0.28 to 7348.03
Dow Jones: down -0.16 to 24140.91
Dax: down -0.38 to 12998.85
Cac 40: down -0.02 to 5374.35
Nikkei: up +1.45 to 22498.03
Hang Seng: up +0.18 to 28274.60
US dollar: buys €0.84780 and £0.74720
Sterling: buys $ 1.33790 and €1.13470
Oil: $ 61.18 down -2.7 

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