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Wednesday Papers: Goldman climbdown after bonus tax storm

by Himanshu Singh on Jan 16, 2013 at 04:34

Wednesday Papers: Goldman climbdown after bonus tax storm

Top stories

  • Financial Times: In the face of withering criticism Goldman Sachs has abandoned a plan which would have allowed bankers to benefit from a cut in the top rate of income tax by delaying UK bonus payments until after the new UK tax year.
  • Financial Times: Facebook has moved directly into Google’s territory after launching an advanced search capability for the social network.
  • Financial Times: Morgan Stanley will defer 2012 bonuses for its highest-paid bankers for as long as three years, in an effort to appease regulators angling for more restraint on Wall Street.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Lloyds and RBS need billions of pounds more capital to shore up their balance sheets and support the economy, senior Bank of England officials have warned.
  • Financial Times: Hilco, the retail restructuring group, and private equity veteran Jon Moulton are among those eyeing HMV after the entertainment retailer plunged into administration late on Monday.
  • Financial Times: Negotiations over a possible buyout of Dell, the struggling PC maker, centre on Silicon Valley private equity firm Silver Lake, along with international investors in Silver Lake’s own funds who are considering investing alongside the firm, sources said.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Banks have been accused of using the Government's taxpayer-backed cheap credit scheme to rip off customers by cutting rates on savings accounts more than on new loans.
  • Financial Times: Walmart has pledged to source an additional $50 billion of products from the US over the next 10 years to boost domestic manufacturers.
  • The Guardian: Mining union leaders threatened new strikes on Tuesday when Anglo American Platinum, the world's biggest platinum producer, said it plans to mothball two South African mines, sell another and cut 14,000 jobs.
  • Financial Times: France’s Renault underscored the challenge facing Europe’s carmakers amid falling demand as it announced on Tuesday the loss of 7,500 jobs in the country, equivalent to 17% of the domestic workforce, during the next three years.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Air Berlin, the German low-cost carrier, will cut 900 jobs or 10% of its workforce as part of a new turnround plan spearheaded by Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, its recently appointed chief executive.
  • The Independent: Drinkers will continue to be able to choose between the two rather different Budweisers, after the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, lost its latest attempt to take control of the trademark, which is also used by Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar.
  • The Guardian: Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world's top-selling carmaker as the Japanese company sold 9.7 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2012, although it's still counting; GM sold 9.29 million
  • The Independent: The ethics of the sportswear giant Nike are under scrutiny yet again following claims that its supplier factories in Indonesia have pressured workers into renouncing their right to a minimum wage.
  • Financial Times: Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing on Tuesday marked a decisive break from decades of reliance on cash equities as it laid out a strategy to becoming the main gateway for domestic Chinese investors seeking greater access to the rest of the world.
  • Financial Times: Paul Milsom and Graeme Shelley, a former sales trader at Legal & General’s investment management arm and a broker, respectively, are the latest defendants to face charges in the UK financial regulator’s biggest insider-trading investigation.
  • The Daily Telegraph: BT monopoly is putting Britain's digital future at risk, it is claimed.
  • Financial Times: Intermediate Capital Group, the London-based provider of financing to private equity-backed companies, has amassed €2.5 billion three months ahead of schedule and topped its initial €2 billion target.
  • Financial Times: Manchester United added two Chinese companies – Wahaha and China Construction Bank – to its growing list of sponsors, ahead of crucial Premier League talks on cost control, which could see the club’s ability to generate substantial revenues earn a decisive advantage over rivals.
  • Financial Times: Japan’s economy minister Akira Amari surprised financial markets on Tuesday by warning of the potential ill effects of a sharply weaker yen in a rare rhetorical departure from years of attempts by Tokyo to talk the currency down.
  • Financial Times: Mariano Rajoy has called on Germany and other creditor countries in the eurozone to do more to stimulate growth, arguing that a switch to a more expansionary policy would boost economic recovery across the single currency area.
