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Monday Papers: Oligarchs threaten BP’s Russia sale plans

And Spanish prime minister hopes his call for central fiscal control will mollify Brussels.

Monday Papers: Oligarchs threaten BP’s Russia sale plans

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The group of billionaire oligarchs who are BP’s partners in TNK-BP have threatened to thwart any attempt by the UK oil group to sell its stake in the joint venture.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BP is at risk of becoming a takeover target if it presses ahead with a sale of its $30 billion stake in Russian joint venture TNK-BP and hands cash back to investors, shareholders have warned.
  • Financial Times: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called for centralised control of national budgets in the eurozone in an unexpected gesture to mollify Brussels and Berlin on the eve of what is expected to be a crucial week for Madrid.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bank of England policymakers may opt to inject a further £50 billion of stimulus into Britain’s ailing economy this week, according to leading economists.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The advertising industry has come out strongly against a Microsoft plan to include a feature in the next version of its web browser, known as IE 10, that will automatically send a so-called “Do not track” request to all advertisers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Facebook shares will come under further pressure on Monday after speculators staked $1 billion on the company's market value continuing to spiral downward.
  • Daily Mail: Amazon sales hit €9.1 billion in Europe last year and the company made profits of €20 million on the continent last year.
  • The Independent: Three quarters of City bosses believe the British government's austerity agenda is damaging the UK's hopes of recovery.
  • Financial Times: While KFC tweaks the spices in its Kentucky fried chicken recipe to appeal to diners in China and India, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is hoping to pick up the slack in the American market, giving rise to a full-on fried chicken war in the US.
  • Financial Times: Yum! Brands, the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, is looking to export its thriving Chinese business model to India, as the US fast-food group steps up its battle with McDonald’s overseas.
  • The Daily Telegraph: George Soros, the billionaire investor, has warned Germany it has three months to save the eurozone or risk the destruction of the European Union and a “lost decade”.
  • Financial Times: Central banks in emerging markets have been dumping euros to shore up their own currencies, contributing to the euro’s drastic slide in recent weeks; the euro lost nearly 7% against the US dollar in May – its biggest monthly fall since September.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Bank for International Settlements said cross-border loans fell by $799 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, led by a broad retreat from Italy, Spain and the eurozone periphery.
  • The Independent: The City jobs market had its the best month since August last year as it created 4,320 posts in May – a 25% rise on the previous month, says financial services recruiter Astbury Marsden.
  • Financial Times: Regulatory measures put in place following the financial crisis are prompting European financial groups to sell their investments in private equity, drying up funds used to conduct leveraged buyouts.
  • Financial Times: The Financial Services Authority is to carry out spot checks on City firms’ reporting of suspicious trades, as part of its broader crackdown on market abuse.
  • Financial Times: Standard and Poor’s said it was lowering the rating on Abertis debt from BBB+ to BBB after reassessing the company’s risk profile “in light of the volatile traffic volumes” in its Spanish operation.
  • Financial Times: Year-to-date worldwide hostile mergers and acquisitions have jumped 86% on the same period last year to $12.3 billion and is at its highest level since the end of the last M&A boom in 2008.
  • Daily Mail: The remains of Clinton Cards are expected to be snapped up by US firm American Greetings, which will take possession of up to 400 stores.
  • Financial Times: Mining companies are turning to the debt markets to fund operations and development projects, as volatile equity markets and caution on the part of lenders stem traditional sources of funding for the industry.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: AstraZeneca is understood to have made a $4 billion takeover approach for Amylin, a US rival that specialises in diabetes treatments.
  • Financial Times: A group of Arab investors is making a billion-dollar offer to buy investment bank EFG-Hermes from under the noses of a Qatari firm – in what would be the Middle East’s first-ever hostile takeover attempt.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is lining up to take a shot at Umbro, the maker of the England football kit, which has been put up for sale by Nike.
  • Financial Times: Alufer Mining has become the latest company to pull plans for a London flotation to raise $40 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Critics have attacked the controversial payday lender Wonga for "running shy" of its reputation in Britain over plans to shun the UK and float the business in the US.
  • Financial Times: A group of seven airlines, including British Airways, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic, which holds 42% of UK’s air traffic controller National Air Traffic Services is seeking to sell its stake in the part-privatised company even though the government has quietly shelved plans to sell down its own holding.
  • Financial Times: Chinese energy group Hanergy is set to buy part of Q-Cells, the insolvent German solar-panel maker.
  • Financial Times: US food group Sara Lee will spin off Douwe Egberts Master Blenders 1753 on Euronext in Amsterdam; the new company, expected to have a market capitalisation of €4 billion-€6 billion, will be spun off on 28 June and begin official trading on 9 July.
  • The Guardian (Comment): You could read Christine Lagarde's comments on Osborne whichever way you liked. But even the markets are now beginning to fear the prospect of a Plan A without growth.
  • The Guardian (Comment): As euroscepticism spirals in the UK, the rest of Europe looks to anti-austerity and new compact of opportunity.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The euro has essentially broken down as a viable economic and political undertaking. The latest rush of events reeks of impending denouement.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): So the Irish voted in favour of austerity. No surprises there.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Cheap corporate debt: Why the rush of companies issuing super-cheap debt to buy back their shares? US companies, for example, are buying over $400 billion net of equities per quarter.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Chinese fashion: China is the second-largest clothes market in the world after the US and the chairman of Metersbonwe, has played a big part in that journey.
  • Financial Times (Lex): KPN/Telefónica: Telefónica has long been viewed as a potential bidder for KPN or as a merger partner for its German assets. So the situation is ripe with possibilities.

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Friday Papers: Amazon profit surge smashes forecasts

by Himanshu Singh on Apr 27, 2018 at 04:51

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