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GVC raises stakes in battle for online gambling group Bwin

Bid valuing the group at just over £1bn trumps offer made by rival suitor 888 Holdings that was recommended by Bwin board

The battle for control of Bwin.party took another twist as GVC Holdings outlined a higher offer for the online gambling group.

GVC said on Friday it had made a cash and shares offer worth 125.5p a share that values Bwin at just over £1bn.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

RBA unlikely to cut interest rates further after issuing upbeat economic forecast

Reserve Bank expects growth to pick up to between 3 and 4.5% by December 2017, but ASX200 down 2% amid sell-off of shares in the big four banks

The Reserve Bank appears likely to keep its powder dry on another interest rate cut, issuing an upbeat assessment of the economy.

While the central bank has reduced its economic growth forecasts for the current financial year by half a percentage point, it expects growth to pick up to between 3% and 4.5% by December 2017.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

High street stores suffer worst summer for six years

Fashion retailers worst hit as shops blame sales slumps on poor weather and lingering low consumer confidence, according to accountants BDO

The UK high street has endured its worst summer in six years, as volatile weather and the lure of restaurants and holidays kept shoppers away.

Underlying sales, which exclude new store openings, slipped by 1.1% in July according to accountants BDO, meaning stores have seen three consecutive months of decline for the first time since 2009. Sales fell by 0.9% in May and 2% in June.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

RSA's results make independence a credible alternative to Zurich buyout

First-half results vindicate chief Stephen Hester and could take insurer’s share price beyond the reach of Swiss rival, whose own reported figures are weak

As the first chapter of a possible defence document, RSA’s first-half results read very well. After 18 months of cutting costs and flogging small units overseas, chief executive Stephen Hester has something to shout about. Unlike a year ago, the company achieved the basic requirement for a general insurer of making an underwriting profit.

Throw in a reasonable investment result, and RSA smashed City forecasts at the level of operating profits – £259m was about £50m better than expected. Hester’s boast that RSA is “a company that is getting more valuable” is plainly correct.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Big Mac 'n fries, sure! Your McDonald's waiter will be with you in a minute

Table service goes down well with visitors to the burger chain in Greater Manchester as the fast-food giant tries ways to reverse sliding sales

For McDonald’s executive Andy Shaw, it is the perfect day to test a radical change on customers.

“August. Raining. Kids off school. Families looking for a treat,” he says, standing inside the first British branch to offer table service. On a Thursday lunchtime in Mottram, Greater Manchester, this particular fast-food outlet wants people to take their time for once.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Dairy farmers call for supermarket boycott as milk price falls

Farmers protests against Morrison’s, Aldi, Lidl and Asda as milk processors cut price per litre

Dairy farmers are telling consumers not to buy milk at Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Asda as the battle over prices spills on to the high street for the second time in three years. Farmers have been protesting in UK supermarkets this week, with more action planned on Thursday night, after three major milk processors – Arla, First Milk and Dairy Crest – all said at the weekend they would cut the price they pay farmers.

Related: The battle for the soul of British milk | Jon Henley

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Super Thursday: Bank of England votes 8-1 to hold interest rates

City analysts push prospect of a rate rise into 2016 as only one MPC member votes for an increase

Fears that the Bank of England is poised to start raising interest rates have receded, after news that just one of the nine members of its policy committee voted to increase borrowing costs from their record low of 0.5% this month.

City analysts pushed their forecasts for the first rate rise since 2007 into next year after the Bank revealed that Ian McCafferty, former chief economist at business group the CBI, cast the sole vote for higher rates when the monetary policy committee met on Wednesday.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Quindell shares plunge 28% as troubled firm returns to market

Insurance claims handler faces FCA and SFO investigations amid deepening losses

Shares in Quindell, the troubled insurance claims handler, have fallen 28% on their first day of trading since they were suspended in June. The shares fell as much as 40% in early trading and closed down by more than a quarter, leaving the company valued at just under £400m. Quindell, which was briefly viewed as a star stock, was valued at £2.9bn in February 2014 before Gotham City Research, a US hedge fund, published a report attacking its business model.

Quindell suspended its shares on 24 June when it announced an investigation into its past acquisitions. The scandal enveloping the company intensified on Wednesday when the Serious Fraud Office announced a criminal investigation into its accounts. The Financial Conduct Authority is also investigating Quindell, and the accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council, is looking into the conduct of two of Quindell’s past auditors, KPMG and RSM Tenon, now part of Baker Tilly.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Tom Hayes sentence: my son’s integrity and self-respect are intact | Letters

Joshua Rozenberg’s justification of Judge Cooke’s 14-year sentence on my son, Tom, for conspiracy to defraud (14 years in jail for Libor rigging? The judge makes a persuasive case, 4 August) may satisfy those who think there is no penalty too harsh for a banker. Thankfully many others have taken the opposite view: that this is a brutal punishment on a relatively lowly trader in obscure financial derivatives pegged to Japanese yen Libor, when the real architects of financial manipulation and skulduggery in Wall Street and the City remain untouched.

Clearly unfamiliar with the complexities of this case, Mr Rozenberg simply and uncritically reproduces the judge’s sentencing remarks in a circular argument that Sir Jeremy Cooke got it right. Perhaps in strict legal terms the 14-year tariff conforms to the guidelines for such cases. One could hardly expect otherwise from such a senior judge.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Activist investor buys into Cadbury's owner

Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman builds $5.5bn stake in Mondelez

US activist investor Bill Ackman has built a stake worth about $5.5bn (£3.5bn) in Mondelez, the maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo biscuits, in what is seen as an attempt to push the company to grow faster or seek a buyer. Mondelez shares were pushed up 7% at $49.49 premarket trading in New York on Thursday, placing a value on the company of about $80bn.

Related: Cadbury cuts 250 jobs in Birmingham

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS