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Friday Papers: Apple under pressure on $137bn cash pile

Friday Papers: Apple under pressure on $137bn cash pile

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Greenlight Capital, an activist hedge fund, on Thursday said it had taken legal action against Apple over proposed changes to its corporate charter that would prohibit it from issuing a new high-yielding class of share, which could pay out billions of dollars from its $137 billion cash pile.
  • Financial Times: Mark Carney, the incoming governor of the Bank of England, has drawn a line under the era of incumbent Sir Mervyn King, calling for a debate on inflation targeting and better communication of the bank’s efforts to revive the economy.
  • Financial Times: Much of the exposure of JP Morgan, UBS, Citigroup and ICAP to the global probe into the alleged manipulation of benchmark rates can be traced back to the UK lender Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • The Independent: More than 1,000 investment bankers at Barclays have been told they will not receive up-front cash bonuses this year.
  • Financial Times: Dell is aiming to raise $7.4 billion in cash by selling liquid assets, many of them held outside the US, as part of its deal to go private, according to a Wednesday regulatory filing.
  • Financial Times: Deborah Hersman, the head of the US transport safety regulator, has fiercely criticised the process that approved a new battery type implicated in two safety scares on Boeing’s Dreamliner aircraft last month, in the latest blow to the troubled 787 programme.
  • The Guardian: Almost 1,000 HMV staff are facing redundancy as administrators for the failed music store chain revealed they will close 66 shops across the country.
  • Financial Times: In a setback for financier Nat Rothschild, Institutional Shareholder Services, the influential adviser on corporate governance matters, has recommended investors in Bumi Plc vote against his proposals to replace all the miner’s independent directors.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bumi's directors were given a document last September showing that chairman Samin Tan was alerted to more than $1 billion of alleged financial wrongdoing at the group's Indonesian assets as long ago as November 2011.
  • Financial Times: Sony said on Thursday it had made a net loss in the third quarter, bringing its losses for the year to date to $544 million, underscoring the challenges the Japanese consumer electronics group faces in staging a long-awaited comeback.
  • The Guardian: News Corp reported net profits of $2.4 billion in the three months to the end of December, compared to $1.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, on sales up 5% to $9.4 billion.
  • Financial Times: PSA Peugeot Citroën, the ailing French carmaker, has had to write down the value of its automotive assets by €3.9 billion because of the parlous state of its European markets, meaning 2012 net losses could be about €6 billion.
  • Financial Times: Beazley kicked off the results season for Lloyd’s of London insurers on Thursday with plans to pay out more than £70 million worth of dividends for 2012, double that of the previous year.
  • The Guardian: German rail users are to get a taste of the British commuting experience after National Express won the tender to run two rail routes in the country's most populous region.
  • Financial Times: Defying a depressed fundraising market, TowerBrook, the British-American private equity firm that used to own shoe designer Jimmy Choo, has raised $3.5 billion, beating its objective in less than a year.
  • The Guardian: As Vodafone reported a 5.2% fall in revenue at its British business during the Christmas quarter, EE thumbed its nose by announcing it had switched on its superfast, fourth generation, mobile internet service in Vodafone's home town of Newbury.
  • Financial Times: Economic net income of KKR, a private equity group, rose from $285.5 million to $347.7 million, nearly double consensus forecasts, after it took profits on investments and after a rise in the value of its investment holdings.
  • Financial Times: Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, the Icelandic businessman who owned Hamleys and House of Fraser before his retail group Baugur collapsed at the height of the financial crisis, has been sentenced to a year in jail for tax fraud.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Irish parliament has voted through emergency legislation to wind down Anglo Irish Bank as the country attempts to cut the cost to the taxpayer of rescuing the collapsed lender.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: EU leaders were set to impose further reductions to their seven-year, trillion-euro budget on Thursday as they went behind closed doors for the second time in three months to forge a deal.
  • Financial Times: Mario Draghi, European Central Bank president, on Thursday verbally intervened in what some policy makers fear has the makings of a global currency war, sending the euro to its lowest level against the dollar in nearly two weeks.
