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Friday Papers: Bankia in first steps to reprivatisation

Friday Papers: Bankia in first steps to reprivatisation

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Standard Life said constitutional changes could prompt it to shift large parts of its operations away from Scotland in case of Scottish independence.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Spanish government to sell 7.5% of 68% holding in Bankia, one of the biggest casualties of the country's financial crisis.
  • The Independent: RBS has sparked fresh outrage for its "astonishing betrayal" to taxpayers after handing out £576 million in bonuses despite slumping deeper into the red with annual losses of £8.2 billion.
  • Financial Times: British American Tobacco declared that it must win the growing battle for market share in the e-cigarette and “next-generation” tobacco sector; the comments came as BAT reported a 3.6% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.8 billion for the year to 31 December, thanks to improved margins.
  • Financial Times: Bank of America hit out at the US government’s request to more than double the penalty it is seeking from the bank in a case known as “the hustle”, where it was found liable for civil fraud over mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Virgin Media will offer twice the broadband speed of any other retail provider in the UK, as it seeks to revitalise its business.
  • Financial Times: GCHQ, Britain’s electronic spying agency, intercepted and stored images of 1.8 million Yahoo users taken from their personal webcams even though most of them were not suspected of wrongdoing.
  • Financial Times: Planning approvals in England last year hit their highest annual total since 2007 as housebuilders continued to take advantage of a rise in demand for new homes and policy changes.
  • Financial Times: Huawei says almost 99% of the company's stake is owned by its 80,000 employees under an “employee stock option plan”.
  • Financial Times: AP Møller-Maersk issued a cautious outlook for 2014 as the Danish conglomerate’s chief executive said it faced a “year of hard work”; the group forecast a rise in container demand of 4-5% this year, after an increase of 3.5% in 2013.
  • Financial Times: Kazakhmys is planning to transfer its underperforming mines to its largest shareholder, Vladimir Klim; the group said the Kazakh billionaire, who owns 32%, had proposed creating a vehicle to hold the company’s mature assets in central Kazakhstan.
  • Financial Times: Whitbread expects buoyant full-year results after sales rise 7%.
  • Financial Times: Lenta, the Russian hypermarket chain part-owned by private equity group TPG, has raised $950 million in a flotation hit by the political turmoil in Ukraine and a tumbling rouble.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Man Group, the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund, soared on Thursday after the company revealed a sharp slowdown in outflows, announced a share buyback and increased dividends.
  • Financial Times: French utility GDF Suez took a “massive” €14.9 billion impairment charge and warned it could cut its dividend.
  • Financial Times: Henry Jackson is stepping down from any involvement in Game Retail, as the UK video games retailer considers a £300 million London listing.
  • The Guardian: The Federal Reserve has no authority to supervise or regulate Bitcoin, chair Janet Yellen told US Congress on Thursday.
  • The Guardian: Lego builds yet another record profit to become world's top toymaker.
  • The Guardian: Big six energy companies told to pay £400 million back to former customers.
  • The Daily Express: More than £600 million was wiped from the value of WPP yesterday as the impact of a strong pound and fierce price competition took the shine off a near 19% jump in annual profit to £1.3 billion.
  • The Daily Express: Domino's domestic sales jumped 14.6% in the first seven weeks of 2014.
  • The Daily Mail: Sales fall 6.1% at mobile giant O2 but the company still manages to attract 982,000 new customers.
  • The Daily Mail: Energy bills could continue to soar to pay for £100 billion investment, energy minister admits.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Virgin Australia slumps to £45 million loss.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Tesla Motors raised $2 billion from the largest US convertible bond sale in more than two years after increasing the size of its offering due to strong investor demand.
  • Financial Times: About 85% of the online retailer AO World’s new issue was awarded to just 15 investors, disappointing the retail investors.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Best Buy: earnings came in ahead of expectations after the retailer’s cost-cutting programme delivered a timely gift.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Severstal: global steelmaking remains a tough, and oversupplied, business but the Russian group’s cost cutting and efficiency efforts are paying off.
  • Financial Times (Lex): RSA: after a rights issue, a restructuring and woeful results, Hester will be running a smaller, more risk-averse, company.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Asia budget airlines: Tony Fernandes, AirAsia boss, has gleefully retweeted reports of Qantas’s first-half loss. However, the gloating may be a little premature
  • Financial Times (Lex): Allianz: talk of tapering by the US Federal Reserve has dented faith in bonds; the German insurer must now look elsewhere in its business for profits
  • Financial Times (Inside Business): WhatsApp and Tesla set the scene for soaring valuations.
  • Financial Times (The Short View): London acts like Wall Street offshoot; FTSE 100 tracks S&P 500 pretty much perfectly.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): UK economy's getting bigger, but not better.

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