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Thursday Papers: Cameron gambles on EU referendum

Thursday Papers: Cameron gambles on EU referendum

Top stories

  • Financial Times: ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, has become a focus of the UK Libor rate-rigging investigation and is being investigated by the UK financial watchdog for possible breaches of market conduct rules.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron put Britain’s future in the EU on the line in an audacious gamble that united his Conservative party but could have profound implications for the country.
  • Financial Times: Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones in the three months to December as it recorded total revenues of $54.41 billion, both figures coming below many analysts’ expectations despite beating earnings forecasts.
  • The Independent: The mining and commodities giants Glencore and Xstrata are within a whisker of consummating their £56 billion "mega-merger" after China indicated that its regulator had no reason to oppose the deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A Hampshire factory has become the latest focus in an international investigation over safety fears surrounding Boeing's embattled 787 Dreamliner, it has been reported.
  • Financial Times: Lloyds Banking Group is to shed 940 jobs across the UK, taking the total job losses announced by the state-backed lender this month to more than 1,300.
  • Financial Times: UniCredit plans to cut 1,000 jobs at its German unit HvB by 2014 as it seeks to slim down its retail operations and make cost savings.
  • The Guardian: The short-haul airline Flybe is to cut about 300 jobs, a tenth of its UK workforce, as the troubled group plots a path back to profit.
  • The Guardian: The short-haul airline Flybe is to cut about 300 jobs, a tenth of its UK workforce, as the troubled group plots a path back to profit.
  • Financial Times: Rupert Murdoch’s News International has won the exclusive rights to show Premier League football match highlights on the internet and on mobile devices.
  • Financial Times: Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, clashed with Paul Singer, head of Elliott Capital Management and a leading hedge fund investor, over whether big banks are too opaque during the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan Chase has appointed Cindy Armine, the bank’s co-chief control officer, as the new global head of compliance as part of a reshuffling of its top management ranks and amid numerous regulatory inquiries.
  • Financial Times: General Dynamics on Wednesday became the first big US military contractor to take a significant writedown for declining US defence spending when it announced a $2.13 billion fourth-quarter loss at the start of its “reset year”.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Network Rail is considering giving executives bonuses equivalent to 125% of their annual salary, according to a leaked memo.
  • Financial Times: Ukraine is expected to sign a potential $10 billion-plus natural gas exploration and production deal on Thursday with Royal Dutch Shell, marking the biggest investment to date in “unconventional” gas in Europe.
  • Financial Times: Guardian Media Group has called off talks with interested buyers over the sale of its half stake in the car classifieds company Trader Media Group following a failure to agree a price.
  • The Guardian: Ian Marchant has announced his departure from SSE as the big six energy companies battle to restore the trust of consumers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The International Monetary Fund cut its UK growth forecasts and the Bank of England said austerity was holding back recovery.
  • The Guardian: UK currency is one of the worst performers of any G10 country so far this year amid a weakening domestic economy and anxiety over Britain's place in the EU.
  • Financial Times: The regional government of Madrid has sold €1 billion of debt in the largest ever single debt auction by a Spanish region.
  • Financial Times: Loyal shareholders in European companies would gain extra voting rights and a bigger slice of dividends under a proposal being floated by Brussels to spur long-term investment.
  • The Guardian: Britain is heading for a fifth year of falling living standards, with official figures showing a decline in average earnings growth last year from 1.7% to 1.4%.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of Italy has weighed into a financial scandal engulfing Italy’s oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, by alleging that the lender hid documents from regulators about derivatives transactions that may cause it to restate hundreds of millions of losses.
  • Financial Times: Facebook increased its lobbying spending by almost 200% to $3.99 million in 2012 as it waged battles with Washington policy makers over consumer privacy, data collection, and immigration.
  • Financial Times: BHP Billiton has fuelled speculation of possible asset writedowns by again highlighting the pressures facing its aluminium and nickel businesses because of strong Australian dollar and “weak pricing environment”.
  • Financial Times: Raine, a boutique merchant bank backed by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, has struck a deal with China Media Capital, a Chinese state-owned fund, to work together on media, sport and entertainment acquisitions.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's largest listed property company Land Securities has agreed a deal with internet search giant Google to drive business to its shopping malls.
