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Friday Papers: UBS faces $1bn fine over Libor allegations

And S&P cut to Britain’s debt outlook deals Downing St a bloody nose.

Friday Papers: UBS faces $1bn fine over Libor allegations

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The fine UBS will pay to settle claims it manipulated Libor, a key benchmark interest rate, could top $1 billion, people familiar with the investigation have told the Financial Times.
  • Financial Times: Standard & Poor’s has become the last big credit rating agency to give the UK government a bloody nose by downgrading the outlook on Britain’s triple A rating to negative.
  • Financial Times: Europe took its first big step towards banking union early on Thursday morning, as eurozone finance ministers agreed a plan to cede power to a common bank supervisor in Frankfurt.
  • The Guardian: Britain has slipped two places down Europe's league table of living standards, falling to sixth after being overtaken by Austria and Germany, the European Union's statistical body said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The cost to the taxpayer of the West Coast rail fiasco has risen by a further £6 million to £55 million.
  • Daily Mail: Google will crack down on payday lenders by imposing strict rules on the information they must display on their websites and threatens to ban them from advertising through the search engine if they don't comply.
  • Financial Times: Bankers’ bonuses in Europe would be capped at two times fixed salary under a tentative EU agreement that would mark the most severe crackdown on pay since the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: The US Federal Reserve is carrying out its first ever system-wide stress test of bank liquidity in a move that could force banks to change their funding sources.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Barclays could slash as many as 2,000 jobs from its investment banking arm as part of a broad restructuring of the company.
  • Daily Mail: Barclays is to announce a major overhaul of its businesses in the New Year in an ethical cleansing exercise aimed at regaining trust after its reputation was trashed by the Libor scandal.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank has said restructuring costs and charges related to its Dutch business will “have a significant negative impact on the bank’s earnings”.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan Chase has turned to technology used for countering terrorism to spot fraud risk among its own employees and to tackle problems such as deciding how much to charge when selling property behind troubled mortgages.
  • Financial Times: Man Group is weighing accounting write-offs of up to $1 billion next year related to its 2010 acquisition of GLG Partners.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British manufacturing was given a boost after AirAsia placed an order for 100 Airbus aircraft, the wings for which will be made in the UK, safeguarding around 9,000 jobs.
  • Financial Times: BG Group will replace its chief executive, Sir Frank Chapman, with Chris Finlayson following a protracted run-off for the position that started last year.
  • Financial Times: Yahoo has undergone another board shake-up, with the immediate departure of two board members, and the addition of Max Levchin, the co-founder and former chief technology officer at PayPal.
  • The Guardian: Sports Direct is attempting to reintroduce a bonus scheme that could hand Mike Ashley, the company's majority shareholder, a £39 million windfall.
  • Daily Mail: Tesco, 0.9 pence dearer at 340.5 pence on Thursday, has poured cold water over speculation it was lining up a bid for Migros, one of the largest supermarket chains in Turkey.
  • Financial Times: Honda is recalling 871,000 vehicles to fix a fault that could cause them to roll away after they have been parked.
  • The Independent: Betfair's new boss Breon Corcoran set the betting exchange on a new course on Thursday, selling off unwanted businesses and throwing the kitchen sink at the accounts with £81 million in writedowns.
  • Financial Times: ING, the Dutch bancassurer, has capped a record year for Japanese debt markets by completing Thursday’s $2.1 billion sale of three-year bonds; the sale by ING brings the total raised in the country’s public debt markets this year to $310 billion, up 6% from 2011’s former record haul.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The contentious practice of fracking for shale gas has been given the go-ahead in the UK, but only under stringent new rules that the country’s leading shale driller says will add “millions of dollars” to its production costs.
  • The Daily Telegraph: George Osborne has refused to rule out switching the Bank of England's inflation target to a focus on economic growth as he called for a broad debate on the future of Britain's monetary policy framework.
  • Financial Times: Issuance of collateralised loan obligations, investment vehicles specialising in corporate debt that came close to extinction in the credit crisis, has surged past $50 billion in the US this year, far outstripping expectations.
