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Thursday Papers: Investor anger over 'excessive' executive pay

Thursday Papers: Investor anger over 'excessive' executive pay

Top stories

  • Financial Times: New York’s top securities regulator has sued Barclays alleging the UK bank favoured high-speed traders using its “dark pool” trading venue while misleading institutional investors.
  • The Guardian: Investors at two FTSE 100 companies have joined the chorus of protests against excessive executive pay, with nearly 30% of shareholders at the advertising group WPP refusing to endorse a plan that allowed founder Sir Martin Sorrell to receive a £30 million windfall last year; meanwhile, the Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir Philip Hampton was forced to defend the bank's bonus schemes.
  • The Independent: The payday lender Wonga is facing the prospect of a criminal investigation after City watchdogs handed police a file detailing how the company lied to hard-up borrowers; the payday lender sent letters threatening legal action pretending to be from law practices that did not exist.
  • Financial Times: The Federal Reserve has warned banks in the US that tests of their ability to survive a financial crisis will be made tougher - with new risk assessments and regular checks to ensure they fix any weaknesses identified in the process.
  • Financial Times: US television networks including CBS and Fox saw off a serious challenge to their business models on Wednesday when the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo, the digital video service that threatened billions of dollars of their annual revenues, was illegal.
  • The Guardian: The US economy has shrunk at its fastest rate since the depths of the recession five years ago as it emerged that the harsh winter took a far bigger toll on activity than previously estimated.
  • The Guardian: Sunny weather and the fanfare surrounding the World Cup failed to persuade shoppers to open their wallets in the month to June, with retail sales growth falling to its lowest level since January.
  • The Daily Telegraph: AbbVie has revealed that a Shire takeover could reduce the US drugmaker's tax rate to 13%.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Google sought to breathe life into a new market for “wearable” devices, as it showed off a range of stripped-down internet services such as voice-activated search to feature on a coming generation of smartwatches.
  • Financial Times: A former equities trader at Schroders has been charged by the UK financial watchdog with insider trading over a nine-year period.
  • Financial Times: Britain has become the first western country to issue an Islamic bond, attracting orders of more than £2 billion from global investors for its sale of sharia-compliant debt.
  • Financial Times: Outsourcing companies have seen UK government spending on their services rise 23% to £2.3 billion over the past two years, while expenditure fell in most other sectors, according to a detailed analysis of public sector transactions by the top 20 suppliers.
  • Financial Times: Britain will allow more heavily regulated retail banks to offer business customers products such as options and trade finance, according to final legislative proposals.
  • Financial Times: Britain spends more than £100 billion a year on tax reliefs that are “substantial, complex and poorly managed”, MPs said on Thursday, provoking a furious response from the Treasury which said the criticisms were “extraordinary”.
  • Financial Times: Barnes & Noble will spin off its Nook business from its bricks-and-mortar bookstores as it seeks to boost the performance of its struggling e-reader.
  • Financial Times: Todd Kozel is to step down as chief executive of Gulf Keystone Petroleum amid shareholder concerns over a collapse in its share price and persistent complaints over the scale of executive pay.
  • Financial Times: Automakers in Indonesia, one of the world’s hottest emerging car markets, are being forced to offer unprecedented showroom discounts as competition heightens following billions of dollars of investment from market leader Toyota and rivals including Honda, Nissan and Suzuki.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics has turned bearish on its second-quarter performance, with its chief financial officer saying he expects results to be “not that good” as rising competition stifles profit growth at the mobile division.
  • Financial Times: Petrobras, the world’s most indebted oil producer, is under pressure to come up with extra cash after Brazil’s government demanded almost $7 billion from the state-run company in exchange for new production rights.
  • Financial Times: Monsanto shares rose more than 5% as the world’s largest maker of genetically-modified seeds maintained its bullish outlook by raising its full-year earnings forecast.
  • Financial Times: Foxconn Technology Group announced on Wednesday that it was suing a trio of Japanese companies, Toshiba Corporation, Funai Electric Company, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, in a US court for alleged patent infringement, in a sign that the maker of Apple iPhones and iPads is moving aggressively to monetise its growing technology base.
