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Thursday Papers: SAC Capital set to face insider trading charges

And BP barred from bidding for US contracts due to ‘lack of integrity’.

 
Thursday Papers: SAC Capital set to face insider trading charges

Top stories

  • Financial Times: SAC Capital is likely to face civil fraud charges in what authorities say is the biggest case of insider trading yet as US regulators close in on the $14 billion hedge fund.
  • Financial Times: BP has been temporarily suspended from any new US government contracts, including drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, due to the energy group’s “lack of business integrity” as demonstrated by its conduct over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • The Guardian: Barclays has admitted it "terminated" the employment of five people involved in the Libor scandal and conceded it is reviewing as many as 80 other financial instruments where it helps to set the price.
  • Financial Times: Barclays is considering exiting agricultural commodities trading as part of the UK lender’s attempts to rebuild its battered reputation after a series of scandals.
  • Daily Mail: Mike Walters, the head of compliance at Barclays, was slammed by the Banking Commission’s joint committee for refusing to take any responsibility for the string of scandals that occurred under his watch.
  • The Guardian: Four failed Spanish banks - Bankia, Catalunya Banc, Novagalicia and Banco de Valencia – will shed more than 10,000 jobs in return for receiving €37 billion to clean out toxic real estate assets that will be transferred to a Spanish "bad" bank.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hewlett-Packard, the technology giant in dispute with Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, has had its credit rating cut by Moody's amid concerns over its ability to keep up with rivals.
  • Financial Times: Megafon shares made a disappointing debut in London and Moscow as the shares lost as much as 3% on Wednesday, closing at $19.60, with the banks having to intervene to stabilise the shares.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Invensys jumped more than one-quarter on Wednesday after it agreed the sale of its rail division to Siemens for £1.7 billion, in a move that will wipe out most of the British engineering group’s hefty pension deficit.
  • Daily Mail: State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland has become the latest High Street giant to abolish interest-only mortgages for homeowners.
  • Financial Times: A US federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday to put on hold a decision by a New York judge that Argentina had to pay $1.3 billion into escrow by December 15 for holders of its defaulted debt.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded Argentina, which is locked in a court battle in New York over its debt, and said the country would probably default.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The French government has found an industrialist willing to invest €400 million to renovate ArcelorMittal's Florange steelworks in northeast France, a minister said.
  • Financial Times: Bankia’s subordinated debt and hybrid securities holders will face large losses on their investments as part of a restructuring of the nationalized Spanish bank demanded by Brussels in return for eurozone aid.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Amazon, which is being questioned over tax avoidance, has revealed its UK sales topped £7 billion between 2009 and 2011 but paid just £2.3 million in corporation tax, according to previously confidential figures.
  • Financial Times: Nokia stepped up its patent dispute with Canadian rival Research In Motion, launching lawsuits in the UK, Canada and the US seeking to enforce a Swedish arbitration ruling against RIM.
  • Financial Times: Andrew Mason, the chief executive of Groupon, has signalled an openness to step aside amid frustration on his board over the poor performance of the internet company known for filling email inboxes with daily discount deals.
  • The Independent: New routes to Russia, Korea and China helped Gatwick airport fly almost 20 million passengers in the six months to October, sending underlying earnings up 4.8% to £172 million.
  • Daily Mail: News that Marks and Spencer, Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, has seen £1billion cut from its pension deficit sent the shares up 2.19% on Wednesday.
  • The Guardian: A disastrous year for Thomas Cook has been laid bare as the travel company revealed that losses increased to £485 million in a period in which the business nearly collapsed and its chief executive resigned.
  • Financial Times: Comet, the electronics retailer, is set to close all its remaining 195 stores before Christmas with the loss of 4,600 jobs.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone has warned that national telecoms groups are looking to re-establish their traditional monopolies across Europe, just two decades after regulators opened markets across the region to competition.
  • Financial Times: Quintain has approached Lazard to help it find a buyer for a third of its 50% stake in the £337 million iQ student housing arm, according to people familiar with the process.
  • Financial Times: Kabul Bank, which accounted for more than a third of Afghanistan’s banking assets before it was seized by the authorities two years ago, was a billion-dollar fraud for the benefit of a few well-connected Afghans, says a report funded by foreign donors.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Getco has offered to buy struggling rival Knight Capital Group in a deal that values the company at $1.3 billion and would consolidate two of the US’s largest electronic market-makers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hip and knee replacement manufacturer Smith & Nephew is to buy an American wound care firm Healthpoint Biotherapeutics for $782 million.
  • Financial Times: Next Media has agreed a deal to sell its Taiwanese print and television media outlets to a group of local businessmen for $601 million.
  • The Independent: Motor insurer esure is looking at a stock-market flotation early next year.
  • Financial Times: A stake in the Hanoi Metropole, Vietnam’s best-known hotel, is being put up for sale by fund manager VinaCapital as it tries to sell premium assets after the collapse of the Communist country’s property market.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): Britain is at the extremes of the business of financial chicanery, giving London's traders an unenviable reputation.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The idea that the way out of unemployment is via huge contracts for profit-driven enterprises invites them to game the system.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Siemens deal shows Invensys has been chronically undervalued.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Have we really seen the end of growth?
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The extraordinary hostility of the US authorities towards BP is unacceptable.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Megafon: after all the hoopla, the initial public offering of shares and global depositary receipts in Russia’s second largest mobile telecoms group faded to $19.60.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Smith & Nephew: the UK medical devices group’s purchase of Healthpoint addresses a key weakness and expands its presence in the crucial US market.
  • Financial Times (Lex): LG Display: the South Korean producer of touchscreen displays has benefited from a shortage, but can it carry on its strong performance?
  • Financial Times (Lex): US housing: mortgage scarcity is a drag on the housing recovery; a pity, given that both mortgages and homes look positively affordable.

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Jn

Nov 29, 2012 at 09:41

At least the Daily Mail comment agrees with me that the US authorities are crucifying BP.

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gravedigger

Nov 29, 2012 at 10:49

Jn: Agreed. To call BP's behavior unethical, by comparison with other parties in the Macondo disaster, is unjustified. Even a comparison with previous Big Oil disasters in the USA and elsewhere illustrates that BP behaved in a remarkably open, quick and generous way. It is frustrating as a shareholder to see management throwing around compensation to all and sundry and receiving such shoddy and biased treatment from politicians and government employees in the USA. BP made mistakes and paid for it. Time for publicity hungry politicians to stop bleeding the company dry.

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