M&A SURGE IN ASIA WHILE THE US AND EUROPE SUFFER
Mergers and acquisitions boomed in Asia in the first quarter in sharp contrast to a slump in deal volume in Europea and the US, underlining a global shift in activity in the wake of the credit crisis. The value of global M&A overall rose six per cent to $442bn (£293bn) in the first quarter of 2010, boosted by the surge of deals in Asia, according to?Mergermarket.
DARLING TO ACT ON BANK LOANS TO BUSINESS
Alistair Darling promised tougher action on bank lending to business yesterday, with a new watchdog handed potential powers to fine errant lenders and cuts to bonuses for Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland executives if new lending targets are missed. Darling was speaking to the Treasury select committee.
SHOPS SET FOR EASTER BATTLE ON FOOD SALES
Supermarkets are bracing themselves for a fierce fight for customers this Easter as sales growth slows to its lowest level since 2007. Sales growth, which has been declining since the beginning of the year, has dropped to a pre-recession low of 3.6 per cent in the 12 weeks to 21 March, according to Kantar, the market research group. Kantar said falls in food price inflation had prompted the slowdown.
CHINA INVITED TO JOIN IEA AS OIL DEMAND SHIFTS
The head of the International Energy Agency, the developed world’s energy watchdog, has called for China to join the agency and warned that the institution risked losing relevance as energy demand shifted eastward away from its current members. Nobuo Tanaka, executive director, said: “In many ways [the?Chinese] are already working closely with us.”
ISA SAVERS ‘CHEATED OF BILLIONS’ BY BANKS
A tax break created by Gordon Brown to encourage millions of people to save has degenerated into a £3bn a year rip-off that enriches the banks, according to a damning verdict from the statutory consumer watchdog. Consumer Focus has made a formal complaint to the Office of Fair Trading alleging that cash Isas pay derisory rates of interest.
BUSINESS WILL SEEK TO RUN STATE SCHOOLS AFTER SHIFT IN ATTITUDES
Businesses are looking to revolutionise state education by bidding to run hundreds of schools, as politicians open the door to new education providers. Companies want to create national chains of state schools, eclipsing the current groups of charitable academy sponsors, which tend to be small and geographically based.
The Daily Telegraph
FRAUDULENT INSURANCE CLAIMS FORCING UP PREMIUMS
Insurance customers are suffering from sharply rising premiums because of a rash of fraudulent claims and aggressive personal injury lawyers, figures suggest. The majority of lawyers, in a survey, said they had seen an increase in exaggerated claims or invented injuries from customers in a bid to make money from their insurance companies.
RWE AND EON TO BUILD FIRST NUCLEAR PLANT ON ANGLESEY
German utility giants RWE and EON are planning to build their first nuclear power plant on Anglesey, in Wales, by 2020 and a second plant in Gloucestershire by 2025. The companies, which have a joint venture called Horizon Nuclear Power, are also intending to build another plant at Oldbury, in Gloucestershire.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
CHRYSLER TO BREAK EVEN ON OPERATING BASIS IN 2010
Chrysler Group chief executive Sergio Marchionne reiterated the auto maker “intends to break even” on an operating basis this year and will hit its target of selling 1.1m new vehicles in the US. “We are confident we can meet our ambitious but achievable goals,” Marchionne said during a speech in New York yesterday.
GEELY PLANS INVESTMENTS TO REVIVE VOLVO
The chairman of Zhejiang Geely said the company has set aside $900m in “working capital” to use for reviving Volvo cars, days after announcing a deal to acquire the struggling Swedish auto maker from Ford for $1.8bn. Li Shufu, Geely’s founder and chairman, said the company is committed to preserving the identity of the premium car brand.