Friday newspaper round-up: Lloyds, Experian, Greenhouse gases

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Ed Miliband will today promise to create at least two new challenger lenders by forcing Britain’s biggest high street banks to sell a ‘significant’ number of branches. The Labour leader claims that, if elected, one of his first acts would be to order the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to produce a report on how to cap the market share of the big banks and encourage new competitors. Lloyds Banking Group would be the main target of any move to force lenders to sell off large parts of their branch networks. – Daily Telegraph

Experian risked provoking shareholder anger yesterday when it flouted rules on boardroom best practice and moved its Chief Executive up into the Chairman’s job. At the same time, the credit checker and data analysis group promoted Brian Cassin, its finance director, into the Chief Executive’s seat. It also made George Rose, one of its non-executives, the new senior independent director, among the most important channels for communications between shareholders and a company. – The Times

Global greenhouse gas emissions are set to rise by nearly a third in the next two decades, putting hopes of curtailing dangerous climate change beyond reach, a new report by BP has found. The drastic rise in emissions, despite international efforts to cut carbon, will come despite the predicted enormous growth in the use of shale gas, according to the oil and gas giant. – The Guardian

The Government is failing in its target to double exports to £1trn by 2020, despite spending £420m last year trying to do so. A report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee warned that the Government that it must increase export values by 10% a year if it is to meet this target. For the past two years the annual value of global exports has been flat. – The Times

European leaders yesterday insisted deflation was not a threat, only a day after the International Monetary Fund warned it could derail the global recovery. Jens Weidmann, head of Germany’s Bundesbank, said fears that the eurozone was heading for a damaging period of falling prices were ‘irrational’. Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem added that there was ‘no acute threat’ of deflation in the single currency bloc. – Daily Mail

China’s first initial public offering for more than a year got off to a flying start, rising 20% in the initial hours of trading. Shares in Suzhou-based Neway Valve rose sharply on Friday after the company raised $240m from a Shanghai listing, marking the end of a regulator-forced freeze in the primary market. In 2012, China was the world’s second-biggest IPO market, after the US. But concerns about the quality of companies waiting to list, and the sheer number of them – almost 900 at one point – prompted the China Securities Regulatory Commission to block all new listings. – Financial Times

The flotation of EE, Britain’s largest mobile operator, has been put on hold by Orange and Deutsche Telekom, after the joint owners concluded they would secure a higher valuation for the business when its 4G telephone services take off. Orange and Deutsche Telekom – which has also been linked with a sale of its US business this year – had been working on options for a partial sale of EE for more than a year. – Financial Times


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