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Thursday Papers: Police say GSK China ‘ordered’ bribes

Thursday Papers: Police say GSK China ‘ordered’ bribes

Top stories

  • Financial Times: China accused GlaxoSmithKline of earning billions of renminbi in “illegal revenues” through a programme of “massive and systemic bribery” as it ratcheted up the pressure on the pharmaceuticals group following a 10-month long corruption investigation.
  • The Guardian: The pound has fallen against other currencies after the Bank of England quashed growing City speculation of an early increase in interest rates to rein in the economy.
  • Financial Times: The three banks that arrange silver’s global benchmark said on Wednesday that prices would be “fixed” for the final time at noon on 14 August; the move comes on the heels of increased scrutiny by European and US regulators into precious metals price-setting following the Libor scandal and probe into possible forex market abuse.
  • The Independent: The number of people out of work in the UK fell by 133,000 to a five-year low of 2.2 million in the three months March, officials figure show.
  • The Guardian: AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot has undermined the drug maker's campaign to stay independent, by admitting that an increased takeover bid from US rival Pfizer could outweigh concerns over the needs of cancer patients.
  • The Daily Telegraph: New Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey to be given shares worth up to £7.5 million and an annual pay package of up to £8.1 million.
  • Financial Times: Citigroup has purged 11 staff in Mexico, including four managing directors, after a two-month internal investigation at Banamex, its Mexican subsidiary, into an alleged $400 million fraud that forced the US bank to cut its 2013 earnings.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of England’s proposals to impose the world’s toughest rules for clawing back bonuses from bankers could be unenforceable in the UK and would be illegal in some countries, an industry lobby group has warned.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The UK economic recovery is reaching the country’s poorest region as employment data show that Wales is matching the UK’s jobless rate, having previously been substantially higher during the recession.
  • Financial Times: The bonuses of company executive directors have fallen by 23% to just under £50,000 during the past year, research has found, suggesting businesses may be re-evaluating their approach to pay.
  • Financial Times: The number of Romanians and Bulgarians employed in Britain has fallen slightly since controls were lifted in January, confounding predictions by anti-migration campaigners of a ‘flood’ of entrants.
  • Financial Times: The European Central Bank is working on measures to ease credit constraints on the eurozone’s smaller businesses to unveil alongside interest rate cuts at next month’s policy vote.
  • Financial Times: Qatar unveiled reforms of its labour laws on Wednesday, responding to global criticism of working conditions that have marred preparations for its hosting of the Fifa World Cup in 2022.
  • Financial Times: Russian companies are facing tougher lending restrictions from western banks as sanctions against the country start to bite; banks are insisting that new loans to Russian businesses that are not directly targeted by sanctions carry clauses forcing immediate repayment or default if sanctions affect those companies.
  • Financial Times: France and Sweden are close to winning a battle to delay by 10 years EU legislation that could make lorry designs safer and more efficient, as they look to protect national manufacturers Renault and Volvo.
  • Financial Times: Sony once again gave investors cause for dismay after the Japanese electronics and entertainment company said it expected to remain unprofitable next year as it counted the cost of exiting lossmaking businesses.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum took another knock on Wednesday after the Kurdistan oil producer warned delays in receiving payments for exports could hold back revenues this year.
  • Financial Times: ITV has suffered an investor revolt over pay, after the total pay package of its chief executive Adam Crozier nearly tripled to £8.4 million last year.
  • Financial Times: Compass, the catering company that feeds staff at Google, Twitter and LinkedIn, has dished up a £1 billion return to investors on the back of strong growth in North America and emerging markets.
  • Financial Times: Chinese internet group Tencent said on Wednesday that its profits rose 60% in the first quarter, a strong result that will be closely scrutinised ahead of the initial public offering of the company’s biggest rival, Alibaba.
  • Financial Times: Tata Steel, India’s largest private sector steelmaker by revenue, posted unexpectedly good financial results on Wednesday as demand picks up in the crucial European market.
  • Financial Times: Barclays’ top dealmaker in Asia Jason Rynbeck, vice-chairman of mergers and acquisitions for Barclays in the region, has become the latest high profile departure from the bank in the region; the move comes after last week’s announcement of plans to cut more than a quarter of its investment banking unit’s global headcount.
  • Financial Times: High asset prices are holding back investment, the chief executive of British private equity company 3i Group said as the company reported a 28% year-on-year rise in total return to shareholders.
  • Financial Times: RWE’s net income for the first quarter fell by more than a third as Germany’s switch to renewable energy continued to batter the company’s business model.
