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Tuesday Papers: German fears of exchange rate war

Tuesday Papers: German fears of exchange rate war

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The erosion of central bank independence around the world threatens to unleash a round of competitive exchange rate devaluations, which leading economies have so far avoided during the financial crisis, Jens Weidmann, the president of Germany’s Bundesbank warned on Monday.
  • Financial Times: Developers will be able to convert office buildings into blocks of flats without asking councils for permission under radical changes to the English planning system designed to speed up the delivery of new homes.
  • Financial Times: Huawei has pledged to start disclosing more detailed financial and shareholding information.
  • The Guardian: British banks suffered a loss of business in December, adding to fears that a slowdown in activity across several sectors of the economy at the end of 2012 will push the UK into a triple-dip recession.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A group of more than 100 Barclays staff named in documents linked to the Libor-rigging scandal face being publicly identified after a judge rejected their plea for anonymity.
  • The Independent: Santander has denied that it is in talks over buying some 300 branches of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank from their current owner National Australia Bank.
  • Financial Times: Stobart Group is set to sell off a number of businesses following a boardroom coup backed by shareholders.
  • Financial Times: Caterpillar, the US manufacturer of earthmoving equipment, has uncovered accounting misconduct at a Chinese company it acquired last year, forcing it to take a charge of about $580 million, representing almost one-tenth of its 2012 earnings.
  • Financial Times: Caterpillar, the US manufacturer of earthmoving equipment, has uncovered accounting misconduct at a Chinese company it acquired last year, forcing it to take a charge of about $580 million, representing almost one-tenth of its 2012 earnings.
  • Financial Times: The US and Japanese regulators are investigating GS Yuasa, the Kyoto-based manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries used in Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which have been grounded because of concerns about their safety.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British engineering group Meggitt has been dragged into the safety crisis engulfing Boeing's 787 Dreamliner after the focus of the investigation shifted to battery chargers following incidents on planes operated by Japanese airlines.
  • The Guardian: Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has escalated his long-running confrontation with easyJet, the airline he founded, by threatening to sell his family's dominant stake in the carrier if it orders more planes.
  • Financial Times: Hilco UK, the retail restructuring group, has emerged as the frontrunner to take on HMV, which collapsed into administration a week ago.
  • The Guardian: Stricken retailer HMV has done a U-turn on its refusal to accept its own gift vouchers and will start accepting them again from 22 January, accountancy firm Deloitte, which took control of the company last week, said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's financial services companies will cut a further 18,000 jobs over the next three months, according to a report by the Confederation of Business Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • Financial Times: Atari has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and France, setting the stage for a sale of some of the most famous names from the early days of video games in the 1970s.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: European companies are under mounting pressure to come clean about overpriced acquisitions after regulators found that losses taken on past deals were suspiciously low.
  • The Guardian: The funding for lending scheme has added fuel to the housing market but has so far failed to ignite lending to small businesses, according to the latest data from the Bank of England.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain has overtaken France to become Germany's biggest global trade partner for the first time in the modern era, solidifying the emergence of a "special relationship" between the powers.
  • The Guardian: Eurozone finance ministers have told the government of Cyprus that a €17 billion bailout must wait until the spring following concerns about the size of the rescue package, equivalent to the Mediterranean island's annual GDP.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Jeroen Dijsselbloem of The Netherlands took over on Monday as chairman of the key Eurogroup of finance ministers, despite resistance in a vote to replace Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker.
  • Financial Times: Some of the 55 largest funds in Europe recorded €413 million of inflows into “junk” bond funds last week.
  • The Guardian: Helen Weir, the former head of Lloyds Banking group's retail division, has apologised for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance and said she regrets the damage it has caused the banking industry.
  • The Independent: Christine Tacon, who ran the Co-operative group's farming business for 11 years, has been name the first ombudsman with powers to crack down on the big supermarkets bullying suppliers in the £163 billion grocery sector.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bank of Canada boss Mark Carney is under fire after bank bills are printed with a Norwegian maple leaf on.
  • The Guardian: Pearson, the parent company of FT Group, says weak market conditions means that it expects operating profits of £935 million for 2012, down from analysts expectation of £942 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Financial Times is to axe 35 jobs as part of plans to make "a big cultural shift" from a traditional print news organisation to a digitally focused "networked business".
  • The Independent: The floor coverings retailer Carpetright has become the latest suitor to express an interest in Dreams, the troubled beds chain that is up for sale.
  • Financial Times: HR Owen, the luxury car dealer, reported a 24% rise in pre-tax profit to £2.1 million in the six months to June on a 38% rise in revenues to £128.4 million.
  • Financial Times: Ocado is poised to reveal on Tuesday that Michael Grade will step down as chairman of the online retailer later this year.
  • Financial Times: Aon, the insurance broker, is considering following Goldman Sachs and backtracking on a plan to defer UK bonus payments to allow hundreds of highly paid employees to avoid the 50% income tax rate.
  • The Independent: The board of Travelzest, the company which used to organise nudist holidays, has rejected a management buy-out.
  • Financial Times: Kim Dotcom, the internet entrepreneur accused of masterminding the largest copyright infringement in US history, has launched a new version of his controversial file-sharing website Megaupload.com.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: The merger of Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties and Sorouh edged closer on Monday as the boards of both government-backed developers agreed to form a single company with $13 billion of assets.
  • Financial Times: Moscow Exchange, the operator of Russia’s largest bourses, is pressing ahead with an initial public offering in an attempt to convince more of the country’s companies to shun London for a domestic listing.
  • The Independent: The first float of a UK company this year cheered the City yesterday as housebuilder Crest Nicholson unveiled plans for a £500 million return to the stock market.
  • Financial Times: The growing role of financiers in professional sports has been highlighted with the agreed sale of the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings to a group led by hedge fund manager Christopher Hansen and Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Silver Lake’s plan to take Dell private will test its 14 years’ experience of conjuring profits out of buying groups that have missed the tide of tech history.
  • The Guardian (Comment – Nouriel Roubini): Painful deleveraging – less spending and more saving to reduce debt and leverage – remains ongoing in most advanced economies, which implies slow economic growth.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Is the global economy convalescing or suffering from an incurable sickness?
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): GDP for Q4? Be prepared to get that sinking feeling on Friday.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): To the surprise of the Japanese people, their country is smack in the middle of two riveting dramas that threaten to upturn the global strategic landscape in short order.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): In the four years since Obama’s first inauguration on 20 January 2009 the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index climbed a handsome 85%. That is a bigger first-term gain than was achieved by his four immediate predecessors: George W Bush, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush and the late and great Ronald Reagan.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Crest Nicholson: it is easy to see why a housebuilder would want to go public, but any housing-related IPOs will have to be priced to reflect risks.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Goodwill impairment: as Europe’s investor protection watchdog implies, a lot of pre-crisis purchases are looking bloated on corporate balance sheets.
  • Financial Times (Lex): ITC: Indian cigarette maker’s share price has almost doubled in five years, leaving it trading near a record 28 times forecast earnings.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China earnings: net margins are still under pressure from rising tax burdens and higher wages, and companies are at risk from rising inflation.

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