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Monday Papers: BlackRock positions potential successors to Fink

Monday Papers: BlackRock positions potential successors to Fink

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The board of BlackRock is preparing a reshuffle in the first step of a long-term succession plan for Larry Fink, the founder and chief executive of the world’s biggest asset manager, with $4.3 trillion under management.
  • Financial Times: Holcim and Lafarge will announce plans to sell some $5 billion worth of production facilities as they try to offset a regulatory backlash over their proposed $40 billion all-share merger to bring together the world’s two largest cement makers.
  • Financial Times: Companies plan to step up capital spending and hiring over the coming year, reinforcing hopes that business investment will finally lift off as confidence in the recovery grows.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The cost of key government infrastructure projects - such as High Speed 2 and the Northern Hub rail upgrades - is set to rise as labour and material prices jump up.
  • Financial Times: Chinese property companies are buying stakes in banks and raising fears that the country’s already stretched developers are trying to cosy up to their lenders.
  • The Guardian: The troubled Co-operative Group faces fresh controversy this week when its banking arm scrambles to explain how it racked up £1.3 billion of losses last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A legal row has erupted over the future of House of Fraser after the department store chain questioned the legitimacy of a deal between Scottish retail tycoon Sir Tom Hunter and Mike Ashley.
  • The Independent: The cost of clearing four decades of nuclear waste at Dounreay in the Scottish Highlands has soared by £200 million, after major changes were made only two years into a 10-year contract.
  • Financial Times: The recovery in the world’s leading economies is strengthening but concerted action by governments is needed to rebuild lost dynamism.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: High-cost copper miners face a stark choice between cutting production and sustaining losses for the first time in a decade following last month’s sharp fall in prices.
  • Financial Times: Ukraine and Gazprom were locked in a tense stand-off over a $2.2 billion gas bill which falls due today intensifying fears that the Russian energy giant would cut off supplies.
  • Financial Times: George Osborne goes back into battle with the International Monetary Fund this week, telling the fund it was wrong to criticise his deficit reduction plan.
  • Financial Times: UK finance workers enjoy a growing pay premium over those in other sectors even if they are doing comparable jobs, with an implied taxpayer subsidy helping to boost the gap.
  • Financial Times: Senior European policy makers and business people have expressed concern that the debate over quantitative easing by the European Central Bank risks taking the pressure off politicians to pursue structural reforms.
  • Financial Times: Nigeria overtook South Africa on Sunday to become Africa’s largest economy and 26th largest in the world after the government released updated figures that nearly doubled estimates for gross domestic product.
  • Financial Times: The Chinese billionaire owner of Volvo Cars has promised to “modernise” the Swedish company’s classic Scandinavian designs as it races to catch up with rivals in the world’s largest car market.
  • Financial Times: Plans to give European companies new rights to identify shareholders should be scrapped as they could represent a windfall for intermediaries now able to charge for the service.
  • Financial Times: UK manufacturers have called for a “cull” of Brussels’ 28 European commissioners and a cut in red tape to remove barriers to growth.
  • Financial Times: Dropbox, the cloud storage company, has lined up $500 million in borrowing, making it one of the best-financed private US internet start-ups at a time when capital has been pouring into the sector.
  • Financial Times: BMW is aiming to bring new models of its Mini to the British brand’s Oxford plant over the next few years, as the company’s £750 million investment plan starts to bear fruit.
  • Financial Times: Bob Diamond has deepened his bet on Africa’s banking sector, announcing a deal to buy a controlling stake in a lender in Development Bank of Rwanda only days after he signed a $265 million agreement to buy Botswana-based Banc ABC.
  • Financial Times: A rise in complex “big ticket” litigation - including bank disputes - helped push up the number of cases reaching the commercial courts last year, according to new figures.
  • Financial Times: Only a quarter of pension scheme members plan to use most of their savings to buy an annuity when they retire, according to a poll, following the UK Chancellor’s rules overhaul.
  • Financial Times: Top asset managers are taking their rearguard action against being labelled as a potential threat to financial stability to a global level as they urge a key body of regulators to focus its attention on heavily indebted institutions.
  • Financial Times: Bernie Ecclestone has said he would like to regain control of F1 in partnership with leading teams such as Ferrari, even as he prepares to step back from the day-to-day running of the sport.
  • Financial Times: Brussels will this week bend to intense pressure from Berlin and relax planned curbs on subsidies for clean energy, clearing the way for the German government to pass a crucial renewables law.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s largest quoted companies are expected to pay almost £91 billion in dividends this year, an increase of nearly one-fifth on the previous year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Caffe Nero to create 1,700 jobs in the UK as the coffee shop chain plans to open another 225 outlets over the next five years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: City analysts forecast that M&S's trading update will show clothing sales down 1%, putting more pressure on chief executive Mark Bolland.
  • The Daily Telegraph: London's status as one of the world’s leading investment safe havens is being threatened increased "tax rhetoric", and the strengthening pound, as prices in the centre of the capital are poised to drop for the first time in five years.
  • The Independent: Britain’s banks will have to spend billions overhauling their creaking IT systems over the next few years, according to the City’s top financial watchdog.
  • The Independent: Ministry of Defence officials have again been forced to overhaul their plans to enlist commercial knowhow to the management of the £14 billion-budget agency that buys military equipment.
  • The Guardian: Energy complaints in the first quarter of 2014 more than tripled compared to the same period last year to their highest level ever recorded.
  • The Guradian: General Motors should make restitution to victims' families and face criminal action if merited for the way it handled defective ignition switches that caused fatal vehicle accidents, Senator Claire McCaskill said on Sunday.
  • Daily Mail: Microsoft secures five-year deal with Government to help whittle down firm's tax bill; the US company has agreed with officials from HMRC how much money can be funnelled between its UK and Irish divisions.
  • Daily Mail: More than £2 billion was raised by smaller companies floating on the stock market last year, the most since before the financial crisis.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: European cable group Altice has emerged victorious in its battle with Bouygues to buy France’s second-biggest telecom operator SFR in a €17 billion deal that will recast the country’s telecoms landscape.
  • Daily Express: A £10 million float set for South Wales graphene firm Haydale later this month.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US stocks/buybacks: buybacks are popular but do not produce real growth.
  • Financial Times (Lex): National Grid: the uncomfortable truth is this fully regulated utility has done its job.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank disclosure: more detail is not necessarily good detail when it comes to annual reports.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comments): Flotations are often overpriced and overhyped - it's best to ignore them.

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