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Wednesday Papers: Sterling strengthens as investors bet on rate rise

Wednesday Papers: Sterling strengthens as investors bet on rate rise

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Investors pushed sterling to a six-year high against the dollar on Tuesday after manufacturing data boosted expectations that the Bank of England will become the first major central bank to raise interest rates.
  • The Independent: France’s BNP Paribas has agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion fine for working with countries subject to US sanctions, but most of its bankers will get their bonuses.
  • Financial Times: Twitter has recruited a former Goldman Sachs banker, Anthony Noto, who helped take the messaging platform public to take over as chief financial officer in an attempt to bolster its board and address investor concern about slowing user growth.
  • Financial Times: Nicolas Sarkozy was held by police for questioning on Tuesday, in a corruption investigation that threatens the former French president’s potential political comeback.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Mike Ashley's sports retailer, Sports Direct, is understood to have reported Adidas to competition authorities ahead of potentially stormy shareholder meeting.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Grocery prices rose at slowest pace for 8 years as price war dragged down supermarket prices to competer with discounters that were grabbing shoppers.
  • The Guardian: Tata Steel has announced plans to cut about 400 jobs at its plant in Port Talbot in Wales and is not ruling out compulsory redundancies.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance -two of the UK’s biggest law firms by revenue kick-started the elite firms’ reporting season by posting rises in both profit and revenue after advising on big-ticket takeovers and global regulatory investigations.
  • Financial Times: The best and worst of the British economy was on show on Tuesday as data showed manufacturing was booming but productivity and living standards were languishing after the financial crisis.
  • Financial Times: Internal differences have emerged within the Bank of England’s stability committee over the best way to curb risky borrowing, according to minutes of its latest meeting published on Tuesday.
  • Financial Times: Banks and building societies have largely ignored Tuesday’s launch of new tax-free individual savings accounts with just a handful of new products appearing, and a drop in average interest rates offered since the chancellor announced changes in his March Budget.
  • Financial Times: The UK’s top anti-fraud agency had to pay more than £4 million to HM Revenue & Customs after wrongly reclaiming value added tax on fees paid to barristers and other contractors.
  • Financial Times: South Africa’s economy was dealt a fresh blow on Tuesday as 200,000 engineers and metalworkers downed tools, just a week after the end of one of the most damaging strikes in the country’s history.
  • Financial Times: Michel Sapin, France’s finance minister, angered by the US’s $8.9bn fine of BNP Paribas, has called for Europe to “mobilise” to encourage banking clients to carry out more international transactions in the euro.
  • Financial Times: AstraZeneca’s chief executive has signalled his confidence in the company’s prospects by buying £2 million worth of its shares, just weeks after the collapse of a £69.4 billion takeover bid from Pfizer.
  • Financial Times: Nearly a month after China intensified its clampdown on Google’s services, many Chinese businesses are discovering how exposed they are to the US search company, whose fortunes in China are hostage to the so-called Great Firewall, designed to keep out pernicious foreign influences.
  • Financial Times: Just a week after Google started selling its £1,000 Glass headset in the UK, the country’s cinemas have banned people from wearing the devices out of fear they could be used to illegally record films.
  • Financial Times: Barclays has turned to one of David Cameron’s most senior business advisers, Tim Luke, to help it stay atop the rampant activity in the technology, media and telecommunication sector, where dealmaking has returned to pre-financial crisis levels.
  • Financial Times: EY has announced a record number of partner promotions, becoming the latest of the Big Four accountancy firms to boost its top ranks, highlighting improved economic growth and corporate activity.
  • Financial Times: US regulators have fined Goldman Sachs $800,000 for failing to ensure that trades executed in the bank’s own trading venue met US laws protecting investors’ right to best market prices.
  • Financial Times: Dov Charney, the controversial founder of US fashion chain American Apparel, has managed to increase his stake in the company towards 50%, according to regulatory filings in New York.
  • Financial Times: Bilfinger, the German industrial services group, says it will cut jobs and capacity because its profits will be hit by falling investment from Europe’s power generation sector.
  • Financial Times: Gotham City Research, the short-seller that led attacks on insurance company Quindell, has launched a new bear raid, targeting a Spanish company, Gowex, that says it is a world leader in providing free outdoor wifi.
  • Financial Times: Hewlett-Packard opened a new front in its fraud claims against former executives of UK software company Autonomy, as it settled a series of shareholder lawsuits it had faced over the issue.
