EUROZONE DIVISIONS HIT SINGLE CURRENCY
The euro came under heavy pressure yesterday, falling to a 10-month low against the dollar, as doubts intensified about the 16 eurozone member states agreeing on financial assistance for Greece – and Portugal suffered a credit downgrade. Sentiment soured towards the European single currency after Fitch, the rating agency, downgraded Portugal’s credit rating to AA- from AA, citing “significant budgetary underperformance in 2009” and “structural weaknesses” in its economy.
SIEMENS SEEKS TO STAY AHEAD OF ASIAN RIVALS
The future of the European economy will depend on industrial companies pushing into services to keep ahead of Asian and US competitors, says the head of Siemens. Peter Löscher, chief executive of Europe’s largest engineering group, said overcapacity and sluggish economic growth would persist for several years to come so the continent’s companies needed to look for more profitable business to differentiate themselves.
EMI OWNER TERRA FIRMA TO TAKE ON CITIGROUP IN NEW YORK
Guy Hands won a significant round in his fight against Citigroup last night after a US court said that the financier’s legal dispute with the bank would play out in New York and not in London. The decision means that a New York jury will hear the lawsuit brought by Terra Firma, Mr Hands’ private equity company, against Citigroup, which — advised on and financed his £4bn pound acquisition of EMI, the struggling British record label.
UNIONS CONDEMN BRITISH GAS MANAGING DIRECTOR’S £1.2M PAY DEAL
The managing director of British Gas was awarded a 15 per cent rise in total pay last year to £1.249 million, according to figures published in the company’s annual report. News of Phil Bentley’s salary and bonus package, which increased from £1.089m in 2008, unleashed a furious response from unions, which this week voted for industrial action at British Gas over allegations of “macho” management under Mr Bentley.
The Daily Telegraph
M&B CHAIR TO GET 75PC PAY RISE
The new chairman of Mitchells & Butlers will get a 75 per cent pay rise to £300,000, after unveiling plans to sell mid-market pub grub on the High Street and sell off drinks-led outlets, likely to include All Bar One. The pubs group, which was rocked by a boardroom coup this year, will substantially increase remuneration packages, primarily in shares, for all non-executive directors.