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Thursday Papers: Senior bankers voice fears over ECB cut

And Britain has been warned that it wields no power in German dominated EU.

Thursday Papers: Senior bankers voice fears over ECB cut

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Some of Europe’s most senior bankers have warned the European Central Bank of the dangers of negative interest rates ahead of a widely anticipated cut at the bank’s policy meeting on Thursday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain has little or no say over decisions made in a European Union increasingly dominated by German interests, Iceland’s prime minister has said.
  • The Times: Deutsche Börse is to sell one of its businesses for more than $1 billion days before it is expected to announce a deal with the London Stock Exchange.
  • Financial Times: Arkady Rotenberg, a childhood friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin is looking to buy half of the state’s controlling stake in airline monopoly Aeroflot.
  • Financial Times: Thousands of people who worked at British Home Stores under Sir Philip Green are to be told of immediate cuts to their pension entitlements prompted by the chain’s demand to walk away from a large portion of its debts.
  • Financial Times: Plans to extend Sunday shop opening hours suffered a setback after the government was defeated by 31 votes in the Commons - a reminder of the Conservatives’ fragile parliamentary majority.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: EDF Energy, the energy company behind the Hinkley Point nuclear project has still not signed off a contract with its Chinese partner that is needed for the £18 billion plant to go ahead.
  • The Independent: The UK Supreme Court has ruled a “contrived” scheme used by Deutsche Bank and UBS to allow the firms and their bankers to escape £135 million in tax on bonuses was unlawful.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shares in UK oil explorers have climbed as much as 50% in the past week as Brent crude repeatedly broke above the $40-a-barrel mark and smaller oil players have shown the first signs of emerging from the global downturn.
  • The Times: The flight of private investors from volatile markets drove an £11 billion outflow of cash last year from Prudential’s fund management business.
  • The Independent: A rapid rise in the number of asylum-seekers reaching the UK landed outsourcer G4S with a potential £77 million bill, as the company’s annual profits were virtually wiped out.
  • The Guardian: The head of Volkswagen in the US resigned “effective immediately” on Wednesday night as the company struggles to agree on a settlement with the US government over its emissions cheating scandal.
  • Financial Times: Eon, Germany’s largest utility, reported its biggest annual loss after writing down the value of its coal and gas-fired power plants by €8.8 billion, further highlighting the crisis in the country’s power industry.
  • Financial Times: Philippe Brassac, the chief executive of Crédit Agricole says that the European banking sector is in for a stormy period and he wants to be prepared.
  • The Independent: Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder of Sports Direct, has been threatened with being found in contempt of Parliament after failing to agree a date to be questioned by MPs on the influential Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.
  • Financial Times: BMW retained the crown as the world’s largest luxury carmaker after sales and profits rose to record levels last year, but it warned that slowing Chinese growth may hamper its most profitable market.
  • The Times: Mystery surrounded the whereabouts of Vijay Mallya last night as a consortium of international bankers sought a court order to prevent the former drinks baron from leaving India.
  • The Independent: Ryanair is launching a corporate jet service that even offers passengers fine dining.
  • Daily Mail: The firm behind Trunki, which makes animal-shaped, ride-on luggage for children, yesterday lost a landmark Supreme Court case over a rival’s similar designs.
  • Financial Times: Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company, has agreed to make payments to hundreds of former employees in India after a rap video claiming they had suffered mercury poisoning went viral.
  • The Times: Strong oil and gas flows from Cairn Energy’s latest appraisal well off the coast of Senegal sent its shares soaring.
  • The Times: Hopes that a recent slowdown in underlying sales at The Restaurant Group would prove to be a blip were dashed when the Garfunkel’s and Frankie & Benny’s operator revealed that it was still in negative territory.
  • Financial Times: Iran’s central bank is preparing to set up a “bad bank” to cleanse its financial system of a vast pile of toxic loans after studying the models used by other countries, such as Sweden, Japan and South Korea.
  • Financial Times: Amazon is taking its ambitions to the skies with a new agreement to lease 20 cargo jets in its boldest step yet to control its own logistics operations.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Times (Tempus share tips): BUY Prudential for long term; BUY Breedon Aggregates for long term; BUY Witan Investment Trust.
  • Financial Times: Private equity funds Permira and KKR have dropped out of a $6 billion takeover battle for Toshiba’s medical device business, underscoring the challenges for foreign buyout groups competing against cashed-up Japanese corporate stalwarts.
  • The Guardian: Luxury chocolatier Hotel Chocolat is planning a flotation valuing the company at £150 million to raise funds to step up expansion in the UK and online, and develop its manufacturing plant in Oxfordshire.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sky has agreed a deal with the youth media company Vice to launch Viceland, its first European television channel, later this year.
  • Daily Mail: Burberry shares slammed into reverse yesterday as hopes of a takeover battle for the British fashion chain appeared to be dashed.
  • Financial Times: Rusal, the world’s second-largest aluminium producer by output, has renegotiated its banking covenants and asked lenders to refinance some of its $8.4 billion debt pile, underlining the painful impact of the rout in commodity prices.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Sterling defies the Brexit naysayers to trade at its highest level in a month.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The London Stock Exchange's American suitor is a wedding crasher who should be welcomed.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US MLPs: courting disaster.
  • Financial Times (Lex): G4S: safety in numbers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK rail: more competition is great - in theory.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Citigroup: the group’s clean-up rolls on; its investment bank moves sideways.
  • Financial Times (Lex): ITC: investors celebrating India’s lower-than-expected cigarette tax rise should take a deep breath.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Toshiba: the apparent loser in the race for the medical device maker is, in fact, the winner.

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