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Friday Papers: Cyprus unveils fresh rescue plan

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Friday Papers: Cyprus unveils fresh rescue plan

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Cyprus announced plans on Thursday to overhaul its banking industry and force losses on big depositors as the European Central Bank threatened to withdraw crucial funding if the island’s government failed to agree on a bailout.
  • Financial Times: The top three executives of Standard Chartered, including its chairman, were summoned to Washington for an unprecedented meeting with US regulators to explain a recent statement playing down the bank’s violations of US sanctions laws, a person familiar with the matter said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Vince Cable has set out plans for a state bank that will bring billions of pounds of aid together in a “one stop shop” to help credit starved small businesses secure finance and address an over-reliance on high street banks.
  • Financial Times: Blackstone was in last minute deliberations on Thursday about whether or not it will express interest in making a bid for computer maker Dell, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • The Guardian: Rosneft has taken over TNK-BP in a $55 billion deal that will make the Russian state-owned oil company by far the world's largest listed oil producer.
  • Financial Times: Rosneft, the Kremlin-controlled oil company, said it would work with BP in a series of big projects in Russia’s Arctic, opening up a new chapter in BP’s often tempestuous relationship with Russia.
  • Financial Times: AstraZeneca announced a $2.3 billion charge to cover costs of reducing its headcount by more than 5,000 by 2016, and expressed confidence it could “significantly” beat consensus forecasts of revenues of $21.5 billion in 2018.
  • Financial Times: Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of Raj Rajaratnam, the convicted co-founder of Galleon Group, was charged with allegedly trading ahead of corporate transactions involving Clearwire and Advanced Micro Devices in 2008 that generated $1.2 million in profits for him and Galleon, according to a criminal indictment made public on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: Spanish bank BBVA on Thursday said that it would funnel $3.5 billion into its BBVA Bancomer Mexico arm over the next three years – $1.3 billion to upgrade bank branches, $1.5 billion in new technology and the remaining $700 million on its corporate headquarters in Mexico City.
  • The Independent: ITV chief executive Adam Crozier's annual pay jumped to £1.8 million from £1.5 million after a third year of rising profits under his leadership.
  • Financial Times: Hewlett-Packard has authorised a 10% dividend increase for shareholders, a day after three board members barely survived a re-election vote at its annual meeting.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: British Chancellor George Osborne has conceded that he is not making "as much progress" as anyone would like in bringing down the national deficit.
  • Financial Times: Large numbers of existing homeowners in the UK will be able to use George Osborne’s mortgage support scheme to refinance their home loans, undermining the flagship programme’s stated objective.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Taxpayers will be hit for an extra £15 billion in 2017 to cover the cost of Britain's spiralling debt if inflation and gilt yields rise just a percentage point above forecast, the Office for Budget Responsibility has warned.
  • The Guardian: Britain’s statistics office says public sector net borrowing, excluding bank bailouts, fell to £2.8 billion last month from £11.8 billion a year ago.
  • Financial Times: Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, has been placed under formal investigation in a probe into allegations of illicit political party donations involving Liliane Bettencourt, the billionaire heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics empire.
  • Financial Times: International milk prices have jumped to a record high as Chinese buyers scramble for supplies amid a drought in New Zealand, the world’s top exporter.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Shell owes Iran $2.3 billion for oil purchases made before sweeping sanctions were imposed on the country last year.
  • The Independent: Sir Ronald Cohen, the veteran financier, is stepping down as chairman of Big Society Capital, the government-backed social investment bank set up a year ago to help charities and community projects.
  • Financial Times: BlackBerry’s Z10 smartphone will go on sale for the first time in the US on Friday in a move the Canadian company hopes will help it halt the steep market share losses it has suffered over the past two years.
  • The Independent: Traffic records were broken over the summer, pushing net profits of Eurotunnel up almost 80% to €34 million from €11 million in 2011.
  • The Guardian: European publisher Mecom made a loss of €30.4 million last year and has reported a horrific start to 2013, with ad revenues down an eye-watering 28% at its flagship Dutch business in January and February.
  • The Independent: Next posted 9% hike in pre-tax profits to £621.6 million over the year to 26 January, driven by a stunning performance from its 26-year-old catalogue business.
  • Daily Mail: Ted Baker posted pre-tax profit of £28.9 million for the year to 26 January, up from £24.2 million last year.
  • Financial Times: Paul Geddes, the chief executive of Direct Line, the insurer effectively 40% owned by the UK taxpayer, was paid £1.86 million last year even as the group fell marginally short of performance targets.
  • Financial Times: Accel Partners, the technology venture capital group, has closed its $475 million Accel London IV fund in record time, underlining investor interest in the region’s tech start-ups.
  • Financial Times: Hastings, the motor insurer chaired by Neil Utley, has scrapped a plan to follow rivals Direct Line and Esure on to the stock market, its new chief executive has disclosed.
  • Financial Times: Apple has beefed up its customers’ online security by adding an optional extra password, generated by an app, to protect its Apple ID and iCloud accounts.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: The Co-operative Group has put its general insurance arm up for sale, as it reported a £599 million annual pre-tax loss on increased loan impairments and further provisions for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) at its banking division.
  • Financial Times: Hermès International has entered an “offensive phase” against LVMH, aimed at forcing its much bigger luxury goods rival, headed by billionaire Bernard Arnault, to slash its shareholding in the silk scarves and Birkin bags group.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Estate agent Foxtons has moved a step closer to an initial public offering after its owners held talks with bankers.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Focusing on debt-friendly stimulus rather than austerity does not mean that citizens must endure further financial hardship.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The coalition claims to be proud of our legal sector, but after the Cait Reilly case it has simply rewritten the law in its own favour.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Foxtons IPO whets City appetite but should we be wary of a bubble?
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): It's obviously not consistent to argue that both the UK and the eurozone are getting it wrong on fiscal consolidation.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The good banker is an extraordinarily difficult narrative to maintain.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Dell/Blackstone: even those who argue that Michael Dell is getting a sweetheart deal on price will find it hard to quarrel with a ‘go-shop’ process.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Hewlett-Packard: despite a recent bounce in the stock, shareholders who voted against the board had good reason – they have lost over 50% on their shares in three years.
  • Financial Times (Lex): AstraZeneca: the Anglo-Swedish pharma group’s new chief executive has outlined his turnround plan, but there is a problem with the corporate strategy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Solar bankruptcy: Chinese solar-panel makers nearly got it right, but the first big Chinese solar group has gone bankrupt after two years of losses after large over supply.

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