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Wednesday Papers: RBS clamps down on large mortgages

Wednesday Papers: RBS clamps down on large mortgages

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Royal Bank of Scotland has become the second UK lender to cap large mortgage loans, amid rising concerns that the London property market is overheating.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK house prices have jumped over the past year to a record high of £186,512, rising above its pre-financial crisis peak, Nationwide figures show.
  • Financial Times: Eurozone inflation fell unexpectedly to 0.5% last month, intensifying pressure on Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, to act against the rising threat of deflation; the inflation reading is well below the ECB’s target of just under 2% and on a par with March, when it hit its lowest level since autumn 2009.
  • The Guardian: France's foreign minister has hit out against a possible $10 billion (£5.9 billion) plus fine for the country's biggest bank, BNP Paribas, for alleged violation of US sanctions.
  • The Independent: The head of UK Asset Resolution has warned that more than 60,000 of its mortgage customers could be put at risk by Bank of England moves to raise interest rates.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK dealmaking drops to lowest level on record as length of time it takes to complete a deal is impacting M&A volumes according to the Office for National Statistics.
  • The Guardian: Tesco appears to have lost more than 1 million customer visits a week, worth £25 million in sales, with its market share showing the biggest decline for at least 20 years; in the 12 weeks to 25 May, Tesco's sales fell 3.1% from a year earlier and Morrisons' sales dipped 3.9%, according to figures compiled by Kantar Worldpanel.
  • Financial Times: Sweden’s foreign minister has warned that Scottish independence would lead to the “Balkanisation of the British Isles” and have far-reaching consequences for the rest of Europe, in the strongest expression of concern from another EU government so far.
  • Financial Times: Standard & Poor’s has been censured by the EU securities watchdog for wrongly announcing in 2011 that France’s credit rating had been downgraded, in the first use of the regulator’s new enforcement powers.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Google has received more than 41,000 requests in four days from Europeans wanting the company to remove personal information from its web search results, according to people close to the company.
  • Financial Times: Foxtons’ chief executive Michael Brown – who floated the estate agency business just eight months ago, raising £390 million – is to step down from the company for “personal reasons”, having taken taking compassionate leave earlier this year.
  • Financial Times: Building activity is rising so strongly that supply bottlenecks are beginning to emerge, according to a survey of purchasing managers published on Tuesday; but a more detailed look at the evidence shows the sector still struggling after the recession.
  • Financial Times: Falling oil supplies and spending pledges would result in an £8.6 billion deficit in Scotland’s first year of independence, according to reports from the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank.
  • Financial Times: The UK is educating too many youngsters to degree level and should instead focus on vocational education to prepare them for a burgeoning market in medium and low-skilled jobs, according to researchers.
  • Financial Times: Russia and China have agreed to set up a joint rating agency as Moscow’s stand-off with the west over Ukraine has made it more eager to establish institutions that would reduce its dependence on the US and Europe.
  • Financial Times: Apple has made a break with the past by opening up new elements of its iPhone operating system such as its keyboard, fingerprint reader and cloud storage systems; now external developers can create tools to customise these basic functions of the iPhone, where before Apple insisted that only its own technology was good enough.
  • Financial Times: Vodafone will move its product innovation and development team out of Silicon Valley to establish a centre in London, reversing the long-term migration of technology talent and ideas to the West Coast hub.
  • Financial Times: Consumers’ willingness to pay for digital content is in danger of being held back by their rising spending on internet access, according to a new forecast that raises questions about the media industry’s hopes for streaming music and video subscriptions.
  • Financial Times: Supercar manufacturer McLaren made a profit for the first time last year, as the British company cashed in on demand for its £1 million P1 model and a boom in Asian demand.
  • Financial Times: Mobile subscriptions will exceed the world’s population next year, according to Ericsson, the Swedish technology group, although the strongest growth will be in connecting machines and appliances to the internet.
  • Financial Times: The French pharmaceuticals group Sanofi scrambled to ease concern over its commitment to France on Tuesday after it was revealed that the company’s chief executive was relocating to Boston.
  • Financial Times: Paul Taubman, the veteran rainmaker behind some of the biggest US deals this year, has decided to take advantage of his purple patch by launching his own advisory boutique.
  • Financial Times: France’s financial prosecutor has searched the headquarters of state-controlled nuclear group Areva in an escalating investigation into the $2.5 billion acquisition of Canadian uranium mining company UraMin.
  • Financial Times: General Motors shrugged off bad publicity over its botched recall of vehicles with faulty ignition switches to post US new car sales 12.6% ahead of last May’s level and outpaced the wider industry’s rapid growth.
  • Financial Times: Carl Icahn has emerged as the latest billionaire investor to bet on potential reforms of the government-run mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in the teeth of Congressional determination to wind the companies down.
