EX-EMPLOYEE SUES SOCGEN FOR џ12M
Societe Genrale, France’s second-largest bank, is being sued for more than џ12.5m (£11.3m) by its former head of European fixed income after his contract was terminated at the start of the credit crunch. The High Court heard yesterday that Raphael Geys, its London-based former managing director of European fixed income sales, had his employment contract terminated in November 2007 and received a draft severance agreement weeks later.
SIEMENS JOINS CHINA BID FOR SAUDI RAIL LINK
Siemens has dropped a bid to supply trains and equipment for the $7bn Mecca-to-Medina high-speed railway line project in Saudi Arabia, opting to join a bidding consortium led by state-owned China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation.
CALPERS IN PUSH ON INVESTORS’ RIGHTS
The US’ biggest state pension fund has opened a new front in its campaign to persuade US companies to abide by international standards on corporate governance. California Public Employees’ Retirement System is calling on the 58 top US companies in which it invests -- including Apple, BlackRock, Coca-Cola, Google and NewsCorp -- to adopt new voting standards that would ensure that directors are backed by a majority of shareholders.
ON-AIR RANT SPARKS LEGAL THREAT AGAINST INDIA’S CNBC BY BLOOMBERG UTV
The Indian affiliate of Bloomberg Television is threatening to sue an anchorman at CNBC’s local partner for Rs5bn ($110m) for defamation. In a live on-air tirade, CNBC-TV18 managing editor Udayan Mukherjee criticised what he called “the number four player” in the industry.
LOW EARNERS TO LOSE CHUNK OF PENSION SAVINGS FROM WORD GO
The flagship scheme to persuade millions of low-paid employees to save for their retirement came under fire yesterday after the government revealed that all contributions into the new fund would be subject to a surprise two per cent fee. Outside experts said the National Employment Savings Trust could be an expensive way of saving.
ARRIVA SHARES JUMP AS MERGER RUMOURS RETURN
Shares in Arriva climbed yesterday on rumours that a 700p per share bid for the transport operator was in preparation. Earlier this month the company said it had ended talks with the French state-controlled railway, SNCF, regarding a potential merger of the French Keolis transport business. Aviva declined to comment.
THE Daily Telegraph
CLOCK TICKS FOR RBS TO REFINANCE ITS BALANCE SHEET AHEAD OF RULING
Royal Bank of Scotland has just over six weeks to announce a multi-billion pound refinancing of its balance sheet if it is to clean up its funding ahead of a European Commission rule that will ban it from making discretionary coupon payments for two years. The European Commission rule barring discretionary payments by banks that have accepted state aid comes into effect on 30 April.
RECORD NUMBERS OF CHINESE COMPLAIN ABOUT INFLATION
A record number of Chinese have complained that inflation is at an “unacceptable” level, as the Communist party warned that its very future depends on tackling rising prices. The People’s Bank of China said 51 per cent of respondents to a survey were unhappy about inflation.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
HARTFORD FINANCIAL TO REPAY TARP
Hartford Financial Services said it will sell $2.4bn in stock and debt to raise money to repay federal funds it received under the Troubled Asset Relief Programme. The insurer, which has a market capitalisation of $10.2bn, plans to buy back $3.4bn in preferred shares issued to the Treasury Department in exchange for a capital infusion last year.
AUTOPILOT FIX ORDERED ON BOEING 777S
Air-safety regulators are ordering US airlines to install new software on Boeing 777s to keep the jetliners from possibly running off the end of runways, a mandate that could ultimately affect more than 800 planes world-wide. The Federal Aviation Administration yesterday ordered the fix to prevent problems when the autopilot system is inadvertently on.