In Wednesday's Europe papers

06 February 2008 06:00  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--These were the top stories at 06:00 GMT in the following European newspapers’ online versions on Wednesday. ICIS has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. To go to the individual websites, click the links below:


Front page

Democrats fight on as McCain holds lead
The Democratic race was locked in a dead heat following most of the results from the "Super Tuesday" states on the east coast, with neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama clearly pulling into the lead.

McCain seeks to warm conservative hearts
But in New York on an overcast Tuesday morning, he appeared in front of a rally of hundreds of supporters with a message likely to warm the hearts of conservatives who fear that America is ready to capitulate in the war on terror.

Companies and markets

BHP launches £75bn raised bid for Rio
BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, raised the stakes in its campaign to win control of rival Rio Tinto, making a formal bid of 3.4 BHP shares for each Rio share, an offer worth more than £75bn ($147bn,€100bn).

Monolines downgrades could hit banks
Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency that is considering downgrading the top triple-A credit ratings of bond insurers, warned that the move could be damaging for banks with direct exposure to the insurers.


Front page

McCain holds edge over Republican rivals
Senator John McCain of Arizona racked up primary victories on Tuesday night in the delegate-rich states of New York, Illinois, and New Jersey, but he is locked in a tight battle with Mitt Romney for the biggest prize of all: California.

All eyes turn to California in Tuesday vote
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton won her adopted state of New York and neighboring New Jersey, while Senator Barack Obama claimed his home state of Illinois and won in Georgia, Alabama and Delaware as the two Democratic candidates traded victories in a coast-to-coast contest for convention delegates.


BHP sweetens offer for Rio Tinto to $147bn
The battle over Rio Tinto intensified Wednesday when BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, increased its takeover offer to about $147bn (€100bn). BHP offered 3.4 of its own shares for each share of the London-based Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest mining company, after Rio's board rejected an earlier proposal of three-for-one as too low.

Asian stock markets tumble
Asian stocks slumped on Wednesday, sending investors fleeing to less risky bonds, after unexpectedly weak service sector data in the US and Europe heightened recession fears.


Front page

Campaign starts without Medvedev
Presidential campaigning began in earnest Monday, with candidates sparring over Russia's place in the world in televised debates and the broadcast of a series of patriotic television commercials.

British-educated Russians petition President
More than 150 bankers, lawyers and journalists ask Putin to overturn the "erroneous" decision to close British Council offices.


Zubkov to run for Gazprom
Gazprom confirmed on Monday that Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov was the top-ranked official running for its board after sources said he was set to become chairman of the world's largest gas firm.

Court upholds Berezovsky's conviction
A Moscow court on Monday upheld a six-year jail term against self-exiled businessman and fierce Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky for embezzling millions of dollars from the Aeroflot airline.


Front page

Obama-Clinton bickering plays into McCain's hands
Imagine we're in a mountain hut, say in Aspen, Colarado, surrounded by a group of hikers and the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Two large tables are laid out for the hikers. An experienced mountain guide sits at one of them. She talks about her scars from her lifelong battle with nature. She says down-to-earth sentences such as "I'm not a show horse, I'm a workhorse." There aren't that many people sitting at her table.

'We will kill everyone!'
A man belonging to the Luo tribe carries a panga in front of a burning tire barricade during ethnic clashes in the Western Kenyan town of Kisumu. It was another murderous night in Nakuru, the capital of Kenya's Rift Valley province.


Front page

Headscarfonomics: Wig shops wig out
Girls wearing headscarves are not the only ones closely following the proposed constitutional amendment that will lift the headscarf ban in universities; if passed the final outcome will also affect the numerous headscarf and wig producers around the country.

Georgia four years after the rose revolution
On 20 January Mikhael Saakashvili was inaugurated as the president of Georgia for the second time. The snap presidential elections of 5 January brought him 53.4% of the votes and secured him a narrow-margined victory in the first round. His primary opponent was candidate of a nine-party opposition coalition, Levan Gachechiladze, who got 25.69% of the vote.

Business and finance

Private banks manage wealth of Turkey’s elite
Turkey's private banking units manage $15bn (€10.2bn) belonging to the "super rich" families of Turkey, said Fikret Onder, assistant managing director for private banking at Akbank, which received Turkey's best "private banking" award from the UK-based finance magazine Euromoney.

Fed rate cut may put an end to US dollar's slide
Ben S Bernanke's decision to lower interest rates 1.25% points last month will end the dollar's two-year slide, according to the world's biggest currency traders.


Front page

Court sacks bankrupt Elektrim's management board
A court has sacked the management board of bankrupt Elektrim and given over all power over the firm to the current supervisor Jozef Syska. Bondholders have been demanding such a move for some time, but also demanded that the supervisor be sacked.

PiS to launch attack on PO after 100 day in power
According to daily Dziennik, Law and Justice (PiS) is preparing a fierce attack on the ruling coalition of Civic Platform (PO) and Polish Peasants' Party (PSL), which will be carried out on anniversary of 100 days of ruling of the government.

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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