Treasury debt pledge on Scotland
The UK Treasury will today assume full responsibility for Britain’s £1.2 trillion debt stock in the event of Scottish independence, in an attempt to head off market jitters ahead of September’s referendum. Danny Alexander, Treasury chief secretary, fears gilt investors could start demanding a risk premium in the coming months on the grounds that some UK debt could be transferred to a newly-independent Scotland with no credit history.
Pay committee sees own fees rise
Directors who set executive pay at the UK’s largest quoted companies have seen their own fees rise up to 140 per cent in the past five years, according to new research. According to PwC, the professional services firm, median additional fees for non-executives who act as members of remuneration committees at FTSE 100 companies increased from £5,000 in 2009 to £12,000 in 2013.
JPMorgan vs Berlin transport authority
JPMorgan and BVG, the Berlin transport authority, are set to begin a $200m High Court trial over a complex credit default swap arrangement signed before the 2008 financial crisis. The case will be closely watched as it revolves around European public authorities using complex financial instruments before the credit crunch and similar cases will follow.
US firms told not to avoid UK tax
One of Britain’s biggest shareholders in Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple has warned them not to be so aggressive in avoiding UK corporation tax in the wake of parliamentary and public anger last year. James Anderson, manager of the £2.6bn Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, said the American companies were taking risks by so aggressively seeking to minimise their tax bills.
British firms herald new wave of drugs
A vaccine for malaria and treatments for cancer, ulcers, varicose veins and gout could revive the fortunes of Britain’s pharmaceuticals industry.
The Daily Telegraph
North sees fastest growth: Ian Powell
Companies in the North of England are now growing at the fastest pace seen in any UK region said Ian Powell, the chairman of top-four accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) He said PWC’s regional offices in the North have experienced double-digit growth over the last year with a marked upswing in deals and a rise jobs.
BP compensation appeal fails
An attempt by BP to block billions of dollars of what it says are bogus compensation claims related to the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill has been rejected by a US appeals court.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Swatch sales growth slows
Swatch Group reported its slowest annual sales growth in four years, but said business would tick higher this year as the key Chinese market recovers and exchange rates stabilise.
Neiman Marcus breach is small
A credit card security breach that occurred over the holiday shopping season at Neiman Marcus appears so far to be smaller than the massive attack that compromised tens of millions of credit and debit cards at Target last month, according to people familiar with details of the incident. Fewer than 1m were thought to be compromised.