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Friday Papers: Buffett in $28bn move for Heinz

And US hedge fund investor George Soros 'makes $1 billion betting against yen'.

 
Friday Papers: Buffett in $28bn move for Heinz

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Warren Buffett has teamed up with Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann to serve up the biggest takeover of the year, agreeing to take US ketchup maker Heinz private in a $28 billion deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: US hedge fund investor George Soros has gained about $1 billion since November betting against the yen, according to reports; yen lost nearly 20% against the dollar between November and February.
  • Financial Times: Tullett Prebon has been drawn into the Libor scandal after an individual at the interdealer broker was implicated in conversations about rigging the yen Libor rate, the Financial Times has learnt.
  • Financial Times: AMR Corporation, the bankrupt parent of American Airlines, and US Airways confirmed $11 billion merger plan on Thursday in a deal that promises to reshape the US’s airline industry and create the world’s second-largest airline by revenues.
  • Financial Times: Dell has sought to counter rising shareholder anger over its planned $24.4 billion buyout, as debate among investors turned to whether founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake will be forced to increase their offer for the company.
  • The Independent: Eric Daniels, the former boss of Lloyds Bank, on Thursday denied widespread mis-selling of payment protection insurance policies, as he said the multi-billion scandal was instead caused by a “misunderstanding” between banks and watchdogs.
  • Financial Times: BNP Paribas unveiled a cost-cutting and Asian expansion programme as it reported an 8% rise in 2012 net profits to €6.6 billion, but a drop in fourth-quarter profits at its Italian subsidiary.
  • Financial Times: Rio Tinto has reported a net loss of $3 billion in the year to December, down from a net profit of $5.8 billion a year ago.
  • The Independent: The sharp decline in Apple's shares at the end of last year, which led the stock to end 2012 down more than 24% from its September peak, was partly a result of a sell-off by some of Wall Street's biggest hedge funds, regulatory filing made on Thursday show.
  • Financial Times: The High Court has said Google and its peers can be held responsible for defamatory comments posted on their websites in a ruling described as “bad news” for internet companies.
  • The Guardian: Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, which has been stung by a succession of corporate governance crises, has secretly sold a subsidiary to Arif Shadiev, the nephew of one of the group's founders and major shareholders.
  • Daily Mail: Energy giant EDF made profits of £801 million from its UK operations last year as bills soared four times faster than inflation, leading to claims it was ‘recession-proof’.
  • Financial Times: Centrica is set to appoint Chris Weston as the new head of British Gas, the UK’s leading biggest energy retailer by customer numbers.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Ed Miliband on Thursday put the wealthy on notice that a future Labour government would squeeze the rich with a £2 billion tax on expensive homes to fund a revival of the 10p starting rate of income tax, axed by Gordon Brown.
  • The Independent: Banks have been told by the Financial Services Authority that they should not try to leave the panel which sets Libor because they fear becoming embroiled in the growing scandal over rate rigging.
  • Financial Times: Democrats in the US Senate are proposing to replace looming automatic spending cuts with deficit reductions worth $110 billion, including a minimum tax level for people earning more than $1 million, reductions in farm subsidies and lower defence spending.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Germany's economy collapsed by 0.6% in the final three months of last year as the eurozone recession finally caught up with the currency bloc's most powerful member.
  • Financial Times: Brussels proposed a €30 billion-€35 billion levy on financial transactions on Thursday, which will be collected by the eurozone’s biggest economies but apply to trades in all the world’s main financial centres.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British business groups have warned that jobs and growth could be jeopardised by the controversial financial transactions tax officially unveiled by the European Commission.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A shale oil revolution could add up to £800 to each person’s economic output in the UK, according to a report from accountants PwC.
  • Financial Times: Gazprom has rejected an appeal by Kiev to renegotiate its gas supply contract, insisting Ukraine must pay it $7 billion for unused gas.
  • The Daily Telegraph: David Harding, one of Britain's most successful hedge fund managers, was hit by $1 billion of client withdrawals amid a growing impatience about lacklustre returns across the high-rolling industry.
