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Friday Papers: Angry Cypriots withdraw bank deposits

Friday Papers: Angry Cypriots withdraw bank deposits

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Angry Cypriots queued to withdraw money on Thursday as banks reopened for the first time in nearly two weeks under a regime of strict capital controls.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Amazon is facing a backlash from traders on its website after raising fees by as much as 70%.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hopes that Britain will avoid a triple-dip recession were bolstered after OECD said the country had already returned to growth and official figures showed the key services sector expanding at its strongest pace in five months.
  • Financial Times: The S&P 500, a bellwether for the US economy and professional investors, closed at a record high on Thursday; the index settled 0.4% higher to 1,569.19, eclipsing its prior record close of 1,565.15, set in early October 2007.
  • Financial Times: The Royal Bank of Scotland is being sued by 21 of its shareholders, including ING and pension funds such as the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, which all bought shares as part of the bank’s £12 billion rights issue in 2008; they claim to have suffered losses as a result of alleged material omissions in the rights issue prospectus.
  • Daily Mail: Standard Chartered handed a pay package worth up to £5.1 million to its chief executive Peter Sands last year – despite its £415 million fine for criminal breaches of US sanctions.
  • Financial Times: Santander UK on Thursday confirmed its decision to close down UK investment advice arm, putting more than 800 jobs at risk.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Investors in InterContinental Hotels Group could be in line for another windfall after the group announced it would sell its flagship Park Lane hotel in London to a Middle Eastern investment group for £301.5 million.
  • Financial Times: RWE is selling its Czech gas pipeline network in a €1.6 billion deal that highlights the appetite of insurers and pension funds to invest in stable infrastructure assets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Chevron are to jointly invest more than $500 million in a drilling programme to test the viability of a new development at the giant Clair field in the North Sea.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Total of France is to take a $1.65 billion writedown after it was forced to abandon a seven-year-old Canadian project to build an oil sands “upgrade” plant because of the recent flood of cheap crude from the US.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is to pay $610 million to Swiss Re as part of a settlement to end a long-running dispute over a life deal.
  • Financial Times: The Chinese government has intensified a co-ordinated public campaign against Apple, slamming the technology group as “dishonest”, “greedy” and “incomparably arrogant” and threatening regulatory action if the US company does not improve its after-sales service policies.
  • The Guardian: Jim McNerney, the chief executive of Boeing, has said the company was very close to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet back into the skies.
  • Financial Times: A US judge said he needed additional time before approving SAC Capital’s $602 million insider trading settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission as he weighed whether the terms were sufficient.
  • The Independent: National Grid promised investors on Thursday that its dividend would rise at least in line with inflation every year.
  • The Guardian: Walmart is considering a radical plan to allow customers to deliver packages to online buyers in a shakeup of delivery services that could allow the supermarkets group it to better compete with Amazon.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Slovenia’s borrowing costs have rocketed over recent days as it grapples with a festering financial crisis, becoming the first victim of contagion from Cyprus.
  • Financial Times: US lawmakers are preparing legislation which would create new punishments for companies from China and elsewhere that use trade secrets stolen by online hackers.
  • Financial Times: French President François Hollande has moved to preserve his controversial promise to impose a 75% marginal income tax rate by making companies pay the levy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Bank of Scotland, the state-owned lender, has suffered yet another technical glitch after NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers were locked out of the bank's mobile app Thursday morning.
  • Financial Times: Rising levels of bad loans dragged Monte dei Paschi di Siena to a larger-than-expected net loss of €3.2 billion, as Italy’s third-largest bank by assets suffered more heavy writedowns.
  • Financial Times: BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis will quit the company he set up in the late 1980s as the Canadian handset maker revealed a return to profit after a steady start for its crucial smartphone relaunch.
  • The Guardian: Sean Anglim, Laura Ashley's chief operating officer, has dismissed accusations of corporate bullying and defended the company's decision to demand a 10% discount from its suppliers – on the same day as it posted a 9% boost in profits.
  • Daily Mail: Model maker Hornby is to flout corporate governance guidelines by kicking chief executive Frank Martin upstairs to a newly created role of deputy chairman.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Embattled car battery maker A123 has changed its name to B456.
  • The Guardian: The Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli has lost a court battle to protect its gold foil-wrapped Easter bunnies from being imitated by a German rival Riegelein Confiserie.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Jam Jar, the investment fund run by the Innocent Drinks co founders, has backed an educational toys subscription business set up because "kids never receive parcels".

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Joh A Benckiser, the family-held investor group that last year took a tilt at cosmetics giant Avon, has launched a €7.2 billion bid for Dutch coffee group DE Master Blenders.
  • Financial Times: John Malone’s Liberty Global has continued its expansion into the European cable TV market with the acquisition of a 12.65% stake in Ziggo, the Dutch cable operator for approximately €632.5 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Moleskine, the maker of the hardback black notebooks said to be favoured by Ernest Hemingway and travel writer Bruce Chatwin, has priced its initial public offering at €2.30 a share.
  • Financial Times: Amazon has bought its way into social networking by acquiring Goodreads, a book recommendations site, at a time when it is seen to be lagging some retail rivals in using social media; the value of the deal was not disclosed.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Not a penny is being recouped from senior executives of Standard Chartered, suggesting the bank is still in denial about its offences.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Cyprus may have been saved, but a monetary union is impossible to sustain in the absence of a political union across Europe.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Are stock markets about to enter the next great bull phase?
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Qatar’s growing interest in British real estate is astonishing. But at the same time that it is ingratiating itself with Britain, its independent foreign policy, which included funding Hamas and some Syrian rebels, is at odds with stability and the UK’s vital interests.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Amex / Walmart: By the end of January, Bluebird already had 575,000 accounts with $275 million of funds.

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