InvestmentsJan 14 2014

Morning papers: UK rating threatened by Scotland split

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ByMatthew Jeynes

The UK’s credit rating could be threatened if Scotland votes for independence after the Treasury pledged to guarantee Scotland’s share of the nation’s £1.4 trillion of debt “in all circumstances,” reports the Daily Telegraph.

Bond traders and economists welcomed the Treasury’s “clarification” that it would stand behind all government-issued debt instruments in the event of full devolution. However, some warned that the UK’s debt to GDP ratio, which is already 76 per cent, would rise significantly - by about 10 per cent - which could alarm the rating agencies.

European bank shares rise after regulators agree strengthening steps

Shares in European banks rose on Monday – edging towards three year highs – after international banking regulators reached agreement on new steps to bolster the industry’s financial strength, reports The Guardian.

Barclays was up nearly 3 per cent, and bailed out banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group up 3 per cent and 1 per cent respectively after the announcement by a gathering of central banks in Basel, Switzerland.

US charges three ex-Rabobank traders over Libor

Three former Rabobank bankers were charged by US authorities with allegedly manipulating Libor and other key benchmark interest rates as the criminal investigation widened to include another wave of individuals, reports the Financial Times.

The US Department of Justice announced criminal conspiracy and fraud charges against Paul Robson, a former senior rate trader and submitter in the UK who left the Rabobank in 2008; Paul Thompson, an Australian who headed the bank’s derivatives desk in Singapore; and, Tetsuya Motomura, a senior trader and supervisor in Japan. They are accused of conspiring to manipulate the yen Libor rate.

David Cameron goes ‘all out for shale’ with tax boost for councils willing to approve projects

David Cameron has announced a huge tax break for any councils willing to approve fracking projects in their area, as the government goes “all out” to promote shale gas mining, reports the Independent.

The prime minister said local authorities would receive 100 per cent of the business rates collected from drilling schemes - double their usual 50 per cent - in a move which Greenpeace has slammed as a “naked attempt to bribe councils”.

Predator rallies investors in $62bn bid for Time Warner

The American cable television operator Charter Communications stunned Wall Street and the media world last night by mounting an audacious $62.3bn bid, including debt, for its much larger rival Time Warner Cable, reports The Times

The $132.50-a-share offer, which includes about $83 cash per share and $49.50 in Charter stock, is the third-largest for any global company since 2009, according to the information provider Bloomberg.

Yield-hungry investors snap up US homeless bond