Thursday Newspaper round up.

Standard Chartered has sought advice about whether it can pursue a legal action against the US regulator that on Monday accused the British bank of being a rogue institution which had funded $250bn of Iranian sanctions breaches. The bank’s legal advisers believe “there is a case” for claiming reputational damage, according to two people close to the situation, although StanChart is conscious of the delicacy of taking an aggressive stance towards its regulators. [The Financial Times]

The Financial Services Authority has handed information to the Serious Fraud Office about an ongoing investigation to funds raised by Barclays in 2008. The SFO has not decided whether to launch its own formal investigation into fees paid by Barclays during the banking crisis which helped the bank avoid a taxpayer bailout, according to the Independent. The existence of the FSA investigation was disclosed by Barclays last month when it admitted its finance director Chris Lucas was one of four current and past employees being scrutinised over the fundraising. [The Guardian]

China’s annual consumer inflation fell to a 30-month low in July, suggesting that the central bank has scope to ease policy further after rate cuts in June and July to keep the economy on track to meet an official 2012 growth target of 7.5pc. The government is on track to ease policy to cushion the impact of global headwinds on the world’s second-largest economy, but needs to tread cautiously to avoid reigniting property sector risks and fuelling renewed consumer price rises. Annual consumer inflation eased to 1.8pc in July from 2.2pc in June, pulling back further from a three-year high last July of 6.5pc, official data released on Thursday showed. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inflation to ease to 1.7pc in July. [The Telegraph]

One of the founding fathers of the single currency and a former chief economist at the European Central Bank has warned that some nations may not be able to remain inside the euro. Otmar Issing, in a book published this week, said: “Everything speaks in favour of saving the euro area. How many countries will be part of it remains to be seen.” Issing added that funds could not be channelled indefinitely to nations that did not reform their economies. “One has to consider whether one can keep giving money to a country that has not yet fulfilled an obligation, which is still non-transparent, more or less fudges things,” he wrote. [The Independent]

News Corp has written down its newspaper businesses by $2.8bn and taken a $224m charge to cover the costs of investigations into scandals at its UK titles, as it announced full-year revenues that fell short of forecasts. The scale of the writedown surprised investors, and shares fell 3.5 per cent in after-hours trading. Rupert Murdoch’s media group plans to spin off its publishing assets from entertainment brands such as Fox, Sky and Star next year. [The Financial Times]

The Dutch financials group ING is pressing ahead with a quick-fire sale of its $7 billion insurance businesses in Asia as it moves to repay state aid and with profits under pressure. ING is thought to be exploring several alternatives in its Asian disposal, including a whole sale to Canada’s Manulife or AIA, an Asian insurer run by former Prudential chief executive Mark Tucker. It is also believed to be investigating a break-up, with sales to several different parties. The move comes just days after the group said that it was looking into options for its ING Direct divisions in Britain and Canada. [The Times]

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