March 31, 2015

In the papers: US crude oil production reaches 100-year high

The Times


Mediaeval MPs abuse powers, says Moulton: Jon Moulton has slammed MPs who criticised him over the collapse of City Link and accused them of abusing their “mediaeval powers” and failing to give him a fair hearing.


Earlier warning over CWM Founders: The City watchdog warned investors a year ago against putting their money with a company run by the founders of CWM FX, the foreign exchange trading firm that is under investigation by police.


Could you handle a meltdown in biggest emerging markets?: Banks have been told to prepare for a global financial crisis triggered by a serious slowdown in the world’s largest emerging markets, including China and Brazil, that would cause their biggest business customers to collapse.


Alliance boss ready for rebel talks: The chairwoman of Alliance Trust has agreed to meet the three potential independent directors being proposed by Elliott Advisors, but has risked stoking tensions by suggesting that they might want to apply for a single vacant boardroom slot.


B&Q shuts stores as Britain gives up DIY: The parent company of B&Q will reveal plans to shut dozens of DIY stores in response to a long-term decline in the number of Britons willing to spend their weekends immersed in doing things themselves.


US crude oil production reaches 100-year high: American crude oil production last year reached its highest level in more than a century as moves by OPEC to slow down the industry ended in failure.


Antofagasta looks at Teck merger plans: Antofagasta and Teck Resources have explored a possible merger that would create one of the world’s biggest copper producers. The FTSE 100 miner is reported to have held early-stage talks with its Canadian rival, with any agreement hinging on the approval of the families that control both miners, according to Bloomberg.


He loves a good pizza, so he couldn’t resist tucking in once again: The entrepreneur who rose from a dishwasher at a PizzaExpress in Wimbledon to chief executive of the entire group is back in charge of a quoted pizza business after a 12-year gap.


Home buyers shrug off election uncertainties: Banks and building societies handed out mortgages at the fastest pace in six months in February, despite uncertainty created by the forthcoming election.The Independent


Greek prime minister vows no capitulation to creditors: Germany turned the screws on Greece again, as officials insisted Athens has still not provided a satisfactory programme of economic reforms to its single currency partners.


BoE stress tests to focus on Asia and the Eurozone: A sharp economic downturn in Asia and the Eurozone, falling commodity prices and illiquid financial markets will form the backdrop to the Bank of England’s stress tests for the UK’s biggest banks this year.


Probation service faces job cuts under Sodexo: Hundreds of probation officers are facing redundancy less than two months after the Ministry of Justice privatised the rehabilitation of low and medium-risk offenders.


Dyson tries to clean up in Asia with Pure Cool air purifier: Dyson is hoping to win over China with a new air purifier that eliminates 99% of harmful particles.The Daily Telegraph


Saudi oil infrastructure at risk as Mid-East conflagration spreads: Saudi Arabia’s escalating intervention in Yemen is a high-stakes gamble that risks back-firing in a series of complex ways, ultimately endangering Saudi oil infrastructure and the security of global energy supply.


UK government guarantees its first Islamic bond for Emirates: UK Export Finance has underwritten its first Islamic bond in a further sign of the City’s growing role in the global market for Sharia-compliant debt.


Quindell sells most of itself to Slater & Gordon: Quindell has hailed a “landmark” deal after it sold most of itself to Australian law firm Slater & Gordon in order to recast itself as an insurance technology business.


Ben Bernanke: Fed didn’t ‘throw savers under a bus’: The former chairman of the Federal Reserve has launched a defence of the central bank’s close-to-zero interest rates, arguing that they were vital to avoid a fresh recession.


SFO fined for BAE corruption case security blunder: The Serious Fraud Office has been hit with a £180,000 fine for an “astounding” security blunder that saw it send thousands of confidential papers to the wrong witness in its investigation of allegedly corrupt arms deals between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia.


Mortgage approvals hit six-month high as house prices ‘set to rally’: The number of mortgages issued in February jumped to the highest monthly level in half a year as buyers took advantage of falling prices after Christmas.


Economic troubles threaten to derail global advertising spend: Advertising spend in the UK is set to grow at almost twice the global pace this year as economic concerns in eastern Europe and China weigh on the worldwide market.


China’s corruption crackdown hurts Prada’s bottom line: A crackdown on corruption in China left Prada out of pocket as the luxury fashion house reported a drop in full year profits for the first time since its Hong Kong IPO four years ago.


The Questor Column: AA - Questor Says “Avoid”. Hold defensive shares in Compass.The Guardian


Greece in talks with Eurozone as Angela Merkel says reform plan must ‘add up’: Greek officials were locked in talks with Eurozone creditors on Monday amid signs that the country’s list of reforms might not be detailed enough to allow a much needed tranche of bailout funds to be released.


FTSE lifted by Chinese growth hopes and strong start on Wall Street: A rise in mining shares and a strong start on Wall Street helped lift the FTSE 100 after four days of decline.


