Gold rivals row as merger talks end
Merger talks between Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining have collapsed amid sharp criticism from each of the other’s attitude to attempts to combine the world’s two largest producers by output. The mutual recriminations surfaced after the end of advanced discussions that would have reshaped the gold mining sector at a time of severe stress for many producers. Newmont took aim at John Thornton, Barrick’s co-chair, saying the ex-Goldman banker had been unconstructive on “fundamental strategic and structural issues.”
G4S back in favour at Whitehall
G4S, the company at the centre of the electronic tagging fiasco, has won a key role implementing the government’s contentious and complex new programme for the long-term unemployed. The FTSE-listed company is among six companies selected to provide the new Help to Work programme for the unemployed, which will sanction claimants if they fail to take part. It comes less than three weeks after the British government lifted a ban on G4S winning public sector work.
Clegg unveils £500m electric car cash
The government has promised to spend £500m during the next five years to encourage the use of electric and other green cars, in a push to charge up lacklustre demand. The investment will be spent between 2015 and 2020.
Energy Solutions challenges contract
The £7bn contract to decommission Britain’s first generation of nuclear power plants was thrown into disarray last night by a legal challenge. The American incumbent on the contract to wind down the 12 Magnox nuclear sites is suing the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for awarding the 14-year contract to a joint venture that includes Babcock, the FTSE 100-listed engineering group. The move by Energy Solutions will cast the September handover for the contract into doubt and raises the spectre of the botched awarding of the West Coast Main Line contract to FirstGroup in 2012. The contract is forecast to generate up to £250m a year in revenue for Babcock alone.
The Daily Telegraph
Return of get-rich-quick house classes
Soaring house prices and new freedoms for savers to dip into pensions in retirement has set the perfect backdrop for the return of two notorious sales ploys: property investment clubs and “wealth creation” seminars.
Cameron to resign without EU vote
David Cameron has promised to quit as PM if he is unable to deliver an in-out referendum on the EU by 2017. He promised he would not “barter away” the referendum in new coalition negotiations, as an angry Conservative activist told him the public do not believe he will deliver on his promise to give the British people a say.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Google steers self-drive cars to city
Google said yesterday that its self-driving cars are now capable of manoeuvering through city streets, a more complex challenge than the highway driving the project initially focused on.
Herbalife sees profit decline
Herbalife said its first-quarter profit dropped 37 per cent as the nutritional-supplements maker recorded a steep foreign-exchange loss tied to the devaluation of Venezuela’s bolívar. That loss totaled $66.6m in the latest period, dragging down the bottom line. Herbalife also announced it would terminate its quarterly dividend.