Press Round-up – March 13

March 13, 2012

FTSE boards resist pressure to smash the glass ceiling
The drive to get more women into Britain’s biggest boardrooms is making progress but, according to critics, there is much more to be achieved at director level and below, according to a report published on Tuesday. (Times)

Cost fears cause MoD to rethink fighter jets
British ministers are considering another U-turn in the long-running debate over which model of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter the UK should buy, threatening further disruption to a project which has been dogged by indecision and cost escalation.   (FT)

Virgin Money hikes credit card interest
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money, which recently bought Northern Rock, has hiked interest rates on its credit cards by almost 50 percent in the latest blow to consumers already hit by rising mortgage rates. (Telegraph)

HSBC to scale back Asia operations
HSBC is set to scale back its Asian operations as it considers the sale or closure of seven Asian retail businesses from Pakistan to New Zealand, where it has decided to no longer focus investment. (FT)

Owners eye sale of Scotland’s Wood Mackenzie
Wood Mackenzie, one of the Scotland’s oldest and most lauded companies, could be put on the block in a 1 billion pounds deal netting its private equity owners a record-breaking profit in just three years. (Telegraph)

Ferguson steps down as head of SVG capital
Nicholas Ferguson, one of the most prominent figures in Europe’s private equity industry, will step down at the end of this year as chairman of SVG Capital, after nearly 30 years at the listed fund. (FT)

Spain pressed to cut more from its budget
Euro zone finance ministers called on Spain to make new cuts in its 2012 budget to reduce its deficit by another 0.5 percent of economic output, a stinging rebuke to the new government of premier Mariano Rajoy, which publicly flaunted Brussels-imposed deficit targets less than two weeks ago.   (FT)

Whistleblowers drawn by regulator payouts
Company informants tempted by the prospect of multimillion dollar payouts are rushing to U.S. regulators with audio recordings and internal documents to take advantage of a new programme that can make whistleblowing on wrongdoing lucrative, lawyers and regulators say. (FT)

China hints at halt to renminbi rise
Chinese central bank officials have suggested the renminbi is no longer significantly undervalued after six years of gradual appreciation, citing the country’s large trade deficit in February. (FT)

CME Group CEO to retire at end of 2012
Craig Donohue is to step down as chief executive of CME Group as the U.S.’s biggest futures exchange attempts to restore confidence in its markets in the wake of the collapse of MF Global.   (FT)

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