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Thursday Papers: Sports Direct shareholders scupper £70m payoff

Thursday Papers: Sports Direct shareholders scupper £70m payoff

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Shareholders shot down the Sports Direct’s plan to award its billionaire founder Mike Ashley more than £70 millon in shares.
  • Financial Times: Big institutional investors are taking legal advice about pursuing the City’s financial regulator after its botched disclosure of a market sensitive probe sparked a sell off of insurers’ shares.
  • The Independent: Britain’s builders are the most confident since 2007 buoyed by Help to Buy scheme and growing optimism among construction firms.
  • The Guardian: Amazon unveils Fire TV $99 set top box, that will give instant access to more than 200,000 films and TV series, as rival to Google and Apple.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Börse’s Clearstream Banking unit is facing a US criminal investigation over alleged violations of money laundering laws and sanctions against Iran.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Vodafone will invest £100 million in 150 new retail stores over the next year as part of efforts to reduce its reliance on third parties such as Carphone Warehouse.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain to have just one remaining coal pit after UK Coal announces closures at Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire, which employs 700 people, and Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire, which employs 600 people.
  • Financial Times: Microsoft is to give away its software for smartphones free of charge and reverse course a second time on its controversial Windows 8 PC operating system, in the latest attempt to shore up its eroding software platform against Apple and Google.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: More than half of FTSE 100 chairmen who participated in a survey by headhunters Korn Ferry said tougher immigration laws would harm competitiveness and growth.
  • Financial Times: The chair of a US senate committee investigating General Motors’ botched ignition switch recall on Wednesday accused the company of “a culture of cover-up,” saying an engineer lied on oath about how a critical design change came to be made.
  • Financial Times: Private hospital operators were able to claim a significant victory after Britain’s competition watchdog scaled back plans to force them to sell nine luxury hospitals.
  • Financial Times: UK universities contribute £73 billion to the country’s economy, an increase of nearly a quarter during the past five years, research has shown.
  • Financial Times: Vince Cable denied that there was any “gentleman’s agreement” with blue-chip investors on Royal Mail privatisation after party leaders clashed in the Commons yesterday.
  • Financial Times: Intesa Sanpaolo’s chief executive says he is in talks with the world’s leading distressed debt investors to sell them some of the €27 billion of non-performing loans the Italian lender has placed in its new internal bad bank.
  • Financial Times: The eurozone’s factories are driving the currency bloc’s recovery, with companies in the metals, transport, and food and drink industries spearheading the region’s growth revival.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s biggest logistics group by revenue, forecasted that operating profit will rise to more than €5 billion by 2020, based on growth in online shopping and an expansion of the company’s footprint in emerging markets.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs was fined €37 million on Wednesday as part of an EU cartel inquiry into subsea power cables that highlights the legal risks faced by buyout groups.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Sweett, the UK’s only listed quantity surveyor, fell 28% after it said it had launched a second independent investigation into allegations of improper business conduct involving a former employee in the Middle East.
  • Financial Times: Blythe Masters, a pioneer of credit derivatives, one of the products at the heart of the financial crisis, has resigned from JPMorgan Chase after more than two decades at the bank.
  • Financial Times: Kentz is to abandon its lonely resistance to giving shareholders a “say on pay”, as the FTSE350 group prepares to allow investors to vote on its remuneration report for the first time.
  • Financial Times: Saxo Bank, the Danish bank specialising in online trading, will this month become the latest financial institution to try to harness the power of social media in the pursuit of new clients.
  • Financial Times: Directors and senior managers who have floated their companies on London’s main market have been richly rewarded with shares – but have also become more generous towards their staff.
  • Financial Times: Domino’s Pizza Group now makes nearly 70% of its sales over the internet as the pizza group benefits from its early push into online ordering.
  • Financial Times: Office2Office has warned that an expected fall in profits will make a resumption of dividend payments unlikely – giving fresh impetus to attempts by a US investor to shake up the stationery supplier’s board.
  • Financial Times: FirstGroup said it had made satisfactory progress towards its turnround but warned that “abnormal” winter weather had weighed on its performance in the US.
