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Thursday Papers: JC Penney to axe 2,000 jobs

Thursday Papers: JC Penney to axe 2,000 jobs

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Bank of England governor Mark Carney said on Wednesday he opposed both the idea of a “crude bonus cap” and of reducing retail banks’ market share, dealing a blow to Ed Miliband’s proposals to shake up the banking sector.
  • Financial Times: JC Penney is to cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 underperforming stores across the US in coming months, just days after affirming a “strong” fourth quarter outlook and “pleasing” holiday season.
  • The Guardian: Britain's biggest pub landlord, Punch Taverns, controlled by a small band of hedge funds, has warned its two pub divisions will tumble into default if bondholders block latest proposals to restructure £2.3 billion of borrowings in a vote next month.
  • The Independent: Hedge funds and short sellers are betting against sportswear billionaire Mike Ashley when it comes to Debenhams, as demand to borrow shares in the department store in order to short them is at a record high at 5.2%.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Charter is 'in talks with Comcast over teaming up to buy Time Warner Cable'.
  • Financial Times: Apple must pay tens of millions of dollars in compensation to parents whose children bought unexpected upgrades in apps and games on their iPhones and iPads, as part of a settlement of a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission.
  • Financial Times: Yahoo has lost its chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, who was brought in by chief executive Marissa Mayer just over a year ago as part of her turnround strategy.
  • Financial Times: General Motors will face more than twice the restructuring charges in 2014 that it has in recent years as it closes a factory in Germany and withdraws its Chevrolet brand from Europe, its president warned on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: Bank of America, the second-biggest US bank by assets, beat expectations with net income of $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter as improved credit quality helped offset a rise in legal costs.
  • The Guardian: Royal Bank of Scotland risks fuelling the row over pay as it considers how to follow rivals that have devised ways to avoid the EU bonus cap and maintain their bankers' multimillion-pound pay cheques.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Formula One is expecting German prosecutors to announce formal court proceedings against Bernie Ecclestone as soon as Thursday, a move that is expected to trigger the chief executive standing down as a director.
  • Financial Times: The growing threat of deflation threatens to derail the global economic recovery, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said on Wednesday as she stressed that the world had yet to put the financial crisis behind it.
  • Financial Times: The global investigation into the manipulation of foreign exchange markets intensified on Wednesday when Deutsche Bank, the world’s largest forex trader, became the latest bank to suspend several of its employees.
  • The Guardian: Global greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise by nearly a third in the next two decades, putting hopes of curtailing dangerous climate change beyond reach, a new report by BP has found.
  • Financial Times: In a third-quarter trading update, Burberry, which is going through its biggest management transition in seven years, said total retail revenues in the three months to the end of December rose 14% to £528 million, ahead of analyst expectations.
  • Financial Times: Tullow Oil said on Wednesday that two further oil discoveries in northern Kenya, where appraisal work was interrupted in November by local protests, had prompted it to nearly double its estimate of discovered resources in the South Lokichar Basin to more than 600 million barrels of oil.
  • The Guardian: US officials filed a formal complaint Wednesday charging that Walmart violated the rights of workers who took part in protests and strikes against the company.
  • Financial Times: Sandell Asset Management, the US hedge fund calling for the break-up of FirstGroup, has stepped up its demands in a second letter urging the UK transport operator to sell its US business.
  • The Guardian: Laura Ashley has raised nearly £8 million by selling its entire stake in Moss Bros, shortly after the mens outfitters reported buoyant festive sales.
  • Financial Times: Brussels has given a frosty response to Gazprom’s preliminary offer to settle an antitrust probe into its business practices, saying it was still on course to issue charges to the Russian energy group.
  • The Guardian: Vodafone is to take a stand on privacy by asking British ministers, and the governments of each of the 25 countries in which it operates, for the right to disclose the number of demands it receives for wiretapping and customer data.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Apple has signed a deal with China Mobile that will give it access to some 700 million new potential customers.
  • Financial Times: Huawei, one of the world’s top five manufacturers of smartphones, said sales rose to between $39.4 billion to $39.7 billion year on year in 2013, according to unaudited figures.
  • Financial Times: Taylor Wimpey has warned that the rapid recovery in new home sales means it is finishing building on sites faster than it can replace them.
  • The Independent: A virtual currency that declared itself inspired by Kanye West has shut down after the rapper filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against its creators.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Independent: McVities, Penguin and Jaffa Cakes could be the latest British brands to fall under Chinese ownership as private equity firm Hony Capital, owned by the giant investment company behind Lenovo computers, weighs up a bid.
  • Financial Times: Osisko Mining said a $2.38 billion acquisition offer from Goldcorp was “very low” and “opportunistic”, continuing a tug-of-war over Osisko’s main Canadian gold mine that has interested Goldcorp for more than five years.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Peter Jones is forced into launching a full takeover of online smartphone and laptop seller Expansys after upping his stake in Aim-listed company to above 50%.
  • Financial Times: Manx Telecom, the Isle of Man telecoms group, is preparing for a float on the junior Aim market in the latest sign of private equity owners taking advantage of the strong equity markets.
  • Financial Times: UK-based video games retailer Game Group is planning an initial public offering less than two years after going bust.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): Labour's trust-busting mood is ripe for the times, but to truly convince it must spell out what it thinks Britons can fruitfully make or do instead, and policies to support them in this.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Don't listen to George Osborne. His idea of reforming the EU from within to compete in the 'global race' would undermine its very success
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Coming 'oil glut' may push global economy into deflation.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): The best way of ensuring you are a winner in a new marketplace – as Amazon would testify – is to pitch prices and delivery costs low. Once your position has been established and the competition punished, margins are gradually improved.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank of America: How much will the remaining litigation cost and when will it move into the rear view mirror?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Huawei: Group’s core growth should spook investors in its rivals
  • Financial Times (Lex): Punch Taverns: UK pub group halts negotiations and asks all bond classes to the bar
  • Financial Times (Lex): Europe’s trading rules: The new deal is not a bad one but it could have been better

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