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Thursday Papers: Capital rules eased for new UK banks

Thursday Papers: Capital rules eased for new UK banks

Top stories

  • Financial Times: New UK banks will be allowed to operate with lower capital requirements than their established peers, as part of a regulatory push to encourage competition in high street banking.
  • Financial Times: Emilio Lozoya, the head of Pemex, Mexico’s state oil monopoly, expects legislators to pass President Enrique Peña Nieto’s landmark energy reform as soon as this summer, in a move expected to unleash tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bankers in Europe face a cap on bonuses as early as next year, following agreement in Brussels to introduce strict new curbs, in a move politicians hope will address public anger at financial sector greed.
  • Financial Times: Barclays has recouped about £300 million in promised bonuses from its bankers in the biggest ever effort by a global bank to strip staff of previous years’ awards.
  • The Independent: The outgoing British Gas head Phil Bentley will leave its parent company, Centrica, with shares, rights to long-term incentive bonuses and a pension pot worth an estimated £15 million, it has emerged.
  • Financial Times: At least a third of Apple’s shareholders have declined to back the company’s executive compensation at its annual meeting, after chief executive Tim Cook was given a 51% increase in his basic salary last year and other members of the management team were given big equity awards.
  • Financial Times: Argentina will not pay so-called holdout creditors even if ordered to by US judges, its attorney told an appeals court in New York amid fears its stance could spark a second default in just over a decade.
  • The Guardian: The acrimonious debate over soaring energy bills and mounting fuel poverty reignited when British Gas – the biggest energy supplier in the UK – unveiled an 11% increase in profits and its parent group, Centrica, promised a £1.3 billion handout to its shareholders just months after pushing through an increase in household bills.
  • Financial Times: Energy supplier Centrica says it will not build any gas plants in the UK for at least four years, reinforcing fears of a looming power shortage.
  • Financial Times: Royal Dutch Shell said it was abandoning plans to drill for oil off the north coast of Alaska this year, in a huge setback for the company’s Arctic ambitions.
  • Financial Times: BP misrepresented critical information to regulators and continued drilling in “dangerous” conditions while working on the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, according to an expert witness called by the US government in the trial over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Financial Times: Mongolia has revoked the licences for a key portion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, amid a mounting dispute between Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government over costs, revenues and taxes.
  • Financial Times: EADS warned on Wednesday that Airbus’s new passenger jet programme is “inherently risky”, as the European aerospace and defence group reported €3 billion of earnings before interest, tax and exceptional items for the year to 31 December, compared to €1.8 billion in 2011.
  • The Daily Telegraph: AgustaWestland's £480 million contract to supply 12 helicopters to India appeared further in doubt on Wednesday after the country's Defence Minister said it did not believe denials that bribery was involved in securing the deal.
  • The Guardian: The insurance tycoon Peter Wood is looking forward to a cash windfall of about £175 million as he prepares to sell over a third of his £500 million stake in the Esure business he founded 13 years ago in a stock market flotation.
  • The Independent: John Lewis Partnership is expected to reward staff with an increased bonus of up to 16% of their salary next week after a strong rebound in its annual profits.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: David Cameron pledged to go "further and faster" in reducing the deficit after the UK was stripped of its coveted AAA credit rating.
  • Daily Mail: Hopes that Britain may have avoided a triple-dip recession were dealt another blow on Wednesday as revised growth figures confirmed that the economy contracted by 0.3% in the final quarter of last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's ailing banks should be allowed to "die" rather than be bailed-out by the taxpayer, Anthony Browne, the chief executive of the British Bankers' Association has said.
  • Financial Times: Trade groups are warning of widespread shortages of meat, poultry and eggs in the US as the meat industry braces for painful cuts that could cost it an estimated $10 billion in lost production and $400 million in lost wages.
  • Financial Times: Groupon shares tumbled more than 25% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after it revealed sales dropped to $413 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, down from $478.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • The Guardian: Tesco has promised to buy more meat from the UK and install cameras at its suppliers' factories in an attempt to prevent another horsemeat-style scandal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Tesco has warned that the horse-meat scandal will hit profit margins and may force up prices for consumers, as Britain’s biggest supermarket pledged to conduct tests on all the meat it sells.
