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Monday Papers: Scandals spark new push on bank risk

Monday Papers: Scandals spark new push on bank risk

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Several high-profile scandals for banks, ranging from JP Morgan’s hefty trading loss to UBS’s rogue trader, have sparked a new regulatory drive to force lenders to spend more time and probably hold more capital guarding against such operational risks.
  • Financial Times: Some of Barclays’ biggest investors have urged Antony Jenkins, the bank’s new chief executive, to take an axe to its investment bank.
  • Financial Times: BlackRock, the world’s biggest manager of money, is to launch its first foray into the global infrastructure debt market as it seeks to fill the void left by banks that are no longer prepared to invest in big government projects.
  • The Guardian: BAE has confirmed it is considering closing one of its major shipyards in Portsmouth or Glasgow in a move that could threaten more than 1,000 jobs.
  • The Independent: Investors pinning their hopes on a New Year windfall with a Twitter IPO may have to wait a little longer yet as the markets grow more cautious about social media investments in the wake of Facebook's rocky path to life as a public company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The International Centre for Financial Regulation, a City think tank dedicated to improving financial practice, has suspended a senior manager while investigating the alleged embezzlement of funds at the organisation.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: European real estate companies are closing in on a record year of bond issuance having raised €15.4 billion in the first nine months of this year, compared with €8.3 billion in 2011, highlighting the industry’s growing disenchantment with the bank funding market.
  • Financial Times: The British Treasury is poised to seize control of the sale of public land owned by Whitehall departments after losing patience with the slow pace of the government’s land disposal programme.
  • The Independent: Chancellor George Osborne's attempts to cling onto the nation's triple-A credit rating look doomed but the loss would be "symbolic, not catastrophic", HSBC says.
  • Daily Mail: The Bank of England could name its new governor this week amid pressure to appoint a successor to Sir Mervyn King before the Chancellor's autumn statement.
  • Financial Times: EU finance ministers must urgently dispel doubts over their “political will” to create a single bank supervisor so talks do not drag on and upset “fragile markets”, Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner who oversees financial regulation, has warned.
  • The Guardian: European authorities will transfer €35 billion to Spain's state bank rescue fund on 15 December in exchange for massive layoffs at the country's four nationalised banks, including the state-rescued Bankia, according to reports.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s tough approach to making banks hold more capital could be hitting lending to small and medium sized businesses, according to TheCityUK.
  • Financial Times: The global financial and economic crisis has weakened central bank independence, a report co-authored by Ernst & Young and OMFIF suggests, as bankers’ increased responsibilities have earned them higher profiles and politicised their work.
  • The Independent: Under-funded pension schemes could cripple several of Britain's biggest companies and wreck prospects for economic recovery, an analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers warns.
  • Financial Times: With a 15 December deadline looming, Argentina will appeal on Monday for US judges to suspend an order for it to pay $1.3 billion to holders of defaulted debt.
  • Financial Times: Foreign investors are threatening legal and other action in protest against government intervention in Brazil’s electricity industry, following a move to slash power tariffs that has hit the country’s biggest electricity generator Eletrobras.
  • Financial Times: AmBev, the Latin American arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer by sales, is considering a rollout of branded bars across Brazil.
  • Financial Times: Microsoft has examined the European market as the next region to open its flagship retail outlets as the US technology giant bolsters its roster of devices and appliances across its software platforms.
  • Financial Times: Adverts on mobiles could become a thing of the past after Eyeo, the company behind the world’s most downloaded online ad-blocking software, AdBlock Plus, announced plans to launch a mobile version of its product.
  • Financial Times: Online sales jumped more than 20% in the US at the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season as the growing use of tablet computers fuelled “couch commerce”.
  • Daily Mail: Based on sales so far, Tesco's online grocery warehouse, which opened in February, will deliver almost £80 million of shopping to homes a year, even though it is still only working at 50% of capacity.
  • Daily Mail: The publisher of The Dandy and The Beano is facing a £600,000 loss following the collapse of printer Newsfax International.
  • Financial Times: Dupont Pioneer and Monsanto, two of the world’s largest producers of agriculture products, are seeking to launch production of high-quality seeds and other farming technologies in Ukraine to help the nation double its harvests.
  • Daily Mail: Moonpig.com, founded by former commodities trader Nick Jenkins in 2000, raised turnover from £38.3 million to £45.8 million since being bought last year by online photo service photobox.co.uk; pre-tax profits grew from £10.9 million to £12 million.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Kuwait’s Investment Dar is in talks with two potential bidders - India’s Mahindra & Mahindra and European buyout group InvestIndustrial - for a 50% stake in Aston Martin, the famous sports carmaker known for its vehicles’ starring role in Skyfall and other James Bond films.
  • Financial Times: Discovery Communications and Providence Equity Partners, the two remaining bidders for Nordic broadcasting business SBS, are expected to submit offers below the €1.4 billion that its owners had hoped for.
  • Daily Mail: McCarthy & Stone, Britain’s biggest builder of retirement homes, is gearing up for a return to the London Stock Market.
  • The Daily Telegraph: US private equity firm Apollo is in talks to buy Aurum – the owner of jewellery retailers Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb – from Landsbanki, one of the Icelandic banks that collapsed during the 2008 credit crisis, for about £180 million.
  • Financial Times: The Hong Kong stock market and regulators are working on rule changes to make foreign company listings on the city’s stock market simpler and easier for investors to understand.
  • The Guardian (Comment): If nations were able to go bankrupt like companies it would benefit everyone, especially society's poorest.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The world desperately needs a better way of coping with countries that owe more than they could ever repay.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): How much of slack does the economy have is critical. If there is a good deal then, as soon as the economy recovers, much of the fiscal problem will disappear like melting snow.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): There is only one real answer - split the banks.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank consolidation: Deutsche co-chief has a point when he says mergers are an unintended consequence of new regulations as lenders retreat to core markets.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China insurers: use of a record 17 banks, with more than half the shares pledged in advance, suggests the people’s insurer does not expect an easy sell.
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