  • Financial Times: A UK data regulator is investigating whether Facebook broke data protection laws when it allowed researchers to conduct a psychological experiment on users of the social network.
  • Financial Times: Shares in Banco Espírito Santo, Portugal’s largest listed lender, fell sharply in early trading on Tuesday but later recovered as the bank sought to calm investor concerns over a change of management and financial difficulties facing the Espírito Santo family group.
  • Financial Times: Russia has raised hopes that Visa and MasterCard can continue operating in the country without paying hefty security deposits required under new legislation taking effect on Tuesday.
  • Financial Times: General Motors recorded better than expected US sales for June, in the latest sign that consumers are largely indifferent to the continued bad publicity over the recall of a series of the company’s older compact cars with faulty ignition switches.
  • Financial Times: Tinder, the online dating service, has suspended one of its co-founders after a former senior executive sued it for sexual harassment and discrimination, making it the latest technology company to face criticism over its treatment of women.
  • Financial Times: Goldman Sachs has been accused by two former female employees of gender discrimination and fostering a “boys club” atmosphere where sexualisation of women was endorsed and celebrated.
  • Financial Times: Gigaclear, the UK telecoms group, is accelerating the pace of its rural broadband programme, backed by veteran investor Neil Woodford’s fund management group.
  • Financial Times: Euan Munro the chief executive of Aviva Investors, which is a chronically underperforming division of the insurance group, launched the first in a new range of “outcome-oriented” funds.
  • Financial Times: St Modwen Properties offered yet more evidence of the strength of the UK property market as the brownfield land specialist reported half-year profits up by a third.
  • Financial Times: Underwear chain La Senza has gone bust for the second time in two years after its owner Alshaya called in administrators, putting about 750 jobs at risk.
  • Financial Times: The supermarket price war has taken its toll on Ocado, even as the online grocer moved into profit in the first half of its financial year.
  • Financial Times: European regulators have backed the preferential capital treatment ascribed to covered bonds but argued for tougher rules to protect holders of the securities; the European Banking Authority said the favourable risk weightings ascribed to covered bonds were “appropriate” – in a boost to countries that are heavy users of the bonds including Denmark and Germany.
  • Financial Times: Greggs the bakers has shrugged off its miserable 2013, posting a 3.2% jump in like-for-like sales for the first half of the year. This contrasted with a sharp 2.9% drop in sales for the same period last year.
  • Daily Mail: Shares in Upper Crust owner SSP is seen priced at lower end of range valuing firm at £1.6bn ahead of debut.
  • Daily Mail: Households will be whacked with a bill of £250 billlion to upgrade Britain’s crumbling infrastructure and the poorest will be hit hardest, MPs have warned.
  • Daily Mail: Billions of pounds could be draining from British bank accounts through direct debits for services people no longer need, a study by MoneySuperMarket has found.
  • Daily Mail: The Student Loans Company yesterday admitted sending more than 300,000 graduates fake ‘Wonga-style’ legal letters over the past decade – as it suspended all use of the tactic.
  • Daily Mail: After taking his company public last week, GoPro's 39-year-old founder Nick Woodman is now officially a billionaire as GoPro shares are now up 60% from the IPO price of $24 a share.
  • The Guardian: Millions of households without internet access pay an average of £440 more a year for essential goods and services such as energy, telecommunications and banking, research reveals.
  • The Independent: JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon told colleagues and shareholders late on Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer.
  • The Daily Telegraph: At least 70 permanent jobs are to be created as Norway's state-controlled Statoil and state-owned Statkraft decide to invest £1.5 billion in 67-turbine Dudgeon project.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The collapse of Ukraine’s ceasefire has shattered hopes for a quick end to the crisis in the Donbass, setting off fresh capital flight from Russia and raising the spectre of further Western sanctions against Russian companies.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Bonhams, the 200-year-old auctioneer, has whittled down the number of suitors for the business to fewer than five having hoisted a for-sale sign two months ago.
  • Financial Times: Blackstone, Cinven and a Canadian pension fund are exploring a joint bid for €5 billion worth of assets earmarked for sale by cement makers Lafarge and Holcim.
  • The Daily Telegraph: US industrial giant GE has zoomed in on a small Mansfield-based energy business as one of the key technologies for growing its renewable energy business; renewable technology business Monsal, based in Nottinghamshire, is due to be swallowed by the American goliath in a roughly £15 million deal.
  • Financial Times (Lex): América Móvil : Ex-Mex.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Twitter: Road to Noto.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Fiat Chrysler: Konnichiwa, Namaste.
  • Financial Times (Lex): AirAsia / Rakuten: Nippon line.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Club Med: bargain holiday deal.

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