Shell cynically blocking action on climate change, says ex-diplomat: Shell and its oil and gas peers are narcissistic, paranoid and psychopathic, and engaged in a cynical attempt to block action on global warming, according to the UK’s former climate change envoy.


Rolls-Royce signs US$1 billion engine deal with Air China: Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with Air China to supply its Trent 1000 engines for 15 Boeing Dreamliner aircraft.


Tesco to reduce number of charges imposed on suppliers: Tesco is radically restructuring the way it works with suppliers, cutting the number of ways in which it charges them from 24 to just three.Daily Mail


EU’s competition chief warns mega-merger between O2 and Three risks pushing prices higher for consumers without any tangible benefits: The £10 billion mega-merger between O2 and Three risks pushing prices higher for consumers without any tangible benefits, the EU’s competition chief has warned.


Alliance Trust boss Katherine Garrett-Cox short-listed for Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year award as pressure mounts from investors: Alliance Trust chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox has been short-listed for the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year award as pressure mounts from investors.


Britain’s next government must tackle shortage of housing for elderly rather than focusing on first-time buyers: Britain’s next government must tackle a shortage of housing for the elderly rather than focusing on first-time buyers, according to one of the country’s leading builders.Daily Express


Workers lack confidence in pay forecasts: Only one in five employees expects their pay to rise by 2% or more this year, dampening hopes that wage increases will spur further economic growth, according to new figures.


New Kingfisher boss to set out strategy: The new chief executive of DIY giant Kingfisher, which owns B&Q, will present her strategy for the business with its full year results days after fears emerged that its £202 million acquisition of French chain Mr Bricolage has stopped.


Warning over public sector pensions: Ministers have been issued with a renewed warning over the affordability of public sector pensions as official figures showed total liabilities have risen to more than £1.3trillion.The Scottish Herald


Atlantis hands Lockheed turbine contract: Atlantic Resources has handed defence giant Lockheed Martin a multi-million pound contract to build a 1.5 megawatt turbine for its MeyGen tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth.


Glasgow pump manufacturing plant scoops industry award: The Glasgow plant that makes ClydeUnion Pumps has been named manufacturer of the year in the annual Pump Industry Awards programme.


Kier opens Inverness office after contract wins: Kier Construction has formally launched an office in Inverness to capitalise on the growing number of contracts it is winning across the Highlands.


Saudi Arabia has to keep oil price down to maintain market share say experts: Saudi Arabia is locked in a battle for market share in Asia that will force it to keep oil prices down, experts have said.The Scotsman


Defence giant wins Scottish tidal power plant deal: The company behind a £50 million project to build the world’s largest tidal stream energy facility off the coast of Caithness signed a deal with US defence giant Lockheed Martin to build the first turbine.


Successor sought for CBI’s John Cridland: Head-hunters have been appointed to look for a successor to CBI director-general John Cridland, who is standing down from the top post.


Quarter of SMEs still feel dubious about digital: A digital “blind-spot” remains for a significant number of small firms and organisations that do not understand the benefits of new technology, according to a Bank of Scotland (BoS) survey.


Eric Prescott stands down as Havelock Europa chief: Shop fitting firm Havelock Europa said chief executive Eric Prescott – who announced he planned to step down from the business this year – has left with immediate effect.City A.M.


UK consumer confidence at a 13-year high: Consumer confidence soared to a 13-year high in March, with Britons preparing to splash their cash over the long Easter weekend.


Amazon drones on in Canada after US snub: Tech giant Amazon appears to have followed through on its threat to move futuristic drone testing out of the US, after complaining of excessive red tape.


Cenkos keen on more big deals after British Car Auctions float: Brokerage Cenkos reported record profits for 2014, on the back of its successful AA float.


Tesco begins land sell-off: Tesco has hired property advisory firm Savills to sell six development sites as part of plans announced earlier this year to cut costs.


Morrisons hurt by downgrade: Shares in Morrisons dropped 1% after analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded the supermarket chain and forecast lower margins.


Watchdog fines Carver £35,000: Former accountant Kenneth Carver was fined £35,212 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for his part in the Logica insider trading scheme.


PPI complaints to banks fall but card anger rises: Payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints are dropping away, and now account for fewer than half of all complaints to banks, the City watchdog said.


Italians grow in confidence: Italy’s economy could be about to turn around after a surge in confidence among firms and consumers.


German prices start increasing: Inflation has rebounded in Germany – the Eurozone’s biggest economy – new figures show.


Land Sec gets £1.2 billion facility: The UK’s biggest landlord Land Securities reported a new £1.26 billion Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) in a further sign of increasing lending activity in the property market


Compass looks to good half year growth: Catering firm Compass Group forecast 2015 would be a good year for the company, after seeing strong growth in North America and emerging markets in the first half.


Sellers market: Private equity cash in on exit: European private equity firms are enjoying their best exit returns since before the financial crisis, with the UK at the vanguard of the renewed activity it emerged.


Central Asia Metals shares soar on results: Shares in Central Asia Metals were up by 6.05%, after the copper producer announced it would pay a final dividend of 12.5p for 2014.



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