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Saturday Papers: Revenue victory over top hedge fund manager

Saturday Papers: Revenue victory over top hedge fund manager

Top stories

  • Financial Times: HM Revenue & Customs has won a victory against a prominent hedge fund manager who attempted to shelter millions of pounds through a tax avoidance scheme; Patrick Degorce, chief investment officer at Theleme Partners, sought to offset £18.8 million of profits from his hedge fund through a film scheme marketed by Goldcrest Pictures Limited.
  • Financial Times: The government has lowered the bar for a reprivatisation of Lloyds Banking Group, suggesting that it would sell its stake in Britain’s biggest lender for as little as 61p – rather than the 74p previously mooted – and still book a profit in the national accounts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Lloyds Banking Group has made more than £3 billion from sales of UK government debt, helping the state-backed lender offset the cost of billions of pounds of customer mis-selling claims.
  • The Independent: Lloyds Banking Group was under heavy fire last night after handing its chief executive a £1.5 million bonus despite losing £570 million in 2012.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ernst & Young has agreed to pay $123 million to resolve a US federal investigation into its role developing and marketing tax shelters that helped its clients avoid more than $2 billion in tax liabilities.
  • Financial Times: Barack Obama prepared the US for a lengthy fiscal crisis and a weaker economy, saying it could take months for the White House and Congress to reach a deal to reverse sweeping budget cuts that were ushered in on Friday.
  • The Guardian: Groupon founder Andrew Mason accepts blame for financial failings and leaves with colourful goodbye to staff.
  • Financial Times: US stocks rebound after manufacturing data; the S&P 500 closed up 0.2% on Friday and finished the week 0.2% higher; the Nasdaq was 0.3% higher on Friday, while it lost 4.5% since the start of the week; the Dow Jones gained 0.2% yesterday.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The outgoing chief executive of Anglo American will be awarded a golden handshake of £1.3 million in shares when she leaves the FTSE 100 miner this year in a package that could rise to more than £6 million when combined with additional payments.
  • The Independent: Two restructuring firms are bidding to salvage part of Blockbuster out of administration, raising hopes for staff at the troubled DVD-rental company.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Activist investor Edward Bramson yesterday revealed that he had raised his holding in 3i and confirmed for the first time the buyout firm was his target for a potential turnaround.
  • Financial Times: In his annual letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett said that his “subpar” investment performance in 2012 was a disappointment but that he and Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman Charlie Munger were on the prowl for big companies to add to their sprawling conglomerate.
  • The Guardian: Lakshmi Mittal, Britain's richest man, is expected to be cross-examined over his business practices and relationships with politicians in a court case that could offer a rare glimpse into his empire.
  • Financial Times: US manufacturing grew faster than expected in February, with an index of purchasing managers in the sector rising to 54.2 from 53.1 in January, well ahead of expectations and the highest since June 2011.
  • The Independent: UK industrial activity shrank for the first time since last November, according to the Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply's latest snapshot; its activity index in February slumped back below the 50 no-change mark to 47.9, down from January's 50.5 reading signalling modest growth.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Glencore, the FTSE 100 commodity giant, supplied tonnes of raw material to an Iranian firm that supplied the country's nuclear programme, it emerged.
  • Financial Times: Strong sales of SUVs and pick-up trucks underpinned solid domestic sales gains during February for General Motors and Ford; GM’s US sales were 7% up on February 2012, while Ford’s were 9.3% up year-on-year.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Valiant Petroleum, the North Sea-focused oil group, jumped nearly a third on Friday after it finally concluded a sales deal, six months after it formally put itself on the block.
  • The Guardian: A revolution is brewing in the tree-lined streets of Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom, as shareholders prepare to fight the creeping power and rising rewards of the chairman and chief executive, Bob Iger.
  • Financial Times: The judge in a landmark patent case involving Apple and Samsung has entered an order striking nearly half of the $1 billion in damages awarded by a jury to Apple, and ordered a new trial to reassess them.
  • Financial Times: Kweku Adoboli, the former UBS trader whose unauthorised trading led to losses of $2.3 billion at the Swiss bank, has requested an appeal against his conviction after being jailed for Britain’s biggest banking fraud.
  • Financial Times: Tesco is poised to ratchet up supermarket competition with its biggest push on price for 18 months, as it battles to turn round its UK business.
  • Financial Times: David Einhorn has dropped his lawsuit against Apple, ending an obscure battle over corporate governance between his $9 billion hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, and the iPhone maker.
  • Financial Times: Chesapeake Energy and Aubrey McClendon, its outgoing chief executive, are under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the financial regulator, over his controversial remuneration plan, the company disclosed on Friday.
  • Financial Times: Taylor Wimpey, the UK’s second largest housebuilder by volume, said profits more than doubled as it sold more homes at increased prices, aided by government schemes to boost the mortgage market.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Julian Roberts, the chief executive of Old Mutual, hailed the insurer’s global retrenchment strategy a success on Friday as he set aside $550 million to fund acquisitions in sub-saharan Africa.
  • Financial Times: William Hill’s market value will reach £5 billion in five years’ time as new expansion opportunities emerge, its chief executive predicted as he announced that it would pay Playtech £424 million for the online gambling software provider’s share of their joint venture.
  • Financial Times: Candover Investments, the UK-listed private equity investor that was forced to shut down its buyout fund during the financial crisis, has warned it may face another liquidity crunch by 2015, as it struggles to return cash to shareholders.
  • Financial Times: A £1 billion private finance initiative for new trains for the Crossrail rail project was scrapped on Friday.
  • Financial Times: British Sky Broadcasting is to acquire Telefónica UK’s broadband business for £180 million, less than a month after rival Virgin Media was bought in a $23 billion deal.
  • The Independent: The German media giant Bertelsmann is buying out its joint-venture partner in music-publishing company BMG, thereby giving it full control of a catalogue boasting one million songs by artists including Bruno Mars, Duran Duran and Frank Ocean.
  • Financial Times: Richard Schulze, Best Buy’s estranged founder, has failed in his private equity-backed bid to take over the electronics chain.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US sequestration: the reality remains of weak gross domestic product growth and 8 per cent unemployment.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Groupon: unconflicted people saw trouble coming at Groupon, which were mainly to do with its business model, not its leader.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Lloyds Banking Group: a new bonus plan for the Lloyds chief executive suggests that the government could sell its stake at 61p. But that should not be the reference point.
  • Financial Times (Lex): WPP: results from the world’s biggest advertising group show that the sector is surprisingly resilient, but companies may need to keep winning ugly for a while yet.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): A lengthy period of profound inaction by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a seeming lack of political nous in Obama’s White House is resulting in robotic government.
  • The Independent (Comment): The big change this week was that the UK was no longer rated triple A by the credit analysts at Moody's and there was apprehension at how the markets would react.
  • The Independent (Comment): There is surely something flawed in the decision by the Serious Fraud Office to hire Slaughter & May, the most expensive solicitors in London, to lead its defence against the action for wrongful arrest and damages brought by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

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