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Monday Papers: Row intensifies over bid for AstraZeneca

Monday Papers: Row intensifies over bid for AstraZeneca

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The political row over Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca intensified yesterday as Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour party, accused prime minister David Cameron of acting like a “cheerleader” for the US pharmaceuticals group.
  • Financial Times: European companies are increasingly using high-yield bonds to fund acquisitions, fuelling hopes that this new source of money will help boost a long-awaited recovery in European dealmaking.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Households to face a sharp fall in disposable income when the Bank of England raises interest rates that could derail the recovery if the pace of increases is quicker than anticipated.
  • Financial Times: Citigroup has been chosen to safeguard the securities of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund after wooing away one of the largest custodian mandates from its rival JP Morgan ; the transfer of the Norwegian oil fund’s $865 billion portfolio to its US competitor is a setback for JP Morgan.
  • The Guardian: Co-operative Group's stake in blighted bank is set to reduce from 30% to 20% as it plans not to participate in £400 million fundraising.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Iran has indicated it would be willing to supply natural gas to Europe amid concern that Russia could retaliate against EU sanctions by restricting its own supplies of the fuel.
  • The Independent: Royal Bank of Scotland's chief executive Ross McEwan has vowed to ensure the state-controlled bank can pay enough to keep top staff despite the George Osborne’s decision to prevent it lifting bonus caps.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Whitehall has chosen a civil servant as the first finance chief in charge of its £700 billion coffers, dashing hopes that a business figure would be recruited to inject fresh thinking into the government.
  • Financial Times: Ingvar Kamprad has stepped down from all formal roles at Ikea, leaving the Swedish flat-pack furniture empire without its founder in a board position for the first time since he started it in 1943.
  • Financial Times: Yuan Yafei, the chairman of Sanpower, plans to bring House of Fraser to Russia and the Middle East following his company’s takeover of the UK department store chain last month - the largest foreign retail deal to date by a Chinese buyer.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of England is examining a number of politically controversial measures as it assesses whether to take action to cool a property market that is again seeing double-digit price growth.
  • Financial Times: A top IMF official has warned that the rally in eurozone bond markets risks ending in disappointment, with investors now lending to governments at rates that assume the region’s return to full health will be glitch free.
  • Financial Times: Russia’s determination to start building a major gas pipeline into Europe next month regardless of opposition from Brussels has laid bare the EU’s disunity in confronting Moscow.
  • Financial Times: Switzerland’s two largest banks are braced for rocky annual meetings this week after a shareholder adviser urged investors to reject the actions of the UBS management and vote against the re-election of Credit Suisse’s chairman.
  • Financial Times: Some of the UK’s biggest hedge fund managers are betting against the country’s bookmakers as they face increased taxes and a regulatory clampdown on lucrative computer gambling terminals.
  • Financial Times: Generali is poised to move into corporate lending in Europe via a joint deal to finance Germany’s Mittelstand with Düsseldorf-based bank IKB and Gothaer, a local insurance group.
  • Financial Times: SAP announced the unexpected departure of board member Vishal Sikka, who was a key figure in the company’s technical revamp and once viewed as a potential future leader of the company.
  • Financial Times: US banks have for the first time detailed how far they have retrenched from Russia in response to the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
  • Financial Times: Smaller Chinese banks have ramped up their shadow lending activity, adding to the financial risks that threaten to trip up the world’s second-biggest economy.
  • Financial Times: The dollar swung sharply on Friday after a bumper US jobs number increased expectations of an earlier tightening by the Federal Reserve.
  • Financial Times: Warren Buffett’s devoted followers made their pilgrimage to Omaha this year amid an especially intense debate about whether his $300 billion conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway should hand back cash to shareholders, or even one day be broken up.
  • Daily Mail: Struggling babywear company Mothercare is renegotiating the terms of its bank loans with HSBC and Barclays only months after arranging a £90 million facility.
  • Daily Mail: The Bank of England looks set to leave interest rates on hold again this week, but a hike before the General Election is seen as increasingly likely.
  • The Guardian: In a step likely to be hailed as further proof of Europe's receding economic crisis, Greece is poised to formally open debt relief talks with its creditors.
  • The Guardian: A controversial ingredient is being removed from some Powerade sports drinks, after the chemical was also taken out of rival Gatorade last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Profits at London’s O2 Arena rose 6.5% to a record £25 million last year as it added more events.
  • The Daily Telegraph: World's biggest watchmaker, Swatch, has objected to Apple's iWatch trademark over claims of trademark being too similar to its own 'iSwatch'.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, says central bank remains on course to wind down its monetary stimulus by the end of the year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Kuwait Investment Office has joined the consortium that will own a significant minority stake in Williams & Glyn's.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Director of strategy Rakesh Agrawal insults executives at payment company on social network shortly after leaving, in messages intended to be private.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Saga prepares for flotation with price tag of up to £3 billion.
  • Financial Times: Gruppo Statuto, owner of some of Italy’s best known luxury hotels, including the Hotel Danieli in Venice and Four Seasons in Milan, is readying a listing of the group amid rising investor interest in Italian luxury; Italian property entrepreneur Giuseppe Statuto has hired JPMorgan and Banca IMI to look at listing the business on the Milan stock exchange before the summer.
  • Daily Mail: Porterbrook, one of three main rolling stock companies that own Britain’s trains, is on the sale block with a possible price tag of more than £2 billion.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Macquarie: billion-dollar baby- first full-year net profit of A$1 billion in 4 years is already priced in.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Applus: group would be left with €695 million of net debt after €1.1 billion share sale.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ares Management: Ares is heavily weighted to credit and lending versus private equity.

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