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Saturday Papers: Russians pull billions from west

Saturday Papers: Russians pull billions from west

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Russian companies are pulling billions out of western banks, fearful that any US sanctions over the Crimean crisis could lead to an asset freeze, according to bankers in Moscow.
  • Daily Express: BP has reached a milestone in its American rehabilitation after a ban on bidding for federal contracts was lifted.
  • Daily Mail: BP and other British firms could fall victim to the wrath of the Kremlin in a stand-off with the West over Ukraine, a former major investor in Russia has warned.
  • The Independent: Barclays has told thousands of contract staff that they must accept a 10% cut in pay or have their roles terminated.
  • Financial Times: Alibaba is planning to raise at least $15 billion after choosing New York for an initial public offering that looks likely to rank as one of history’s largest listings and underscores China’s arrival as an ecommerce market to rival the US.
  • Daily Express: JD Wetherspoon is plotting further expansion as it predicted a solid end to the year after a 7% jump in half-year profits; operating profits came in at £55.7 million in the 26 weeks to 26 January while revenues were ahead 9.1% at £683.2 million; like-for-like sales rose 5.2%.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sues 16 global banks – including Barclays, RBS, HSBC, Lloyds and BBA - claiming Libor manipulation caused "substantial losses" to 38 US lenders.
  • Financial Times: World equities were on the back foot at the end of a week dominated by uncertainty about the outlook for China and concerns about Ukraine; the S&P 500 fell 0.3% and was down 2% on the week.
  • Daily Mail: Former City minister Lord Myners has attacked the old guard at the Co-operative Group and warned that the business will go into terminal decline unless they accept radical reform.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: Fashion group Boohoo made a high-end debut on the London market after its shares surged up to 70%.
  • Financial Times: Michael Gove, education secretary, has described as “ridiculous” and “preposterous” the concentration of Old Etonians in David Cameron’s inner circle, saying such a bastion of privilege does not exist in any other rich country.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Moody's raises EU outlook to 'stable'; credit agency cites improving finances of member countries as reason for upgrade.
  • The Independent: Albemarle & Bond was granted a brief reprieve yesterday as soaring gold prices and deal rumours helped the struggling pawnbroker book its biggest gains in more than a month.
  • Daily Mail: Maarten Slendebroek takes the helm at fund management group Jupiter after Edward Bonham Carter steps down to become deputy chairman.
  • Financial Times: Wm Morrison, the troubled supermarket chain, was dealt a further blow on Friday when it admitted that it had suffered the theft of personal details from 100,000 staff.
  • The Independent: Tom Albanese, the former boss of Rio Tinto who quit after the company ran up $14 billion (£8.4 billion) of writedowns on the value of its aluminium and coal businesses, was paid $3.5 million for the seven months’ work he did after resigning in January last year.
  • Financial Times: Virgin Money is spending about £3 million a year on “lounges” that do not offer banking services, in a sign of the pressure on smaller lenders to differentiate themselves from the big banks.
  • The Guardian: FirstGroup looks set to run the Great Western mainline until the next decade without facing a franchise competition - having earlier handed back its contract to avoid hundreds of millions of pounds in premium payments to the government.
  • Financial Times: UBS has been censured for attempting to manipulate Hong Kong’s interbank lending rate between 2006 and 2009, the only bank found to have shown any misconduct in the city.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Weibo plans to raise $500 million in US IPO; China's answer to Twitter files for initial public offering, which will see it spin off from parent company Sina.
  • Financial Times: A surge of flotations in London and New York has helped to give European and US equity markets their strongest start to any year since 2007, before the financial crisis set in; initial public offerings by UK issuers have already reached $5.52 billion so far this year and are on track to exceed the previous first-quarter record of $5.87 billion set in 2007, according to Dealogic.
  • Financial Times: The majority owner of Essar Energy has gone hostile with its controversial offer to take the Indian-focused oil refining and power generation company private at 70p a share.
  • Financial Times: A group led by US distress investor Apollo is expected to seize control of Tragus, the company that operates the chain of French-style restaurants, from its private equity owner Blackstone in a debt restructuring deal.
  • Financial Times: Liberty Global has broken off talks to buy British IT group Daisy after balking at the putative price tag of more than £500 million.
  • Financial Times: The threat of sanctions against Russia pushed Coca-Cola HBC’s London listing to a record low on Friday.
  • Financial Times: Daimler has sold a Rmb500 million “panda” bond to Chinese investors, the German company announced on Friday, making it the first non-financial overseas company to tap the market for funds.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): US Federal Trade Commission launches probe into vitamin company Herbalife after its accused of unfair business practices.
  • Daily Mail (Market Report): Investors are taking a hard look at Barclays Bank in advance of a key vote on directors’ pay next month; shareholders are unhappy that the lender, at its full-year results in February, boosted bonus payments by 10% to £2.4 billion, while group underlying profit tumbled 32% to £5.2 billion.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Chancellor George Osborne will boast of 'Britain's economic recovery' during budget, as output grows at 3%.
  • The Independent (Comment): It’s an intriguing tale of the Israeli billionaire, the mining rights, George Soros and the President of Guinea’s adviser, Tony Blair.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Russia: sanctions may hurt. But damage is already being done.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Vivendi: numericable deal should pose fewer problems than one with Bouygues as Vivendi emerges as the big winner.

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