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Tuesday Papers: US seeks maximum fine in BP spill trial

Tuesday Papers: US seeks maximum fine in BP spill trial

Top stories

  • Financial Times: BP acted with “wilful misconduct” in the lead-up to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the US government has alleged at the start of the trial over the accident, as it pushes for the highest possible penalties and damages.
  • Financial Times: George Osborne said poor lending decisions by British banks in the years leading to the financial crisis had had a “significant” impact on the economic recovery, days after the UK was stripped of its triple A credit rating due to sluggish economic growth.
  • Financial Times: Sterling slid against the US dollar to hit $1.5073 on Monday, a fresh two-year low, after Moody’s, the rating agency, stripped the UK of its triple A rating late on Friday night.
  • The Guardian: Up to 2,000 jobs are under threat at Tesco distribution centres as the supermarket shuts down sites across the country.
  • The Daily Telegraph: John Fallon, the new boss of Pearson, has unveiled plans for a radical £200 million restructure, involving job losses in every country in which Pearson operates.
  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland will become a UK-focused bank with a particular expertise in small business loans, George Osborne vowed, as ministers step up pressure on the part-nationalised bank.
  • The Independent: Robert Hiscox, the chairman of the Lloyd's insurer which bears his name, bowed out on a high on Monday, telling investors that £200 million would be returned to them after Hurricane Sandy failed to blow a hole in its 2012's profits, which soared to £121.9 million.
  • Daily Mail: The owner of British Gas faces a consumer backlash amid reports it is about to announce a 15% increase in profits, taking the figure to some £2.8 billion.
  • Financial Times: Abu Dhabi is pressing hard to build a homegrown arms industry, part of a push by Gulf governments to use their status as leading international weapons buyers to create domestic jobs and diversify away from oil.
  • The Guardian: Surfing the web from at home might be just what Yahoo's chief Marissa Mayer wants her audience to do – but she has banned employees of the company itself from working "remotely", in an edict sent out last Friday to Yahoo's thousands of staff.
  • The Independent: The telecoms giant BT faces having to cut prices for high-speed data services in the £2 billion-a-year wholesale "leased lines" market under new rules from the regulator, Ofcom.
  • Financial Times: Minority investments such as BSkyB, which News Corp tried to buy before a phone hacking scandal derailed the deal in 2011, are “unfinished business”, James Murdoch said at his first conference appearance since ceding the chairmanship of the UK satellite broadcaster almost a year ago.
  • Financial Times: On Thursday Bankia, the nationalised Spanish lender, is expected to reveal a net loss of about €19 billion for the year, the Spain’s largest ever, with Telefónica forecast by analysts to post a drop in net income in the fourth quarter of near 70%.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Banks must do more to regain public trust, including more radical reform to the way they run their businesses, according to Mark Carney, the incoming Governor of the Bank of England.
  • Daily Mail: The British Bankers' Association has said the 32,288 mortgages approved in January marked a 14% drop on same period last year, with the average purchase value falling to £145,300 as more people concentrated on repaying loans and overdrafts than borrowing money.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The eurozone’s debt crisis strategy was in chaos on Monday night after anti-austerity parties appeared on track to win a majority of seats in the Italian parliament, vastly complicating efforts to forge a government able to carry through EU-imposed reforms.
  • The Independent: Shares in Reckitt Benckiser ended 135 pence lower at 4,381 pence on Monday on news that its competitors will be able to make heroin-dependency drugs to compete with the consumer goods group.
  • Financial Times: AT&T, the US telecoms operator, will bring superfast mobile broadband to General Motor’s vehicles from next year, in a partnership that highlights the growing ubiquity of the mobile internet.
  • Financial Times: Ford Motor has teamed up with Spotify to integrate the world’s largest music subscription service into its voice control technology for European drivers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: All Nippon Airlines, the first carrier to use the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a commercial route, has cancelled all flights with the aircraft until at least the end of May; the announcement will see 1,700 flights called off.
  • Financial Times: Ikea became the latest outlet to be embroiled in the Europe-wide horsemeat scandal on Monday after traces of the animal were found in a batch of its Swedish meatballs.
