Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register free for our breaking news email alerts with analysis and cutting edge commentary from our award winning team. Registration only takes a minute.

Thursday Papers: Facebook snaps up WhatsApp in $19bn deal

Thursday Papers: Facebook snaps up WhatsApp in $19bn deal

Top stories

  • The Guardian: Facebook announced the purchase of the mobile messaging service WhatsApp on Wednesday, in a $19 billion deal that represents the social media company’s biggest acquisition yet.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Facebook / WhatsApp: the chat app may one day be written down to zero. But with only a fifth of the payment in cash, the sting to shareholders is mitigated.
  • Financial Times: Repsol and Argentina are poised to sign a $5 billion compensation deal that will draw a line under a bitter legal dispute that has raged since Buenos Aires expropriated the Spanish energy group’s assets in the country two years ago.
  • Daily Mail: Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to pay £164 million to settle a US lawsuit accusing it of mis-selling toxic bundles of mortgages before the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone has launched an attack on India’s government in the aftermath of its moves last week to cancel reconciliation talks designed to resolve a $2.6 billion tax dispute between the UK mobile operator and local tax authorities.
  • Financial Times: More than £10 billion will be invested into the British stock market following the sale of Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless next month.

Business and economics

  • Daily Mail: Bakrie family of Indonesia that co-founded Asia Resource Minerals with Nat Rothschild has failed to scrape together the money for a deal to divorce them from the company; ARM, formerly known as Bumi, said the heavily indebted family could come up with only £98 million, £39 million short of the £137 million needed for their separation agreement with the company.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank is close to resolving a decade-long legal battle with the heirs of German media magnate Leo Kirch, with plans for an out-of-court settlement that could see the lender pay out almost €1 billion.
  • The Guardian: Shares in Sports Direct soared 7.1% to 767p on Wednesday, just shy of an all-time high, as it revealed it had enjoyed strong trading over the important Christmas period; sales rose 11.2% year on year to £655.4 million in the 13 weeks to 26 January, with gross profit up 14.6% to £280.7 million.
  • Financial Times: Britain’s biggest property websites Rightmove and Zoopla are facing the threat of losing advertising fees to a rival online portal, Agents Mutual, set up by some of the UK’s best-known estate agents.
  • The Guardian: The British economy is "still too unbalanced" and the recovery has yet to be fully secured, George Osborne will warn in a speech in Hong Kong on Thursday.
  • Daily Mail: HSBC has launched a new range of loyalty cash Isas which it says will give current account customers its best available rate each year - at present, between 1.4-1.6%.
  • The Independent: Scottish Power owner Iberdrola has unveiled plans to invest almost €4 billion in the UK as it looks to offset headwinds both here and in its domestic business in Spain.
  • The Guardian: Another currency trader at Royal Bank of Scotland has been suspended as regulators around the world continue their investigation into potential rigging of the £3 trillion a day foreign exchange market.
  • The Guardian: Google is planning to offer high-speed internet service in 34 more cities scattered across eight states in the company’s boldest challenge yet to cable and telecommunications providers.
  • The Guardian: Walmart, America’s largest private employer, denied reports Wednesday that it is looking at supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage.
  • The Guardian: The International Monetary Fund has urged the European Central Bank to consider cutting interest rates to below zero as it warned that deflation in the eurozone was a key new risk facing the world economy.
  • The Guardian: The British defence firm BAE Systems has finally agreed to a deal on the price of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets it is selling to Saudi Arabia following years of fraught negotiations.
  • The Guardian: Communications group EE is to create 1,000 jobs over the next two years and triple the size of its apprenticeship scheme.
  • Financial Times: Man Group is stepping up its search to acquire another asset management business in a bid to diversify revenues away from its $12.5 billion flagship managed futures fund AHL.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Japan trade deficit expands to record £16.4 billion; the country suffers record monthly trade deficit as a weak yen pushes up post-Fukushima energy costs.
  • The Daily Telegraph: A few Federal Open Market Committee members have said it might be appropriate to increase short-term interest rates "relatively soon".
  • Financial Times: Galliford Try became the latest construction company to benefit from the buoyant housing market, with revenues in its housebuilding division up 20% in the past six months.
