Morning papers: UK regulator launches currency-rigging probe

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed it was at the “early stage” of an inquiry into potential rigging of the $5.3trn (£3.3trn) daily global trade in currencies as part of an international probe into what could be the next scandal to hit the banking industry, reports The Daily Telegraph.

In a statement the FCA responded to mounting speculation that it had launched a probe, admitting it had started “gathering information from a wide variety of sources including market participants”.

Interest rates may rise next year, says Bank of England chief economist

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The Bank of England warned that interest rates might rise as early as next year as its chief economist said Threadneedle Street’s desire to keep borrowing costs low for several years could be thwarted by a combination of stronger than expected growth and unusually weak productivity, reports The Guardian.

Spencer Dale, one of the nine members of the rate-setting monetary policy committee, said the UK was currently growing at an annual rate of 3-4 per cent and the Bank could not be certain when it might need to tighten policy.

Carlos Slim admits defeat in €7.2bn takeover battle for KPN

Carlos Slim, the Mexican tycoon who controls América Móvil, has admitted defeat in a gruelling €7.2bn takeover battle for KPN after the intervention of an independent foundation linked to the Dutch telecoms group, reports the Financial Times.

The move will be a blow for Mr Slim, one of the world’s richest men, given the hefty losses already incurred on his European investments. Bernstein estimates that América Móvil is nursing a €900m loss on its investment in KPN, although shares in the group have traded higher since the bid.

Chinese companies to buy big stake in next generation of British nuclear power

George Osborne, the Chancellor, has announced that the UK will allow Chinese companies to take a stake in British nuclear power plants, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The decision could lead to China taking a future majority stake - and even be allowed to own up to 100 pc - in the development of the next generation of British nuclear power.

Adam Applegarth’s return ends in resignation from Apollo Global Management

The former chief executive of Northern Rock has resigned from his post at an American private equity firm amid a furore over his involvement in talks over banking deals, reports The Times.

Adam Applegarth is understood to have left his role as a senior adviser to Apollo Global Management in London within the past two months.

IBM blames China for slide in revenues

IBM blamed stalling sales in China, caused by uncertainty ahead of the country’s pending economic reform plan, for a large part of an unexpected slide in revenues in the latest quarter, wiping 6 per cent from its market value late on Wednesday, reports the Financial Times.

It was a setback for the US technology group’s so-called “growth markets” unit – a term meant to encompass emerging countries that represent the best hopes for expansion – as sales fell by 9 per cent in the quarter.