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Friday Papers: Co-op closes 37 bank branches

Friday Papers: Co-op closes 37 bank branches

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Senior Barclays managers were dragged further into the Libor scandal on Thursday when a court was told that email evidence suggests top executives knew Barclays was lowballing its submissions to the rate-setting process in November 2007, almost a year earlier than previously disclosed.
  • Financial Times: IBM has developed a new antimicrobial gel designed to fight drug-resistant, hospital-acquired infections by replicating the science it uses to produce semiconductors.
  • The Guardian: David Cameron has taken a swipe at Starbucks as he promised that making business pay its fair share would be one of three key aims of Britain's G8 presidency.
  • The Independent: The South Australian town of Coober Pedy is about to challenge the mighty Saudi Arabia as the world's oil capital – at least if claims it could be sitting on more than $20 trillion of black gold are to be believed.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Boeing 787 Dreamliner safety investigation took another twist as it emerged that US authorities are talking to a number of whistleblowers over battery failures that have grounded the entire fleet of aircraft.
  • Financial Times: James Gorman, Morgan Stanley chief executive, will take a pay cut for the second year in a row as the bank continues its attempt to boost returns for shareholders.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Co-operative is all set to close 37 branches; it also confirmed the Britannia name will disappear from the high street.
  • The Independent: The owners of the Channel Tunnel rail link, known as High Speed One (HS1), will launch a refinancing of its £1.5 billion debt mountain.
  • Financial Times: Microsoft’s Windows PC division registered an underlying 11% increase in revenues in the final months of last year after the launch of Windows 8, but its net income of $6.4 billion was down 4%.
  • The Guardian: Microsoft's cash hoard has grown by $5 billion to $68 billion in six months, as the software giant's latest results show its core Windows and Office products remain a must have for business customers.
  • The Independent: Nokia returned to profitability after an 18-month spell in the red, as it posted a pre-tax profit of €375 million in the last three months of 2012, compared with a €974 million loss a year earlier.
  • Financial Times: Starbucks said that its British customers had “stayed loyal” during a quarter when it bowed to public pressure by volunteering to pay more tax in the UK, but it declined to provide specific sales figures for the country.
  • Financial Times: Twitter, the company that encouraged users to restrict their thoughts to 140 characters, has launched a video supplement to its service that restricts footage to six seconds in length.
  • Financial Times: Falling passenger yields and continuing merger costs pushed United Continental, the world’s largest airline by revenues, into a $620 million net loss for the fourth quarter.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: US President Barack Obama has nominated Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor and prominent corporate defence lawyer, to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Financial Times: Japan’s trade deficit nearly tripled in 2012 to $77 billion, an unprecedented shortfall for the traditional export powerhouse.
  • The Guardian: George Osborne insists he will press ahead with the government's austerity plans despite a warning from the International Monetary Fund that the chancellor should slow the pace of cuts.
  • Financial Times: Mario Monti, Italy’s prime minister, was forced to offer to recall parliament on Thursday amid questions about his government’s handling of the financial crisis at Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which has requested a second state bailout, and the role of the central bank.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The return of confidence and healthy growth in the US risks setting off a "bond crash" comparable to 1994 and triggering a string of upsets across the world, Bank of America has warned.
  • Financial Times: Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said the core eurozone countries should not be a “closed shop” to countries like the UK.
  • The Guardian: Almost six million people in recession-plagued, austerity-hit Spain are out of work, taking the jobless rate to more than 26% of the workforce.
  • The Independent: FTSE 250 group St James's Place, which sells products to people with at least £100,000 to invest, saw new business sales rise 46% to £223.8 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Oil company EnQuest is the latest company to turn directly to households for financing, offering to pay 5.5% a year for 10 years.
  • Financial Times: AT&T, the US telecoms group, reported flat fourth-quarter revenues and a $3.9 billion net loss despite strong wireless revenue growth and record smartphone sales including the sale of 8.6 million Apple iPhones.
  • The Guardian: First quarter revenues of Easyjet rose 9.2%; the company expects to keep its interim loss to between £50 and £75 million in the first half, compared to £112 million for the same period last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Pubs giant Punch Taverns has lost its chief executive, Roger Whiteside, to bakery chain Greggs in the middle of complex talks with stakeholders over restructuring its £2.4 billion of securitised debt.
  • Financial Times: Legal & General Investment Management, which owns about 4% of the UK stock market, is seeking measures to improve ailing investor confidence in equity offerings.
  • Financial Times: Xerox shares rose more than 3% after the provider of printers and business services reported an 11% slide in fourth-quarter earnings to $335 million but said it had a good deal pipeline for the next year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Jaguar Land Rover has warned profit margins will be “slightly lower” than recent periods despite higher sales, blaming exchange rates and its sales mix.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Independent: Ladbrokes has snapped up Irish betting exchange Betdaq for €30 million to boost its online business.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Advertising giant M&C Saatchi is to move into talent management with the acquisition of Merlin Elite, the company that looks after stars such as Andrew Flintoff and Denise Lewis.
  • The Guardian (Comment): An unholy matrimony between finance and politics has undermined democracy: it's time it was reinforced.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Britain must commit to building an economic future with China.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Optimism is building about a recovery in the US housing market but plenty of questions remain.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Lockheed Martin: if the defence group is to grow its profits, it will have to prove its own belt tightening will proceed at a faster pace than the government’s.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Jaguar takes shine off Tata Motors: the 12-fold growth in the share price has set high expectations and JLR contributes 60% of revenues.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Monte dei Paschi: the world’s oldest bank has lost the trust of investors by hiding the reality of its situation from them.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Nokia: efforts to right the dangerously listing ship are making progress. But when will it start sailing forward again is the big question.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: disappointing results from the world’s largest company have had a mixed effect on its Asian suppliers.

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