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STOCKBROKER Panmure Gordon haspoached the head of rival SeymourPierce to be its new chief executive.Panmure will today tell themarket that Philip Wale is beinghired to replace Tim Linacre, whoannounced his resignation inDecember after a profit warning. Wale is expected to leaveSeymour Pierce at the end of nextmonth. The former co-head of European equities at GoldmanSachs only joined Seymour inDecember 2010 but could not resistthe job at Panmure, one of theCity’s oldest stockbrokers.“Philip Wale has done a fantastic job in terms of recruiting a strongteam around him,” a source told
last night.“He leaves on good terms and islooking forward to the challenge of Panmure.”Staff at Seymour were told of Wale’s departure yesterday afternoon. The search for hisreplacement has begun and ashortlist of internal and externalcandidates is being drawn up. Wale joins Panmure at achallenging time. It has sufferedfrom a delay in a number of biginvestment banking deals whichforced it to issue a profit warning inNovember 2011.Both firms declined to commentand Linacre could not be reached.
Panmure hiresSeymour bossas new chief
BY PETER EDWARDS
G E T T Y
Spain slams Argentina forits move to seize oil firm
SPAIN rounded on Argentina’s moveto seize control of oil giant YPF yes-terday, threatening swift economicretribution for the nationalisationplan.Spanish industry minister JoseManuel Soria promised “conse-quences” in the coming days. “They will be in the diplomatic field, theindustrial field, and on energy,” hesaid. And Repsol, the current owner of amajority stake in YPF, also pledgedlegal action worth up to $10bn forthe “manifestly unlawful and grave-ly discriminatory” act.Shares in Repsol, which generatesmore than a fifth of its net incomefrom the stake, fell six per cent yes-terday. There were also reports inthe Chinese press that Sinopec had been in talks with Repsol to buy some of YPF’s stake before Argentinamade its plans known. Argentinian President CristinaFernandez de Kirchner on Monday tabled legislation to reclaim YPF, which Repsol has said is worth$18bn as a whole.European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso urged Argentina to uphold international business accords with Spain.Europe’s trade chief will write tohis Argentinian counterpart to “reit-
Canadian approached for BoE job
Mark Carney, governor of Canada’s centralbank, has been informally approached tobe a candidate to replace Sir Mervyn Kingas head of the Bank of England in Junenext year. One of the world’s mostrespected central bankers, Carney alsoheads the Financial Stability Board, whichoversees global regulation. He wasapproached recently by a member of theBoE’s court, the largely non-executivebody, that oversees its activities,according to three people involved in theprocess. Carney declined to comment.
O1 Properties eyes London IPO
One of Russia’s largest high-end officeowners is set to list on the London StockExchange in the latest example of aEuropean property company looking todiversify its financing. O1 Properties,which owns about $2bn-worth of officesin Moscow, will announce its plans today.
BTG allows investors to pull out
BTG Pactual has given retail investors fivedays to pull out of its high-profile listingnext week after it emerged that the chiefexecutive of the Brazilian investmentbank had been fined by Italian regulatorsfor insider trading.
Missing month in the China inquiry
Britain failed to press China over thedeath of Neil Heywood for nearly a monthafter it emerged that the businessmanhad died under mysterious circumstances,ministers admitted yesterday.
Romney tells Obama to start packing
An emboldened Mitt Romney has toldPresident Obama to “start packing” inreadiness to leave the White House. Thecomment came as a new opinion pollshowed him moving slightly ahead of thePresident.
IKEA to sell TVs and sound systems
Flat-pack furniture took a leap into thefuture as IKEA announced it is pressinginto the electronics market with a range ofTVs and sound systems built into its units.
Move elected House of Lords toManchester, says Lord Adonis
An elected House of Lords should move toSalford like the BBC to save taxpayersmoney, the former transport secretaryLord Adonis has said in a letter to TheSpectator.
Nestlé nears deal for Pfizer unit
Pfizer is close to selling its infant-nutrition business to Nestlé SA for at least$9bn, people familiar with the mattersaid.
Sky Deutschland seals Germanfootball rights
Sky Deutschland retained key rightsyesterday for top matches of Germany'sBundesliga, but competition means thesum that Sky will pay to show matches isset to roughly double.
WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING
US markets posted their largest gainsin a month yesterday after banks leda string of quarterly results that beat Wall Street expectations.Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson alltopped analysts’ forecast for the firstthree months of the year despite thestill subdued US economy. The Dow Jones industrial averagerose 1.5 per cent to close at 13,115.54. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Indexgained 1.55 per cent to 1,390.78 andthe Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.82per cent to 3,042.82.“People were very pessimistic,marking down earningsexpectations so there was plenty of room for the market to be positively surprised,” said Paul Zemsky, head of asset allocation at ING InvestmentManagement. The rises reflect a surprisingly strong beginning to US earningsseason, with 29 out of the 39 S&Pfirms to have reported so far beatinganalysts’ estimates.One bank narrowly came in below expectations, however. State Streetsaid first-quarter profit fell 11 percent. The Boston-based custody bank’s net income was $417m, or 85cents a share, including preferredstock dividends and otheradjustments. Analysts’ averageforecast was 86 cents a share.
Results reliefpowers jumpon Wall Street
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s decision has proved popular in Argentina
BY PETER EDWARDSBY MARION DAKERS
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XCUSES, excuses, excuses. Onceagain, the Bank of England hassuffered the humiliation of seeing consumer price index(CPI) inflation increase, rather thandrop, last month. The CPI measureincreased from 3.4 per cent to 3.5 percent; let’s never forget that the targetthat the Bank is meant to be stickingto is two per cent and that if it movesone per cent either higher or below that the governor is forced to write anopen letter to the chancellor. Therehave now been nine of these letters ina row, starting in February 2010. TheBank’s record over the past few yearshas been poor, even though it hastried to deemphasise its coreinflation-busting target.Now, don’t get me wrong: of course,the situation is not as bad as it previ-ously was and inflation is lower. Pricerises will probably dampen a little
Bank of England’s inflation over-optimism must now end
WEDNESDAY 18 APRIL 2012
more as the year progresses. But my beef is that – once again – the Bank has been shown to be too optimistic, with no consequences. It is almostunthinkable that it will be back oreven below target by the end of the year, until recently the line peddledand amplified by the many doves inthe City. Inflation on the CPI measurein the first quarter as a whole was 3.5per cent (the same as for Marchalone): this was higher than the offi-cial Bank projection of 3.35 per centmade as recently as its February 2012Inflation Report. In February 2011,the Bank expected inflation to bedown to 2.86 per cent by the firstquarter (on the mean forecast of unchanged policy). Adam Posen, theMPC’s arch-dove, said in an interview in March 2011 that inflation wouldtumble to 1.5 per cent by the middleof 2012. As he put it, defending hissupport for continued low rates andgreater quantitative easing: “If I havemade the wrong call, not only will Iswitch my vote, I would not pursue asecond term.” A miracle could stillhappen – but it will be interesting tosee how that pans out.It is key to understand why inflationis rising. Simon Ward of Hendersondemolishes three excuses: it wasn’ttax. The CPI excluding VAT and indi-rect tax went up by exactly the sameas the overall index. Food and energy chancellor and an equally uselessreply simply won’t do any more.Britain is plagued both with an inef-fective and confused monetary policy and an equally over-optimistic fiscalpolicy. Regarding the latter, the cur-rent austerity until 2017 is just thestart. The IMF made it clear yesterday that massive age-related and health-care timebombs will require an 11.3per cent tightening by 2030. There is little hope of a realacknowledgment of the true scale of the fiscal disaster; but there is at leastsome hope that the monetary confu-sion could be tackled. The best way tostart is for the Bank’s next letter tothe chancellor to be much moredetailed, and for George Osborne toreply properly. It’s time to get a grip.prices were a driver – but remarkably,much of this was domestic in origin,not imported from overseas. Thekiller fact here is that the S&P GSCIall-commodities spot index rose by only 1.2 per cent in sterling terms inthe year to March, down from 26.2per cent in the prior 12 months. It wasn’t the weak pound either: ster-ling’s effective rate rose by 1.5 percent between March 2011 and March2012. The problem is excessively loosemonetary policy.Candidates for the job of next gover-nor should explain how they will do a better job of fighting inflation – or if they believe that higher inflation ison balance a good thing (a flawedidea) explain why they think the tar-get should be diluted. But the currentcharade – year after year of over-opti-mistic forecasts, often wildly so, fol-lowed by anodyne letters to theerate our serious concerns” while anEU-Argentina meeting this week would be postponed.Under international rules, however,Spain cannot limit imports from Argentina.But Argentina’s pounce on YPF couldgalvanise international opposition tothe nation’s claims of sovereignty onBritain’s Falkland Islands, one analystsaid yesterday.“What could be bad news forinvestors in Argentine operationscould in fact be good news in the longrun for those investing in theFalklands.” said Ian McLelland, head of oil and gas at Edinson InvestmentResearch.
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Repsol YPF SA
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