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Wednesday Papers: ECB rejects Madrid plan to boost Bankia

And Rothschild’s listed investment trust is to buy a 37% stake in the Rockefeller’s wealth advisory and asset management group.

Wednesday Papers: ECB rejects Madrid plan to boost Bankia

Top stories

  • Financial Times: A Spanish plan to recapitalise Bankia, the troubled lender, by indirectly tapping the European Central Bank for cash, was bluntly rejected as unacceptable by the ECB.
  • Financial Times: Rothschild’s listed investment trust is to buy a 37% stake in the Rockefeller’s wealth advisory and asset management group for an undisclosed sum.
  • The Guardian: The euro sank to a near two-year low against the dollar on Tuesday amid worries about the solvency of Spanish banks, and as the governor of the country's central bank quit.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Southern Europe’s debtor states must pledge their gold reserves and national treasure as collateral under a €2.3 trillion stabilisation plan gaining momentum in Germany.
  • Financial Times: The decline in Facebook’s market value since its IPO earlier this month increased to 24% as the social network’s shares dropped a further 9.6% on Tuesday to a new low of $28.84.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: BP has announced plans to return to Libya, a day after its arch rival Shell packed its bags and left; the company is expected to spend more than £12 billion.
  • Financial Times: EIM, the $7 billion hedge fund group founded by Arpad 'Arki' Busson, is in talks to merge itself with rival asset management firms; the firm is in early-stage discussions with three potential suitors.
  • Financial Times: Research In Motion, the manufacturer of BlackBerry smartphones, has warned it is likely to make its first operating loss in eight years in the current quarter.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Barclays has decided against the sale of its businesses in France and Italy ending speculation the British bank could offload large parts of its European retail operations.
  • Financial Times: Morgan Stanley’s plan to shift a large chunk of its $52 trillion derivatives portfolio into the part of the group backed by customer deposits is facing regulatory obstacles.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Xstrata and Glencore are facing a shareholder rebellion over pay ahead of their proposed merger, with investors warning that the company’s chief executive must not be rewarded merely for 'showing up'.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan’s reputation suffered another blow as it became apparent that one of its employees leaked non-public information that was used by a Japanese hedge fund accused of insider trading.
  • The Independent: Samsung launched its new Galaxy handset on Tuesday, leading to the kind of queues usually only reserved for a new Apple product.
  • The Guardian: Thomas Cook has won shareholder approval to sell parts of the business, after warning that a failure to do so could lead to its collapse.
  • The Independent: Jaguar Land Rover has said pre-tax profits grew from £1.1 billion last year – the previous record – to £1.51 billion.
  • Financial Times: Jaguar Land Rover will boost its spending on new products to about £2 billion a year as the UK carmaking group launches new models and a joint venture in China.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Alberto Micalizzi, chief executive of London-based Dynamic Decisions Capital Management, has been fined a record £3 million by the City regulator for hiding huge losses at his company from investors.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The chances of the Bank of England launching another round of quantitative easing next week have retreated after two policymakers suggested the UK’s monetary stance is already loose enough.
  • Financial Times: The governor of Spain’s central bank stepped down a month early as he faced growing criticism of his role in Spain’s financial crisis and the nationalisation of Bankia.
  • Financial Times: Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, faces a shareholder revolt over his pay after ISS, an influential advisory firm, recommended investors in the advertising group vote against its board remuneration policies.
  • The Guardian: Michael Woodford, sacked by Japanese electronics firm after blowing whistle on £1.1 billion fraud, is reported to have agreed £10 million payout.
  • Financial Times: Repsol will cut its dividend, shed non-core assets and invest €19.1 billion in the next four years predominantly in exploration, as the Spanish oil group attempts to recover from the loss of its Argentine YPF unit.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Panasonic may halve its 7,000-strong workforce at headquarters as part of a bid to streamline the Japanese electronics giant and turn a profit following a record annual loss.
  • Financial Times: Sprint Nextel, the third-largest US mobile network operator by subscriber numbers, plans to shut down its Nextel network next year, marking the end of a disastrous 'marriage of equals'.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Aveva said a combination of punitive taxes and red-tape was so close to the “pain threshold” that the company is 'actively' looking at relocating its Cambridge headquarters.
  • The Independent: Volex has paid the price for a green push by the consumer electronics giant Apple which lowered its operating profits by 3% to $23 million in the year to 1 April.
  • Financial Times: The parent company of Kleinwort Benson, one of the oldest names in British banking, is facing pressure from activist shareholders to break itself up and spin off all its assets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Malaysian owner of Lotus has given a vote of confidence to the car maker’s 1,200 UK workers and insisted it has no plans to sell the company.
  • Financial Times: Codelco is preparing for fresh talks with Anglo American to try to end their legal battle as the Chilean company adapts to the departure of its chief executive last week after a boardroom tug-of-war.
  • Financial Times: Marubeni, the Japanese trading house, has bet more than $5 billion that China will become a net importer of corn for years to come.
  • Financial Times: Inditex, owner of the Zara clothes brand, has overtaken Telefónica to become Spain’s most valuable listed company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Pre-tax profits of Quercus, the publisher behind Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, fell 21% from £7.5 million to £5.9 million.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Richard Li, son of Asia’s wealthiest tycoon, Li Ka-shing, has lodged an indicative bid for the south-east Asian businesses of ING’s $6 billion Asian insurance operations.
  • The Guardian: InterContinental Hotels has been tipped as a possible £5.5 billion target for US peer Marriott.
  • Financial Times: América Móvil, the largest Latin American mobile operator by subscribers, has launched its offer to buy up to 27.7% of the shares of KPN for €8 per share in a move the Dutch telecoms provider has said undervalues the company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: More than a quarter of Moss Bros's shares – a stake once owned by Sir Philip Green – changed hands on Tuesday, landing the seller with a £4 million profit.
  • Financial Times: US private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners has bought Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão for $400 million.
  • Financial Times: Strategic Value Partners, a US hedge fund, has tabled a bid to take over German plastic film producer Klöckner Pentaplast; proposes to swap their €450 million of debts for control of the company.
  • Financial Times: Kyobo Life Insurance, one of South Korea’s largest insurers, is selling a 30% of its stake in an auction; the stake could be worth as much as $2 billion.
  • The Guardian (Comment): RSA claims exaggerated expenses claims cost UK £27.7 billion last year – but the insurer's methodology was utter rubbish.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): China should not be allowed to buy the London Metal Exchange.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Relations between the Bank and Treasury Select Committee are fractious. The dispute focuses on Andrew Tyrie's determination to bring what he regards as an over-powerful Bank under more control.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Research In Motion: if a technology company experiencing such trends were not looking at strategic options, its management would be guilty of negligence.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Repsol: it is a measure of Spanish group’s strength that it can adapt to a bite of YPF dimensions, but its plans look that much tighter now.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Marubeni/Gavilon: Japanese groups have a strong yen in their favour as they try to catch up in global commodity trading, and demand is on their doorstep.

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