  • Financial Times: Lafarge said that demand in the emerging markets would pick up sharply this year and make progress in Europe, as the cement group reported nearly a doubling in fourth-quarter net profit.
  • Financial Times: China’s oil refining giant Sinopec plans to open its distribution networks to outside capital, in a move that could loosen the large oil companies’ grip over the country’s fuel markets.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Carlsberg posts a 3% fall in pre-tax profit for 2013 as Western European and Russian markets decline.
  • The Daily Telegraph: America launches capital crackdown on foreign banks; banks with more than $50 billion of assets in the US will have to shore up their balance sheets by billions of extra dollars in order to pass the Fed's annual "stress tests".
  • The Daily Telegraph: CaixaBank has created an app allowing users to follow stock markets and convert currencies using their Google Glass devices and smartwatches.
  • Financial Times: European banks are looking to swell their US capital ratios by converting intercompany loans and by booking more business outside the US, according to the lenders and their advisers.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Börse, Europe’s largest exchanges operator, is planning to increase spending projects aimed at delivering long-term growth by about €30 million in the coming year, seeking to lessen its dependence on its depressed core markets.
  • Financial Times: Comcast’s top lobbyist for shepherding the $45.2 billion Time Warner Cable bid through the regulatory process has dismissed concerns that the deal would face significant antitrust challenges and predicted that officials will clear the transaction.
  • Financial Times: A trade body for video games developers has hit out at a “predatory” move by King to trademark terms including “candy” and “saga” ahead of its initial public offering.
  • Financial Times: UK unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.2% of the workforce in the three months to December, up from 7.1% in the September to November period, the first rise for 10 months.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail: Pets at Home yesterday became the latest business to outline plans to join the London stock market as float fever gripped the City; the private equity-owned company looks set to be valued at up to £1.5 billion in a move that will see staff share a £120 million windfall.
  • Financial Times: Ardagh Glass is expecting to receive bids for its Budweiser beer bottle-making unit this week in a deal that would allay antitrust concerns about the Irish industrial group’s proposed expansion in the US, sources said.
  • Financial Times: Carlyle joined listed private equity rivals Apollo, Blackstone and KKR by reporting strong fourth-quarter profits with economic net income more than tripling to $576 million compared with the same period a year before.
  • Financial Times: Noble Energy, the biggest foreign investor in Israel’s offshore Mediterranean natural gasfields, on Wednesday announced a $500 million contract that will see gas exported to customers in neighbouring Jordan.
  • Financial Times: Ocwen Financial, the biggest non-bank mortgage servicer in the US, is pitching to investors a $136 million bond deal backed by a pool of mortgage servicing rights to help propel its future growth and diversify its business away from collecting payments on thousands of subprime home loans.
  • Financial Times: South Africa’s Standard Bank, which is selling its UK-based markets division to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, has emerged as a potential buyer of Deutsche Bank’s seat in the global gold price-setting process, sources said.
  • Financial Times: US money market funds’ investments in European banks have dropped to their lowest level in a year following a decision by the European Central Bank to cut a key interest rate.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Beware of private equity dogs, which allow management to make the tough decisions behind closed doors without the pesky interference of shareholders.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Boutique tapes: my business will never be sold

Boutique tapes: my business will never be sold

In the final part of our four part series we discuss consolidation and whether it's getting tougher for boutiques to survive.

Play Boutique tapes: are top managers better off at small firms?

Boutique tapes: are top managers better off at small firms?

In episode three of our series, boutique bosses discuss whether the best fund managers are more likely to thrive at smaller firms.

Play Boutique tapes: if you want a Ferrari, you have to pay for it

Boutique tapes: if you want a Ferrari, you have to pay for it

In the second part of our four-part series, boutique bosses are asked how they can justify the fees charged by active managers.

Read More
Your Business: Cover Star Club

Profile: how this boutique beat the big guns of wealth

Profile: how this boutique beat the big guns of wealth

This small west country offshoot of a local IFA scooped a 2018 Citywire award from beneath the noses of the national challengers

Wealth Manager on Twitter