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Friday Papers: IMF says UK too reliant on spending

Friday Papers: IMF says UK too reliant on spending

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The Co-operative Bank will refuse to pay millions of pounds of bonuses to former executives as it attempts to take the sting out of a crisis that is rapidly engulfing the lender and the larger mutual group.
  • Financial Times: Biotechnology companies suffered their biggest one-day share price drop in 30 months as investors dumped some of the US market’s most speculative stocks following an extended bull-run.
  • The Daily Telegraph: IMF chief Christine Lagarde has urged UK to foster stronger exports and investment to ensure the economy is "three engines powered" calling British economy too reliant on people spending money.
  • The Guardian: BP has reassured shareholders it will not be pushed out of Russia and will keep its 20% stake in the country's largest oil company despite rising tensions over Ukraine.
  • The Independent: Wall Street supremo Jamie Dimon has admitted last year was “the most painful, difficult and nerve-wracking experience I have ever dealt with professionally” as JP Morgan's was hit by legal costs and fines.
  • Daily Mail: British Gas has been hit with a £5.6 million fine for preventing thousands of small businesses from switching supplier.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Investor exuberance spread across European bond markets on Thursday as Greece’s successful five-year debt sale helped send yields lower across fellow peripheral countries.
  • Financial Times: Several UK newspapers including The Telegraph and The Mirror have started to use technology from a Finnish start-up company called Kiosked that gives publishers a new source of revenue by automatically embedding advertising units within relevant images across their sites.
  • Financial Times: Business leaders have rejected a report recommending that London’s City Airport in Docklands should be closed because its land would be more valuable for homes and offices.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted to keep monetary policy steady, with the base rate at its historical low of 0.5% and gilt purchases at £375 billion; base rate has now been below 1% for more than five years.
  • Financial Times: Plunging sales of Scotch to China and Venezuela helped stall growth in Scottish whisky exports last year, raising questions about the continuing boom of an industry that is a pillar of Scotland’s economy.
  • Financial Times: Michael Fallon, the energy minister, has confirmed plans to extend a £10 million loan to delay the loss of 1,300 jobs in the phased shutdown of two of Britain’s remaining deep-pit coal mines .
  • Financial Times: The Bank of England will have to rethink how it acts as lender of last resort after Britain failed to revise incoming EU rules that could scupper its scheme to give covert support to banks in difficulty.
  • Financial Times: The head of Russia’s second-largest bank by assets has accused the Bank of England of politically-motivated interference with its operations in the UK, in the latest spillover from the crisis in Ukraine into the corporate world.
  • Financial Times: A US judge accepted the guilty plea by SAC Capital and ordered a $1.8 billion fine for insider trading to mark the end of a long-running investigation that has forced the once legendary hedge fund to close itself to outside investment.
  • Financial Times: Activist investor Carl Icahn has called off his assault on eBay, ending with few of the spoils he had been seeking in his two-month quest to split up the ecommerce group.
  • Financial Times: Marc Bolland, chief executive of Marks and Spencer, has refused to hail a surprise increase in underlying clothing sales as the start of a long-awaited turnround, saying instead that it represented another staging post on the way to recovery.
  • Financial Times: Talks between Etihad, Alitalia and the Italian government that would see the Gulf carrier taking a stake of up to 49% in Italy’s national airline have hit turbulence over mooted job cuts.
  • Financial Times: The strength of LVMH’s flagship Louis Vuitton brand under its first new creative director for 16 years helped lift shares at the luxury group, which reported its best fashion and leather-goods sales growth in two years.
  • Financial Times: The world’s largest maritime lender, HSH Nordbank, signalled a gloomy outlook on the shipping market as it unveiled its worst annual loss since the financial crisis of 2008.
  • Financial Times: US ad spending on the internet surpassed ad spending on broadcast television for the first time last year, increasing 17% in 2013 to a record $42.8 billion, according to a joint report from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PwC.
  • Financial Times: Sales at Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer by revenue, were dragged down in the first quarter by weakness in emerging market currencies, despite like-for-like sales gains in key markets outside Europe.
  • Financial Times: The head of Cheniere Energy, which is due to become the US’s first new natural gas exporter next year, said the ability of US energy to save Europe from its dependence on Russian supplies had been overstated.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank is planning to spend hundreds of millions of euros on raising the fixed salaries of as many as 3,700 employees, in a move to combat European guidelines that seek to cap bankers’ bonuses.
