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Monday Papers: Cameron reluctant to intervene on Pfizer

Monday Papers: Cameron reluctant to intervene on Pfizer

Top stories

  • Financial Times: David Cameron has warned that Britain must not “pull up the drawbridge” against foreign investors as Downing Street pushed back against pressure from the opposition Labour party to intervene in Pfizer’s proposed £63 billion takeover of AstraZeneca.
  • Financial Times: Bob Diamond, John Varley and other senior members of Barclays’ former management are set to be questioned under caution by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, in an acceleration of its probe into alleged corrupt arrangements in Qatar as part of the bank’s emergency cash call in 2008.
  • The Guardian: Britain's largest independent Co-operative society, the Midcounties, is to throw its weight behind the urgent reforms of the Co-operative Group that Paul Myners has warned are needed if the 150-year-old mutual organisation is to survive.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Cuadrilla is preparing to submit planning applications by the end of this month to frack at two sites in Lancashire next year 'to fuel homes next year'.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Virgin Money, the bank majority owned by Sir Richard Branson close to appointing advisers for on path for its £2 billion flotation.
  • Daily Mail: Barclays boss Antony Jenkins has pledged that the bank will never again raise bonuses when profits have fallen.
  • The Guardian: Britain is now officially a billionaires' playground, with more billionaires per capita than any other country.
  • Financial Times: The debt written off by Europe’s companies due to late payment or non-payment of bills has swelled to €360 billion despite the pick-up in economic activity in the region.
  • Financial Times: Soaring power prices in Brazil have made it more profitable for Alcoa, the US aluminium maker, to cut local production of the metal and move into energy trading instead, according to union leaders and market experts.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Cargill, one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products and foods, is looking to raise its game after several years of disappointing results, according to its new chief executive, David MacLennan.
  • Financial Times: Oracle is facing renewed pressure over the pay of its founder and chief executive Larry Ellison from investors who say the software company has ignored mounting shareholder concerns.
  • Financial Times: George Osborne is coming under pressure to define how and when he will scale back Help to Buy subsidies, as fears grow that the scheme is undermining affordability by pushing house prices into a bubble.
  • Financial Times: Corporate Britain faces a “cocktail” of political risks that present a serious threat to the economic recovery, the head of the biggest business lobby group has warned; John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, urged politicians to refrain from “headline-grabbing policies that weaken investment, opportunities and jobs”.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s jobs outlook is at its most positive for more than six years as the country’s employment boom shows little sign of abating, a survey of 1,000 employers has found.
  • Financial Times: An ageing nuclear site on the coast of Cumbria might not seem a likely place for 3D printing, but Sellafield’s owners are hoping the innovative technology will save it – and British taxpayers – millions of pounds.
  • Financial Times: About 40% of part-time workers would like to work longer hours, according to a survey, bolstering the argument that there is still slack in the UK labour market.
  • Financial Times: Germany’s nuclear industry is fighting Berlin over a plan to transfer the risks of shutting down facilities to a publicly owned foundation that would act as a “bad bank”.
  • Financial Times: Banks are girding themselves for a new tussle over capital requirements in response to regulatory moves to set tougher requirements on risks linked to adverse interest-rate movements.
  • Financial Times: After a slow start, public figures in Sweden – the other home market for AstraZeneca besides the UK – are starting to speak out against Pfizer’s $110 billion bid for the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker.
  • Financial Times: JCB has warned that 2014 will be another difficult year because of a slowdown in emerging markets, as the maker of the brightly painted yellow diggers posted a 14% fall in full-year earnings.
  • Financial Times: Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, has been admitted to hospital after a heart attack, in the latest health scare for the 72-year-old leader of the world’s biggest technology company by sales.
  • Financial Times: Weve, the mobile marketing and financial services company created by the UK’s largest telecoms groups, has made a loss in its first year even as it prepares for a push into a mobile advertising market dominated by Google, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Financial Times: Calls by Nexans shareholders for Frédéric Vincent to be removed from the helm of the French manufacturing group have been endorsed by three of the largest proxy shareholder advisers.
  • Financial Times: A senior Swiss politician has called for Credit Suisse’s chief executive and chairman to step down, as political pressure mounts on the bank ahead of an expected settlement to its long-running tax spat with the US.
  • Financial Times: India’s Reliance Industries and BP of the UK have filed an arbitration notice against the Indian government, marking the latest stage in a row over delays to promised increases in gas prices that the two companies are allowed to charge.
  • Financial Times: Friends Life has signalled a shift in its strategy for writing UK new business in a move that lowers the risk of a rift between the FTSE 100 life and pensions group and its founder Clive Cowdery.
  • Financial Times: Rupert Murdoch is exploring using his minority stake in BSkyB to combine his Sky-branded businesses in the UK, Italy and Germany into a pan-European pay-television platform, according to people familiar with the situation.
  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland faces upheaval in its trade finance business after losing a six-year legal wrangle over its rights to software used for processing loans and credit services; a New York district judge ordered RBS to stop using the disputed software for new trade finance transactions within 60 days and to cease its use completely within a year.
  • Financial Times: Home-rental start-up Airbnb, recently valued at $10 billion, is trying to expand from enabling people to let out their flats or holiday homes to helping their visitors buy and pay for everything from event tickets to travel.
  • The Guardian: The Ukraine crisis has strengthened Iran's hand in its nuclear talks and other dealings with the west by reminding European countries and the Obama administration of its potential as a major alternative energy supplier if Russia cannot be relied upon, officials and analysts in Tehran say.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Selling into new markets and actively boosting marketing efforts overseas are some of the ways in which manufacturers are responding to the economic environment.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Antony Jenkins rejects suggestions Barclays is embarkiing on a "large scale programme" of branch closures and adds staff in branch networks "have nothing to worry about".
  • The Daily Telegraph: Oil prices heading for major correction after Russia's attempt to use crude as a weapon to bully Western powers backfires.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: London buyout house Cinven expects to get a price of more than €1 billion for Sebia, a French medical diagnostics group it is preparing to sell, as private equity funds compete for a dwindling volume of large deals in Europe.
  • Financial Times: Georgia’s biggest retail bank by deposits plans to raise about $300 million from listing on the London Stock Exchange, testing investor appetite for assets from the former Soviet bloc amid concern about the crisis in Ukraine.
  • Financial Times: Sir Philip Green, the billionaire entrepreneur, has made his first big foray into a pure online retailer by taking a 25% stake in MySale, an Australian fashion sales site.
  • Financial Times: Chinese ecommerce company JD.com could raise as much as $1.7 billion in an upcoming US listing, demonstrating strong investor interest in China’s growing online retail market in advance of a much larger initial public offering from JD.com’s rival Alibaba.
  • Daily Express: Big Red Cloud, the company Irish accountancy and payroll software outfit serving small and medium-sized enterprises, hopes to raise at least £4.1 million as it looks to float on both London’s junior exchange and Ireland’s ESM market.
  • Daily Express: Limitless Earth joins the market today, raising £3 million to give it a market value of £3.25 million.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Petrofac: two strikes.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Nickel: rebasing.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Poison pills: legitimate victory.

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