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Wednesday Papers: Spain in appeal for bank aid

And Britain and the US have joined forces to urge Germany to create a central Brussels body.

 
Wednesday Papers: Spain in appeal for bank aid

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Spain has made its most explicit call to date for European institutions to recapitalise the country’s banks amid concerns about its own ability to raise the billions of euros needed on sovereign bond markets.
  • Daily Mail: Britain and the US have joined forces to urge Germany to create a central Brussels body that could assume sovereignty over individual countries’ budgets and fiscal policies.
  • Financial Times: Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, has issued a robust defence of his £6.8 million pay for last year ahead of a showdown with some big shareholders in the world’s largest advertising group.
  • Financial Times: Nasdaq OMX is expected on Wednesday to take the first steps to compensate brokerages, such as Knight Capital and Citadel, that lost some $100 million on the first day of Facebook trading due to the exchange’s software glitches.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's banks are sitting on a £40 billion black hole of undeclared losses that are preventing them from making vital loans to businesses and households.
  • Financial Times: A US court decision says Barclays can keep more than a billion dollars in a dispute related to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

Business and economics

  • The Independent: A secret $1 billion US property empire amassed by members of the Saudi royal family is the subject of a bitter legal dispute that threatens to reveal the extent of the family's American business interests.
  • Financial Times: Sony’s seven most senior executives including the president and chairman will forgo bonuses for the previous financial year and accept cuts to their base pay as the Japanese group posted worst-ever net loss.
  • The Independent: Apple is plotting to dump Google as the default maps application on its widely popular iPhones and iPads with the launch of its own maps service.
  • Financial Times: Facebook is offering advertisers more control over where their ads appear on its site – a move likely to raise prices for the most sought-after positions and help the company win back favour with advertisers and investors.
  • Financial Times: Qantas Airways said it expected to report an underlying profit before tax of $49-$98 million for the financial year ending 30 June – down about 90% from the previous year.
  • Financial Times: Financial Services Authority is relaxing its scrutiny of non-executive recruits to banks and other financial services groups amid company complaints that the tests hinder them in making appointments.
  • Financial Times: Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Commons Treasury committee, has urged Greece to exit the eurozone.
  • The Guardian: G7 finance ministers have thrown their weight behind moves towards greater 'fiscal and financial union' in the eurozone as the best way to tackle the debt crisis threatening to destroy the single currency.
  • Financial Times: Sean Parker, an early executive at Facebook, is starting a video chat site because he thinks social media is making people lonelier.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Leading investors in troubled stock exchange Plus Markets say they hope to oust the company's chairman and chief executive at a meeting later this month.
  • Daily Mail: Green energy consultant Utilitywise has defied the gloom, raising £6.86 million through a share placing ahead of a float on AIM.
  • Daily Mail: A Milan judge has ordered top Italian banker Alessandro Profumo and another 19 people including three Barclays employees to stand trial for alleged tax fraud at Italian bank Unicredit.
  • Financial Times: Tesco’s UK underlying sales are set to fall 1-2% in the first quarter, despite chief executive Philip Clarke’s recovery plan for the retailer’s domestic business.
  • The Guardian: British consumers are unwittingly contributing to the devastation of the Amazon rainforest by buying meat products from Tesco, according to Greenpeace.
  • Daily Express: Aim-listed New Trend Lifestyle Group is hoping to raise £1.5 million to fund a string of high street Feng Shui consultancies across China after building up a small chain of seven outlets in Singapore.
  • Financial Times: Sony has announced a new kind of electronic book called the Wonderbook with JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, providing its first original title; the Wonderbook is a peripheral for the PlayStation 3 games console.
  • Financial Times: MF Global is accused of shuffling its bets on eurozone sovereign debt to avoid stumping up more regulatory capital weeks before its collapse.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Trinity Mirror is to review how its chief executive is paid in an effort to link rewards more closely with performance in the wake of the Shareholder Spring.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Post, the logistics group, is to pay the German government €516 million in back taxes to resolve a six-year dispute about a tax exemption that pitted Berlin against Brussels.
  • Financial Times: Timothy Mayopoulos, dismissed as general counsel of Bank of America in late 2008, has been named new chief executive of Fannie Mae, the government-controlled housing finance company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Carbon credits have emerged as the latest asset class being targeted by fraudsters intent on fleecing vulnerable investors.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Vodafone is in talks with Telstra, Australia’s largest telecoms company, to acquire its New Zealand business, TelstraClear, in a deal analysts estimated could be valued at $291-$389 million.
  • Financial Times: Oracle stepped up its push into the corporate social media app market by agreeing to acquire Collective Intellect, a leading cloud-based social intelligence technology provider, for an undisclosed sum.
  • The Independent: Private-equity groups Montagu and Bridgepoint are expected to be sounded out as potential buyers for a £350 million drugmaking company Mercury Pharma within days.
  • Financial Times: Party City, the US retailer that had been exploring an IPO, will instead stay private, with Thomas H Lee Partners taking a majority stake in the company in a deal valuing it at $2.7 billion.
  • Financial Times: KT Corp, South Korea’s largest phone and internet group by sales, has abandoned a plan to buy a 20% stake in South Africa’s state-run Telkom in the face of opposition to the deal from the South African government.
  • Financial Times: Doha-based Qtel has reached an agreement to pay $1.47 billion to increase its stake in Asiacell, an Iraqi mobile operator, to 60% from 30%.
  • Financial Times: Naguib Sawiris, the Egyptian telecommunications mogul, has decided against joining a consortium of investors attempting to take over EFG-Hermes, the Middle East investment bank.
  • Financial Times (Editorial): European leaders have shied away from articulating a plan that would deal with the single currency’s shortcomings precisely because they fear that this would be unpopular with electorates.
  • The Guardian (Comment - Joseph Stiglitz): Lack of opportunity means America's most valuable asset – its people – is not being fully used.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The recession has forced men to take up careers in traditionally female occupations. But it doesn't always create equality.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The UK car industry had spluttered but is now in pole position.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Germany has not moved one inch towards fiscal union of any kind.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The big question now is whether George Osborne is ready to jump ahead of the International Monetary Fund’s advice and implement a ‘plan B’ now rather than wait to see how the economy is doing in the Autumn.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BMS/AstraZeneca: the US and UK pharmaceuticals pure plays have a lot in common – indeed the most important difference may be luck.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US economy: there is something for everyone in the current investment environment, with good data just about outweighing bad.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Investing in Europe: marrying Asian money to desperate European groups has long been a dream, but suitors may have to wait until crisis point.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Cyprus and Greece: if the eurozone suffers a Greek earthquake, the aftershock will come from a neighbouring island’s whose plight is triply precarious.

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