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Wednesday Papers: EU adopts landmark banking reforms

Wednesday Papers: EU adopts landmark banking reforms

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Europe’s biggest financial rulemaking spree reached its finale yesterday with the adoption of a slew of landmark reforms designed to make banks safer and financial markets more transparent; centrepiece of the reforms was an EU-wide rule book to ensure shareholders and bondholders and not taxpayers are first in line to pay for bank rescues.
  • The Guardian: A let-up in petrol price rises helped UK inflation fall to 1.6% in March from 1.7% in February on the consumer price index (CPI) measure, according to official data; the rate, widely forecast by economists, was the lowest since October 2009 and well below the Bank of England's government-set target for CPI at 2%.
  • Financial Times: Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba turbocharged Yahoo shares , after it reported a strong end to last year because of a shopping spree by singles; Alibaba, which is heading for an initial public offering this year, reported that net income in the fourth quarter had doubled to $1.4 billion from $642 million the year before.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Imperial Tobacco has called time on last UK factory; 540 jobs to go in Nottingham as Imperial Tobacco announces a major European restructuring programme to cut costs.
  • The Independent: Drinks giant Diageo is set to launch a new multi-million pound bid in its quest to gain control of India’s United Spirits.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The Co-operative Group is coming under increasing pressure to adopt a watered-down version of radical governance reforms proposed by Lord Myners, less than a week after fierce opposition from the mutual’s 20-person board prompted his resignation.
  • Financial Times: A Brussels court has issued an order banning Uber – which links private taxi drivers with customers via its app – saying its fleet does not have the necessary licences to operate in the EU capital.
  • Financial Times: Shareholders in Barclays have said they are still planning to register a significant protest vote over the bank’s pay policies at its annual meeting next week, despite welcoming the appointment of a new remuneration committee chairman.
  • Financial Times: Business representatives warned on Tuesday they were hitting a “brick wall” in discussions with the government over the ringfence for high street banking that will cleave Britain’s big institutions in two.
  • Financial Times: UK “challenger” banks spy an opportunity to enlarge their modest toehold in the market as their bigger peers cope with the upheaval prompted by the government’s structural reforms.
  • Financial Times: A bid by BT, the communications company, to claim a refund of £65.2 million of value added tax dating back more than 20 years has been rejected by the Court of Appeal, in a ruling likely to stem a flood of other backdated claims.
  • Financial Times: Senior diplomat Robert Hannigan has been revealed as the new director of the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, the communications intelligence and information-gathering agency that has been at the centre of an intensifying row about how much access spies have to civilian data.
  • Financial Times: The US Treasury slammed China for resuming large-scale efforts to hold down the renminbi and upped its pressure on Germany but stopped short of naming any country a “manipulator” in its semi-annual currency report.
  • Financial Times: Rio Tinto is aiming to resolve its differences with Mongolia’s government over a vast copper mine expansion within the next five months, after asking potential lenders to extend a deadline to arrange financing for the project.
  • Financial Times: New York’s bank regulator has subpoenaed hard drives and documents from Credit Suisse as its investigation into potential tax evasion escalates.
  • Financial Times: Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco, is facing calls from some of its top shareholders to step down, amid the escalating problems at Britain’s biggest retailer.
  • Financial Times: TalkTalk and Sky will build their own “ultra” high-speed fibre broadband network for the first time together in York in a direct move against the dominance held by BT in the telecoms infrastructure market.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s third-largest bank by assets, had to be suspended from trading on Tuesday after falling more than 10% on reports that the board is considering a near doubling of a proposed capital increase.
  • Financial Times: Nestlé warned of continuing deflationary pressures in Europe with unfavourable currency moves contributing to a 5% fall in first-quarter revenues.
  • Financial Times: SKF, the Swedish bearings company known as a bellwether for the industrial sector, provided further evidence of a slow rebound in manufacturing as it forecast a slight pick-up in demand in the current quarter.
  • Financial Times: Roche’s revenues fell 1% in the first quarter as the strength of the Swiss franc weighed on the pharma group, even as some of its new breast cancer medicines began to gain traction.
  • Financial Times: Infosys has reported higher-than-expected revenue guidance and a pick-up in four quarter net profits, bringing further hopes of a continued turnround at India’s third largest software group by revenue.
  • Financial Times: Mary Barra, chief executive of General Motors, has promised to use the crisis over the company’s delayed vehicle recall as “a catalyst for change” now that the carmaker is no longer fighting for survival.
