Christine Lagarde warns the system for world trade is in ‘danger of being torn apart’

Hammerson, which runs the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham and Brent Cross in London, said this morning that it has rejected a sweetened £5bn bid from bigger French rival Klépierre.

The French shopping mall operator offered to pay 635p a share in a mix of Klépierre shares and cash, up from its £4.9bn proposal on 8 March (615p a share).

The board has considered the revised proposal from Klépierre carefully. At 635p, it is only a 3% increase on the previous proposal and continues very significantly to undervalue the company.”

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Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco has reported a 28% rise in operating profits, beating City expectations. Profits were boosted by better than expected sales in the last three months of its financial year.

Online fashion retailer Asos, which targets shoppers in their 20s, has also reported strong numbers. Sales were up 27% in the first half and it expects similar growth in the second half. Chief executive Nick Beighton said the firm would step up investment in distribution and logistics.

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