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Tuesday Papers: ECB under pressure to rein in ‘crazy’ euro

Tuesday Papers: ECB under pressure to rein in ‘crazy’ euro

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank to take action against a persistently strong euro with a leading industrialist calling on Frankfurt to tackle the “crazy” strength of the currency.
  • Daily Mail: Anglo American has agreed to sell a 50% stake in UK joint venture Lafarge Tarmac to its French partner Lafarge for £885 million, revisiting a plan it had hoped to complete seven years ago.
  • Daily Mail: The Bank of England is widely expected to leave rates unchanged this week having held them at an all-time low of 0.5% since in March 2009.
  • The Guardian: British businesses are calling on the Bank of England not to rush into an interest rate rise, warning that the recovery is not yet secure as a closely watched report on Tuesday shows a slowdown in exports.
  • Financial Times: A string of business leaders, sports stars, entertainers and other investors were told on Monday to prepare for tax demands totalling at least £520 million, in a crackdown by Revenue & Customs.
  • Financial Times: SABMiller is to boost its war chest by about $1.1 billion by disposing of its near-40% stake in Tsogo Sun, the South African hotel and casino business.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: The Post Office is set to boost its presence in the telecoms sector by launching into the mobile market this autumn.
  • Daily Express: Shoppers’ growing appetite for cut-price goods has helped Poundworld ring up a healthy rise in annual sales and profits.
  • Daily Mail: Sales of Rolls-Royces for the first six months of 2014 were up by 33% worldwide compared with the same period last year, the carmaker will say today.
  • Daily Mail: BT will launch mobile phones for business customers next week as it re-enters the market after a decade’s absence.
  • Financial Times: Alcatel-Lucent has won its first share of Vodafone’s Project Spring investment programme with a deal to provide small cell transmitters and WiFi equipment to the British group.
  • The Independent: Robert Walters reported net fee income surged 21% to £17 million during the three months to June in a positive sign for the wider economy.
  • Daily Mail: L'Oreal-owned beauty chain The Body Shop has boosted profits by rolling out its new 'Pulse' store format across its 292-strong high street network in the UK.
  • Financial Times: Several Swiss banks have threatened to freeze American clients’ accounts unless they prove they are, or take steps to become, tax compliant, as the country’s lenders hurry to resolve a tax evasion dispute with the US.
  • Financial Times: Holcim and Lafarge have spelt out the divestments they plan to make as they attempt to win over antitrust regulators with the power to block the cement makers’ proposed €40 billion merger.
  • Financial Times: British banks have been warned that they may face new rules preventing them from using very low risk weights when they calculate the capital they need for their mortgage books, as the UK regulator seeks to tighten standards.
  • Daily Express: House prices are still rising but builder Taylor Wimpey brushed off fears that a mortgage clampdown could hit the industry’s sales.
  • Daily Express: Regional airline Flybe is to maintain Britain’s state-of-the-art new Airbus military transport aircraft, it emerged yesterday.
  • Financial Times: Gotham City Research that brought about the billion euro collapse of Spain’s Gowex pledged to continue its pursuit of corporate fraudsters after its raid on the wireless internet company sent tremors through the country’s stock market.
  • Financial Times: Petsmart is facing growing pressure to put itself up for sale, after a leading shareholder threw its weight behind a campaign launched last week by an activist hedge fund.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Vatican Bank faces dramatic downsizing; Institute for Works of Religion will no longer have asset management functions.
  • Financial Times: EU banks are on track to shed as much as €100 billion in unwanted loan portfolios this year as they reshape their businesses in the face of regulatory pressure.
  • Financial Times: Airbus has given its strongest signal yet that it will seek to overturn Boeing’s dominant position in the lucrative long-range passenger jet market by embarking on a major overhaul of its popular A330 aircraft.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail (Small Cap Share Ideas): New management and a fresh approach will see Range Resources focus on doubling production.
  • Financial Times: TeliaSonera, the Swedish telecoms group, will acquire the Norwegian business of Tele2 for SEK5.1 billion ($740m) in the latest deal in a more broadly consolidating European telecoms market.
  • Daily Express: One of Britain’s biggest private hospital operators Spire Healthcare is set to be valued at more than £1 billion when it lists on the stockmarket this month.
  • Financial Times: Archer Daniels Midland said on Monday it had reached an agreement to purchase Wild Flavors, a speciality food and drinks flavour company backed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, for €2.3 billion ($3.1 billion).
  • Daily Express: Astrazeneca’s chances of fending off a new bid from US rival Pfizer have been bolstered by star fund manager Neil Woodford snapping up a stake in the British drugs firm.
  • Daily Express: Britain’s biggest cement maker Lafarge Tarmac has been put on the block for £2 billion to ensure the ­mega-merger between French owner Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim stays in the mix for European approval.
  • The Guardian: Britain's biggest buy-to-let landlords, Fergus and Judith Wilson, are to withdraw from the property business, selling their entire portfolio of nearly 1,000 homes in the Ashford and Maidstone area in a deal likely to net the controversial duo at least £100 million.
  • Financial Times: The Alternative Investment Market surges on with double the number of companies joining it so far this year compared with the previous year.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Cracking the housing shortage will take risk but home builders are more cautious than ever after the financial crisis.
  • Daily Mail (City Focus): Marks and Spencer to face ire from shareholders at annual meeting over slow sales growth and faltering fashion sales.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Holcim / Lafarge: the questions the merger raises are no closer to being answered now than they were before; the problem is not what is to be sold, but to whom.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Holdouts: ignore the politics, morality, history and complex mechanics of sovereign debt restructuring in this saga. Instead, focus on the returns.

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