Regulator to Highest Fines in a Decade By Suzi Ring – 2013-10-04T15:11:31Z The U.K. finance regulator recorded its largest month of fines in more than a decade in September, buoyed by a 137.6 million-pound ($221.2 million) penalty against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over the London Whale debacle. Industry fines totaled 169.5 million pounds last month and brought total penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority in 2013 to 339.5 million pounds, according to statistics published today by Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) , Europe s largest tax and legal publisher. The year-to-date total is larger than any other full year since 2002. The regulator fined JPMorgan as part of a probe into losses exceeding $6.2 billion on a derivatives position built by a trader who came to be known as the London Whale because his bets were so large. The past year has also seen the regulator punish banks embroiled in the scandal over rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor. The FCA is endeavoring to keep up with the international trend towards greater levels of fining and is continuing the trajectory started in the U.K. by the Financial Services Authority in its latter years, said Barnabas Reynolds, a London lawyer at U.S. law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP. The FSA became the FCA in April this year. FCA fines increased considerably last year hitting 313.4 million pounds at the end of 2012 compared with 66.1 million pounds in 2011. The FCA is clear that where there is poor behavior we will act quickly with punishments we believe reflect the seriousness of what has taken place, the FCA said in an emailed statement. To contact the reporter on this story: Suzi Ring in London at firstname.lastname@example.org To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com
Stake Sale Plan Behind Ooredoo’s Potential London Listing?
View gallery . The Vikings invaded Regent Street last week in London. (AP) The NFL is determined to make London work. Anyone who doubts that should have been standing Saturday afternoon on the city’s biggest shopping avenue, Regent Street between the Oxford and Piccadilly Circuses. This is because the NFL had the road closed to traffic and filled 2,000 feet of pavement with every gimmick it knows to shove itself into Europe’s awareness. There were races on Jaguar-themed moonbounces, inflatable rooms in which one could catch balls shot from pitching machines just like the pros do, places to kick field goals, and a stage behind which fans could wait 90 minutes to get their picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy. There were trailers selling American burgers, a spot where old men dressed like Elvis square danced to techno pop, not to mention a television blaring the Jaguars’ 2012 highlights, and a booth for the City of Jacksonville as if to say: we’ll give you our team if you come visit our miles of beautiful beaches. . Tim Tebow’s popularity extends to Europe, at least for this fan. (Y Sports) “People will say, ‘Oh wait a minute this is supposed to be a sport but it’s not about the sport, it’s about the advertising,'” said Riki Samuel, Gur’s father, as he and his son waited to enter Wembley on Sunday. “‘How do you stop a game to show an advert?’ People actually say this.” When Gur Samuel tries to recruit friends to watch NFL games, he often loses them at the change of possessions when the ads come on in the U.S. Since British channels don’t sell many of the commercial breaks, they fill the void with endless five-minute cuts to studio shows, where one or two analysts sit around small tables with hosts and talk about the previous handful of plays in a tedious exercise. “People don’t want their attention broken up by adverts,” he said. This is an issue for an NFL that desperately wants to reach young people in the UK. It figures it can only do so much with people over the age of 30.
Bloomberg News Qatars Ooredoo is said to be considering at a secondary London listing. A secondary listing in London has some obvious attractions for companies in the Middle East global visibility, diversified investor base and increased liquidity: not surprising then that Qatar-based Ooredoo, a regional telecom giant with global growth aspirations, is considering such a move. The telco, formerly known as Qatar Telecom, has sent out a request for proposal to banks to study the merits of a secondary stock market listing in London, bankers familiar with the matter say. Besides the obvious, the plan for a secondary stock listing could also mean that Ooredoo whose GDRs already trade sparsely on the LSE may be looking at raising fresh cash and/or that a big investor is looking to sell down its stake. The telco is majority-owned by the Qatar government and counts the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as one of its biggest shareholders, according to Zawya.com data. For the Qatari government, a partial stake sale would still leave them in control of the company, while helping raise cash to fund some of the Persian Gulf states ambitious spending plans. Whatever the reason, a London listing is expected to help garner a better valuation, or at least that would be the belief behind such a move. After all, the local Doha-based market isnt very liquid and any big stake sale there will likely impact its stock price. Ooredoo shares last traded at QAR140.90 on the Qatar Exchange, far lower than the QAR157.97 that investment bank EFG Hermes values them at. Victor Sunyer, a director at Delta Partners, a telecom advisory and investment company, reckons it also makes increasing sense for operators that have a more diversified portfolio to pursue a listing abroad. Here they have a very narrow investor base and they are bound by the local markets. The Qatari telco, which has been aggressively expanding abroad, operates subsidiaries across the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia. But not all agree to the benefits of a secondary listing.