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Saturday Papers: EU budget talks collapse over €30bn gap

Saturday Papers: EU budget talks collapse over €30bn gap

Top stories

  • Financial Times: An EU summit that was to deliver an agreement on the bloc’s long-term budget collapsed on Friday; Herman Van Rompuy, the EU president, concluded that he could not bridge a gap as wide as €30 billion between the spending demands of France, Spain and Italy.
  • Financial Times: Americans welcomed the chance to start Black Friday shopping earlier than ever in the biggest retail rush of the year, but some raised doubts over whether discounts were as generous as last year or better than they could get online.
  • Daily Mail: The City watchdog has come under fire for failing to pursue the former bosses of HBOS after the chairman of a parliamentary commission branded it ‘extraordinary’ that only one person had been punished for its collapse.
  • Financial Times: ArcelorMittal, the biggest steelmaker by tonnes produced, has accused the government in France of putting the future of 20,000 French steelworkers at risk in a bitter dispute over the closure of two blast furnaces.
  • Financial Times: India waded into the international row over the map in new Chinese passports on Friday, describing its inclusion of swaths of disputed territory along the two countries’ border as unacceptable.

Business and economics

  • The Daily Telegraph: Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch is to summon Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman to the UK "to explain herself", after she accused his business of cooking the books.
  • Financial Times: Gold prices rallied above $1,750 a troy ounce on Friday for the first time in more than five weeks, propelled higher by a weaker dollar and growing investor confidence in the precious metal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain has joined forces with Germany and France to press for a speedy crackdown on systematic tax dodging by big business.
  • Financial Times: The High Court on Friday entered judgment against Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh businessman, relating to two civil lawsuits worth $2 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Nationwide, Britain's biggest building society, has urged the Government to give savers unlimited protection on their deposits.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Cyprus nears a €17 billion bail-out by rescuers who said talks had made "good progress".
  • Daily Mail: The Bank of Cyprus UK, which has 50,000 savers in Britain with deposits of around £900 million, last night reassured its customers here that their money is safe.
  • Financial Times: Severn Trent has broken ranks with Britain’s other leading water companies over plans by watchdog Ofwat to extend its powers to loosen their traditional inflation-linked pricing agreements.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Mortgage approvals rose to 33,039 in October, but these figures are still low compared to previous years.
  • The Guardian: Falklands exploration group Desire Petroleum has unveiled an optimistic update on its operations in the north Falklands basin.
  • The Guardian: Retail giant Walmart has been hit by protests and staff walkouts at stores across the US on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day in the retail calendar.
  • Financial Times: India’s Bharti Infratel, the telecoms tower unit of Bharti Airtel, is planning to raise $800 million-$900 million by the end of the year in an initial public offering expected to be the country’s largest in two years.
  • Financial Times: Aureus Mining has raised $80 million towards funding its New Liberty gold mine in Liberia, west Africa, boosting the project’s chances.
  • The Independent: Kazakh mining giant Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) has beefed up the role of its chairman as it tries to placate angry investors over corporate governance.
  • The Independent: The financial media giant founded by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is slashing up to 100 jobs at its financial television channel in London as production shifts across the Atlantic, The Independent has learned.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail: The race to buy 316 branches from Royal of Scotland has heated up as it emerged that two more private equity suitors have set their sights on the prized assets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: An Italian private equity firm and an Indian carmaker are vying to purchase a 50% stake in Aston Martin.
  • Financial Times: KKR has agreed to buy Alliant Insurance Services, the US’s largest speciality insurance brokerage, from its private equity rival Blackstone.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Moody’s warned of the possibility of a staff exodus following the £46 billion merger between Glencore and Xstrata.
  • Financial Times: Baxter International is seeking to boost its kidney dialysis business by reviving a long-held ambition to take over Sweden’s Gambro for about $4 billion.
  • The Independent: John Roberts, who set up Appliances Online in 2000, confirmed he had put in a "seven-figure offer" for Comet's website after it collapsed into administration earlier this month.
  • The Guardian (Comment): European leaders face a grinding round of negotiations over the next three months to agree a new seven-year budget after the EU summit collapsed in Brussels amid a clash between rich and poor nations.
  • Daily Mail (Share tip): AFC Energy is worth considering, but be prepared to dig in for the long haul.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Private equity groups seem to discern a pot of gold at the end of Rainbow – the retail and business banking operation of Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Argentina – one of the sillier lines to emerge post-crisis is that corporates are surer bets than sovereigns.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Art auctions – the Chinese economy may be slowing down, but the world’s biggest art market by auction revenues is grabbing a larger global share.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fraser & Neave – Southeast Asia’s biggest cross-border battle, for the Singapore conglomerate, risks being a drawn-out disaster.

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