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In the papers: M&S boss job safe for year

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The Times

KPMG quits clients over insider dealing claims: KPMG was fighting for its reputation after resigning as the auditor of two clients amid allegations of insider trading by a senior American partner.

Vince Cable raises threat of quotas for women on FTSE 100 boards: Britain’s biggest companies are set to miss the government’s gender diversity landmark after the rate of female promotions to the top boardrooms slowed drastically in the past six months, new research shows.

Rate-rigging scandal moves on from Libor: The rate-rigging scandal appeared to be widening when it emerged that American regulators are stepping up an investigation into whether a key benchmark used to value trillions of dollars’ worth of derivatives contracts was manipulated.

China deal makes Christie’s the new kid on the block: Christie’s will become the first foreign auction house to hold its own sales in China after a surprise move by the government that adds momentum to the art world’s swing to the East.

Storm prompts Crosby to give up knighthood: The disgraced former chief executive of HBOS offered to hand back his knighthood and cut his pension as he finally responded to a scathing report which blamed him for the £20.5bn taxpayer rescue.

The Independent 

Profits slump at sandwich and coffee chain Eat: The sandwich and coffee chain Eat saw its profits more than halve last year. The company reported a pretax profit of £1.1mln during the year ending 28 June, compared with £2.7mln the year before.

Billabong surfs to A$300mln takeover: The Australian surf-wear brand Billabong has entered exclusive talks with a consortium led by its former US Boss and a private-equity firm for them to buy it at a knock-down price of A$300 mln (£210 mln).

Netplay on to a winner on late-night TV: Persuading late-night viewers of ITV and Channel 5 to call in and gamble on casino-style games is paying off for Netplay TV, the Aim-listed group whose annual profits have soar more than fivefold to £3 mln.

€2 billion EADS stake sold: The French media group Lagardère has sold its 7.4% stake in Airbus’s Owner EADS, sparking an overhaul in ownership of Europe’s biggest aircraft maker.

EE aims to outpace rivals as it doubles the speed of its 4G network summer: The phone giant EE, Britain’s first operator of a super-fast 4G mobile service, has vowed to double the speed of its network by the summer just as rivals such as O2 and Vodafone finally launch their own services.

Ozwald Boateng has designs on the world: The Savile Row designer and bespoke suit maker Ozwald Boateng reported a fall in profit while he is in the process of relaunching the business as a global fashion empire.

Creditors pay £1bn for retail failures: Creditors, such as suppliers and landlords, are likely to have lost more than £1bn from the retail sector’s 20 biggest insolvencies since the start of last year, according to the credit information specialist Company Watch.

The Daily Telegraph 

Marc Bolland ‘safe as boss of M&S for a year’: One of Marks and Spencer’s largest shareholders has said Marc Bolland’s job is safe for at least a year despite the retailer’s expected poor performance in the fourth quarter.

UK to escape triple dip, says NIESR: NIESR’s estimate that the economy grew by 0.1% in the three months to March came on the back of strong manufacturing data for February that had already allayed analysts’ worst fears.

City faces bigger bill to pay for new regulators: The new Prudential Regulation Authority will cost £214.2 mln, the Bank of England said, in addition to the £432.1 mln already budgeted for the Financial Conduct Authority.

Austrian bank Boss Herbert Stepic hands back €2mln of pay: The head of one of Austria’s biggest banks has returned €2mln (£1.7mln) of his compensation because he believes executives can sometimes be paid too much.

Vedanta’s Cairn India announces oil discovery: Oil giant Shell faced a fresh reminder of how it missed out on one of the fairy tales of natural resources, as London-listed Vedanta Resources announced a new find in oil fields sold for a song.

The Questor Column: Quindell Portfolio a buy and Gemfields a speculative buy.

The Guardian 

Pets at Home pays around £40mln for Vets4Pets: Pets at Home, the UK’s largest pet store business, has bought Vets4Pets for around £40mln, and will integrate the latter’s 93 veterinary practices into its 166 in-store vet business.

Ray Bitar, Full Tilt Poker founder, strikes deal with US prosecutors: Ray Bitar, the online poker tycoon who ran the world’s second largest poker site from servers in Guernsey, has abandoned his defence against criminal charges brought by US prosecutors, striking a plea bargain as he awaits a heart transplant in California.

Persimmon chief’s £4 mln ‘golden goodbye’ under fire: A controversial “golden goodbye” award likely to be worth more than £4 mln to Mike Farley, the departing chief executive of housebuilding group Persimmon, is likely to prove one of the first flashpoints as corporate Britain moves into the annual shareholder meeting season.

Morrisons axes 700 more jobs: Nearly 700 back office staff are to lose their jobs at Morrisons as the UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain cuts costs after last year’s fall in profits.

Daily Mail 

Labour’s Jim Callaghan tops the PM table for stock market rally: The FTSE All Share index fell by an average 6.75% each year during his tenure, which coincided with the banking crisis.

G4S suffers another humiliation after losing contract to provide guards for major music festival: It is the first time in 17 years the security group has not won its bid to work at the annual two-day V Festival in Staffordshire.

Military airwaves could be auctioned off to phone companies before the next election: Only weeks after the government held an auction of super-fast broadband capacity, called 4G, a second round of sales is being planned.

Daily Express 

Vueling accepts IAG’s £126 mln bid: IAG, which already owns 46% of Vueling, last month raised its offer by almost a third to £126 mln after the Barcelona-based carrier rejected a previous bid.

Figures boost sterling: Sterling climbed 0.4% to $1.5319, after industrial output rose by a stronger-than-expected 1% from January, when it fell 1.3%. Official estimates showed manufacturing grew 0.8%.

Bonuses for bosses open the pay gap: According to the Chartered Management Institute’s latest National Management Salary Survey, chief executives’ basic salary rose by just 1.8% over the last 12 months.

The Scottish Herald 

New City regulator to investigate RBS: Newly created City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken just days to bare its teeth by publicly launching a formal investigation into Royal Bank of Scotland’s computer problems last summer.

FirstGroup sees shares increase amid depot sales: Shares in Aberdeen-based transport company FirstGroup accelerated 2.9% after it made another step towards reforming its struggling bus business and paying down debt with the sale of the bulk of its London bus operation.

Cairn Energy upgrades well capacity: Cairn Energy’s decision to return to the North Sea appears to be paying off after the company increased the estimated size of a big find it made off Norway.

The Scotsman 

Banks braced for higher fees as regulators bill jumps: Britain’s’ largest banks were made to pay the price for their misdemeanours with a sharp rise in the cost of funding the new regulatory regime.

City AM 

RBS may face fine over major systems outage: RBS could face multi-million pound fines after its systems meltdown left millions of customers without access to their funds last summer, the City watchdog said.

Candy and Candy falls to loss after One Hyde Park slowdown: Nick and Christian Candy’s main UK holdings company plunged back into the red last year after design commissions from their luxury One Hyde Park development in Knightsbridge slowed.

BT superfast rollout reaches half of UK: The Government’s aim of providing the UK with Europe’s best broadband infrastructure was boosted when BT said its network is now available to over half of the country’s homes and businesses.

Liverpool Victoria customers share £21 mln after strong year: More than 650,000 customers of insurer Liverpool Victoria will share a £20.9 mln bonus pot after the insurer’s profits hit a record high, it was announced.

British tech firm Blur claims it will be the Amazon of services: The chief executive of online services exchange Blur Group claimed his company has the potential to grow to the same size as Amazon or eBay.

 


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