Monday Newspaper round up

RBS is working on plans to ‘turn the tap back on’ for a 350m-400m pounds dividend payment to preference shareholders as the bank addresses a clutch of hurdles in its quest to privatise the Government’s 82 per cent stake. ‘Paying a dividend is good market behaviour and is an important signal to debt holders and equity holders,’ said a source, who added that no final decision had yet been made,” according to the Telegraph.

“A clutch of Europe’s biggest banks are preparing to return a chunk of the cheap three-year funding they recently took from the European Central Bank as early as this year. Senior bankers said Italy’s UniCredit, France’s BNP Paribas and Société Générale, and La Caixa in Spain are preparing to pay back up to a third of the money they borrowed – estimated at €80bn-€100bn in total – within the next 12 months,” writes the Financial Times.

“The international business community has launched a stinging attack against the Indian government and its decision to introduce a retrospective tax law. The changes, which could crystallise a £1.4bn tax charge for Vodafone, threaten an exodus of international investment from India according to some of the world’s most powerful trade bodies. A letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from organisations such as the CBI, the US National Foreign Trade Council and Japan Foreign Trade Council warns the changes have ‘called into question the very rule of law, due process, and fair treatment in India’,” the Telegraph reports.

“Scotland’s largest whisky distiller appears to be on the verge of buying a stake in Mexican tequila brand Jose Cuervo, valuing the business at about £1.9bn. Investment bankers from Goldman Sachs have been drafted in by Diageo – which makes Bell’s, J&B and Johnnie Walker – to complete negotiations with the Beckmann family, which owns the 217-year-old Mexican firm,” according to the Scotsman.

“The new private equity owner of Game Group pledged last night to safeguard jobs and to invest in stores as it parachuted in one of its partners as executive chairman. OpCapita, which also owns Comet, has taken the 333 Game Group stores that were kept open by PwC after the high street retailer went into administration last week. The turnaround investor also said that it would try to re-employ some of the 2,100 staff who lost their jobs when it went into administration,” reports the Times.

“Britain’s financial sector is continuing its bounceback from the recent downturn, despite widespread concerns about the rest of the country’s economy, the CBI will say today. The volume of business in the financial services sector grew for the eighth consecutive three-month period, and at well above the average pace during the first quarter of the year, according to the CBI/PricewaterhouseCoopers Financial Services Survey,” the Independent says.

“Some of the UK’s largest companies will promise to create thousands of ‘real’ jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds as concerns grow over the effectiveness of government initiatives aimed at tackling youth unemployment. Morrisons, the supermarket, Barclays, power firm E.ON and Phones 4u are among the founder members of the ’16-24 Alliance’, which will work with specialist charities offering training courses linked to permanent jobs with the companies. A report published last month by the Local Government Association claimed that current efforts to get young people into work were hampered by ‘excessive bureaucracy and duplication’,” reports the Guardian.

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