  • Financial Times: The state-owned organisation that is whittling down the old loan portfolios of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley has repaid more than £10 billion to the taxpayer since its creation in 2010.
  • Financial Times: Robot makers have been warned by Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, that they must do more to reassure the public over concerns that a new wave of automation could take away their jobs.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Severfield, previously Severfield-Rowen, fell 4% to 54.25p on Tuesday after the steel fabrication group reported full-year results that showed that losses from its Indian joint venture swelled to £3 million.
  • Financial Times: AstraZeneca claims to have demonstrated the potential “to transform the way cancer is treated” as it steps up efforts to convince investors it was right to spurn a near-£70 billion takeover approach from Pfizer.
  • Financial Times: Pennon Group, the waste management and water supplier, has taken another writedown on its portfolio of landfill sites, prompted by a further squeeze on margins for those dealing with Britain’s rubbish piles.
  • Financial Times: Canadian investment bank Canaccord Genuity Group quadrupled its profits to $25.9 million in the past quarter, driven by an increase in advisory and equity capital markets business in the UK and US.
  • Daily Mail: Asda is the winner among the Big Four grocers battling to win shoppers, data shows; Britain’s second largest supermarket chain has been the only large grocer to increase the size of its market share over the past 12 weeks, leaving troubled Tesco and Morrisons in its wake.
  • Daily Mail: Hargreaves Lansdown has been criticised for introducing charges for small shareholders who want to vote at annual meetings; the private broking website has been accused of ‘disenfranchising its customers’ by bringing in a £12 fee for attending or voting at companies’ annual general meetings – a service that used to be free.
  • The Guardian: Discounts on clothing and bank holiday offers on DIY and gardening products resulted in prices in British shops continuing to fall last month, according to the British Retail Consortium.
  • The Guardian: Senior Conservatives have dismissed advice from European officials that the UK needs to rein back its booming property market, saying George Osborne does not require help from Brussels to help run the economy.
  • The Guardian: Gusbourne Estates, the wine producer controlled by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft, said last year's better-than-expected harvest would help it meet growing demand for English wines.
  • The Guardian: The Reserve Bank of Australia has kept interest rates at 2.5% amid continued uncertainty about the strength of the economy.
  • The Independent: Spending on plastic cards topped £0.5trillion for the first time last year as shoppers moved further away from cash.
  • The Independent: Lloyds, the bank part-owned by the Government, has withdrawn from a trade finance deal worth between £895 million and £1.2 billionn involving the Russian oil company Rosneft, in a development that highlights the growing unease among Western banks in funding Russian deals.
  • The Daily Telegraph: NS&I has launched international payments service that allows customers to send their savings to a foreign bank account.
  • The Daily Telegraph: International Energy Agency has warned that the EU will lose a quarter of its electricity over the next decade as old power stations are shut down.
  • The Daily Telegraph: E.on, German energy giant's chief has said that technologies such as wind and solar are no longer in their infancy so must not be given special treatment.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Deep sea and outer space contracts boost QinetiQ as the defence and technology company has won two multi-million pound contracts to work in the ocean and outer space.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Terry Smith's departure from Tullett to focus on his Fundsmith investment firm, has led to fresh concerns about the future of inter-dealer brokers.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: New Look plans to sell off its ailing French division after the fashion retailer took a writedown on the business that helped trigger a £55 million annual pre-tax loss for the year ending 29 March.
  • Financial Times: The bidding war over Hillshire Brands is heating up, with the packaged meat company agreeing to hold talks with its suitors after Pilgrim’s Pride raised its offer to $7.7 billion, up $900 million from rival poultry processor Tyson Foods’s bid.
  • Financial Times: Shawbrook Bank, which was created in 2011 as one of the new entrants to the UK banking market, broke into profit last year, paving the way for it to list on the stock market in 2015.
  • Financial Times: Bank of Cyprus plans to sell its Russian operation as part of a restructuring launched by its new chief executive John Hourican to shore up the lender’s capital and refocus on its domestic market a year after it collapsed.
  • Financial Times: MandM Direct is the latest discount private equity-backed e-tailer to announce it plans to join the Alternative Investment Market, with its owners hoping to achieve a market capitalisation of between £140 million and £170 million.
  • The Independent: London-based trading data company Markit, which competes with Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg, said late on Tuesday it expects its Nasdaq initial public offering to price between $23 and $25 a share, raising up to $1.1 billion and valuing the whole of the company at up to $4.4 billion.
  • The Independent: Joey Jacobs, the US drug addiction clinics tycoon, has swept into Britain to buy the psychiatric hospitals group Partnerships in Care for £394 million.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Samsung: Lee genes.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Iron ore: game of thrones.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Lend Lease: option value.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK electricity: jolt needed.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Wolseley: nailing it?
  • Financial Times (Comment): Loan caps too weak to curb runaway London prices.

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