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Tuesday Papers: Tories back radical BBC revamp calls

Tuesday Papers: Tories back radical BBC revamp calls

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Influential Conservatives have backed calls for a radical shake-up of the BBC, endorsing a split in the director-general’s role after a day of turmoil for the national broadcaster.
  • The Daily Telegraph: American investment bank Jefferies has been acquired in a $2.8 billion deal by Leucadia, a US conglomerate nicknamed "Baby Berkshire" because of its similarity to Warren Buffett's investment company.
  • Financial Times: The US Congress should agree to higher taxes on the wealthy to avoid the fiscal cliff, a top Republican economist has said in a sign of the rapidly shifting political climate in Washington.
  • Financial Times: The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading in 216 companies, including US Steel and Travelers, for most of the trading day on Monday in the latest technology glitch to hit Wall Street.
  • The Independent: A shock slump for Japan rang new alarm bells over global growth prospects yesterday as the world's third-biggest economy was braced to plunge back into recession.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay a dividend of $8.5 billion to its parents Verizon Communications and Vodafone.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Greece's international creditors will have to find €32.6 billion if they agree to extend its debt bailout by two years to 2016, as it wants, according to a draft report.
  • Financial Times: Olympus, the Japanese optical-equipment maker that was caught in a $1.7 billion accounting fraud a year ago, has reported its first quarterly profit since 2010.
  • Financial Times: UK regulators are investigating an alleged attempt to manipulate the country’s physical wholesale natural gas market.
  • Financial Times: Aviva on Monday reported a 15% year-on-year increase in first-half sales, to £97.6 million.
  • The Guardian: George Osborne averted a Tory backbench rebellion in the Commons on Monday when the Treasury gave a powerful hint that the government could defer a planned 3p increase in fuel duty.
  • Financial Times: Traders expect China’s powerful State Reserves Bureau to resume purchases of base metals this week.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BHP Billiton, the world's largest miner, is attempting to ride the shale oil and gas revolution in the US - and says it is the biggest thing to hit energy in decades.
  • The Guardian: Senior executives from Amazon, Starbucks and Google were accused of diverting hundreds of millions of pounds in UK profits to secretive tax havens during a fraught exchange with a committee of MPs.
  • The Guardian: The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said its members reported a bounce in new buyer inquiries in October, with 18% more respondents reporting rises than falls, up from just 5% the previous month.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The shale energy revolution unfolding in the US has put it on track to become the world's biggest oil producer with five years, according to the International Energy Agency.
  • The Guardian: A GlaxoSmithKline sales representative has been found guilty of promoting a medicine for an unlicensed use, just months after the drugmaker was fined a record $3 billion for mis-selling drugs in the US.
  • Financial Times: Bruce Bent, the founder of the Reserve Primary money market fund that “broke the buck” during the financial crisis, was cleared of civil fraud charges alleging he mislead investors about the financial health of the fund to avert a wave of redemptions.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Defence and aerospace manufacturer Cobham was a casualty of US spending cuts after warning that they would cause its revenues to fall in 2013.
  • The Guardian: The telecoms regulator Ofcom has given mobile operators four weeks to join the auction for superfast 4G/LTE mobile broadband spectrum; the selloff, which will raise at least £1.3 billion – and perhaps up to £4 billion – for the Treasury, is planned to start in January 2013.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Reforming the banking system could cut the size of the more than £10 billion implicit taxpayer guarantee to Britain's largest banks by 80%, according to Sir John Vickers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Leading global economies will struggle with weak growth until 2014 because of strains in Europe and the US, credit agency Moody's said, as it cut its growth forecasts for next year.
  • The Independent: City speculators almost tipped HBOS over the edge months before its government-brokered rescue by Lloyds Banking Group, members of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standard were told yesterday.
  • Financial Times: Generali will sell non-strategic assets in the next year to free up funds to invest in its core business of selling insurance as it expands in China and other emerging markets, says Mario Greco, chief executive.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in industrial services business Cape sank by almost a third, Monday's biggest faller in the FTSE All-Share index, after the firm issued a profit warning and abruptly parted company with its finance director.
  • The Independent: Standard Life Investments, one of the 10 largest shareholders in Xstrata, is to vote against a pay plan tied to the miner's $33 billion takeover by commodities trader Glencore, arguing the plan is unnecessarily greedy.
  • Financial Times: Dignity, the funeral services provider which traces its roots back to 1812 and buried Sir Winston Churchill and one of the Kray twins, said strong volumes had lifted profits by 10 per cent in the first nine months of the year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Italian prosecutors have filed charges against Deven Sharma, the former president of Standard & Poor's, and six other credit rating officials for issuing downgrades that destablised the country and fuelled the debt crisis.
  • Daily Mail: Sir John Vickers, chairman of the Independent Commission on Banking, told MPs he would not resist a break-up of Britain’s big banks if ‘ring-fencing’ their risky casino arms from their retail operations does not work.
  • Financial Times: Nissan became the latest company to face scrutiny over its tax affairs on Monday after it was revealed that Britain’s biggest carmaker avoided millions in corporation tax every year by selling vehicles through a Swiss company that manages its European operation.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Chancellor should adopt an emergency tax relief to get small and medium-sized companies spending their £120 billion cash pile, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Independent: The board of Scottish builder Cala Homes will meet today to consider the opening salvos in a £250 million auction of the business.
  • Financial Times: Advent International, the private equity group, has raised €8.5 billion for its largest buyout fund to date.
  • Financial Times: Sherwin-Williams, the US paint manufacturer, on Monday announced that it had agreed to buy Mexico’s largest paint producer in a deal worth about $2.4 billion, including debt.
  • The Independent: Four years after a fire tore through the Channel Tunnel, its operator Eurotunnel has said it would receive €253 million from its insurers for the claim.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Xstrata is, after all, a mining company. So nobody should be surprised that its potential final act as an independent outfit is to come up with a shareholder vote that's as clear as mud.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Britain’s corporate tax code offers too many breaks. Most obvious is the prejudice in favour of debt over equity. Interest payments are tax-deductible and many private equity-owned businesses are largely a tax-free zone.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Jefferies – Leucadia can deploy tax deferred assets. The appeal of Jefferies is that it will not have to comply with cumbersome and expensive regulatory requirements.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Private equity groups are looking far and wide for new customers. KKR is targeting the private investor with two new funds.
  • Financial Times (Lex): With the aluminium price distorted by stimulus-driven carry trade and Chinese capacity swings, Rusal can only cut costs and hope for better times.

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