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Friday Papers: Barclays feels shareholder anger on pay

Friday Papers: Barclays feels shareholder anger on pay

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Barclays has launched a staunch defence of its decision to pay higher bonuses in the face of a shareholder revolt, even as it warned that another poor quarter at its investment bank would hit group profits.
  • Financial Times: AstraZeneca chief executive, Pascal Soriot, has set out a manifesto for the company’s continued independence by announcing the possible sale or spin-off of non-core units in the wake of speculation over a $100 billion takeover by Pfizer.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British retail sales rise for a fifth consecutive month in April, adding to a raft of positive economic news.
  • The Independent: The Government has come under harsh attack from the powerful Public Accounts Committee of MPs over yet another botched G4S and Serco outsourcing project of the contracts to run asylum centres.
  • Financial Times: US secretary of state John Kerry on Thursday launched a blistering attack on Russia’s activities in eastern Ukraine, accusing it of using “gross intimidation” to actively subvert the democratic process in its neighbour.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Home-grown energy can be popular but more needs to be done to convince the public fracking is safe, energy minister Michael Fallon says.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new chief executive, set out to make it clear that anyone who still thought of Microsoft as just a struggling PC company was mistaken; company reported revenues of $20.4 billion, in line with expectations and flat year on year.
  • Financial Times: General Motors’ chief executive, Mary Barra, vowed to regain the “full trust” of its customers and regulators after its botched ignition switch recall slashed first-quarter net income to $100 million.
  • Financial Times: The City is braced for a ruling next week on Europe’s tax on financial transactions after the EU’s top court unexpectedly accelerated its decision on a British legal challenge.
  • Financial Times: London’s biggest and most expensive office building, HSBC’s global headquarters, is up for sale at what would be a record price for the British market, in a sign that the capital’s ­commercial property market is booming again.
  • Financial Times: Electricity generators are being invited to bid for a long-term contract worth about £300 million to supply energy to the government, as ministers try to secure a better deal for the taxpayer and spur investment in renewables.
  • Financial Times: The UK is the cheapest place to manufacture in western Europe, as steady productivity growth and improving cost competitiveness during the past 10 years has helped it to pull ahead of its European rivals.
  • Financial Times: The BBC has announced the suspension of its membership of the CBI employers’ group amid fallout from the business lobby’s decision to sign up as a participant in the campaign against Scottish independence.
  • Financial Times: Sub-Saharan African countries face rising “homegrown” economic risks, the International Monetary Fund has warned, shifting the focus from the external factors that have hitherto worried investors.
  • Financial Times: Mario Draghi has backed plans for the European Central Bank to publish non-attributed minutes of its governing council meetings, a proposal that would move the central bank closer to its peers in the UK, US and Japan.
  • Financial Times: Concerns in Brussels that Delta Air Lines of the US controls Virgin Atlantic Airways were dismissed as “rubbish” by the boss of Sir Richard Branson’s UK airline.
  • Financial Times: Large technology companies including Google, Microsoft and Intel have come together to fund an important encryption project, after a lack of money contributed to one of the most significant cyber security flaws yet.
  • Financial Times: Anglo American Platinum said that its production plummeted by more than a third in the first quarter as an unprecedented three-month strike in South Africa cripples the industry.
  • Financial Times: Bill Daley, the former White House chief of staff, is to join the hedge fund Argentière Capital, which was founded last year by leaders of JP Morgan’s disbanded proprietary trading division.
  • Financial Times: Mitsubishi Motors recorded its highest-ever profits last year as a weaker Japanese yen swelled earnings at the resurgent carmaker.
  • Financial Times: Novartis posted a 23% jump in net profits in the first quarter, thanks to the sale of one of its diagnostics units, as well as strong growth in emerging markets.
  • Financial Times: UK spirits company Diageo has overhauled its corporate broking relationships, appointing Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and getting rid of UBS after three years and Credit Suisse after nine years.
  • Financial Times: KKR’s first-quarter earnings beat Wall Street estimates as the New York-based private equity group listed portfolio companies on the public markets and sold down stakes in companies it had already floated.
  • Financial Times: Premier Foods, maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy, said grocery sales fell more than 6.2% in the first three months of the year, but held to its full-year outlook of a turnround that would boost sales this year.
  • Financial Times: The French government has issued a warning to General Electric that it is ready to fight to protect its national interests if the US conglomerate attempts to buy Alstom, the train and power plant builder.
