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Tuesday Papers: BP wins battle to limit Gulf payouts

Tuesday Papers: BP wins battle to limit Gulf payouts

Top stories

  • Financial Times: BP won a big victory in its battle to limit the cost of compensation for its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after an appeals court called for an injunction to suspend payments to businesses that had not suffered losses as a result of the disaster.
  • Financial Times: George Osborne will come under renewed pressure this week to prove the coalition is delivering its infrastructure promises after an in depth Financial Times analysis showed slow, if not minimal, progress on many schemes.
  • Financial Times: Daimler, Lagardère and seven current and former Airbus and EADS executives are to stand trial in France for alleged insider trading in shares of the Franco-German aerospace company.
  • The Guardian: Amazon is testing delivering its parcels using drones, the company’s CEO has revealed; the company hopes to have the scheme up and running within five years.
  • Daily Mail: British Prime Minister David Cameron has taken up GSK’s case in China, where the British drugs giant is being investigated for bribery.
  • Financial Times: UBS is to buy back around $2.4 billion of its own debt in an effort to cut its borrowing costs and shrink its balance sheet.
  • Daily Mail: The Serious Fraud Office is examining allegations Royal Bank of Scotland drove some of Britain’s best-known retailers including Peacocks, Clinton Cards and HMV into the wall.
  • The Independent: Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to reward its bankers £500 million in bonuses this year, despite being embroiled in a series of scandals over its lending practices.
  • Financial Times: Dow Chemical plans to sell or spin off businesses that make a combined $5 billion in annual revenues as it seeks to shift out of products with lower profit margins and more cyclical earnings, the company said on Monday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Lord Norman Blackwell, a former adviser to John Major and Margaret Thatcher, is to replace Sir Win Bischoff as chairman of Lloyds Banking Group.
  • Financial Times: Unilever has awarded its auditing contract to KPMG in a move that brings to an end its 26-year relationship with PwC, the professional services firm it dropped in anticipation of new regulations.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Ukrainian bond yields soared and the price of insuring against a default on government debt surged on Monday as tens of thousands of demonstrators continued to protest in the country’s biggest political crisis in nearly a decade.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The cost of insuring British debt against default has fallen below the levels for the US, Switzerland, Japan and every major eurozone state except Germany.
  • The Guardian: Britain's wage-earners have taken a £5,000 pay cut in the past five years, according to government figures, suggesting ministers will struggle to engender a feelgood factor before the 2015 general election.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain is to see its first deliveries of US shale-derived gas in 2016 when Ineos completes a £300 million investment programme at its Grangemouth plant in Scotland.
  • Daily Mail: Industry gossip is suggesting that Tullow is attracting the attention of a couple of cash-rich international bidders who could bid up to £14 a share.
  • The Independent: Npower has been forced to apologise and hand over £1 million to vulnerable consumers after its poor customer service led to it being named as the most complained-about energy company.
  • Financial Times: John Chen, BlackBerry’s interim chief executive, tried to reassure jittery corporate customers on Monday by publishing an open letter that made clear he intended to refocus the Canadian smartphone maker on its core business roots.
  • Financial Times: Global investment banks are set to cut pay for the third year in a row despite a rise in profits, highlighting efforts to put shareholder returns ahead of employee remuneration.
  • Financial Times: Britain’s largest shareholders are joining forces with the world’s biggest international investors in a groundbreaking initiative to curb boardroom excesses and improve company performance.
  • Financial Times: The top credit rating agencies face the threat of fines after an EU regulator said it had uncovered “deficiencies” in the way they manage the highly market-sensitive task of assigning ratings to government debt.
  • Financial Times: Mediobanca has hired the veteran adviser Stefano Marsaglia from Barclays to co-head its investment bank as the Italian lender seeks to use its London office to expand its European capital markets and corporate finance operations.
  • Financial Times: Bank of Ireland has said its capital adequacy ratio may be sharply revised downwards after an industry-wide health check by the Central Bank of Ireland, which concluded it needed to make extra provisions for loan losses.
  • Financial Times: Albemarle & Bond has put itself up for sale after an exodus of non-executive directors from the struggling pawnbroker.
  • Financial Times: Thames Water, the UK’s biggest supplier of water and sewage services, has proposed raising its bills by 11% above inflation in a series of staggered price rises between 2015 and 2020.
  • Financial Times: Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile restarted production on Monday under its third owner in three years - Chinese-Japanese investment group National Electric Vehicle Sweden - with a plan of becoming an electric vehicle specialist initially focused on the Chinese market.
  • Financial Times: Companies that want to cut contributions to underfunded pension schemes in order to invest more in their businesses will have to take formal account of the risks, under new rules proposed on Tuesday.
  • The Independent: Andy Pomfret has announced plans to step down as chief executive of the £20 billion-plus fund manager Rathbone Brothers next year, handing over to his recently recruited deputy, Philip Howell.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Town Centre Securities a buy for income; the real estate investment trust offers handy income and will benefit from any recovery in regional commercial property.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Menzies a hold near record highs; the newspaper and magazine distributer combined with an aviation business is a funny mix, but it works.
  • The Guardian: Apple Inc has acquired social media search and analytics startup Topsy, an unusual purchase for a hardware-focused company that has made few forays into social networking.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Welsh marina has been put up for sale for £3 million.
  • Financial Times: Russian fertiliser producer Uralchem will take a 20% stake in sector peer Uralkali in the latest sign the Russia and Belarus “potash war” may soon be coming to an end.
  • Financial Times: On Monday, Blackstone-backed hotel chain Hilton Worldwide said it would seek to raise up to $2.4 billion in what would be the largest ever IPO by a hotel operator.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): The public wants economic competence and strategic clarity from politicians, not just a few more pounds in wallets.
  • The Guardian (Comment): British PM David Cameron's trade mission to China is a piece of theatre that falls short of the diplomacy we need.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Britain must lead the calls for greater international commitment to simpler, more certain tax regimes as the key to solving the widescale, anti-avoidance issue.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Winning the “global race” requires rather more than frogmarching the economy back to the temporary fix of consumption-led growth.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): If George Osborne can show there was a culture of mercy killings for weakened enterprises the history of this could be linked back to the Goodwin years.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Hewlett-Packard: If US technology company’s profits have stabilised, the stock is cheap. But that remains very much unproved
  • Financial Times (Lex): Dell: Despite the continued protests, the deal price may just be the correct price
  • Financial Times (Lex): Aeroflot: Due to the sector and complexities of the country, investors may be tempted to give the Russian airline a miss. But perhaps they should look again
  • Financial Times (Lex): European banks: Banks on Europe’s periphery are starting to look healthier, but the sector’s crisis is far from over

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