Today in the Newspapers – January 12

January 12, 2012

Osborne turns screw on RBS over bonuses
British finance minister George Osborne piled on the pressure for pay restraint at Royal Bank of Scotland, saying that he personally wanted to talk to the management before any bonuses were paid out in the coming months. (Times)

French rivals compete for wind farm share
French utilities EDF and GDF Suez are set to compete for a large share of a 10 billion euro off-shore wind development off the coast of France. (FT)

Thousands in a fix as gas prices start to fall
British households have been urged to avoid locking in utility payments if they want to benefit from the price war heralded by EDF Energy’s gas price cuts on Wednesday. (Times)

China’s collapse will bring “economic crisis climax”
A looming hard landing in China will bring the financial and economic crisis of the past five years to a climax in 2012, one of London’s leading financial analysts has said. (Guardian)

Facebook’s UK share declines
Facebook usage in the UK has fallen by more than seven percentage points in the last year, fuelling concerns that it may have hit saturation point. (Telegraph)

Fromer SNB banker Hildebrand receives pay off
The Swiss National Bank will pay its former chairman a full year’s salary of around 900,000 Swiss franc, in spite of his stepping down voluntarily in only the second week of the year. (FT)

Carlyle founders shared $413 million last year
The three founders of Carlyle shared a $413 million payout last year in a huge windfall that will focus more attention on the private equity industry at a sensitive time in the U.S. presidential election cycle. (FT)

Fiat chief says carmakers must merge
Consolidation among European carmakers is unavoidable as they battle with chronic overcapacity and mounting financial losses in a weakening market, according to Sergio Marchionne, Fiat and Chrysler’s chief executive. (FT)

Talbut to chair ABI’s investment committee
As the pressure on asset management bosses builds, Robert Talbut, chief investment officer of Royal London Asset Management, has been made chairman of the Association of British Insurer’s influential investment committee. (FT)

Credit Suisse offers trades for euro zone shorting
Credit Suisse is offering its hedge fund clients off-the-shelf products that allow traders to replicate hypothetical gains made by betting against European stock indices that include equities covered by eurozone short-selling bans.  (FT)
Oil refiners beginning to sever Iran oil ties
European refiners have started to sever links with Iran, stopping spot purchases of crude ahead of a European Union meeting later this month that could impose a full oil embargo on Tehran.  (FT)

LME faces revolt over fee increase
The chief executive of the London Metal Exchange faces a revolt from some of the most senior figures in the metals industry after he pushed through a sharp increase in trading fees last month. (FT)

Nationwide considers loans for SMEs
Nationwide, the UK’s largest building society, is considering offering loans to small and medium-sized businesses to broaden its traditional customer base and fill a void left by the country’s biggest banks. (FT)

Draft euro zone treaty pleases UK
British Prime Minister David Cameron has won some respite in his battle to stop the euro zone laying down terms on the European Union single market and new rules for Britain’s financial services sector, according to the latest draft of a new treaty on fiscal discipline in the single currency area. (FT)

Euro zone waters down tough fiscal rules in new treaty
European countries will be allowed to ignore new fiscal rules in difficult economic times, according to a draft of the region’s new treaty which appears to water down plans for a tough pact. (Telegraph)

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