  • Financial Times: France’s competition authority is investigating Roche and Novartis over alleged collusion to protect one of their biggest-selling drugs against a cheaper alternative, weeks after the pair were fined by Italian authorities over the same issue.
  • Financial Times: The recall crisis surrounding ignition switches on a series of General Motors vehicles substantially widened on Thursday when the company said it would need to replace a second part on 2.2 million recalled vehicles in the US.
  • Financial Times: ExxonMobil is stepping up its attempts to win over sceptical Europeans to fracking by developing a generation of hydraulic fracturing fluids that do not pose a hazard to the environment.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Mothercare rallied more than 14% after the babywear and buggy retailer put a torrid Christmas behind it and posted an improvement in sales both in the UK and in its international division.
  • Financial Times: Hays, the largest UK-listed specialist recruitment company, reported strong growth in the latest sign that the country’s economic recovery is gathering momentum.
  • Financial Times: Singapore’s central bank was drawn into the foreign exchange market scandal when it emerged that a Deutsche Bank sales director was placed on leave after the lender discovered what it considered inappropriate communication with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • Financial Times: Mike Watts, who was credited as the geological brains behind Cairn Energy’s blockbuster drilling success in India, is to leave the oil and gas explorer – just weeks after founder Sir Bill Gammell said he would step down as chairman.
  • Financial Times: Sky Italia has agreed to sell its sports and entertainment channels through Italy’s biggest broadband supplier, Telecom Italia, as it seeks to expand beyond satellite in the country’s tough pay TV market.
  • Financial Times: China has taken a big step towards opening up its financial system to the rest of the world by allowing investors in Hong Kong to trade shares listed on the Shanghai stock exchange for the first time.
  • Financial Times: Disgruntled shareholders are urging Abercrombie & Fitch to curb executive compensation and improve shareholder democracy, adding to pressure on the clothing chain already under attack from an activist investor.
  • Financial Times: A US regulator has warned that cyber criminals could be impersonating bank services or stealing users’ online banking passwords after the “Heartbleed” bug, called one of the most significant breaches of internet security ever, was discovered in the software used to secure two-thirds of the web.
  • Financial Times: Several of the world’s largest asset managers are discussing the creation of a joint equity trading venue, in an attempt to end the technological arms race sparked by high-frequency trading firms.
  • The Guardian: Surging numbers of first-time buyers and buy-to-let landlords helped push up mortgage lending in the 12 months to February, despite a seasonal drop in activity over the month.
  • The Guardian: Tesco is understood to be working on a high-street takeway-food chain that would compete with Pret à Manger, Eat and Greggs.
  • The Guardian: Coffee bean prices have hit their highest level in more than two years amid fears that droughts in Brazil could lead to a global shortage of coffee.
  • The Guardian: Computing multinational Hewlett-Packard (HP) is to pay US regulators $108 million to settle a corruption scandal involving employees at subsidiaries in three countries, who were charged with bribing government officials to win and retain lucrative public contracts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK treasury could cut stake in RBS following the dividend deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Treasury says SNP has underestimated the fiscal deficit it would face if Scotland votes for independence; meanwhile, credit rating ageencies have said a break-up would threaten UK credit rating too.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Earnings growth outpaces rental costs to push up household disposable income as wage increases overtake rent rise for first time since 2009.
  • The Independent: UK’s trade gap looks set to drag on the economy in the first quarter as a "disappointingly soft" export performance underlines the IMF's warnings of an unbalanced recovery, official figures showed yesterday.
  • The Independent: The executive pay season has burst into life with the EU proposing tough new rules on bosses' remuneration as the educational publisher Pearson was forced to issue a statement "clarifying" its policy amid mounting pressure from shareholders.
  • Daily Express: The profits took off at stationer and bookseller WH Smith as more Britons are feeling flush enough to take holidays abroad.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Goldcorp has sweetened its hostile takeover offer for rival Canadian gold producer Osisko Mining, a week after the target unveiled an alternative “white knight” tie-up with another gold miner.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Shanghai markets: will investors rush in after new rules allow more foreign trading?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ebay / Icahn: end of hostilities between both parties does not necessarily mean peace.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Marks and Spencer: sign of light at the end of the tunnel for UK retailer.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Vodafone: after a difficult period between 2008 and 2012, India has yielded results for Vodafone.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Walmart: organic growth.

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