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Wednesday Papers: HP takes $9bn hit over Autonomy

Wednesday Papers: HP takes $9bn hit over Autonomy

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Hewlett-Packard has been plunged into an accounting scandal over its 2011 acquisition of Autonomy, the UK enterprise software company, after writing down $8.8 billion in the value of the $11 billion deal.
  • Financial Times: Xstrata’s investors on Tuesday approved the union of the mining company with Glencore to create a commodities behemoth but voted en masse against a £140 million retention package for Xstrata’s executives; Sir John Bond, Xstrata’s chairman, is to resign once the merger with Glencore is completed.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shareholders in commodity trader Glencore have voted overwhelmingly in favour of its long-awaited takeover of miner Xstrata.
  • Financial Times: Kweku Adoboli, the former UBS trader whose unauthorised trading led to losses of $2.3 billion at the Swiss bank, has been jailed for seven years after being convicted of Britain’s biggest banking fraud.
  • Financial Times: US officials have linked Steven Cohen, founder of SAC Capital, one of Wall Street’s most powerful hedge funds, to an insider-trading scheme that prosecutors called the most lucrative case of its kind.
  • The Guardian: Prosecutors in the US claimed they had uncovered "the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever" after charging and arresting Mathew Martoma, 38, a hedge fund manager, with conspiracy and securities fraud in trading activities relating to an Alzheimer's drug.
  • Daily Mail: The number of millionaires in the UK has jumped by 7.9% over the past two years, according to analysis from CoreData.
  • Financial Times: Credit Suisse is splitting its global investment banking operations from those in Switzerland as it seeks to adapt to what it calls “the new regulatory reality”.
  • Financial Times: The French and German governments are looking at forming a new shareholder pact at EADS, under which each would hold a stake of 12% in the European aerospace and defence company.
  • Daily Express: British aerospace engineer Hampson Industries was on Tuesday night placed into administration as faltering demand sank its business.
  • Financial Times: Chevron, the US oil group, has filed a complaint calling for an investigation of the comptroller of New York state, alleging that he acted improperly in urging the company to settle a $19bn claim for environmental damage in Ecuador.
  • The Guardian: Premier Food, the owner of Hovis, is to cut 900 jobs and close two bakeries as part of plans to overhaul its struggling bread business.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Mortgage lending reached an 11-month high in October in the UK, providing evidence that the housing market is finally picking up after a lull in recent months, lenders said.
  • The Independent: Britain's prospects of meeting legally binding CO2 emissions targets have significantly improved after a government task force ruled that a complex technology which captures and stores carbon dioxide will be cost-effective on a large scale.
  • Financial Times: Japanese investment in China totalled $460 million last month, down almost a third from last year’s levels, amid friction between Asia’s two largest economies over a chain of islets in the East China Sea.
  • The Guardian: Politicians in Jersey have voted to ban so-called vulture funds from using the island's courts to sue the world's poorest countries for historic debts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Wealthier savers in the UK may face new limits on the amount they can invest annually in a pension under plans being considered by the Chancellor to increase taxes on the better off.
  • Financial Times: France’s socialist government on Tuesday hit back at Moody’s over the latest downgrade of the country’s sovereign debt rating, rejecting doubts about its own policies voiced by the US rating agency.
  • The Daily Telegraph: European leaders warned that the vital tranche of international aid may not be released to Greece until December as in-fighting and indecision dogged another summit in Brussels.
  • Financial Times: A post-election buying spree in US municipal bonds has pushed yields to 1.96%, the lowest level in 45 years, as investors look for shelter from tax rises expected in the new year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Office of Fair Trading has launched “formal investigations” into payday lenders amid “serious concerns” for vulnerable people who are offered inappropriate loans and are then subject to “aggressive” debt collectors.
  • The Independent: Britons bet a record £3.5 billion on the National Lottery in the six months to 19 September, 8% more than the same time last year.
  • Financial Times: Banks are urging regulators and politicians to rethink new US rules governing international money transfers just months before they are due to come into effect.
  • Financial Times: The world’s third-largest container shipping group, CMA CGM, has reached a deal with its banks to restructure its debts of $4.6 billion as it warned of continued volatility in the sector.
  • The Guardian: EasyJet has registered pre-tax profits of £317 million for the year to 30 September as fuller planes, benign weather and cost-conscious business travellers saw the airline's revenues surge.
  • The Daily Telegraph: New Look is planning to refinance its £1.1 billion of debt in the next 18 months as part of a vital turnaround plan for the private equity-owned fashion retailer.
  • Daily Express: Majestic Wine posted a 3.9% increase in profits to £9.2 million with total sales down 1.4% to £126 million.
  • Financial Times: Time Inc, the publisher of Time, People, Fortune and Sports Illustrated magazines, is attempting to revive its struggling business with the launch of new advertising products that tap into data about its 130 million readers.
  • The Guardian: Wednesday's edition of Financial Times Deutschland is expected to be the last published, according to staff at the title.
  • The Guardian: Aviva has appointed former AIA boss Mark Wilson as its chief executive and will pay him a total package worth up to £5.4 million next year.
  • Financial Times: A dispute over payments between MWB Business Exchange and its parent company MWB Group Holdings, owner of the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison boutique hotel chains, has prompted the subsidiary to write off the £8.3 million it claims is owed by the group.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Enterprise Inns boss Ted Tuppen insisted the pubs group is no longer in “zombie” territory after paying down £300 million of debt and returning to the black over the last 12 months.
  • Financial Times: Shrinking banks and a growing rental market were again the profit-drivers at Paragon giving the buy-to-let lender the confidence to set out a more ambitious dividend policy.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: News Corp is considering a bid for Simon & Schuster, which could add the CBS-owned book business to its HarperCollins arm just as Rupert Murdoch prepares to spin off his publishing assets into a separate company.
  • The Independent: The Co-operative Group is to buy 10 Costcutter stores in London, with plans to start trading as their own food stores before Christmas.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Prime Minister David Cameron summoned the wartime spirit in his battle to revive Britain, but he has picked the wrong target.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The Bank of England needs to bring clarity for banks to weather economic storms.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Never invest in something you don't fully understand. Few stocks provide better proof of this old investment saw than Mike Lynch's Autonomy.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Companies with skills shortages should be encouraged to hire older people who have been made redundant but still have years of experience and technical skills to give, rather than plug gaps with migrant workers.
  • Financial Times (Lex): HP/Autonomy: A significant number of observers were raising sticky questions about Autonomy’s accounting before the deal was done.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Glencore/Xstrata: Investors have delivered an inconvenient truth to Xstrata’s board: they do not rate the miner’s management as highly as the board.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Credit Suisse: The Swiss bank has shrunk its assets, cut costs and now it has restructured itself.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Olam/Muddy Waters: The Singapore group is aggressive and runs a complex business that makes numbers hard to follow. The company aims to more than triple its net profit by 2016.

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