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Tuesday Papers: West looks to broaden sanctions on Russia

Tuesday Papers: West looks to broaden sanctions on Russia

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The US and its leading European allies are preparing wider sanctions on Russia’s economy and are discussing a ban on the export of high-tech energy equipment, if Moscow is seen to disrupt Ukraine’s presidential elections on 25 May.
  • The Guardian: Pfizer has said it will keep its promises about retaining high-skill jobs and manufacturing in Britain as the US firm's boss prepares to face questions from MPs on the proposed takeover of AstraZeneca; in written evidence to the business, innovation and skills (BIS) select committee, Pfizer said its earlier pledges on investing in the UK were legally binding and that combining the two pharmaceutical firms would create and protect high-value jobs.
  • Financial Times: Crispin Odey, one of the UK’s best known hedge fund managers has launched a broadside against BSkyB’s attempt to create a united European pay-TV operator, arguing the proposal “massively undervalues” Sky Deutschland, its German sister company.
  • Financial Times: Citizens Financial, the US retail bank owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, filed for its initial public offering on Monday, restoring momentum to a process that looked threatened in March after the unit failed the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Bank of England may need to raise interest rates before May's general election, six months earlier than predicted, amid fears of a housing bubble, according to CBI.
  • The Guardian: The chair of Co-operative Group, Ursula Lidbetter, has said that she was ready to speak personally to anyone not yet ready to back reform proposals for the troubled chain of supermarkets, funeral homes and pharmacies at a crucial vote on Saturday.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Scotland faces risk of capital flight, warned Deutsche Bank laying out possible scenario comparable to that seen in some eastern European countries following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Barclays lobbied the US Federal Reserve more often than any other foreign bank in a vigorous – and ultimately unsuccessful – effort to soften the regulations that pushed executives to restructure its investment bank last week.
  • Financial Times: London’s luxury housing market has started to slow after several years of soaring price growth, estate agents warn.
  • Financial Times: Investors are betting the Bank of England will confirm on Wednesday that it will act to take some heat out of the housing market and raise interest rates within a year.
  • Financial Times: UK retail sales bounced back in April after two months of decline, with shoppers increasing their spending on home improvements in particular.
  • Financial Times: France is pressing ahead with a €1.2 billion sale of two helicopter assault ships to Russia, despite growing US pressure to stop the deal to punish Moscow for its policy in Ukraine.
  • Financial Times: Concerns about job losses in the life insurance sector following George Osborne’s pensions overhaul heightened on Monday when Just Retirement warned it would cut costs in the face of lower sales.
  • Financial Times: Capita has eclipsed its outsourcing rivals Serco and G4S to win £1.1 billion of work in the first quarter of this year, with new clients including Transport for London and the retailer John Lewis.
  • Financial Times: Nissan has become the latest Japanese carmaker to warn of the waning effect of a weaker yen, after the group undershot analysts’ operating profit expectations for the coming year.
  • Financial Times: Centrica told shareholders it had begun planning to replace chief executive Sam Laidlaw, although the owner of British Gas declined on Monday to put a timescale on his departure.
  • Financial Times: Leighton Holdings, Australia’s biggest construction company, said on Monday that a senior executive at its Indian mining subsidiary had been arrested, and warned it might lose a multibillion dollar contract to develop and operate a coal mine.
  • Financial Times: Vittorio Grilli, Italy’s former finance minister, is joining JPMorgan in a top position within its investment banking operations; the economist and former civil servant will work in London as chairman of the corporate and investment banking division’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operation.
  • Financial Times: The chairman of KPMG’s Dutch operations has resigned less than a month after authorities launched a criminal investigation into alleged tax fraud at a property joint venture set up to build a new headquarters.
  • Financial Times: Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator, has recorded a 37% rise in pre-tax profit in its 2013 fiscal year, underlining its appeal to foreign investors despite declining appetite for other emerging market telecoms stocks.
  • Financial Times: Allergan has launched a robust defence against a near-$50 billion bid by rival drugmaker Valeant and activist investor Bill Ackman, warning that a takeover would crush research and severely impair its ability to sell its products, including Botox.
