MOD TALLIES COST OF CUTTING PROJECTS
The Ministry of Defence has instructed its equipment managers to calculate the cost of cancelling all individual programmes in the latest sign of the budget squeeze it faces. The directive, issued in the past two weeks, underlines that no programme, even if under contract with industry, is safe. The findings will feed into the strategic defence review, which will begin after the May general election.
AIRBUS AWAITS VERDICT
The world’s two largest aircraft makers are preparing for a heated legal and public relations clash this week as global trade officials deliver a final verdict on US claims that Airbus benefited from billions of dollars of illegal subsidies from European governments. The World Trade Organisation report, expected on Tuesday, is the latest step in a protracted and acrimonious dispute between the EU and the US, which dominated global aircraft production until its Boeing group was overtaken by Toulouse-based Airbus seven years ago.
WEALTH FUNDS WOOED
Central banks and debt management offices are on a charm offensive with sovereign wealth funds in an effort to secure a ready market for the large amount of government debt that will have to be raised in the next few years.
TIME WARNER IN $1.5BN BID FOR MGM
Time Warner will bid $1.5bn (£993m) in what is expected to be an all-cash offer for the assets of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, owner of the James Bond film franchise. The owner of CNN and Time magazine group controls Hollywood’s largest film library.
and is seen as placed to generate strong returns from MGM’s assets through its distribution network and relationships with pay TV companies.
CHRYSLER TO LAUNCH ELECTRIC FIAT 500 IN 2012
Chrysler, the struggling US car company part-owned by Fiat, of Italy, is to launch an electric version of the classic Fiat 500 model in the American market in 2012. The plug-in, all-electric Fiat 500 EV, the first electric vehicle for either company, would give Chrysler a competitor in its home market to the Nissan Leaf electric car, due to hit the US market later this year, as well as BMW’s Mini-E, which is already being test marketed.
OFCOM SCRUTINISES CALLING-CARD GIANT LYCATEL
Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, has launched an investigation into Lycatel to gauge whether the calling-card provider is infringing consumer protection laws. The regulator has initiated the inquiry after complaints from consumer watchdogs.
The Daily Telegraph
GM ‘CLOSE’ TO DEAL TO KEEP LUTON PLANT OPEN
General Motors is close to reaching a joint-venture agreement that will keep its van plant at Luton open beyond 2013, the company's European boss has revealed. Luton is operated through a partnership between GM Europe and Renault until 2013, but its future beyond that has looked bleak since GM crashed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US last year and began a major restructuring of its European operations.
TOTE COULD TAKE BETS ON THE X FACTOR
In a move widely seen as an attempt to drum up a higher price for the state-owned bookmaker, sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe proposed taking the blinkers off the business. He launched a consultation on a proposal that would allow the Tote to take pool bets.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
BMW TO SELL DIESEL ENGINES TO POLICE CAR START-UP
German luxury-car maker BMW has agreed to supply more than 240,000 diesel engines to Carbon Motors, a start-up that plans to make a new line of fuel-efficient police vehicles in Indiana. For BMW, the deal to supply an inline, six-cylinder diesel engine expands the Munich auto maker's strategy of selling technology to other car makers.
LUFTHANSA PILOTS UNION CALLS NEW STRIKE; BA DISRUPTIONS CONTINUE
Lufthansa and British Airways faced worsening labour relations, with no immediate prospects of the disputes easing at the European flag carriers. As the first phase of a strike by cabin crew at British Airways comes to an end, pilots at German carrier Lufthansa yesterday voted to strike next month over pay and job security.