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Tuesday Papers: FSA warns of cash for access crackdown

Tuesday Papers: FSA warns of cash for access crackdown

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The Financial Services Authority is preparing to crack down on asset managers using investors’ money to pay for access to chief executives after discovering that some are spending “tens of millions of pounds” a year on corporate access.
  • Financial Times: HSBC’s management has all but ruled out a relocation of the bank’s headquarters to Hong Kong, stressing it is committed to keeping its domicile in the UK despite the threat of new European bonus restrictions.
  • The Guardian: HSBC paid 204 of its staff more than £1 million in 2012, a year when Britain's biggest bank made profits of £13.7 billion despite being fined £1.2 billion by the US authorities for helping Mexican drug barons launder money through the financial system.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Talks between EDF Energy and the Government over building Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation are at “crisis point” and could fail within weeks because of deadlock over subsidies for the project.
  • The Independent: Warren Buffett has advised Apple boss Tim Cook to "ignore" David Einhorn, the hedge-fund manager who has been pressing for the technology firm to return some of its giant $137 billion cash pile to shareholders.
  • Daily Mail: McCarthy & Stone, Britain’s largest builder of private retirement homes and flats, is being circled by CVC, which is understood to be in the early stages of a potential £500 million bid.
  • Financial Times: Apple’s stock plumbed new depths on Monday just as Google hit an all-time high, reflecting Wall Street’s struggle to come to terms with the rapid shifts in the smartphone market.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Groupon's now ex-chief executive Andrew Mason will receive just $378.36 in his severance package, after he was fired from the company he founded last week.
  • Financial Times: The head of Boeing’s commercial aircraft division defended the company’s refusal to ditch a controversial new battery type for its troubled 787 Dreamliner, although doing so might have returned the aircraft more quickly to flight.
  • Financial Times: Siemens chief Peter Löscher is trying to recover his poise after a year in which Siemens has shaken investor confidence by gearing up for growth that never materialised, suffering delays and charges on high-profile contracts and cutting earnings guidance.
  • The Independent: Eric Daniels, the former chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, showed on Monday that being discredited in the public eye is no barrier to lucrative new roles in finance, as it emerged that he was joining the private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners as a member of its global financial institutions advisory board.
  • The Guardian: Jaguar Land Rover is to create an extra 700 jobs by doubling the size of its engine factory in Wolverhampton, the UK.
  • The Guardian: Daimler will aim to appoint 50% of its managers from overseas while raising the percentage of female recruits to 35%.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The City of London’s big banks are considering suing the EU over rules to cap bonuses after receiving legal advice that the pay regulation could be struck down in court.
  • The Guardian: Barack Obama warned at the first meeting of his second-term cabinet on Monday that the $85 billion in forced spending cuts will mean difficult budget decisions in the weeks ahead and that unemployment will end up being higher than it needs to be.
  • The Independent: Spanish unemployment hit a record 5.04 million after another 60,000 rise in the jobless count in February.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Latvia has applied to join the eurozone next year, a sign of the faith in the troubled currency bloc as it looks to become the 18th member.
  • Financial Times: China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest net importer of oil, in a generational shift that will shake up the geopolitics of natural resources.
  • The Guardian: Bank lending fell by £2.7 billion in the final three months of last year after Lloyds, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland cut back on business and mortgage loans, according to Bank of England figures.
  • The Daily Telegraph: HSBC has become the first British bank to be given the green light by the financial regulator on its capital position, ahead of a report expected to identify shortfalls at several lenders.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The owner of Fox's Biscuits and Goodfella's pizza has safeguarded 6,000 UK jobs by buying 11 red meat and poultry factories put up for sale by their Dutch owner, Vion.
  • Financial Times: Transocean, the offshore drilling rig operator, plans to pay its first dividend for more than a year, as it responds to pressure from Carl Icahn, the activist investor who took a 5.6% stake in the company in January.
