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Wednesday Papers: inflation rises to 1.8%

Wednesday Papers: inflation rises to 1.8%

Top stories

  • The Guardian: Annual inflation measured by the consumer prices index rose to 1.8% from 1.6% in March, pushed higher by petrol prices and as consumers paid more to travel over the popular Easter period.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Interest rate rises could be the "only game in town" to deal with an overheated housing market, according to Bank of England deputy governor Charlie Bean.
  • Financial Times: Lloyds Banking Group, UK’s biggest mortgage lender has clamped down on high-risk loans in London amid mounting fears that households in the southeast are overstretching their finances as they chase a rapidly accelerating housing market.
  • Financial Times: Germany’s financial watchdog has revealed that it held concrete evidence that banks had tried to manipulate the €5.3 trillion a day foreign exchange markets even as Brussels charged three more over a rate-rigging cartel, in a sign that the industry has not yet put scandal behind it.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BP's Gulf payouts set to pass $9.2 biliion following the ruling of appeals court in New Orleans that BP must stick to the compensation deal it signed in 2012.
  • The Guardian: AstraZeneca told its shareholders to stop trying to pressure it into reconsidering its decision to reject Pfizer's £69 billion takeover.
  • Financial Times: Britain’s crackdown on payday lending is forcing a mass exodus from the quick credit market, with up to half the lenders pulling out in the past 18 months.
  • Financial Times: Tens of thousands of jobs are at risk in South Africa’s platinum industry as the worst strike to hit the sector enters its 17th week, according to the principal company recruiting workers on behalf of mining groups.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Credit Suisse’s chief executive and chairman sought to put a three-year battle with US authorities behind them on Tuesday, by insisting they had no plans to resign after the Swiss bank pleaded guilty to helping American citizens evade taxes.
  • Financial Times: Rising confidence among developers and occupiers has pushed office building in central London to near pre-recession levels, the twice-yearly London Crane Survey compiled by Deloitte Real Estate reveals.
  • Financial Times: Scotland would have to pay more than £750 million to set up a tax system after independence, according to an analysis by the body representing Scottish chartered accountants.
  • Financial Times: Scottish Power has accepted a £750,000 penalty after regulator Ofgem ruled the energy company had failed to justify extra charges to customers not paying by direct debit.
  • Financial Times: The number of companies reporting concerns about cyber security to US regulators has more than doubled in the past two years, analysis of official filings shows.
  • Financial Times: Russia and China are pushing to overcome stumbling blocks to a multibillion-dollar gas supply contract before Russian President Vladimir Putin wraps up a state visit to Shanghai.
  • Financial Times: Christof Rühl, BP’s highly respected chief economist, is leaving the company to become the first global head of research at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
  • Financial Times: Marks and Spencer has abandoned plans to create a £200 million distribution centre at the London Gateway super-port.
  • Financial Times: Entertainment One will pay its first dividend, after the Peppa Pig distributor sharply increased profits in the wake of a North American acquisition.
  • Financial Times: UK-based activist hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund has escalated its campaign against Japan Tobacco, calling for the Japanese government to sell off its remaining stake in the company.
  • Financial Times: Intermediate Capital Group has reported a record year for fundraising as investors hunt for yield and the retreat of bank lending brings opportunities for alternative providers of capital.
  • Financial Times: Estate agency Countrywide has selected its next leader from outside the property industry, as it looks to harness continued growth from the booming UK housing market; the FTSE 250 group has named Bupa’s Alison Platt as its new chief executive, replacing Grenville Turner, the company’s leader since 2007.
  • Financial Times: General Motors’ total global recalls this year rose past 15 million vehicles as the carmaker called back a further 2.4 million potentially unsafe cars in the latest attempt to address its tarnished safety reputation.
  • Financial Times: A sharp fall in the pay of outgoing chief executive Peter Voser last year failed to quell discontent among some investors at Royal Dutch Shell over rewards offered to its top staff.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone warned that earnings would be lower next year owing to the costs of a £7 billion network improvement aimed at turning around struggling European operations that caused a further £6.6 billion writedown.
