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Tuesday Papers: RBS to offload global Coutts division

Tuesday Papers: RBS to offload global Coutts division

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland said it planned to sell the international operations of Coutts, its private bank for wealthy clients including Queen Elizabeth II and David Beckham, just months before the unit is expected to be fined for helping US citizens dodge taxes.
  • Financial Times: Iraq’s political crisis intensified on Monday after the country’s president named a new prime minister to replace Nouri al-Maliki, raising fears of a power struggle amid the battle with Islamist insurgents.
  • The Independent: Balfour Beatty has rejected a second merger proposal from building rival Carillion and insisted it had an independent future despite first-half profits slumping by more than half.
  • The Guardian: The latest mortgage lending data has added to the Bank of England's dilemma over interest rates after a sharp rise in borrowing showed the property market had regained its previous momentum.
  • Financial Times: The merger of Chiquita and Fyffes to create the world’s largest banana company was gatecrashed on Monday by Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra and Cutrale, the family-owned orange juice maker, who offered to acquire US group Chiquita in a $610.5 million cash deal that rivals a previous all-stock agreement with Ireland’s Fyffes.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Expats who rent out their homes in Britain will be stripped of the right to use the personal allowance, under a tax raid prepared by George Osborne.
  • The Guardian: Britain is dubbed the self-employment capital of western Europe in a report published on Tuesday that feeds concerns over the strength of the UK's economic recovery.
  • Financial Times: Indian billionaire Sajjan Jindal is in the final stages of negotiations to buy bankrupt Italian steelmaker Lucchini, in a sign of renewed international interest in Europe’s recovering steel market.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Barneys New York has agreed to pay $525,000 to settle allegations that it identified shoplifting and fraud suspects on the basis of race, following accusations made by African-American shoppers at the upscale Manhattan department store.
  • Financial Times: An independent Scotland should be denied access to fighter aircraft, warships and any other physical government assets if it refuses to take on a share of UK debt after separation, according to the chairman of the influential Scottish affairs committee.
  • Financial Times: EDF Energy has shut down four of its UK reactors – a quarter of its total nuclear generating capacity – after discovering a fault in a boiler unit, in a move that highlights the challenges facing Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure.
  • Financial Times: New regulation is transforming the UK’s expanding wealth management industry, paving the way for the growth of independent firms alongside some big banks that remain committed to the business.
  • Financial Times: After rapidly eating away at larger banks’ market share since the financial crisis, boutique firms’ success story in advising on mergers and acquisitions shows the first signs of fading; in the past 18 months, the European market share of independent corporate finance houses slipped slightly to reach 30.2% in the first half of this year, data from Thomson Reuters show.
  • Financial Times: UK retail sales weakened for the second month running in July as the supermarket price war and continued low food inflation saw shoppers spending less on food.
  • Financial Times: The Federal Reserve’s vice-chairman has pointed to weak labour force participation and a soft US housing recovery as two reasons for disappointing global growth, saying this could be a long-term phenomenon.
  • Financial Times: Tata Motors, India’s oldest automotive group, beat forecasts on Monday, reporting that net profits tripled in the first quarter of this year as strong demand for the luxury Jaguar Land Rover brands made up for weakness in the domestic market.
  • Financial Times: The scrutiny of AIG and GE Capital, which are overseen by the Federal Reserve, is a preview of what other non-banks may face if they are also designated as systemic risks to the financial system.
  • Financial Times: BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment website that has surged to success on the back of social media sharing, is getting a $50 million shot in the arm from an Andreessen Horowitz investment that reportedly values the company at $850 million.
  • Financial Times: John Malone’s cable group, Liberty Global, has been among Europe’s hungriest companies, agreeing $40 billion in acquisitions since last February, according to data from Dealogic.
  • Financial Times: Permira’s flurry of exits from its investments helped boost the asset value of SVG Capital, a key backer of the UK private equity group, in the first half and since June.
