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Friday Papers: Fed feels backlash over stress tests

Friday Papers: Fed feels backlash over stress tests

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Bank executives and investors lashed out at the Federal Reserve, attacking its stress tests as “opaque” after the results battered Citigroup’s share price and rattled banks around the world.
  • The Guardian: Britain has been warned that it faces an energy investment freeze and a heightened risk of blackouts after the industry watchdog called for the deepest ever investigation into the big six power suppliers.
  • The Guardian: The International Monetary Fund has agreed a $14 billion to $18 billion bailout for Ukraine, a deal that will unlock further credits to reach a total of $27 billion over the next two years.
  • Financial Times: UBS has suspended six more foreign exchange traders across the globe, as the Swiss bank’s internal probe into alleged rigging of crucial currency benchmarks gains further traction.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Bank of England has said it will place the ability of UK lenders to weather a housing market shock and higher interest rates at the heart of its upcoming bank stress tests.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain now dependent on imports of oil products such as diesel for first time in 30 years.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: David Cameron’s effort to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the Europe has been boosted after Germany said the EU had to ensure that the UK was legally protected from closer eurozone integration.
  • Financial Times: One in five of Britain’s large businesses paid no corporation tax last year, while more than half paid less than £10 million, according to an official report into the mounting cost of tax reliefs.
  • Financial Times: The London Metal Exchange has been forced put on hold a new rule to tackle the long warehouse queues that US politicians and aluminium buyers blame for increasing the price of everything from drink cans to car bodies.
  • Financial Times: Total is in talks to partner with Lukoil on its shale oil projects in Russia, as Moscow targets unconventional resources to replace falling production at ageing fields in Siberia.
  • Financial Times: Ministers have imposed a cap of 0.75% on charges for workplace auto-enrolment pensions from April 2015 and threatened to cut it further in future.
  • Financial Times: UK retail sales grew strongly in February, boosting hopes that the economy is powering ahead in the first quarter of the year.
  • Financial Times: Spain is trying to position itself as an alternative gas supply route to the rest of Europe, saying it has spare capacity that could help reduce the continent’s dependency on energy shipments from Russia.
  • Financial Times: The US Federal Reserve stress test result has ratcheted up the pressure on the European Central Bank ahead of similar health checks of the European banks later this year.
  • Financial Times: Daily Mail and General Trust had their worst session for nearly three years yesterday after a largely mundane trading update contained two devilish details.
  • Financial Times: Instagram has overtaken Twitter to become more popular with US smartphone users, highlighting the rise of the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app as it begins to sell advertising.
  • Financial Times: H&M disappointed investors by falling short of expectations for first-quarter earnings, although the Swedish fashion retailer reported an 8% year-on-year rise in pre-tax profits.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Alcatel-Lucent jumped after the French telecoms equipment maker won a one-year contract worth up to €750 million with China Mobile.
  • Financial Times: Brazilian public prosecutors have requested the courts block the restructuring plan of Eike Batista’s oil group and force the former billionaire to inject $1 billion of his own money into the company.
  • Financial Times: The London Stock Exchange Group is likely to double the amount of capital it raised on its share markets in its last financial year as it enjoyed the benefit of an unblocking of the pipeline for new listings.
  • Financial Times: Of the three foreign banks that suffered the ignominy of having their capital plans fall foul of the US Federal Reserve’s stress tests, the failure is likely to be most painful for Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Financial Times: Citigroup’s senior executives knew 24 hours before the market that its capital plan had been rejected by the Federal Reserve, but the news came just as much as a shock to them as it did to investors.
  • Financial Times: Boeing’s dominance of the Japanese market has hit further turbulence after rival Airbus split a Y1.7trillion ($16.6billion) order by All Nippon Airways for 70 new aircraft.
  • Financial Times: Brussels presented a series of reforms to unlock long-term financing in an attempt to revive lending to Europe’s credit-starved small and medium companies and reignite infrastructure investment across the continent.
  • Financial Times: Citic Group is hoping it can recapture its glory days in the city with its decision to inject all its mainland assets into its Hong Kong-listed entity.
  • Financial Times: Thomas Cook’s UK holidaymakers are booking shorter than usual summer getaways, adversely affecting the tour operators’ selling prices for the “high” season.
  • Financial Times: Ian Burke, the longstanding executive chairman of Rank Group, will step down and be replaced by a former William Hill Online executive as the bingo and casino group focuses more on its online business.