  • Financial Times: Italy and Spain raised €6.2 billion in debt auctions on Thursday, as expectations of European Central Bank intervention in the latter’s bond market next year trumped simmering investor concerns over the eurozone periphery.
  • Financial Times: Britain, Canada and the US have walked away from an international communications treaty about to be signed by a majority of UN states in Dubai over concerns that it could be used to justify wider censorship and regulation of the internet.
  • The Guardian: The collapse of the proposed £25 billion merger between BAE Systems and Airbus owner EADS will not lead to a "downgrading" of the British aerospace industry, the prime minister has pledged.
  • Financial Times: The UK Competition Commission has won the right to pursue its investigation into whether Ryanair wields undue influence over Aer Lingus, in which it holds a 29.8% stake.
  • The Daily Telegraph: European Union regulators ended an antitrust probe into e-book prices on Thursday, accepting an offer by Apple and four publishers to ease pricing restrictions on Amazon and other retailers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Fund manager Henderson is moving its tax residency back to the UK from Ireland in a boost for the Coalition.
  • Financial Times: A group of domestic lenders have invested €430 million in equity into Spain’s state-run bad bank which Madrid hopes will clear billions of euros of bad property assets from the balance sheets of the country’s nationalised banks.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Centamin's shares collapsed after it said it had closed its Sukari gold mine and listed fresh problems it faces in Egypt
  • Financial Times: France Telecom and Vivendi’s SFR have been fined a combined €183 million for distorting competition in the French mobile phone market.
  • The Independent: Ant Cauchi and Lloyd Salmons, the co-founders of digital and social-media agency Outside Line, cashed in on Thursday by selling to advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi for an estimated £8 million.
  • The Guardian: AstraZeneca announced that an experimental arthritis treatment proved no better than a drug from rival Abbott Laboratories in clinical trials, sending the company's shares 84 pence lower to 2958.5 pence on Thursday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Staff at the Guardian and Observer newspapers are expected to strike over job cuts, after the overwhelming majority voted to hold a ballot over strike action.
  • Financial Times: Thomas Ammann, 39, a German national who worked for Mizuho International and passed sensitive information to two lovers about a takeover deal, has been jailed for two years and eight months.
  • Financial Times: Shares in HMV Group fell almost 40% on Thursday after the company warned it was likely to breach banking covenants, putting the future of the entertainment retailer under threat.
  • Financial Times: Findus, the maker of frozen peas and fish pies, has written off about £440 million following its debt-for-equity swap earlier this year.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Virgin Money is eyeing a potential stock market listing, following the acquisition by leading shareholder Wilbur Ross of 38% stake in shell acquisition vehicle NBNK for about £8 million.
  • Financial Times: Permal, one of the world’s largest funds of hedge funds, is to acquire rival Fauchier Partners in a further sign of consolidation in the embattled industry; terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
  • The Guardian (Comment): From the UK perspective, banking union has far more pluses than minuses: if it works, it's helpful; if it doesn't, we're better off outside the club.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Until western consumers make safety standards an issue for the big clothing brands, factory fires will continue to take lives like in Bangladesh.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The Bank is in charge of money, politicians are in charge of growth.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Delta's Virgin bet should be a wake-up call to the UK on airport policy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Banking union: agreement offers the hope that European regulatory uncertainty may, finally, be on the way to some sort of conclusion.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BG Group: the oil and gas group’s new chief executive Chris Finlayson inherits a busy in-tray from Sir Frank Chapman.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sprint/Clearwire: there is a serious power imbalance between US wireless operator and minority shareholders such as Mount Kellett.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Renault: French carmaker’s sale of its remaining stake in Volvo provides financial flexibility, but funds need to be used wisely.

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