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Monday Papers: Pru set to shake up rented housing

Monday Papers: Pru set to shake up rented housing

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The Prudential Property Investment Management division – part of M&G, the Pru’s asset management arm – is close to a deal to buy more than 500 homes from the Berkeley Group, becoming the first UK institutional investor to enter the UK rented housing market in recent times.
  • Financial Times: Banks should be required to make their individualised capital requirements public so that investors can see which financial groups have attracted regulatory concerns about risk and why, says Andrew Bailey, chief of the Prudential Regulation Authority.
  • Financial Times: At least three people have attempted to flee Cyprus in recent weeks with more than €200,000 in cash on their person; individuals have only been allowed to take €1,000 a day out of the country since Thursday under strict capital controls designed to prevent a bank run.
  • The Independent: European bank accounting has been branded "a joke" by Christopher Mahoney, a former vice-chairman of Moody's, in the wake of the bailout of Cyprus and its controversial levy on wealthy depositors.
  • Daily Mail: Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of the Prudential, is in line for a £7 million share jackpot despite receiving a personal rebuke last week from City regulators.
  • The Guardian: Fried-chicken restaurant chain KFC will create 1,600 jobs this year by opening more than 40 restaurants across the UK and Ireland.
  • Financial Times: European governments must not allow Emirates Airline and other Gulf carriers further access to markets until they demonstrate they are competing on a level playing field with their EU rivals, the head of Air France-KLM has urged.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Aim-listed energy minnow Rurelec is preparing to take on the Bolivian Government in a court battle over the forced nationalisation of its assets.
  • Financial Times: Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceuticals group, has threatened to stop supplies of new medicines to India if the country’s top court refuses on Monday to grant a patent for Glivec, its cancer drug.
  • Financial Times: More than two in five finance directors at the UK’s largest quoted companies have had no international experience before their appointment, according to analysis by Spencer Stuart.
  • Financial Times: Argentina has tacitly admitted it will seek to reroute payment on its US restructured debt abroad if, as is widely expected, a US appeals court rejects its Easter proposal to resurrect a bond swap for holdout creditors.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Russia is gearing up for an oil boom on the same scale as the US, as the techniques that sparked the shale revolution are applied to Siberia’s deposits of unconventional oil, according to Leonid Fedun, vice-president of Lukoil.
  • Financial Times: Central banks in developing countries sold €45 billion of euros in 2012, according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund, cutting their holdings of the currency by 8%.
  • Daily Mail: The British government is hoping to raise up to £3 billion this year by selling its one-third stake in Urenco, the uranium enrichment company it co-owns with Germany and the Netherlands.
  • Financial Times: Widening differences in borrowing costs in the EU, shown in an analysis by Goldman Sachs, highlight how ECB measures have prevented a catastrophic eurozone break-up – but failed to ease crippling credit conditions in much of the region’s southern periphery, where economic growth prospects remain bleak.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The head of Cyprus’ influential Orthodox Church, who had urged for eurozone exit over an onerous bailout, declared on Sunday that finance minister Michalis Sarris and central bank governor Panicos Demetriades should step down after allowing the EU-IMF lenders to devastate the island’s banking sector in return for a €10 billion loan.
  • The Guardian: Cyprus is to lift a ban on casinos as part of measures to counter the economic shock of a much larger than expected 60% raid on the savings of the island's most wealthy depositors.
  • Financial Times: Barack Obama will aim for the middle ground between Republicans and Democrats in Congress in his drive for a bipartisan deficit deal when he releases his budget proposal next week.
  • Financial Times: Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, is facing pressure from fellow Republicans to drop his opposition to accepting billions of dollars in federal funds under the “Obamacare” reforms and extend health insurance to 1.5 million of the state’s poorest citizens.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Work on an overhaul of the UK’s Highways Agency involving greater financial freedom and part privatisation of the road network is being accelerated by the Transport Department.
  • Financial Times: The Bric countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China, whose economies are feted for powering global growth – were among the more disappointing holdings for equity investors in the first quarter.
  • Daily Mail: Private shareholders in BAE Systems are being urged to vote for the ousting of chairman Dick Olver over the defence giant’s failed merger with European aerospace giant EADS.
  • Financial Times: Sergio Rocha, the chief executive of General Motors in South Korea, has urged the new government to act against its rising currency, as carmakers express concern that a weakening Japanese yen is undermining the competitiveness of South Korean exports.
  • The Daily Telegraph: TalkTalk's calls for the telecoms regulator to intervene over the price BT charges its rivals for access to its superfast broadband network.
  • Daily Mail: Asda is seeking to cash in on the success of erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey with themed products including a new range of toilet paper.
  • Financial Times: Lord Turner, outgoing City regulator, has landed a job at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a research group co-founded by George Soros, billionaire philanthropist.
  • The Guardian: Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed – but not denied – speculation that Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King could take over his place in the driving seat of Formula One.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Guardian: Oasis Healthcare, the UK's largest private dental chain, has been bought by the private equity firm behind the catering group Pret a Manger for £185 million.
  • Financial Times: In coming weeks, the London Stock Exchange is set to close its 18-month pursuit of a controlling stake in LCH.Clearnet, the transatlantic clearing house.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A new front has opened up in the battle between Hermès, the French family-owned maker of silk scarves and expensive handbags, and Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group, accused by its smaller rival of mounting a hostile takeover bid by stealth.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Despite making £600 million for the taxpayer, the UK government-owned East Coast is to be scrapped and the franchise offered to private bidders again.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The euro is a leading cause of Europe’s current economic travails. Its break-up would unleash forces making for a decent recovery, not only on the continent but also here in the UK.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The Financial Services Authority is dead. Few will be sorry to see it gone.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Romania is the 7th largest market within the EU and the largest in South-Eastern Europe. This means that there is huge potential for investment projects and bilateral economic cooperation with British companies.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank of Cyprus: stricken island’s number one lender is being frogmarched dangerously close to the same fate as CPB, it’s number two.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Impregilo/Salini: Roman businessman’s ‘national construction champion’ palaver looks overdone in what has become a protracted takeover saga.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Miners: large mining companies can be sellers as well as buyers, but disposing of non-core, low-margin assets may not be easy to do.

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