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Friday Papers: Banks win Fed backing for $30bn in payouts

Friday Papers: Banks win Fed backing for $30bn in payouts

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The Federal Reserve ordered Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase to improve their capital planning but approved tens of billions of dollars of dividends and share buybacks across the industry; overall, banks announced plans for about $30 billion of share buybacks and 12 of the 18 tested by the Fed announced dividend increases.
  • Citywire: Star fund manager Richard Buxton has resigned as Schroders head of UK equities to take up a post with Old Mutual Global Investors, Citywire has learnt.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan Chase “misled investors” before “lying to investigators” about its $6 billion trading losses, John McCain, the senior Republican on the US Senate panel investigating the affair, has alleged.
  • Financial Times: Growing optimism over the US economy helped send global stocks higher, pushing the S&P 500 closer to an all-time peak; the broad measure of US stocks closed just two points shy of an all-time high at 1,565 last reached in 2007.
  • The Guardian: David Cameron has pledged to put Britain at the forefront of a new international seabed mining industry, which he claimed could be worth £40 billion to the UK economy over the next 30 years.
  • Daily Mail: Shell boss Peter Voser bagged a pay and shares deal worth up to £8 million for 2012, according to the oil giant’s annual report.
  • Financial Times: As Samsung embarks on what some in the telecoms industry believe is the most expensive launch yet of a smartphone, even former members of Apple’s camp have acknowledged the Galaxy maker’s success in building hype to rival the iPhone.
  • Financial Times: UBS has stirred the debate in Switzerland and elsewhere over bank executive pay, as it revealed it awarded Andrea Orcel, the head of its investment bank, almost $26.2 million after it poached the dealmaker from Bank of America last summer.
  • Daily Mail: Dozens of fraud victims who had Wonga loans taken in their names and saw their bank accounts raided for more than £30,000 have been met with a wall of silence by the lender.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The $7 million bust-up at African airline FastJet has taken a farcical twist, with Don Smith and David Lenigas, the two warring protagonists, flying in opposite directions just as they were supposed to be holding peace talks.
  • Financial Times: Matthew Keys, 26, a deputy social media editor for Reuters, has been charged with conspiring with a member of the Anonymous hacking collective to hack into and “deface” the website of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Financial Times: China Mobile expects to boost its capital expenditure by half this year to $30.6 billion as the world’s largest telecom carrier by subscribers invests heavily to prepare for the launch of fourth-generation mobile services.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Nestlé has opened a £35 million water bottling plant in Buxton as part of its pledge to invest £500 million in the UK over three years.
  • The Guardian: Trinity Mirror has reported a 75% fall in pre-tax profits to £18.9 million last year, with revenues slumping more than £50 million in part due to the launch of Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: British citizens using Guernsey to keep their money from the prying eyes of the taxman will have to declare their assets to the Treasury under an agreement designed to combat tax evasion.
  • Financial Times: A crackdown on UK banks from trading on their own account has been urged by a commission of MPs and peers set up to make recommendations to improve UK financial services in the wake of the Libor rate-rigging scandal.
  • The Guardian: The Bank of England warned on Thursday that the next phase of the UK's six-year financial and economic crisis may be triggered by the collapse of debt-laden companies bought by private equity firms in the boom years before the crash.
  • The Guardian: The Bank of England will prevent members of its interest rate-setting committee from publishing individual opinions on the economy despite a review of its procedures calling for greater transparency.
  • Financial Times: The US labour market continued to show signs of improvement as the average number of new jobless claims over a month fell to 346,750 – lowest in five years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Debt-laden Greece was set unachievable fiscal targets, unlike Ireland, said the Institute of International Finance, as the island's troika of international lenders delayed its next tranche of bailout cash.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee looks set to back down over its suggestion that Britain’s banks were short of up to £50 billion in capital.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Mortgage lending hit its highest level in five years for the month of January, driven by an increase in lending to first-time buyers, a sign that the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) was feeding through to the market, analysts said.
