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Saturday Papers: G20 finance chiefs take heat off Japan

And Facebook has admitted it was targeted by hackers two weeks after Twitter revealed it had experienced a similar security breach.

 
Saturday Papers: G20 finance chiefs take heat off Japan

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The yen fell sharply as global financial leaders gathered in Moscow tried to play down fears of a currency war and signalled that they would not interfere in Japan’s plans to boost its economy.
  • Financial Times: Facebook has admitted it was targeted by hackers two weeks after Twitter revealed it had experienced a similar security breach.
  • Financial Times: The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged a Swiss bank account was used to improperly buy derivatives contracts in advance of the $28 billion deal to take Heinz private.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's manufacturers must start taking risks and investing in new export markets if they are to lead the country back to sustainable economic growth, a top Bank of England policymaker has declared.
  • Financial Times: A fresh round of dealmaking across Wall Street helped US stocks edge higher and record their seventh consecutive week of gains; the S&P 500 rose 0.1% for the week, while it lost 0.1% on Friday; the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones both lost 0.1% for the week.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Dutch Shell has asked the Government to discuss the oil major's $2.7 billion tax row with Indian authorities during David Cameron's trade mission to India next week.
  • Financial Times: 3G Capital, the Brazilian private equity partner to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in a $28 billion offer to take Heinz private, has been boosted by the strong performance of its Burger King Worldwide business.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron will next week launch a last-ditch attempt to snatch a $20 billion jet fighter deal from under the nose of French president François Hollande, as he leads a business delegation to Mumbai and New Delhi.
  • The Independent: The activist investor Knight Vinke has forced its way on to the board of the electricals retailer Darty, which yesterday issued a profits warning.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Walmart shares dropped more than 3% on Friday after the disclosure of internal emails from one of the retailer’s executives describing February sales so far as “a total disaster”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain is to be named as the world's most competitive tax regime in an assessment that has been welcomed by George Osborne.
  • Financial Times: Gold prices tumbled below $1,600 a troy ounce for the first time in six months as investors turned to other assets amid hopes of an economic recovery.
  • The Daily Telegraph: PPR, the owner of Gucci and Bottega Veneta, defied economic gloom by posting forecast-beating annual profits on Friday, adding it would stick by its struggling sports brand Puma.
  • Financial Times: A scramble for new funding and plans for a series of disposals have failed to save Cosalt, the engineering services group, which called in administrators on Friday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Co-operative's attempt to buy 632 Lloyds branches is under fresh pressure as the chief financial officer of the mutual's banking arm has announced his departure.
  • Financial Times: James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, has launched a stinging attack on Amazon, accusing the online retail group of destroying jobs in British town centres.
  • Financial Times: Investors pulled money from US junk bond funds for a third consecutive week amid increasing bets that interest rates will rise as the economy improves.
  • Financial Times: Low cotton prices helped VF Corporation, the US owner of brands including North Face and Vans, record the highest gross profit margin in its history.
  • Financial Times: A New York City teachers’ retirement fund has withdrawn $13.5 million in investments in gun manufacturers.
  • Financial Times: Airbus is to scrap plans to use lithium-ion batteries on its new passenger jet, in a move aimed at keeping the A350 development programme on track following Boeing’s crisis with the 787 Dreamliner.
  • Financial Times: Fabio Barbosa has stepped down as chief financial officer at BG Group.
  • Financial Times: More than one in 100 products have tested positive in the UK’s first tranche of tests for horsemeat, as the EU approved a Europe-wide DNA probe.
  • Financial Times: US industrial production shrank in January after the biggest back-to-back gain in three decades.
  • Financial Times: The UK government has given its official approval for plans by Statoil, the Norwegian oil major, to lead a $7 billion investment to develop the largest new offshore development in Britain’s sector of the North Sea in more than a decade.
  • Financial Times: Eni said its fourth-quarter profit fell 3.6% to €1.52 billion as a strong performance in its oil exploration and production business was offset by a high tax charge.
  • Financial Times: A boardroom battle has broken out at APN News & Media following a decision by the company’s largest shareholder to push for the removal of its chief executive and oppose a rights issue.
  • Financial Times: Anglo American reported its first annual loss since listing in London more than a decade ago.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Apple has suffered another bruise to its stockmarket reputation after it emerged that Dan Loeb, the legendary US hedge fund manager, has ditched a $375 million stake in the iconic technology company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Insurers paid out £1.19 billion for flood and storm damage across the UK during 2012 - marking the highest annual figure in five years - a trade body said on Friday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Farmland prices reached record levels during the second half of last year as farmers sought to capitalise on high commodity prices, according to research.
  • The Guardian: Administrators of HMV have struck a temporary deal with film studios and music labels to ensure that new releases, such as the Bond film Skyfall and Madagascar 3, continue to flow to the group's stores.
  • The Guardian: Small-scale butchers offering locally sourced high quality meat have seen trade jump by as much as 30% amid the horsemeat scandal as shoppers turn away from cheaper processed food.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Carl Icahn has thrown down a challenge to his bitter rival Bill Ackman by buying a 13% stake in Herbalife, the nutritional supplement distribution company that Ackman has made the target of a billion dollar short selling campaign.
  • The Guardian: The Sanctuary Records label - home to bands such as Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden - is being bought by German record label group BMG; deal reportedly worth £40 million covers 170,000 recordings such as the Kinks' You Really Got Me and Waterloo Sunset.
  • Financial Times: Communisis, the marketing services provider, this week raised £20 million in a placing that was oversubscribed.
  • Financial Times: Sir Philip Green, the owner of the Topshop and BHS chains, is among those interested in bed retailer Dreams.
  • The Guardian: George Soros, the hedge fund billionaire, has reportedly made more than $1.2 billion betting against the yen.
  • Financial Times: Outside investors in SAC Capital this week pulled $1.68 billion from the hedge fund at the heart of federal investigations into insider trading, sources said.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Burger King: changing the menu, competing against McDonald’s and cutting costs make a combo meal that’s tough for franchisees to digest.
  • Financial Times (Lex): PPR: with M&A in the air, bankers could make a case for French consumer group as a target – but Pinault is unlikely to cede control easily.
  • Financial Times (Lex): European cable: Liberty’s bid for Virgin Media and Vodafone’s mooted move for Kabel Deutschland have focused investors’ attention.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): Meat scandal: the real issue is that we have an industrialised food system which practically guarantees fraud, substitution and a constant driving down of quality.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Brussels is determined to exact revenge on the UK for what is seen as a financial crisis spawned by London-based bankers.
  • The Independent (Comment): The Government wants the private sector to finance the huge costs of nuclear power stations and hopes French company EDF will shortly kick off its new build.

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FTSE drops below 6,700 in broad-based sell-off

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