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Saturday Papers: Barclays in probe over Saudi licence

Saturday Papers: Barclays in probe over Saudi licence

Top stories

  • The Daily Telegraph: Barclays is under investigation by US authorities into whether it made improper payments to secure a banking licence in Saudi Arabia, according to reports.
  • Financial Times: George Osborne has decided to grab about £35 billion of surpluses being built up under the Bank of England’s money-printing operations, making it easier for the chancellor to meet his rules on public finances.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Citigroup has handed former chief executive Vikram Pandit more than $15 million as a settlement.
  • Financial Times: Stocks on Wall Street rebounded after two days of sharp declines as better than expected data on US consumer sentiment helped offset fears over the looming fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts.
  • The Independent: Rentokil Initial has admitted that its troubled delivery division, City Link, will not return to profit this year.
  • The Independent: France – second biggest economy in the struggling eurozone – is set to tip back into recession by the end of the year, its central bank warned yesterday.
  • The Independent: HSBC is at the centre of a major HM Revenue and Customs investigation after it allegedly opened offshore accounts for high-profile British criminals.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Wall Street banks will not meet a January deadline to begin implementing new global capital rules, potentially handing New York an advantage over London as the financial centres vie for dominance.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs is in settlement talks with a US regulator after it emerged that one of its former traders concealed an $8.3 billion position.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Scottish security camera supplier IndigoVision fell 20% this week, to 329p, after its chairman, Hamish Grossart, said its revenues had risen 6% but margins had fallen.
  • The Guardian: Greece faces a week of tense brinkmanship with its international paymasters after officials in Brussels conceded that a long-awaited deal to release €31.5 billion of bailout cash is unlikely to be finalised on Monday.
  • The Independent: The UK's trade gap with the rest of the world narrowed sharply from £4.3 billion to £2.7 billion in September, bolstering hopes for a boost to the economy from an improved trade performance.
  • Financial Times: Moody’s has cut its rating on Sony’s debt to the lowest level above junk.
  • Financial Times: China’s economy strode further along the road of recovery from its slowest growth in three years, data for October showed on Friday, as infrastructure investment accelerated and output from the country’s factories ran at its fastest in five months.
  • The Daily Telegraph: JJB Sports collapsed into administration with debts of around £150 million, leaving suppliers, landlords, and utility suppliers heavily out of pocket.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A fierce battle has broken out between International Airlines Group and its workers after the owner of British Airways warned it would have to cut at least 4,500 jobs at Iberia.
  • Financial Times: Car sales in both India and China rose last month, boosted by spending during religious festivals in India and an increase in demand for non-Japanese cars in China.
  • Financial Times: William Hill will be given more time to prepare its joint bid of £530 million for Sportingbet, and is now expected to include the online gambling company’s Spanish business in the assets it will acquire.
  • Financial Times: Dutch bancassurer ING filed on Friday for an initial public offering of its US insurance arm, a step required as part of its deal for receiving a bailout from the Dutch state in 2009.
  • Daily Express: Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror publisher Trinity Mirror yesterday reported further heavy falls in revenues at its national and regional newspapers.
  • Financial Times: Germany’s ruling centre-right coalition agreed on Friday to trim overall spending and cut the government’s net borrowing requirement for 2013, even as its economics ministry warned of a further slowdown in growth.
  • Financial Times: Mike Terrett, the chief operating officer of Rolls-Royce, is to retire after more than three decades at the FTSE 100 engine maker, to be replaced by his deputy.
  • Financial Times: JC Penney, the US department store trying to replicate Apple’s retail model, reported a 26% fall in sales in quarterly results that confounded analysts’ worst expectations.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Toy and model-maker Hornby has scrapped its dividend after disappointing sales of London 2012 merchandise and a shortage of stock because of problems with its largest Chinese supplier.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The administrators to Comet say they are in discussions with potential bidders for "parts of the business," despite cutting 330 jobs.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain will stop giving financial aid to India by 2015, the Government has said, marking a shift in ties between the one-time imperial power and its fast-growing former colony.
  • Financial Times: Vestas revealed that it was cutting 30% of workers and facing a cash squeeze as it posted its weakest quarter for orders in six years.
  • The Guardian: Barack Obama used his first public appearance since his return to the White House to issue a challenge to Republicans in Congress to work with him to prevent the economy going into freefall next year.
  • Financial Times: EU talks aimed at agreeing next year’s spending plan collapsed abruptly on Friday evening amid a clash between member states and MEPs.
  • The Guardian: Shares in struggling online voucher firm Groupon have plummeted more than 27% to a new low after it reported worse-than-expected results on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: The Federal Reserve has altered its stress tests for the largest US financial groups, stoking hopes that the new process will result in increased dividends and stock buybacks.
  • Financial Times: The administrators of Lehman Brothers’ European arm are paying out £1.75 billion in the first dividend to its unsecured creditors since the collapse of the US investment bank four years ago.
  • Financial Times: Cengage Learning, the Apax-owned educational publisher, rattled lenders on Friday with news of a 22% fall in revenues and a 49% drop in operating income for the first quarter of its financial year.
  • Financial Times: Investor inflows into bond funds have crossed the $400 billion mark this year, underscoring the ravenous appetite for fixed income among pension funds and insurers.
  • Financial Times: Standard Bank, Africa’s largest by assets, said on Friday it expected to cut up to 15% of its 900 permanent staff in London.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Pizza Hut's 330 restaurants in the UK have been sold by the US firm Yum! Brands to the investment group Rutland Partners.
  • The Guardian: Diageo, the world's biggest spirits group, is to gain a foothold in the fast growing Indian drinks market by taking a 27% stake in United Spirits.
  • Financial Times: Apollo Global said that it would pay a $0.40 distribution for the third quarter, as buoyant markets compared with a year ago helped the alternative asset manager swing back into profit.
  • Financial Times: Russian state lender VTB and the China Investment Corporation have secured the option to take a 14.5% stake in Russian fertiliser manufacturer UralKali, after the two groups bought about $3 billion in bonds that they will later be able to convert into shares.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Lonmin has accused its major shareholder Xstrata of trying to destabilise the group by proposing a reverse takeover and cull of senior management while the struggling miner pursued a $817 million rights issue.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Lonmin – world’s third-largest platinum miner is back in its post-financial crisis bind, an its hasty rejection of Xstrata does not help.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Richemont – investors in the luxury goods group have reason to hope the chief executive is stepping down only to return, as he has twice before.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Diageo – United deal gives UK group control of the world’s largest spirits company by volume, but Kingfisher boss Mallya is in the chair.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The BOE has just crossed the line into straight government financing.

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