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Monday Papers: Barroso warns Scots on EU membership

Monday Papers: Barroso warns Scots on EU membership

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Scotland’s independence campaign was dealt a blow when José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, said it would be “difficult, if not impossible” for an independent Scotland to join the EU.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain must see business recovery before rates rise, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said; business will have to be at the forefront of the country's economic recovery, not the consumer, he said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned that Germany's deeply embedded fears of inflation could put the single currency's future at risk.
  • Financial Times: Britain’s largest manufacturers are increasingly stepping in to fill the gap left by banks, with lending to customers rising to a post-credit crisis high of £16 billion in 2013; credit provided by the UK’s top 35 listed manufacturers has risen almost 50% over the past five years.
  • Financial Times: Citigroup has become the first of the “big three” foreign participants to rule out establishing a separately capitalised subsidiary in India’s fast-growing banking market, in the wake of regulatory moves by the government designed to shake up the sector.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: Troubled pub group Punch Taverns is facing a rebellion by bondholders said to be hatching their own deal to restructure its £2.3 billion of debt.
  • Daily Mail: Santander is to axe dozens of branches across the country, making it the latest lender to cut back its High Street presence; the Spanish-owned bank was accused of ‘penalising smaller communities’ as it announced that 139 branches will be shut this year.
  • Financial Times: Ladbrokes is poised to close up to 50 shops this year as a backlash against the number of betting shops on the high street intensifies.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Data out on Wednesday is expected to show the jobless total hover around the 7% mark that would have been the trigger point for an interest-rate cut before Mark Carney abandoned the guideline.
  • Financial Times: Novartis has urged US and European governments to “apply pressure” on India to respect intellectual property and warned New Delhi that its stance on patents is deterring investment.
  • Daily Mail: India's powerful Ruia family has been accused of ‘cynical opportunism’ by Standard Life after trying to buy back refiner Essar for 83% lower than it sold it for.
  • Financial Times: Lloyds Banking Group is pushing for softer treatment from the regulator on new “ringfencing” rules as it fears it will otherwise have to shut down investment banking activities.
  • The Independent: Cash-rich foreign buyers have driven London house prices beyond the Bank of England’s control, its Governor Mark Carney has admitted.
  • Daily Mail: William Pears Group, one of Britain’s biggest privately owned property groups, has seen its profits plunge 82% following a disappointing year in which rents fell.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Candy Crush creator King puts IPO on hold; the business received a lukewarm response when it sounded out investors, and is now expected to wait at least a year before attempting to take the company public.
  • Financial Times: Barclays shareholders plan to press the bank’s under-fire chief executive Antony Jenkins to spell out his strategy for turning round its investment bank amid concerns that the division’s costs are rising while its profits are falling.
  • Financial Times: Cala has urged its fellow housebuilders to step up the supply of homes as the Scottish builder works towards a widely expected return to public markets.
  • Daily Mail: Barclays is reportedly looking for a successor to its chairman Sir David Walker just over a year after he was brought in to repair the bank's reputation following the Libor scandal.
  • Financial Times: The rewards from the UK’s car production boom are not filtering through to all blue-collar workers on the production line, as the lowest-paid see their earnings being eroded despite a surge in output and profits.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Chinese lending in the January hit a high last seen four years ago raising fears about a credit bubble in the world's second largest economy.
  • The Guardian: Labour has launched a fresh attack on the government's universal credit (UC) scheme, saying errors by the Department for Work and Pensions have meant claimants are being excluded from official unemployment figures.
  • The Guardian: Surging house prices have prompted a wave of sellers to put their homes on the market, according to Britain's biggest property website, Rightmove, but it added that near-frenzied buying activity is sending asking prices to record levels.
  • The Guardian: Inflation is expected to have fallen below the Bank of England's 2% target for the first time in more than four years in January thanks to retailers slashing prices and lower fuel costs.
  • The Guardian: Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has come under fire from fuel poverty campaigners before announcing profits of almost £3 billion this week.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Severn Trent faces muddy waters over Ofwat review; investors need to be aware that share prices in the water sector are largely driven by the returns that water regulator Ofwat allows each company to make. Hold
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Out of all the miners, Rio remains the best long-term bet. Buy.
  • Daily Express: Arcadia, owned by entrepreneur Sir Philip Green, has signed a £50 million contract with Oracle to supply the software for its fashion chains.
  • Daily Express: Pet goods retailer Pets At Home and discounter Poundland are set to unveil stock exchange listings this week, further boosting the buoyant flotation market.
  • Daily Express: Courier and logistics group DX is set to deliver the biggest Aim corporate float in eight years by raising £170 million.
  • Daily Mail: Stephen Hester is considering a £350 million share placing as he hunts to find ways of raising money for flood-hit insurer RSA.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Reader's Digest sold for £1 by Better Capital; the sale for a nominal amount marks another chapter in the magazine publishing company's chequered history and a steep writedown for Jon Moulton's listed private equity firm.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Boohoo.com prepares for £500 million float; online fashion retailer reported a £3.2 million profit in February 2013.
  • Financial Times: Google is taking over a 35,000 sq ft former printworks in San Francisco’s trendy Mission district as part of an effort to recruit engineers who do not want to work in its vast Silicon Valley headquarters.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): No one should doubt that an independent Scotland would be economically viable. But whether it would be desirable is another matter.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Swisscom: the Telco is a rare European telecommunications group posting growth. Its gains may be modest, but its share price rises have been large.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Coty: shares at the celebrity beauty products group trade 15% below their June IPO price and are in need of some treatment.

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Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

Profile: Kevin Doran's formula for success at AJ Bell

From a degree in theoretical physics to teaching and becoming one of the youngest chief investment officers in the UK, Kevin Doran has certainly had an interesting career.

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