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Saturday Papers: ECB chief softens tone on fiscal rules

Saturday Papers: ECB chief softens tone on fiscal rules

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank president, has signalled he is becoming increasingly concerned about high unemployment and low inflation in the eurozone by backing calls for countries to be allowed to apply strict rules on government deficits more flexibly.
  • Financial Times: Kiev has accused Moscow of invading its territory, after Russia defied its neighbour and the international community by sending a humanitarian convoy into eastern Ukraine without the central government’s consent.
  • The Guardian: Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen said on Friday that the US economy was improving but warned there was a possibility that the severe recession caused persistent changes in the labour markets functioning.
  • Daily Mail: Goldman Sachs has agreed to a settlement worth $1.2 billion to resolve a US regulator's claims the bank sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac faulty mortgage bonds, the regulator announced on Friday.
  • Daily Express: The London Stock Exchange is planning to raise £938 million in its first-ever rights issue to part fund its £1.6 billion takeover of US indices group Frank Russell.
  • The Daily Telegraph: ECB's Mario Draghi open to easing of austerity in eurozone; Draghi suggested that countries in Europe should be encouraged to increase spending within the existing rules.
  • Daily Mail: Germany is suing Switzerland’s largest private bank for more than £100 million over funds that went missing during the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • The Independent: Stephen Hester, the boss of RSA Insurance, has off-loaded its business in Singapore and Hong Kong for £130 million to Allied World Assurance as he presses on with a major slimming-down of the FTSE 100 group.
  • Financial Times: McDonald’s Jeff Stratton will be replaced by Mike Andres just two years after taking the job, as the company’s sales decline across the country.
  • Financial Times: US stocks drifted back from record highs and shorter-dated Treasury bond yields inched higher at the end of a week dominated by speculation about the outlook for Federal Reserve policy.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: British private equity firm Electra is facing calls for a boardroom shake-up by American rebel investor Edward Bramson.
  • Daily Express: More job losses and branch closures are planned at troubled Co-operative Bank as its boss warned its problems were deep rooted; the bank announced yesterday that losses in the first half of the year had narrowed to £76 million, down from £845 million in the same period last year.
  • Financial Times: Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, is to take a 30% stake in Norway’s North Atlantic Drilling in exchange for 150 of its drilling rigs.
  • Daily Express: A rise in the number of people moving homes helped luxury cooker maker Aga report a big narrowing of losses in the first half of the year.
  • Daily Mail: Marston's, the publican and brewer, has revealed that it will add a chain of hotels to its portfolio of pub-restaurants.
  • Financial Times: Global economic uncertainty has failed to dent bond markets as total debt volumes have surged to the highest since the financial crisis.
  • The Guardian: BT is to impose a price increase of over 6% on its home phone and broadband customers in a move that has already been dubbed a "football tax".
  • Financial Times (Small cap week): Asos is at risk of losing its status as Aim’s biggest company following a downgrade from one of its biggest supporters; Shares in Kea Petroleum fell 74.3% this week after its Puka-3 well in New Zealand struck water; Office2Office, the Norwich-based stationery supplier, is to be bought by Evo Business Supplies, a business set up by private equity group Endless, for £19.1 million.
  • Daily Mail: Sterling has racked up a seventh consecutive week of decline against the dollar – the longest losing streak for six years; the pound closed at $1.7158 on 4 July but has fallen every week since and was trading at $1.6578 last night - a drop of 3.4%.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail (Small cap movers): Magnolia Petroleum was one the best performers this week and its rally proves a prior sell-off was overdone; Atlantis Resources was another good performer as it secured funding for the first phase of financing for a Scottish tidal power project.
  • Financial Times: Apollo Global Management has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire Portuguese insurer Tranquilidade from the remnant of Banco Espirito Santo.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone has agreed to buy the majority of Hellas Online, a Greek broadband provider, for €72.7 million to bolster its internet services in the country.
  • Daily Express (Comment): It is hardly surprising that thousands of customers have deserted Co-operative Bank this year.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Corporate brokers and advisers are eagerly anticipating a busy time for initial public offerings over the rest of the calendar year, despite some lacklustre new listings in the first half.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Chinese banks: preference share sales need to come with a clean-up.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ebay: the economics and prospects of PayPal are alluring.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China Resources: Food and beverage company upsets the market with a one-third drop in first-half profits after getting pulled down by Tesco’s China operations.

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