  • Financial Times: Nasdaq OMX has rehired its former chief financial officer Adena Friedman from Carlyle as the transatlantic exchanges operator looks to ease shareholder pressure by restructuring its senior management team.
  • Financial Times: Lansdowne Partners is promoting its two leading investment managers, Stuart Roden and Peter Davies, to head the $18 billion hedge fund in the final step of a succession plan from its founders to a younger generation of staff.
  • Financial Times: The race to capture the growing Chinese market in cruises gathered steam after Carnival Corporation announced it was redeploying a European-based liner to Shanghai; Costa Serena, which carries 3,780 passengers, will be used all-year round from April 2015 in China, which Carnival said was the world’s fast-growing market and on its way to becoming the second biggest by 2017.
  • Financial Times: Blur Group has become a victim of its own success after a year of heady optimism. Shares in the “Amazon for business services” platform fell 45% on Monday after it warned for the second time in a month that revenues would be lower than expected and it was looking to refinance.
  • Financial Times: Antler, the luggage company, is bringing suitcase production back to Britain for the first time in 20 years, underlining the increasing importance of British-made goods to consumer and retail groups.
  • Financial Times: The owner of Aston Villa has put the Premier League club up for sale after pouring close to £200 million into the struggling team since buying it eight years ago.
  • Financial Times: All airlines are to be given access to a tracking service to fix the position of their long-haul aircraft via satellite in the wake of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 this year; Inmarsat, the UK-based communications satellite operator, said on Monday it had agreed with its partners that provide communications services to the airline industry to waive the cost of part of a basic satellite-tracking service.
  • Daily Express: Harriet Green, who has revived holiday company Thomas Cook, was last night named the 42nd Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the year.
  • The Guardian: Retailers enjoyed an Easter boost in sales last month but it was not enough to prevent the worst underlying performance for more than a year.
  • The Guardian: Swiss business leaders shocked by past popular votes on executive pay and immigration are wary of a referendum on 18 May that could see Switzerland adopt the world's highest minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs (£14.70) an hour.
  • The Guardian: The chairman of Centrica, owner of British Gas, admitted on Monday that the firm must make real changes if it was to regain public trust.
  • The Independent: More complaints were made about Npower than any other large energy supplier last year; in fact the firm had 10 times as many complaints as rival SSE in the last three months of the year, according to figures compiled by Citizens Advice.
  • The Independent: New evidence of the UK’s job market recovery is increasing the pressure on the Bank of England to hike interest rates from a record low of 0.5% for the first time since 2009.
  • The Independent: The number of passengers going through through Heathrow airport jumped last month as travellers increasingly headed to far away destinations.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BlackBerry chief John Chen is to release first phone Z3 as BlackBerry's "final stand" in key Indonesian market, says analyst.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gazprom has said that it will cut off gas supplies to Ukraine unless it pays $3.5 billion by 2 June.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK flag carrier British Airways saw rising share prices after Moody's upgraded its rating.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gatwick chairman claims expansion at rival airport Heathrow will lead to a "political roadblock" similar to 2010 when the Coalition scapped previous third runway plans.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: The online retailer, JD.com, which began its global investor roadshow on Monday, attracted enough orders from US-based specialist tech funds alone to cover the books by 7am in Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the process.
  • Financial Times: Hillshire Brands is adding Vlasic pickles and the Birds Eye frozen vegetable brand in the US to its meat-dominated plate with the purchase of Pinnacle Foods for $6.6 billion, including debt, boosting its presence in grocery stores’ prime central aisles.
  • Financial Times: Foreign exchange group Travelex is weighing plans for a stock market flotation that could value the world’s biggest operator of foreign exchange shops at more than £1 billion.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BSkyB: satellite of love.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Hillshire Brands: sausage fest.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fuji Heavy: my other car’s a Subaru.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK oil exploration: drill bid?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Repsol: one piece at a time.

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