  • Financial Times: A London-based start-up, Pact, aiming to satisfy the growing thirst for quality coffee has raised £2 million in funding from venture capitalists to boost its expansion plans.
  • Financial Times: The chief executive of Destination Maternity has quit the US babywear group after it had an approach for Britain’s Mothercare rejected and reported a second profits warning.
  • Financial Times: AngloGold Ashanti is restarting operations at two South African gold mines that were closed by a nearby earthquake this month, with the miner sticking to its output targets in spite of lost production from the stoppage.
  • Financial Times: Avanti Communications, the British satellite operator, will launch its next satellite in 2017 to complete coverage of Africa and Europe.
  • Daily Mail: Mortgage lending rose five per cent in June compared with May as 65,000 loans worth £10billion collectively were advanced to homebuyers in the month, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said today; the lending figure was 6 per cent higher than a year ago while the number of loans advanced was up 15% on the same month a year earlier, the CML said.
  • Daily Mail: An electrical firm that has made a commitment to making goods in Britain has clinched a deal to sell freezers through retail giant Argos; Durham-based Ebac, which was turned into a private foundation by founder John Elliot, is committed to manufacturing in the UK.
  • The Guardian: Grocers saw sales tumble in value last month as the polarisation in performance between food and non-food retailers continued; the latest survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG showed that like-for-like sales across the industry fell 0.3% against a much stronger performance a year earlier.
  • The Guardian: The rate at which British pubs are closing down has accelerated to 31 a week and 3% of pubs in the suburbs have shut in the past six months, the real ale group Camra has warned.
  • The Guardian: The discount online retailer launched by the founder of Poundland has been dealt a blow after its partner quit the project; Poundland entrepreneur Steve Smith launched Poundshop.com in February but he will now have to go it alone after Poundworld said it would withdraw from the venture.
  • The Guardian: Two of London's most famous streets, Savie Row and Cork Street, are now part-owned by Norway's sovereign wealth fund after it paid £343 million to snap up a share in an estate covering four acres of the capital's West End.
  • The Guardian: The energy regulator said it had introduced the "most radical set of reforms" to protect consumers in the retail energy market since competition began, after five former senior officials raised concerns about poorly designed regulation.
  • The Independent: Shares in Malaysia Airlines jumped more than 10% yesterday in response to plans to nationalise the troubled carrier which is on the verge of collapse after two plane disasters.
  • The Independent: Amazon has frozen pre-orders on a number of Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles in what appears to be a contract dispute reminiscent of the online retailer's price row against Hachette.
  • The Daily Telegraph: JP Morgan Chase reached a long-awaited deal to sell roughly half its stake in the portfolio of its buyout arm, One Equity Partners.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Alibaba wooing luxury brands ahead of flotation as Chinese online shopping giant offers to crack down on counterfeit goods.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Maplin has appointed ex-Carpetright boss Darren Shapland as chairman; private equity owner Rutland Patners installed new man to spark turnaround at electronics retailer following £85 million acquisition.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Kinder Morgan plans to consolidate into North America’s third-largest energy company leapt on Monday as its founder said the $44 billion deal could be a precursor to more aggressive acquisitions in the booming US oil and gas sector.
  • Financial Times: Blackstone has taken control of automotive parts distributor Alliance Automotive amid signs that the European car market is starting to emerge from its worst downturn in two decades.
  • Financial Times: Private equity groups are preparing for a possible battle over the world’s largest listed winemaker after a second company joined KKR in gaining access to the books of Treasury Wine Estates with an indicative bid that values the company at A$3.4 billion ($3.2 billion).
  • Financial Times (Lex): Priceline: have a nice trip.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Treasury Wine: filling the demand curve.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Kinder Morgan: perverse incentives.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Shell: dry run.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BuzzFeed: in the content graveyards.
  • Financial Times (Lex): McDonald’s: unhappy meals.

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