NOMURA STEPS UP ASSET SALE PLANS
Nomura has approached big private equity firms about the possible sale of domestic businesses, including its real estate arm, as the Japanese bank moves to shore up its capital buffers.
Several people familiar with the preliminary talks with parties including KKR and TPG said the bank was considering selling Nomura Real Estate and Nomura Research Institute.
GOLDMAN HITS A WALL OVER HQ PLAN
Goldman Sachs’ planned redevelopment of one of the City of London’s largest unoccupied offices has hit a snag after the government granted protected status to murals adorning the front of the building. The site at Farringdon Street has been the subject of a tussle between Goldman and a coterie of heritage organisations keen to preserve a set of 1960s murals on its facade.
FINMECCANICA BATTLES LOSSES
Giuseppe Orsi, chief executive of Finmeccanica, is battling to restore investors’ confidence in Italy’s state-controlled defence and industrial conglomerate, which is reeling from heavy unexpected losses and a widening corruption probe involving top executives. Orsi, who is locked in a power struggle with chairman Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, is hoping to avert a downgrading of the company to junk status in meetings this week with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
VALE SHAKE-UP REVIVES FEARS
Vale, the world’s biggest miner of iron ore, plans to replace its chief financial officer as part of a major management reshuffle, reviving concerns over the Brazilian company’s direction. Boss Murilo Ferreira said he would present a proposal to the board putting forward Tito Martins, the head of base metals, as the new chief financial officer and suggesting the replacement of other executives.
REPOSSESSIONS WILL RISE ‘EVEN AMID A RECOVERY’
Mortgage arrears and repossessions could almost double if Britain slips back into recession and even in a recovery homeowners could face payment problems because of rising interest rates, according to Standard & Poor’s. The ratings agency says that mortgage borrowers are caught “between a rock and a hard place” and it is warning that repossessions and arrears are likely to rise in a range of scenarios it has analysed, from recovery to downturn.
LONDON’S GRIP IS STRANGLING OUR CITIES, SAYS HESELTINE
Lord Heseltine has attacked London for “sucking all the power” out of the country’s provincial cities and argued that a rebalancing must take place to ensure Britain’s future economic growth and prosperity.
The Daily Telegraph
EASTERN GIANT IN BATTERSEA TALKS
A Malaysian property firm is in talks to take control of Battersea Power Station and fund a £5.5bn redevelopment. SP Setia has agreed terms with Irish group Real Estate Opportunities to take a majority stake in the power station by acquiring the bank debt that is threatening to derail the redevelopment. However, the lenders to the site, Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency and Lloyds, are understood to have concerns.
BANKS FACE PROBE OVER BIG FOUR
Banks should be investigated over their lending practices, say PwC and other auditors, who have filed submissions to the competition regulator. Banks create secretive lending contracts that prevent companies from hiring non-Big Four audit firms if they want access to debt, which distorts the market, claim the auditors.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
RETAILERS SUE FED OVER DEBIT-CARD FEE RULE
The National Retail Federation and other trade groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Federal Reserve, arguing that the agency went too easy on banks when it set limits on the debit-card fees banks charge retailers. The lawsuit marks the latest development in an intense battle between financial firms and retailers over how much banks should charge retailers each time a consumer swipes his debit card at the cash register.
PANDORA SALES NEARLY DOUBLE, BUT OUTLOOK IS CAUTIOUS
Pandora Media yesterday posted significant sales and user growth in its second earnings report since going public in June, though the Internet radio firm tempered investors' appetites with a cautious view of the current period.