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Friday Papers: Standard Chartered launches overhaul

Friday Papers: Standard Chartered launches overhaul

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Standard Chartered has launched a drastic overhaul of its business and announced the departure of its finance director Richard Meddings, dealing the latest blow to investors as it battles to reverse falling profits.
  • Financial Times: Barclays is joining forces with alternative lender BlueBay Asset Management to bolster lending to riskier companies, in a move that signals the increasing clout of shadow banks in Europe as the region struggles to channel credit into its improving economy.
  • Financial Times: RSA is taking legal advice about pursuing its former auditor Deloitte over the debacle at its Ireland arm as the insurer said some executives may have profited from the past overstatement of profits.
  • The Independent: Rupert Murdoch’s flagship media business, the TV and film giant, 21st Century Fox, plans to cut its links with his native land by delisting from the Australian stock market.
  • The Guardian: Labour has accused the government of botching the privatisation of Royal Mail, saying taxpayers have been short-changed by hundreds of millions of pounds.
  • Financial Times: Bankia has launched its first senior unsecured bond since the Spanish bank was bailed out by Madrid in 2012, underlining how investors have rediscovered their appetite for exposure to lenders in peripheral eurozone countries.
  • Daily Mail: Seven million people who were missold card and identity protection insurance will receive their share of £1.3 billion in compensation, after customers gave the proposal the green light.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The European Central Bank on Thursday strengthened its commitment to ultra-low interest rates as its president Mario Draghi said it was too early to declare the eurozone debt crisis over.
  • Financial Times: The New York attorney-general is investigating whether Wall Street banks and their equity analysts gave select fund managers early warning of changes to stock recommendations, by filling out surveys for clients that hinted of their intentions.
  • Financial Times: Ed Miliband is prepared to meet bookmakers to discuss Labour’s war on betting terminals, as the industry grapples with how to withstand the political onslaught on their machine cash-cows.
  • The Guardian: Outsourcing companies G4S and Serco are failing to provide adequate housing for vulnerable asylum seekers or acquire habitable properties for them to live in, according to the government's spending watchdog National Audit Office.
  • Financial Times: Three of Britain’s biggest retailers--Wm Morrison, Marks and Spencer and Tesco --unveiled poor results on Thursday, laying bare the challenges facing the retail industry and raising questions over consumers’ ability to help power the next stage of economic recovery.
  • Financial Times: Rolls-Royce has ended talks with Wärtsilä over a bid for the Finnish marine engineer that analysts said could have been worth almost £8 billion.
  • Financial Times: Alcoa World Alumina has admitted links to what US authorities called a “corrupt international underworld” and agreed to a $384 million settlement over charges concerning bribery in Bahrain.
  • The Independent: French food giant Danone has set out plans to sue New Zealand dairy group Fonterra over a false warning that triggered baby milk recalls last summer.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Julian Rifat, a former trader of Moore Capital, is set to be charged in connection with an alleged insider trading ring.
  • Financial Times: Ford Motor has responded to pressure to return more capital to shareholders by increasing the carmaker’s quarterly dividend 25%.
  • The Independent: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has roared to a fourth record year in a row with global sales of 3630 cars in 2013.
  • The Independent: Baker Greggs saw a 3.1% rise in sales in the five-week festive period, but it still piled gloom onto staff by warning that up to 410 jobs are to be axed to save money.
  • Financial Times: GW Pharmaceuticals, a UK company that makes medicines from cannabis, has raised nearly $90 million on New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange to develop a treatment for childhood epilepsy.
  • The Independent: Apple and Samsung have agreed to a mediation session next month ahead of a trial in March over smartphone patent infringements.
  • Financial Times: Teva of Israel has sought to draw a line under months of turmoil at the world’s largest generic drugmaker by naming Erez Vigodman as its new chief executive.
  • The Daily Telegraph: PC sales fell by record 10% in 2013; annual PC shipments have now dropped to levels last seen in 2009.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Elliott Associates, the activist hedge fund, has agreed to sell part of its 25% stake in Celesio to McKesson after the US drugs wholesaler lodged an increased $8.6 billion bid for the Germany-based medicines distribution group that controls Lloyds pharmacy.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, showed his worth again yesterday: about €30 billion a word judging by the immediate 0.6% drop in the euro against the dollar.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Eating too much sugar is damaging our health, but the food, drink and farming industries are blocking change.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Europe is one external shock away from a full-blown deflation trap, and one recession away from an underlying public and private debt crisis. Nothing has been resolved.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The days of retail chains like Tesco and M&S dominating are over.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The abrupt departure of finance director Richard Meddings will probably be the first of several big changes at the top of Standard Chartered.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US retail: Results thus far look disappointing, but structural changes afoot should not be overlooked
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fast Retailing: Few investors will see hidden value in the Japanese fashion brand
  • Financial Times (Lex): Standard Chartered: Cash call before the year is out is the real worry
  • Financial Times (Lex): Rolls-Royce / Wärtsilä: Approach for Finnish group looked like a good fit, but the timing is not quite right

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