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Thursday Papers: Rush for havens as euro fears rise

And Mark Zuckerberg sees $4bn wiped off fortune in Facebook IPO disaster.

Thursday Papers: Rush for havens as euro fears rise

Top stories

  • Financial Times: In a striking sign of the flight to haven assets, German two-year bond yields fell to zero for the first time and US’s 10-year yields fell as low as 1.62%, a level last reached in March 1946, as investors took fright at what they see as a disjointed policy response to the debt crisis in Spain and Italy.
  • The Guardian: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has fallen out of the billionaire big league fewer than two weeks after taking the social network public, as over $4 billion has been wiped off the value of his fortune since the company went public.
  • Financial Times: Two of the world’s biggest trade credit insurers - Euler Hermes and Coface - have stopped providing cover for exporters to Greece.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The majority of Royal Bank of Scotland's shareholders supported paying its chief executive Stephen Hester a bonus despite the bank making a loss last year of £2 billion.
  • The Independent: Aurelio Izquierdo, the former finance director at the financially crippled Bankia, is due to receive a €14 million payout despite the bank asking for a €19 billion state bailout.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan Chase is spinning out the 'special investments group' from its troubled chief investment office as executives clean up the division that caused $2 billion trading losses.
  • Financial Times: GlaxoSmithKline has begun a process to try to replace the entire board of Human Genome Sciences, adding pressure to the unsolicited $2.6 billion bid it made for the US biotech company in April.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Apple has signalled it could end its long-running feud with Facebook.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: House prices in London’s prime property hotspots including Mayfair and Belgravia could fall by about 50% in the event of a messy break-up of the euro, according to a report by economics adviser Fathom Consulting.
  • The Guardian: Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has attacked the British government's austerity policy as 'deeply destructive'.
  • The Independent: Beleaguered Spain was handed a lifeline by the European Commission on Wednesday as the nation was given an extra year to slash its deficit.
  • Financial Times: France’s new socialist government has launched a crackdown on excessive corporate pay by promising to slash the wages of chief executives at companies in which it owns a controlling stake.
  • The Independent: Japan's scandal-hit cameras and equipment firm Olympus has signalled plans to axe 2,500 staff and sell a stake to Sony or Panasonic.
  • Daily Mail: Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips has given the biggest signal yet that the grocer will compete head-on with online grocer Ocado and Tesco by selling food over the internet.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Directors of failed hedge fund Weavering Capital have been ordered to pay $450 million after they were found to have committed fraud in the months leading up to its collapse.
  • Financial Times: London & Stamford, the property company run by industry veterans Raymond Mould and Patrick Vaughan, is launching a £200 million fund to cash in on demand for rented property in London.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Severn Trent defended its decision to pay a £150 million special dividend - despite rising consumer water bills and a slump in annual profits.
  • Financial Times: Commerzbank has been strongly criticised by a UK High Court judge who refused the German bank permission to appeal a landmark court ruling over bonuses of about €50 million to 104 bankers.
  • The Independent: Energy engineering services group Cape has named Joe Oatley, the former chief executive of oil and gas engineer Hamworthy, to run the business from the end of June, replacing acting boss Brendan Connolly.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The 'Shareholder Spring' continued as investors voted down bonus plans at FTSE 250 gold miner Centamin.
  • Financial Times: Maxim Barsky, former deputy chief executive and heir apparent of TNK-BP, has insisted his future lies with developing his new exploration vehicle rather than returning to the troubled Russian joint venture.
  • Financial Times: Mercedes-Benz, the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Latin America, has temporarily laid off more than 10% of its workforce in Brazil.
  • The Independent: The online ski and cruise agent is planning to expand into Europe following an investment by GCP, a private equity house.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Graff Diamonds has pulled its planned Hong Kong listing after receiving orders for just half its $1 billion IPO less than two days before its deadline – the latest sign of weakness in global equity markets.
  • The Guardian: Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, has sold nearly three-quarters of his shareholdings in parent company Daily Mail & General Trust; the sale yielded just over £400,000 – selling 100,207 shares at £4 each.
  • Financial Times: Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund is expected to join forces with SP Setia, Malaysia’s largest publicly listed property developer by revenue, and RREEF, Deutsche Bank’s real estate arm, to seal a £375 million deal to acquire Battersea power station.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Kayak, the online travel service, is said to be delaying its stock market flotation in America following Facebook's disastrous IPO.
  • Financial Times: Telefónica is preparing to spin off its German division and some assets in Latin America; the equity of its German unit is worth as much as €9 billion while its total Latin America division would command at least €40 billion.
  • Financial Times: BT Pension Scheme is to acquire a 13% stake in Thames Water, Britain’s biggest water supplier by revenues.
  • Financial Times: Eni has announced details of its plans to sell its entire 52.5% stake in gas network operator Snam, which is expected to raise up to €6.5 billion in cash and offload debt of €11.5 billion.
  • Financial Times: Fiat Industrial plans to merge with its US CNH unit and move the group’s primary listing and domicile out of Italy.
  • Financial Times: Three unlisted Spanish savings banks – Liberbank, Ibercaja and Caja3 – are to merge, in the latest in a chain of deals that has sliced the number of cajas from 45 to less than 10 since the country’s banking crisis took hold.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The moral of Severn Trent's tale is that a 'tough' regulatory outcome in year one often looks very gentle by year three.
  • The Guardian (Comment): EU authorities, supported by Spain's government, are pushing a political agenda at the expense of economic recovery.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Do the single currency’s 17 members sincerely want to save the euro?
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Spain and for that matter the euroland looks to have learned nothing from the 2008 financial crisis or past panics.
  • Financial Times (Lex): RIM: each of three scenarios for the company’s future raises particular questions that should give any would-be investor pause for thought.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fiat: reform of the once-Byzantine group structure is welcome but differential voting plans can be a dangerous, double-edged sword.
  • Financial Times (Lex): HTC: as Apple and Samsung steal the limelight, the Taiwanese phonemaker is struggling to overcome its also-ran status.

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?

abbass hassan

May 31, 2012 at 07:56

$ is looking very strong now , what a mess Europe is now days , even Iraq is looking more as a save haven.

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Paul Scaife

May 31, 2012 at 08:33

I wonder if the solution to the financial problems in Europe would be better solved by Germany increasing all German wages by say 10% and then printing Euros and thereby allowing the Euro to devalue and stimulating Europe's economies.

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May 31, 2012 at 09:48

Citywire, again what is the sense of the Daily Telegraph comment above. Do we have to go and buy the Telegraph to understand??

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May 31, 2012 at 16:46


Just click on the blue "The Daily Telegraph:" prior to the comment and your computer will take you to the Telegraph article.


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May 31, 2012 at 16:57

Thanks Bagash

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