Russian bank’s post-Crimea bond
A Russian bank in the oil-rich region of Tatarstan has become the country’s first lender to issue a dollar-denominated bond since Moscow’s official annexation of Crimea and the subsequent tension with western governments. Tatfondbank, which has branches across Russia, raised $70m yesterday through a three-year bond.
Numericable eyes €8.5bn junk sale
Numericable, the telecoms and cable operator, is to sell a record €8.5bn of junk bonds today to raise funds to complete its acquisition of SFR, France’s second-biggest telecoms group. Demand for the offering was said to be strong enough for Numericable to increase the size of the sale from €6bn, according to people familiar with the matter, as banks started to market the securities in Europe and North America. Numericable, the French subsidiary of Altice, the European telecoms group, won a €17bn bidding war for Vivendi’s majority stake in SFR earlier this year. Altice also plans a debt offering to help fund the acquisition.
Ex-Deutsche employee excess trial
A former Deutsche Bank salesman on trial in Japan for bribing a public official has admitted providing excessive entertainment to a pensions executive but alleged such conduct was “institutional” at his employer, in testimony that illuminates corporate entertaining in the world’s third-largest economy.
Air China suffers as yuan slides
The weakened yuan, said by some to be a deliberate policy of the government in Beijing, has caused collateral damage for the country’s flag-carrying airline, as Air China has warned that its profits are to crash by more than half.
Plan for 3,000 turbines will go ahead
Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, said the Conservatives would not succeed in blocking his department’s plan to increase the total capacity from onshore wind farms from seven gigawatts to 13GW by 2020. This would mean an additional 3,000 turbines, bringing the total in the countryside to more than 7,000.
The Daily Telegraph
General Mills backtrack on right to sue
Food giant General Mills has been forced to backtrack on a stealthy attempt to get consumers to surrender their rights to sue. The American company discreetly changed the terms and conditions on its products to stipulate that any consumer who downloaded information or special offer coupons from its websites automatically agreed never to sue the business.
Alex Salmond: We’ll still be friends
Alex Salmond will visit Carlisle today to make a St George’s Day speech in which he will insist that Scotland and England will remain the “closest” of friends if he succeeds in breaking up Britain.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
GM engineering chief to depart
GM’s global vehicle engineering chief, John Calabrese, is leaving and his duties are being split in new fallout from the car maker’s ignition-switch recall and internal probe.
Mexican state unveils pipeline plan
Mexico’s state-owned electric utility said yesterday it plans to seek private-sector bids for five natural-gas pipelines in northern Mexico that are expected to cost $2.25bn to build. Comisión Federal de Electricidad director Enrique Ochoa said the utility and the energy ministry will unveil details of the projects in coming days.