  • Financial Times: A holding company controlled by Italy’s wealthy Bonomi family has increased its stake in Club Méditerranée in an attempt to derail the French holiday group’s efforts to go private in a deal due to close on Friday.
  • Financial Times: G4S, the world’s biggest security services group, has parted company with its third UK chief executive in less than two years, underscoring the continued turmoil at its British division; Eddie Aston, who had been recruited from Deutsche Post DHL less than a year ago, has left the security company after just six months in the post.
  • Financial Times: British defence specialist Cobham has agreed to acquire Aeroflex, a New York-based rival, as it seeks to further insulate itself from the downturn in US defence spending.
  • Financial Times: Glencore is aiming to appoint a female director to its board by the end of the year, chairman Tony Hayward told the commodity’s group annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.
  • Financial Times: Homeserve has revealed the cost to its bottom line from the UK’s biggest fine for mis-selling products to UK retail customers and subsequent efforts to redress its failings.
  • Daily Mail: The Competition and Markets Authority upheld a decision that Eurotunnel should not be allowed to run its MyFerryLink service from Dover; it brushed off Eurotunnel’s assessment that there had been ‘significant changes’ in the cross-Channel ferry market since the initial decision.
  • Daily Mail: The Paragon Group, parent of buy-to-let lender Paragon Mortgages, reported underlying pre-tax profits of £57.9 million for the six months to the end of March - up 21% on a year earlier as it benefitted from increased demand for landlord loans.
  • Daily Mail: Royal Bank of Scotland has courted further controversy over ‘fat cat’ pay after handing a £1.9 million ‘golden hello’ to its new finance chief, Ewen Stevenson.
  • The Independent: Marks & Spencer has reported a third consecutive year of falling profits, putting pressure on chief executive Marc Bolland's position at the helm of the high street giant.
  • The Guardian: Political uncertainty over Britain's place in Europe and the Scottish referendum have become "critical factors" in company investment decisions, according to a business leader; Sir Mike Rake, president of the CBI, says that, while the economic recovery is increasing, political issues are climbing up the "risk register" for businesses.
  • The Guardian: Brussels has charged Britain's biggest bank, HSBC, its US peer JP Morgan and France's Crédit Agricole with rigging financial benchmarks linked to the euro.
  • The Guardian: David Cameron has said he would be prepared to amend the government's Help to Buy scheme if the governor of the Bank of England were to recommend a change of approach.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK economy is 'competitive and well-diversified', according to Moody's but country still faces "considerable" public-sector debt burden.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Annualised real returns of 4.1% on wine from 1900 to 2012 beat government bonds, fine art and stamps making red wine best investment of 20th century.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Allied Minds, a Boston-based company founded by a British financier, Mark Pritchard, has already spent almost a decade commercialising scientific discoveries from dozens of US universities and Federal government institutions, and now plans a London flotation likely to value the group at more than $600 million.
  • Financial Times: Treasury Wine Estates, Australia’s largest winemaker, has rebuffed a A$3.1 billion (US$2.9 billion) takeover offer from private equity group KKR, saying the bid does not reflect the company’s fundamental value.
  • Financial Times: UBC Media has agreed to buy digital music service 7digital, uniting the Aim-listed radio content producer with a technology company that powers dozens of music streaming services.
  • Financial Times: Reed Elsevier is closing in on the acquisition of a “black box” technology company that will allow the FTSE 100 media group to monitor UK drivers’ behaviour; while financially small in the context of Reed – people familiar with the matter said it was preparing to pay about £25 million for privately owned Wunelli – the deal underscores growing interest in telematics technology from companies in a diverse range of sectors.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The British aerospace and defence manufacturer, Colham, will place shares to help fund the acquisition of Aeroflex, US communications equipment firm for $1.5 billion.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Treasury Wine: the wrath of grapes.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Spying: SOE, Mr Bond.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Pfizer / AstraZeneca: more drugs please.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Manchester United: squeaky bum time.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Vodafone: the long winter.

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