Bildt warns of British Balkanisation
Sweden’s foreign minister has warned that Scottish independence would lead to the “Balkanisation of the British Isles” and have far-reaching consequences for the rest of Europe, in the strongest expression of concern from another EU government so far. Carl Bildt told the Financial Times that there would be “unforeseen chain reactions” in both Europe and the UK if Scotland were to vote for independence on September 18. “I think it’s going to have far more profound implications than people think. The Balkanisation of the British Isles is something we are not looking forward to,” said Bildt, who was the UN’s special envoy to the Balkans between 1999 and 2001.
Schroders’ Opus hedge fund to shut
A prominent backer of commodities hedge funds is shutting down after investors frustrated by market doldrums and high management fees took their money elsewhere. Schroders’ Opus commodities fund, which contained $2.3bn (£1.4bn) at its peak, is closing after assets dwindled to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Robot makers warned over job fears
Robot makers have been warned by Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, that they must do more to reassure the public over concerns that a new wave of automation could take away their jobs.
Cafe Rouge to sell 40 restaurants
Tragus Group, the restaurant group behind the Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge chains is to shed more than £260m of debt and sell its struggling Strada brand as part of a restructuring by its new owners.
DRC halts sale of copper stake
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining company has shelved plans to sell a 20 per cent stake in a Glencore-controlled copper project. Gecamines had drawn fire from the country’s mining minister for planning to sell the stake in the Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) to Dan Gertler’s Fleurette Group.
The Daily Telegraph
Deep sea, outer space boost for QinetiQ
QinetiQ, the defence and technology company, has won two multi-million pound contracts to work in the ocean and outer space.
Phased opening at Heathrow’s T2
Heathrow bosses are hoping that a phased opening of the new £2.5bn Terminal 2 will prevent the chaotic scenes of the Terminal 5 launch in 2008. The terminal, which has 60 check-in gates, will partially open on Wednesday with the first flight arriving from Chicago at around 6am. Initially, United Airlines will be the only carrier operating at T2, which will run at 10 per cent of its full capacity for the first few days.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
American auto sales surged in May
US auto sales rose 11 per cent in May, confirming that the cold winter had more to do with damping demand earlier this year than a dip in consumer confidence. Industry sales reached 1.6m vehicles last month
Volkswagen to raise $2.7bn for Scania
German auto maker Volkswagen AG said it plans to generate up to €2bn (£1.6bn) in gross proceeds from issuing new preferred shares in a capital increase that would be used to finance parts of its takeover of Swedish truck manufacturer Scania.