FREW STEPS UP FOR THE 30 PER CENT CLUB CAUSE

GOOD news – of a kind.

The 30% Club has finally found a female chairman to join its ranks. For those not au fait with the club’s goings-on, it was founded to pursue the “aspiration” of getting boards at the UK’s top companies to be at least 30 per cent female by 2015.

While the club, founded by Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management, is led by a dozen or so other female executives and a handful of dashing gents, it had yet to recruit a chairwoman to bolster its promotion of female figureheads at the pinnacle of their businesses.

The new “supporting member”, as they’re called, is one Anita Frew, chairwoman of Victrex, who is well-placed to preach about increased gender balances, having already achieved the 30 per cent target on her own board and contributing to it elsewhere by being a non-executive for Lloyds.

Though to be honest, The Capitalist was rather surprised to learn that the club had only just found a chairwoman to take up the banner – but better late than never, as the saying goes.

BRIDESMAID IN CHINA
Travelex gets in touch to report a peculiar trend in cross-border payments to China: the firm has seen a “dramatic shift” in payments made by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to Chinese suppliers.

Instead of putting in orders for the usual machinery and recreational goods, SMEs are splashing capital in China on… china.

But, aside from the possibility of a spate of plate-smashing tantrums, what could explain the sudden rush for imports of crockery?

Travelex managing director David Sear has a surprising explanation: “The confirmation of the date of the royal wedding has created a sunny micro climate for businesses focused on commemorative memorabilia,” he says. “Year-on-year comparisons show a substantial increase in the number of payments to China since the date of the royal wedding was announced.”

It seems payments to China increased 14 per cent following the announcement and 24 per cent on the comparable period last year.

So much for naysayers who claimed the four-day holiday in aid of Will ’n’ Kate tying the knot would dent economic growth. They clearly underestimated Brits’ appetite for eating off cheesy photos of the happy couple.


FUNNY MONEY
The spike in global food prices has driven unrest from Tunisia to China and it seems analysts are ever-restless in their quest to think of colourful new ways to describe the crisis. Step up a bevvy of Societe Generale forex boffins.

Tracing global inflation back to the Fed’s obsessive pressing of the “print” button at greenback HQ, they describe the dilemma thus: “Mad money – the root of all evil?”

If “all evil” can be summarised as “Chinese overheating and food protests”, the question can be answered rather easily, it seems to us.