03 May 2007 07:00 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--These were the top stories at 07:00 GMT in the following European newspapers’ online versions on Thursday. To go to the individual websites, click the links below:?xml:namespace>
Sarkozy, Royal trade insults in TV debate
Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy traded insults on Wednesday night in a moment of high political drama during the televised debate between presidential finalists that captivated France just four days before the final round of elections.
Ms Royal accused her centre-right opponent of “political immorality” and Mr Sarkozy complained the Socialist had “lost her nerve” as the debate – France’s first in 12 years – lived up to its promise of fireworks between the contenders to replace Jacques Chirac in the Elysée palace.
Bank of England to improve rate guidance
Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, has pledged to give financial markets a better idea of the circumstances that are likely to trigger UK interest rate changes.
He was responding to growing criticism of its communications as the central bank celebrates 10 years since it was granted the independence to set interest rates. Mr King told the Financial Times that the Bank was failing to explain properly to markets how it was likely to respond to economic data.
Companies and markets
Rosneft poised for more Yukos assets
Rosneft looks set to become Russia’s biggest oil company after a bankruptcy auction on Thursday in which, barring last-minute surprises, it is expected to snap up the largest remaining portion of Yukos assets at a steep discount.
Two contenders, Rosneft and an obscure trader, will vie for Tomskneft, Yukos’s largest remaining production unit, and three big refineries.
D Telekom puts heat on chairman
Klaus Zumwinkel, Deutsche Telekom chairman, is under pressure from fellow non-executive directors to leave his post at the troubled telecoms group when his contract expires next year.
The Financial Times has learned that several supervisory board members have questioned whether Mr Zumwinkel can devote enough time to a group in the throes of painful changes.
Candidates spar vigorously as French vote nears
Nicolas Sarkozy on the right and Segolene Royal on the left went after each other Wednesday evening in the kind of vivid confrontation that has disappeared from the American scene, where the candidates avoid one another as much as possible.
The two-and-a-half-hour televised debate could determine the outcome of the French presidential election on Sunday.
Concern is high and unity hopes are nil at talks on Iraq
Four years ago at this Red Sea resort, leaders of Saudi Arabia and Egypt were photographed as passengers in a golf cart driven by President George W Bush. The symbolism led to taunting headlines in the region's newspapers.
But the United States will not be the sole driver at a two-day international conference seeking to bring stability to Iraq that starts here on Thursday. The Bush administration has lost the confidence of Arab allies frustrated with its failure to stop the bloodshed.
Ursula Burns, the 'straight shooter' in line to lead Xerox
Xerox is home to a lot of firsts. It invented the laser printer, the Ethernet data network and the computer mouse. Now it may become the first Fortune 500 company headed by a black woman.
The chief executive, Anne Mulcahy, last month named Ursula Burns president. The appointment was made with the expectation that Burns would move up when Mulcahy steps down, according to analysts including Bill Shope at JPMorgan Securities. Burns, a black who grew up in a government housing project in New York, also became the only inside director on the Xerox board besides Mulcahy.
Heir apparent at Freddie Mac to quit
The chief operating officer of Freddie Mac, Eugene McQuade, has unexpectedly declined an offer to replace Richard Syron as chief executive, throwing the mortgage finance company's succession plans into disarray.
McQuade, 58, plans to leave the company when his contract expires 1 September. Syron's contract runs through 2008. A special committee of Freddie Mac's board has been set up to "review management succession," the company, based in McLean, Virginia, said Tuesday.
Nashi Youth Chase Estonian Envoy
About 40 pro-Kremlin youth activists stormed the offices of the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper Wednesday to break up a news conference called by Estonian Ambassador Marina Kaljurand and demand that Estonia apologize for its relocation of a Soviet monument in Tallinn.
'Big Babushka' Is Watching Central Moscow
City Hall this year finished installing closed circuit television cameras in and around entryways of every municipal apartment building in the city's central district, totaling more than 8,600 cameras. It hopes eventually to equip every building in the city with an eye in the sky.
Rosneft, Unitex to Bid for Tomskneft
Rosneft and Unitex, a mystery firm believed to have links to Gazprom, will go head-to-head on Thursday to compete for Yukos' east Siberian oil assets, in the penultimate auction to sell off the bankrupt oil company.
Yukos' court-appointed bankruptcy receiver set the starting price of the lot, which includes oil production units Tomskneft and East Siberian Oil Company, at rouble (Rb) 166.4bn ($6.4bn, €4.8bn).
Putin Approves Merger of 5 Airlines
President Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving the merger of five air carriers on Wednesday, amid government efforts to boost the country's struggling aviation industry.
But don't hope for lower ticket prices anytime soon. The new airline, AirUnion, is not expected to start competing against flagship airline Aeroflot for at least a couple years.
On the Front Lines of Climate Change
Many people in southern Bangladesh have never even heard of climate change. Yet should ocean levels rise even slightly, their existence would be imperiled. A visit to the global warming trenches.
The Road to America
The ability to be critical and point out mistakes are the crucial factors in the life of the political observer, whose preferred frame of mind is a notorious lack of satisfaction with the status quo. A truly passionate journalist, DER SPIEGEL founder Rudolf Augstein once said, is incapable of writing an article without subconsciously wanting to change the world.
'Turkish Cypriot move contradicts Turkish theses on Cyprus'
Seventy-eight Turkish Cypriots are planning to apply to the European court to obtain rights to elect and be elected under the 1960 Constitution of Greek Cyprus but the group primarily aims at pressing the administration in the south to sit at the table for a viable solution to Cyprus deadlock
Istanbul furious due to traffic chaos on Labour Day
The precautions taken for Labour Day celebrations caused great chaos in Istanbul's traffic. Thousands of people that hit the roads unaware of the measures in place were stuck in traffic for hours. While crossing the Bosporus, drivers spent at least four hours on the bridges.Public transport was paralyzed in sprawling Istanbul, a city of more than 12m as the authorities closed roads, cancelled ferry services and shut metro stations in a bid to manage the demonstrations.
Business and finance
Turkish Treasury sent letter of intent to IMF
Turkey has signed its letter of intent for the sixth review of its multi-billion dollar loan accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and sent the letter to the Fund, the Treasury said on Tuesday.
İMKB drops further amid ongoing political uncertainty
Markets continued to be jittery yesterday, as the worst fears of the investment community rushing to the door failed to materialize, while the Constitutional Court met through the day to decide a legal challenge to last week's nomination of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul for the presidency.
KPT board has no confidence in its President
On 7 May the Kraków Technologic Park's (KPT) general assembly will be held, but its president cannot count on a vote of approval from its supervisory board.
New movement says government can't spell democracy
A new political initiative has awakened - The Movement in aid of Democracy.
Some of Hungary's winemakers are exploring a natural alternative to today's highly technical approach to winemaking
Telecom firm Dialog is planning a number of acquisitions, including the purchase of GTS-Energis and Crowley.
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