February 2: Eurotunnel shares are up 20 per cent today, having risen 9 per cent yesterday, on news that it has reached some sort of a deal with the banks about restructuring/paying down its £6bn of debt. Frustratingly, there are no details yet.

Royal Dutch Shell made record profits last year, it said today. However, the number was in line with expectations and a little disappointing for that. We are hoping to hear more about how they plan to replenish their reserves, which is much more important.

Hilton shares are up strongly after the group responded to Matt Garrahan’s story this morning in which he said the group had turned down a £3.7bn offer from CVC for Ladbrokes. Hilton said it had received several approaches but none of them good enough.

Thorntons’ chairman, Christopher Burnett, has left after what looks like a bit of a bust-up. He wanted to lead a buy-out of the group but those talks have now been terminated. The stock is off 6 per cent.

On the Lloyds TSB takeover rumours, which we have been very sceptical about, it is worth passing on what James Eden, an analyst at Dresdner, said in a note this morning. He was generally sceptical as well, but added: “It is interesting to note that Helen Weir was at the football last night (Arsenal vs West Ham), hardly the behaviour of a Finance Director in the final stages of takeover talks!! It wasn’t even her team, she supports Watford!!” The stock is off a touch today.

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