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Friday Papers: ECB goes below zero to thaw economy

Friday Papers: ECB goes below zero to thaw economy

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Mario Draghi became the first major central banker to cut a key interest rate below zero as he unveiled a series of radical measures to stave off a crippling bout of deflation, and signalled his willingness to take further action.
  • Financial Times: BNP Paribas is exploring a management shake-up including the departure of its chief operating officer as France’s biggest bank struggles to reach a settlement with US authorities over alleged sanctions violations.
  • The Guardian: The former chairman of Morrisons has launched an extraordinary public tirade against the supermarket's leadership, describing the chief executive's strategy as "bullshit" and warning that the business founded by his father had been ruined.
  • The Independent: Online retailer Asos lost £1.5 billion of its value on Thursday after the former stock market darling unveiled a new profit warning, its second in only three months.
  • Financial Times: Barack Obama has waded into the fraught debate about Britain’s constitutional future by stressing US interest in a “united” kingdom that remains a full member of the EU.
  • The Guardian: Lloyds Banking Group's spin-off TSB said its 8,600 staff will each receive £100 of shares and become "TSB partners" when the business floats on the stock market this month.
  • Financial Times: BP’s oil spill from its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was in part caused by the failure of a vital piece of safety equipment that the company did not own, a new US government inquiry has concluded.
  • The Guardian: The Serious Fraud Office is examining information related to a global investigation into the possible manipulation of currency markets, although it has yet to open a criminal investigation.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Iceland’s most high-profile corporate raider and two former bank chief executives have been acquitted in separate cases that deal a big blow to the Nordic island’s attempts to seek convictions over its spectacular financial collapse in 2008.
  • Financial Times: The International Monetary Fund will on Friday drop its criticism of the coalition government’s overall economic strategy and limit its advice to Britain to policies which should sustain the recovery.
  • Financial Times: The availability of candidates to fill permanent job vacancies fell last month at its sharpest rate for almost 17 years, recruiters report.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron has ordered ministers to improve mobile phone coverage across the countryside after becoming frustrated about the lack of reception in the often core Conservative-voting territories.
  • Financial Times: UK car sales rose in May for the 27th straight month, breaking a record stretching back to the 1980s.
  • Financial Times: The International Monetary Fund has lowered its growth forecast for the Chinese economy next year from 7.3% to 7% or lower, amid concerns about a slowdown in the property market and a build-up of credit.
  • Financial Times: The influential London Pension Fund Authority has redeemed its entire investment in Brevan Howard, the world’s third largest hedge fund, after it refused to provide a detailed breakdown of its trading positions.
  • Financial Times: Freeview, the free-to-air digital television service whose owners include the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, is planning a new offering for internet-connected TVs which will compete directly with YouView.
  • Financial Times: Johnson Matthey, which reported a 12% rise in full-year pre-tax profit after strong sales of its catalytic converters, is expecting further growth to come from a recovering European car market and from China.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank has warned the continuing investigations by global regulators into whether foreign exchange rates were manipulated could have a “material” affect on the lender.
  • Financial Times: Pinterest, the online scrapbooking site recently valued at $5 billion, is expanding its nascent advertising business by opening a self-serve advertising platform for companies to create Promoted Pins on their own.
  • Financial Times: G4S has confirmed that it will end all its Israeli prison contracts within the next three years after an annual general meeting that was severely disrupted by human rights protesters.
  • Financial Times: Thames Water has agreed to a penalty package of £86 million after regulator Ofwat found the UK’s biggest water and sewerage service provider had misreported levels of properties at risk of flooding.
  • Financial Times: Strong sales growth in AO World’s maiden results were not enough to stop another drop in the online retailer’s share price after the group’s profitability fell year-on-year.
  • Financial Times: British Airways is in advanced discussions with Inmarsat to be a launch customer for the UK-based satellite operator’s planned service offering fast internet access on European short-haul routes.
  • Financial Times: Rémy Cointreau, the French spirits group, said it would return to growth during the next business year even as plummeting sales in China produced a brutal drop in operating profit last year.
  • Daily Mail: Two directors of Cineworld, the Greidinger brothers, have snapped up more than £5 million worth of its shares.
  • Daily Mail: Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland declined a pay rise for the fourth consecutive year, the group said in its annual statement today, as his revamp plan has so far failed to lift the group’s performance.
  • Daily Mail: Three of the UK’s most high-profile retail bosses received hefty pay cuts but still bagged £13.5 million between them; Burberry, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s all released their annual reports yesterday, detailing the lavish awards handed to their top management.
  • Daily Express: Traders warmed to Centrica yesterday amid talk of a break-up bid for the British Gas owner; the company is seen as vulnerable to an approach amid an exodus of senior management, while the UK’s leading power suppliers are being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority.
  • The Guardian: A tiny studio flat described as a "rabbit hutch" that was up for rent at £737 per month has been taken off the market after inspectors ruled it was too small to meet legal requirements.
  • The Guardian: Vodafone, one of the world's largest mobile phone groups, has revealed the existence of secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to all conversations on its networks, saying they are widely used in some of the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe and beyond.
  • The Guardian: General Motors’ fatal delay in recalling cars with faulty ignition switches was caused by a “pattern of incompetence and neglect”, chief executive Mary Barra said Thursday; announcing the findings of an internal report, Barra said she had fired 15 people and disciplined another five for the decade-long delay that has been linked to at least 13 fatal crashes and eventually led to the recall of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other models equipped with faulty ignition switches.
  • The Independent: The rush of big investors to buy lucrative contracts to run schools and hospitals is creating a potentially risky financing structure for critical public services, reminiscent of America’s subprime mortgage fiasco, a leading academic has warned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Investors are hit by delays to Saga share refunds as blunder leaves investors in share flotation for the over-55s firm waiting for thousands of pounds to be returned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The joint Government and industry investment will fund three research projects led by Rolls-Royce to development new technology for low-carbon aircraft engines.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The chief executive of one of Britain's biggest real estate companies, Hermes, has said property development in the capital should be "restricted" to allow for homes for ordinary workers.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: ING has confirmed plans for the multibillion-euro stock market launch of its Europe and Japan insurance arm, NN Group, in what is set to be one of the biggest flotations in Europe this year.
  • Financial Times: Zoopla will seek a valuation of up to £1 billion in an initial public offering later this month, as the UK’s second largest online property portal seeks to buck investor uncertainty about stock market flotations.
  • Financial Times: Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba, has added one of China’s most successful football clubs to his bulging shopping basket ahead of a planned blockbuster US listing this year.
  • Financial Times: Property entrepreneur Nick Leslau’s latest venture, a real estate investment trust that owns Madame Tussauds and the Alton Towers theme park among its £1.46 billion assets, has gone public with a star-studded board of directors.
  • Financial Times: Dorset Cereals, known for its distinctive designer-style packaging, is to be bought by Associated British Foods, the British food conglomerate that already owns the Jordans cereal range and Ryvita crispbread.
  • Financial Times: Soft drinks maker and bottler Refresco Gerber has joined the ranks of private equity-backed companies considering a UK listing, even as investors exhibit more caution after a spate of disappointing flotations.
  • The Independent: Disgraced LA Clippers owners, Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for making racist comments, has agreed to sell the team to Microsoft's former chief executive Steve Ballmer.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Asos: grin and wear it.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sprint / T-Mobile: extreme makeover.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Banks and the ECB: everything it takes.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank valuations: for what it’s worth.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Alibaba: soccer Ma.

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