ATHENS INVITES BEIJING TO BUY BONDS
Greece is wooing China to buy up to €25bn of government bonds, a move that underlines Beijing’s growing financial power, as Athens struggles to fund soaring public debt. Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, has been promoting a Greek bond sale to Beijing and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe), which manages China’s $2,400bn foreign exchange reserves, said people familiar with the issue. Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs chief operating officer, has made two trips to Athens – last November and this month – to meet George Papandreou, prime minister and senior officials.
FIDELITY SUSPENDS MANAGERS
Fidelity International has suspended two veteran fund managers in Hong Kong over a “possible breach” of the company’s compliance rules. The two managers – Kevin Chang and Wilson Wong – ran 14 funds with a total of about $7.4bn in clients’ money. Both have worked at the asset manager in Hong Kong for more than a decade. Fidelity International, which has $211bn in assets under management, has started an internal investigation into the matter and alerted local regulators.
US URGES SHARED CYBER ATTACK DEFENCE
The US and its Nato allies have been urged to collaborate more intensely to fend off the threat of cyber-attacks in the aftermath of the alleged Chinese assault on Google. The Pentagon’s top cyber-strategist said shared warning systems had to be established. In an interview with the Financial Times, William J. Lynn, US deputy defence secretary, said America and the UK had been working to counter the growing international danger of cyber-attacks.
FIRST CAPITAL CONNECT WILL PAY PASSENGERS BIGGER REFUNDS
The railway operator that has been called the worst company in Britain said last night it would pay passengers additional compensation after three months of disruption and cancelled trains. First Capital?Connect is trying desperately to resurrect its franchise after a torrid three months. It will pay regular travellers compensation worth 5 per cent of the value of a season ticket.
BUILDING INDUSTRY SAYS RECOVERY WILL BE LONG AND SLOW
The construction industry will not emerge from recession until 2011 as it struggles to recover from the severe decline in housebuilding orders, a report will warn today. Figures from ConstructionSkills will show that 375,000 construction workers have lost their jobs during the downturn.
The Daily Telegraph
SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE CHARGES TWO FORMER TOREX RETAIL BOSSES OVER COLLAPSE
The Serious Fraud Office has charged two former executives at Torex Retail in connection with the collapse of the Aim-listed software group. The SFO charged Edwin Dayan, former chief technology officer, and Christopher Ford, former finance director of subsidiary Xn Checkout Limited, with conspiracy to defraud, false accounting and misleading an auditor.
DAVOS DELEGATES WITH GAS GUZZLERS LEFT IN THE COLD
Davos delegates arriving in gas-guzzling 4X4s and limousines being turned away and forced to take a “green” bus. Financiers and politicos turning up at the Swiss ski resort with gas guzzling 4x4s and limousines found their cars turned away and were forced to take the bus.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
TRICHET BACKS US BANKS PLAN
ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet offered qualified support for a US plan to rein in the size and activities of large banks, though he stressed such proposals should be coordinated globally. Trichet also urged US lawmakers to confirm Ben Bernanke for another term as Federal Reserve chairman, saying he holds Bernanke “in very great esteem”.
TOYOTA SUSPENDS SALES OF RECALLED MODELS
Toyota’s US division suspended sales of eight models recalled to fix potential problems with sticky accelerator pedals, hitting dealers with another headache when they are already eager to rev up sales. Due to the sales suspension, Toyota is expected to stop producing the vehicles next week. “This action is necessary,” said general manager Bob Carter.