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Wednesday Papers: Top hedge fund makes $500m on Greece bet

Wednesday Papers: Top hedge fund makes $500m on Greece bet

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Third Point, one of the world’s most prominent hedge funds, is sitting on a $500 million profit after making a bet that Greece would not be forced to leave the eurozone, bucking the trend in a difficult year for the industry.
  • Financial Times: Samsung has said it will no longer seek an injunction against Apple’s devices in Europe, as US and European authorities press the smartphone industry to rein in their patent disputes.
  • The Guardian: The incoming governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has been warned to stay out of British politics when he arrives next summer after he was found holidaying with a prominent opposition minister in his native Canada.
  • Financial Times: Instagram is facing a backlash from users after the rapidly growing photo-sharing app owned by Facebook altered its privacy policy and terms of service to allow advertisers to buy users’ photos and data “without any compensation”.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The British aerospace industry has received a boost after Airbus and Rolls-Royce secured major orders.
  • Financial Times: Deutsche Bank has said lawsuits could eventually cost it €2.5 billion in excess of its provisions for legal issues.
  • Financial Times: Hector Sants will receive a total remuneration package worth as much as £3 million as part of his move to Barclays next month, according to people familiar with the deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: OpCapita and its backers charged Comet £12.8 million in just nine months for interest and "monitoring fees", despite the electrical retailer racking up losses.
  • The Guardian: Lonmin's acting chief executive Simon Scott has been awarded a bonus and one-off cash award of almost £1 million despite unprecedented industrial unrest in South Africa.
  • The Independent: About 1,000 jobs will be created in the UK after Nissan announced plans to build the latest model from its premium Infiniti brand at its plant in Sunderland.
  • Financial Times: Three listed Lloyd’s of London insurers – Catlin, Hiscox and Novae - have estimated they are facing combined losses of about $380 million from superstorm Sandy but cautioned that the final hit they would take remained uncertain.
  • Financial Times: Aviva is to net almost £500 million by walking away from its Spanish joint venture with Bankia in a deal that ends a legal dispute between the UK insurer and the nationalised lender.
  • Financial Times: Google is edging closer to a settlement with the EU’s top competition authority after Brussels said the US search giant had made substantial progress in addressing concerns for allegedly abusing its market dominance.
  • Financial Times: The EU’s privacy watchdog has announced it will review Microsoft’s new services agreement, in a similar investigation to one carried out on Google’s new policies earlier this year.
  • Daily Mail: Big players Orange, TalkTalk and T-Mobile came out worst in terms of customer service, with Sky rated best according to customer complaint numbers.
  • Financial Times: Jordi Constans, the newly appointed head of Louis Vuitton, the leather goods business owned by French luxury group LVMH, has stepped down suddenly on grounds of ill health.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was warned as early as mid-2008 that banks may have been misreporting their Libor borrowing rate to aid their own trading positions, much earlier than previously known.
  • Financial Times: The 90-day consultation period before large-scale redundancies can take place is to be halved to 45 days from next April, shifting the balance towards employers in the British coalition’s latest shake-up of labour law.
  • Financial Times: John Boehner, Republican speaker, held two meetings with rank-and-file conservatives on Tuesday in an attempt to shore up internal support for his recent proposal to allow tax rates to increase on millionaires.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Standard & Poor's has raised Greece's credit rating six notches to an 18-month high due to "the strong determination" of the eurozone to help the struggling member state.
  • Financial Times: Shinzo Abe, Japan’s incoming prime minister, has asked the Bank of Japan governor to set an inflation target of 2%, posing a dilemma for the hawkish central bank as it heads into its two-day monthly monetary policy meeting.
  • The Guardian: The British business secretary, Vince Cable, has ordered an inquiry into the collapse of high street electricals chain Comet after the government was left with a £50 million bill in unpaid taxes and redundancy costs.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Sir Peter Burt has been recruited to advise the Government on the establishment of Britain's £1 billion Business Bank, despite his role in building HBOS before it collapsed.
  • The Guardian: France's largest trade union, CFDT, has demanded that the management of Euro Disney pays its 14,500 staff a bonus, after record attendances at Disneyland Paris and a €1.7 billion debt deal are expected to put a sparkle on its finances.
