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Wednesday Papers: Barclays facelift wins over investors

The bank’s shares jumped nearly 9% after Antony Jenkins promised more generous dividends and a detailed programme of cost cuts.

Wednesday Papers: Barclays facelift wins over investors

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Shares in Barclays jumped nearly 9% to a new two-year high after chief executive Antony Jenkins heartened investors with a promise of more generous dividends and a detailed programme of cost cuts, which included slashing 3,700 jobs.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Jenkins may try fix his institution, but until the global system changes his efforts will be in vain.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): We now know that whilst Bob Diamond was extolling his belief in "citizenship" at Barclays, Antony Jenkins was, to put it mildly, a little cynical.
  • Financial Times: Comcast will spend $18.1 billion to buy GE’s 49% stake in NBCUniversal and properties including its “30 Rock” studios, more than a year ahead of the date planned when GE and Vivendi sold the US cable operator a majority stake in December 2009.
  • Financial Times: Cnooc’s $18 billion bid for Canada’s Nexen won approval from US officials, paving the way for the completion of China’s largest foreign acquisition.
  • The Guardian: UBS has been fined £9.45 million and ordered to pay a similar sum in compensation for mis-selling an investment fund that took in more than £6 billion from wealthy customers.
  • Financial Times: Giuseppe Orsi, chairman and chief executive of the troubled Finmeccanic, Italy’s biggest defence company, has been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged corruption in a €560 million sale of helicopters to India, thrusting another corporate controversy into the country’s election campaign.
  • The Independent: US authorities are investigating the interdealer brokers Icap and RP Martin as part of a widening probe into Libor rigging, it has been reported.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BP chief Bob Dudley is awarded £2.6 million annual bonus despite profits slump.
  • Financial Times: Tim Cook on Tuesday said he was “seriously” considering returning more of Apple’s $137 billion cash hoard to investors as the iPhone maker’s chief dismissed a lawsuit from an activist shareholder as a “silly sideshow”.
  • The Independent: The bitter feud between Bumi’s co-founders hasn’t affected the coal miner’s performance, as the firm announced it had mined 15% more coal in the fourth quarter, helping it hit a full-year production target of 21 million tonnes.
  • The Daily Telegraph: French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel tries to wipe out the damages he owes to Societe Generale as he sues the bank for €4.9 billion.
  • Financial Times: Carsten Kengeter, UBS’s former investment bank chief executive, is set to leave in a management shake-up of the Swiss bank’s non-core unit created a few months ago to wind down large parts of its debt trading business.
  • The Daily Telegraph: More than 3,800 jobs are to go at Spanish airline Iberia as its parent company, International Airlines Group, seeks to plug losses of €1.7 million a day.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of McGraw-Hill, the financial publishing company whose businesses include the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, predicted that the US government’s $5 billion lawsuit against S&P would go the way of 41 similar cases, which have been voluntarily withdrawn or dismissed by the courts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Latin America is the new frontier for British business with Reckitt Benckiser agreeing a $482 million over-the-counter drugs deal in the region and GlaxoSmithKline exploring a potential multi-billion dollar takeover of a Brazilian rival.
  • The Independent: Glencore and Xstrata have posted a drop in combined output across key metals, as the two commodities giants continue to finalise their $36 billion merger.
  • Financial Times: Intel, the world’s biggest chipmaker, is working on an internet-based TV service it expects to launch this year.
  • Financial Times: Bank of New York Mellon has been barred from claiming millions of dollars of foreign tax credits arranged by British bank Barclays in a complex deal known as Stars, after a decision from a US tax court.
  • The Guardian: More than 1,500 jobs are at risk as fashion chain Republic is expected to become the latest in a post-Christmas rush of retailers to collapse into administration.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The heads of all 12 regional US Federal Reserve banks have urged financial regulators to reform the $2.7 trillion money market fund industry in a rare show of unanimity aimed at minimising systemic risk.
  • Financial Times: France has moved to relaunch the EU’s strained relationship with Turkey, reversing a block on Ankara’s membership negotiations after years of deadlock.
  • The Guardian: Governments need to modernise their tax systems to catch international companies that dodge paying corporation tax, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Inflation in the UK remained stubbornly high in January, sticking at 2.7% for a fourth month due to higher prices of alcohol and tobacco.
  • Financial Times: Businesses across the eurozone are tapping the bond markets for funding at the fastest rate since the region’s debt crisis erupted in early 2010, in a clear shift away from relying on weakened banks for loans.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Dutch Shell's hopes of resuming drilling for oil off Alaska this summer have suffered a further setback after it revealed both its Arctic drilling rigs would now need to be taken to Asia for repairs.
  • The Guardian: Security firm G4S has admitted the fallout from its bungled 2012 Olympics contract will cost £38 million more than first thought, bringing the total loss from the fiasco to £88 million.
  • The Independent: Hermès recorded revenues of €3.48 billion for 2012, a rise of 22.6%; sales for the fourth quarter came in at €1.04 billion.
  • Financial Times: Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond’s revenue for the half-year slipped 6% from £62.7 million to £58.9 million; earnings per share were down by just over 30%, to 11.20 pence from 16.27 pence a year previously.
  • The Guardian: The receiver at HMV, the music and video retailer, permanently shut the group's 16 loss-making Irish stores on Tuesday because of a lack of interest from possible buyers.
  • The Independent: Bombed-out Yellow Pages publisher hibu reported another dire set of results on Tuesday and admitted a default on £2 billion of debt was likely at the end of February; it said revenues fell 14% to £314 million in the last three months of 2012.
  • Financial Times: Nokia called the actions of Indian tax inspectors, who claim the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer evaded $ 557million in taxes, “excessive, unacceptable and inconsistent” as its dispute in the country escalated dramatically.
  • Daily Mail: Rolls-Royce will unveil full-year results on Thursday, with profits set to have risen by a fifth to £1.4 billion.
  • The Independent: Dunelm, one of retail’s best performing stocks since it floated in 2006 for a price of 170p per share, delivered profits up by 14.6% to £59.8 million over the half year to 29 December.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: T Rowe Price, the second-largest outside shareholder in Dell, on Tuesday added its voice to the growing chorus of opposition to the proposed $24.4 billion buyout of the PC maker.
  • Financial Times: Ryanair has lashed out at Brussels’ “political” move to block its takeover of Aer Lingus, as the EU once again stymied chief executive Michael O’Leary’s eight-year quest to buy the Irish flag carrier.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Apple chief executive Tim Cook, tending his flock, speaks publicly of the company’s infallibility as the Catholic Church once used to speak of its own.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): There was a time, just a few years ago, when the Conservative party understood that inheritance tax was not just a viciously unfair form of double taxation but also a fail-safe way of impoverishing the nation by consuming its capital base. Most of its MPs still accept this, but the Tory leadership no longer does.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Finmeccanica: new corruption probe at Italy’s second largest industrial company could stop the good turnround work that was being done if current cloud lingers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): L’Oréal: cosmetics group needs to be bolder in using the €1.6 billion on its balance sheet to fund acquisitions in emerging markets or by buying back Nestlé stake.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Coca-Cola: it has a great reputation but return on capital is not exceptional compared with peers and its geographic reach does not give growth much of a boost.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Michelin/Goodyear: tyremakers suffer rough ride but they are adapting to the tough conditions and shares have soared as their defensive qualities prove attractive.

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