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Saturday Papers: Banks warn George Osborne on HMRC tax grab plan

Saturday Papers: Banks warn George Osborne on HMRC tax grab plan

Top stories

  • Financial Times: British banks have warned the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that HM Revenue & Customs is not competent enough to be trusted with the power to seize unpaid tax directly from people’s bank accounts, adding to the outcry over the controversial proposals.
  • Daily Mail: The UK economy is expanding at the fastest pace for six years as official figures revealed it is growing more quickly than previously thought; the Office for National Statistics said the economy grew 3.2% between the second quarter of 2013 and the same period this year – a slight increase from the 3.1% previously calculated.
  • Daily Mail: Kremlin-backed Rosneft has gone to President Putin to seek a £25 billion loan to ease the pain of US and EU sanctions.
  • Financial Times: Franklin Templeton has increased its bet that Carpetright will enjoy a successful turnround by raising its stake in the high street flooring retailer to nearly 20%.
  • The Independent: Bob Diamond’s African financial services venture Atlas Mara spent just over $10 million raising $325 million when the ex-Barclays chief executive made his return to the stock market late last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: George Soros, the billionaire investor, increases his short position against the S&P 500 in America.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Lehman Brothers' creditors finally in line for payout; bank's trustees have ring-fenced $4.6 billion to pay unsecured creditors who were burned by the bank's shocking demise.
  • Financial Times: Bill Ackman, the activist hedge fund manager, is planning his second lawsuit in two days against the US government over the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: One of the more remarkable pieces of news from Wall Street this week was that shares in Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment company went above $200,000 each.
  • Daily Express: High-street retail giant H&M saw its sales jump in July as shoppers snapped up summer fashions; it reported a 17% rise in monthly sales to match the strong performance in April and May.
  • Daily Mail: The John Lewis Partnership toasted bumper weekly sales in its flagship John Lewis and Waitrose divisions, boosted by the summer return of The Great British Bake Off to TV screens.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hedge funds gobble up Apple shares; SEC filings show renewed appetite for technology giant Apple.
  • Financial Times: The Samwer brothers, who control the German online investment vehicle Rocket Internet, have reshuffled their complex portfolio of start-up holdings and raised extra cash ahead of an IPO planned for later this year.
  • Financial Times: A recently disclosed audit of US tax returns for Valeant, the Canadian pharmaceutical group pursuing a $53 billion hostile takeover of Allergan, is part of a two-year inquiry by the Internal Revenue Service, sources said.
  • The Guardian: The scramble for homes in London that helped push up prices in some areas by more than a third in 12 months has come to a juddering halt, according to estate agents around the capital.
  • Daily Mail: Virgin Money has launched a £3,000 ‘stamp duty buster’ for buyers using the government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme.
  • Daily Mail: The Serious Fraud Office could decide as soon as next month whether to prosecute former Barclays executives over alleged bribes to Qatari investors during the financial crisis.
  • Daily Mail: James Crosby, who ran HBOS for seven years before the financial crisis, will scoop the six-figure jackpot after the £120 million takeover of Moneybarn by doorstep lender Provident Financial, announced yesterday.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Express: Balfour Beatty has reaffirmed it has no interest in a £3 billion merger with Carillion, slapping down its latest approach by hinting the deal could lead to a swathe of job cuts.
  • Daily Express: The world's biggest mining company BHP Billiton is to slim down by spinning off its none-core businesses such as its aluminium, bauxite and nickel production, writes John Reynolds.
  • Financial Times: Roche is set to offer $10 billion to take full control of Japan’s Chugai Pharmaceuticals as the Swiss drugmaker looks to expand its presence in Asia.
  • Financial Times: AVIC Capital, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corp of China, is in talks to buy Avolon, a Dublin-based aircraft leasing company.
  • Daily Mail: Brazilian investors have slipped up in their effort to buy banana powerhouse Chiquita, which is pressing ahead with a planned merger with Dublin-based fruit seller Fyffes.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Why Balfour Beatty's investors should rebuff the Carillion call for a merger; investors should give firm another shot at self-improvement or wait for a bidder prepared to pay for control.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Chiquita/Fyffes: a new Brazilian bid at $15 for the US company - against the existing $13 - would be fair.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BHP Billiton: Anglo-Australian miner should keep demerger simple.

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