Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

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Nestle working with advisers on the potential sale of its skincare division

Nestle working with advisers on the potential sale of its skincare division

The efforts are in part to help the Swiss firm move ahead with its plans to narrow its sprawling business interests, stated sources familiar with the matter

Credit Suisse Group AG is one of the banks that Nestle is working with on the review, which could value the business at $8-$10 billion, said the source– asking not to be identified, due to the private nature of the appointment.

 The division may attract bids from personal-care companies such as Johnson & Johnson and private equity firms including KKR & Co. and Apax Partners, they said.

Representatives for Nestle, Credit Suisse, J&J, KKR and Apax declined to comment.

Nestle, which owns multiple brands like Nespresso coffee to Purina pet food, is weighing selling the dermatological operations as a whole or in parts and would also consider a spin-off– though that option remains less likely, the people said. No final decisions have been made and everything is still at an early stage, they said.

Nestle said last month that it was exploring options for its skin-health business as Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider focuses on core products such as coffee, water and pet food.

Nestle said that it expects to complete the review of the business — which owns the Cetaphil lotion and Proactiv acne treatment brands as well as wrinkle removers that compete with Botox — by the middle of next year.

The consumer giant last year caught the attention of activist investor Dan Loeb, who called on it to conduct a review of its brands and get rid of underperformers that were holding back growth.

 Nestle has agreed to sell its U.S. confectionery business to Nutella maker Ferrero SpA for $2.8 billion, and offloaded Gerber Life Insurance in a $1.55bn deal with Western & Southern Financial Group.

The company is also considering selling hot-dog maker Herta, a person familiar with the situation said in June.

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