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Thursday Papers: BofA set to pay $16bn-plus penalty

Thursday Papers: BofA set to pay $16bn-plus penalty

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Bank of America has reached an agreement in principle to pay more than $16 billion in cash and consumer relief to US authorities to resolve allegations of misselling mortgage-backed securities, people familiar with the matter said.
  • Financial Times: Investors fled global healthcare stocks on Wednesday after the Obama administration threatened action to halt the wave of transatlantic acquisitions by American companies seeking to cut their US tax bills.
  • The Independent: Hopes for Britain’s economic rebalancing took another knock today as industrial production in June undershot market expectations; manufacturing grew by just 0.3% in the month, with the wider measure of industrial production growing at the same rate.
  • The Independent: Standard Chartered has admitted it is in line for a second heavy fine from New York banking watchdogs as it reported that first-half profits had fallen by a fifth.
  • The Guardian: Share prices in London closed at their lowest level in three months on Wednesday after fears of a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine sent shudders through European financial markets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Italy stumbled into another recession; Italian GDP contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter of 2014, surprising economists.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK homeowners started to panic sell in face of house price uncertainty; new research from Halifax showed that the majority of home owners in Britain think now is a "good time to sell" despite fluctuating house prices.
  • Financial Times: BATS Global Markets, the second-largest stock exchange in the US by volume, is in advanced settlement talks to resolve a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into whether it treated certain high-frequency traders preferentially, according to people familiar with the matter.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Julian Adams, executive director for insurance supervision at the central bank, will take on the new post of group regulatory director at Prudential Plc early in 2015 after a post-employment cooling-off period expires.
  • Financial Times: Bankers complaining about the burden of regulation need to produce detailed figures quantifying the cost to their companies to make their case, a British financial policy maker, Andrew Tyrie has said.
  • Financial Times: British people spend more time glued to screens than they do sleeping, according to the annual report on the nation’s communications habits by the industry watchdog; Ofcom paints a picture of a country obsessed with consuming media in all formats but in particular on digital devices such as a smartphone and tablets.
  • Financial Times: The rail industry has begun a review into using driverless technology to bring automated trains to Britain’s railways.
  • Financial Times: The European Central Bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold at its monetary policy vote deflecting calls for more action to boost the eurozone’s anaemic recovery and tackle the threat of a crippling bout of deflation.
  • Financial Times: Russia has threatened to completely bar all US agricultural products from its market and slap an import ban on all fruit and vegetables from the EU, indicating that Moscow has chosen a hardline response to western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
  • Financial Times: A growing number of the world’s most powerful brands, from Microsoft to Mercedes, are being targeted in antimonopoly investigations in China, leaving all multinationals wondering if their Chinese investments could be next.
  • Financial Times: Jeff Bewkes claimed Time Warner had the “right strategy” as it reported expectations-beating profits a day after Rupert Murdoch stunned the media industry by pulling his $71 billion bid for the company.
  • Financial Times: The head of Friends Life has rebuffed calls for the FTSE 100 pensions group to consider a sale of its UK retirement income business after pressure on the division contributed to a 7% drop in group-wide operating profits.
  • Financial Times: Masayoshi Son, the Japanese telecoms billionaire, has blamed US competition watchdogs for scuppering his plan to merge his Sprint group with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile US.
  • Financial Times: Apple and Samsung Electronics have settled their patent disputes over smartphones and tablets in several countries around the world, while fighting on in the US courts over allegations of copying.
  • Financial Times: A British start-up has fired the first salvo in the battle between carmakers and big technology groups over who will make money from tomorrow’s cars; JustPark, which lets customers find and pay for unused parking spaces, has launched the world’s first application that lets drivers buy services from their dashboard.
  • Financial Times: Two former senior traders at Investec have failed in their lawsuit against the bank over what they said was more than £6 million of unpaid bonuses in a three-year “acrimonious” dispute where “each side has levelled accusations of dishonesty or bad faith against the other,” according to the presiding judge.
  • Financial Times: Priceline Group is taking a $500 million stake in Ctrip, the Shanghai-based travel booking website, increasing the biggest US online travel agent’s footprint in China’s fast-growing tourism market.
  • Financial Times: African Bank Investments shone a spotlight on the rapid growth of unsecured lending in South Africa and the country’s economic woes as it warned of a record loss, announced its second capital raising in less than a year and stated the immediate resignation of its veteran chief executive.
  • Financial Times: One of the most prominent London-listed miners in Africa, Africa Minerals, has been prompted to disclose an internal investigation into transactions involving its colourful founder as it seeks a debt refinancing deal that is key to its future.
  • Financial Times: Legal & General is in talks to strike possible multibillion pound pension insurance deals with top North American and European companies as it seeks to offset a collapse in sales of individual annuities in its domestic market.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone and O2 will be able accelerate the rollout of superfast 4G networks across the UK under an agreement to use the masts owned by Arqiva, the British infrastructure group.
  • Daily Mail: Britain's resurgent economy is growing at its slowest pace in a year as recovery in the eurozone threatens to run out of steam; gross domestic product in the UK rose by 0.6% between May and July, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  • Daily Mail: Marks & Spencer has lost one of its highest-ranking board members in a significant exit from the retailer; aenior non-executive director Jan du Plessis yesterday quit his job at the high street giant to take up the position of chairman at Peroni brewer SABMiller.
  • Daily Mail: Low-fare airline easyJet got one over on Ryanair today as it saw its passengers numbers rise more strongly than its Irish rival last month.
  • Daily Mail: Complaints about payday loans have soared by 46% this year, figures from the Financial Ombudsman reveal.
  • The Guardian: A group of investors yesterday filed a claim for compensation from Lloyds Banking Group for losses they claim they incurred during the rescue of HBOS in 2008.
  • The Guardian: Some of the UK's small independent music labels will receive funding to promote promising artists overseas in the latest move by the government to rebalance the economy towards exports.
  • The Guardian: Stefano Pessina, a secretive Italian billionaire, is to become £4.45 billion richer as a result of the $15 billion (£9 billion) Walgreens takeover of Alliance Boots; the deal is worth £1.5 billion in cash and a further £2.95 billion in shares to the executive chairman and largest shareholder of Boots, nicknamed the "silver fox" for his hair and deal-making ability, and who has already amassed a fortune worth $10.9 billion (£6.5 billion), according to the the Forbes rich list.
  • The Guardian: Britain's appetite for new cars was unwavering in July, with sales accelerating for a 29th month, prompting a second upward revision to the full-year forecast.
  • The Independent: Italian designer Prada is the latest luxury group to be knocked off its pedestal by waning demand for big labels.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Argentina attacked US for 'playing dumb' over default; Argentine economy minister called on Barack Obama's government to rein in judge overseeing $1.5 billion debt battle.
  • The Daily Telegraph: China banned officials from buying Apple products amid spying fears.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Jan du Plessis is to become chairman of two FTSE 100 companies, Rio Tinto and SABMiller, from next year risking a governance row.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Walgreens is to press ahead with the acquisition of the remaining 55% of Alliance Boots that it does not already own, in a move that completes the £10 billion deal agreed two years ago.
  • Financial Times: France’s Iliad is preparing to step up its pitch for a $15 billion takeover of T-Mobile US with fresh overtures to its largest shareholders that detail the financial merits of its $33-a-share offer.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Walgreens: Boots made for walking.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Sprint: could have been worse.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China cars: hot pursuit.
  • Financial Times (Lex): African Minerals: Sloshing sound.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Groupon: coupon cutting.

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