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Friday Papers: Argentina slams hedge fund court win

And UBS faces a fine of up to £50 million for management failures that led to the Swiss bank’s £1.4 billion rogue trading loss.

Friday Papers: Argentina slams hedge fund court win

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Argentina has angrily criticised a US court decision that has awarded hedge fund creditors more than $1.3 billion as “a kind of legal colonialism”.
  • Financial Times: UBS will have to pay one of the largest fines ever imposed by the UK’s financial regulator for management failures that led to the Swiss bank’s £1.4 billion rogue trading loss; penalty will probably be between £20-£50 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British entrepreneur Mike Lynch planned to use the $11.1 billion sale of his software company, Autonomy, as a “Trojan horse” with which to “take over” Hewlett Packard, it has been claimed.
  • Financial Times: HSBC was left holding a more than €410 million block of Amadeus shares after it failed to attract investors for stock in the Spanish IT group sold on behalf of Deutsche Lufthansa and Air France-KLM.
  • Financial Times: Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to sell £1.2 billion of distressed mortgages tied to European real estate, as it continues its push to exit the continental property market.
  • The Daily Telegraph: News Corp chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch has sold his non-voting shares in the company for around $10 million.
  • The Guardian: The net debt of Network Rail has soared to more than £28 billion, it has been announced.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The EU's highest court confirmed on Thursday that E.on must pay a €38 million fine for tampering with a seal EU investigators had put on a door during an antitrust raid.
  • The Independent: More than one in 10 tip-offs about corporate wrongdoing received by the US Securities and Exchange Commission came from overseas, with British whistleblowers topping the list, according to Kroll's analysis of the US securities market regulator's annual report.
  • Daily Mail: The Government will take a greater role in protecting British interests during international mergers and takeovers, it said on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: Fitch has cut the credit ratings of Sony and Panasonic to junk, saying that the recovery of both companies rests on aggressive and far-reaching restructuring.
  • The Guardian: Communications giant Virgin Media was involved in a row over trade union recognition on Thursday after ending collective bargaining deals following a vote by employees.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Herman Van Rompuy, the EU president, sought to break deadlocked negotiations over the bloc’s long-term budget by restoring billions of euros in funding for agriculture and poor regions in an effort to appease France and Italy.
  • The Independent: The financial data provider Markit's snapshot of manufacturing and services output across the eurozone – where a score under 50 signals contraction – was stuck at 45.8 in November, close to its lowest since June 2009.
  • The Guardian: Paul Tucker, the Bank of England deputy governor who is frontrunner to succeed Sir Mervyn King next year, has clashed with his boss, saying he does not want the full separation of retail and investment banks.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Business Secretary Vince Cable wants regulators to define the duty of investment managers to “act in good faith”, as part of the Government’s bid to curb the City’s “quick buck” mentality.
  • Financial Times: Investment banks are looking at the idea of building a directory of corporate bond holdings in a fresh attempt to boost liquidity in the $8.5 trillion market as well as their profits.
  • The Guardian: Ryanair plans to axe 800 staff across 10 routes to and from Budapest amid row over 'uncompetitive' charges.
  • Financial Times: ENRC, which last year suffered a boardroom bust-up that led to the departure of two directors, will announce that Mehmet Dalman will take over management of finance, risk, human resources, compliance and investor relations from chief executive Felix Vulis.
  • Financial Times: David Bradbury, a senior Australian government minister, has attacked Google for exploiting different legal jurisdictions and using complex structures such as the “double Irish Dutch sandwich” to minimise its tax bill.
  • Financial Times: Martin Scicluna is to take over as chairman of RSA, the UK’s largest commercial insurer by market value, as the company seeks to expand its business in emerging markets.
  • The Independent: Daily Mail & General Trust's shares on Thursday surged nearly 11% to their highest in almost two years after announcing strong annual pre-tax profits of £255 million and a £100 million share buyback.
  • Financial Times: Grainger, the specialist housing company now in its 100th year, achieved a gross net asset value increase of 3.2%, up from 216 pence to 223 pence per share, preliminary results for the year to 30 September 2012 showed, despite suffering a loss before tax of £1.7 million.
  • The Independent: The brewer SABMiller has reported a 12% rise in first-half profits, driven by a strong performance in Latin America.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Imtech, the Dutch technical services company, jumped 6% on Thursday, nearly making up for heavy losses earlier this week, as analysts clashed over whether or not the company is bumping up its revenues through aggressive bookkeeping techniques.
  • Financial Times: Close Brothers, an investment bank, said its loan book increased 4% to £4.3 billion during the three months to 31 October, compared with the previous quarter, but is being hit by low trading volumes in its securities division.
  • Financial Times: Digital Barriers, the surveillance technology group, has reported a 68% increase in revenues year on year, to £8.1 million for the six months to 30 September.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Guardian: Reckitt Benckiser is entering the multibillion vitamin and nutrition market with the $1.4 billion acquisition of Schiff Nutrition.
  • Financial Times: Santander, which recently completed the listing of a stake in its Mexican subsidiary, has begun to explore listing Santander Consumer USA, which has a loan portfolio of about €18 billion.
  • The Guardian (Comment): We cannot carry on with a system that allows so much of the national income and wealth to pile up in so few hands.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Switzerland and other offshore specialists are doing their best to frustrate international transparency in taxation.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Banking can be made honest – but not fail-safe.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Vince Cable's talk of long-termism is hollow while political risks deter investment.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The Government and the regulatory authorities need to take a more active role in takeovers and mergers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Santander: if the Spanish bank lists its US vehicle finance unit next year it will not move the capital needle much, but every little helps.
  • Financial Times (Lex): SABMiller: investors were aghast when the world’s second-largest brewer launched a bid for Foster’s last year, but they have got over initial concern.
  • Financial Times (Lex): DMGT: the question is whether publisher of the Daily Mail has cracked the riddle of how old-line media companies respond to the rise of digital.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Olam: there is certain machismo to calling in one’s lawyers but the extent to which corporate reputations should be protected is hotly debated.

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