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Thursday Papers: Full state ownership of RBS on the table

And Fed hints at fresh measures on economy, but equity investors were disappointed by the lack of immediate action.

 
Thursday Papers: Full state ownership of RBS on the table

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Senior government figures are discussing the possibility of buying out private investors in Royal Bank of Scotland and fully nationalising it amid mounting frustration at banks’ failure to lend to British businesses.
  • Financial Times: The US Federal Reserve raised hopes that it will act to boost the economy in September as it kept policy on hold but showed a strong bias towards further easing; but equity investors were disappointed by the lack of immediate Fed action.
  • The Guardian: Standard Chartered has reported a 9% rise in profits to $4 billion in the first half.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Standard Chartered has disclosed that it is not being investigated over the Libor-rigging scandal that has hit the banking industry.
  • Financial Times: RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays have agreed to buy all the shares of Mouchel, in return for writing off £87 million of the infrastructure and business services group’s net debt.
  • Financial Times: A Brazilian court has ordered Chevron and its drilling partner Transocean to suspend operations in the country within the next month in the latest twist of a long-running legal battle over last November’s oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
  • The Independent: An £80 billion initiative to kick-start bank lending was fired into action on Wednesday in the latest attempt to boost the struggling British economy.
  • Daily Mail: House prices dropped by £1,400 in July as the property market’s downturn deepened and property values fell at their fastest annual pace for three years, Nationwide has reported.
  • The Daily Telegraph: News Corporation and its directors face the prospect of criminal charges in the UK after it emerged the parties could be liable for phone hacking offences under “neglect of duty” legislation.
  • Financial Times: Louis Bacon, head of $15 billion Moore Capital, plans to return some $2 billion to investors in his flagship fund to make it more nimble.
  • Daily Mail: Pre-tax earnings of BMW slumped 19% to £1.79 billion for the second quarter, beating market expectations.
  • Financial Times: Global agribusiness group Monsanto has been awarded $1 billion in damages in a patent infringement trial against DuPont and its agricultural crop subsidiary DuPont Pioneer.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: US software maker Oracle is facing a damages claim that could run into billions of dollars following its loss of a breach of contract lawsuit brought by Silicon Valley rival Hewlett-Packard.
  • Financial Times: The New York Stock Exchange cancelled trades in six stocks after an electronic trading system run by Knight Capital malfunctioned and revived memories of the “flash crash” of 2010.
  • The Guardian: Investors who held in shares in Northern Rock before it was nationalised by Labour in February 2008 have reacted angrily to a long awaited decision by the European court of human rights to dismiss their argument that they should be granted compensation by the UK government.
  • Financial Times: Germany sold €3.35 billion of five-year debt at a record low average yield of 0.31% amid investor uncertainty ahead of Thursday’s European Central Bank policy meeting, when an escalated response to the eurozone debt crisis is expected to be discussed.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Italy’s leader Mario Monti is to make a last-ditch effort tomorrow to persuade Spain to swallow its pride and accept a formal rescue.
  • Financial Times: Traders and hedge funds are betting that corn prices will soar to record prices of $9 a bushel or more as the worst US drought in half a century decimates the global corn crop.
  • Financial Times: Greece’s three-party coalition has reached agreement on €11.5 billion of spending cuts over the next two years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sir Richard Branson has complained to the Government that it risks a re-run of previous rail franchise failures if it awards the West Coast Main Line contract to an unrealistically high bid from FirstGroup.
  • Financial Times: Société Générale, France’s second-largest bank by market value, reported net profit of €433 million in the second quarter, well below analysts’ expectation of profits of €700 million.
  • Financial Times: The Children’s Investment Fund, the UK-based hedge fund, has escalated its battle with Coal India, the state-backed energy company, by filing legal proceedings against India’s government in New Delhi.
  • The Daily Telegraph: With margins up from 8.4% from the previous year to 11.4%, and revenues growing by 11% to £906 million, Taylor Wimpey reported a pre-tax profit of £78.2 million for the first half of 2012, up from £28.9 million.
  • Financial Times: Desenvix, the Brazilian power company, has filed a court case against Sinovel, the world’s second-largest wind turbine maker by production, in a court in Brazil, in an effort to force the Chinese company to provide the software code inside 23 turbines it purchased last year.
  • Financial Times: Olympus, the disgraced Japanese camera maker, said the justice department was examining whether training junkets it provided for doctors might have contravened anti-bribery laws.
  • Financial Times: Lenovo, the world’s second-largest PC vendor by shipments, has taken its first significant step into the fast-growing server and storage market through a deal with EMC, a leading US-listed enterprise storage company.
  • Financial Times: General Motors sales fell 6% to 201,237 vehicles while Ford’s declined 4% to 173,966 in July.
  • Financial Times: Repsol has launched legal action against Bank of New York Mellon after it failed to carry out its voting instructions when electing the board of YPF, the expropriated Argentine oil company in which the Spanish energy group retains a stake.
  • The Independent: Harley Davidson sales were up 14.6% in the second quarter, to $1.73 billion, and profits came in above expectations at $247.3 million, up 29.7%.
  • Financial Times: Second-quarter revenues at Time Warner fell 4% year on year to $6.7 billion and net income fell by a third from $638 million to $430 million.
  • The Independent: Sales of Next in the half-year to the end of July were up 4.5%; it now expects annual profit to hit £620 million, £10 million higher than he previously thought.
  • Financial Times: Avon Products, the troubled cosmetics group, reported a 70% plunge in net profit to $61.6 million on a 9% fall in sales to $2.6 billion.
  • Financial Times: Alberto Nagel, chief executive of influential Milanese investment bank Mediobanca, has been placed under investigation for allegedly obstructing the work of regulators.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: The board of Fraser & Neave, the Singapore-listed conglomerate, meets on Friday to consider a S$5.1 billion offer from Heineken for its share in their joint venture through which they control Asia Pacific Breweries, maker of Tiger beer.
  • Financial Times: American International Group, the insurer bailed out by the US government at the height of the financial crisis, is buying a network of financial advisers from its rival Hartford Financial for up to $90 million.
  • Financial Times: A group of Chinese investors, including a company controlled by China Railway Construction, is set to become Inter Milan’s second-biggest shareholder after the Italian football club agreed to sell a block of shares.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Manchester United’s flotation in New York has been attacked for taking advantage of a new law intended to cut US unemployment.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): The expectations that have been heaped on the head of the European Central Bank are so outsize that it is impossible for any official to meet them.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Now is not the time to panic, but for the private and public sector to invest long term in skills and – preferably green – technology.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): If it wasn’t already obvious, it is now. Europe, with Britain in tow, is sliding ever more inescapably back towards the economic cliff edge.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Sorry luvvies, but Britain’s real business creativity lies elsewhere
  • Financial Times (Lex): Generali: As Mario Greco debuts as chief executive, he should hit capital concerns on the head once and for all
  • Financial Times (Lex): Next: Forget the dismal high street excuses. Next has been trading well and its shares are at a premium to the sector. Can their form continue?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Standard Chartered: As other banks are laid low by scandal, retrenchments and agonising over future direction, the UK bank gets on with delivering healthy profits
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fresenius: The German healthcare group reported strong half-year results, but it is still too dependent on the US and European markets

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