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Friday Papers: Facebook shakes up privacy policies

Friday Papers: Facebook shakes up privacy policies

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Facebook is giving its 1.3 billion users more control over their personal information in one of the biggest shifts of its privacy policy in recent years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's huge debt interest bill remains on course to hit £1 billion a week this year, after official data showed the Goverment borrowed £4 billion more in April than forecast by analysts; larger-than-expected deficit keeps debt interest on track to hit £52 billion this year for serviving UK's £1.27 trillion.
  • The Guardian: Blackrock, AstraZeneca's biggest shareholder has called on the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker to hold fresh talks with its US rival Pfizer after the current offer period expires.
  • Financial Times: Europe’s strongest flotation market in seven years showed signs of fatigue on Thursday as investors forced retailer Fat Face to drop its plans to list and UK insurance group Saga to price its flotation at the low end of the range.
  • The Independent: Royal Mail has warned about the risks facing the postal service as it battles cheaper rivals, despite posting 12% rise in profits in its first full-year results as a public company.
  • Financial Times: Wonga has lost its second chief executive in just six months as the payday lender faces an industry-wide regulatory crackdown; Niall Wass, who took over from Errol Damelin, Wonga’s co-founder last November, will leave the business in the next few weeks to take on a new role, the company said.
  • The Guardian: Britain's economic record as one of the fastest-growing major economies has been confirmed by official figures showing a jump in business investment, construction and manufacturing in the first three months of the year.
  • Financial Times: Germany has announced plans to tighten regulation of “grey” capital markets, including more stringent rules on prospectuses and restrictions on advertising, as it toughens its scrutiny of corporates that seek funding from investors rather than banks.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Thailand’s military has launched its 12th coup of the modern era, plunging southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy further into crisis and raising the prospect of international sanctions.
  • Financial Times: Turkey’s central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points despite mounting inflation, a move likely to rekindle the debate about the bank’s independence.
  • Financial Times: Even as 400 protesters rallied outside McDonald’s headquarters for a higher minimum wage for fast-food workers, the chain’s pay policies generated little noise inside its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.
  • Financial Times: Duncan Niederauer has brought forward plans to step down as chief executive of the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Financial Times: Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical group, office in China has been visited by the local antitrust regulator in the latest in a series of moves by Chinese authorities against western pharmaceutical companies.
  • Financial Times: Raiffeisen Bank International reiterated that its commitment to its key Russian business would not be affected by the crisis in Ukraine, as it reported better than expected first-quarter results.
  • Financial Times: Qinetiq posted a fall in full-year earnings as the FTSE 250 company continued to be hit by government cutbacks on military spending.
  • Financial Times: General Electric has extended a deadline for its $16.9 billion bid for the energy business of Alstom of France, giving it more time for talks with French ministers that it hopes will secure support for the deal.
  • Financial Times: Royal Dutch Shell said it would no longer pay dividends in the form of shares, a move that analysts said could lead to much higher share buybacks by the company.
  • Financial Times: Panasonic is considering bringing some of its manufacturing back to Japan, in what would be a rare reversal of Japanese companies offshoring production to China and other Asian countries with lower production costs.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank was criticised by shareholders at its annual meeting in Frankfurt on Thursday over its decision to tap investors for €8 billion in a capital raising announced this week.
  • Financial Times: Credit Suisse has sold $5 billion worth of bonds in its first significant senior debt sale in more than three years and only days after pleading guilty to charges that it helped US citizens evade tax.
  • Financial Times: Italy’s financial police have arrested the vice-chairman of the country’s banking association and six others on allegations that they defrauded the Genoan Bank Carige.
  • Financial Times: Marc Bolland’s strategy of transforming Marks and Spencer into an international, multichannel retailer is set to be dealt a further blow with the departure of Jan Heere, the former Inditex executive hired three years ago to lead the international charge.
