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Friday Papers: Starbucks pledges £20m tax ‘donation’

Friday Papers: Starbucks pledges £20m tax ‘donation’

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Starbucks has caved in to public pressure and pledged to pay £10 million in UK corporate tax in each of the next two years even if it makes a loss following calls to boycott the coffee chain over its “immoral” tax practices.
  • Financial Times: Rolls-Royce, the aircraft engine maker, warned on Thursday that it faced the possibility of prosecution after the Serious Fraud Office and an internal investigation raised concerns about corruption and bribery in Indonesia, China and other overseas markets.
  • Financial Times: Apple will move manufacturing of some Mac computers back to the US next year, the first time in more than a decade that its products will be made as well as designed in America, Tim Cook, its chief executive, said on Thursday.
  • Daily Mail: Xstrata's top two executives - chief executive Mick Davis and finance director Trevor Reid - have enjoyed an £18 million payday, after taking advantage of a brief window to sell shares in the miner.
  • Financial Times: Barclays and Absa Group, one of South Africa’s top four banks, on Thursday said they planned to combine their Africa operations in a £1.3 billion deal that would create the continent’s largest retail bank by branch networks and customers.
  • The Guardian: Citigroup has confirmed that traders in its London office made two of a series of six gas deals that prompted inquiries by the Financial Services Authority and the energy watchdog, Ofgem.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HSBC is expected to pay more than $1.5 billion in fines to US authorities within weeks to settle money-laundering investigations into its business.
  • The Guardian: Standard Chartered warned on Thursday that it now expects to pay a total of $670 million to US regulators to settle allegations that it breached sanctions with Iran.
  • The Independent: Britain's richest man, Lakshmi Mittal, has dramatically halted his €180 million investment in a French steel business in the wake of political tensions with the government in Paris.
  • Financial Times: German regulators were briefed about Deutsche Bank’s valuation of a clutch of complex derivatives now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission; the bank failed to recognise up to $12 billion of paper losses during the financial crisis, helping the bank avoid a government bail-out.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: German carmaker Daimler raised over $2 billion from a lightning sale of shares in Airbus parent EADS on Thursday, making it the first beneficiary of a shake-up of the European aerospace group that drove up shares in EADS.
  • Financial Times: Chevron has revealed a $15 billion budget blowout at its Gorgon liquefied natural gas venture, Australia’s biggest resources project, and warned that initial production could be delayed.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The European Investment Bank has raised the prospect of lending up to £3.5 billion to bidders in the UK's 4G spectrum auction.
  • The Guardian: Hector Sants, the former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, is in talks to join embattled Barclays in a senior role barely six months after the leaving the City regulator.
  • Financial Times: The European Central Bank slashed its eurozone economic outlook for next year, forecasting further contraction at a time of record unemployment, but decided to keep interest rates on hold as it saw no big threat from inflation.
  • Financial Times: Ratan Tata, the outgoing head of the Tata group, India’s most global business, has warned that government inaction is driving investment away from the country and forcing groups like his own to seek growth abroad.
  • Financial Times: The Kuwaiti government is closing in on a £400 million deal to acquire Bank of America’s European headquarters in London.
  • The Independent: Sir Philip Green has boasted his Bhs-to-Miss Selfridge Arcadia retail empire is now debt free after he sold a 25% stake in Topshop and Topman to a US private-equity firm for a larger than expected £500 million.
  • Financial Times: Netflix and its chief executive Reed Hastings could face a civil action for a Facebook post that US Securities and Exchange Commission staff allege violated disclosure rules that require companies to release important information to all investors at the same time.
  • The Guardian: Up to 500 jobs are to be created at Sellafield in Cumbria – recently described as a "nuclear slum" – to speed up work on decommissioning radioactive plant and equipment dating back to the beginning of the cold war.
  • Daily Mail: Paul Moody, who was at the helm of Britvic when profits plunged 20% due to a product recall, is being retained as a consultant on a £350,000 fee.
  • The Independent: Hamleys increased its pre-tax profits by more than 250% to £2.3 million in the 53 weeks to 31 March, driven by a 6.3% leap in underlying sales.
  • Financial Times: Fund management groups are stepping up their attempts to lure conservative investors away from the $2.7 trillion money market fund industry, offering a rash of new vehicles that will buy only short-maturity bonds.
  • Financial Times: A rush of investor redemptions has forced the closure of Diamondback Capital Management, the investment firm that survived a brush with a wide-ranging investigation into insider trading on Wall Street.
  • The Independent: Mulberry’s half-year profit was £10 million with gross margins down to 61.3%, compared with 66.2% in 2011.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers has stepped up pressure on staff to come forward for redundancy, by telling them where the axe is likely to fall if they do not volunteer.
  • Financial Times: Micro Focus increased its dividend 45.1% year-on-year to 11.9 cents after revenues at the group fell.
  • The Independent: Violent religious clashes, an eight-day national strike and flooding failed to dent PZ Cussons' profits during the first half of the year.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: BG Group is exploring selling more assets linked to its $20billion natural gas development in Australia, in yet another move to unlock capital that would help finance its spending commitments.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Virgin Money has reopened talks with Bank of America over a £1 billion deal to buy part of MBNA's UK credit card assets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Discovery Channel is closing in on a portfolio of private-equity owned European television companies in a €1.3 billion deal.
  • Financial Times: Blackstone Group is paying €675 million to buy Amsterdam-based Intertrust Group, a Dutch trust administration firm that in part helps companies minimise their tax bills.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Cineworld has bought rival cinema chain Picturehouse in £47.3 million deal.
  • Financial Times: UPS is making progress in its quest to win EU approval for its €5.2 billion takeover of TNT Express but still faces a big challenge in convincing Brussels that it has a credible buyer for a swath of assets across eastern Europe.
  • The Independent: The London restaurants and clubs tycoon Richard Caring has sold his holding in his Côte bistro chain for £113 million.
  • The Guardian (Comment - Joseph Stiglitz): US economy must shift from speculative and proprietary trading to lending and job creation.
  • The Guardian (Comment): London's startup talent has a real shot at building one of the world's top five internet hubs.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Starbucks has tried to do the right thing - but failed.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): You need to axe an entire government department to get a grip on spending.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): It will hardly come as a surprise that Rolls Royce, that has done so well in winning orders in Asia and the Middle-East finds its practices, past and present, under scrutiny.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: demand rises and falls quickly for its electronics which why it has been able to triple net income and why shareholders will always be jumpy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Rolls-Royce: the UK engineering, aerospace and defence group warns that it could face prosecution.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Barclays/Absa: the UK banks’ sale of its African operations to Absa makes operational sense. Working as one, they must capture more African growth.
  • Financial Times (Lex): GDF Suez: a lot of optimism had built up around dividend prospects partly due to its solid free cash flow and fact that one-fifth of revenues come from outside Europe.

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