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Friday Papers: Gold price probe extended to Deutsche Bank

Friday Papers: Gold price probe extended to Deutsche Bank

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Germany’s financial regulator has demanded documents from Deutsche Bank as part of an investigation into potential manipulation of gold and silver prices.
  • Financial Times: Funds set up for victims of Bernard Madoff should recover almost three-quarters of the Ponzi scheme’s $17.5 billion losses after a new contribution from JP Morgan Chase.
  • Financial Times: Nokia has won a crucial reprieve in its tax battle with India’s government, with a court in New Delhi ruling that the Finnish group can transfer its assets in the country as part of its €5.4 billion phone business sale to Microsoft.
  • Financial Times: A South Korean court has handed Samsung Electronics an unexpected loss on its home turf, dismissing claims that Apple violated three of Samsung’s mobile patents.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Instagram has laid down the gauntlet to Snapchat and Twitter, with a direct messaging service that aims to turn the photo-sharing network into a major communication platform.
  • Financial Times: Odey Asset Management, founded by hedge fund manager Crispin Odey and one of the UK’s most prominent funds, has revealed a short position worth about $5 million in Manchester United.
  • The Guardian: Former City minister Lord Myners is to lead the overhaul of the management structure of the Co-operative Group; Myners is taking on the high profile role at the mutual for the token sum of £1 a year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Blockbuster will disappear from Britain’s high streets on Sunday with the loss of more than 800 jobs, administrators have said.
  • The Independent: Plans to build a controversial £1 billion skyscraper in London could be set to go ahead – despite architects dismissing the project as “impossible”.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: A US budget deal hailed as lifting the cloud of political dysfunction hanging over the world’s largest economy cleared the House of Representatives with overwhelming support on Thursday evening, as leaders of both parties quashed dissent within their ranks.
  • Financial Times: George Osborne vowed on Thursday to find “billions of pounds of welfare savings”as coalition tensions over how to eradicate the deficit bubbled to the surface.
  • Financial Times: The EU has agreed a common rule book for handling failed banks, in a compromise that brings forward the date when senior creditors must face losses but still leaves room for governments to launch bailouts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: It will take time for Britain to win back its AAA rating, Fitch's new chief sovereign analyst James McCormack has warned, stressing it would take more than just a couple of good quarters of growth to prove the country's recovery was sustainable.
  • Daily Mail: Pay for professionals starting out in Britain is among the lowest in Europe, with only recession-ravaged Portugal lagging behind - and it is nearly three times lower than equivalent salaries in Switzerland, according to professional services firm Towers Watson’s.
  • Financial Times: European financial watchdogs have sounded the alarm over the risks consumers run by using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, which has fluctuated between $340 and $1,240 in the past week.
  • Financial Times: Europe will have to buy its next fighter jet from the US or Asia if it does not invest in its own defence industry and allow sector consolidation, Tom Enders, chief executive of EADS, has warned.
  • Financial Times: Japan’s financial watchdog has rapped the local arm of Deutsche Bank for spending too lavishly on client entertainment, in a case that has exposed enduringly close ties between financial institutions and quasi-public officials.
  • Financial Times: Hilton Worldwide’s shares jumped 7.5% on their stock market debut on Thursday, marking a turnround for the hotel chain that has generated an $8.5 billion paper profit for its private equity owner Blackstone.
  • Financial Times: The former chief executive and chairman of Kaupthing, the failed Icelandic bank, have both been sentenced to at least five years in prison as the Nordic island continues its crackdown on the financiers that almost bankrupted it.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A WM Morrison employee has been arrested as part of an investigation into insider trading; the man, who wasn’t named by police, is not believed to be a member of the retailer’s management board.
  • Financial Times: Google on Thursday became the first major online ad network to charge clients only if their adverts have been seen, in a radical shake-up of pricing that affects more than 2 million sites in its display advertising network.
  • Financial Times: The French car industry is in line for a cash windfall as well as the opportunity to reclaim its once dominant standing in the Iranian market following a thawing of relations between Tehran and the international community.
  • The Guardian: Security companies G4S and Serco are to hand over their contracts to electronically tag criminals following fraud allegations over the way they charged the government.
  • The Daily Telegraph: One of London’s largest hedge funds, GLG Partners, has been fined $9 million after it allegedly told investors that its assets were worth $160 million more than they really were.
  • Financial Times: The former finance director of Bradford & Bingley has been fined £30,000 by the UK regulator for failing to provide the board with accurate information ahead of the failed bank’s botched fundraising in 2008.
  • Financial Times: Investors are calling on Brazil’s public prosecutors to investigate the role of regulators and the stock exchange in the collapse of Eike Batista’s oil company OGX, as suspicion grows over the events that led to Latin America’s largest-ever corporate default.
  • Financial Times: Apple supplier Foxconn has improved factory conditions since a series of worker suicides drew attention to the company’s labour practices in 2010, but workers still do more overtime than permitted by Chinese labour law, an audit of its operations has found.
  • Financial Times: Virgin Group has insisted it remains committed to its rail joint venture with Stagecoach on West Coast mainline, despite plans to sharply cut its stake in a new joint bid vehicle for the competition to run the East Coast rail franchise.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Perform Group tumbled 50% on Thursday after the sports media company warned investors that full-year profits would be “significantly” below expectations.
  • Financial Times: Sports Direct has become embroiled in a fight with Adidas after the German sportswear group banned the retailer from selling Chelsea FC kits next season, while a slowdown in profit growth pushed the company’s shares down sharply.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in SuperGroup, the retailer behind the Superdry chain, rose 2 pence to 1256 pence on Thursday after revenues for the 26 weeks to 27 October increased to £192.1 million.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: A consortium led by Centrica, owner of British Gas, has been named as preferred bidder for Bord Gáis Energy, the retail arm of Ireland’s state gas company, with a bid that values the group at €1.12 billion.
  • Financial Times: General Motors will sell its stake in PSA Peugeot Citroën, as the French carmaker and Chinese state-owned carmaker Dongfeng move closer to a shareholder and industrial partnership.
  • Financial Times: PAG, the Asian private equity and investment firm, has made its first corporate investment in Japan, taking a $250 million stake in Universal Studios Japan.
  • The Guardian (Comment): That no one has been prosecuted over the substitution of horsemeat for beef indicates how hopelessly out of its depth the Food Standards Agency is.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Volker Rule: there is always a way around legislation - especially when there are billions of dollars at stake.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): As 2013 draws to a close, bank regulators on both sides of the Atlantic look to be engaged in a winter deep clean.
  • Financial Times (Lex): EADS / Airbus: the European aircraft maker headed by Tom Enders, chief executive, is flying high, but there are risks in its defence and space restructuring.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Peugeot: French carmaker Peugeot is saying farewell to General Motors as a shareholder. The big task remains, though: to land a new backer.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sports Direct: the UK’s largest sportswear retailer has kept most people happy this year, but there is always somebody who cannot be pleased.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Liberty Global/Ziggo: John Malone’s Liberty Global is back at the negotiating table with Netherlands-based cable group Ziggo. But there could be complications.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Telstra: valuations of the Australian telecoms company have risen 50% in three years - twice as much as the industry. A lowly-leveraged telco in a decent competitive position is a rarity. The question is, where does it go from here?

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