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Monday Papers: Activist investors launch bonus fight

Monday Papers: Activist investors launch bonus fight

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Activist hedge funds are fighting for the right to pay bonuses to directors that they place on corporate boards.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The British government may sell entire 33% holding at Lloyds, valued at £18.4 billion, within next 12 months through a combination of a retail offering and disposals to institutions.
  • Daily Mail: The City of London is gearing up for a much-needed float extravaganza in 2014, with firms worth a combined £30 billion readying stock market floats.
  • Financial Times: Europe is ripe for a surge of leveraged buyout restructurings as banks sell their worst-performing loans to “distress investors” eager to take over the borrowers.
  • Financial Times: The gold mining sector is braced for asset writedowns and a fall in the amount of reserves in the ground after the precipitous drop in the price of the metal this year.
  • Financial Times: US carmakers are struggling to reconcile customers’ growing interest in running vehicles on newly abundant natural gas with the logistical challenges of supplying the technology for the still-niche market, according to senior automotive executives.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Those spending more than half their income on mortgages and debt could almost double if the Bank of England raises rates, according to a think tank.
  • Financial Times: A twin threat of sagging grain prices and a retreat on biofuels policy in Washington has prompted warnings that some farm operations could struggle to break even in 2014, a stark shift from the nominal record $131 billion they earned this year.
  • Financial Times: Financial regulators in the UK have warned that consumers are increasingly being targeted by “dubious” firms offering investment opportunities in graphene, the carbon-based wonder material with a vast range of potential applications.
  • Daily Express: The British government could be forced to scrap its flagship Help to Buy scheme as fears of a housing bubble mount, leading economists are warning.
  • Financial Times: President François Hollande’s controversial 75% marginal tax rate on high earners has finally been given the green light by France’s constitutional council, clearing the way for its imposition on salaries above €1 million paid in 2013 and 2014.
  • Daily Mail: Jonathan Cridland, the boss of the UK’s most powerful business lobby group, CBI, is on a collision course with trade unions after defending controversial 'zero-hours' contracts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Group of more than 100 biggest Chinese government-run businesses has seen profits expand by 7.5% in 2013.
  • The Guardian: The business secretary, Vince Cable, has asked his cabinet colleague Jeremy Hunt, at the Department of Health, for assurances that the recent privatisation of the state-owned blood plasma company will not leave the NHS short of life-saving products.
  • Financial Times: British homeowners who lose their jobs and seek help with mortgage payments might have to give up a stake in their property under a plan to reshape the welfare state for an era of austerity.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Stockport-based Williams Fairey Engineering secures £37 million contract with Swiss military in boost to British defence industry.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times (Comment): Will 2014 see the end of ‘risk-on, risk-off’ sentiment?
  • The Guardian (Comment): 2013 was the year that 800,000 people were lifted out of fuel poverty – by a change in the definition.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Despite a troubled birth a year ago, Boeing's flagship plane has overtaken the larger A380 in terms of orders. But can its fuel efficiency and range help it defeat its rival over the long haul?
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Unbalanced economic growth is better than many people expected. We should celebrate it.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Is your glass half empty or half full? This is not a seasonal question about your drinking habits. Rather, I am asking about how you feel the economic recovery is going and what it means for 2014.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Corporate bond issuance: Borrowing costs are low, which means issuance should stay healthy
  • Financial Times (Lex): Accounting standards: Notion of single accounting language is not progressing smoothly
  • Financial Times (Lex): Land Securities: Despite the walkie-scorchie incident, the group had a decent 2013

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