  • The Independent: Siemens reported a 12% decline in profit to €1.2 billion in the three months to 31 December as it suffered a €150 million loss at its solar panels-making business.
  • Financial Times: Nissan slashed the price for its all-electric Leaf car; and a new report estimated that UK companies could save up to 75% on fleet fuel costs by switching to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shareholders in UK tour giant TUI Travel have forced an end to talks with its German parent company over a nil premium merger.
  • The Guardian: Ikea’s worldwide sales last year increased 9.5% to €27 billion with profits up 8% to €3.2 billion, thanks to strong sales particularly in new markets including China, Russia and Poland.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Unilever, the world's third-biggest consumer goods company, said pre-tax profit rose 7% last year to €6.68 billion, on turnover up 10.5% to €51.3 billion.
  • The Independent: Celebrity Kelly Brook has helped Unilever's Magnum ice cream join its €1 billion club of brands, as shares in the consumer goods giant hit an all-time high.
  • Financial Times: McDonald’s full-year net income fell marginally to $5.46 billion on a rise in revenues to $27.57 billion, while earnings per share rose from $5.27 in 2011 to $5.36.
  • The Independent: Bubbling demand for Britvic's fizzy drinks including Pepsi and 7Up in the UK helped its revenues rise 4.8% to £303.2 million in the three months to Wednesday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A wet and wild winter in China was blamed for a slowdown in the growth of lager sales at SABMiller, the beer giant behind Peroni and Grolsch.
  • Financial Times: Motorola Solutions reported 6% hike in sales to $8.7 billion in the fourth quarter, but Greg Brown, chief executive, warned that the company’s core government business was likely to slow this year.
  • Financial Times: Telefónica and Portugal Telecom have been fined €79 million by Europe’s top antitrust authority for illegally agreeing not to compete in their home markets.
  • Financial Times: Research In Motion, the maker of mobile devices, has launched a new version of its BlackBerry enterprise service software, designed to enable companies to better manage employees’ BlackBerrys and other smartphones.
  • Financial Times: SAP said full-year software and software-related services revenue would increase 11% to 13% in 2013 on its preferred non-IFRS measure, while full-year operating profit would climb to €5.85-€5.95 billion from €5.2 billion last year.
  • The Guardian: WH Smith is planning to open about six more stores in the UK this year as better buying terms in the far east, less discounting after Christmas and a shift towards more profitable stationary products offset a 5% drop in underlying sales in the 20 weeks to 20 January.
  • The Independent: More trucks bringing fruit and vegetables, online shopping and flowers into Britain via the Channel tunnel helped Eurotunnel to post record revenues of €993.1 million for 2012.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Hilco UK, the retail restructuring group that has taken effective control of HMV, is the frontrunner to acquire the Jessops brand, which collapsed into administration two weeks ago.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ladbrokes chief executive Richard Glynn is on the verge of making his first acquisition since taking the reins at the bookmaker three years ago with the purchase of betting exchange Betdaq for about €30 million.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Military contracting: a niche business has become a huge industry – but murky as ever: privatising conflict means bypassing democratic oversight.
  • The Guardian (Comment): By threatening those who work part-time with loss of benefits, this government fails to recognise their contribution to society.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): If the Bank of England wants growth it must set finance free.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Business could cope with an EU exit, but could the politicians?
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): If Lloyds can clear away the past with a final provision for payment protection insurance losses and interest rate swaps it could be in a stronger position to sell the government holding.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: stock is cheap for a highly profitable company that doesn’t grow but those who think tech group could grow again, it may be worth taking another bite.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Dell bondholders: buyout deal bid marks change in risk attitudes and would see PC maker go from having net cash to net debt, and the prospect of multi-notch downgrades.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Siemens’ struggle: chief Peter Löscher is trying to pick up the pace of change at German industrial group but delivery will be the key to achieving success.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Unilever: consumer goods group has a long-term plan to reach €80 billion of turnover but weak food sales and competition in personal care could bring it down to earth.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Novartis: Daniel Vasella’s departure could be the moment for an overdue check-up of the pharma group which faces losing $3.5 billion in patented revenue this year.

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