Tuesday Newspaper round up

France has suffered a serious blow to its economic credentials after being stripped of its prized AAA credit rating by Moody’s. The rating agency said France’s long-term economic growth had been hit by its inflexible labour market and low levels of innovation eroding its competitiveness and industrial base. Moody’s also flagged up the country’s exposure to the continuing eurozone crisis. The Telegraph

It is one of the biggest deals of the year, and has taken nine months of wrangling over price and executive pay as well as needing the services of Tony Blair to overcome being outmanoeuvred by a sovereign wealth fund. But commodity trader Glencore may finally be on the verge of clinching its £50bn takeover of Xstrata. In what might resemble an election night special – only without commentary from a Dimbleby – Glencore’s chief executive Ivan Glasenberg will spend the day staring at a screen waiting for the results from a series of shareholder polls at his target Xstrata, waiting to see if his long-held ambition to own the mining group is to be achieved.
What the screen will show him, if City psephologists are to be believed, is Xstrata investors waving through the takeover while delivering yet another snub to its architects as a controversial £140m pay deal is scrapped. The results should start coming in just after an 8am (GMT) vote at Glencore – which looks like a shoo-in – before attention turns to the first in a series of Xstrata votes at 1pm. The Guardian

Comet’s delivery men have become the latest victims of the store’s collapse, taking the number of redundancies to more than 1,000. Deloitte, the administrator for the electrical goods chain, announced a further 735 job losses yesterday — 603 from its home delivery network. Another 132 staff have lost their jobs from the head office and support teams. More than 300 head office staff were made redundant last week. Administrators confirmed over the weekend that 41 of its stores would close before the end of the month unless a buyer emerged. The chain had 236 stores and employed 6,600 staff before its collapse. The Times

JPMorgan Chase replaced chief financial officer Doug Braunstein on Monday with Marianne Lake, a 43-year-old internal recruit, now charged with managing the US’s biggest bank by assets and dealing with the aftermath of the “London whale” trading scandal. The UK-born Ms Lake was most recently CFO of JPMorgan’s consumer business and worked as global controller of the investment bank from 2007-2009 at the height of the financial crisis. The FT

Mervyn Davies has become the third former minister from Gordon Brown’s government to land a top City job in a matter of days, following fellow peers Peter Mandelson and Paul Myners. Lord Davies, a former business minister, is to be chairman of Chime Communications, the sports marketing and advertising group. He replaces Lord Bell, who quit in June as part of a management buyout of public relations subsidiary Bell Pottinger. Bell earned a basic salary of £675,000 for his executive role but Davies is likely to earn far less as a non-executive. The Independent

US banks are racing to fill a little-noticed capital shortfall by issuing billions of dollars of preferred shares, taking advantage of low interest rates and investors’ need for yield. After four years shoring up their balance sheets, most large US banks are closing in on a tougher target to hold more common equity as a buffer to absorb losses at times of crisis. By 2019, banks will have to hold common equity equivalent to 7 per cent of their so-called risk-weighted assets. These are an estimate of the value of assets adjusted to a bank’s real-world exposure to potential losses. On top of this requirement, the largest banks are facing an equity surcharge as part of the Basel III accord agreed by international regulators. Financial Times

More than 40,000 families living in Armed Forces accommodation will soon have private-equity millionaire Guy Hands for a landlord after his Terra Firma vehicle agreed a £3.2bn takeover yesterday. Mr Hands is buying Annington Homes, the owner of the Ministry of Defence’s Married Quarters Estate, from its owner, Japanese bank Nomura, in a deal due to complete by the end of the year. The Independent

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