  • Financial Times: Coca-Cola sold fewer fizzy drinks around the world in the first quarter for the first time in nearly 15 years and quarterly profit fell 7.5% from a year ago.
  • Financial Times: Standard & Poor’s moved a step closer to deposing former Treasury secretary Tim Geithner in its attempt to prove that the government’s fraud case against the rating agency was brought in retaliation for its downgrade of the US credit rating.
  • Financial Times: Telefónica has become the first telecoms provider to launch a mobile advertising exchange, throwing it into competition with internet companies like Google and Facebook.
  • Financial Times: SABMiller is considering a sale of its near-40% stake in South African hotel and casino chain Tsogo Sun, a holding worth more than $1 billion.
  • Financial Times: Promethean Investments has come to the rescue of troubled pawnbroker Albermarle & Bond and pulled it out of administration.
  • Financial Times: International recruitment consultant PageGroup moved into profit growth in constant currency terms for the first time in two years, boosted by continued strong performance from the UK and the US.
  • Financial Times: Three former brokers at ICAP, the interdealer broker, faced criminal charges in a London court yesterday over conspiracy to manipulate the Libor benchmark rate.
  • Financial Times: RSA has promoted its emerging markets head to a job focusing on the sales of the British insurer’s non-core businesses, as new chief executive Stephen Hester seeks to steer the company forward after last year’s accounting scandal.
  • Financial Times: Shares in GKN rose after the FTSE 100 British engineer posted a 22% rise in quarterly profit, boosted by growth in the car and commercial aerospace markets as it cautioned growth would be more modest later this year.
  • Financial Times: Debenhams said it was “accelerating the pace of change” in an attempt to recover from a difficult six months in which pre-tax profit declined by almost a quarter.
  • Financial Times: A $25 million fund has been raised to back angel investors in the US through a novel form of online investment, marking the latest opening-up of a market that relied in the past on closed personal networks.
  • Financial Times: Sanpower will pay £155 million to take control of House of Fraser, the Chinese conglomerate said as it prepares to take the 164-year-old UK department store into Asia.
  • The Guardian: A price war has broken out among the UK's smallest gas and electricity firms, sending domestic fuel bills to less than £1,000 for the first time in several years.
  • The Guardian: A day after Spain's second-biggest bank predicted it would take 10 years for employment to return to 2007 levels, more grim statistics revealed that seven of the EU's 10 worst employment blackspots are in Spain.
  • The Guardian: A delayed project to supply British Airways with jet fuel from converted waste is a step closer after it was announced a location has been found for the GreenSky fuel plant, in Thurrock, Essex.
  • The Guardian: Protesters and unions from around the world heavily criticise mining company Rio Tinto on Tuesday over alleged lapses in safety leading to the deaths of 41 people and a string of claimed environmental abuses.
  • The Guardian: The former chief of the Next fashion chain and chair of the now defunct JJB Sports chain took out £3 million in personal loans from two other well-known retail heads while heavily in debt, "possibly due to gambling".
  • The Guardian: UK house prices continued to accelerate in February, rising by 1.9% during the month and pushing the annual rate of inflation to more than 9%, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
  • The Daily Telegraph: G4S won first central Government contract since tagging scandal but shares fell after analysts say new management's turnaround plan is already "priced in".
  • Daily Mail: Nationwide Building Society will deploy remote bankers who will do your mortgage interview on screen 400 miles away.
  • Daily Mail: Small businesses are planning to use the new pension schemes they have to provide under the Government's auto-enrolment scheme to attract top calibre employees with higher payments into their retirement pots, a study claims.
  • Daily Mail: High Street sales fell for a second month in a row in March despite a better performance from Britain’s clothing stores

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Moelis & Co, the boutique investment bank, raised $163 million from its US initial public offering after last-minute investor concerns forced it to shrink the size of its share sale and cut the price of the deal below its expected range.
  • Financial Times: Zebra Technologies, the inventory tracking company, has agreed to buy Motorola Solutions’ enterprise business in a roughly $3.5 billion deal that marks the latest in what has already been a bumper year for technology mergers and acquisitions activity.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Eni: new boss of Italian energy group needs to find opportunities for growth.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Zebra / Motorola: hardware deals sound better when they seems like software.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Jaguar Land Rover: time may soon be right for an IPO of the UK carmaker.
  • Financial Times (Lex): WH Group: why does a pork producer need 29 banks to list?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Charles Schwab – nice and easy: firm’s stock is a play on rising US interest rates and the stock market.
  • Financial Times (Comment): Overhyped dotcoms may hold answer to the tech bust.

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