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Thursday Papers: Gold fix to be supervised post-rigging claims

Thursday Papers: Gold fix to be supervised post-rigging claims

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Time Warner has rejected an $80 billion bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, setting up a stand-off between two of the biggest names in television and film at a time when content companies have become dwarfed by the cable and satellite groups that carry their programming.
  • The Guardian: Unemployment fell last month as Britain's economy added jobs at an unprecedented pace, according to official figures; but the recovery failed to lift wages by more than a fraction, leaving workers suffering another real-terms cut in living standards.
  • Financial Times: GlaxoSmithKline faces further scrutiny from US prosecutors after it emerged that staff were caught bribing Chinese officials more than a decade ago.
  • The Independent: Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder of retail empire Sports Direct, finally accepted defeat today as he shocked the city by taking himself off the company’s bonus scheme.
  • Financial Times: Bank of America incurred a $4 billion legal charge in the second quarter as settlement talks with the Department of Justice over mortgage-backed securities, which could cost the bank more than $13 billion, intensified.
  • The Guardian: BMW is expanding a recall of its most popular models to fix an airbag problem that is hitting much of the global auto industry; the German carmaker says it will recall 1.6 million 3 Series cars from model years 2000 to 2006 across the world, including 574,000 in the US.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Amazon has started testing an ebook rental service called “Kindle Unlimited”, which would give subscribers access to more than 600,000 titles on any device for $9.99 a month.
  • Financial Times: The head of Britain’s biggest business lobby group, CBI, has warned politicians not to wreck the country’s “best economic launch pad in 20 years” as they battle it out in the run-up to next year’s general election.
  • Financial Times: A UK court has issued an order freezing assets worth more than $2 billion belonging to Sergei Pugachev, nicknamed “Putin’s banker” and once one of Moscow’s richest men.
  • Financial Times: Ministers are preparing to water down legal reforms that are designed to prevent insurance companies rejecting business customers’ claims for tenuous reasons; the Treasury is due to unveil plans that will make it harder for insurers to avoid paying legitimate claims.
  • Financial Times: The US placed sanctions on Wednesday on some of Russia’s most prominent companies including oil group Rosneft in its most decisive move yet to exert economic pressure on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
  • Financial Times: Carphone Warehouse is in advanced talks with Three, the British mobile operator, to launch its own branded mobile services following the retail chain’s merger with Dixons.
  • Financial Times: UBS’s decision to focus on wealth management paid off last year as the Swiss bank retained its position as the world leader in the sector and saw assets under management jump 15.4% to $1.96 trillion.
  • Financial Times: Masabi, a little known London-based company is turning the device in everyone’s pocket into an electronic ticket for train, bus and ferry boat journeys – becoming market leader in both the UK and US in the process.
  • Financial Times: Works by Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol helped auction house Christie’s report a record first half performance with sales of £2.7 billion.
  • Financial Times: CAP is shedding more of its brokers and shutting down some of the instruments it trades as the world’s largest interdealer broker battles to keep its biggest revenue-generating unit profitable.
  • Financial Times: Chris Gibson-Smith is to step down as chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group next year after more than 11 years in the role, he announced at the group’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: Barrick Gold is removing the post of chief executive in the first big shake-up at the world’s largest gold miner by volume since John Thornton, the former Goldman Sachs banker, succeeded founder Peter Munk as chairman this year.
  • Financial Times: One of African Minerals’ independent non-executive directors, Dermot Coughlan, resigned with immediate effect, the iron ore miner said on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: Airbus’s largest customer for its A380 superjumbo, Emirated Airline, has called on the European aircraft manufacturer to supply a revamped version with more fuel efficient engines by 2020, saying such a move was needed to boost sluggish sales of the flagship jet.
  • Financial Times: Australia has opened the door for foreign investors to take a larger stake in Qantas, but the national carrier will remain majority domestically owned after Canberra shelved plans to axe ownership limits altogether.
  • Financial Times: Global assets under management surged to record levels last year as investment groups took advantage of the powerful bull run in equities and put the debilitating effects of the financial crisis behind them.
  • Financial Times: The wave of shareholder rebellions sweeping the City escalated on Wednesday, as a substantial minority of investors in Experian failed to back the move to replace the data agency’s chairman with its chief executive.
  • Financial Times: The government will remain on the hook to guarantee the payment of BT’s vast pension scheme, covering hundreds of thousands of members, should the group go bust, under a legal ruling on Wednesday.
  • Financial Times: The City has “abandoned” British television production companies, leaving them with little option but to sell to larger US rivals, a leading industry figure has claimed.
  • Financial Times: Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency, set up to administer the loans attached to the collapsed real estate market, is turning itself into a property developer as it accelerates the disposal of its assets and prepares to release more land and money for housing and offices.
  • Financial Times: Bob Steel, the former chief executive of Wachovia and deputy mayor to Michael Bloomberg in New York, has joined the board of Funding Circle to help the London-based online business loan marketplace extend its reach in the US.
  • Daily Mail: Royal Mail could face a £160 million fine after becoming embroiled in a competition investigation; the group’s European parcels arm is being analysed by the French regulator as part of a price-fixing probe.
  • Daily Mail: Price comparison websites came under fire from the regulator today after a report revealed some are failing to provide their customers with a true picture of the products they’re buying.
  • The Guardian: One in six families are covering essential costs with payday loans or unauthorised overdrafts, or are defaulting on household bills, in the most financially distressed parts of Britain, according to research which suggests that some of the neighbourhoods struggling the most are concealed in pockets of otherwise affluent areas.
  • The Guardian: Tesco is to try allowing car hire and brokerage firms to use spare space around its stores in the supermarket's latest efforts to cope with shoppers' changing habits.
  • The Guardian: Fresh calls for a US crackdown on so-called tax inversion have hit shares in British pharmaceutical firm Shire, which is trying to hammer out a £31 billion deal with US suitor AbbVie.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Apple has agreed to pay $400 million in ebook price-fixing case; Apple allegedly violated antitrust laws by orchestrating a conspiracy with five publishers to raise e-book price.
  • The Daily Telegraph: London Gold Market Fixing Limited opens up bids amid heavy scrutiny of 95-year-old benchmark following the rigging claims.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HMRC has recovered £135 million from Swiss bank clients; one person had been prosecuted from a list of 24,000 HSBC Private Bank clients leaked by former employee.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Italian lottery company GTech is to buy Las Vegas slot machine maker International Gaming Technology for $4.7 billion, in a sign that the widely anticipated consolidation of the gambling industry is stepping up.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Chinese chemicals group is to list in UK; GTS Chemical Holdings latest Chinese company to be valued at around £35 million on Aim as investor sentiment warms towards Asian floats, despite a spate of delistings.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Pure Gym and The Gym Group dropped deal plans after the UK's competition watchdog opens its first ever in-depth probe into the merger.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BlackRock: bouldering on.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Boart Longyear: short life?
  • Financial Times (Lex): China: patching the roof.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fox / Time Warner: big time.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Albemarle / Rockwood: batteries included.
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