  • Financial Times: Researchers have discovered a hole in an extra security measure used by PayPal, the eBay-owned payments company, to protect customers’ online accounts.
  • Financial Times: ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, is reviewing its corporate structure, aiming to simplify its business into two distinct parts and get a firmer grip on its regulatory capital requirements.
  • Financial Times: Premier Oil, the FTSE 250 oil group, has decided to promote its long-serving finance director Tony Durrant following a five-month search for a new chief executive.
  • Financial Times: Stagecoach has reached a deal with the Welsh government over cuts to its payments for carrying holders of free bus passes, which overall make up a quarter of its revenues from running buses across the UK.
  • Daily Mail: Britain’s private rented sector is ‘not fit for purpose’ according to Labour and new legislation is needed to give tenants greater stability.
  • Daily Mail: Less than one in every five homes for sale in England is affordable to a typical working family trying to get on the property ladder, a report from housing charity Shelter has claimed today.
  • Daily Express: House of Fraser, which is being bought by Chinese retailer Nanjing Cenbest, said sales of ranges such as Linea and Biba womenswear and Howick and Corsivo menswear rose 7.7%.
  • Daily Express: Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday warned more branches would have to close as customers moved to online and mobile banking.
  • Daily Express: Shale gas explorer IGas says fracking will help secure Britain’s energy needs as it prepares to drill either side of the Pennines next year.
  • Daily Express: Speciality chemical maker Croda warned the strong pound will dent its full-year profit, making it the latest UK firm to suffer from sterling's rise.
  • The Independent: Paul Konigsberg, a senior partner at a New York accounting firm has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in a co-operation deal with the government, admitting he played a part in Bernie Madoff’s “evil Ponzi scheme”.
  • The Independent: Japanese deflation which eclipsed economic growth for the past 15 years is dead, the country’s prime minister Shinzi Abe declared; according to him the country has reached a stage of no deflation through bold monetary policy, flexible fiscal policy and the growth strategy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: British investors who spent up to £19 million on 'worthless' Brazilian land have engaged solicitors in an attempt to reclaim their cash.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Neil Woodford's new fund has attracted £1.6 billion from investors.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications took advantage of India's post-election good cheer by issuing nearly $800 millionn in fresh equity on Wednesday, marking a triumphant capital market return for a tycoon long shunned by investors, anxious over his business empire's patchy performance and rising debts.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Millennium BCP, Portugal’s second largest listed bank, rose strongly on Wednesday after the group announced a €2.25 billion rights issue that will be used to pay back state loans injected into the lender during the country’s three-year international bailout.
  • Financial Times: Telefónica has edged closer to sealing the €8.6 billion takeover of Germany’s E-Plus from KPN after meeting a big regulatory hurdle with a deal to open part of its network to a small rival group.
  • Financial Times: HanesBrands has agreed to buy DBApparel for €400 million ($550 million), giving the US underwear maker global rights to the Wonderbra and Playtex brands as part of its push into new markets.
  • Financial Times: Alitalia is on course to be thrown a financial lifeline by Etihad Airways after the state-controlled Gulf carrier agreed to buy a 49% stake in the Italian flag-carrier.
  • Financial Times: EasyHotel, the sister brand of the easyJet budget airline, has raised only half the amount it set out to achieve in its listing on London’s junior market.
  • Financial Times: Dialog Semiconductor, the UK-listed group that supplies chips for Apple’s iPhones and iPads, is exploring a SFr4.2 billion combination with AMS, the Austrian-based semiconductor maker, in the latest sign that chipmakers are looking to gain scale in preparation for the “internet of things” going mainstream.
  • Financial Times: Land Securities Group, the London-based commercial property developer, has bought Australian rival Lend Lease’s 30% stake in the Bluewater shopping centre and 110 acres of land for £696 million ($1.2 billion).
  • The Daily Telegraph: High definition wearable camera company GoPro sees a $3 billion (£1.7 billion) valuation as it becomes a public company this week.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Barnes & Noble: off the Nook.
  • Financial Times (Lex): China Vanke: from B to H.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Shire / AbbVie: let’s have a war.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Wonga: straight talking?
  • Financial Times (Lex): BCP: a capital idea.

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