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Thursday Papers: EU sanctions push on Russia falters

Thursday Papers: EU sanctions push on Russia falters

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Europe’s resolve to impose tough sanctions on Moscow is cracking under corporate lobbying, as companies warn governments that any retaliation from the Kremlin could cost them dearly.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK interest rates are expected to match rise in wages and jobs, potentially climbing to 1.75% next year, according to a Treasury survey of City economists.
  • The Independent: Credit Suisse has found nothing “materially untoward” in its internal investigation into foreign-exchange trading, its finance director David Mather has said.
  • The Guardian: Tax campaigners have questioned whether Starbucks will make a significant additional contribution to Treasury coffers after the coffee chain announced that it is moving its European head office from the Netherlands to the UK.
  • Financial Times: Hedge funds have had their worst start to the year since the start of the financial crisis as political uncertainly in Ukraine, steep falls in US technology and biotechnology shares and a whipsaw reversal in the value of the Japanese yen caught many managers by surprise.
  • Daily Mail: Sterling powered to its strongest level against the US dollar for more than four years last night as investors bet on an early rise in UK interest rates.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: New York’s attorney-general has sent subpoenas to six high-frequency trading firms as its investigation into whether certain traders have an unfair advantage over others widens beyond the stock exchanges.
  • Financial Times: Sean Fitzpatrick, the banker who became synonymous with the collapse of Ireland’s financial system, has been cleared of making fraudulent loans after one of the longest and most complex corporate trials in the country’s history.
  • Financial Times: Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco, said he would press ahead with his £1 billion turnround plan for the supermarket despite a 7% fall in underlying profit and mounting pressure from shareholders.
  • Financial Times: The British coffee chain market is increasingly competitive, as trends such as “flat whites” and single-origin beans sweep a nation buying an estimated 1.7 billion cups of the drink a year.
  • Financial Times: Brussels is to grant €300 million to a pioneering carbon capture and storage project in the UK.
  • Financial Times: The life expectancy gap between the wealthiest and poorest areas of the UK has shrunk, official data show, amid signs that the longevity of men, in particular, is improving.
  • Financial Times: UK companies are ramping up marketing budgets at the fastest pace in at least 14 years, a survey shows.
  • Financial Times: Even a recovering US economy may not pull inflation back up towards the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, Janet Yellen has said, in remarks that raise the possibility of easy monetary policy for longer than currently expected.
  • Financial Times: Russia has threatened to take the US to the World Trade Organisation over sanctions imposed in the context of the Ukraine crisis.
  • Financial Times: Burberry’s strategy in China has paid off and helped sales at the British luxury goods group rise by almost a fifth in the space of six months, shrugging off fears of a slowdown in the country.
  • Financial Times: Gunvor, the Swiss-based oil trader drawn into the political confrontation over Ukraine, has announced a sharp rise in underlying profits for 2013.
  • Financial Times: Bank of America reported its first quarterly loss in almost three years as the bank set aside an extra $2.4 billion to settle previously disclosed legal actions, including its talks with the Department of Justice’s mortgage task force.
  • Financial Times: A potential £8.5 billion merger between two engineering groups has collapsed after Metso rejected an approach by Scottish rival Weir, with the latter saying there was “no certainty” it would revise its offer.
  • Financial Times: Tesco’s international operations are showing signs of stability with an upturn in central Europe, as the company prepares to return to the US by opening F&F clothing stores in Boston.
  • Financial Times: The fight to control a coveted Canadian gold mine intensified after two of the country’s mid-cap miners, Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold, teamed up in a revamped offer for Osisko Mining to try to trump a hostile bid by Goldcorp.
  • Financial Times: Barclays has defused a legal row with Africa’s biggest remittances provider by agreeing to keep its account open for a period of time that allows the company to find a replacement bank.
  • Financial Times: Tata Consultancy Services delivered an upbeat assessment of rising global demand for India’s IT outsourcing sector year, as the nation's largest software company by revenues unveiled fourth-quarter results largely in line with expectations.
  • Financial Times: RWE said it expected its net income to stabilise “at a lower level” beyond 2014, after the shift to renewable energy inflicted a €2.8 billion net loss last year on Germany’s second-biggest utility by market value.
  • Financial Times: The head of Europe’s biggest newspaper publisher by circulation has accused Google of seeking to establish a digital “superstate” free from the constraints of antitrust regulators and privacy concerns.
  • Financial Times: Japan’s Toyota took a big step in its drive to produce more exciting vehicles when it launched a restyled Camry sedan on the first day of a New York auto show where several carmakers sought to burnish their brands and key models.
