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Thursday Papers: Europe-US tussle over BNP escalates

Thursday Papers: Europe-US tussle over BNP escalates

Top stories

  • Financial Times: French President François Hollande said on Wednesday it was his duty to raise with US counterpart Barack Obama the possibility of a “disproportionate” penalty against BNP Paribas for allegedly violating US sanctions.
  • The Guardian: The pressure has increased on Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke after he revealed the supermarket's worst sales performance in decades, despite spending over £1 billion on store revamps and price cuts in a fightback against discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Stuttering' eurozone growth has pressurised Draghi to act as GDP in the 18-nation currency bloc expands by just 0.2% in the three months to March as eurozone recovery remains fragile.
  • Financial Times: Germany is set to lift its ban on fracking as early as next year, after caving in to business demands that it should reduce its dependency on Russian energy and boost competitiveness with US manufacturers.
  • Financial Times: Twitter has considered buying online music services including Soundcloud and Spotify in recent months – a move that suggests it is willing to attempt its largest acquisition to secure new sources of growth.
  • The Guardian: Britain is still unprepared for another financial crash and its banks have yet to strenghten their reserves sufficiently to survive another crisis, according to a senior Bank of England official.
  • The Guardian: The bicycles-to-car accessories retailer, Halfords, has paid between £10 million and £15 million to buy Boardman Bikes.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Medtronic is considering an approach for Smith & Nephew that would see the US firm move its tax base to Britain.
  • The Independent: The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply’s latest snapshot of a sector spanning restaurants to accountants showed hiring matched the fastest pace seen in the survey’s 17-year history.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: ETF Securities, one of the biggest providers of exchange traded funds has entered the race to develop a new global silver price benchmark when the 117-year-old London silver fix is disbanded in August.
  • Financial Times: The opening of Heathrow’s new £2.5 billion Terminal 2 on Wednesday appeared to have avoided the chaotic scenes associated with the launch of Terminal 5, as the airport expressed increasing confidence that it could secure political backing for a third runway.
  • Financial Times: The UK has 4.2 million people working from home, or a record 13.9% of those in work – and more are in highly skilled roles than other workers, official data have shown.
  • Financial Times: Business was relieved that the Queen’s Speech focused on a limited number of bills and had an emphasis on enterprise, but said the government would be judged by its actions rather than the number of bills it passed.
  • Financial Times: Two more people have been convicted of operating a £70 million “boiler-room” scam that defrauded more than 1,000 UK investors in order to fund a luxury lifestyle that included the use of private jets and yachts.
  • Financial Times: The leaders of the group of seven industrialised powers will on Wednesday night call on Russia to accelerate its withdrawal of troops from the border with Ukraine and stop the flow of weapons into the country.
  • Financial Times: Angela Merkel embraced the UK on Wednesday with a powerful speech recalling Britain’s wartime sacrifices in an effort to calm the dispute over Jean-Claude Juncker’s bid for the EU’s top job and to dispel fears of Britain leaving the union.
  • Financial Times: UK Broadband, the telecoms group owned by Hong Kong-based PCCW, will try to tempt homes and businesses to abandon landlines with the offer of 4G internet provision across London.
  • Financial Times: A former US federal prosecutor is expected to shine an unforgiving light on General Motors’ internal dysfunction on Thursday when he publishes his report into the company’s botched ignition switch recall.
  • Financial Times: Kweku Adoboli, the ex-UBS trader whose unauthorised trading led to losses of $2.3 billion at the Swiss bank, has failed in his attempts to get permission to appeal against his conviction.
  • Financial Times: Wages in the Premier League spiralled upwards even as top flight football clubs in Germany and Spain reined in spending on players’ salaries – while still outperforming English clubs on the pitch.
  • Financial Times: Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, said it had “closed a minor chapter” on its disappointing 35-year investment in Spain’s Repsol after selling the bulk of its holding for a $900 million profit in order to focus on better prospects at home.
  • Financial Times: The shares of leading Indian insurance groups surged on Wednesday reflecting investor expectation that recently appointed Prime Minister Narendra Modi will move swiftly to allow greater foreign investment in the sector.
