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Wednesday Papers: Russia cuts deal to finance Ukraine

Wednesday Papers: Russia cuts deal to finance Ukraine

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Russia said on Tuesday it would invest $15 billion into Ukrainian bonds and temporarily cut gas prices to Kiev by a third in a bailout of its neighbour’s ailing economy that will sharply increase its influence over the ex-Soviet republic.
  • Financial Times: Debenhams has infuriated some of its most loyal suppliers by demanding a 2.5% discount on goods and hitting them with a one-off charge just eight days before Christmas.
  • Financial Times: BP has accused Mikal Watts, a leading US lawyer, who is an important fundraiser for President Barack Obama, of “brazen fraud” in his legal action against the energy company for compensation over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Financial Times: China’s antitrust authorities have threatened to arrest representatives of Interdigital, a US patent licensing company, that is embroiled in a legal dispute with telecoms equipment maker Huawei, the US group has said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Co-op Bank has received the support of 98% of its bondholders for £1.5 billion recapitalisation ahead of a court hearing to approve the emergency capital raising.
  • The Guardian: Troubled smartphone firm BlackBerry is losing three more executives, including its head of global sales, days before quarterly figures are expected to show further steep losses.
  • The Independent: The Big Four accountants - KPMG, EY, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers – could find themselves being stripped of their most lucrative audit deals every 10 years, according to tough new rules proposed by the European Union.
  • The Guardian: The US Securities and Exchange Commission has asked a federal judge to order the former Goldman Sachs vice-president Fabrice Tourre to pay more than $1.1 million for his role in a failed 2007 mortgage deal.
  • The Independent: Wall Street giant JP Morgan is expected to ban traders from online chat rooms this week.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bumi investors agree name change to Asia Resource Minerals as they approve $501 million "divorce" from Bakrie family.
  • Financial Times: Google has narrowed the gap with Apple in the amount spent on apps by users of its Android system this year, even though users of Apple’s iPhone and iPad remain the biggest spenders on digital content.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: A bipartisan group of US senators said on Tuesday that it did not make sense to punish insurance companies for the mistakes made by AIG, which needed a $182 billion government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bank of England Governor says market reaction to the mere talk of QE tapering by the US Federal Reserve warrants caution by UK policymakers over £375 billion stockpile.
  • The Guardian: Vince Cable's business department has admitted that the scathing report into Royal Bank of Scotland's treatment of small business customers published last month was different to the one the business secretary had received.
  • Financial Times: HSH Nordbank, one of Germany’s few remaining state-backed Landesbanks, has been forced to set aside tens of millions of euros after discovering “suspicious” tax transactions in an internal probe.
  • Financial Times: Raghuram Rajan, India’s central bank governor, has fired the opening salvo in a battle against the country’s heavily indebted industrial tycoons, calling for private equity groups such as KKR and Blackstone to take over distressed companies.
  • The Guardian: Board at software giant Microsoft says it expects to complete the work of picking successor to Steve Ballmer in 'early part of 2014'.
  • Financial Times: 3M said it expects to repurchase up to $22 billion of its shares in the five years through 2017.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bob Diamond raises $325 million for African banking venture.
  • Financial Times: Banks will be given more control over traders’ instant messages, Bloomberg has announced, as the data provider tries to redeem the reputation of tools now associated with market manipulation.
  • Financial Times: The Spanish government could lose as much as €9 billion of taxpayers’ money on the sale of the nationalised savings bank NCG Banco after receiving the first round of offers for the lender.
  • Financial Times: Xing Libin, a Chinese mining boss who threw a multimillion-dollar wedding for his daughter last year, is now struggling under a pile of debts that threaten to trigger a major default in the country’s shadow banking industry.
  • Financial Times: Facebook is introducing video adverts in users’ news feeds, as the social network seeks a slice of the global TV advertising market.
  • Financial Times: Euope’s banks have taken advantage of yield-chasing investors to issue $90.7 billion of subordinated debt for the year to date, a 41% increase compared to the same period in 2012.
  • The Independent: A payday loan firm that persistently bombarded people with spam texts encouraging them to borrow money to have a night out has been fined £175,000.
  • The Guardian: Two-thirds of the UK's land will be available for fracking companies to license, a government map published on Tuesday shows, with new areas opened up in the Midlands, Cumbria and Wales.
  • The Daily Telegraph: GlaxoSmithKline ends payments to doctors to speak at conferences or promote drugs and reforms compensation for sales staff.
  • Financial Times: Roland Berger, the German management consultancy, looks set to vote on Wednesday to remain independent, after executives concluded its 250 partners would reject a potential offer from EY, the professional services group.
  • Financial Times: Sprint Nextel and Dish Network, the US satellite TV operator, plan to build an experimental fixed wireless broadband network in Texas that will launch by the middle of next year and will then be expanded to other markets.
  • The Independent: Dixons saw UK and Ireland sales jump 9% in the six months to the end of October on a like-for-like basis, with profits hitting £31.4 million, compared with £6.9 million over the same period last year.
  • The Guardian: A new runway for London and the south-east should be built at either Heathrow or Gatwick, the independent airports commission declared on Tuesday, heralding renewed battles for residents, campaigners and politicians just three years after expansion was ruled out.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Daily Mail: Google has bought Boston Dynamics, which currently has a number of contracts with the US military, for an unspecified figure.
  • Financial Times: House of Fraser is in advanced talks to be acquired by Galeries Lafayette, the French department store chain.
  • Financial Times: Takeovers of wealth management companies have reached “fever pitch” this year with more than $8 billion being spent, and nearly half of the deals involving UK firms, a new report has found.
  • The Guardian: Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP, the global marketing services company, has taken a 30% stake in Richard Attias & Associates, the company responsible for events including World Economic Forum in Davos.
  • Financial Times: Babcock has made its first move into the fast-growing cyber security market, acquiring one of the British government’s key suppliers for £32 million; it acquired ContexTis, a 15-year-old consultancy employing 105 staff in London, Düsseldorf and Melbourne.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): Years of stagnation have made politicians, and perhaps the voters they represent, desperate for anything that sounds like it might turn on the economic jets – whether or not it will actually achieve liftoff.
  • The Guardian (Comment): It is baffling that Alison Brittain, head of Lloyds Banking Group's retail division, can think this is the right moment to join the board of Marks & Spencer as a nonexecutive director.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Airport expansion is essential if flying is to remain affordable to all.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Italian president fears violent insurrection in 2014 but offers no remedy.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Communications M&A: Deal fever is obscuring issues consolidation will not address. Mobile mergers are also tricky – network technologies, strategies and customer bases have to be integrated
  • Financial Times (Lex): Amazon’s performance is improving, but that does not explain the online retailer’s share price
  • Financial Times (Lex): Bob’s back: Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays, is back with a cash shell aiming to invest in Africa. Is he worth backing?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Airport operators: Investing in airlines is a chancey business. Investing in the airports that cater to them is dicey, too, but the risks are different

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