  • Financial Times: JC Penney’s sales tumbled 31.7% in the crucial Christmas shopping season, forcing Ron Johnson, its embattled chief executive, to abandon a central part of his vaunted plan to revive the retailer.
  • Financial Times: An analyst at GLG, a high-profile hedge fund business, is among three men arrested by the UK financial regulator on suspicion of insider trading.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Simon Borrows, the chief executive of 3i, has bought shares worth £7.7 million in the quoted private equity firm over the past week.
  • Daily Mail: First quarter revenue of defence and aerospace equipment maker Chemring rose to £136.1 million from £132.4 million a year earlier.
  • The Guardian: ITV has played down rumours of takeover interest from private equity firms as a strong performance from the broadcaster's programme-making division helped offset lacklustre X Factor ratings and produce a 6% increase in annual profits to £348 million.
  • Financial Times: Skipton Building Society’s pre-tax profit jumped from £22.2 million in 2011 to £36.4 million in the year to 31 December.
  • Financial Times: Segro, the industrial property landlord, has announced plans to expand its European business as it continues to restructure its 57m sq ft portfolio of warehouses and sell off UK regional properties.
  • The Independent: The housebuilder Barratt Developments more than doubled profits to £46.1 billion and enjoyed a bullish start to 2013, racking up £1.1 billion in orders during the first eight weeks of the year.
  • Financial Times: The mobile industry’s push to develop competitors to the Google and Apple platforms continued with the Tizen Association giving a preview of its open-source operating system and Huawei announcing it would produce phones running the platform this year.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics has rejected allegations of child labour at suppliers in China, after three French rights groups filed a lawsuit accusing it of deceiving consumers by claiming to be an “ethical” company.
  • The Guardian: Morrisons has become the last of the big four supermarket retailers to enter the clothing sector with the launch of its own fashion brand.
  • The Daily Telegraph: An Australian multi-millionaire has unveiled blueprints for the Titanic II, a modern replica of the world’s most famous ocean liner, which he plans to build and sail across the Atlantic just like its namesake attempted to.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: European competition authorities have blocked Ryanair's latest attempt to take over its Irish rival Aer Lingus, prompting an immediate warning from the low cost carrier that it will appeal the "manifestly unjust" and "political" decision.
  • Financial Times: Standard Life Wealth has agreed to buy the private-client division of Newton Management in a £83.5 million deal.
  • The Independent: Intu Properties, formerly known as Capital Shopping Centres, is spending £250.5 million to buy Milton Keynes' Midsummer Place as it seeks to plug a gap in its regional portfolio, tapping markets for the cash with a share placing.
  • Financial Times: Hotel investor Barry Sternlicht kicked off what could be a flurry of UK hotel investments by buying the Principal Hayley group for a sum believed to be in the region of £360 million.
  • Financial Times: Private equity groups are preparing to launch about a dozen initial public offerings of companies taken private at the height of the bull market, hoping to lure cautious investors with the promise of large pricing discounts.
  • The Guardian (Comment): If you're rich in America, banks will waive charges for you. But if you're struggling, what they see is an indecent profit opportunity.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The government could invest in housing or health to revive the economy but it chooses to boost private sector profits instead.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Beggars can’t be choosers, and George Osborne – under attack on virtually all sides – must gladly seize on whatever support he can find.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The relish with which critics of the Government latch onto the idea of a double-dip or triple-dip economy is egregious.
  • Financial Times (Lex): JP Morgan: There is big difference between cutting a team mopping up after the last housing bust, and structural change in staffing and salary levels.
  • Financial Times (Lex): EADS: Europe’s aerospace and defence champion appears to be doing just fine on its own without needing to merge with BAE Systems.
  • Financial Times (Lex): AB InBev: brewer has become reliant on revenues to push up profits but, with volumes flat, growth must come from higher prices and increases can’t go on forever.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Amadeus: travel technology group handling IT and bookings for airlines is outpacing most of its customers but there are signs its stock price could level out.
  • Financial Times (Lex): AIA: if the Asian insurer were a school kid, it would be the one other students would like to hate, but cannot find good reasons to.

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