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Morning Wrap: need to know business stories

Top stories from around the web.

Apple faces grilling over US tax rate (FT)

Apple would have paid a tax rate of about 15 per cent last year, far below the 25.2 per cent it reported, had it not used a form of reserve accounting that sets it apart from other big US technology companies.

The rare accounting treatment has helped to distract attention from Apple at a time when the tax-avoidance strategies of other cash-rich US tech companies, notably Google, have come under public attack, according to tax experts.

Yahoo buys Tumblr for $1bn (FT)

Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, has made her first big bet to jump-start growth at the stalled web portal company with the purchase of New York start-up Tumblr, according to two people familiar with the deal.

One of these people put the price of the acquisition at “more than $1bn”, while other reports indicated that Yahoo had agreed to pay $1.1bn in cash.

David Cameron warns overseas territories on tax (BBC)


Prime Minister David Cameron has urged British overseas territories to "get their house in order" and sign up to international treaties on tax.

He wrote to 10 territories and crown dependencies, including the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man, which operate low-tax regimes.

Ryanair profits at record high despite fuel cost rise (BBC)

Discount airline Ryanair has reported record full-year profits and rising revenues, despite soaring fuel costs.

Profits after tax rose 13% to 569m euros (£481m) on revenues of 4.88bn euros for the year to 31 March.

Troubled FirstGroup announces rights issue as chairman Martin Gilbert steps down (Telegraph)

FirstGroup, the heavily indebted train and bus operator, has confirmed it is raising £615m through a deeply discounted rights issue and has scrapped its final dividend to ease pressure on its balance sheet and avoid a downgrade in its credit rating.