DAVID CAMERON PERFORMS BONUS U-TURN AT TOP BUSINESS SUMMIT

TO MANSION House for a royal visit from HRH the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron, who were all there for the Business in the Community summit.

Cameron used his speech to claim that big business was a “powerful force for social progress” and to launch a scathing attack on “anti-business snobbery”.

But who on earth could the Prime Minister have meant? Surely not the politician who last month said “the bonus culture – particularly in the City – has got out of control” – because that was Cameron himself.

Still, it is almost impossible to work out what the Prime Minister really thinks about the Square Mile. In September 2008, he said he would not seek “cheap headlines” by blaming City practices for the crisis. Just a month later he said: “It is very difficult to defend anyone getting a bonus if they are going to be in receipt of taxpayers’ money.”

Next year he will probably use a speech at Mansion House to attack politicians who flip-flop.

ARCTIC ROLL
VODKAS ALL round at Bashneft, the oil producer controlled by Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s AFK Sistema, which this week won an auction for exploration rights in two provinces in one of Russia’s most prospective oil regions.

Bashneft paid 4.51bn roubles (£97m) for the Yangareysk and Sabriyaginsk blocks in the northern Nenets region on the border of the Pechora Sea, which Bashneft geologists believe contain “considerable oil resources” – an estimated 28.2 tonnes.

Russian private oil giant OAO Lukoil, meanwhile, paid 1.84bn roubles (£40m) for the third auction lot, the Verkhneyangareysk field, leaving outbid rivals Surgutneftegas and Shell’s Russian subsidiary to down vodkas in rather more subdued fashion.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS
ARE bankers putting in so many late hours they can only business network on the weekend? Saturday is the date of the gala dinner at the Waldorf Hilton hosted by the Mauritanian government’s investment promotion agency – although to keep things relaxed, guests can wear lounge suits.

Maurice Lam, chairman of the Mauritius board of investment, has requested the pleasure of a number of City financiers at 18.30hrs, who will have the “opportunity” of viewing a short presentation on investment and business opportunities in Mauritius.

Translation: open for business and looking for UK cash – although Bank of Mauritius governor Rundheersing Bheenick (below), will no doubt phrase it more elegantly than that as he accepts his award for “Central Banker of the Year 2012 for Africa”.

MINING POTENTIAL
FROM shareholder to the boardroom: Gavin Casey, who holds a stake in VSA Capital Group, was yesterday named as executive chairman of the resources brokerage run by Blue Ore and Oriel Securities founder Andrew Monk.

Monk knows Casey from the Blue Ore days – Casey was a non-executive chairman – and the move is part of Monk’s ambition to make VSA the leading independent resources investment bank in London.

“A few years ago, it was Amlin,” says Monk as he searches for 5,000 sq ft in the City to house his projected 40 staff within 12 months. “But in truth, there isn’t much competition.”

SHIPPING FORECAST
WHY ARE City traders like trade winds? Because they are happiest in the tropics, blow hot and cold, and then finally close out in North America, India and Asia.

There is a point to this joke – it was made in honour of last night’s talk at the Deutsche Boerse, when 150 members of the Financial Traders and Brokers Network and derivatives platform Eurex breezed in to hear a shipping forecast on the turbulent economic climate.

Traders in currencies, equities and commodities from Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital, Merrill Lynch and Citi came away educated on the debate surrounding City bonuses, whether Greece should make a drachma out of a euro-crisis, and how the UK can remain a triple A-rated isle.

FUTURE FOUNDATION
FOR MUCH of the last 2,000 years, the City of London has been a major mercantile centre – it has survived pestilence, fires, bombings, bubbles, Big Bang and recessions, yet remains a focus for global trading.

Taking a look at how the City’s physical fabric has defined its success is a new exhibition as part of the London Festival of Architecture in association with the City of London Corporation, which will look at the growth of the City since Roman times while imagining how the City of London will look in 2050 (imagined above).

Designed by architects Foster and Partners, the exhibition will run between 21 June and 9 September at the Walbrook Building.