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Wednesday Papers: Hollande’s nationalisation threat to Mittal

French president demanded the steel magnate guarantee the long-term future of workers at a disputed plant in northern France.

Wednesday Papers: Hollande’s nationalisation threat to Mittal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: François Hollande demanded on Tuesday that Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate, guarantee the long-term future of workers at a disputed plant in northern France or face the threat of a state takeover of the operations.
  • The Daily Telegraph: London Mayor Boris Johnson waded in to the row between steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and the French government as he urged Indian businessmen to set up in the United Kingdom.
  • Financial Times: A record number of US companies have announced special dividends in recent months in order to escape higher taxes on equity income payments.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HP has said it wants Autonomy founder Mike Lynch to answer questions “under penalty of perjury” in the latest stage of a war of wards over allegations of “serious accounting improprieties".
  • Financial Times: Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy Corporation, has stepped up pressure on Hewlett-Packard, issuing an open letter to the board and demanding an explanation of allegations levelled against him during an $8.8billion writedown of the company’s value last week.
  • Financial Times: Eurozone governments could be forced to accept losses on their rescue loans to Greece after Monday’s late-night deal to overhaul its bailout failed to agree how to reach new debt targets for the struggling country, according to documents seen by the Financial Times.
  • The Guardian: Greece reacted with euphoria on Tuesday at the news that international creditors had decided to not only revitalise its rescue programme, releasing long-overdue aid, but cut €40 billion from its debt mountain.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron’s cabinet ministers turned on each other on Tuesday for failing to do more to deliver growth ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Google's boss in Britain has defended the technology giant after politicians attacked foreign companies for trying to cheat the system with their tax practices.
  • The Independent: Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has launched a US lawsuit against South Korean rival Samsung after the Korean company refused to sign a licence to use its technology on terms Ericsson regards as fair.
  • The Guardian: Exploration group Falkland Oil & Gas – one of four UK companies drilling for oil and gas around the islands – saw its shares halve in value after a disappointing update on its operations in the South Atlantic.
  • Daily Mail: Nationwide admitted it might be in the running to buy 316 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland if the 'enormous complexities' involved can be overcome.
  • Financial Times: Muddy Waters Research, the short selling firm, on Tuesday warned that Olam, the Asian commodity business, runs a high risk of failure amid possible accounting “malfeasance” and “significant misconduct” over its handling of a string of acquisitions.
  • Financial Times: Moody’s faces a ban on rating products issued by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in an EU clampdown on alleged conflicts of interest at credit rating agencies.
  • The Guardian: Bombardier Aerospace's Belfast operation has received a major boost after a private jet charter firm ordered 142 planes worth more than £4.8 billion from the company.
  • Financial Times: Lloyds Banking Group has started to contact millions of customers about a change in banking licence, the first move in creating a new bank to be sold to the Co-operative Group.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Findel, the retailer that almost collapsed after breaching banking covenants in 2010, has been hit by the payment protection insurance scandal, forcing it to take a £4.8 million charge.
  • Financial Times: Apple has taken back leadership of the US smartphone market from Google’s Android platform, as the two extend their dominance of the sector at the expense of Research In Motion's BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows Phone.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Richard Williamson, who was responsible for the maps service in Apple devices, has left the company.
  • Financial Times: Now that Facebook is being held increasingly accountable by federal privacy regulators, critics fear it is seeking to make itself less accountable to its users.
  • Financial Times: The outsourcing to the private sector of government services in UK schools and academies is expanding after Capita was named preferred bidder for a £1.7 billion contract to run educational services in Staffordshire.
  • The Independent: A re-elected President Barack Obama should pick up the phone to JP Morgan's chief executive, Jamie Dimon, as the best man to lead the US Treasury through a financial crisis, Warren Buffett, the Sage of Omaha, declared on Tuesday.
  • Daily Mail: A second estimate of gross domestic product confirmed the British economy grew at 1% in the third quarter, defying predictions that the figure had been overly optimistic, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.
  • Financial Times: US housing prices rose for a sixth consecutive month in September, confirming a faster- than-expected revival in the sector that could fuel economic growth.
  • The Independent: Eurozone nations should be prepared to ease up on deficit reductions to avoid pushing the single currency area into a deeper slump, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development argued on Tuesday.
  • Financial Times: The “party is over” for bonds, according to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, one of Canada’s biggest pension fund managers, which plans to cut back significantly on its fixed income holdings.
  • Financial Times: Three of India’s largest brokerage firms and a smaller competitor have been fined nearly $2 million by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for soliciting investors in the US without registering with regulators.
  • The Guardian: Energy supplier E.ON is to pay about £1.4 million to approximately 94,000 customers who were incorrectly charged exit fees or overcharged following price rises.
  • The Independent: Britvic, which this month unveiled a £1.4 billion merger with Irn Bru maker AG Barr, said this summer's recall over faulty caps on Fruit Shoot would cost the company £16.9 million in its last financial year and £8 million in 2013.
  • Financial Times: Rémy Cointreau, the French drinks company, reported an 83% rise in net profits to €86.6 million in the six months to the end of September, on sales of €596 million, up 26% in reported terms, or 13% on a like-for-like basis.
  • The Independent: De La Rue, the banknote printer, enjoyed a 9% rise in underlying, pre-tax profit to £31.5 million in the first half.
  • Financial Times: BATS Global Markets is looking to raise $300 million of “junk”-rated debt to fund a payout to shareholders in its first attempt to tap investors since the exchange operator bungled its own public float in March.
  • Financial Times: Alpha Plus Holdings, the private education group, said on Tuesday that it wants to raise £40 million to pay down debts to existing shareholders.
  • The Guardian: Britain's poor harvest this year has been blamed for many things, including the pubs group Mitchells & Butlers’s 40% plunge in profits to £83 million in the year to September.
  • The Independent: Pinewood Shepperton has reported almost 15% jump in turnover to £18.8 million in the six months to September.
  • Daily Express: Online fashion retailer ASOS, best known for its affordable versions of outfits worn by the stars, is moving into designer labels through a tie-up with Covetique, a second-hand clothes website.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Rona Fairhead, the chief executive of the Financial Times Group, is to step down from the newspaper group after more than a decade at the company.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: ConAgra, the US packaged food company, acquired Ralcorp on Tuesday for $5 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Entrepreneur Clive Coombes is exploring a bid for 180 Comet stores.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The wife of the new Bank of England governor has edgy views on everything from the environment to equality of income.
  • The Guardian (Comment): It's nonsense to give departing directors like Rona Fairhead of Pearson the thick end of £1 million just because they didn't get the promotion they sought.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): French President Francois Hollande shows true colours with threat to nationalise ArcelorMittal.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Please let's not follow Argentina into manipulating the inflation rate.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Olam/Muddy Waters: shortseller’s report on the Singapore commodities trader raises some good questions, but its accusations should not be taken as read.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Rémy Cointreau: there is plenty of demand in China for the French distiller’s $2,500 per bottle cognac, but should investors show similar enthusiasm for its equally expensive shares?
  • Financial Times (Lex): ConAgra/Ralcorp: Ralcorp’s shareholders and board have been bailed out by a stock market rally.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Greece: the deal to overhaul the country’s faltering bailout programme has not removed the possibility of a Greek exit from the eurozone.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?


Nov 28, 2012 at 09:23

When we have tough regulators in the UK it is then that the Mayor can invite corporations with issues to come here.

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