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Monday Papers: China trade now bigger than US

Monday Papers: China trade now bigger than US

Top stories

  • The Daily Telegraph: China is now the largest trading nation in the world in terms of imports and exports, after overtaking the US last year.
  • Financial Times: Homeowners and small businesses are being denied a wide choice of lending providers because of safety rules that are hampering the ability of small UK banks to expand lending, say senior banking executives.
  • Financial Times: Barclays is preparing to cut at least £2 billion from its annual cost base of £20 billion as part of a strategic overhaul to be presented by the bank on Tuesday, say bank insiders and analysts.
  • The Guardian: Trouble-hit Barclays has admitted making an embarrassing gaffe over the reporting of a lifeline investment in the bank that saved it from seeking a government bailout during the financial crisis of 2008.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Householders could be forced to provide up to £4 billion to meet the cost of any of the six leading energy suppliers going out of business, under revised plans drawn up by the Government to avoid market chaos.
  • The Guardian: Royal Bank of Scotland has yet to decide whether the £390 million fine for rigging Libor should have an impact on any bonuses for Stephen Hester for this year amid renewed focus on the chief executive's pay.
  • The Independent: Current and former top executives at the taxpayer-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland will on Monday be grilled by politicians, less than a week after the bank was fined £391 million for rigging the Libor interest rate.
  • Financial Times: Viviane Reding, Europe’s most senior justice official, is adamant she will fight US attempts to water down a proposed EU data protection and privacy law that would force global technology companies to obey European standards across the world.
  • Financial Times: The FBI is probing corruption allegations against a subsidiary of EADS, Europe’s biggest aerospace company, relating to a contract in Saudi Arabia for the UK’s Ministry of Defence.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Nat Rothschild has lined up Brock Gill to be the next chief of Bumi.
  • Financial Times: EasyJet is braced for a bruising annual meeting next week after Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who founded the airline in 1995, said he would vote against plans to award the chief executive a £5 million pay package.
  • Financial Times: BlackRock’s leading position in Europe’s rapidly growing exchange traded funds market has prompted some observers to ask if its iShares ETF business has become too big.
  • Financial Times: State Street is fighting two separate US lawsuits over claims it retained an “exorbitant share” of securities lending revenues, allegedly causing investors to suffer “massive losses” amounting to “hundreds of millions of dollars”.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: A radical new option for the financial rescue of Cyprus would force losses on uninsured depositors in Cypriot banks, as well as investors in the country’s sovereign bonds, according to a confidential memorandum prepared ahead of Monday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers.
  • Financial Times: President Barack Obama will put job creation at the centre of his second term agenda, laying out a broad vision for robust economic growth and easing the strains on the US’s middle class when he delivers his fifth state of the union address on Tuesday.
  • Daily Mail: The wholesale price guaranteed by the British government for nuclear power generation is likely to be less than £100 a megawatt hour.
  • Financial Times: The US is to make a concerted push into European derivatives with CME Group, the world’s largest futures market operator, set to begin clearing off-exchange swaps in coming weeks.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Drinks giant Diageo is pouring fresh investment into its gin brands, Gordon's and Tanqueray, to take advantage of a surprise surge in sales of the spirit in hard-hit economies such as Spain and the UK.
  • Financial Times: Plans by Anglo-Indian refining and power generation group Essar Oil to shift exposure from rupee to dollar-based debt are expected to cut financing costs at London-listed parent company Essar Energy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Barclays will begin the process of repairing its damaged reputation on Tuesday, admitting that the "old ways weren't the right way to behave".
  • Financial Times: MCX-SX, a new stock exchange in India, opens for trading on Monday, pitching the country’s main commodity bourse into a three-way battle with the two established incumbents as they look to attract investors around the world.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Standard Chartered is planning a major push into Iraq as oil majors and development companies from Asia demand greater financial services support in the country.
  • Financial Times: India’s Kingfisher Airlines are grounded and its leased planes are being seized by angry creditors, but there is little sign of that turbulence on its website, flykingfisher.com.
  • Financial Times: New job vacancies in the City slumped by a further 18% last month compared with a year ago as redundancies and scandals at the banks took their toll, a Square Mile recruiter has reported.
  • The Independent: City workers who switched their jobs last month will have started the year with an average 24% pay rise, figures have revealed.
  • Financial Times: Currency investors are profiting from an emerging policy divide between Europe and Japan that some believe has the makings of a fresh round of global currency wars.
  • Financial Times: Financial institutions face fresh attention from aggressive activist and hedge fund investors, adding another distraction to a list of troubles that already includes increased regulation and diminished profits.
  • Financial Times: Chinese moves against corruption sparked a sell-off in jewellery retailers in Hong Kong late last week after Beijing ordered an end to advertisements that suggest giving gifts to bosses.
  • Daily Mail: Associated British Foods has hit back at claims that it paid less than 0.5% of its $123 million in pre-tax profits between 2007 and 2012 to the Zambian government.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The incoming chief executive of energy firm, SSE, has agreed to give up the staff discount on his energy bill and donate it to charity after his predecessor faced criticism for accepting the 12% reduction.
  • Daily Mail: Waste removal firm Biffa made a £978 million loss in 2011-12 after taking a £900 million writedown because of falling revenues.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: American Airlines is putting the finishing touches to its merger with US Airways to create the biggest US carrier by revenues in a deal expected to be announced this week.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Lion Capital, the private equity firm linked to Findus, has made a £300 million swoop on ghd, the company behind the ceramic straightening irons advertised by Katy Perry.
  • Daily Mail: Walgreen, the largest chain of chemist stores in the US, is embarking on a roadshow to try to attract UK investors with an eye to a listing on the London Stock Exchange next year.
  • The Guardian (Comment): There may be grounds for hope over the economy, but the elite still looks after itself and treats the little people with contempt.
  • The Guardian (Comment): You don't have to go to India to look for the dark side. It's right here in Britain too – including at RBS, where the failure of leadership and lack of any moral direction just go on and on.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): A change in policy is in the air. About time too. Not only was the last quarterly GDP growth figure negative but the next one may also be pretty weak.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): UK and China collaboration is a win-win situation for both countries.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Britain's banks have truly experienced a year of horrors, but the crisis is far from over.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Cashed out: spending has returned and the regulations have proven to be manageable, but the driver of the gains has been the move towards a cashless society.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Barclays: Mr Jenkins’ problem is the investment bank where two thirds of revenues come from capital intensive fixed income, currencies and commodities activity.

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