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Thursday Papers: Four banks targeted in Euribor probe

And China to acquire US assets with deal for General Motors’ private equity stakes.

Thursday Papers: Four banks targeted in Euribor probe

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Regulators are focusing on at least four of Europe’s biggest banks as they investigate the attempted manipulation of the region’s benchmark interest rate, suspecting that Barclays’ traders were the ringleaders of a circle that included Crédit Agricole, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale.
  • Financial Times: The Chinese government has agreed to buy investment stakes currently held by General Motors’ pension plan, in a deal that will make Beijing a sizeable investor in many of the US and Europe’s largest private equity funds.
  • The Independent: The UK's attempts to reform the discredited Libor system were on Wednesday night facing a barrage of international scepticism, as the Obama administration pushed to lead a global review of the benchmark interest rate and the Governor of the Bank of Canada suggested that Libor could be replaced entirely.
  • The Guardian: British trade minister Lord Green has been drawn in to the HSBC money laundering scandal after Labour warned he had "serious questions" to answer about the way the bank laundered money for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states while he was at the helm.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Pressure weighs on Rupert Murdoch as 18 News Corporation investors signal intention to oust him as chairman at its October annual general meeting.
  • Financial Times: Credit Suisse is bolstering its capital position by $8.9 billion, reversing its resistance to pressure over the issue from the Swiss central bank last month.
  • Daily Mail: HSBC’s American arm missed repeated opportunities to gather the staff and resources to prevent money laundering, according to a report into the bank.
  • Financial Times: BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager by assets under management, was downbeat in its outlook as revenues dropped 5% in the second quarter to $2.29 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, said its global output of the key steel-making ingredient rose 15% to 40.9 million tonnes in the three months to the end of June, setting a new annual record for production.
  • Financial Times: Bank of America reported a net income of $2.5 billion in the second quarter, up from a loss of $8.8 billion in the same period last year; net revenue rose from $13.5 billion a year ago to $22.2 billion.
  • Daily Mail: SABMiller is the latest corporate giant facing the ire of shareholders at its annual meeting over pay proposals.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Bank of England policymakers considered pumping an extra £75 billion into Britain's ailing economy, as the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 this month to extend its asset purchase programme by £50 billion.
  • The Guardian: A fresh dispute between Russian oligarchs and BP over the TNK-BP business opened up on Wednesday after Alfa Access Renova formally told BP it wanted to enter into discussions over the future of BP's stake in the joint venture.
  • Financial Times: eBay reported a 23% increase in revenues to $3.39 billion for the second quarter, ahead of Wall Street’s anticipated $3.36 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ericsson, the world’s largest mobile phone network provider, said its net income fell 64% to 1.1 billion kroner (£101 million) in the second quarter, far short of analyst expectations of around 1.64 billion kroner.
  • Financial Times: The rising cost of doing business in China ate into second-quarter profits at Yum Brands, the US-based operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, with operating profits falling 4% year-on-year to $182 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: France will not provide any aid to struggling carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën unless it makes concessions that could include suspending dividends, the country's industry minister said.
  • The Guardian: The British privy council has blocked so-called "vulture fund" FG Hemisphere from taking up to $100 million from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a decades old debt that started out at $3.3 million.
  • The Independent: The Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks are the latest to be dragged into the watchdog's inquiry into the mis-selling of complex derivatives to small businesses.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Profits at IBM stood at $3.9 billion in the three months to the end of June, against $3.7 billion in the same period the year before.
  • Financial Times: Jindal Steel and Power, India’s third-largest private steel company by revenue, has cancelled a $2.1 billion Bolivian iron mine contract.
  • The Guardian: Insurers are set to pay up to £500 million to customers who have suffered flood and storm damage during one of Britain's wettest summers on record.
  • Daily Mail: The Bank of England on Wednesday signalled that a further cut in interest rates could be on the cards as it battles to drag the country out of recession.
  • Financial Times: As the European Central Bank cut its headline and deposit rates, big financial institutions have begun restricting access to money market funds.
  • The Guardian: The IMF has warned the eurozone's leaders to take "decisive action" as Spanish bond yields shot up to dangerous levels, signalling a fresh leg of the sovereign debt crisis.
  • Financial Times: Attempts to finalise new accounting rules that would force banks to provision for expected losses on their loans could fall apart.
  • Financial Times: Greek political leaders have identified two-thirds of the spending cuts demanded by international creditors as a condition for resuming loan disbursements.
  • The Guardian: AEA Technology, an environmental consultancy spun out of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, was fighting for survival on Wednesday with pension liabilities exceeding £165 million and no long-term bank funding.
  • Financial Times: Japan’s Mizuho Securities and investment manager Delaware Asset Advisers have agreed to pay a combined $132 million to resolve US regulatory allegations they misled investors in a mortgage-related product.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Puma said it expects net earnings for the first half of 2012 to come in 13% below the figure for a year earlier.
  • Financial Times: Pimco has doubled the size of its flagship exchange traded fund in less than two months, hitting $2 billion in assets.
  • Daily Mail: Discount retail chain Ethel Austin called in administrators for the fourth time in as many years, putting some 500 jobs at risk.
  • Financial Times: Almost 8 million O2 mobile phone customers in the UK will be given several days of free service in compensation for an unprecedented network failure.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: BC Partners and CPP Investment Board have agreed a $6.6 billion bid for Suddenlink, America’s seventh largest cable operator by subscriber numbers.
  • Financial Times: Universal Music has made a sweeping offer to sell parts of EMI to independent record labels, in a last-ditch attempt to secure clearance for the £1.2 billion deal from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • The Guardian: Lloyds Banking Group is poised to announce a formal agreement to sell 632 branches to the Co-op.
  • Financial Times: Manchester United plans to raise $300 million through an initial public offering in the US as the English football club looks to pay down the company’s net debt of £425 million.
  • Financial Times: Coller Capital is to deploy a larger than expected $5.5 billion fund on purchasing stakes in private equity funds, seeking to snap up the unwanted positions taken by banks and financial groups in the boom years.
  • The Guardian: Aer Lingus has rejected a Ryanair takeover approach for a third time as the Irish flag carrier said the latest bid from its low-cost rival "fundamentally undervalues" the business.
  • Financial Times: Thai Beverage, Thailand’s largest brewer and distiller, has emerged as the bidder for stakes in Singapore-listed conglomerate Fraser and Neave and Asia Pacific Breweries.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Being an average $40k better off than our US cousins should feel good – but revelling in their fall is ultimately un-Canadian.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The new CEO inherits a big challenge to turn around the sleeping tech giant, but Yahoo still has major assets to build on.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Banking in Britain is not broken. The reputations of some of its biggest players might lie in tatters, but there are others who are quietly working their way to health and prosperity.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): If you intend to take a holiday on the Continent shortly, you will no doubt already have noticed that your pounds are buying a lot more euros than they were.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The game is to get the cash into transport, energy, utilities and communications.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Yum Brands: moving downmarket ought to help the restaurant group keep growing as the economy slows, though none of this will matter if the China slowdown turns into a rout.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank of America: despite its headway with cost cuts, the skeletons from pre-crisis mortgages will keep rattling their bones until the US housing market bottoms.
  • Financial Times (Lex): PTT/Cove: bid for the Mozambique gasfield owner and investment in Myanmar signals that Bangkok is prepared to go all out to compete with energy’s big boys.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Credit Suisse: the lender has responded to the Swiss National Bank’s capital concerns with a SFr15.3 billion plan but it will still not hit Basel III targets.

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