  • The Guardian: Mark Carney, the Canadian headhunted by George Osborne to run the Bank of England, has told MPs he expects to undertake a thorough review of the UK's economic policy regime when he arrives at Threadneedle Street in July.
  • Daily Mail: The Bank of England said that inflation will remain uncomfortably high for another two years in a surprise warning to financial markets and the public.
  • The Guardian: Ireland has secured a deal from its European partners on crippling bank debt that will save it at least €1 billion this year and €20 billion over the next decade.
  • Financial Times: Brazilian regulators have approved IntercontinentalExchange’s plans to create an electronic bond-trading platform in Brazil as the US-based group looks to tap growing demand for corporate debt in the Latin American country.
  • Financial Times: Money flowing into Africa-dedicated equity funds in the final month of last year reached $878.4 million, the biggest monthly inflow in just over two years and four times the amount in the previous month, according to data provider EPFR.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Qantas chief Alan Joyce has thrown his support behind Boeing and its troubled 787 Dreamliner, reinforcing his commitment to introducing the planes to the Australian flag-carrier's fleet.
  • The Independent: Some 29.7% of investors voted against the travel group Thomas Cook's remuneration report at its annual meeting in London.
  • Financial Times: Americans now buy more than 10% of their clothes online, according to Moody’s, a sign that a substantial number of shoppers have overcome an aversion to buying items they cannot touch or try on.
  • The Guardian: Stacey Cartwright, finance director of Burberry, is to leave the fashion retailer after nine years with a £4 million payoff.
  • Daily Mail: SuperGroup posted a better-than-expected 10.6% hike in like-for-like retail sales to £89.9 million in the 13 weeks to the end of January as its hats, gloves, scarves and headphones also flew off the shelves.
  • The Guardian: Trevor Matthews, hired a little over a year ago to run the UK arm of Aviva, is to leave the insurer, even though he was handed a £2 million golden hello for joining the company.
  • Financial Times: Total sales of LinkedIn for the fourth quarter were ahead of expectations, growing by 81% to $303.6 million, with net income 67% higher at $11.5 million.
  • Financial Times: Google’s income from mobile advertising is predicted to rise after it made broad changes to the way advertisers buy sponsored links in search results.
  • The Independent: Online grocer Ocado posted losses of £1 million over the year to 25 November, on sales up 11% to £664 million.
  • Financial Times: The new management of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the Tuscan bank at the centre of a widening derivatives scandal, has sought to draw a line under the episode despite finding evidence of “clear errors” in the accounting of those transactions.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Mail has won back a multi-million pound contract to deliver post for British Gas, six years after it lost the crucial business to Dutch rival TNT.
  • The Independent: The online gaming company Playtech has reported a 51% rise in income, boosted by its joint venture with the bookmaker William Hill.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Warner Music has seen off competition from rivals to strike a deal to buy music label Parlophone for a knockout £487 million, handing it control of global artists from Coldplay and David Guetta.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The EU would do well to emulate the US's obstinacy and require reporting of payments in all countries with no exceptions.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The obsession with outsourcing public services has created a shadow state.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): We've now heard enough from Mark Carney, Governor-elect of the Bank of England, to see roughly where he's coming from on monetary policy, and it's not quite as radical as some had been hoping for.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): British PM David Cameron could well deliver on his promise to rein in EU spending – but the EU budget will remain an anomaly.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Bank of England's 'no change' decision steals Mark Carney's thunder.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: hedge fund’s call for tech group to issue perpetual preferred stock aims to conjure up $30bn of market value but any gains could fall away fast.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Credit Suisse: Bank’s chief says restructuring has left it ready to thrive but it needs more time to hit targets and be able to cope with all market conditions.
  • Financial Times (Lex): JC Penney: bond default claims add to pressure on chief who must find way to halt sales slide and restore balance sheet strength, or risk being thrown overboard.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Alcatel-Lucent: Telecoms equipment maker has made losses in six years out of seven and still has too much exposure to legacy products so new chief must act urgently.

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