  • Financial Times: Coal will rival oil as the world’s top source of energy in five years, as the mineral benefits from booming demand for electricity generation and steel and cement production in China, India and other emerging nations of Asia.
  • Financial Times: US regulators are launching an investigation into how data companies track, sell and use information about consumers, shining a bright spotlight on a multibillion-dollar industry that until recently has operated in the shadows.
  • Daily Mail: House prices jumped 3.4% in London in the year to October but slumped 11.7% in Northern Ireland.
  • Financial Times: Cerberus Capital Management, the US private equity group, has bowed to growing public pressure to sell the Freedom Group, the gun-making business that manufactured the Bushmaster rifle used in Friday’s massacre in Connecticut.
  • The Daily Telegraph: RBS and NatWest are to payout £10 million to customers who forgot to take money from cash machine.
  • Financial Times: Total revenues at Oracle grew 3% to $9.1 billion in its November quarter, ahead of analysts’ expectations of $9.01 billion.
  • Financial Times: The fallout from the bankruptcy of Dewey & LeBoeuf has escalated after Aviva accused former senior executives at the law firm of misrepresenting its financial position before the insurer lent it money.
  • Financial Times: Standard Life has won a court victory against a group of insurers that had refused to pay a £100 million claim relating to collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
  • The Independent: Heathrow will pack in almost 71 million passengers next year, 1.2% more than in the last 12 months, as airlines use more A380s and other large jets on its landing strips.
  • Financial Times: Madeleine Schickedanz, a retail heiress who lost billions of euros in an insolvency in the financial crisis, on Tuesday began legal action against a Deutsche Bank unit for its role.
  • Financial Times: G4S has appointed Adam Crozier, the chief executive of ITV, as a non-executive director as part of a wider boardroom shake-up that it hopes will draw a line under the group’s high-profile Olympics contract failure.
  • Financial Times: Penguin has become the fourth publisher to reach a settlement with the US Department of Justice over ebook pricing, clearing a hurdle in the path of its planned merger with Random House.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Getco, the high-frequency trading firm, was set to acquire Knight Capital, according to people familiar with the talks, in a deal that could see the creation of one of the largest US electronic trading and market-making companies on Wall Street.
  • Financial Times: Nielsen, the global media measurement company, is acquiring Arbitron, the leading radio measurement firm, in a $1.3 billion cash deal.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Gaming company Rank may have to sell five casinos in Britain to win clearance for a £205 million takeover of Gala Coral's casino business.
  • Financial Times: Wells Fargo has taken a minority stake in Rock Creek, a fund of fund business, in a further sign of consolidation of the embattled sector.
  • Financial Times: Dublin said it cannot support Ryanair’s bid for Aer Lingus due to concerns that it would undermine Ireland’s competitiveness and reduce the number of flights in and out of the country.
  • The Guardian (Comment - Nouriel Roubini): Another year of muddling through for the eurozone could revive the risks of disintegration in 2014 and beyond.
  • The Guardian (Comment): To lift the gloom, the economy needs a period where earnings and property prices climb faster than consumer prices.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Inflation didn’t rise in November but it didn’t fall either and that’s by far the more significant conclusion of Tuesday’s latest prices data.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Many young people will face daunting financial problems in the years ahead. It might be a good idea for older generations to put something toward what John Major called “wealth cascading down the generations”.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Ireland/Portugal: going into next year, the two eurozone countries to watch are Ireland and Portugal. Both are still sending very mixed signals.
  • Financial Times (Lex): IPO bankers will not remember a dismal 2012 fondly, but are the prospects of next year’s flotations any better?
  • Financial Times (Lex): Whirlpool: the company’s operating performance has been transformed over the past year by rapid widening of profit margins in its home market.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Liberty Global/Telenet: after months of fruitless stalemate, Liberty Global is closer to buying the remainder of the Belgian cable operator, but minority investors may lose out.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Quindell Portfolio is still a buy after recent pullback.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): APR Energy is still a hold, despite positive long-term market drivers.

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