  • The Guardian: Fitch, the credit ratings agency, has warned the chancellor that Britain could be stripped of its prized AAA status if he fails to boost the country's economic situation in the spring budget.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Fitch Ratings has threatened to strip the United States of its AAA credit rating if Congress and the White House indulge in a fresh stand-off over the debt ceiling or fail to agree on a credible austerity package.
  • Daily Mail: Germany’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.5% in the final quarter of 2012, pushing overall growth for the year down to 0.7%.
  • Financial Times: In the rush for high returns, some US investors are snapping up the new debt issues of eurozone banks, returning to a sector they have shunned for the past few years amid the region’s debt crisis.
  • Financial Times: Italy raised €6 billion in a rare sale of long-dated bonds on Tuesday, helping Rome chip away at the repayments and coupon due on its €2 trillion pile of government debt this year.
  • The Guardian: Germany's central bank will retrieve some $200 billion of gold reserves it stored in the US and France, according to reports.
  • The Daily Telegraph: IGas Energy has raised £23.1 million through a share placing to help fund exploration for shale gas in the north-west of England this summer.
  • Financial Times: Albert Edwards, the chief global strategist for Société Générale, triggered a flurry of speculation over a shift in his famously bearish views when he spoke of a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to buy European stocks.
  • Financial Times: AstraZeneca’s new chief executive has replaced the company’s head of research and development and the top commercial executive who had been a rival contender to run the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group.
  • Financial Times: Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it had produced a record 253 million tonnes of iron ore in 2012 from its operations in Western Australia and Canada, a 4% increase on the previous year and 3 million tonnes higher than company guidance.
  • Financial Times: KKR, the US private equity group, has appointed Jorge Fergie, previously head of the private equity practice at McKinsey in Brazil and Latin America, to head its new São Paulo office as buyout groups strengthen their presence in Latin America’s largest economy.
  • Financial Times: Jack Ma, the founder of China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba, has announced his resignation as chief executive.
  • Financial Times: Wandisco, the AIM-listed software company, has reported subscription bookings of $2.5 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 76% from the same quarter last year.
  • The Independent: A slump in banking, engineering and construction recruitment – particularly in Europe and the Middle East – caused gross profit at the white-collar jobs group Michael Page to fall almost 5% to £526.8 million last year.
  • Financial Times: Japanese regulators on Tuesday confirmed they have launched an investigation into fuel leaks on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Google users are not bothered by the company's controversial tax arrangements, the company's UK chief has claimed.
  • The Independent: Burberry’s third-quarter update revealed sales were ahead 6% at stores open at least a year while retail sales jumped 13% to £464 million.
  • The Independent: Ocado, which delivers Waitrose and own-label groceries, grew its sales by 14.2% to £91.6 million over the six weeks to 6 January, which marked an improvement on the 12.4% growth in its fourth quarter.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Billabong has said it has received a $557 million takeover proposal from VF Corp and Altamont Capital Partners, a private equity group based in California.
  • Financial Times: Sabanci Holding, the Turkish finance-to-energy conglomerate, is planning on a public share issue next year of AvivaSA, the pensions group it holds jointly with the UK’s Aviva.
  • The Guardian (Comment): HMV could have put together a strong online offering when the going was good in the late 90s, but instead it took a wrong turn.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The EU treaties are not fit for purpose, but leaving makes no sense. Negotiation is possible without risking free trade.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): It is those in love with EU regulations who are destroying UK jobs.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Pascal Soriot is ready for AstraZeneca to start taking risks again.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Dell of a prospect: a solid and serviceable, if unexciting, IT business selling servers, storage, services and software. But it comes with a rocky PC computer arm.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Anglo American Platinum: the platinum miner’s planned shake-up will be messy – but it is the only solution left to it.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK retail property: the collapse of HMV could leave yet more shops empty on the UK’s high streets. That’s bad news for the landlords that own them.
  • Financial Times (Lex): European utilities: investors want to know where next for European utilities as they struggle to stabilise cash flows and increase earnings.

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