Press Round-up – February 9

February 9, 2012

Trustees emptied pension funds to gamble on property
Pension experts were appalled on Wednesday when it was disclosed that a company pension fund had been effectively hijacked by its trustees, who sold its conventional assets, geared up the proceeds with bank debt and bet almost the whole lot on speculative property developments. (Times)

Japan lines up national chip champion
Three Japanese semiconductor manufacturers including Panasonic and Fujitsu are in talks to merge their operations to create a national champion chipmaker that would be backed by the government, according to people familiar with the matter. (FT)

U.S. bows to pressure on tax rules
The U.S. has eased onerous reporting requirements on overseas financial institutions, which it had sought to impose as part of a global crackdown on tax evasion.  (FT)

UK and Asia probe into rigging of lending rates
Almost a dozen traders and brokers in London and Asia have been fired, suspended or put on leave by their employers as a multinational probe into alleged manipulation of crucial global lending rates accelerates.  (FT)

GM restructuring plans threaten UK workers
Workers at one of Britain’s largest car plants are facing new concerns about their future as General Motors considers restructuring its loss-making European arm with “everything on the table”. (Telegraph)

Facebook rolls out timeline-linked ads
Facebook has found a way to monetise its new Timeline feature less than five months after launching it, repackaging what people “listen” to, “watch,” and “read” into ads and delivering them to their friends. (FT)

Groupon records record loss in results
Groupon has disappointed investors with its first quarterly financial results since it went public, reporting a loss that was well below the profits analysts had expected. (FT)

Investors regain appetite for corporate debt
European investors are buying new corporate debt in Spain and Italy for the first time in months, highlighting how recent measures by the European Central Bank to prop up the banking system have helped to thaw out the euro zone’s beleaguered peripheral bond markets. (FT)

BA to team up with Japan airlines
International Airlines Group and Japan Airlines on Wednesday announced plans for a joint venture that would seek to maximise the profitability of routes between Europe and Japan. (FT)

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