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New records

FTSE rebound led by mining shares

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CATHY ADAMS

The leading share index staged a rebound this morning, led by mining shares.

In early deals, the FTSE rose 0.6 per cent after suffering its sharpest one-day fall yesterday since July on concerns that the US Federal Reserve could wind up stimulus programme sooner than expected.

Headline miners made up the top five FTSE risers this morning – as metal prices rallied – with Kazakhmys leading the pack, up 2.74 per cent.

Russian precious metals miner Polymetal and steelmaker Evraz were both up 2.2 per cent.

Outside of the miners, luxury retailer Burberry was up 2.2 per cent, and industrial buyout specialist Melrose rose 2.1 per cent.

Mid-cap miners and oil shares were also doing well, with Finnish miner Talvivaara up 7.2 per cent and Fortune Oil rising 4.6 per cent.

A mixed bunch of shares made up the FTSE fallers this morning. G4S topped the blue chip loser board, shedding 1.4 per cent.

Education group Pearson, which also owns the Financial Times, sank 0.8 per cent.

Brewer SAB Miller fell 0.4 per cent in early trading. Yesterday Morgan Stanley initiated its coverage of the stock with an “equal-weight” rating and a target price of 3300p.

On the wider index, Indonesian coal miner Bumi fell 4.2 per cent, as the majority of board overhaul proposals from company co-founder Nat Rothschild were rejected at the company’s EGM yesterday.

UK banking shares were mainly in positive territory this morning. HSBC rose 0.56 per cent, Barclays was up 1.17 per cent and Lloyds Banking Group rallied 0.89 per cent. Only RBS fell, shedding 0.39 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 0.68 per cent and in the US, the Dow Jones closed down 0.34 per cent.

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Alan Berson

Competition body slams audit firms

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MARION DAKERS

THE COMPETITION Commission will this morning find that the Big Four accountancy firms have too much control over the industry, and call for measures to encourage Britain’s largest companies to change auditor regularly to boost competition.

In its long-awaited provisional report, the commission is expected to find no evidence of collusion, but will raise concerns that PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young have an unfair grip on the books of big UK companies.

Many blue-chip firms have “Big Four-only” rules in place, and the commission is set to propose a ban on such measures, according to Sky News.

But it is expected to be less forthright about imposing mandatory rotation, in a move likely to upset mid-sized accountancy firms attempting to crack the FTSE audit market.

The Competition Commission will also urge investors to become more vocal about a firm’s choice of auditor.

All but a handful of the FTSE 100 use one of the Big Four to audit their accounts, and a firm will keep their auditor for an average of 48 years, according to a House of Lords report in 2011.

At least four blue-chip companies are believed to have put their audit contract out to tender in 2012, but only two – asset manager Schroders and oil explorer BG Group – decided to switch. Both continue to use the Big Four.

The Competition Commission declined to comment last night.

     
     
  Alan Berson  
 

ADDRESS: 74 Ridgmount Gardens

CITY: London

COUNTY: WC1E 7AX

POST CODE: London

TELEPHONE NUMBER:

CATEGORY: Translators and Interpreters

 

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What the other papers say this morning

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FINANCIAL TIMES

Brussels turns up pressure on Libor
Banks and broker-dealers ensnared in the Libor-rigging scandal are facing fresh pressure to settle with Europe’s top competition authority as it expands the scope of its probes. In a speech on Friday in Paris, the EU’s competition commissioner will stress his determination to pursue the cases and ensure competition enforcement complements actions of global authorities against misconduct and corruption.

Joaqu?n Almunia’s speech is intended as a warning to financial institutions.

Former Virgin exec to head centre
Will Whitehorn, a former senior Virgin Group executive, is to chair a government innovation centre being created to devise integrated transport systems for export in a global market predicted to be worth ?900bn by 2025.

Reyl & Co opens London office
Reyl & Co, the Swiss private bank, has opened an office in London with a view to setting up a corporate advisory business, highlighting how a clutch of smaller banks are pushing into traditional investment banking activities.

THE TIMES

Mercedes and dealers fined
Mercedes-Benz and three commercial vehicle dealers have been fined ?2.6m by a competition watchdog for rigging the sale of vans and trucks around Britain.The Office of Fair Trading imposed the fines.

Dyson puts its faith in ?50m plant
Dyson is expanding its manufacturing in the Far East by taking production of its ground-breaking electrical motors in-house. The private company is to open its own production lines in Singapore.

The Daily Telegraph

Bankia to reveal largest loss
Nationalised Spanish lender Bankia is expected to reveal a ˆ19bn loss next week, the largest in the country’s corporate history. The bank has been struggling to sell assets since its bailout in 2012.

Merkel accused of unholy alliance
Angela Merkel has been accused of engaging in an “unholy alliance” with Britain after backing David Cameron’s demands for a cut to the European Union budget.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Heinz profit slips
H.J. Heinz’s earnings slipped 5.3 per cent as the ketchup maker recorded a larger loss from discontinued operations, though organic sales continued to improve in emerging markets.

Nielsen aims to gauge online TV
Nielsen Holdings is taking a step towards extending its TV-ratings business to measure online viewing, aiming to gauge how much viewership has drifted away from traditional TV to online outlets.

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