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Wednesday Papers: EU banks face strict transparency rules

Wednesday Papers: EU banks face strict transparency rules

Top stories

  • Financial Times: European banks are facing the threat of having to reveal their taxes and profits on a country-by-country basis in the latest twist to the EU negotiations over rules to make banks safer.
  • Financial Times: BHP Billiton has named the head of its non-ferrous metals division Andrew Mackenzie as its chief executive, replacing Marius Kloppers who will step down in May.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BP has won a ruling that 810,000 barrels of oil captured before they entered the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 will not be counted in the upcoming civil court case.
  • The Independent: Mounting shareholder anger over executive pay in Switzerland forced drugmaker Novartis today to scrap a Swfr72 million (£50 million) “golden gag” it was proposing to pay its departing chairman.
  • Financial Times: Brian Moynihan’s pay package increased by more than 70% in 2012, catapulting the Bank of America chief executive ahead of JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman in the Wall Street pay stakes; Moynihan’s overall remuneration increased from $7 million in 2011 to $12 million last year.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Herbalife, the nutritional supplement company at the centre of a dispute between hedge fund titans Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn, reported strong fourth-quarter profits and revenues on Tuesday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Marks & Spencer is to put British fashion at the heart of its plans to turnaround its ailing clothing division.
  • Financial Times: Britons hiding money in the Isle of Man have three years to come clean or face penalties of up to 200% of unpaid tax in the latest move to clamp down on tax evasion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain’s four largest banks face more than £9 billion of losses as a result of pending legal actions, according to analysts at Credit Suisse.
  • Financial Times: Esure has appointed the mid-cap corporate brokers Numis and Canaccord as the motor insurer accelerates plans for a stock market launch.
  • Financial Times: Lufthansa on Tuesday proposed suspending dividend payments after reporting a 36% fall in operating profit in 2012.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The family behind Primark, Fortnum & Mason, and upmarket furniture store Heal's has given £65 million to charity after a bumper year of profits.
  • Financial Times: Soyabeans rallied more than 3%, supported by China’s return to the market and worries about the weather in Argentina which is a key exporter of the commodity.
  • Financial Times: University Partnerships Programme, backed by the Chinese government, has appointed banks to start a £5 billion bond scheme which will be secured against the rent it collects from its 28,000 ­student apartments.
  • Financial Times: RSA, the FTSE 100 insurer, has hired KPMG to replace Deloitte as its auditor in a further sign of change in a notoriously static market that has come under fierce regulatory scrutiny.
  • Financial Times: Apple said its internal Mac systems were hacked by the same attackers that targeted Facebook and Twitter last month, in a rare admission of vulnerability from a highly secretive company whose products have long been seen as more resistant to intrusion.
  • Financial Times: China is on track to produce enough crude oil outside its borders to rival Opec members such as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, after its state-owned oil companies spent a record $35 billion buying foreign rivals last year.
  • The Guardian: HMV could be thrown a lifeline by Sir Elton John after it emerged that the singer plans to perform in one of the chain's stores.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of England’s drive to boost lending to prospective homeowners helped Leeds Building Society increase its mortgage lending by more than a third last year.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Börse, Europe’s largest exchanges operator, revealed late on Tuesday full-year losses had widened, after taking a hit on the fair value of its purchase of the stake it did not own in Eurex, the derivatives exchange.
  • The Guardian: Electricity firm EDF has confirmed it wants the UK government to sign 40-year contracts to support building new nuclear reactors in Britain.
  • Financial Times: Dow Jones is close to launching an online news and data product for finance professionals who might not pay for a full Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters subscription, in its biggest attempt to regain institutional customers since News Corp bought the publisher of the Wall Street Journal in 2007.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sir Richard Branson is one of the latest batch of billionaires to pledge to donate at least half their wealth to philanthropic causes.
  • Financial Times: Severfield-Rowen is preparing to go cap-in-hand to investors with a £50 million emergency rights issue.
  • The Independent: Tesco has been voted the worst supermarket and Waitrose the best in an annual poll of 11,000 consumers by watchdog Which?
  • Financial Times: The UK’s financial regulator has fined Lloyds Banking Group £4.3 million for delays in compensating customers for mis-sold payment protection insurance.
  • The Guardian: The Treasury has named veteran Bank of England official Andrew Bailey as head of its new banking regulator, just a month before he must present a plan to help two part-state-owned banks become independent.
  • The Independent: Danone, the company behind Activia yogurts and Evian water, today revealed plans to cut 900 jobs across Europe.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Bancolombia, Colombia’s largest bank by assets, agreed on Tuesday to buy HSBC’s operations in Panama for $2.1 billion.
  • 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: A British-based private equity consortium is preparing a €3.5 billion bid for French catering company Elior in what would be the biggest buyout in continental Europe since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.
  • Financial Times: Regus has beaten Hong Kong billionaire Anson Chan in the battle to take over MWB Business Exchange, after tabling a £65.6 million cash bid for the group.
  • Financial Times: The Irish government has sold Irish Life, an insurance company that it was forced to nationalise during its banking crisis, for €1.3 billion to Canadian life insurer Great-West Lifeco.
  • The Independent: Eurotunnel could be forced to sell the ferry business it bought from collapsed operator SeaFrance after the competition watchdog today ruled its purchase would mean “prices would rise” for cross-Channel passengers and freight customers.
  • The Independent: The Intercontinental Park Lane has been put up for sale with a probable price tag of at least £200 million.
  • Financial Times: Standard Life Investments, a big shareholder in Bumi, said it would support the company’s board and vote against proposals from co-founder Nat Rothschild to oust 12 of the company’s 14 directors.
  • Financial Times: Finmeccanica, Italy’s defence and industrial conglomerate, has received an offer for its Ansaldo Energia power engineering unit from South Korea’s Doosan.
  • Financial Times (Lombard): HSBC is selling its subsidiary in Panama for $2.1 billion, as chief executive Stuart Gulliver slims the sprawling institution down to a smaller, more profitable core.
  • Financial Times (Lex): OfficeMax/Office Depot: if Office Depot reaches $6 a share, BC will have earned $200 million on their $350 million, or an annualised return of about 15%.
  • Financial Times (Lex): McDonald’s: profitability across America is high so it is not surprising that the minimum wage debate is raging again.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Pendragon is a buy; Britain's car market poised for further growth.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): Energy prices: would-be investors in gas, green power and nuclear look on with no confidence at what return they can expect, and walk away.
  • The Independent (Comment): It's been a long time coming, but internet giant Google's share price finally topped $800 more than five years and one financial crisis after it reached the $700 mark. The shares are still worth a buy.

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