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Wednesday Papers: EU and US toughen sanctions on Russia

Wednesday Papers: EU and US toughen sanctions on Russia

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The western powers presented a united front over the Ukrainian crisis on Tuesday when the EU and the US agreed to their toughest sanctions against Russia since the end of the cold war.
  • Financial Times: UBS, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have been drawn into a deepening probe of banks’ anonymous “dark pool” trading venues, with all three receiving subpoenas from authorities demanding details of their operations.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Europe's bond yields are at lowest since 15th century Genoa on deflation and Russia risk; German, French and Dutch yields have been sliding for months as the eurozone recovery wilts and several countries flirt with recession.
  • Financial Times: The Bank of England will on Wednesday unveil a tough new regime intended to stamp out misconduct in the City, including powers to claw back bonuses up to seven years after they have been paid and a new law that would see reckless bankers sent to jail.
  • Financial Times: Pfizer has called for “fundamental reform” of the US tax system – but said it was still interested in acquisitions that would allow it to put offshore revenues beyond the reach of the US taxman in the absence of change.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BP chief executive stood by Rosneft deal as the profits jumped 34% to $3.63 billion in the second quarter; benefits of being in Russia outweigh risks despite potential damage from sanctions against the country, according to CEO Bod Dudley.
  • The Guardian: A big increase in the number of people becoming insolvent in England and Wales has prompted fresh warnings about the fate of financially stretched households when interest rates start to rise.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Some of Britain’s biggest social landlords, the housing associations, are backing away from their original mission of building state-backed low-cost homes, aggravating the housing crisis.
  • Financial Times: UK mortgage approvals increased in June for the first time since January, signalling that the disruption caused to the market by new affordability rules may be dissipating.
  • Financial Times: A group of Russian lawmakers has proposed banning the “Big Four” global accounting firms and two of the world’s largest consulting groups from the country, in a sign of growing pressure on Moscow’s economic policy makers to hit back against increased western sanctions.
  • Financial Times: Electra Private Equity, a London listed trust, has rejected a request by UK-born activist hedge fund manager Edward Bramson to be granted seats on the board to lead a strategy review.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s lead anti-fraud agency has a specialist team examining alleged rate rigging by Lloyds Banking Group, it emerged on Tuesday, as political pressure mounted on authorities to take tougher action against individuals involved.
  • Financial Times: Over the past few weeks, the leaders of some of the UK’s biggest retailers have swapped one company for another in the hope that change at the top will help them to navigate the sweeping structural changes taking place in the industry and halt their sliding sales.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Next rallied more than 2.5% in early morning trading on Tuesday as the fashion retailer reported double-digit sales growth and raised its sales and profit guidance range for the full year.
  • Financial Times: Tech groups are laying big bets on mobile advertising as consumers’ attention shifts from print and radio to smartphones and tablets; but wagers are being laid on an emerging revenue stream about which the people who control marketing budgets remain uncertain.
  • Financial Times: UBS said that it paid €300 million to settle an investigation by authorities in Bochum into whether it helped German clients evade taxes, as it revealed better-than-expected second-quarter results.
  • Financial Times: Airbus has terminated an order with Skymark Airlines of Japan for six A380 superjumbos, a rare move that highlights the European manufacturer’s difficulties in selling the world’s largest passenger jet.
  • Financial Times: Centrica has named Iain Conn, head of BP’s refining division, as its chief executive, one of the most politically sensitive jobs in British business.
  • Financial Times: McDonald’s Japan has pulled its full-year profit guidance on the back of falling sales, after some of its 3,200 restaurants were forced to scratch chicken nuggets off the menu in the wake of a food scandal at its China-based supplier.
  • Financial Times: Competitive pressures in large parts of the global insurance industry have become so intense that some underwriters risk failing if prices fall further, the head of the sector’s largest broker in Europe, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, has warned.