  • Financial Times: Russia’s threat to block exports of critical rocket technology to the US looks set to spur development of new US homegrown rocket systems for the first time since the 1980s, according to industry figures.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics’ vice-chairman has issued an unprecedented apology to workers who contracted cancer after working at the company’s factories in South Korea, as the group seeks to limit the damage from the long-running saga.
  • Financial Times: HSBC has more than halved the bonus that its chairman can receive this year in response to pressure from shareholders ahead of its annual meeting next week; the bank said in February that Douglas Flint would be eligible for a bonus of up to £2.25 million of shares, which could double his total pay, to reflect the extra responsibility he has taken on for regulation, compliance and conduct.
  • Financial Times: The rapidly recovering UK real estate market has helped British Land’s annual underlying profit increase 8.4%.
  • Financial Times: TalkTalk wants to extend its fledgling fibre network to reach more than 10 million homes, as part of its ambitions to create a business based around owning network infrastructure in the UK.
  • Financial Times: Partnership Assurance is considering expanding into the US and stepping up its buyouts of corporate pension schemes, as part of a rethink of its business model following the UK chancellor’s overhaul of retirement planning.
  • Financial Times: ICAP on Wednesday underlined the stark environment for trading in global markets after the world’s largest interdealer broker warned the tough conditions were likely to endure.
  • Financial Times: RP Martin, an interdealer broker, has agreed a settlement with the Financial Conduct Authority, because of its role in the manipulation of Libor.
  • Financial Times: BHP Billiton is pushing ahead with plans for sales of unwanted assets, and has announced a review of its Nickel West business in Australia.
  • Financial Times: Orange, France’s largest telecoms group, is to complain to the competition authorities about tax and regulatory concerns caused by the merger between Numericable and SFR, its Vivendi-owned rival.
  • The Independent: British food brands are the top choice for UK shoppers, with Warburtons bread at No 1, a survey has revealed; Warburtons, McVitie’s biscuits and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate were all rated among the top 10 food brands by domestic consumers, researchers at the retail analyst Kantar Worldpanel found.
  • The Independent: British Land has warned that rising turmoil abroad and the upcoming general election are increasing “political risks” despite the UK’s recovery broadening outside London.
  • The Independent: Speculation of a shareholder dispute at the British engineering outfit McLaren erupted last night as it emerged that the company has been unable to put forward a director to take up the offer of a seat on the board of Formula One.
  • Daily Mail: Marks & Spencer has ordered 30% more key items in its latest range after a previous issue with running out of stock.
  • Daily Express: Fierce competition in the UK motor insurance market hit turnover at Admiral Group as it reduced premiums by 11% in the first three months of this year.
  • The Guardian: Shareholders in Trinity Mirror are expected to demand greater openness from the newspaper group about the legal bill it faces over phone hacking.
  • The Guardian: The business secretary, Vince Cable, has warned that the British labour market has become too flexible - leading to entrenched low wages and low productivity.
  • The Daily Telegraph: National Express shareholders raise concerns over a long-term incentive scheme agreed as part of a retention deal to keep hold of chief executive Dean Finch.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK's biggest ten-pin bowling operator could join wave of leisure companies that are expected to change hands this year as Original Bowling Company working with Rothschild on potential sale.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Segolene Royal, the French energy ministers and ex-partner of President Francois Hollande, has backtracked on her support for GE's takeover offer for Alstom.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Mike Ashley, the billionaire controller of Sports Direct, is poised to move into the fitness business with plans to acquire scores of gyms from LA Fitness.
  • Financial Times: The owner of Patisserie Valerie set a cautious price for its Aim flotation, with the café and casual dining group making its informal debut on London’s junior market under the ticker “CAKE”.
  • Financial Times: Yo! Sushi is taking its tiny conveyor belt full of raw fish stateside with plans to open 50 franchise stores in the US.
  • Financial Times: Development Securities, the FTSE-listed property company, has acquired London-focused regeneration specialist Cathedral Group in a £27.4 million deal.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Indian banks: transfer policy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): GSK in China: when in doubt, do nothing.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US retail: waiting for a discount.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Compass: pointing north.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Elizabeth Arden: smells like teen spirit.
  • Financial Times (Comments): Energy sanctions aim to hurt Russia more than the west.

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