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Thursday Papers: Greece launches sale of five-year bond

Thursday Papers: Greece launches sale of five-year bond

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Greece has returned to global capital markets for the first time since the eurozone crisis erupted in 2010, attracting huge demand for its government bonds in a sign of growing investor confidence in the region’s weakest economies.
  • The Guardian: An investigation by the government of Guinea concluded that a company run by billionaire Beny Steinmetz should be stripped of lucrative mining concessions because it had obtained them through corruption.
  • Financial Times: Lord Myners, the senior independent director of Co-operative Group, tendered his resignation amid growing opposition to his plans to reform the UK’s biggest mutual.
  • The Independent: Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has recalled 6.4 million vehicles globally over five separate glitches, affecting more than 35,000 cars in the UK.
  • The Guardian: The eurozone's creaking banking system poses a serious threat to global financial stability, according to the International Monetary Fund, which warned European leaders to accelerate plans to support weak banks and create a banking union.
  • The Daily Telegraph: European Commission has let RBS amend a state-aid agreement that mean shareholders could not be paid a dividend.
  • The Independent: Security behemoth G4S will be allowed to bid for Government contracts again after it was banned from entering the tendering process for overcharging taxpayers for botched tagging contracts.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Employers running final-salary pension schemes can be charged 10 times more than more efficient competitors, according to a new regulatory study that exposes a further lack of transparency in Britain’s investment industry.
  • Financial Times: Scottish consumers will face higher energy bills if they vote for independence, the UK government has forecast, adding that the rest of Britain does not need Scotland as an electricity supplier.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s trade deficit decreased slightly in the three months to February, because falling imports have outpaced a drop in exports.
  • Financial Times: A chronic imbalance between a shortage of housing supply and rising buyer demand is driving up house prices around the country.
  • Financial Times: Rising levels of debt prompted by five years of ultra-low interest rates could exacerbate the dangers of bringing monetary policy back to normal, the International Monetary Fund warned yesterday.
  • Financial Times: Russia threatened to force Ukraine’s cash-strapped government to pay in advance for its gas imports, adding fresh pressure to Kiev as it struggled to defuse a stand-off with armed pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east.
  • Financial Times: A bitter turf war between China’s two most important financial regulators, China Banking Regulatory Commission and the People’s Bank of China, is hampering policy co-ordination just as the country’s debt-laden financial system is starting to show signs of real strain.
  • Financial Times: European steel demand is forecast to rise 3.1% to 143.3 million tonnes this year, driven by a pick-up in manufacturing, with demand expected to rise for the first time in two years.
  • Financial Times: Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, has warned that customers will face more costly credit or be denied certain financial products altogether as a result of tougher regulation.
  • Financial Times: The two specialist pensions companies, Partnership and Just Retirement, whose shares were hit hardest by George Osborne’s retirement overhaul in the Budget have warned it will affect sales in the short term, even though the reforms do not take effect for another year.
  • Financial Times: Olympus Corp has been hit with the biggest lawsuit stemming from its two-decade long accounting fraud, when banks joined forces to sue the company for a total of Y28 billion ($273 million) in damages.
  • Financial Times: Walmart plans to open another 50 wholesale stores in India, ending a self-imposed freeze on its expansion in a country where the US company has faced scrutiny for allegedly attempting to skirt a ban on foreign direct investment in retail businesses.
  • Financial Times: Comcast’s proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable will limit consumer choice and could spur higher prices, a Senate judiciary committee was told, as critics of the deal made their case to block the combination of America’s two largest cable operators.
  • Financial Times: Gilead Sciences is facing mounting pressure over its new $1,000-a-day hepatitis C drug after the World Health Organisation joined US politicians and healthcare companies in voicing concerns over the price.
  • Financial Times: Global steel demand will see slower growth this year because of a halving of growth in China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal - hitting the profitability of steelmaking groups.
  • Financial Times: The world’s largest aluminium producer, Rusal, has received approval from its lenders for “forbearance”, in a move that will stave off default as it seeks to hammer out a restructuring of its $10 billion net debt pile.
  • Financial Times: Evraz, the Russian steelmaker part-owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich, warned that the crisis in Ukraine could hit its business this year, as it reported a deepening in losses.
