UK state-owned bank builds brand
The UK’s state-owned “zombie bank” responsible for winding down Northern Rock’s mortgages is attempting to become a brand in its own right as it also prepares to take over administration of the Help to Buy scheme. UK Asset Resolution has redesigned the websites and literature of nationalised banks Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock Asset Management with its own red, white and blue colours, adding the tagline: “Government owned. Mortgages in expert hands”. Although UKAR will not start to sell products, it hopes that by raising its profile, its mortgage holders will be encouraged to pay down their debt.
India restricts outward investment
India has unveiled restrictions on capital outflows in new moves to bolster the rupee that were likened by one analyst to “a panic signal”. The central bank reduced the limit to 100 per cent of the net worth of the Indian investor from 400 per cent unless special permission is granted. State oil companies were excluded.
Pemex chief argues for reform
The head of Mexico’s state oil monopoly expects energy reform announced this week to boost oil investment by $10bn (£6.4bn) a year, though the foreign firms it hopes to attract will not be able to book reserves. “To hit production forecasts of another one million barrels a day, we expect an extra $10bn a year” Emilio Lozoya, chief executive of Pemex, said.
Sirius losing millions on potash delay
Sirius Minerals has continued to lose millions during a “very frustrating” year spent trying to obtain planning permission for a potash mine in North Yorkshire. The company was recently forced to issue $25m (£16m) of new shares to keep up its cash reserves while it works on a new planning application to build the mine. Its shares dropped 4.8 per cent to 14.75p yesterday.
Councils pull plug on broadband
A fibre-optic network in South Yorkshire that has burnt through more than £150m of public funds is set to be shut down by the councils that own it. The network was said to be losing £1m a month.
The Daily Telegraph
China fires price-fixing warning shot
In a clear warning shot to businesses operating in China, the country’s anti-monopoly chief said sectors which have an impact on the lives of ordinary Chinese, such as energy, banking and car-making firms, could all be targeted.
Church in fracking land-grab
Residents across England have started receiving letters from the Land Registry, informing them that the Church is seeking to register the mineral rights to the earth beneath their property. Lawyers believe that the Church’s claim could allow it to profit from fracking, the controversial method of extracting oil and cash by fracturing underground rocks with water and chemicals.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
IKEA recalls 40,000 beds
Furniture shop IKEA is recalling 40,000 children’s beds in the US and Canada after receiving reports they broke, posing an injury risk. The low-cost furniture company received one report in the US and one in Canada that the metal rod connecting the guard rail to the bed frame broke.
Kirchner signals no course change
President Cristina Kirchner’s economics team is signalling that she will stick to her unorthodox policies despite her ruling coalition’s poor showing in congressional primary elections. The results of the Sunday election largely erased any chance that Kirchner will be able to change the constitution to seek a third term in 2015.