  • Financial Times: An alliance of small record labels has called on European regulators to intervene in a dispute with YouTube over licensing terms for its new music subscription service.
  • Financial Times: GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $105 million to more than 40 US states to settle allegations of unlawful marketing, ending a long saga in which the UK company was accused of providing lavish incentives for salesmen and doctors to promote its drugs for unauthorised purposes.
  • Financial Times: Explorers such as Premier Oil and Noble Energy with blocks in waters surrounding the Falkland Islands have committed themselves to another round of drilling, with a possible $250 million or more spent on attempting to find further deposits of oil and gas.
  • Financial Times: The failure of two Ukrainian oligarchs to cast their disputed votes prevented a possible boardroom shake-up at JKX Oil & Gas on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: Small investors have lent £1 million to a manufacturing business, Mecmesin, in what is thought to be the largest single peer-to-peer loan to an established company outside the property industry.
  • Financial Times: London small business landlord Workspace’s property portfolio has jumped in value by more than a quarter as the capital’s growing economy pushes up its rental income.
  • Financial Times: Bankers have recommended Carlyle consider a listing of London’s minicab company Addison Lee, urging it to tap into a flagging initial public offering market sooner rather than later.
  • Daily Mail: RBS and NatWest have followed Lloyds to crack down on large mortgages as fears grow for overheating London house prices.
  • The Guardian: Banks have underpaid compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance policies to the tune of around £1 billion; shortfalls reportedly affect credit card customers with Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, MBNA and Capital One.
  • The Guardian: Morrisons is set to reveal a management restructuring in its stores within weeks that could lead to as many as 2,000 job losses.
  • The Guardian: Desmond Tutu will lead protesters on Thursday campaigning against British security firm G4S's role in maintaining prisons and detention centres in the West Bank and Israel.
  • The Guardian: Employers will be given the option to join Dutch-style pension schemes as part of the government's latest plans to turn around a long-term decline in saving for retirement.
  • The Independent: Private contractors have pocketed hundreds of millions of pounds of profits in the past four years by exploiting deals that were controversially awarded to them by the last Labour government.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Hedge fund GLG Partners has taken a 0.6% short position in the freshly-floated Saga shares.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The new legislative programme included an overhaul of planning rules for shale gas explorers and housebuilders and a raft of measures to unleash small business growth.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Dai-ichi Life Insurance of Japan has confirmed the $5.7 billion takeover of US-based Protective Life as it seeks to diversify away from its shrinking domestic market.
  • Financial Times: Frasers Centrepoint, a Singapore-listed property company controlled by one of Thailand’s richest men, has made a A$2.6 billion (US$2.4 billion) approach for Australand, one of Australia’s biggest property groups, trumping a rival offer.
  • Financial Times: Financial Times: RPC Group says it is looking for acquisitions in eastern and western Europe as the European plastic packaging market enters a consolidation phase over the next five to 10 years.
  • Financial Times: Dufry, the Swiss duty-free store operator, is to buy its local rival Nuance Group for SFr1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) in a deal that will allow Dufry to expand in the busy Mediterranean market and cement its position at the top of the global airport retail industry.
  • Financial Times: OneSavings Bank, a British bank owned by US private equity investor Christopher Flowers, has priced its shares at the bottom of its range; it will start conditional trading on the London Stock Exchange at 170p per share on Thursday, valuing it at £413 million.
  • Financial Times: Café Rouge owner, Tragus, will sell off its struggling UK Strada brand after the restaurant group agreed a restructuring deal that will slash its debt burden from £354 million to £91 million.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Tesco: every Lidl hurts.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Facebook/Pryte: space race.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Dai-ichi Life / Protective Life: cover me.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Australand / Frasers: hot property.
  • Financial Times (Lex): African cement: Dangote’s day?
  • Financial Times (Comment): London’s flotation exuberance wears thin.

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