  • Financial Times: Some of the most senior foreign exchange market executives are set to discuss alternatives to industry benchmarks and ways to drive cultural change on trading desks, in an effort to fend off tighter regulation of a sector that has been rocked by allegations of widespread price rigging.
  • Financial Times: Ally Financial raised $2.38 billion from its initial public offering, enabling the US government to recoup the amount it spent on rescuing the motor lender during the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: Lord Wolfson is to distribute his £4 million bonus among Next’s 20,000 staff, the second year in succession that the retailer’s chief executive has forfeited his long-term incentive award in favour of his employees.
  • Financial Times: The former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean Fitzpatrick has been found not guilty of some charges related to loans the lender made to members of the family of businessman Sean Quinn, once Ireland’s richest man.
  • Financial Times: Marks and Spencer reaffirmed its commitment to China as one of its “priority international markets” despite revealing that it plans to relocate stores.
  • Financial Times: Bwin.Party has appointed Philip Yea, the former 3i chief executive, as its new chairman - bringing in what one analyst described as a “heavy-hitting” executive, as the online gaming group addresses the challenge of taking on US markets.
  • Financial Times: A big fall in complaints about the mis-selling of payment protection insurance has led to a fall in the overall number of customer complaints against financial companies.
  • Financial Times: Almost three-quarters of students will still be paying back university loans in their early 50s, according to new research that exposes the heavier debt burden imposed by tuition fee reforms.
  • Financial Times: Federal Reserve officials held an unusual video conference last month to debate scrapping the 6.5% unemployment rate threshold for the first interest rate rises, paving the way for the big shift in forward guidance that took place later in March.
  • Financial Times: US and EU officials are struggling to gain public backing for the goals of a large transatlantic trade deal – with Americans and Germans doubting the merits of cutting tariffs, slashing barriers for investment, and setting common regulatory standards.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BlackBerry could sell handset business, says chief John Chen.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Legal changes to Dover port's constitution will put representatives from the local community on its board saving the board from sale to any foreign buyer.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Spanish bank, Bankia, to sell Iberdrola stake worth €1.6 billion.
  • Daily Mail: Shell's UK corporation tax bill tumbled by nearly 90% to just £55.5 million last year, as the company invested more in the North Sea and production declined.
  • Daily Mail: Google has been named as the most reputable company in the world – despite being heavily criticised for tax dodging and snooping on web users.
  • The Guardian: Computing multinational Hewlett-Packard (HP) is to pay US regulators $108 million to settle a corruption scandal involving employees at subsidiaries in three countries, who were charged with bribing government officials to win and retain lucrative public contracts.
  • The Guardian: Tesco is facing renewed pressure from the City to cut its prices as analysts say it needs to invest £450 million in improving value for shoppers because it has become more expensive than Waitrose on many products.
  • The Independent: Anthony Thomson, co-founder and former chairman of Metro Bank, has recruited First Direct boss, Mark Mullen, as the inaugural chief executive of Atom, a bank which plans to start UK’s first “truly digital” retail and business bank.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: CICC, Goldman Sachs and Och-Ziff are among the companies preparing final bids for part of a strategic stake in the next of China’s former bad banks that is preparing a multibillion-dollar listing.
  • Financial Times: AG Lafley has made his first big move to restructure Procter & Gamble since returning for a second stint as chief executive, by agreeing to sell three of the group’s pet food brands - Natura, Iams and Eukanuba - to Mars for $2.9 billion.
  • Financial Times: Chinese pork producer WH Group will seek a valuation of up to $21.2 billion when it lists in Hong Kong later this month, in what is expected to be the city’s biggest initial public offering since AIA.
  • Financial Times: Seplat has raised $500 million in an initial public offering in London and Lagos, valuing the Nigerian oil and gas group at $1.9 billion and providing a significant boost to the country’s homegrown energy industry.
  • Financial Times (Lex): CLOs & the Volcker rule: extension on compliance with new rules is only a partial relief.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Greece: paying up is worth it to lessen reliance on official creditors.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Constellation Brands: half of fourth quarter net sales were added from the consolidation of Crown Imports.
  • Financial Times (Lex): David Jones / Woolworths: banding together to repel northern invaders has logic.

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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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