Independence could lose sterling
Scotland will be forced to quit the sterling currency union if it votes for independence next year, a cabinet minister has said, in the starkest warning yet for Scottish voters to remain in the UK. Speaking to the Financial Times days before the Scottish government releases its vision for an independent Scotland, Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish secretary, warned Holyrood not to assume it will be let back into the sterling area if the country becomes independent.
WTO on verge of global trade pact
Negotiators are poised to seal the first global trade deal for more than a decade, in a rare victory for the World Trade Organisation, whose struggle to secure an international pact has increasingly threatened its relevance. The US and powerful developing-nation players, including China and India, have overcome differences in agriculture. This leaves negotiators in Geneva to put the final touches to a deal that will impose binding requirements to reduce red tape and ease the path for goods at borders around the world.
Dan Loeb builds $1bn SoftBank stake
Dan Loeb, the activist investor pushing for change at Sony, has revealed another “$1bn plus” position in a Japanese company, this time telecom and internet group SoftBank.
Nokia in investigation over patents
Sierra Wireless has lodged a complaint with Brussels that accuses Nokia of anti-competitive behaviour over patent charges. Sierra alleges that it is charged a higher rate to use Nokia’s technology than other companies, which means it is not being offered access on fair terms.
Resolution could dispose of Lombard
Resolution is in talks to sell Lombard in a prospective deal that is expected to value its tax advisory business for the wealthy at about £400m. The life insurer confirmed that sale discussions were under way in a statement issued after the stock market closed last night.
The Daily Telegraph
Polypipe considers £400m spring IPO
British manufacturing group Polypipe is considering a flotation on London’s main exchange in the spring that could value the group at about £400m. A listing would mark the pipe-maker’s return to the stock exchange after a 14-year absence and is the latest in a flurry of flotations as equity markets roar back into life.
Blumenthal taking on Milk Tray
Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal is taking on Milk Tray and Thorntons this Christmas with his first ever collection of boxed chocolates. Today Waitrose revealed a £13.50 “Chocolate Box of Treats” would be available in stores next week.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Fortune’s businessperson of the year
Fortune magazine today named Elon Musk as its Businessperson of the Year. In taking the top prize, the chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla and SpaceX beats out many high-profile chief executives including Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Berkshire Hathaway boss Warren Buffett.
British Airways to expand routes
British Airways plans to launch services to more Asian cities as the premium carrier chases growth in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, made possible with the arrival of new long-haul aircraft to its fleet.