  • Financial Times: Tullett Prebon revenues fell 15% in the first half of the year as the interdealer broker continued to struggle with a lull in market activity and regulators’ efforts to clamp down on financial risk.
  • Financial Times: Shares in GKN rose after the FTSE 100 British component maker said growth in the car market had helped offset the impact of a strong pound.
  • Financial Times: Orange showed further signs of stabilising in the second quarter as cost-cutting and smaller revenue declines stemmed falling profits at France’s largest telecoms operator by subscribers.
  • Financial Times: Currency weakness wiped £12 million off sterling profits at PZ Cussons, the maker of Imperial Leather and St Tropez tanning lotion, which counts Nigeria and Indonesia among its biggest markets.
  • Financial Times: Bernie Ecclestone’s lawyers are in settlement talks with Munich criminal prosecutors in an attempt to have the bribery case against the Formula One chief executive dropped.
  • Daily Mail: Power station giant Drax fell to a loss in the first half of the year after being hit by carbon taxes and fluctuations in global energy prices.
  • Daily Mail: AgustaWestland has agreed to pay a ‘negligible’ fine following an investigation into the sale of 12 helicopters to India; the Indian Ministry of Defence terminated the £465million deal with the British helicopter maker in January amid allegations that officials were bribed to win the contract.
  • Daily Mail: UK wealth manager St. James's Place bucked a patchy investment environment to post record funds under management in the first half of the year, boosted by new client inflows; funds under management rose 19% to £47.6 billion in the six months to June 30, helped by £2.4 billion in new money and the retention of 95% of its existing client funds.
  • Daily Express: Domino’s pizza said hungry World Cup football fans had helped it score higher profits; the tournament in Brazil helped the FTSE 250 chain deliver a 10.1% profit rise to £24.5 million in the six months.
  • The Guardian: Vodafone's chairman, Gerard Kleisterlee, has promised to protect the right to privacy, saying the mobile network will engage with the UK government's review of how the intelligence agencies intercept and collect data on its customers.
  • The Guardian: Nearly two million working young adults aged between 20 and 34 years old in England are still living with their parents according to Shelter.
  • The Guardian: The White House has warned that delaying action on climate change would carry a heavy price, racking up an additional 40% in economic losses from climate impacts and other costs over the course of 10 years.
  • The Guardian: One of London's most recognisable landmarks, the Gherkin, has been put up for sale and is expected to be snapped up by an overseas buyer.
  • The Guardian: Rising interest rates in advanced economies and a slowdown in emerging markets could combine to cut global growth by as much as 2%, the International Monetary Fund has warned.
  • The Guardian: Argentina is on the brink of its second debt default since the turn of the century, as hopes fade that last-minute talks will hammer out a deal with "vulture fund" bondholders.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Monarch is reshuffling its top team ahead of cash injection; role of long-standing executive chairman, Iain Rawlinson, will be split between Gatwick chairman Sir Roy McNulty and Andrew Swaffield, currently managing director of Monarch Airlines.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Twitter shares surged 35% as it reported 24% surge in user numbers despite widening losses of $145 million, in the second quarter.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Biggest investor in Sky Deutschland, Crispin Odey, said that BSkyB's plan to create Sky Europe offers a nil premium for shareholders.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Oando, the Nigerian homegrown oil company, has closed a much-delayed $1.65 billion deal to buy assets from ConocoPhillips, capping its long transformation from a leading Nigerian fuel importer into a major local oil producer.
  • Financial Times: French retail landlord Klépierre is to acquire the Netherlands’ largest listed property company, Corio, in an effort to create Europe’s biggest retail mall operator.
  • Financial Times: Flipkart, the Indian ecommerce website started by two former Amazon employees, has raised $1 billion in fresh funding, as it confronts fierce competition from its US role model and local rivals for a slice of India’s internet shopping market.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Twitter: keeping the ball rolling.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Klépierre / Corio: European retail property.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BP: watch your steppe.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Deutsche Bank: target market.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Darden: Olive Garden branch?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Zillow / Trulia: agents of change?
  • Financial Times (Comments): City ignores Russian capacity for hardship at its peril.

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