Apollo in Aviva’s UK property deal
Apollo Global Management is closing in on the purchase of a £400m block of distressed UK property holdings put up for sale by Aviva, the FTSE 100 insurer, said people familiar with the matter. The private equity house has emerged as the preferred bidder for the assets. The sale is the latest sign that investor demand for high-yielding assets is helping banks and insurance companies unwind previous real estate losses.
Davey warns Scots of threat to bills
Scottish consumers face the risk of higher energy bills if they vote for independence in next year’s referendum because of having to shoulder a higher proportion of the UK’s renewable energy subsidies, Ed Davey has warned. The Liberal Democrat UK energy secretary told MPs yesterday that an independent Scotland might be forced to take on a higher proportion of green levies, which would drive up bills for those north of the border.
Britain soft on rights to woo China
Britain has been accused of softening its stance on human rights in China to attract foreign investment, despite doubts over the credibility of some of the groups who have offered to fund big projects. As David Cameron prepares for a visit to Beijing, a Financial Times investigation has raised questions about a project with Chinese backing in northwest England.
Ofgem boss refuses poisoned chalice
It emerged last night that Andrew Wright, who has been interim chief executive of Ofgem for the past five months, will not become its full-time head. The decision comes days after yet another going-over for Ofgem in front of the Commons Energy Select Committee.
Macallan to make £100m investment
Growing demand from Dallas to Dubai for a dram of the 190-year-old malt has prompted Edrington, the Scottish spirits group, to draw up plans to invest £100m developing a new distillery and visitor centre at The Macallan’s Speyside estate.
The Daily Telegraph
Npower confirms 1,460 job cuts
Energy giant RWE npower has confirmed it is to cut 1,460 jobs – 13 per cent of its UK workforce – as part of a major restructuring that will see back office operations outsourced to India. A further 540 Npower staff will be transferred to work for outsourcing company Capita, in a move npower claimed would improve customer service.
Argentina vows to jail oil explorers
Argentina has threatened 15-year jail terms and fines of more than $1.5bn for Falklands oil explorers, in the latest escalation of rhetoric over the disputed islands.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
H&M suspends use of Angora wool
Sweden’s Hennes & Mauritz temporarily halted production of items containing Angora wool, following the lead of other Scandinavian retailers banning the material after viewing footage of harvesting practices distributed by animal-rights activists.
Petrobras weighs ending fuel subsidy
Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro is expected to decide today whether to end an unofficial fuel subsidy that has cost it billions of dollars in lost revenue and raised questions about its ability to complete its huge investment plan.