  • Financial Times: Yum Brands is fighting to restore its battered image in China, vowing to tighten monitoring of its mainland supply chain after a chicken safety scare dealt a big blow to its sales in the country.
  • The Guardian: Primark has defied the high street gloom, reporting an "outstanding performance" with sales expected to have increased by 23% in the past six months.
  • Financial Times: Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy smartphone looks set to be unveiled on 14 March, according to the company’s postings on Twitter and Facebook, as the Korean giant prepares its latest volley against Apple’s iPhone.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sony on Monday unveiled Xperia Z tablet at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona which is waterproof and dust resistant.
  • Financial Times: Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, has lost about €2 billion in Europe thanks to a rights issue and a collapsing share price at Dutch telecoms company KPN, his first serious venture outside the Americas.
  • The Independent: Manganese Bronze, the maker of London's black cabs which was rescued from administration by the Chinese car company Geely, is to double its workforce as it aims to restart production of the taxis in a matter of months.
  • The Guardian: Pretax profits of Thorntons soared 70% to £5.3 million in the six months to mid-January as the company shut several high street stores and shifted its focus to supplying supermarkets and other retailers.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Domino’s Pizza posted a 14.2% rise in pre-tax profits, excluding Germany and Switzerland, to £49.7 million in the 53 weeks to December 30 2012.
  • Financial Times: Arsenal further strengthened manager Arsene Wenger’s negotiating hand in transfer dealings by announcing cash reserves of £123.3m in the football club’s half-year results.
  • Financial Times: More than half of the tracking devices on any major website are not deployed by the site’s owner, a new survey has shown, in results that raise privacy, security and regulatory headaches for online publishers.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Telecoms giant BT has bought a slew of American, UK and Irish sports channels from broadcaster ESPN for up to £40 million, handing it a new battery of weapons in its escalating war with rival BSkyB.
  • Financial Times: Royalty Pharma, a private equity group that buys the rights to patented drugs, has made a bid to acquire Elan, the Dublin-based pharmaceutical business, in a deal valuing the company’s equity at $6.6 billion.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The energy giant is part of a global strategy by corporations to stifle democracy. Clearly it hasn't heard of the Streisand effect.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The attempted sale of a Banksy mural of doubtful provenance is the latest instance of aesthetic values trumped by monetary ones.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): If Europe does insist on bringing in legislation on capping bankers’ bonuses at a fixed rate of 100% of salary, it will make Britain’s EU exit even more likely.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Meaningless though it might otherwise be, the downgrade in Britain’s credit rating at least acts as a reminder of just how deeply mired in post-crisis gloom the UK economy really is, and quite how difficult extracting the country from the ruination of more than a decade of banking excess and burgeoning social spending commitments is proving.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): In the light of the massive task Britain has in restoring the public finances, the downgrade must be regarded as no more than a blip.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple, with a $400 billion market cap, needn’t worry about a takeover. This makes its brand of shareholder friendliness more technical than substantive.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Reckitt Benckiser: a disposal would hit profits in the short term but, by making it a more straightforward investment, it might make the motorcycle travel that little bit faster.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Deutsche Börse: interest by the CME in DB lifts the sector’s mating game to a new level – these are the largest derivatives exchanges in the US and Europe respectively.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Barnes & Noble: if restructuring can help the B&N businesses compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon, isn’t the answer to merge all three?

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Comment & analysis

Asset managers: 'There is going to be a distribution revolution'

1 Comment Play Asset managers: 'There is going to be a distribution revolution'

In footage not used in our original CEO tapes videos, five CEOs discuss how distribution will change in the future. Will 'distribution' be revolutionised by technology the same way that Spotify changed music or the Kindle changed publishing?