  • The Guardian: Up to 15 miners have been fired for performing the "Harlem Shake" dance craze underground in an Australia’s Agnew Gold Mine, according to reports.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Richard Alderman, the former head of the Serious Fraud Office, has been heavily criticised for allegedly sanctioning almost £1 million of severance payments to three departing colleagues without getting the necessary approvals.
  • Financial Times: Hess has announced a radical restructuring plan, including disposals, an increased dividend and a shake-up of its board, as the oil group’s management seeks to deflect pressure for change from Elliott Management, the hedge fund.
  • Financial Times: Amlin’s chief executive has said the insurer is regaining investors’ trust, after its European business turned an annual underwriting profit for the first time since a problematic acquisition almost four years ago.
  • Financial Times: Lord Sugar has announced his resignation from YouView, an internet TV service backed by broadcasters including the BBC, after a confrontation at a boardroom meeting on Thursday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Toyota's European business is set to turn a profit in the 2012-2013 financial year after a five-year hiatus, a senior official said on Monday at the Geneva International Motor Show.
  • Financial Times: Sir Paul Ruddock, one of the UK’s most prominent financiers and philanthropists, is to step down as the head of Lansdowne Partners, the hedge fund he co-founded.
  • Financial Times: A judge has ruled against Bank of America’s claim that Eric Dinallo, former superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department, improperly allowed MBIA, the bond insurer, to transfer billions of dollars of cash between subsidiaries, depriving banks of hundreds of millions of dollars in payouts.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gina Rinehart and Angela Bennett, two of the world's richest women, have overcome years of hostility and began a battle against mining giant Rio Tinto over iron ore riches worth at least £130 million.
  • Financial Times: European regulators are to step up scrutiny of insurers’ ability to meet promises made to policyholders after warning that persistently weak investment returns put as many as one in ten at risk of serious difficulties.
  • Financial Times: UK natural gas prices soared on Monday to their highest in seven years, as problems at a gas processing plant in Norway squeezed supplies and raised fears of higher household energy bills.
  • Financial Times: Defence company shares were hit as the Pentagon was expected to face the heaviest of the budget cuts due to sequestration, even as markets mostly shrugged off fears over $85 billion in federal spending cuts in 2013.
  • Financial Times: Shares in fertiliser and construction group Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) fell 3.6% on Monday, following news that Egyptian authorities, Nassef Sawiris, had imposed a travel ban on its chief executive in connection with a tax investigation.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Brewer Anheuser-Busch has hit back at allegations it watered down its beers with a US-wide advertising assault joking that accusers must have mistakenly tested its canned water product.
  • Financial Times: State Street’s management is plotting acquisitions – even after shareholder angst about the execution of previous deals – and vowing not to settle customer lawsuits over currency transactions.
  • Daily Mail: Sales at Debenhams fell 10% during the period of January 14 to 27 due to bad weather.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Ophir Energy is to raise £553 million in a placing and rights issue just a month after Lakshmi Mittal, one of Britain’s richest men, and Och Ziff, the US hedge fund, sold down a combined 9% stake in the Africa-focused oil and gas explorer.
  • The Guardian (Comment): British Chancellor George Osborne has few options in his upcoming budget but easing the burdens on business is the best route back to growth.
  • The Guardian (Comment): George Osborne needs to follow the EU's lead and strike a deal to bring in the tax simultaneously in London and Wall Street.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Brave Ireland is the poster-child of EMU cruelty and folly.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Europe faces an impossible challenge - why can't Olli Rehn see it?
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): It is easy to see why people might think it is time for HSBC to up sticks in the West and head back to its home base in Asia.
  • Financial Times (Lex): HSBC: if the UK bank is an aircraft, it is just leaving the gate as revenues look to be rising, but costs remain one of the big areas of concern.
  • Financial Times (Lex): The Bank of Japan’s newly nominated governor should point out to managers that corporate efficiency is not what it could be.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Debenhams: The UK clothes retailer has blamed its weak performance on the snow, but that seems a poor excuse as its margins look set to fall further.
  • Financial Times (Lex): T-Mobile / MetroPCS: Deutsche Telekom’s financing is expensive, as Paulson points out, but negotiating leverage has an objectivity of its own.

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