  • Financial Times: Negotiations to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy of Energy Future Holdings have come down to last-minute efforts to split the company without triggering a tax bill worth billions of dollars.
  • Financial Times: Unilever said it would stay the course in emerging markets despite economic and currency turbulence that has led consumer groups to raise prices.
  • Financial Times: The revival of Pace, the maker of television set-top boxes, picked up steam yesterday as the company reported a continuing boost in profit margins and said it was on track to meet its revenue target of $2.7 billion in 2014.
  • Financial Times: Game Retail, the video games store bought out of administration two years ago, paid £9 million of interest to the vehicle backed by US hedge fund Elliott Advisors last year, as its sales and underlying earnings recovered.
  • Financial Times: The UK pub sector’s recovery continued with Spirit Pub Company the latest group to report an improvement in trade as consumers showed more willingness to spend on meals out.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Centamin rose by a 10th yesterday as the Egypt-focused gold miner predicted a new law introduced by the government would finally bring to an end a legal challenge to the granting of its production licence.
  • Financial Times: Travis Perkins continued to feel the effects of the recovery in the UK housing market as it reported a double-digit rise in sales in the first three months of 2014.
  • Financial Times: Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of heavy machinery, raised its 2014 earnings forecast as a more sustained rebound in the US construction industry helped offset the continued mining slump.
  • Financial Times: Henderson has reported net inflows to its funds of £3 billion during the first three months of this year, as retail investors sought exposure to recovering European equities markets.
  • Financial Times: Chapel Down, the English winemaker, has said the miserable summers of 2011 and 2012 made last year’s sales a washout after poor grape harvests forced it to reduce production.
  • Daily Mail: Consumer goods giant Unilever is looking to ditch its Ragu sauces brand as part of its plans to focus on a smaller number of core products.
  • Daily Express: Starbucks suffered its first ever drop in UK sales last year when it became embroiled in a tax avoidance row.
  • The Guardian: The number of first-time buyers last month reached its highest level since 2007 as increased availability of high loan to value mortgages helped new entrants to the market, according to Britain's largest estate agency chain.
  • The Guardian: The Gherkin, voted London's favourite tower, is likely to be put up for sale shortly and is expected to attract offers of more than £550 million from Middle East sovereign wealth funds and other potential buyers.
  • The Guardian: Amazon, whose shares have dropped sharply in the past three months, announced rapidly growing earnings amid a flurry of new initiatives; the company said that its revenue rocketed 23% to $19.74 billion in the first three months of this year, compared with $16.07 billion at the same time a year ago, above analysts' expectations.
  • The Guardian: Two big lenders have heralded the start of a turnaround in the Spanish banking sector after the ravages of the financial crisis, with Caixabank and Sabadell reporting fewer bad debts in the first quarter of 2014.
  • The Guardian: Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts is to take up her new post as head of Apple's retail empire next week, raising the prospect that she could forfeit an £8 million bonus.
  • The Guardian: Thousands of Co-operative Energy customers are facing an unexpected price hike after the group announced it was putting up its electricity prices by around £28 a year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Vic Gundotra, who launched Google+, has announced he is leaving the search company.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Carlos Slim’s long-running battle to establish himself in the European telecoms market took a step forward after Austria’s state holding company (ÖIAG) approved a shareholder agreement that paves the way for the Mexican tycoon to take control of Telekom Austria.
  • Financial Times: Zimmer, the maker of the eponymous walking frame, has agreed to acquire Biomet for $13.35 billion, combining the two providers of medical products in a cash-and-stock transaction.
  • Financial Times: Facebook has bought Helsinki-based fitness tracking app Moves in the next step of its strategy to create a suite of apps to dominate the mobile internet.
  • Financial Times: French billionaire Xavier Niel, pictured, is nearing a deal to buy a majority stake in Monaco’s largest telecoms company for as much as $450 million from Cable and Wireless Communications, the UK-listed group.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Telekom Austria: a Mexican stand-off has finally begun in Austrian telecoms.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Zimmer / Biomet: medical device merger makes sense in context of an ageing industry.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Anglo American: exit from mines in South Africa may have to wait a bit longer.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China: iPhone maker’s success only highlights tough market.
  • Financial Times (Lex): GE / Alstom: there may be merit in a bid for the French company.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Power struggles tear at the heart of ‘ungovernable’ Co-op.

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