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Saturday Papers: Insurers unleash fury at City watchdog

Saturday Papers: Insurers unleash fury at City watchdog

Top stories

  • Daily Mail: The Financial Conduct Authority has been accused of wreaking havoc on the stock markets after leaked revelations of a probe into millions of financial policies sparked a rout of insurance company shares.
  • The Guardian: BMW is investing $1 billion in its plant in South Carolina to build two of its new X-series vehicles at the facility that ushered in a wave of foreign automakers building southern plants.
  • The Guardian: Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry saw its quarterly revenues fall below $1 billion for the first time in seven years in the three months to March, recording its ninth successive quarter of operating losses and ending its fiscal year with net losses of $5.8 billion.
  • Financial Times: Weaknesses in auditing contributed to Citigroup’s failing the Federal Reserve capital assessments, according to executives and others familiar with the matter, adding to fears that there are material lapses in controls at the sprawling US bank.
  • The Daily Telegraph: General Motors recalls a further 971,000 cars over ignition fault; the company says cars involved in latest recall may have been repaired with older replacement parts that could be faulty.
  • Financial Times: Charter Communications has filed legal documents contesting the proposed $42.5 billion merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast, claiming that the deal has been subject to a “flawed process”.
  • Financial Times: World stocks ended the week on a positive note; the S&P 500 equity index rose 0.5%, trimming its decline over the week to 0.5% and leaving it 1.1% below its record closing high.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: Manroy, maker of the M2 heavy machine gun as used by Prince Harry in Afghanistan, is surrendering to a £16 million takeover by Belgian firearms group Herstal.
  • Financial Times: Temasek, Singapore’s state investment agency, has opened an office in London and is on track to open another in New York later this year, as it seeks to invest its cash more actively and globally.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Google more than doubles Eric Schmidt's pay package to $19 million; executive chairman Eric Schmidt sees his total pay package more than double to $19.3 million.
  • Financial Times: Diageo, the London-based owner of Johnnie Walker scotch and Smirnoff vodka, has shaken up its management team in a move that underscores its ambitions in emerging markets and lays down a marker by chief executive Ivan Menezes.
  • Financial Times: Break-up speculation lifted Smith & Nephew yesterday; S&N rose 2.4% to 921.5p after Investec Securities said the medical devices maker would be worth around 15% more if it were split into three.
  • Financial Times: Apple is trying to lure top Swiss watchmakers away from luxury brands owned by LVMH in the race to bring mobile computing to the wrist.
  • The Guardian: Three former employees at money broker Icap are to face criminal charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to allegations that they were part of a conspiracy to fix Libor interest rates.
  • The Guardian: HM Revenue & Customs has insisted it will appeal against a high court decision to award Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay's Littlewoods catalogue shopping business £1.2 billion in a top-up settlement relating to a long-running legacy VAT dispute.
  • Financial Times: US electric carmaker Tesla Motors has begun fitting its flagship model with titanium underbody shields and aluminium deflector plates in response to car fires that dented its reputation last year.
  • Daily Express: Songbird Estates, the majority owner of Canary Wharf, revealed sparkling profits yesterday as it gets set to build its first-ever ­residential development, the Diamond Tower.
  • Daily Express: The chief executive of Standard Chartered, Peter Sands, saw his pay cut by 38% to £4.1 million last year after the first fall in profits in a decade.
  • Financial Times: US prices for corn-based ethanol have leapt by two-thirds this year to surpass $4 per gallon in New York; ethanol now costs more than petrol despite giving cars fewer miles per gallon.
  • Financial Times: Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo underlined the enthusiasm investors have for the recovery potential of Europe’s retail lenders, as it reported a €4.6 billion annual net loss due to big writedowns on goodwill and bad loans, yet its shares rose 4%.
  • Financial Times: Investors are rediscovering their appetite for European retail banks as many shun the big “bulge bracket” institutions of Wall Street and London that risk being hamstrung by regulators.
  • Financial Times: Anglo American Platinum, the world’s top producer of the precious metal, said on Friday it would buy platinum on the open market if necessary to meet its customers’ requirements as an unprecedented wage strike in South Africa enters its 10th week.
  • Daily Mail: Glencore Xstrata was left isolated as the only blue-chip giant with an all-male board yesterday, after a rival miner Antofagasta appointed its first female director since floating in 1888.
  • The Guardian: The Co-operative Group should not stray from the mutual model or add layers of authority that distance the group from its members, according to an independent member of its governing board.
  • Daily Mail: House prices across England and Wales rose by 5.3% in the year to February but the average value of £170,000 was distorted by prices in London which soared by an 'unreal' 13.8%.
  • Financial Times: Rusal warned of “material uncertainty” over its future as the world’s largest aluminium producer reported a $3.2 billion loss in its worst annual performance since 2008.
  • The Guardian: Facebook is working on solar-powered drones to deliver and improve internet access around the world.
  • Daily Mail: UK economic growth was confirmed today at 0.7% for the final quarter of 2013, giving Britain the best-performing economy among the G10 nations.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Littlewoods wins legal battle over £1.2 billion taxes; court victory for home-shopping company after decade-long dispute with taxman.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail (Small Cap Focus): Kromek Group, the radiation detection specialist has issued a profit warning, just five months after it floated on the Alternative Investment Market.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ulmart, Russia's answer to Amazon, is close to appointing advisers for an IPO in London next year, as sales surge past $1 billion.
  • Daily Mail: Insurer Brit Group is gearing up for a £960 million float on the stock market, joining a rush of firms planning a London listing.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): What the public needs is clarity on why energy prices have been rising and whether there has been profiteering.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Japan equities: the Topix’s poor performance this year - off 9% - shows its sensitivity to global factors.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK insurers: providers should use FCA probe as opportunity to overhaul their products.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Rio Tinto: if Oyu Tolgoi is a beacon, this is hardly the time to dim it.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BlackBerry: fading businesses still responsible for most of the cash flowing into the company.

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