  • Financial Times: The British government has launched a cyber crime unit to tackle a threat it says is becoming “ever more complex”, with one in three people a victim of online crime last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British business is being held back by “amateur” politicians who have “generally never run anything”, John Longworth, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce has warned.
  • Financial Times: Anschutz Entertainment Group has scrapped its planned sale after failing to generate bids that reflected its own valuation for the company.
  • Daily Mail: Brewing giant SABMiller is trying to expand its fast-growing African operations by launching a local low-cost beer.
  • Financial Times: Outrage reverberated across the internet and twittersphere on Wednesday after Google announced that Google Reader, its influential service collating feeds from news sites and blogs, would be shut later this year.
  • Financial Times: Sir Stuart Rose, who irked some shareholders while combining the roles of chairman and chief executive at Marks and Spencer, is to receive shares worth £770,000 as a “golden hello” from Ocado.
  • The Daily Telegraph: More than 2,000 people apply for just 52 apprenticeship posts at EDF Energy, reflecting fierce competition among young people for quality training schemes.
  • Financial Times: BlackBerry’s stock ended Wednesday’s session up 8.2% at $15.65 on Nasdaq and rose above $16 in after-market trading after the Canadian company announced that a partner had placed an order for 1 million BlackBerry Z10 smartphones, the largest single order in the group’s history.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Savills, the upmarket property consultancy, posted a 36% rise in pre-tax profit to £54.2 million in 2012, as revenues hit an all-time high of £806.4 million, driven by a record year in the Asia-Pacific region and a robust UK market.
  • Financial Times: Molycorp, the largest producer of rare earth minerals outside China, does not expect a recovery in prices this year, its chief executive said as it reported a $450 million post-tax loss for 2012.
  • The Guardian: Vodafone has surrendered any right to decide its destiny after a decade of "incompetence" and "failure" and should put itself up for sale, John Hempton, chief of Bronte Capital, a leading Australian hedge fund, said on Wednesday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shares in Home Retail jumped 20 pence - or 15% - to 153 pence on Thursday morning after the business said that it expects profits to be around £90 million, compared to a previous estimate of £83 million.
  • The Guardian: Morrisons will finally enter the online groceries market to challenge Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's; news of the online plans came as Morrisons reported a 7% fall in pre-tax profits to £879 million, although sales were up 3% to £18.1 billion after more store openings.
  • Financial Times: Bart Turtelboom and Karim Abdel-Motaal, two emerging markets traders formerly from Man Group, have begun raising money for a new venture, APQ Partners, in what is likely to be one of the largest European hedge fund launches of 2013.
  • Financial Times: Eric Sasson and Robert Hodges, the co-heads of Carlyle’s European real estate funds, are leaving the private equity group in a move that has angered investors in one of its three property funds nursing deep losses.
  • Financial Times: Intuit, the maker of the QuickBooks accounting software, became the latest vendor to enter the UK mobile payments market on Wednesday with a mobile app and device that can take chip and pin payments.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: CenterPoint and OGE, energy suppliers based in Houston and Oklahoma City respectively, and ArcLight Capital Partners, a Boston-based energy-focused private equity group that is already an investor in OGE’s pipelines, are to merge their natural gas pipeline and storage businesses into a new partnership with assets worth $11 billion.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Why not convert a large, publicly owned bank into a network of local banks like those that operate successfully in Germany?
  • The Guardian (Comment): We can steer Britain off the road to ruin – but emulating Tory austerity isn't the right way to do it.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The spending cuts planned in Berlin by finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble to balance the budget a year early will make it impossible for others to grow.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Morrisons is launching an online business now because effectively it has been left with no choice.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Carlyle: whether or not to put money into a buyout fund boils down to a single important question.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Volkswagen: the German carmaker’s results are less than impressive, but it still looks better placed than any other European volume carmaker.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China Mobile: world’s largest telecoms group by subscribers – 710 million and counting – has even more cash to hand than Apple. But shareholders have even less chance of seeing any.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Eon and RWE: investors should note the differences between the German utilities as they try to maintain credit ratings and capacity to pay dividends while shedding assets and cutting costs.

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