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Wednesday Papers: EU probes rigging of $1.5tn debt market

And a fall in Deutsche Bank's shares pushed the lender's boss and even the German finance minister to step in to reassure investors.

Wednesday Papers: EU probes rigging of $1.5tn debt market

Top stories

  • Financial Times: European regulators have opened a preliminary cartel investigation into possible manipulation of the $1.5 trillion government-sponsored bond market, in the latest efforts to root out rigging involving financial traders.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and John Cryan, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, has come out publicly to claim the bank is “rock solid” following a dramatic drop in the troubled German giant’s share price.
  • Daily Express: Global stock markets were flashing red again yesterday as fears over the world economy and another world recession loom ever larger amid worries central banks have run out of ammunition to tackle problems.
  • Financial Times: Coca-Cola’s beat market expectations for fourth-quarter earnings as the world’s biggest maker of fizzy drinks cut costs, increased volumes and raised prices to counter the effects of a strong dollar.
  • Financial Times: Carl Icahn’s publicly traded investment vehicle, Icahn Enterprises, has slid to its lowest level in three years, after the veteran activist made a string of losing bets on energy companies.
  • Financial Times: In a blow to Lloyds, the UK’s highest court has given investors a final chance to appeal the bank’s decision to buy back special bonds at face value and stop paying as much as 16% a year in interest.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: The UK has failed to reduce its trade deficit, signalling that economic growth will be increasingly unbalanced and reliant upon Britain's services sector.
  • Financial Times: This year’s rout of European bank stocks has raised concern about how far below zero the European Central Bank can cut interest rates without inflicting too much damage on lenders’ profits.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Credit stress in the European banking system has suddenly turned virulent and begun spreading to Italian, Spanish and Portuguese government debt, reviving fears of the sovereign "doom-loop" that ravaged the region four years ago.
  • The Guardian: The global oil glut is larger than previously thought and the risk of prices falling further has increased, the International Energy Agency has said.
  • Financial Times: Viacom shares tumbled more than 20% on concerns that the owner of Paramount Pictures and cable channels such as MTV is ill-prepared for a fast-changing media environment characterised by on-demand viewing.
  • The Independent: Holiday bookings to Turkey are down 40% at Tui, the world’s largest package holiday business, over terrorism fears.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britons cancelling trips to France since a terrorist attack in Paris last November left 130 people dead have contributed to an 8% drop in visitor numbers to Disneyland Paris.
  • Financial Times: Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet and its largest shareholder, is turning up the heat on the budget airline by calling for a further increase in dividends.
  • Financial Times: UBS has reacted to the global financial market turbulence and sharp falls in bank share prices by freezing salaries for its investment bankers until at least mid year.
  • The Guardian: A drop in profit at Walt Disney Co’s cable networks unnerved investors despite jumps in overall quarterly income and revenue, driven by the blockbuster release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Financial Times: Goodyear Tire & Rubber became the latest big US company to detail damage from Venezuela’s financial crisis when the automotive tyre manufacturer reported a $646 million charge against fourth-quarter earnings.
  • Financial Times: Swedbank, one of the European lenders to recover most strongly from the financial crisis, has ousted its chief executive, arguing that it needs a new leader to take it “to the next level”.
  • Financial Times: Net profit at UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank by assets, fell 15% to €1.7 billion last year, providing little succour for management seeking to quell increasingly vocal shareholder discontent.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Goldman Sachs intends to slash at least 5% of its workforce this year to cut costs to deal with a slowing global economy, its chief executive has said.
  • The Guardian: Fears the government could privatise Network Rail have been heightened after a report from an influential thinktank called for its abolition and endorsed closing lines and deregulating fares.
  • Financial Times: Cyber security group Sophos reported double-digit sales growth in the third quarter of 2015 but saw shares drop more than 14% despite its effort to reassure nervous investors that demand remained strong for its products.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Redrow has reported record profits after shifting its house building from central London to the commuter belt.
  • Financial Times: ICAP, the interdealer broker aiming to become a financial technology business, has reported a mixed performance from its key businesses during the last quarter, as lower market volatility depressed revenues from trading.
  • The Guardian: Guardian Media Group and private equity group Apax have enjoyed an £80 million windfall following the £800 million stock market flotation of Ascential, the owner of assets including the Cannes Lions advertising festival.
  • Financial Times: The UK financial regulator has fined the boss of the so-called London Whale at JP Morgan Chase nearly £800,000 over the $6 billion mismarking episode, but Achilles Macris is continuing to press another part of his legal battle against the watchdog.
  • Financial Times: Vestas highlighted how the good times have returned for wind turbine manufacturers as the group forecast a further bumper year after posting record sales, profits and orders.
  • Daily Mail: British Airways is to start flying from Ryanair-dominated London Stansted airport in May, as it seeks to compete with increasingly popular budget carriers.
  • Financial Times: An important new heart drug that Sanofi is counting on to help revive growth is still on course for blockbuster sales, the company’s chief executive has insisted, despite a slow start in the increasingly price-conscious US market.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Neil Woodford, one of Britain's best-known fund managers, has sold his stake in the privatised firm, citing 'regulatory concerns'.
  • Financial Times: As Japan Inc wrestles with a slowdown in China and emerging markets, corporate executives are faced with a bigger worry that the weakening yen is no longer coming to their rescue.
  • The Guardian: London black-cab drivers have rejected an apparent olive branch from Uber as a “PR stunt” after the taxi-hailing app company said it would extend its service free to the traditional trade.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Avoid loss-making Sophos as private equity exits.
  • Financial Times: Fortis, the Canadian energy utility, has agreed a $10.9 billion takeover of ITC Holdings, the US power transmission operator, which was greeted by an immediate negative response from investors.
  • Financial Times: Pfizer’s most senior scientist has moved to quell concerns that the company’s $160 billion takeover of Allergan will lead to a clash of cultures and erode its commitment to discovering new drugs.
  • The Independent: The private equity group 3i has moved a step closer to selling its luxury lingerie business, Agent Provocateur, after it parted company with chief executive Garry Hogarth.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Apple should not be too excited over India.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Coco bonds: anxiety about these loss-absorbing bonds is misplaced, they are serving the system well.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK housebuilders: sector’s key concern is reticent foreigners buying fewer pricey London pads.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Swedbank: tricky times await the successor to departing chief executive.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Yelp: slower revenue growth, higher expenses, and more stock for employees.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Japan: weakness in the dollar as much as a strengthening yen spell trouble for the country’s banks.

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Barnett eyes revival and 'refines' unquoted portfolio

by Daniel Grote on May 23, 2018 at 16:09

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