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Tuesday Papers: WhatsApp in voice threat to telecom sector

Tuesday Papers: WhatsApp in voice threat to telecom sector

Top stories

  • Financial Times: WhatsApp will offer voice calls to its 465 million users around the world in a new threat to the traditional telecoms sector just days after its $19 billion acquisition by Facebook.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Samsung revealed that its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, would include a fingerprint scanner that can be used to authorise PayPal transactions online.
  • Daily Mail: With a controversial deal to run its new phone on Google’s software, Nokia has risked the fury of soon-to-be owner Microsoft that is only days away from taking over Nokia’s handset division in a £4.6 billion deal.
  • The Guardian: FTSE 100 hits 14-year closing high after flurry of takeover action
  • Financial Times:  Carphone Warehouse is seeking £3.5 billion merger with electricals retailer Dixons.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, argued that an independent Scotland could continue to use the pound even if Westminster refused to enter a currency union, prompting accusations he was endangering the country’s economy and financial sector.
  • Financial Times: The microblogging site Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, is heading for a stock market listing in New York with a valuation of up to $7 billion-$8 billion, becoming the latest company to tap into huge investor demand for tech stocks.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan Chase is planning more job cuts in its mortgage business on top of the 13,000-15,000 positions already due to be slashed because of plunging demand for home loans.
  • Financial Times: Mobile network operators will need to invest $1,700 billion by 2020 if they are to keep up with demands for mobile data and the expanding number of global mobile connections, according to Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor’s chief executive. 
  • Financial Times: The five-man independent committee set up by Essar to examine the buyout proposal from the controlling Ruia family said on Monday it had concluded unanimously that the move “clearly undervalues the company and its long-term growth prospects”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Most of a government fund set up to boost regional economies remains unspent, while the cost of creating jobs has increased, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Heathrow Airport is planning to cut a fifth of its core workforce despite turning its first profit since 2006.
  • The Daily Express: Housebuilder Bovis said it would double the size of its business in the next two years to meet soaring demand for new homes.
  • The Independent: The boss of Lloyd's of London insurer Hiscox has slammed plans to overhaul the way insurance is provided for flood-prone homes as "unfair and unworkable".
  • Daily Express: Mothercare's chief executive Simon Calver quit after less than two years at the helm of the baby products retailer after failing to revitalise the UK business.
  • The Guardian: Big brands such as Primark, Matalan, Walmart, Benetton and JC Penney among 22 of 27 brands still to contribute for compensation for the victims of Bangladesh factory collapse.
  • Daily Mail: Britain is to create a new oil and gas regulator to help UK explorers counter plunging North Sea production rates.
  • Daily Mail: HSBC boss to get £1.25 million salary bumped up with £1.7 million of shares four times a year; HSBC confirmed plans for its boss Stuart Gulliver to swerve the EU bonus cap as his pay package soared to £8 million - making him Britain's best paid banker.
  • Financial Times: In a “landmark case”, the Court of Appeal has ruled that tech retailer Game Retail must pay its landlords some £3 million in back rent for the period before it went into administration two years ago; the landlords involved include Britain’s biggest property companies, Land Securities, British Land, Hammerson and Intu.
  • Financial Times: Barcelona’s tax problems over the €57.1 million transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar have prompted the La Liga champions to pay €13.6 million to the tax authorities.
  • Financial Times: Henry Kravis and George Roberts, co-founders and joint chief executives of the private equity group KKR, harvested more than $160 million each in 2013 in dividends and returns on their investments in the company’s funds.
  • Financial Times: UK financial watchdog is preparing to levy heavy penalties for the Libor rate manipulation scandal, with one of the individuals facing enforcement action being warned of a possible fine of £2.5 million.
  • Financial Times: Carl Icahn has launched a stinging attack on Marc Andreessen, one of the heavyweights of Silicon Valley venture capital, accusing him of conflicts of interest in his role as a board member at eBay and demanding he step down from the post.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Markit and Virtu Financial seeking New York listings in the coming months.
  • Financial Times: DreamWorks Animation has struck a deal with Merlin Entertainments to create several new visitor attractions based on the Shrek movies, with the first due to open in London.
  • Financial Times: Cinven, the European private equity firm, has bought US-based pharmaceutical research company Medpace from CCMP, the former buyout arm of JP Morgan, for $915 million.
  • Financial Times: Paris-based Vivendi has said it has been approached by private equity group Altice over a possible alliance between its SFR telecoms operator and Altice’s Numericable cable unit.
  • Financial Times: Volkswagen investors recoiled after the company said it would issue new shares to help breathe life into an underperforming trucks alliance and its 2014 earnings forecast implied market conditions remain tough.
  • Financial Times: G4S will hand over the running of an Australian detention facility at the centre of a series of human rights scandals to a rival contractor by the end of March, the Australian government said on Monday.
  • Financial Times: Ocwen Financial, the biggest non-bank servicer of US mortgages, is aiming to sell as much as $1 billion of a new type of debt this year to help finance its future growth.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Time for central banks to step back
  • Financial Times (Lex): The Vodafone/Verison deal will leave investors looking for yield. Is HSBC a worthy home for their funds?
  • Financuak Times (Lex): The decline in the North Sea oil production is an easier problem to complain about than to fix.
  • The Independent (Comment): Mark McSherry: Facebook is paying a fortune for a tiny start-up firm. Why?

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