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Thursday Papers: StanChart warns operating profit to fall

Thursday Papers: StanChart warns operating profit to fall

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Four of the biggest US and eurozone banks - Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, JP Morgan and Citi - were dragged into the Libor scandal for the first time on Wednesday when the European Commission hit them with €1.7 billion in fines for their roles in two rate-rigging cartels.
  • Financial Times: Standard Chartered has warned of its first fall in profit for a decade due to weakness in its financial markets business and deepening woes at its Korean unit in the final quarter of the year.
  • Financial Times: Carl Icahn has dropped his demand for Apple to return an extra $150 billion of its cash pile to investors, after finding little support among fellow shareholders in the iPhone maker.
  • Financial Times: A deal signed in South Korea by Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications giant, could undermine Washington’s defence ties with Seoul, according to two powerful US senators Dianne Feinstein and Robert Menendez.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Iran on Wednesday named seven Western oil companies it wants back in its vast oil and gas fields once international sanctions are lifted; they are: BP, Shell, Total of France, Italy's ENI, Norway's Statoil, and US companies Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips.
  • The Guardian: Google has revealed that it is developing humanoid robots that could one day carry groceries to customers’ door.
  • The Guardian: Hewlett Packard has announced plans to cut more than 1,100 UK jobs at the start of next year.
  • Financial Times: Gazprom is suing for peace with Brussels and embarking on talks to settle a sweeping antitrust investigation that threatened its business model in Europe.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Australian airline Qantas is cutting 1,000 jobs as it predicted a half-year loss of up to £165 million.
  • The Independent: From next year Britain is going to begin exporting pig semen to Chinese farmers in a deal worth £45 million.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: George Osborne will proclaim on Thursday that a budget surplus is in sight for the first time since the millennium, raising Tory hopes of significant tax cuts in the next parliament after nearly a decade of austerity.
  • The Guardian: The ratings agency Standard & Poor's is considering lifting its threat to Britain's AAA credit rating in a boost to the chancellor George Osborne ahead of Thursday's autumn statement.
  • Financial Times: Young people entering the work force today may not be able to retire until 70, it will emerge on Wednesday, as the British government accelerates plans to raise the state pension age to reflect life expectancy.
  • Financial Times: India refused to back down on Wednesday from its threat to block the first global trade deal in a generation as efforts to negotiate a compromise accelerated.
  • The Guardian: Goldman Sachs has said it would move much of its European business out of London if Britain leaves the European Union.
  • The Independent: Tom Zarges, the chairman of Nuclear Management Partners, a consortium running the decontamination of Sellafield, has apologised for a string of management failures that has seen the cost of cleaning up the Cumbria site soar beyond £70 billion.
  • The Independent: The UK government is expected to sell its 40% stake in the Eurostar rail service under a new infrastructure spending plan.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Centrica's plan for a £2 billion wind farm off the coast of Norfolk has been snubbed by ministers, who rejected a request for it to qualify as one of the first wave of new energy projects.
  • Financial Times: An ongoing tax dispute could force Finnish phonemaker Nokia to excise its Indian operations from its pending sale to Microsoft and close a major manufacturing facility in the Asian country, a Finnish government minister has warned.
  • Financial Times: Three industry groups - the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Institute of International Bankers - filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Commodity Futures Trading Commission challenging the agency’s controversial, cross-border swaps rules, which are part of a broad effort to reform the derivatives market.
  • The Independent: Tesco’s like-for-like sales in the UK fell 1.5% in the three months to 23 November; sales also fell across all international regions for the second quarter in a row.
  • Financial Times: Tan Chi Min, a Singapore trader fired by Royal Bank of Scotland for allegedly manipulating the London interbank lending rate, has dropped his lawsuit for wrongful dismissal.
  • The Guardian: Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union have reached a settlement on workers' terms and conditions at the recently privatised company.
  • Financial Times: Newsweek is returning to print in January or February as “a premium product, a boutique product”, its editor-in-chief Jim Impoco told the New York Times.
  • The Daily Telegraph: IKEA store's computer servers have crashed after it received 20,000 online applications for 400 jobs in just three days.
  • Financial Times: Kano, a London-based start-up, trying to make computer programming as simple and fun as Lego has smashed its initial fundraising target by attracting over $1 million in pledges in two weeks through crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
  • Financial Times: CITIC Pacific, the Chinese conglomerate, has finally loaded its maiden shipment of iron ore from its Australian venture - four years behind schedule and $8 billion over budget.
  • Financial Times: Shares in the UK’s last remaining major software group Sage climbed 7.3% on Wednesday on the back of its full-year results on Wednesday, a sign of investor confidence that the company’s sometimes painful shift towards cloud and mobile applications is on track.
  • Financial Times: Kering has entered exclusive talks to offload its La Redoute mail-order business through a management buyout as it seeks to concentrate wholly on its luxury and lifestyle businesses.
  • Financial Times: Chief executives of big US companies are warning that the country faces another year of sluggish growth, while expressing hope that a deal over the budget being discussed in Congress will kick-start the economic recovery.
  • The Independent: Developer St Modwen has struck a deal with Marks & Spencer to open one of its biggest stores in the UK.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Italy’s state-backed investment fund, Fondo Strategico Italiano, has tabled the highest bid for a minority stake in Versace, with an offer that values the family-owned fashion group at €1.1 billion including debt, according to two people with direct knowledge of the talks.
  • Financial Times: Metro Bank is planning to raise £387.5 million from investors - an increase of £100 million on its original target - as it seeks to finance the opening of dozens more branches across the UK.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Those analysts who argue there is a fundamental problem with Tesco's pricing policies, and thus its margin target, are surely on to something.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The whole eurozone must have a higher inflation rate to lift the South far enough above the deflation line to gain breathing room.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Without drastic action Tesco risks being stuck in a vicious circle for years.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): Much noise but little light has been shed on the real story of what has happened to Britain’s living standards under the Coalition, with Labour throwing brickbats at the Government.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK infrastructure: The pledge by leading insurers to commit £25 billion shows how much private sector money might be available to invest in UK infrastructure
  • Financial Times (Lex): LNG: Asian consumers of liquefied natural gas would like more power over pricing.
  • Financial Times (Lex): NCR Corporation: NCR has been a canny dealmaker, but it is perhaps time to worry about organic growth and cash flow.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank of Ireland: Slowly but surely the Irish state is withdrawing its support from Ireland’s biggest bank by assets. But there is still some way to go.

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