  • Financial Times: BHP Billiton kept up momentum towards a possible enhanced payout for investors by raising some production forecasts.
  • Financial Times: Hong Kong-listed Citic Pacific, predominantly an iron ore miner, will purchase 100% of the broad-ranging Citic Limited from Citic Group in a deal first flagged in March, details of which were unveiled yesterday to become largest multi-industry conglomerate in China.
  • Financial Times: Credit Suisse’s net profits slumped by a third in the first quarter, missing analysts’ expectations after a weak performance from its investment bank.
  • Financial Times: Ofcom is to review whether BSkyB should have to wholesale its key sports channels to its rivals, in a move that could strengthen the pay-TV operator in its battle with BT.
  • Financial Times: The man responsible for RSA’s operations in western Europe when accounting irregularities came to light at its Irish arm is to leave the insurance group, in the latest management change under new chief executive Stephen Hester.
  • Financial Times: Reckitt Benckiser says it is leaning towards a spin-off of the pharmaceuticals division it put under strategic review in October.
  • Financial Times: Two housebuilders in different corners of the UK’s buoyant property market delivered further evidence of the resurgence sweeping across the sector.
  • Financial Times: Lancashire’s founder and chief executive is to stand aside less than six months after he completed the insurer’s first ever takeover deal, capping a period of upheaval.
  • Financial Times: NextEnergy Solar Fund is to acquire eight UK solar projects after raising £86 millio in a London IPO.
  • Financial Times: Heathrow airport says the cost of an average air fare would fall sharply if it had a third runway, according to research that backs its case for expansion.
  • The Guardian: Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB is believed to be involved in leading bid for Channel 5 making a joint offer along with Discovery Communications.
  • The Guardian: Law Society has urged people to leave instructions for their digital legacy; Solicitors organisation has warned that too much valuable, intellectual property is in danger of being lost when a person passes away.
  • The Guardian: Google reported slower than expected growth in revenues as the company looked to push past rivals such as Apple and Netflix in the competitive advertising and mobile technology markets.
  • The Guardian: China's economy grew at the slowest rate in 18 months in the first quarter of the year, raising fears that the government will miss its 2014 growth target.
  • The Guardian: GlaxoSmithKline, the UK's largest drug firm, is investigating claims that its staff in Jordan and Lebanon have bribed doctors; the inquiry comes after separate allegations of unscrupulous behaviour by staff in China, Iraq and Poland, with the last two of those cases both emerging earlier this month.
  • The Guardian: A UN-backed scheme to compensate victims of Bangladesh's Rana Plaza factory collapse is barely one-third full, despite pressure on dozens of western brands to assume some financial responsibility for one of the world's deadliest industrial accidents of modern times.
  • The Independent: Activist investor Daniel Loeb took another swipe at Sotheby’s this week and claimed attacks on him are “false” and “misleading”.
  • The Independent: The Swiss will vote in a referendum next month on whether to create a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs (£15) per hour, or 4,000 francs a month.
  • The Daily Telegraph: IBM said revenues from hardware sales, including its big servers, fell 23% in the first quarter.
  • Daily Mail: The Co-operative Group is expected to post losses as high as £2.5 billion tomorrow, signalling that the mutual's ongoing woes are far from over.
  • Daily Mail: The Bank of England was given a fresh headache yesterday as concerns about a bubble in the housing market took the gloss off another fall in inflation.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Two of Britain’s veteran entrepreneurs Nick Leslau and Sir Tom Hunter are set to return to the stock market within weeks with a flotation of £1.5 billion of property assets, including Alton Towers and London’s Madame Tussauds.
  • The Daily Telegraph: US dating firm Zoosk is looking to raise up to $100 million in initial public offering.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Twitter has acquired its long-term data partner Gnip, in a bid to to better monetise its Firehose data.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Rolls Royce to pay €2.43 billion for Daimler's 50% stake in Rolls-Royce Power Systems; the British engine maker will take full ownership of RRPS, which makes high-speed diesel engines for the marine, energy and defence industries.
  • Financial Times: Two of the world’s highest-profile container shipping lines, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd and Chile’s CSAV, announced on Wednesday that they will join forces to create the world’s fourth-largest container ship fleet.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Credit Suisse: Swiss bank needs to do more to restructure its investment bank.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bank of America: painful reminder of lingering legal woes.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Tesco: UK supermarket CEO starting to look like a man under pressure.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BHP Billiton: Potash patience.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Citic Pacific: state-owned conglomerate turns ailing offshoot into big financial group

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