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Wednesday Papers: UK defeat in City bonus fight

And the FBI has joined securities regulators to tackle the potential threat of market manipulation posed by sophisticated computer trading strategies.

 
Wednesday Papers: UK defeat in City bonus fight

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Britain has lost its campaign to stop a strict EU cap on bankers’ bonuses after its 11th-hour fightback secured no more than minor potential tweaks to a pay clampdown dreaded by the City of London.
  • Financial Times: The FBI has joined securities regulators to tackle the potential threat of market manipulation posed by sophisticated computer trading strategies that have taken markets beyond the scope of traditional policing.
  • The Independent: Glencore's £56 billion merger with Xstrata is being held up by the Chinese government on concerns the resulting group could wield too much influence over China's copper market.
  • The Guardian: Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg boasted that he was one of the lowest paid chief executives in the FTSE 100 – as he paid himself a dividend of $172 million for 2012.
  • Financial Times: The Forbes billionaires list, seemingly designed to stroke the egos of the world’s richest people, has pricked one of them in painful fashion, alleging that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal “systematically exaggerates” his wealth.
  • Financial Times: Anadarko Petroleum, the US oil and gas explorer, and Videocon, the Indian conglomerate, are to hold an auction for a 20% stake in a huge Mozambique natural gas field that could raise more than $4.5 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Standard Chartered has reported its tenth consecutive record annual profit after seeing its pre-tax profits rise 1% to $6.88 billion.
  • Financial Times: Microsoft is set to be hit with a fine running into hundreds of millions of dollars by Brussels on Wednesday over its failure to keep to a high-profile competition agreement with European regulators, according to people familiar with the case.
  • The Guardian: Ikea furniture chain announces plans to open a budget chain of some 150 hotels with the US group Marriott to be called Moxy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hundreds more jobs are to be lost in the retail industry after Axminster Carpets fell into administration and private equity group Sun European Partners edged closer to a takeover of bed group Dreams that is likely to result in the closure of stores.
  • Financial Times: The Indian government plans to sell nearly 11% of state-controlled Steel Authority of India by the end of this month, raising about $600 million to cut the budget deficit in the current fiscal year, according to company chairman CS Verma.
  • Financial Times: Dell’s largest outside shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, called on the technology company to reveal more about its struggling PC business as it took the first steps on Monday towards what could be a battle over the company’s proposed $24 billion buyout.
  • Financial Times: Institutional Shareholder Services, an influential proxy advisory firm, has urged Hewlett-Packard shareholders to vote against the re-election of Ray Lane, the chairman, and two other directors, over their handling of its Autonomy acquisition.
  • The Guardian: William Johnson, the chief executive of Heinz, could walk away with a $212 million payoff after selling the company to a consortium led by famed investor Warren Buffett.
  • Daily Mail: The Vauxhall and Opel arms of car giant General Motors will break even on their drive towards profitability in 2015-16, a senior GM executive said.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: The closely watched purchasing managers' index for services jumped to 51.8 from 51.5 in January, raising hopes the economy could narrowly avoid dropping into a triple-dip recession.
  • The Independent: Terry Smith, the chief executive of Tullett Prebon, has warned that the European Union bonus caps which were being finalised in Brussels will damage London's position as a financial centre.
  • Financial Times: Qualcomm said it would raise its quarterly dividend payments from 25 cents to 35 cents, a move that is set to add about $700 million to its annual payments.
  • The Independent: Serco looked to have lost its battle to stay in the FTSE 100, even though shares in the outsourcing group jumped 9% after it reported a 26.7% rise in full-year profits.
  • Financial Times: Permira, which owns German fashion designer Hugo Boss, has informed investors that it now aims to raise between €4 billion and €5 billion, rather than €6.5 billion it had initially targeted.
  • Financial Times: Delays to two contracts that were due to be booked in December resulted in Rotork’s revenues for the 12 months coming in at £511.7 million – up from £447.8 million a year ago but below analysts’ forecasts of £519 million.
  • The Independent: Cupid, the group behind lonely heart websites such as uniformdating.com, posted a 31% rise in profits last year as it wooed 1.8 million new subscribers and revenues rose 51% to £81 million.
  • Financial Times: Pegatron’s net revenue for 2012 grew 53.4% over the previous year to $25.9 billion, as one of Taiwan’s biggest contract manufacturers reported strong sales of the iPad mini and iPhone.
  • The Independent: The Independent can reveal Aurora Fashions is spinning off its Coast womenswear chain as an independent company, following the separation of its Karen Millen brand in 2011.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Regus, the world's biggest provider of temporary office space, has ridiculed the chief executive of Yahoo! after she banned working from home and said it is "critical" that staff are in the office.
  • The Independent: Pre-tax profits of Moneysupermarket rose to £31.5 million against £24.3 million a year earlier, with sales up 15% on an underlying basis to £204.8 million.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: G4S, the security company responsible for the Olympics staffing fiasco, is selling its US government business after budget cuts and delays hit revenues at the division.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Swiss outrage has translated into a vote against extravagant corporate behaviour in a clear sign for other countries.
  • The Guardian (Comment): At the heart of the argument over the results of the partially state-owned banks is sovereignty of the people.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Hard-pressed aspiring classes need more optimism from British Chancellor George Osborne.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Investors know who to thank as the Dow sets a new high.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Glencore: its trading arm mitigated the downturn in the commodity cycle in 2012 and its mega merger with mining group Xstrata finally looks to be in sight.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Dell: the boss wants to take the whole bundle private for $24 billion. Other shareholders must assess the price before deciding whether to tender their shares.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Deutsche Post: the German logistics group is a company of two halves with the German postal business staying steady as DHL zooms ahead.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Asia v Vegas: Macau is six times the size of Las Vegas and even Singapore is laying a claim to be the world’s second-largest gaming centre. So why on earth is Genting bothering with a Sin City development?

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