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Tuesday Papers: Cameron hints at time frame for RBS sell-off

Tuesday Papers: Cameron hints at time frame for RBS sell-off

Top stories

  • The Guardian: David Cameron has pressed Royal Bank of Scotland executives to "accelerate" preparations towards allowing a sell-off of the state-owned bank, possibly before the next general election in 2015.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bumi is set for a dramatic showdown at its shareholder meeting this week after one of the miner's largest investors sold his stake in the group, throwing into doubt a crucial vote on an overhaul of the company's board.
  • Financial Times: BP has squared up for a court fight against the US government over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, arguing that the penalties it is likely to face should be far below the $20 billion or more that some estimates have suggested.
  • Financial Times: US Federal Reserve officials fear a backlash from paying billions of dollars to commercial banks when the time comes to raise interest rates.
  • Financial Times: Edmond de Rothschild is setting up a merchant banking business in London.
  • The Independent: The Environment Agency will re-launch the bidding process for a lucrative flood defence contract after fears that the original tender suffered technical flaws similar to those that caused the West Coast Mainline fiasco.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Investors calling for an independent inquiry into Vestas are accusing the Danish wind turbine maker of using an accounting change to boost its revenues in 2010 and thereby avoiding the likely need for a profit warning.
  • The Independent: Self-storage group Lok'nStore saw sales tick up 2.2% in the six months to February, as industry rivals put up prices to include VAT after a change in last year's Budget.
  • Financial Times: The escalating horsemeat scandal has ensnared two of the biggest names in the food industry, Nestlé, the world’s number-one food maker, and JBS, the largest beef producer.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Japan's premier has left the door open for outright purchases of foreign bonds to weaken the yen, a move that would risk a serious clash with the US and Europe and a fresh escalation in global currency tensions.
  • Financial Times: Ireland faces a raft of potential lawsuits and a possible constitutional challenge over its decision to liquidate one of its failed banks as part of a deal to restructure €28 billion in bank debts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sales of frozen burgers have slumped by 40% as the horse meat saga causes customers to shun own-label brands, industry data have shown.
  • Financial Times: The corporate vehicle of Rex Wempen, the former US Green Beret, has been ordered to pay a further £8 million into court as he continues to seek up to $1.62 billion in compensation and damages from Gulf Keystone Petroleum, the Aim-quoted explorer.
  • Financial Times: Burger King’s Twitter account has been suspended after it was hacked on Monday in a sign of the problems companies can run into with social media.
  • Financial Times: Google risks being sanctioned by European regulators before summer unless it radically changes its controversial privacy policies.
  • Financial Times: EasyJet is weighing an aircraft order that would eventually return its fleet to one composed entirely of Boeing jets.
  • Financial Times: TNT Express, the Dutch delivery company, whose $7 billion takeover by United Parcel Service collapsed last month, said a €75 million writedown on a Chinese business it is hoping to sell dragged on its financial performance last year.
  • Financial Times: The parent company of the publisher of 91-year-old Reader’s Digest magazine has filed for its second bankruptcy in four years, as it seeks to slash $465 million in debt amid wider pressure on print publications.
  • Financial Times: Paragon Group is eyeing retail bonds as a way for the buy-to-let lender to support further growth in lending and acquisitions of unwanted loans from larger rivals.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The future of Phytopharm, a British biotech company, was left hanging in the balance on Monday after its major drug for treating Parkinson's disease unexpectedly failed in a clinical trial.
  • Financial Times: Natixis is to return €2 billion to shareholders after simplifying its financial structure with its parent.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sterling struck seven-month lows against the dollar on Monday, as a Bank of England policymaker said that the pound may need to weaken further.
  • Financial Times: Lancashire is set to unveil this week plans for another special dividend worth about £180 million for 2012, following fellow mid-cap insurer Beazley, which kicked off the results season.
  • Financial Times: Shareholders expressed anger over a “golden goodbye” for the outgoing chairman of Novartis which will allow him to continue receiving almost his annual pay of SFr12.4 million over the next six years after he steps down this month.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive and chairman of APN News & Media, Brett Chenoweth and Peter Hunt, have resigned after the company’s two biggest shareholders balked at plans for a deeply discounted rights issue to pay down debt.
  • The Independent: Luxury carmaker Ferrari has declared that 2012 was the best year in its 66-year history.
  • The Daily Telegraph: European proposals to curb bank bonuses will lead to higher salaries and a less stable financial system, Britain has argued, in a last ditch attempt to water-down rules that threaten the City.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Multinational hotel group InterContinental has unveiled a deal to build 13 new hotels in India, creating over 2,000 jobs in the country and helping to "safeguard" hundreds of UK roles.
  • The Guardian: BSkyB has settled its trademark legal action against Livescribe, after the digital pen maker agreed to rebrand its flagship "Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen".
  • The Daily Telegraph: Pressure on the global defence industry was laid bare as arms sales fell for the first time since the mid 1990s, while BAE Systems slipped from second to third in a league table of the biggest arms makers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Royal Mint's gold Sovereign commemorative coins will be struck in India for the first time in nearly a century.
  • The Guardian: Nine miners were injured when a 100-strong group attacked union stewards with machetes and security guards fired rubber bullets amid ongoing rivalry at an Anglo American platinum mine, police have said.
  • The Guardian: A fashion business website, spawned from a personal blog of a former management consultant from his flat in Notting Hill, has raised £1.3 million in funding from a group of investors.
  • Daily Mail: Five top bosses at Barclays will share a jackpot worth up to £17 million despite being tainted by a string of scandals.
  • The Independent: Sir Philip Green has boasted of "fantastic" trading at the combined Topshop and Topman flagship in Los Angeles over its first weekend, as it emerged the billionaire is considering acquiring the beds retailer Dreams.
  • The Independent: BT chief executive Ian Livingston has his eye on ESPN's live rights as he pushes the telecoms giant into the world of pay-TV and takes on arch-rival Sky, reports Gideon Spanier.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: The publisher of the South China Morning Post is in talks regarding a possible acquisition, the company said after its shares shot up by more than 20% and were suspended by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Aviva is selling its listed Turkish business, Aviva Sigorta, which trades on the Istanbul Stock Exchange with a market value of TRY735 million (£269m).
  • The Independent: David Cameron threw his weight behind UK helicopter maker AgustaWestland on a trip to India yesterday despite the company being engulfed in a corruption scandal in the country.
  • The Independent: Aurora Fashions is considering spinning off its Coast brand as an independent company to improve its long-term prospects of selling the womenswear chain.
  • Financial Times (Editorial): Members of the European Parliament have long seen themselves as an antidote to the democratic deficit in the EU. In their push to cap bankers’ bonuses, this world view has resulted in rank populism.
  • Financial Times (Lex): TNT Express: after failure of UPS takeover, Dutch express delivery group is acutely in need of a go-it-alone strategy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Carlsberg: the Danish brewer has finally ditched its medium-term operating margin targets for Russia, where it makes two-fifths of its operating profit.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Natixis: restructuring of French corporate and investment bank turn what was a horribly complex corporate structure into something more manageable.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Novartis: the Swiss drugs group’s chairman is to receive $78 million ‘golden handcuff’ payment. He should not have accepted it.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Avoid UBM until full-year results in March as shares look expensive.
  • The Independent (Comment): It doesn't look as if bank bonus cap is going to fit; It could be time to can those Carlsberg shares.
  • The Independent (Investment View): G4S is worth a punt after that Olympics debacle

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