  • Financial Times: With an eye on the growth of mobile ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba and prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz have teamed up to invest $250 million into the US ride-share app Lyft.
  • Financial Times: Poland’s state carrier Lot posted an unexpected net profit for 2013 just a year after being bailed out by the government.
  • Financial Times: Nick Robertson, chief executive of Asos, said the fast fashion retailer’s ambitious expansion plans remain “intact” despite investment dragging down first-half earnings by a fifth.
  • Financial Times: London’s surging property market widened the price gap with the rest of the UK to record levels, , according to Nationwide’s latest figures.
  • Financial Times: Frank Perkins Hixon, a long-time Wall Street banker, pleaded guilty to six counts, including securities fraud, in an insider trading case; He faces up to 57 months in prison and was ordered to forfeit $710,000 he gained from the trading.
  • Financial Times: Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch with close ties to Russia, has been indicted in a Chicago courtroom for money laundering, racketeering and bribing Indian officials, in a move some believe is linked to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
  • Financial Times: The heavyweights of industrial America have turned on Silicon Valley in a battle over patents by attacking reform legislation on Capitol Hill that is strongly supported by prominent technology companies.
  • The Guardian: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has been accused of engaging in a hypocritical cover-up of its own report into allegations of tax avoidance by a Zambian mining firm largely owned by the giant Swiss commodity trader GlencoreXstrata.
  • The Guardian: Bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland is closing 44 branches in a move that campaigners fear will damage local communities.
  • The Guardian: Boeing will sack up to 300 workers at its Port Melbourne plant by the end of 2014.
  • The Guardian: UK workers have suffered a 7.6% fall in real wages over the past six years, with those in the construction sector hit by the sharpest drop.
  • The Guardian: Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has handed its chief executive Sam Laidlaw shares worth up to £2 million – just days after he publicly gave his £851,000 cash bonus to charity.
  • The Guardian: The cigarette maker Philip Morris is closing its Australian manufacturing operations, with 180 jobs to go.
  • Daily Express: Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways and US partner Delta Air Lines have expanded their transatlantic summer schedule after their tie-up last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Deutsche Bank warns of threat posed to UK economy by overheating housing market, end of cheap money and rise in interest rates.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the lender created from the collapse of two of Ireland's largest banks, has sold off just over €11 billion of bad loans, almost completing the disposal of its toxic portfolio.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bids for Channel 5 expected to be less than half £700 million asking price.
  • Daily Mail: Glencore has finally finished work to stop toxic sulphur pollution at a Zambian copper mine, after missing an earlier deadline to complete the job.
  • The Independent: A new payment, Paym, will allow users to transfer money to recipients using their mobile phone number is to launch later this month.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Aldermore has put itself in pole position to become one of the first challenger banks to list on the London Stock Exchange this year.
  • Financial Times: Osisko Mining has fought back against a hostile takeover bid from Goldcorp, unveiling a “white knight” plan for a tie-up with another Canadian goldminer, Yamana.
  • Financial Times: Spanish certification company Applus is to list on Spain’s main stock exchanges seven years after being purchased by US private equity group Carlyle.
  • Financial Times: Google's share split will leave two different classes of share under the ticker symbols GOOG - no vote - and GOOGL - minimal vote; stock market investors will face an unusual choice when it comes to buying shares in Google: whether they want a negligible vote in the world’s biggest internet company, or none at all.
  • Financial Times: Israeli start-up Outbrain that earned $100 million in sales last year aound providing online recommendations on the websites of publishers like the Independent, Rolling Stone and Fox News, is seeking to raise $100 million in a US initial public offering.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Credit bubble fears put central bankers on edge.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Oilmen, bankers and utilities blamed for fall in UK productivity.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Prada: situation at luxury goods maker appears to be deteriorating.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Apple: when farmers are fighting to sell you milk, why buy the cow?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Noble / Cofco: could dairy deals be next on China’s shopping list?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Vestas: turbine maker has rebounded from near death experience.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Comcast / TWC: Comcast’s share price may be slipping but it still holds leverage over Time Warner Cable.
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