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Tuesday Papers: Liberty set to bid for Virgin Media

Tuesday Papers: Liberty set to bid for Virgin Media

Top stories

  • Financial Times: John Malone’s Liberty Global is preparing to make a bid for Virgin Media, the UK cable operator with an enterprise value of more than $20 billion.
  • Financial Times: UBS has shaken up its pay scheme, becoming the first big bank to give thousands of senior bankers bonuses in the form of bonds that can be wiped out if the lender fails to meet capital requirements.
  • Financial Times: The US justice department is expected to file a civil fraud lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s for allegedly defrauding banks by issuing overly rosy credit ratings for mortgage-related securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis.
  • The Guardian: George Osborne is forcing Royal Bank of Scotland to cut its bankers' pay to ensure that taxpayers are not left to pick up the cost of the upcoming Libor rigging fine, which could amount to between £400-£500 million in total.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Lloyds Banking Group is planning an overhaul of the chief executive's bonus scheme that will only see him receive an award once the taxpayer's investment in the bank returns to the black.
  • Financial Times: Moody’s has warned that the “hefty” multimillion-dollar pay package given to Jefferies’ top executives could end up hurting the investment bank’s bondholders.
  • Financial Times: The European Central Bank will need to more than double its manpower and hire around 2,000 bank supervision staff to put the eurozone’s banking union into practice, according to a confidential study for the ECB.
  • Financial Times: The Moscow Exchange, Russia’s main stock index, is set to become one of Europe’s largest bourses by market capitalisation after publishing a price range for its flotation that values the company at $4-$4.6 billion.
  • Financial Times: KPN, the Dutch telecoms group that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim took a stake in last year, was finalising plans on Monday to raise as much as €4 billion in new capital.
  • The Independent: Boeing’s nightmare over its new Dreamliner jet grew on Monday as airlines began clamouring for compensation that is likely to hit millions of dollars.
  • The Guardian: Talks between Dell and a consortium led by its founder and chief executive, Michael Dell, to take the world's No 3 PC maker private are focusing on a price of between $13.50 and $13.75 per share, a source close to the deal said.
  • Financial Times: Australia’s competition watchdog launched a case against Visa, alleging the company abused its market power by preventing customers from using a currency of their choice when shopping.
  • Financial Times: The hacker group Anonymous has published private information belonging to thousands of US bank executives as part of its war on cybercrime laws after the death of activist Aaron Swartz last month.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Centrica has abandoned its plans for building new nuclear reactors in the UK, blaming rising costs and construction delays.
  • Financial Times: BP faces another year or more of uncertainty over the cost of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster as decisions on civil penalties and environmental damages are not expected to come until next year.
  • The Independent: The City veteran Sir Julian Horn-Smith has called on the financier Nat Rothschild to surrender his shares in the London-listed miner Bumi, condemning them as a "reward for failure".
  • Daily Mail: Nat Rothschild vowed to keep buying shares in Bumi until he gets his way, as the tragicomedy surrounding the Indonesian coal miner rolled on.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bumi chairman Samin Tan was alleged to have ordered non-executive directors not to ask questions over an overdue $231 million loan as a fresh row broke out at the Indonesian coal miner.
  • Financial Times: Mercuria, one of the world’s top oil traders, has hired bankers for a partial sale, becoming the first of the Swiss-based houses that dominate global raw materials trade to follow Glencore in opening up to outside investors.
  • The Guardian: Anglo American Platinum, the world's biggest producer of the precious metal, said industrial action had cut full-year year output by 8% last year, while sales dropped by 16%; the company posted a hefty operating loss of £450 million, down 180% from a year earlier.
  • The Independent: The UK economy is set to grow by just 0.7% this year, according to the latest forecast from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Financial Services Authority has for the first time approved a website which allows members of the public to take direct equity stakes in small unlisted businesses.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Imtech almost halved to €10.20 on the Amsterdam exchange on Monday after the Dutch infrastructure company announced it will take a writedown of at least €100 million following the likely cancellation of two projects and “possible irregularities” at its Polish division.
  • Financial Times: Spain’s so-called bad bank, known by its Spanish acronym Sareb, said on Monday it was putting 13,000 properties, which were once owned by rescued lender Bankia, up for sale.
  • The Independent: M&C Saatchi, the advertising giant, said that bosses including co-founder Maurice Saatchi and chief executive David Kershaw will each pocket nearly £1.8 million in shares.
  • The Guardian: UK-based airlines have launched a renewed attack on air passenger duty with a report that claims the UK economy would be boosted by £16 billion a year if the tax was scrapped.
  • The Independent: 888, one of the most popular online gaming groups, said that annual revenues had jumped 13% to $376 million, helped by expansion in Europe and growth on mobile devices.
  • Financial Times: HTC, the Taiwanese handset maker, will focus more on producing cheaper phones for sale in emerging markets as sales of premium devices continue to struggle against the dominance of Apple and Samsung.
  • Financial Times: Mercedes’ Formula One team and BlackBerry, two businesses trying to catch up with rivals, joined forces in a sponsorship deal worth $12 million a year for three years.
  • The Independent: Moving towards digital formats wasn't enough to stop Future, the publisher of Total Film magazine and the TechRadar website, from posting a 3% decline in revenues since October.
  • Financial Times: Premier Foods has lost its second-in-command - chief operating officer Geoff Eaton - just a week after chief executive Mike Clarke quit the board.
  • The Daily Telegraph: G-A-Y nightclub founder Jeremy Joseph has bought HMV's majority stake in the venue chain to become sole owner in what he described as "the biggest risk of my life", saving 200 jobs.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Oracle is buying Acme Packet, a provider of secure communications technology, for $2.1 billion in cash as it boosts its offering to businesses in the internet cloud.
  • Financial Times: SGX, the Singapore stock exchange, is in discussions about taking a stake in LCH.Clearnet, the transatlantic clearing house, as bourses gear up for sweeping reform of derivatives and equities markets.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The plan to give the governor of the Bank of England the power to force the breakup of a bank would take a toll on UK businesses.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The collapse in demand across the EU has hit the UK hard. The best option is to concentrate on boosting the domestic economy.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Let’s get the banks working again - we can worry about reform later.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): George Osborne misses the point – retail banks, not investment banks, caused this crisis.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Putting to one side the technical difficulties that may be encountered with account switching, the new arrangements will not, in themselves, create more choice.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ping An: Dhanin has some leeway to explain his plans, but he shouldn’t take too long after Ping An’s shares lost nearly 3% on Monday.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Baidu: with earnings growing at more than twice the pace of Google’s, it is the Chinese tech stock worth getting one’s teeth into.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Nuclear power: Centrica’s UK exit suggests developing the next generation of nuclear power is too daunting a task for the private sector.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Asiacell: Iraq telco’s best feature is its scope for growth, and its listing doubles total market values at the Baghdad-based exchange.

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