What the other papers say this morning - 17 March 2014



Big banks put forex bonuses on hold
Barclays, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland have frozen bonuses across swaths of their foreign exchange trading teams pending internal investigations into possible manipulation of key currency benchmarks. The cash and share bonus suspensions are targeted on the wider team rather than just the traders under investigation, people close to the situation said.

Ghost gazumping haunts London
Property buyers in London are increasingly being asked to pay tens of thousands of pounds extra at the last minute, in a new, more aggressive form of “gazumping” that does not feature a rival bidder. In a sign of the frenzied state of the capital’s housing market, estate agents say many sellers are raising the price of their homes days before the exchange of contracts. This “ghost gazumping” typically happens several weeks after an initial offer is accepted, as rival estate agents door-knock sellers and tell them they have agreed to too low a price.

Copper miners eye increase in output
Copper producers plan to expand mine capacity and output to record levels again this year, underlining potential additional downward pressures on prices, which have fallen steeply recently. Prices for the red metal tumbled last week to the lowest level since 2010, amid signs of sluggish demand.


Fitness First head backs new gym
One of the founders of Fitness First is backing a new gym concept based on American-style “high intensity” studio exercise. Mike Balfour will invest in One Rebel and become a non-executive director as it seeks to raise £2.7m.

Spanish plan to leave choppy waters
The Spanish Government is to sell or lease many of its unused lighthouses to private companies, which will then turn them into tiny hotels, as it looks for ways to lessen a public debt that reached 94 per cent of GDP last year. Spain has 387 lighthouses on its coastline and some argue they should be accessible to the public.

The Daily Telegraph

Bernie Ecclestone to sell F1 shares
Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he will sell his 5.3 per cent stake in Formula One when its controlling shareholder, the private equity firm CVC, exits the business. “If I sell I would sell with CVC. If somebody wants to buy CVC’s shares but doesn’t need mine then I will keep them,” says Ecclestone.

Japan to open geothermal plant
Japan’s first new geothermal power plant in 15 years will open next month, heralding the start of a new chapter for the nation’s nuclear-hit energy industry. The new plant is located in Kumamoto prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu.


Bill to eliminate Fannie, Freddie
Senate lawmakers released their first draft of a bipartisan bill yesterday spelling out their proposal, previously announced last week, to eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The legislation replaces the mortgage-finance giants with a new system in which the government would continue to play a potentially significant role insuring US home loans.

RWE to sell oil unit to Russian
German utility RWE intends to sell its oil and gas production unit to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman for more than $7bn.