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Saturday Papers: Facebook gears up for $100bn IPO

And Fitch downgraded the ratings of five eurozone countries, including Italy and Spain.

Saturday Papers: Facebook gears up for $100bn IPO

Top stories

  • The Daily Telegraph: Facebook is reportedly preparing to file next week for a flotation that could value the world's largest social network site at $75 billion to $100 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hopes of a Greek debt deal were undermined on Friday night after Fitch downgraded the ratings of five eurozone countries, including Italy and Spain.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The US economy grew less than forecast in the final quarter of last year; gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8% annual pace in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
  • The Independent: Peter Sands, the chief executive of Standard Chartered, launched an attack on the reforms proposed by Sir John Vickers' Independent Commission on Banking yesterday and suggested that regulators should be prepared to water down the proposed "ring-fencing" of retail banking and the higher capital ratios that Sir John prescribed.
  • The Guardian: Loans to firms in the eurozone fell sharply in December and the volume of cash grew at a slower rate than the previous month, official figures showed.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: ITV has been ordered to provide financial assistance to the Box Clever pension scheme, which has a deficit of £62 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Europe needs to "show the colour" of its money before Britain gives more cash to bail out countries, George Osborne says.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The number of 16-24 year old Spaniards out of work rose to 51.4% in December, more than double the European Union average, according to a report by Spain's National Statistics Institute.
  • The Guardian: US court has rejected BP's attempt to make rig operator Transocean pay part of compensation bill for Gulf oil disaster.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Bank of Scotland's director in charge of setting executive pay could be summoned to appear before MPs to explain the state-backed lender's decision to award its chief executive a bonus worth nearly £1 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A group of Barclays' largest shareholders have warned the company they will not accept lavish payouts to its senior bankers, including chief executive Bob Diamond.
  • The Daily Telegraph: James Murdoch, the News Corporation executive embroiled in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, is quitting the board of drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline.
  • Financial Times: News Corp is in talks with Lex Fenwick, a former Bloomberg chief executive, to become chief executive of Dow Jones.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Chancellor will have the power to force the Bank of England to pump cash into failing lenders in a future financial crisis under radical new laws published on Friday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Procter & Gamble cut its profit forecast for this year, pinning the blame for a weakening performance on the strengthening US dollar.
  • The Guardian: George Osborne urged business to make the case for the scrapping of the 50% income tax rate as he gave his clearest signal yet of his desire to reduce taxes on the wealthy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A shortage of liquidity in Italy's banking system boosted the London Stock Exchange during the last three months of 2011; the bourse’s total income rise 17% to £196.3 million in the three months to 31 December.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Two more individuals connected to US hedge fund Greenlight Capital have been fined over a multi-million pound insider-dealing case.
  • Daily Express: Pub and brewing groups Marston’s and Fuller, Smith & Turner enjoyed strong sales growth over Christmas and the New Year.
  • Daily Express: Hornby said annual profits were likely to fall short of market hopes after festive sales of goods, particularly its more expensive train and Scalextric sets, fell about 15% against a year ago.
  • The Independent: The high street jewellery business Abbeycrest has been forced to suspend its shares after a buyer for its Thai business failed to materialise.
  • The Independent: More than 500 jobs were on the line at Serco yesterday after the outsourcer which makes its money by cutting its customers' costs took a look at its own wage bill.
  • The Independent: The banknotes printer De La Rue yesterday said its trading is in line with its expectations but it will go ahead with planned cost-cutting.
  • Financial Times: IGas Energy provided some encouragement for shareholders this week as it suggested it could be positioned to join the rush to exploit shale gas reserves in the north-west of England.
  • Financial Times: Gold extended its gains to a seven-week high on Friday.
  • Financial Times: India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, is set to enter the UK residential mortgage market in August following the bank’s expansion of its international business last year.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Pfizer has entered exclusive talks with London & Metropolitan, a real estate investor, to sell its Discovery Park campus in Kent, one year after it announced plans to close its Sandwich operations with the loss of up to 2,400 local jobs.
  • Financial Times: BC Partners and Bain Capital, the private equity groups, may be the only serious contenders for Iceland Foods when second-round bids are submitted on Tuesday.
  • The Independent: An American deal maker, who made his name in the 1990s by investing in struggling businesses such as Eurotunnel and Euro disney, has emerged as a potential saviour of the Coryton refinery.
  • Financial Times: BNP Paribas is facing a backlash from a group of investors over the price at which the French bank has offered to buy back their bonds.
  • Financial Times: Investec has agreed to buy Irish financial services company NCB in a deal worth €32 million.
  • Financial Times: UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank by assets, has placed almost the entirety of its €7.5 billion rights issue, providing another sign of improved investor sentiment towards Italy and the eurozone.
  • Financial Times: NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse’s nine-month attempt to win regulatory approval for their proposal to create the world’s largest exchange has reached a bruising finale after the US group’s chief executive said their chance of success was slim.
  • The Guardian (Comment): If play is the work of childhood, Hornby's struggle is grim news for the future of UK manufacturing.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The political elite who claim to be powerless on the RBS chief's bonus can no longer assume their hierarchy will remain intact.
  • The Independent (Comment): As the late Steve Jobs faced up to his diagnosis of cancer and tried to face down the disease, he reached for the highest of hi-tech measures: he sequenced his entire DNA.
  • The Independent (Comment): Chairman Ben Bernanke has finally got his way. The Federal Reserve has set an explicit target for inflation, and yet again the central bank reveals it sees its responsibility for maximum employment as the junior half of its dual mandate.
  • Financial times (Lex): Companies the world over are falling over themselves to blame the eurozone for weaker than expected results. Investors should be skeptical.
  • Financial Times: Starbucks: if the company is to thrive, US profits must expand – despite the fact that there is little room for more stores when every suburb one.
  • Financial Times: Kia: is Seoul’s fifth largest company by market capitalisation getting ahead of itself by predicting another 10% sales growth this year?
  • Financial Times: Roche / Illumina: rivals are unlikely to enter a hostile bidding war, so Roche should have plenty of time to convince enough of Illumina’s shareholders to sell.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

Anthony Tinslay

Jan 28, 2012 at 15:04

Facebook = A bubble waiting to burst when something else deemed better comes along. What Tangible assets does Facebook have? Looks as though the, probably few, inside shareholders are wishing to cash in before it all bursts.

Who can blame them for wishing to achieve a huge and sudden wealth based on a good and at the moment popular idea. Was there not an on-line travel booking business that floated for millions, made a few very rich and then almost disappeared? There have been quite a few businesses that have risen like a Phoenix only to fall back like a dead duck.

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