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Wednesday Papers: Prosecutors broaden VW investigations

And Tesco seeks deal to buy O2 out of joint venture for mobile push.

Wednesday Papers: Prosecutors broaden VW investigations

Top stories

  • Financial Times: European prosecutors tightened the screw on Volkswagen on Tuesday as the fallout from the emissions scandal spread.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Tesco is planning to take advantage of the fallout from Hutchison’s £10.25 billion takeover of O2 with a big push in the UK mobile market, seeking to expand sales outside the tough groceries market.
  • The Times: Deutsche Börse is closing in on a deal to merge with the London Stock Exchange within days, unless there is a counterbid from America.
  • The Guardian: The North Sea oil industry has urged the chancellor to hand it a rescue package of tax breaks in next week’s budget, warning that the sector is “fighting hard for its survival” amid rock-bottom prices.
  • Financial Times: Trade unions across Japan’s financial sector are abandoning their demands for wage rises this year in a sign that negative interest rates are having perverse and unintended consequences for the Bank of Japan.
  • Financial Times: Europe’s top five investment banks are now making less than half as much revenue as the top five US operators, which beat their European rivals on almost every financial measure last year.

Business and economics

  • The Times: The Bank of England could give households cash to raise inflation and boost growth, one of its rate-setters has said.
  • Financial Times: The world faces a growing “risk of economic derailment” and needs immediate action to boost demand, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday as new figures pointed to the worst monthly collapse in Chinese exports since 2009.
  • The Times: Germany eased some of the concerns over the state of the European economy yesterday, when it revealed that its industrial output rose at the fastest rate since September 2009.
  • The Times: Oil prices dipped back below $40 a barrel yesterday as traders took into account the arrival of the first shipment from Iran since sanctions were lifted.
  • Financial Times: Two of Greece’s biggest lenders are being probed by the eurozone’s banking watchdog in connection with last year’s €14.4 billion recapitalisation of the sector, which was as a condition of Greece’s latest international bailout.
  • Financial Times: UK merchant bank Close Brothers increased pre-tax profits and raised its dividend even though market turbulence hit the performance of its securities division.
  • Financial Times: Nikkei reported a decline in print advertising and growth in digital subscriptions, as Japan’s biggest business newspaper group announced its first results since acquiring the Financial Times in December.
  • The Times: Glencore was facing fresh questions about its safety record yesterday after an accident at a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo killed two workers and left five unaccounted for.
  • The Guardian: Shares in mining companies fell heavily in the City after the biggest fall in China’s exports in almost seven years rekindled concerns about the impact of a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy on the rest of the world.
  • The Guardian: The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power 2015 results, its last before a £5 billion merger with Betfair, reveal that it pulled in revenues of €1.09 billion (£850 million) in 2015.
  • The Guardian: : Volkswagen may have to cut jobs in the US and Europe, depending on how much it is fined for manipulating diesel emissions tests, a company official has told workers at its German headquarters.
  • The Guardian: Bankers’ bonuses should be withheld for up to a decade to give managers a longer-term view of their business, the new deputy chairman of Barclays has said.
  • The Guardian: Royal Bank of Scotland – the bailed-out bank which recently reported its eighth consecutive year of annual losses – has handed its top management team future bonuses in shares worth £17.4 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Energy giant Npower will axe 2,400 jobs in a bid to stem its spiralling losses after 350,000 customers ditched the firm in a single year.
  • The Independent: Foxtons profits have been hit by a challenging London house market – and the firm flagged up potential disruption from the Brexit referendum in June.
  • Financial Times: German bank Berlin Hyp has become the first non-state borrower to issue euro denominated debt at a negative yield, another milestone as the continent’s financial system moves further into the world of sub-zero interest rates.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Worldpay fell 6% after the UK payments processor disappointed investors with its first financial results since listing on the stock exchange by posting only a modest profit in 2015.
  • The Guardian: As markets fall back after poor Chinese export figures, Burberry is bucking the trend following reports the luxury goods group is preparing defences against a possible bid.
  • Financial Times: Profit growth at PizzaExpress has slowed despite a rise in sales as the restaurant group pursues ambitious expansion plans abroad and experiments with a delivery service.
  • Financial Times: Chevron has announced further cuts to its capital spending plans in response to the plunge in oil prices, but said it still expected to maintain production growth in the next few years.
  • Daily Mail: Aberdeen Asset Management has more than halved fees on three funds.
  • The Guardian: Motor insurer Admiral has accelerated in a falling market on a positive outlook for the business and talk of a higher than expected payout to shareholders.
  • Financial Times: Private equity-backed companies are among some of the strongest business supporters of UK membership of the EU, with more than four-fifths favouring a vote to remain in the bloc in this summer’s referendum.
  • The Times: Sales at Christopher Kane, the fashion designer, have jumped by 32% to more than £9 million but losses have widened.
  • Daily Mail: The Financial Reporting Council, the independent regulator responsible for high quality corporate governance, said firms should spell out the risks related to the referendum in their annual report and accounts.
  • Financial Times: Creditors of Vijay Mallya’s now defunct airline have petitioned India’s Supreme Court to prevent the erstwhile liquor baron from travelling abroad as they battle to grab part of his $75 million golden handshake from Diageo.
  • Financial Times: The parent company of United Airlines faces renewed uncertainty after the former chief executive of Continental Airlines on Tuesday led a proxy battle to join the board and reverse the company’s “substantial and inexcusable . . . underperformance”.

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