  • Financial Times: Former co-chief executive of BlackBerry Jim Balsillie has severed ties with the handset maker by selling off his remaining shares in the company.
  • Financial Times: Deepak Gulati, JP Morgan’s global head of equity proprietary trading, is quitting to set up a hedge fund in Switzerland in what will be the first prominent launch of a fund since several bank spinouts floundered last year.
  • Financial Times: John Browett, the Briton who left Dixons for a short stint as head of Apple’s global retail stores, is returning to the UK high street as the new chief executive of Monsoon Accessorize.
  • Financial Times: Net income at PepsiCo rose 19% year on year to $1.66 billion, or $1.06 a share, in spite of a slip in revenues, which declined 1% to $19.9 billion.
  • The Guardian: General Motors reported net income of $898 million, or 54 cents per share in the fourth quarter, compared with $468 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier; revenue grew 3% to $39.3 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: India's biggest car maker Tata Motors has moved out of top gear as it posts a sharp drop in net profits, driven by a 25% fall at Jaguar Land Rover.
  • Financial Times: Zurich Insurance Group’s net profits for 2012 ticked up 3% from $3.75 billion in 2011 to $3.88 billion in 2012, after the group realised a gain of $946 million in the fourth quarter following the sale of various investments.
  • The Independent: Rolls-Royce announced a 24% leap in profits for 2012 to £1.4 billion, as a strong performance in its key civil aerospace business pushed up revenues by 8% to £12.2 billion.
  • The Guardian: Rolls-Royce has appointed Ian Davis, the former head of McKinsey, as chairman, ending the eight-year tenure of Sir Simon Roberston.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gatwick Airport has pledged a better deal for passengers and airlines if it is freed from price regulation.
  • The Independent: The British designer Sir Paul Smith is stepping up the global expansion of his fashion label and has just made his first German investment.
  • The Independent: A bounce-back in Hugo Boss's share price in the final quarter helped SVG Capital, the listed private equity fund, to record a 16% jump in the value of its assets to 433 pence in 2012.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Barnes & Noble dropped 7% on Thursday after the bookseller said its Nook tablet and ebook business was performing worse than it had forecast.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is in talks to buy a $3 billion stake in a London-listed VTB, a bank whose clients include Russian oligarchs such as Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
  • Financial Times: US drug distributor Cardinal Health has acquired AssuraMed, a privately held home care company, for $2.07 billion, as it hopes to capitalise on an ageing population and the increasing prevalence of chronic disease.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britvic and AG Barr will battle regulators over their proposed £1.4 billion drinks merger after it was referred to the Competition Commission.
  • Financial Times: The Moscow Exchange was likely to be priced at about Rbs55 to Rbs58, at the lower end of the Rbs55 to Rsb63 range, after getting its initial public offering off the ground with help from a Kremlin-backed private equity fund and its Chinese counterpart.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Aberdeen Asset Management has bought New York-based asset management firm Artio Global Investors for $175 million in cash.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Ed Miliband: Bagging mansion tax and the 10p rate for Labour was good politics, but the scale of his economic ambition was better still
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): If Britain is to compete in the 'global race’, the Chancellor's Budget next month must be a truly radical one.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The battleground for supermarkets in 21st-century Britain has been price. Vouchers, discount own-label brands, and “three for two” promotions have become a staple of the food industry as supermarket chains have battled for market share across the UK.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Heinz: scope for radical investment or divestment strategies is limited at a packaged food company.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Rio Tinto: the miner has recorded its first full-year loss after taking $26 billion of impairments in two years, but CEO Walsh is making the right noises.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Nestlé: investors reacted badly to results from the world’s biggest food company, but they should remember that it consistently delivers growth.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US Airways/AMR: by finally combining with American Airlines, Parker has created a formidable competitor, though weaker than peers on international routes.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Time Warner’s magazines: with publishing accounting for just 12% of revenue at media group, it seems sensible to spin off its titles, but why not all of them?

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