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Thursday Papers: Bank of England unanimity on rates crumbles

Thursday Papers: Bank of England unanimity on rates crumbles

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The Bank of England has moved a step closer to ending the era of ultra-low borrowing costs after two of the nine Monetary Policy Committee members voted to raise interest rates, ending the longest period of unanimity in the committee’s history.
  • Financial Times: Glencore is returning $1 billion to investors in the first share buyback by a global miner since the decade-long commodities boom began to cool.
  • The Guardian: Britain is exporting cars at a record rate amid strong international demand for luxury brands; the SMMT expects just under 1.6 million cars to roll off UK production lines in 2014 predicting that 2017 will smash the previous record of 1.92 million cars set in 1972.
  • The Guardian: Angela Merkel has delivered a sharp rebuke to Italy and France for hindering the eurozone's recovery by breaking longstanding fiscal rules.
  • The Independent: Balfour Beatty has rejected a third takeover proposal from rival Carillion and refused to extend tomorrow’s “put-up-or-shut-up” deadline to agree a deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Wealthy homeowners are scrambling to remortgage to defend against interest rate rise; applications rise by 21% in July as households look for deals ahead of expected increase in repayments.
  • Financial Times: The prices of Argentine bonds fell to their lowest level in two months on Wednesday, after President Cristina Fernández proposed a voluntary debt swap.
  • Financial Times: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been fined nearly $1 million by the US Department of Justice for allegedly breaching reporting requirements when building a stake in a construction supplies company.
  • Financial Times: US prosecutors are preparing a civil lawsuit against Angelo Mozilo, co-founder of Countrywide Financial, in a final effort to target the figure most associated with the subprime mortgage boom which preceded the financial crisis.
  • The Guardian: Sir Ian Wood, the most influential figure in the Scottish oil industry, has accused Alex Salmond's government of exaggerating North Sea oil reserves by up to 60%.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The Labour party has said it will give a new regulator the power to revoke energy company licences if customers are mistreated, if it wins the general election in 2015.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron should guarantee to increase spending on the armed forces in line with inflation for the full five years of the next parliament, according to a pressure group of defence experts and former commanders.
  • Financial Times: A rise in white collar freelancers has driven self employment to its highest level for at least 40 years with 4.6 million people in the UK now working for themselves.
  • Financial Times: The Asian Development Bank has joined calls for a rethink of the way poverty is measured, saying the number of poor in Asia would jump more than 1 billion if more realistic criteria were used.
  • Financial Times: Brazil has made its second multibillion-dollar injection into the banking system in less than a month as the government struggles to boost the economy ahead of hotly contested presidential elections.
  • Financial Times: Russia’s consumer protection agency said it would temporarily shut down four McDonald’s restaurants, including the group’s flagship Moscow location, a landmark since the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • Financial Times: UN agencies and countries donating financial aid to the Palestinians are demanding that Israel lift its blockade on trade and movement in to and out of the Gaza Strip as a precondition for any future reconstruction plan.
  • Financial Times: So-called activist investors, who have seen their celebrity soar in North America in recent years, are now arriving in force on European shores in search of opportunities arguing that European stock market valuations have lagged behind those back home and that companies.
  • Financial Times: Antofagasta is to split the roles of chairman and chief executive, putting the blue-chip London-listed copper miner in line with UK corporate governance recommendations.
  • Financial Times: Carl Icahn, the activist investor, has made a move on Hertz, the US car rental group, revealing an 8.48% stake and saying he could seek seats on the board, a day after the company said it expected this year’s earnings to be “well below” its previous guidance.
  • Financial Times: Carlsberg’s chief executive has mounted a strong defence of the Danish brewer’s heavy presence in Russia, even as he issued its second profit warning of the year on falling eastern European sales.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Luxottica fell sharply in Milan on newspaper reports that its highly regarded chief executive, Andrea Guerra, was to leave the Italian eyewear group.
  • Financial Times: The head of Nokia’s mapping business has stood down amid questions over the future strategy of the unit in the wider group following the sale of its handset division earlier this year.
  • Financial Times: Chinese regulators have accused 12 Japanese car parts manufacturers of colluding to overcharge Toyota, Ford and other multinational car companies, in an unprecedented application of the country’s anti-monopoly law.
  • Financial Times: Ladbrokes’ chief executive Richard Glynn is in line to pick up 760,000 shares, the bookmaker announced on Wednesday, a week after the group reported a 50% fall in first-half profits.
