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Wednesday Papers: Co-op fallout could bring stricter vetting

Wednesday Papers: Co-op fallout could bring stricter vetting

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The entire financial services industry should comply with new stricter rules governing the appointment of banking executives and directors, the City watchdog said on Tuesday as it admitted it had fallen short in vetting senior staff at the Co-operative Bank.
  • The Guardian: Britain's biggest bank, HSBC, is preparing to hand out multimillion-pound share awards to 1,000 of its top staff as it attempts to bypass the new European Union rules capping bankers' bonuses.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Raoul Weil, a 54-year-old Swiss citizen and former head of global wealth management at UBS, who was charged five years ago with conspiring to help thousands of Americans conceal $20 billion in numbered accounts at the bank, has pleaded not guilty to fraud conspiracy charges linked to a US tax evasion investigation that rocked Swiss banking.
  • Financial Times: Switzerland’s two largest lenders, UBS and Credit Suisse, are prepared to scale back their investment banking operations further if the country’s strict capital rules become even more onerous, their chairmen have said.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan Chase agreed on Tuesday to pay $2.6 billion to head off a criminal prosecution and private litigation over its failures to act on its suspicions, some of which came more than a decade before Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was revealed.
  • The Guardian: A mass sell-off of the government's 33% stake in Lloyds Banking Group has moved a step closer after the management of the bailed out bank was asked by UK Financial Investments, which looks after the taxpayer's shares, to draw up the detailed information needed for a sale.
  • Financial Times: Two managers at a Goodyear tyre plant in northern France regained their freedom on Tuesday more than 24 hours after workers took them hostage in a dispute over the factory’s closure.
  • The Independent: Pawnbroker H&T is turning its attentions to expansion, and has struggling rival Albemarle & Bond in its sights.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: America’s domestic energy revolution helped drive a decline in the US trade deficit to its lowest level in four years, bolstering calls in Washington for the Obama administration to relax decades-old restrictions on the export of crude oil.
  • Financial Times: G4S has been accused of covering up the true scale of a prison disturbance that has cast doubt on its attempts to turn round the facility and resurrect its own scandal-hit reputation.
  • The Independent: Hedge fund giant Man Group has brushed off Richard Desmond's £20 million High Court claim for losses on a financial product, insisting it did not even act as the counter-party in the disputed transaction.
  • Financial Times: Mitsubishi Corp has made a big bet on the London commercial property market by launching an investment fund that could raise up to £500 million from institutions in Japan, and further afield.
  • The Guardian: Paul Dacre continues to be the best-paid UK newspaper editor, taking home more than £1.8 million last year, according to Daily Mail & General Trust's latest annual report.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Ford chief executive Alan Mulally says he will not leave the car maker for Microsoft and will stay at Ford at least through 2014.
  • Financial Times: AT&T plans to become the first major US mobile operator to allow companies to offer sponsored content and other free services to its subscribers – a move that some believe could pose a challenge to wireless “net neutrality” rules.
  • Financial Times: BlackBerry, the lossmaking Canadian smartphone maker, should be cash flow positive this year and profitable before the end of March 2016, John Chen, the company’s recently appointed chairman and chief executive, said on Tuesday.
  • The Guardian: iPhone and iPad owners spent more than $1 billion on nearly 3 billion apps in December alone.
  • The Independent: Intel on Tuesday night unveiled a pair of earphones which measure your heart rate while you exercise - as well as play music, of course.
  • The Daily Telegraph: RSA has said it believes the scandal surrounding a £200 million capital black hole at the group’s Irish operations was an isolated incident.
  • Financial Times: BAE Systems has appointed Jerry DeMuro to head its semi-autonomous US business as Europe’s largest defence company faces the steepest downturn in US defence spending since the end of the cold war.
  • The Independent: EasyJet flew 61.33 million passengers in 2013, which is 3.6% more than during the previous 12 months.
  • The Guardian: SSE became the latest energy firm to announce savings from the government's green levy shake-up with plans to cut dual fuel prices by 3.5% from 24 March.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gatwick and easyJet have locked horns over who was to blame for the chaos that reached “biblical proportions” at the airport on Christmas Eve, leaving passengers stranded for up to 12 hours in “Third World” conditions.
  • Financial Times: Samsung Electronics has estimated that fourth-quarter earnings missed analysts’ forecasts, amid slowing demand for its high-end smartphones in a saturated market and heightened competition from Apple’s new iPhones.
  • Financial Times: Caffè Nero laid the basis for faster international expansion with the restructuring of its £275 million of loans on terms more favourable than its existing facility.
  • Financial Times: Centrica’s highly regarded finance director Nick Luff has been poached by fellow FTSE 100 group Reed Elsevier, adding to a string of recent departures from Britain’s biggest household energy supplier.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: RBS Citizens, the US bank owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, has agreed to sell its Chicago branch network to US Bancorp, in a deal marking the start of RBS’s planned exit from its US banking unit.
  • Financial Times: AP Møller-Maersk is selling most of its stake in Denmark’s largest retailer, Dansk Supermarked, for $3 billion as the shipping-to-oil conglomerate continues to prune its sprawling portfolio.
  • Financial Times: Altice, a privately owned telecoms group with businesses in France, Israel and the Caribbean, wants to raise as much as $ 1billion through a listing of its shares on Amsterdam’s NYSE Euronext.
  • Financial Times: Greenland Holdings Group, the Chinese state-owned real estate developer, has bought Ram Brewery, a historic brewery site in southwest London, from developer Minerva, in its first UK deal.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Despite the claims to austerity, Britain has seen nothing to compare with the cuts imposed on the Greeks or Spaniards.
  • The Guardian (Comment): Treasury select committee's judgment on Co-op calamity may have consequences for regulator Clive Adamson.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): British Chancellor George Osborne's plan to shrink the state is a disaster - it doesn't go far enough.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Samsung: Earnings forecast miss is worrying.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Maersk: Danish conglomerate needs to shed more non-core businesses.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Hertz: Activists who have bought stakes in the car hire company should maintain their silence.
  • Financial Times (Lex): EM bonds: Is it time to make a bold call?

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