  • Financial Times: Todd Kozel, founder and chief executive of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, has accepted a reduction of his annual pay from $21 million to less than $3million as the Kurdistan-focused oil explorer this week moves from Aim to London’s main list.
  • Financial Times: Top supermarket executives are poised to pay the price for falling profits, with Dalton Philips, chief executive of Wm Morrison, waiving his £374,000 bonus and the top team at Tesco unlikely to be granted a payout this year.
  • Financial Times: A former broker at Novum Securities received a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to insider-trading charges.
  • Financial Times: Stock Spirits, the vodka group that sells mainly to Poland and the Czech Republic, said it was in talks with potential targets to expand its spirits businesses, following its recent flotation.
  • Financial Times: EasyJet has cemented its position as the biggest airline at Gatwick with a seven-year deal to grow at the airport in return for lower charges.
  • Financial Times: Facebook is working on drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to far-flung corners of the world, in its second big bet on future technology in a week.
  • Financial Times: The number of people working for themselves is set to outstrip those working in the public sector by 2018, a study of demographic trends claims.
  • Financial Times: Microsoft boss launches Office for iPad under the strategy of “a cloud for everyone on every device”, in a wider push beyond its own Windows operating system.
  • Financial Times: Negotiations to create a transatlantic free trade zone risk collapsing if the EU has to drop a provision giving investors the right to seek compensation before special arbitration panels.
  • Financial Times: The biggest banks could face higher tax bills under government plans to reform the bank levy.
  • The Independent: Dozens of developers have pulled out of the Government’s controversial Build to Rent fund, as a result of rising demand for homes bought under the Help to Buy scheme.
  • The Independent: Economic growth in the United States grew faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter of last year helped by stronger consumer spending, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday.
  • The Guardian: Scotland's financial services and banking industry would face a long and costly period of disruption if there were a yes vote for independence, the sector's Scottish trade body has warned.
  • The Guardian: The Barclay brothers have suffered a setback in their long-running battle to extract record sums from the Treasury in settlement of a legacy VAT dispute related to their Littlewoods catalogue shopping business.
  • The Guardian: The contract with Atos to administer millions of fit-for-work tests for sick and disabled people a year is ending early, the government has announced.
  • The Guardian: The owner of the Discovery factual channel, the new majority shareholder in Eurosport, is aggressively eyeing the UK market, its biggest outside the US, including bidding for Channel 5 and bids for premium sports such as the Premier League TV rights.
  • The Guardian: UK consumers are struggling with almost £5 billion of hidden debt, made up of rent arrears, and unpaid council tax and household bills, according to a report by thinktank Demos.
  • The Guardian: As Inmarsat became globally recognised, previously low-profile satellite company's share price has risen 9% in the past fortnight .
  • The Guardian: Video game makers win seven-year battle to claim tax breaks allowing them to claim back 25% of qualifying production costs.
  • Daily Mail: George Osborne to be quizzed after allegations he exerted 'undue political pressure' over aborted sale of Lloyds branches to Co-op Bank.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Babcock International will pay £920 million and take on £705 million of debt to buy Avincis - one of the world’s largest providers of helicopters for search and rescue missions - from private equity groups Investindustrial and KKR.
  • Financial Times: Ally Financial has moved ahead with its planned initial public offering through the US Treasury Department’s sale of 95 million shares in the auto lender.
  • Financial Times: The private equity backers of Brit Insurance have sought to woo investors to the flotation of the Lloyd’s of London syndicate by trimming their hoped-for price tag.
  • Financial Times: Cinven and Hannover Re have agreed to purchase for €220 million a block of Old Mutual’s policies in Germany and Austria, which the FTSE 100 insurer closed to new business last year.
  • Financial Times: Aldermore, one of a wave of recently launched UK challenger banks, has taken a step towards a stock market flotation with the appointment of a seasoned banker as its chairman.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Citic Pacific: asset injection will be transformative, but at what price?
  • Financial Times (Lex): King and Quercus: owners of King Digital shares should take a look at a different saga.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ofgem: more generation needed for cheap, reliable green electricity.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Baxter: simplification is good but the units face the same challenges.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Raiffeisen: risks in Ukraine, and risks – but growth – in Russia.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Struggling eurozone risks losing its good looks.

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