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Monday Papers: Regulator seeks halt to O2 and Three deal

And Barclays and Credit Suisse need to pay $154 million for operating dark pools.

 
Monday Papers: Regulator seeks halt to O2 and Three deal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The British telecoms regulator has urged Brussels to block the proposed merger of telecoms operators O2 and Three, which it fears will send mobile phone bills for users in the UK sharply higher.
  • Financial Times: Credit Suisse and Barclays have agreed to pay a record $154 million to settle investigations by regulators into their share trading venues known as “dark pools”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Boss of Japanese industrial giant said Hitachi will continue to do business in UK regardless of whether it is a member of the European Union.
  • The Independent: Two of Britain’s high street giants H&M and Next have found Syrian refugee children working in their clothing factories in Turkey, leading to calls for other retailers to investigate their own supply chains.
  • Financial Times: George Osborne is backing an initiative to force multinational companies to open up their tax arrangements to public scrutiny, in an effort to bring transparency to a system that was heavily criticised in the light of Google’s £130 million British tax settlement.
  • The Guardian: A senior government minister has admitted the tax settlement between Google and the UK government “was not a glorious moment”.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Nigeria has asked the World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5 billion in emergency loans to fill a growing gap in its budget in the latest sign of the economic damage being wrought on oil-rich nations by tumbling crude prices.
  • Financial Times: Leading global economists now see a 20% chance of the US falling into recession this year, and a diminishing likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising rates as previously thought.
  • Financial Times: Henri de Castries, Axa chief executive, has warned that the British referendum on leaving the European Union this year was akin to the country playing Russian roulette “with maybe not six bullets in the barrel but at least four.”
  • Financial Times: David Cameron’s hopes of securing an EU deal for Britain at a summit this month were rising on Sunday night, in spite of warnings that Paris would block any attempt to secure a backdoor veto for the City of London over new financial rules.
  • Financial Times: Share trading by retail investors in mainland China during last year’s stock market bubble was so great it accounted for more than a third of the total amount of equities traded globally.
  • Financial Times: The global steel industry is expected to edge back into growth this year in spite of waning Chinese demand, at a time when low prices for the metal are casting a shadow over producers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Rolls-Royce has landed a huge deal to power new jets for budget carrier Norwegian, giving a major lift to the beleaguered engineering group and its boss Warren East.
  • The Guardian: Europe’s largest lender, HSBC, is imposing a hiring and pay freeze across the bank globally in 2016.
  • Financial Times: A senior Italian finance official has claimed the finance ministry expects strong interest from would-be buyers of distressed debt held by the country’s banks, rejecting concerns that last week’s deal to let Rome guarantee the loans will fall flat.
  • Daily Mail: Interest rates could stay on hold for the rest of the year as the economy slows, the Bank of England will signal this week.
  • The Guardian: Activity in China’s manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest pace in almost three-and-a-half years in January, missing market expectations, an official survey showed.
  • Financial Times: The new chief executive of French trainmaker Alstom says the sector in Europe is ripe for consolidation and it would “make sense” for his company to look at transformational deals.
  • Financial Times: Bookmakers have hit back at criticisms of their role in tennis following the re-emergence of match-fixing claims - by stressing their interest in keeping the sport clean, and the growing popularity of their services.
  • Daily Mail: Drinks giant Diageo is to open its latest private club for whisky connoisseurs in France.
  • The Guardian: Members of Wentworth golf club have accused the Chinese-based owners of using an eye-watering rise in membership rates to get rid of them and turn the club into a preserve of the ultra-rich.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: J Sainsbury has been told that it must increase its takeover offer for Home Retail Group to at least 160p per share if it hopes to salvage a deal to buy the owner of catalogue retailer Argos.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Are mining shares the steal of the century?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sky: the dramatic, irrelevant return of James Murdoch.

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