Press Round-up – January 31

January 31, 2012

Below is a round-up of today’s notable stories in Britain’s business press. Click each headline to read the story in full.

Business tells ministers to “back off bonuses”
Confederation of British Industry president Sir Roger Carr has accused politicians of harming the international reputation of the London’s financial services district by resorting to terms of populist abuse in the row over bankers’ bonuses. (Times)

Russia’s Putin stands by state capitalism
Vladimir Putin has set out an economic vision for Russia based on state capitalism and strong, paternalistic government as he seeks to return to the presidency in the face of unprecedented protests against his rule. (FT)

Portuguese storm gathers as EU leaders fight over Greece
Surging borrowing costs in Portugal have raised the spectre of a second full-fledged contagion crisis in the euro zone, eclipsing the latest efforts by EU leaders in Brussels to agree on Europe’s bailout machinery and a strategy for Greece. (Telegraph)

RBS rejected Chinese offer for aviation unit
Royal Bank of Scotland rejected a higher offer from a Chinese bank for its aviation arm over concerns about the ability of the state-owned institution to successfully close on the deal, people familiar with the transaction said. (FT)

European banks may request more funds from ECB
European banks are preparing to tap the European Central Bank’s emergency funding scheme for up to twice as much as the ECB supplied in its debut 489 billion euros (409 billion pounds) auction last month, providing further evidence of the sector’s liquidity squeeze.  (FT)

RBS top bankers to share £30m bonus pot
Five top investment bankers at RBS are in line to pick up around 30 million pounds ($47.04 million) in bonuses and pay despite the fierce public backlash against bumper payouts at the taxpayer-controlled lender. (Telegraph)

Canada’s Sunshine Oilsands heads for Hong Kong IPO
Sunshine Oilsands, a Canadian tar sands company backed by Chinese state-owned enterprises, has shunned Toronto and will next month launch an initial public offering in Hong Kong that could raise as much as $600 million (382 million pounds). (FT)

Australians stir up UK legal market with takeover
Slater & Gordon>, the world’s first publicly listed law firm, sent shockwaves through the British legal sector on Monday with a deal to take over one of the country’s leading personal injury practices. (Times)

Marine insurance market set for shake-up
The marine insurance market is heading for a shake-up in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster as underwriters reconsider whether they want to provide cover for ever-larger vessels, according to industry executives. (FT)

Aviva Investors to cut staff in focus shift
Aviva Investors is to shed more than a 10th of its workforce as the asset management arm of the UK insurer moves away from active equity management to focus instead on “core” areas such as fixed income. (FT)

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