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Thursday Papers: Google sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.9bn

Thursday Papers: Google sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.9bn

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Google has agreed to sell its Motorola Mobility division to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in cash, stock and deferred payments, marking a rapid retreat after less than two years in the handset business.
  • Financial Times: Barclays has warned it will take £330 million more provisions for legal and regulatory issues that will eat into its fourth-quarter profits next month as it continues to be haunted by the long shadow of pre-crisis transgressions.
  • Financial Times: An independent Scotland would have to surrender some sovereignty in a monetary union with the UK, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BP should remain barred from winning any new contracts with the American government because it has not demonstrated that it is a “responsible” contractor following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the US Department of Justice has said.
  • Financial Times: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is set to become the first large state-owned Chinese lender to set up significant trading operations in London with a $765 million deal to buy a majority stake in Standard Bank’s global markets business.
  • Financial Times: Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell a stake in one of its Brazilian offshore assets to Qatar’s state-owned oil and gas company for $1 billion.
  • Financial Times: Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata’s pay will be cut in half from February to June this year as the Japanese company’s profits took a nosedive due to poor sales of its Wii U games console.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank cut overall pay for its investment bankers by 14% last year in a move that heightened concerns over European banks’ competitiveness versus their US peers.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The sell-off in emerging market currencies intensified on Wednesday despite a string of surprise rate rises by central banks as investors warned policy makers would need to take tougher action to restore confidence.
  • Financial Times: The US Federal Reserve reduced its monthly asset purchases by another $10 billion to $65 billion on Wednesday as it shrugged off emerging market turmoil at Chairman Ben Bernanke’s final meeting.
  • Financial Times: Chief executive of J Sainsbury Justin King on Wednesday announced plans to step down as chief executive in July, just weeks after restoring the once accident-prone supermarket group to its place as Britain’s second-biggest food retailer after Tesco.
  • The Independent: Trade unions and consumer groups have reacted angrily to reports that Barclays could close up to a quarter of its 1600 branches over the next few years.
  • The Guardian: Vince Cable is demanding an urgent meeting with the boss of Lloyds Banking Group after the bailed-out bank made deep cuts to the number of its small business experts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: More than 1,000 companies have come forward with allegations of “morally wrong” treatment at the hands of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s restructuring division, MPs have been told.
  • Financial Times: Facebook trounced expectations for the third quarter in a row, as its total revenues hit $2.6 billion, above the consensus estimate of $2.1 billion, and 76% higher than the same quarter in 2012.
  • Financial Times: Fiat Chrysler will list in New York and drop the Fiat name from its new logo as the newly-combined carmaker pushes ahead with a politically sensitive decision to shift away from Italy.
  • The Guardian: AgustaWestland, the helicopter unit of Finmeccanica, has won two contracts from Britain's Ministry of Defence worth a total of about €910 million, the Italian defence group said on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: Novartis’s $14 billion stake in its local rival Roche is one of the assets it is scrutinising as part of a broader review of its wide-ranging portfolio, Novartis’s chief executive Joe Jimenez said.
  • Financial Times: Dow Chemicals and Sotheby’s, the two companies under pressure from outspoken activist US investor Daniel Loeb, on Wednesday responded with moves aimed at pleasing shareholders even as they rejected his central arguments.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz has promoted chief financial officer Troy Alstead to the new position of chief operating officer, allowing Schultz to focus on expanding the coffee shop chain's e-commerce business.
  • Financial Times: ITV has made a big push into pay TV, with the creation of a drama channel that will only be available to Sky subscribers.
  • The Independent: Samsung has announced plans to open 60 of its own branded stores in Britain and six other European countries, in a bid to challenge Apple's successful retail store approach.
  • The Guardian: Nissan's sales have hit an all-time high of 460,000 cars and vans in December, after Chinese consumers rediscovered their taste for Japanese cars.
  • Financial Times: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group cut its government bond holdings in half in the nine months to December, signalling support for the ambitious campaign to reflate Japan led by Shinzo Abe, prime minister.
  • Daily Mail: Lloyds Bank is offering £500 on a prepaid MasterCard for customers remortgaging from another lender, but you will also need its current account to get the best rates.
  • Financial Times: Two of China’s biggest internet companies - Alibaba and Tencent - are fighting a proxy war over the lucrative mobile payments market by backing rival taxi-hailing apps.
  • Financial Times: Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond has hired financial services veteran David Schamis as a founding partner to run the private equity arm of his new venture Atlas Merchant Capital.
  • The Independent: Stefano Sassi, the chief executive of Italian fashion house Valentino, has joined the British brand Anya Hindmarch as a director and it is thought he will help advise on its international expansion.
  • Daily Mail: A move to take Mulberry upmarket by hiking prices and targeting affluent Asian shoppers backfired after consumers flocked to cheaper brands, prompting another profit warning.
  • Financial Times: Zopa, Europe’s largest peer-to-peer loan platform, has secured £15m from London-based hedge fund Arrowgrass Capital Partners in the latest sign of investor interest in companies that use technology to cut banks out of the lending process.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Ono, the Spanish cable group at the centre of takeover interest from Vodafone and John Malone’s Liberty Global, is forging on with its own plans to float in Madrid after filing documents with the Spanish regulator.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): The deep integration of English and Scottish business means that sharing a currency makes unambiguous sense.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): World risks deflationary shock as BRICS puncture credit bubbles.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Is Sainsbury's about to do a Tesco?
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): One has to be very careful about overdoing the praise for Ben Bernanke, who Wednesday night chaired his last session of the Federal Open Markets Committee.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Facebook: Investors will give it time to experiment.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Boeing: Labour clash takes on new light with the focus on cash costs.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Turkey: Sharp rate rise may not entice equity investors back.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fiat / Chrysler: Investors, like management, should be satisfied, but not overly excited.

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Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Brett Williams is best known for helping to build some of the biggest platforms in the IFA market.He made the move over to wealth management to head SEI’s UK business earlier this year in the belief that this is where the best opportunities now lie.

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