  • Financial Times: Dropbox has recruited Bob Mylod, former chief financial officer of discount travel site Priceline, to its board as it prepares for an acquisition spree it hopes will help it become a “home for all your stuff”.
  • Financial Times: Norway’s $885 billion oil fund is doubling the number of its senior executives in the latest sign it is restructuring itself to tackle its ever-increasing size and its shifting responsibilities as an investor.
  • Financial Times: Citigroup is considering pulling out of retail banking in Japan, which would be the latest in a series of exits by foreign players amid rock-bottom interest rates and fierce competition from domestic lenders.
  • Daily Mail: Fashion firm Hobbs is in the red after a difficult year which saw last autumn’s collections fall short; the high street retailer posted pre-tax losses of £1.9 million and an 8.2% slump in revenues to £111.7 million in the year to the end of January, as shoppers rejected changes to the company’s core range.
  • Daily Mail: Bank of Scotland has vowed to challenge a legal verdict in Northern Ireland which ruled it treated mortgage borrowers in arrears in an 'unconscionable' way by 'double billing' them for missed repayments; the case concerned borrowers who, after being declared in arrears, saw their regular monthly repayment jump higher, sometimes by hundreds of pounds, without their consent.
  • Daily Mail: Stagnant pay and pessimism about the prospect of future wage increases is still blighting British households, according to a new survey out today; the monthly Household Finance Index from financial data firm Markit edged up marginally to 42.2 from 42.0 in July, indicating that people are still no better off despite the generally improved economic outlook.
  • Daily Express: Pams and baby clothes chain Mamas & Papas yesterday unveiled a cost-cutting programme to safeguard the future of its UK shops.
  • The Guardian: A new energy regulator under a Labour government would be given the power to revoke licences of any suppliers which repeatedly act against the interests of customers, the shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint will announce.
  • The Guardian: German discount supermarket Lidl is moving into mainstream fashion as it steps up pressure on the UK retail establishment.
  • The Guardian: Macy’s agreed to pay $650,000 on Wednesday to settle charges of racial profiling at its flagship Manhattan department store.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HP revealed surprise rise in sales; chief executive Meg Whitman credits higher demand for personal computers for a 1% rise in revenues.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Libya restarted oil exports after deal with rebels; technical problems and mistrust between the rebels and the government had delayed implementing an oil port deal but output has risen to 562,000 barrels per day.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Carl Icahn is pressing in on Hertz board after taking stake in struggling firm; Hertz has revealed that profits will be "well below" previous estimates, partly due to an accounting error stretching back three years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK factories saw orders surge, says CBI; recovering export orders helped Britain's factories blow away expectations in CBI industrial trends survey.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Heineken toasted recovery in European beer sales as the owner of Heineken, Sol, Tiger and Strongbow posts better-than-expected profits.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Infineon Technologies, the German chipmaker, plans to acquire International Rectifier for $3 billion as it seeks to expand its US footprint and product offering in energy efficient semiconductors.
  • Financial Times: Neptune Orient Lines, the Singapore-based container shipping company, is considering the sale or public listing of its APL Logistics business as overcapacity and depressed freight rates globally weigh on earnings.
  • Financial Times: Channel 4 has invested in television production companies for the first time, as it rushes to match rivals in the race for content; the publicly-owned broadcaster said it had taken minority stakes in four TV production studios, including one co-founded by the producer of Oscar-winning documentaries Searching for Sugarman and Man on Wire.
  • Financial Times: London-based buyout company Montagu this week took over Open International, eight years after it sold the UK maker of business-critical software to Towergate, an insurance specialist; the transaction comes two months after the fund manager offered €1.2 billion for Sebia, a French medical testing company it had sold to Cinven, the UK private equity house, in 2010.
  • Financial Times: The private equity owners of controversial “rent-to-own” retailer BrightHouse have appointed advisers to examine an initial public offering; Vision Capital, which has owned BrightHouse since 2007, has mandated Rothschild to examine “all options” for the retailer – including a possible flotation.
  • Financial Times: Furniture store DFS consolidated its relationship with Dwell by buying up the contemporary furnishings retailer for an undisclosed sum.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Carlsberg: red tied.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: why so tasty?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Glencore: calling all cash.
  • Financial Times (Lex): QBE: policy issues.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Hertz: pain for gain.

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