  • Financial Times: Insurance companies, debt funds, asset managers and other alternative lenders are rapidly expanding into the commercial property sector, according to new research; they are taking over from the mainstream banks that are still scaling back their real estate lending after getting their fingers burnt in the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: Mothercare shares jumped after the babywear and buggy retailer said it had secured more headroom on its debt facilities and reported earnings ahead of expectations.
  • Financial Times: SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer by sales, said it would stick to expansion in developing markets despite turmoil in some countries, and boost profits with a new $500m cost-savings programme.
  • Financial Times: Daily Mail and General Trust has said that acquisitions remain its “number one priority”, as it prepares for a potential windfall from the initial public offering of property website Zoopla; the publisher, which is Zoopla’s largest shareholder, stands to receive about £130 million if the online property portal succeeds in selling a quarter of its shares and achieves a £1 billion valuation next month.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of Halfords warned that suppliers who refused to pay the retailer a fee would “reduce their likelihood of doing business with us”.
  • Financial Times: Dairy Crest Group, the British milk producer, said it was on track with a diversification plan that would boost annual profits by £5 million, but lower profitability in spreads and tough trading in the core milk division depressed the shares.
  • Daily Mail: The new boss of BT could make up to £7 million in three years’ time if he hits all of his bonus targets; Gavin Patterson masterminded the telecoms giant’s £2 billion foray into sports broadcasting and is working on its move into consumer mobile phones.
  • Daily Mail: Property website Zoopla, no-frills airline WizzAir, discount retailer B&M and boutique fund manager River & Mercantile all added their names to the roster yesterday, with an expected combined value of more than £4.5 billion.
  • Daily Mail: Water giant United Utilities cashed in after higher water bills led to a 75% rise in annual profits.
  • The Guardian: Retailers including H&M, New Look and Zara owner Inditex are to meet the Cambodian government early next week to seek better treatment of clothing factory workers in the country.
  • The Guardian: More than 80% of small businesses believe they still get a poor deal from the big six energy suppliers despite attempts to improve services, a survey published on Thursday found.
  • The Guardian: Deutsche Bank gave shareholders a sense of the size of its legal and regulatory problems on Thursday, when it said it faced around 1,000 major legal cases; Stefan Krause, the bank's finance chief, said that the bank had spent around €350 million (£283 million) in legal fees in 2013 alone, for cases arising from the financial crisis.
  • The Guardian: The former Tesco chief financial officer Laurie McIlwee is in line to collect a £970,800 golden goodbye when he leaves the supermarket chain this October after six months with the unusual job title of "CFO emeritus".
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hewlett-Packard to axe a further 11,000 jobs; the cuts come on top of 34,000 job reductions planned under a programme begun in 2012.
  • The Daily Telegraph: YouTube's Copa90 channel lines up against traditional broadcasting stations to cover the World Cup.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bank of America is being probed for ties to money laundering; SEC is concerned that BoA did not do enough to check clients were using their true identities.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bank of England Governor has warned that top insurance executives will be held to account for the risks they take.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Japan’s Mizkan Group has extended its reach into the western larder by paying $2.15 billion cash for Unilever’s North American pasta sauce businesses, Ragú and Bertolli.
  • Financial Times: Bright Food, the Chinese state-owned food group that controls the UK breakfast food brand Weetabix, is buying a controlling stake in Tnuva, Israel’s biggest food producer; Bright Food said yesterday that it had signed a deal to pay $960 million for a 56% stake in the Israeli company from Apax Partners, the London-based private equity firm that bought control of Tnuva in 2008.
  • Financial Times: Polymetal International is to pay at least $619 million for a gold project in Kazakhstan, ending a search for deals with an asset that could raise the precious metal miner’s output by 30% within five years.
  • Financial Times: A unit of China’s largest conglomerate is in exclusive talks to buy into undersea cable assets controlled by Anil Ambani, in a rare partnership between one of India’s richest men and a powerful Chinese state company.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Royal Mail: mail drop.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China property: be big.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Deutsche Bank: heckling CEOs.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK retail: a rising tide.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Chinese banks: hedge hogs.

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